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  1. #1
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    Early British rifled musket bullets

    Hi just thought I would post some pics of early British rifled musket bullets for those who enjoy the very early stuff
    The 3 on the left are pattern 1851 .702 cal minie bullets which had a iron plug in the bottom which on firing forced into the base of the bullet and helped it to engage with the rifling these are massive bullets as can be seen by the 9mm in the middle for scale
    The 3 on the right are pattern 1853 Enfield rifled musket bullets in .577 cal with there original beech wood plug which when fitted in the base did the same job as the iron plug
    Hope somebody found this useful also I must say I would not like to be shot by any bullet but the 1851 .702 cal soft lead minie must of made terrible wounds !!!

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  3. #2
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    Wgreen,

    Great pictures. Do you by chance know the weight (with the iron base plug) and length of the pattern 1851 .702 bullets? Were these fired in converted (originally) smoothbore muskets?

    Thanks,

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdgreen View Post
    Wgreen,

    Great pictures. Do you by chance know the weight (with the iron base plug) and length of the pattern 1851 .702 bullets? Were these fired in converted (originally) smoothbore muskets?

    Thanks,

    Brian
    Hi Brian the weight of the .702 is a heavy 825 grains although mine have a bit of corrosion so originally may have been a bit less the length is 25mm and as far as I am aware these were not a conversation but we're a new rifle in 1847 a Frenchman invented the minie ball,a conical bullet with a cavity at the rear ,in 1849 the British acquired some of the new rifles and after trials set about making a rifled musket the pattern 1851 which did not last long before they settled on the 1853 pattern in .577 it gave better ballistic performance over the .702 and was probably easier the fire ( much less recoil ) there was however a conversation of the pattern 1848 smoothbore from .750 cal to .758 cal once rifled for naval service but that bullet has four shallow grooves around it. hope that helped

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    Wgreen,

    Thanks for the information, very interesting.

    Brian

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    Wgreen,

    From your first photo, is the pattern 1851 .702 cal minie bullet bases stamped with British Broad Arrow Mark (pheons), see red arrows:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bdgreen; 12th November 2017 at 05:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdgreen View Post
    Wgreen,

    From your first photo, is the pattern 1851 .702 cal minie bullet bases stamped with British Broad Arrow Mark (pheons), see red arrows:
    Hi brian yes they have four raised broad arrow marks on them denoting British ownership also the .577 have the same but are much smaller and harder to see in the pics


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    These bullets look like they may be Pritchett bullets rather than Minie bullets

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    Quote Originally Posted by glevum View Post
    These bullets look like they may be Pritchett bullets rather than Minie bullets
    Hi I believe only the pattern 1853 Enfield in.577 used pritchett or Metford - pritchett bullets the .702 1851 pattern rifle used the same bullets as the original minie rifle although British made ,but I think all bottom expanding bullets became known as minie balls/ bullets from the research I have done but I am always ready to learn more

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    My understanding is that the Pritchett bullets were paper patched and hence had smooth sides.

    The Minie bullets were not paper patched and had grooves in the sides to retain lubricant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glevum View Post
    My understanding is that the Pritchett bullets were paper patched and hence had smooth sides.

    The Minie bullets were not paper patched and had grooves in the sides to retain lubricant.
    Hi glevum after some research I believe you are correct in that the straight sided bullets are a pritchett design which used wax paper instead of wax filled grooves the information I found stated that they were only introduced for the 1853 pattern but they must have produced it in 702 cal as well but they as far as I am aware were all called minie balls / bullets after the original inventer ,one of the designs used in the American civil war were developed by a James Burton at the Harper's ferry armoury which had grooves on the outside no iron plug and a bigger cavity in the rear these were also called minie balls but obviously were not made by minie ,I think that there was a few design improvements? over the years but don't think they ever lost the name minie ball

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