Patch Round Ball

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dave951

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Not much. I’m sure some folks did since there was a severe shortage of guns early on but if you were on the field and were presented with the chance to upgrade, why would you not?
 

tenngun

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Wilson creek and later Pea ridge saw first in the Southern army many civilians armed with their own rifles, then indians, mostly Cherokee, again armed with personal weapons. They would have had no ready supply of minnie balls. So patch is certainly possible for them.
 

Zonie

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Question. Was patched round balls used during war in smooth bores or rifles :dunno:
Using my common sense, I'm sure anyone carrying a regular rifle would have used a patched ball. At least for the first shot. After that shot was fired, it's hard to say if a rifleman would take the time to patch the ball.
As for smoothbores, it's any ones guess what the first load would be. Men carrying one would probably use something like wadding to keep the ball down on the powder load. Again, whether they used a patch or wad when loading following shots is unknown.
In the heat of battle, sometimes shortcuts are taken.
 

oldwood

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Archer..........Which war , CW , REV. War , F and Indian War ? A lot happened in the 110 years between 1750/1860. People changed , guns changed , even the guns used by Indians changed graphically...............oldwood
 

coloradoclyde

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Question. Was patched round balls used during war in smooth bores or rifles :dunno:
Yes, but in limited applications, like snipers, fortress guns, and skirmishers, etc. .
The Baker rifle originally started out as a patched round ball gun, but was quickly changed . I'm sure there were others too. Paper cartridges were much faster and easier to load and eventually led to the development of breech loading cartridge rifles.
 

SOLANCO

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Using my common sense, I'm sure anyone carrying a regular rifle would have used a patched ball. At least for the first shot. After that shot was fired, it's hard to say if a rifleman would take the time to patch the ball.
As for smoothbores, it's any ones guess what the first load would be. Men carrying one would probably use something like wadding to keep the ball down on the powder load. Again, whether they used a patch or wad when loading following shots is unknown.
In the heat of battle, sometimes shortcuts are taken.
The grunt on the ground learns what works. And what works better. It is a bloody school.
 

Stantheman86

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Millions of round balls were issued and fired in .69 Smoothbores, throughout the war, but in paper cartridges.

The .54 Mississippi was still in limited use and a ball wrapped in a patch , in a paper cartridge was used in the 1840s so I would think that there was a chance that some old 20 year old crates of cartridges were laid up in a few arsenals and used in some unconverted Mississippi rifles. Given that when the war started , anything that could shoot was dragged out of every armory , it makes sense.

Also the early Sharpshooter regiments were formed from guys who knew how to shoot , and brought their own rifles with them so it's very likely there were some long rifles being fired with patched balls.

Didn't that 85 year old guy at Gettysburg who came out of his house to shoot at Rebs have some kind of Pennsylvania rifle ?
 

JamesA

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Using my common sense, I'm sure anyone carrying a regular rifle would have used a patched ball. At least for the first shot. After that shot was fired, it's hard to say if a rifleman would take the time to patch the ball.
As for smoothbores, it's any ones guess what the first load would be. Men carrying one would probably use something like wadding to keep the ball down on the powder load. Again, whether they used a patch or wad when loading following shots is unknown.
In the heat of battle, sometimes shortcuts are taken.
If they were using prepared powder and round ball "cartridges", wouldn't they tear the end off, pour the powder down the barrel, stuff the papaer as a patch, then the round ball? Just asking but I thought that was what the troops did back then, specially in the Civil War.
 

Nazgul58

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Recently finished a book about the Devil's Den at Gettysburg. They mention the Southern Squirrel rifles and their small projectiles, especially their sound and accuracy.

Don
 

Sidney Smith

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I've heard of even flintlocks being used in the early stages of the war. Men volunteered and brought with them whatever they had, so it's not unheard of that they were used, and I'm sure with patched ball.
 

Stantheman86

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I'm sure there were more than a few guys in State Militia units with Hawken and long rifles shooting patched round balls.

You name it, it was used by someone . Maybe not "on the line" in a Regular Army division either US or CS but Sharpshooters or loosely organized State units were probably pretty open as to what you could use.

Early in the war Confederate troops often just brought whatever they had from home in various State militias. There's numerous accounts of guys joining locally raised Units bringing shotguns , Fowling pieces, long rifles etc.
 
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