"Ball" ammunition vs "Hardball"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by pax, Mar 11, 2007.

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  1. pax

    pax Member

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    What exactly is "ball" ammunition?

    What's "hardball"?

    pax
     
  2. sm

    sm member

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    Definitions I was told as a brat was that "ball" is lead round nose and "hardball" was washed/ plated lead (copper).

    Akin to pellets in a shotgun, lead versus nickel or copperplate.
     
  3. zinj

    zinj Member

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    It's one of those terms that gets used to describe a bunch of different stuff that isn't related to each other. Off the top of my head:

    1. Slang for FMJ ammunition
    2. A type of powder (and perhipherly cartridges loaded with ball powder)
    3. A round projectile for a muzzle loader.

    No idea about hardball.
     
  4. burrhead

    burrhead Member

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    One in the same. Full metal jacketed round nose.
     
  5. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

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    I've always thought it's the same thing.
     
  6. oneshooter

    oneshooter Member

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    "Ball Ammo" refers to full metal jacketed rounds, no lead showing at the tip,some Ball ammo have lead showing at the base of the bullet. Hardball is just another term for the same thing.:D

    Oneshooter
    Livin in Texas
     
  7. pax

    pax Member

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    Thanks guys.

    pax
     
  8. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Member

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    LRN bullets are sometimes refered to as softball. FMJ bullets are called ball or hardball.
     
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Ball and Hardball

    "Hardball" has come to mean .45 ACP with the Round Nose FMJ bullet, technically loaded to original USGI specs...though the term has come to mean any .45 ACP ammunition capped off with a RNFMJ bullet. "Ball" is often referenced to any FMJ bullet, but is accurately used to describe military standard ammunition...regardless of caliber. i.e. Ball, Calber .30 M2 is .30-06 with a 154-grain FMJ bullet. "Ball, Caliber .30 M1" is .30-06 with a 174-grain FMJ bullet. M2 was developed for use in the Garand, while M1...the original loading...was used in bolt-action rifles, which seems backward, but there it is.

    Ball, Caliber 7.62 M80 is 7.62 nato, loaded with a 147-grain FMJ boattail bullet. Ball, Caliber 5.56 M193 is 5.56 Nato loaded with a 55-grain boattail FMJ bullet, and so on.

    "Ball" has nothing to do with the shape of the bullet, but traces its origins back to "Ballistic."
     
  10. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I don't have any historical data to back it up, but since the days round ball lead ammo, the musket-ball was soft lead. Being round in shape, it seems logical to call it a "round" or a "ball" or a combination. When bullets went to conical shape, the names just stayed the same. (I have seen reference to "conical ball" ammo.)

    Again, it seems logical to me that when ammo started to become copper jacketed, it being harder than the traditional lead ball, became "hardball."

    Today it does seem to be mostly used in reference to 230 gr 45 ACP FMJ ammo.

    And that is my SWAG for today. :D
     
  11. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    "Ball" ammunition has roots back to muzzleloading smoothbore musket days.
    At that time there were at least three different paper cartridge loads available.
    "Ball" designated a paper cartridge loaded with powder and a single heavy round ball.
    "Buck and Ball" designated a paper cartridge loaded with a single musket ball and three to six buckshot.

    When revolvers became prevalent, the paper cartridges continued to be designated as "Ball" when a round ball was used and "Conical Ball" when an elongated bullet was loaded in the cartridge.

    When metallic cartridges became common they were almost always loaded with conical bullets but the plain lead bullet loads were simply designated "Ball" cartridges. Sometimes you will see original commercial packaging that designates the load as "Conical Ball" but most, if not all Military packaging with simply designate the load as "Ball".

    When semi automatic pistols became common and the jacketed loads were found to provide the best reliability, "Hardball" became the designation for Jacketed bullet loads.

    No Military packaging I have ever seen actually uses the "Hardball" designation since it was not common to offer plain lead bullet loads in semi automatic cartridges.
    The producers saved money on ink by just continuing to use the "Ball" designation on the packaging. HTH
     
  12. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    Hardball is simply incorrect "slang" for ball ammunition.
     
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    "Ball" is a military term for a normal inert projectile, that is, not anything special like tracer, armor piercing, incendiary, etc. Today, that means a full metal jacket, but the term was used in the lead bullet days as well.

    "Hard ball" is an informal term used by target shooters, primarily shooters of the Model 1911 or its variations, to distinguish military type FMJ bullets from wad cutter, lead, soft point, or hollow point commercial loads. It is also applied to pistols ("hardball guns") set up specifically to fire millitary spec ammunition, which is harder on pistols than light target loads or light hand loads.

    Jim
     
  14. littledoc

    littledoc Member

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    Exactly. "Soft ball" was used to describe lower velocity target ammo for a semiauto, usually a lead SWC at relatively moderate velocities. "Hardball" was used to describe standard velocity stuff, usually FMJ but not necessarily.

    It seems that over time the term "softball" has gone away and "hardball" has become synonymous with standard ball ammo.

    Ain't American english wonderful?;)
     
  15. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

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    "Ain't American english wonderful?"
    Ain't ain't a word!
     
  16. littledoc

    littledoc Member

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    Ain't is too a word, it just ain't a proper one.:D
     
  17. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Ball - FMJ ammo
    Hardball - what we want to play with Osama and co.
     
  18. Shaughn Leayme

    Shaughn Leayme Member

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    Generally, I have heard the term ball to reference standard FMJ, but among those I have heard the term Hard Ball used they were referring to Armour Piercing and the average age of those gentlemen is 70 - 80 yrs.

    I think the terms just evolve over time and take on different connotations.
     
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