Civil War Musket Balls
During the Civil War, musket balls were made of lead. Lead was the most common material used to make musket balls because it was relatively inexpensive and easy to shape into a round ball. The lead was melted down and poured into molds that were usually made of iron or brass. Once the lead cooled, it would be removed from the mold and then polished until it was perfectly round.
Advantages of Lead Musket Balls
Lead musket balls had several advantages over other materials. First, they were relatively lightweight, which allowed them to travel farther than heavier materials such as iron or steel. Second, lead was soft enough that it could easily deform upon impact, creating a larger wound channel in the target. Finally, lead was also less likely to ricochet off hard surfaces than harder materials.
Disadvantages of Lead Musket Balls
The main disadvantage of using lead for musket balls was that it could easily be deformed by the rifling grooves inside the barrel of a rifle. This meant that accuracy suffered when firing at long distances. Additionally, lead is more prone to fragmentation than harder materials, meaning that it could break apart upon impact and cause less damage than a solid projectile.