I've seen pictures of grape shot that are tied together like this----> Does anyone know how exacty you go about making one of these? Where do I begin and how do I best keep my balls in place while tieing them up? I attempted a grape shot for my musket (9 .36 calibre balls) but I'm not really satisfied with the results. And it took a hell of a long time to get right. BTW I saw a picture of a cannister shot that was recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose, they used big pieces of flint in a hollow wooden tube. That is a real evil projectile.

All this thinking about the right size buckshot for a given bore size made me get all scientific and stuff. So I took my mathbook and calculator out and found that there is actually a real simple formula for calculating the optimum buckshot size for your gun. In a three buckshot per layer configuration you take the radius of the bore and multiply this with 0.866 and you get the diameter of the most suitable buckshot. The height of the buckshot load is the diameter of one ball pluss the diameter of the ball multiplied by 1.73 per additional layer of balls (not counting the first layer). My musket which has a 21mm bore needs a (10.5mm x 0.866 = 9.093mm) 9.1mm/0.357" ball. A stack of 9 balls in layers of three will be (9.1mm + (1.73 x 9.1mm x 2) = 40.586mm) 40.5mm high. You see?

Seems to me that the governing factor would be the max weight for a given caliber, regardless of the height, etc. For example I've experimented using .440's and .490's in paper shot cups in my .62cal smoothbore, but limited the number of balls based upon max projectile/shot load weights to stay within safety limits :m2c:

The grape shot used in artillery pieces was made using a wooden core and base heres a quote from a web site "A stand of grape in the 1700's consisted of a wooden disk at the base of a short wooden rod that served as the core around which the balls stood. The whole assembly was bagged in cloth and reinforced with a net of heavy cord." I believe at one point the artillery unit I'm in made some grape shot for "piglet" (are smallest cannon). Next time I talk to them I'll see how they made it up. Tristyn J Cramer A.K.A. Red Leggins Guerre Abanakis

Great, now convert that to inches for us non-metric speaking farm folks... Just jesting with you a bit... Three stacks of three, eh? stagger them so as the balls will look like this... I'm thinking you could use a coin wrapper or a tube of heavy paper... Place a over powder wad in bottom of tube, then three balls, over shot card, three balls, another over shot card, last three balls and then fold or tie the paper closed...

Since a ball that fits three per layer in the bore has a volume/weight 12.32 times smaller than a ball that fills the bore completly, that means that you can load twelve of these balls and still not get the same weight as one normal ball. This is completly regardless of the calibre and is only dependant upon the size ratio between the bore and the buckshot. If you can fit three balls per layer, this rule applies. If you want 4 of 7 balls per layer, that's a different matter. Two .44's in a .62 bore wouldn't fit side by side, so I'd be more concerned about them jamming in the bore. That coin tube idea is great for regular shot too. I think I will be making paper cartridges for my shot loads as well. Thank's Musketman :thumbsup:

The coin tubes should work VERY well, but would need slitting down the sides about 1/3rd the way for a very tight shooting load, and further down for more open patterns. It requires experimentation. perhaps three slits in the middle section might give good results as well, with the top and bottom remaining solid without cuts. ; These would have to be patterned at 60 yards, not closer, as at 25 yards, the pattern should be one hole with a few shot scattered around it. To shoot this tihtly wiht a cylinder bore would indeed be exciting shooting. ; Your first picture looks very similar to the Ely ctg. for various bore sizes. They had a paper outer covering, with the wire wrapp slightly tighter,(more of it) forming a mesh around the balls. They came in different colours and different shot sizes down to at least #6 shot for shooting various ranges, in cylinder bored guns. We think tight shootng is a 20th century deal - ot so, in the late 1700's, they also had tight shooting guns with these specialty shot charges. Making your own with paper tubes, with various cuts and dimensions might come close to duplicating these results of 200 years ago. ; Oh yes, we do wish they were available today as the green (I think) colour was for shooting waterfowl out to 100 yards and the black(or other colour) was for further yet range or for shooting deer and wolves. ; One visiting Englishman with a double 14 bore, (.69 cal) flinter, killed 3 mallard drakes (sitting on the water) at 90 to 95 yards with one shot. He used the second tightest shooting ctg. for the ducks as well as for the following contest. : The contest was against a 12 bore double, 48" cylinder bored, as was his gun but with short barrels, that put 4 shot onto a 4" square piece of paper at 75 yards(12 bore). That is very good shooting, inded for anormally loaded 12 bore at that range. The Ely ctg. in the smaller bore, & 2 1/2 drams of powder, put 28 holes in the same piece of paper with 1 1/8 ounce of #6 shot. THAT's a long range pellet count, as far as the shot will still penetrate. WE're talking head shots out to 80 or 90 yards. ; Yes- I would like the opportunity to try some of those, today.