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India pattern Musket, ball size?
Hiya folks
I've tried the search engine and its been no help at all.

I have a reproduction India pattern and would like to be able to shoot some target with ball (as soon as I've found a suitable range, any recommendations for a Norfolk based shooter?)

I'd like to use as near Period loading as possible (paper cartridge, etc), but understand that safety overrides authenticity.

So, what size ball should I be using ?

Also, does anyone have any advice for someone just starting out ?
Hi there,

I'm more than happy to help  Smile

Perhaps you could drop me a line with your phone number to and I can give you a call - as sometimes its easier just to talk !!

Best Regards Jon
MLAGB Website Administrator
This is the size and charges for the Board of Ordnance and for the HEIC muskets which finally was fixed for the period before the Miniés arrived.
Ball is .685.
Charge for Percussion Paper Cartridge is four and a half drams.
For Flint Paper Cartridge is six drams which includes the priming.
W. S. (Bill) Curtis
I knew the ball was undersize to allow fast loading with a fouled barrel, but I'm surprised its that much smaller.
.685 ball in a (nominal) .75 bore..... No wonder accuracy was rather 'that way'
Not such a big gap.   You have to remember that paper wrap adds thickness, tied off over and under the ball.   And that the empty end of the cartridge precedes the wrapped ball into the bore.   Is crumpled between powder and ball to form an effective wad both to reduce blow-by and to further stabilise the ball in its tavel up the bore.   It is that stabilising that produces accuracy (consistency) in a smooth bore leaving only external ballistics to determine strike spread.
That is accuracy commensurate with military need for up to 150 yards.   Rifles of the period only had a practical advantage beyond 150yds.
If my memory serves me right the BBess mv was not again achieved and exceeded till the introduction of the Martini Henry in .45 calibre.    It was a powerful and effective weapon against both man and horse for which it was designed.   With enough residual energy to cause injury or death at 1000 yards.
Good luck.
I see what you mean, in my defence the only bullet throwers I've had any dealings with in the past were air rifles and pistols.
Neither of these used for any serious target shooting, most of my target experience has been with a longbow..... So, 'spreading the wear' on the target face (or just plain missing) is normal for me.

Currently watching a set of LEM ballmoulds on ebay.
Is .706 going to be too big ? or would I do better seeing about finding set in .685 (that are likely to be more expensive, and I'm not sure about which are good, bad or indifferent brands)
Has anyone got an opinion on the Lee .690 single ball mould offered by Henry Krank?

Is this good value for money?

How user friendly is it ?
Lee's quality control is non existent so the chances of getting a duff one are very high.

I bought three different Lee round ball moulds a week ago and they were all out of round.

If you get a good one then they are good value but it is a big if.

When they work they are fine if a bit femme but like all Lee kit even a good one will need fettling like tapping a grub screw into the mould to keep the sprue plate screw from unwinding.

Bin the instructions and very lightly lube the mould pins, sprue plate pivot with 2-stroke oil also lube the base of the sprue plate and the top of the mould making sure no oil enters the cavities, rub the oil on and then rub it off. This should all be done when the mould is up to casting temperature.

This lubing regime is a applicable to all moulds regardless of material.
And ensure you heat the sprue plate as well as the mould halves.   
So, with Lee you get what you pay for ?

What would be a good budget mould (don't want cheap if its going to cause problems, don't want to spend telephone numbers if theres no benefit) ?

Thanks for the advice on using ball-moulds, I haven't had a lot of experience casting low temperature metals.

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