Author Topic: " ... balls to the pound ... "  (Read 2291 times)

Offline PJ Hardtack

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" ... balls to the pound ... "
« on: November 16, 2011, 12:38:54 PM »
In reading about the plains rifle, quite often the bore size was mentioned in "balls per pound" rather than in terms of "calibre" as we think today. This was a carry over from the days of the Kentucky long rifle.

So, I got curious and decided to weigh some .50 and .54 'calibre' balls which are in fact .490 and .530 in diameter, using my Home Ec teacher wife's kitchen scale.

I weighed some swadged Remington 'Gold' .490s, some generic cast .490s purchased at a BP RV and some swadged Hornady .530s. Here's the results:

- Remington .490 'Gold': 44 balls to the pound
- BP RV cast .490: 42 balls to the pound
- Hornady .530 swadged: 34 balls to the pound

One of my Hawken reference books (Hanson) states that records show most rifles were made in the 32 to 40 balls to the pound range.
Larger bores were 'special order' and often in rifles whose barrels had been "freshened" - bored out to the next larger diameter and re-rifled.
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Offline Forty Rod

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Re: " ... balls to the pound ... "
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 06:22:02 PM »
I think you'll also find there are 12 balls to the pound in 12 ga., 20 in 20 ga., 16 in 16 ga., etc.  However .410 is a caliber, NOT a gauge size.
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Offline PJ Hardtack

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Re: " ... balls to the pound ... "
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 07:58:59 PM »
Yep. That's why you often read about a rifle being of a certain "gauge" as opposed to bore size calibre.

So now I'm going to refer to my .50 calibre JBMR as a "42 gauge". That oughta puzzle the tin-tipi Mountain Men .... ;>)
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne

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Re: " ... balls to the pound ... "
« Reply #3 on: Today at 08:34:35 PM »

Offline Forty Rod

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Re: " ... balls to the pound ... "
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 01:12:29 AM »
 
Yep. That's why you often read about a rifle being of a certain "gauge" as opposed to bore size calibre.

So now I'm going to refer to my .50 calibre JBMR as a "42 gauge". That oughta puzzle the tin-tipi Mountain Men .... ;>)

  :D
People like me are the reason people like you have the right to bitch about people like me.

 

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