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Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6344
09-28-10 09:34 PM - Post#900335    


I have a little single-cavity bullet mould which appears to be quite old. The only marking on it is the number 100 on the handle, and I've always wondered what that was all about... 100 what? Tonight it dawned on me that it might be 100 balls to the pound. I calculated the diameter of such a ball and got .36". I measured the cavity and got very nearly the same. So, I guess the mould is from a time before the switch from balls to the pound to caliber was made. Does anyone have a good idea of when that occurred?

Spence

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17273
Stumpkiller
09-29-10 11:07 AM - Post#900466    

    In response to Spence10

I have seen them marked that way that would have been into the 20th century, but I'm not sure where the switch-point was. Probably about the time conical bullets came along the switch started.

Shotgun bores still are measured that way. 12 gauge is 12 round balls of bore size to the pound, 16 gauge shoots a one ounce ball.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
09-29-10 02:02 PM - Post#900544    

    In response to Spence10

  • Spence10 Said:
I have a little single-cavity bullet mould which appears to be quite old. The only marking on it is the number 100 on the handle, and I've always wondered what that was all about... 100 what? Tonight it dawned on me that it might be 100 balls to the pound. I calculated the diameter of such a ball and got .36". I measured the cavity and got very nearly the same. So, I guess the mould is from a time before the switch from balls to the pound to caliber was made. Does anyone have a good idea of when that occurred?

Spence



When metallic cartridges became common.
The early Sharps breechloaders were still described in gauges. Metallic cartridges circa 1860 in decimal. There is no strict cut off date.

Dan

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6344
10-05-10 06:44 PM - Post#902542    

    In response to Spence10

  • Spence10 Said:
So, I guess the mould is from a time before the switch from balls to the pound to caliber was made.


Amazing how hard historical facts are to pin down, isn't it? I've always thought that balls to the pound was an early system of describing the size of the bore and caliber a later one... balls to the pound being the same as gauge in shotguns and bore in large rifles, and caliber being a designation in decimal fractions of an inch. Now I'm reading An Essay on Shooting, by T. Cadell in 1791, and in discussing fowlers he's doing it all wrong...

“The Spanish barrels are generally from three to three and a half feet long; their caliber is from 22 to 24*, and their weight from three to three and a half pounds.

* In speaking of the size of the caliber, we mean by 22 or 24, that so many balls exactly fitting it weigh just one pound; and every caliber is marked in the same way.”

Spence

 
snowdragon 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3286
snowdragon
10-06-10 01:00 AM - Post#902612    

    In response to Spence10

I think the term "caliber" and "balls to the pound" were interchangeable at one time. I recall reading the Lewis and Clark journals, where Capt. Lewis describes how he shot two ducks with one shot using a rifle of 100 calibre. Bill

 
Dan Phariss 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4622
Dan Phariss
10-06-10 08:33 AM - Post#902644    

    In response to snowdragon

  • snowdragon Said:
I think the term "caliber" and "balls to the pound" were interchangeable at one time. I recall reading the Lewis and Clark journals, where Capt. Lewis describes how he shot two ducks with one shot using a rifle of 100 calibre. Bill



Darn now I will have to go back and look this up. There is so much info in the journals its easy to read over things. Especially if specifically looking for one thing or another.
I had been over the account of the Great Falls flash flood at least twice be for realizing that the baby "Pomp" had lost his bear doll (earlier version of the Teddy Bear I assume) with the other items lost.

Dan

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6344
10-06-10 10:34 AM - Post#902674    

    In response to snowdragon

  • snowdragon Said:
I think the term "caliber" and "balls to the pound" were interchangeable at one time. I recall reading the Lewis and Clark journals, where Capt. Lewis describes how he shot two ducks with one shot using a rifle of 100 calibre. Bill


I located the journals online with a search function and found an incident which sounds similar. On Tuesday 10th December 1805, while at Fort Clatsop, Clark was asked by local Indians to shoot some brants for them, which he did, using what he called his small rifle. He then shot at two ducks close together and "accidently" shot the head off one. He describes the rifle, but says "100 to the pound", not caliber. Could this be what you are recalling? I searched the entire journal for the word caliber, found not a single occurrence, although it is used many times in the modern footnotes.

Spence

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17273
Stumpkiller
10-06-10 10:36 AM - Post#902677    

    In response to Dan Phariss

"Caliber" has been overused. Number of bore size balls to the pound, decimal bore size, etc.

If you read old Navy texts a "rifle of 24 calibers" will mean a cannon with rifling that is 24 times as long as the bore diameter. That would be, say, a 5" bore with a 10 foot barrel.

Some of the old bottle-neck cartridges for breechloaders can be described as "having a two caliber neck". Which would be, say, a .308 caliber with a neck 0.616" long.

Obfustication.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
snowdragon 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3286
snowdragon
10-06-10 02:22 PM - Post#902741    

    In response to Spence10

Yep, that's it. My mistake. I read it years ago and I guess I got the caliber thing stuck in my head because I remember trying to figure out what size ball that was in modern terms. Heck, I didn't even get the "Ducks" right. Bill

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
10-06-10 04:19 PM - Post#902763    

    In response to Spence10

Check your history on " weights and measures". We simply had NO common system of measuring in inches, much less in thousandths of an inch, because we had no internationally agreed standards of measurement. "Caliber" and "Balls per pound" WERE used interchangeably, because that was the only "system" available at the time.

The French and British were arguing over measurements, as they argued over everything. When the British adopted the Inch standard, the French decided to use what we know now as the metric system instead. Since Great Britain controlled the seas, and therefore dominated International trade, Its system of measurements followed its empire around the World. The Rest of Europe eventually aligned with France, and adopted the Metric System.

There is Nothing BETTER about either system. We were told that converting to the Metric System would make everything easier( base 10)- yet millions of American had previously, and since, learned the English system of measurements( base 12, base 16, etc.) without any trouble at all. A lot of Americans felt Insulted by the proponents of this "change".

The attempt under Pres. Carter to adopt the metric system HERE in the USA has largely failed, as the public simply will Not accept it. Attempts, for instance, to have gas station pumps give the volume of gasoline sold In Liters failed, as did the attempt to have gas pumps show the price per liter, and pumps almost everywhere now show the volume in Gallons, only.

Deadlines made by our Federal government have come and gone for the total adoption of the metric system, and there appears NO appetite by the American public to be Pushed into accepting this, even though public schools are doing their darn-est to teach metric, and not our English system of weights and measures.

 
Joel/Calgary 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1251
Joel/Calgary
10-11-10 01:56 AM - Post#904095    

    In response to Stumpkiller

  • Stumpkiller Said:
If you read old Navy texts a "rifle of 24 calibers" will mean a cannon with rifling that is 24 times as long as the bore diameter. That would be, say, a 5" bore with a 10 foot barrel.


Ain't just "old" Navy texts. Current nomenclature is still 3"/50 caliber, 3"/70 caliber (competing designs), 5"/38cal (mostly designs through the Korean War), 5"/54 (starting with my father's vintage of DDs and such), and they are now playing with a 5"/62 and tricky ammunition to REALLY push the range. The one concession to modernity is that they put metric bore designation, either 127mm or 12.7cm (I've seen both, sometimes in the same publication), in parenthesis at the end: "5"/62 (12.7 cm) Mark 45 Mod 4". You see similar usage in land artillery & tank guns, but often with, e.g., "40mm L60" to indicate an Bofors automatic gun is of 40mm nominal bore with a 60-caliber long barrel (2.4m/7.9'). The "L-something" usage for calibers of barrel length is common in international references for artillery, land or sea.

Regards,
Joel

Edited by Joel/Calgary on 10-11-10 02:05 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Shade Tree Willie 
36 Cal.
Posts: 68
Shade Tree Willie
10-15-10 09:07 PM - Post#905717    

    In response to Spence10

Should work out to pretty close to .364 inches.

I've got an old chart that runs from 1 to 280 balls per pound and gives inch equivalents.

Anybody interested in a particular ball per pound number, feel free to PM.

Edited by Shade Tree Willie on 10-15-10 09:11 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
alabamaboy 
40 Cal.
Posts: 208
11-18-10 11:50 AM - Post#916591    

    In response to Spence10

Well let's see there are 7000grs to a lbs divide the weight of the bullet into 7000 how much does a .36 cal weigh. That will tell you how many

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
11-18-10 01:32 PM - Post#916617    

    In response to alabamaboy

A .36 caliber ball is " 100 gauge", meaning it takes 100 round lead balls, that diameter, to weigh one pound. If you divide 7000 grains by 100, you get 70 grains, as the Nominal weight of a .36 cal. round ball.

BUT, since we usually shoot a .350" diameter round ball with a patch around it, in .36 cal. rifles, that ball weighs closer to 65 grains, than the nominal 70 grains. Similar adjustments are made with all different calibers of MLers shooting a PRB load.

If you will explore the Charts available under "member Resources" at the top portion of the Index page to this forum, you will find lots of general information that will answer your questions. You are new, so You probably have overlooked this resource.

May I also recommend that you bookmark Bob Spenser's site,

http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/

and Dutch Schoultz's site,

http://www.blackpowderrifleaccuracy.com/

to read when you can. Both contain a wealth of information you simply won't find elsewhere. Dutch sells a system he wrote on how to work up accurate loads in MLers that is simply outstanding, and well worth the $19.95 he charges for it.

 
alabamaboy 
40 Cal.
Posts: 208
11-18-10 03:51 PM - Post#916675    

    In response to paulvallandigham

I have some reading to do .Oh by the way I shoo t Dutch's method and i think it is great

 
tg 
Cannon
Posts: 10776
11-18-10 05:34 PM - Post#916713    

    In response to alabamaboy

For much of theML agr balls per lb was the standard nomenclature but there was more to it, say a given balls per lb would result in a ball that was .54 in size the gun made to shoot such a ball could have a bore size up to .580 this large difference was more common with smoothbores rifles would have had less allowance for windage.and had bores closer to the ball size. One needs to proceed with caution when talking about caliber.balls per lb and gauge as time and place are critical factors in using and understanding the terms correctly.

 
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