Minié ball, A type of conical projectile for mid 19th century rifles..
The Minié ball or Minie ball, is a type of hollow-based bullet designed by Claude-Étienne Minié, inventor of the French Minié rifle, for muzzleloaded rifled muskets. It came to prominence in the Crimean War and the American Civil War. Both the American Springfield Model 1861 and the British Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled muskets, the most common weapons used during the American Civil War, used the Minié ball.Rifling, the addition of spiral groovings inside a gun barrel, imparts a stabilizing spin to a projectile for better external ballistics, greatly increasing the effective range and accuracy of the gun. Prior to the Minié ball, balls had to be rammed down the barrel, sometimes with a mallet, because gunpowder residue would foul a rifled bore after a relatively small number of shots, requiring frequent cleaning of the gun. The development of the Minié ball was significant because it was the first projectile type that could be made small enough to easily slide down the barrel of a rifled long gun, yet still maintain good accuracy during firing due to obturation.
This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia® - the free encyclopedia created and edited by its online user
community. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.