Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by mudcreek, Aug 12, 2019.
What is the difference between swaged and molded balls.
The simple answer is a swayed ball is made by squeezing lead in a round die to form the ball. Molded obviously are made by pouring molten lead into the ball mold.
Now the debates begin as two whether one or the other is better. Variance in diameter and weight can happen with both. Some will argue one or the other is more accurate. If you are looking for best accuracy with either, they need to be weighed and balls that are more than a grain or so heavier or lighter pulled out.
I’ve shot both, mostly shoot my own cast because they are cheap with little more than my time involved at this point.
Thanks. Answers my question.
Way back in the first half of the 19th century the British Board of Ordnance found swaged balls to be 1/64th heavier than cast as they had no air bubble in them and they invested, in modern terms, about a million dollars in a large multi crewed swaged ball making machine to make millions of swaged balls for muskets and the Brunswick rifle. They thought it money well spent and used swaging (period 'swedging') in all lead bullets thereafter. Believe me they didn't spend money easily on new ideas; they were still brazing percussion bolsters onto flintlock muskets at the time. I have copies of the drawings of the machine and it (actually they) were huge and complicated.
I cast everything I shoot excepting a box of Hornady swaged .54 given to me. Couldn't tell any difference on the target.
The biggest advantage is there's no sprue in swaged balls, so you don't have to worry about orienting it to the top.
Or using them in paper cartridges, the sprue on the. 648 round ball just goes wherever, it impossible to keep it facing "up" but its largely irrelevant.
I've used both, but find the cast ones to be a little more consistent.
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