Round ball size


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busterbrown
November 21, 2012, 10:27 PM
new to blackpowder. confused as why Cabelas sells Hornady 36 and 44 caliber
balls in both larger and smaller diameters than the caliber. which is proper, which to order ?

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wap41
November 21, 2012, 11:23 PM
44 cal round balls can be .451,454 or .457 diameter check to see what the mfr of your gun requires.

Driftwood Johnson
November 21, 2012, 11:57 PM
Howdy

The idea is, the ball needs to be slightly oversized. so that when it is rammed into the chamber a tiny ring of lead will be shaved off. This is what forms the seal in the chamber.

There can be slight variations in the chamber diameter from gun to gun, so it is best to find out from the manufacturer just what size is needed. Usually you can get away with two different sizes, for instance I have used both .451 and .454 balls in my Pietta 1860s.

mykeal
November 22, 2012, 06:27 AM
the ball needs to be slightly oversized. so that when it is rammed into the chamber a tiny ring of lead will be shaved off.
Correct, but only for revolvers.

Round balls for single shot pistols and long guns are intentionally undersize with respect to the bore. The space is taken up by patch material. A round ball for these applications is typically 0.005" to 0.010" under the bore land diameter. Patches are usually .010 to .020 in thckness, resulting in a combination that's actually oversize. For example, a .50 cal rifle would use a .490 diameter ball and a .015 patch; the combination is 0.520 in diameter. The patch material is thus crushed into the grooves.

Driftwood Johnson
November 22, 2012, 08:05 AM
He was asking about 36 and 44 caliber balls. Those are the common sizes for C&B revolvers. I explained that the ball is resized when it is rammed into the chamber. You don't ram balls into the chambers of single shot pistols or rifles, so I thought that would be obvious.

My mistake.

mykeal
November 22, 2012, 11:23 AM
No, no, not a mistake...you understood him perfectly, and answered exactly.

I just amplified for others that may read the thread. Didn't mean to come across as if I was correcting you. Apologies for that.

Loyalist Dave
November 23, 2012, 12:20 PM
Actually Mr. Johnson, your response was incomplete...

While it's true he did mention .36 and .44 caliber balls, (folks often confuse .440 round ball as correct for .44 revolvers btw), and you did answer him correctly about balls for revolvers..., IF you read his original thread he further asked about "undersized" balls, for he wrote "in both larger and smaller diameters than the caliber". Round ball smaller than the caliber are not for a revolver. Which was obviously part of the question.

OH and single shot pistols, rifles, and smoothbores do "ram" the bullets down with a wooden or metal rod, hence the word "ramrod", but they have a breech, not a chamber.

LD

mykeal
November 23, 2012, 08:12 PM
What thread are you reading?

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