Belted ball guns

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Stykbow

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I’ve read about these on a few threads and I have a question. Looking at a couple of bore pics it’s obvious that it’s cut to accept the “belt” on the ball. My question is this, does that cut rotate as it goes down the barrel? Seems like it would have to if it’s a rifled gun, but maybe guns using a belted ball were all smooth bores.
 

wyldbill

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Unsure IF I'm understanding your inquiry correctly; however, it caused me to remember what was called the "studded Armstrong artillery round" which was quite rare, apparently, and used by Southern gun crews during the American Civil War.
1669948597497.png
 

TFoley

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I’ve read about these on a few threads and I have a question. Looking at a couple of bore pics it’s obvious that it’s cut to accept the “belt” on the ball. My question is this, does that cut rotate as it goes down the barrel? Seems like it would have to if it’s a rifled gun, but maybe guns using a belted ball were all smooth bores.

The belted ball was rotated in the spiral groove of rifling. Mr Minshall is THE expert, however, and all future correspondence in this matter ought rightly to be adressed in his direction.
 

TFoley

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Unsure IF I'm understanding your inquiry correctly; however, it caused me to remember what was called the "studded Armstrong artillery round" which was quite rare, apparently, and used by Southern gun crews during the American Civil War. View attachment 179765

Studded projectiles were most often the province of coastal defence guns of VERY large calibre - mostly breech-loading.
 

Col. Batguano

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I have one. A SxS James D. Purdey 40 Bore circa 1858. They were often called "express rifled". Yes, you have to patch them, and obviously load them with the balls properly oriented. As I recall the twist was somewhat slow.
 

52Bore

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SCIAggie:

My 40b is cased and has the belted ball mold, if there was a conical mold - it’s been separated from the case/gun.
I use a thin silk patch. I’ve also found that a thick 54cal felt wad (grooves are 0.530”) under the patch ball regulated the barrels.
5AC6C26A-44EB-47C3-B3A7-EF79DE42B9C0.jpeg
 
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I'm glad this thread was started as I've always been curious about these rifles. How is accuracy? I assume that if it was superior to a PRB we would still be shooting belted balls - but what could one expect at 50 yards or so?

I'm assuming a barrel cut for a belted ball was perhaps easier to manufacture than what we think of as a more conventional rifled bore?
 

Stykbow

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So the groove for the belts IS the rifling. I get it now. It seems to me that it would be as accurate as standard rifling for a ball, but maybe the belt hurt it aerodynamically and/or reduced accuracy. No idea myself, but they are still very cool in my opinion.
 

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