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Login Name Post: Most common caliber?        (Topic#306823)
smoothshooter 
45 Cal.
Posts: 989
03-26-18 07:46 PM - Post#1676522    

    In response to Artificer

With most gun owners not having access to all the wonderful cleaning materials and accessories we have nowadays, I think a smoothbore would have been a popular choice.
Easier to clean, easier to pull a charge, works great with double ball or shot loads.
Probably 20% cheaper to buy as well.
Most of the guns made for the frontier trade would have been pretty plain, with the knowledge that they would likely be weathered and beat all to hell, or lost in boating or horse accidents, within a couple of years.

Edited by smoothshooter on 03-26-18 07:48 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Gene L 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1281
03-27-18 06:13 PM - Post#1676717    

    In response to Artificer

Which came first, the mold or the barrel?

 
Coot 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3089
03-27-18 10:06 PM - Post#1676776    

    In response to Gene L

Much easier to make a mold than a barrel.

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7098
03-29-18 03:38 AM - Post#1677009    

    In response to Gene L

  • Gene L Said:
Which came first, the mold or the barrel?



Gene,

This is only speculation on my part, because I have not been able to find documentation.

I believe in an age when there were no precision measuring instruments and the best they had was comparative calibers, that it made sense they would have made the mold first and cast some balls. Then they used the balls as a comparative guide to finish ream the bore size with whatever amount of "windage" or space around the ball they thought best. Then if the gun was to be a rifle, they would cut the rifling in the bore.

This way they were assured the balls cast from the mold and the barrel were the best match possible.

BTW and before his untimely passing, Gary Brumfield (past Master of the Colonial Williamsburg gun shop) stated many times they could finish ream the bore within one or two thousandths of an inch all the way down the bore with the bore tapering down slightly from the breech to the muzzle. So it wasn't a matter they couldn't do precision work, they just had no way to take precision measurements.

Gus

 
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