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Old January 3, 2020, 11:26 AM   #1
Prof Young
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What is "ball" ammo?

When one refers to "ball" ammo as in "380 ball," what does "ball" mean?

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Old January 3, 2020, 11:58 AM   #2
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Full Metal Jacket, or solid lead round nose ..... ammo not designed to expand.
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Old January 3, 2020, 12:10 PM   #3
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Does anyone know how this term originated? I'm assuming it had some connection to pre-civil war round balls.
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Old January 3, 2020, 12:30 PM   #4
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Loaded 9mm and 45acp ball ammo look like they are loaded with a round ball. (My guess)
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Old January 3, 2020, 01:24 PM   #5
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It's started as a Military term. Standard gov't issue full metal jacket 30-06, 7.62, 5.56, 45 acp, 9mm are considered "Ball ammo"
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Old January 3, 2020, 01:44 PM   #6
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Doyle, you're correct about the origin. And as azretired says, we still use the term thanks to the military.

Before the Minié bullet was designed, ammunition for muskets, rifles and pistols was a plain round ball of lead. But the military mind is set in its ways. Even the Minié, which is cone-shaped, was designated the "Minié ball." In another example of military hard-headedness, some models of the Winchester 1866 were called "muskets" when bought by militaries around the world, even though they had rifled barrels.

So "ball" technically refers to fmj made for military use. But the rest of us can use the term "ball" to refer to any fmj.
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Old January 3, 2020, 02:04 PM   #7
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"Ball" ammo is a combination term, both military, and civilian slang. Dates from the era when all ammo was balls. Held over in military use when projectile shapes changed from balls to bullets, though balls are technically bullets too.

When jacketed ammo was created, there was a time of "hard ball" and "soft ball". referring to jacketed and lead.

When the military began using other types of bullets, such as tracer and AP, "ball" was used to identify the basic FMJ bullet. And that's the way civilians (and GIs) refer to them today.
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Old January 6, 2020, 11:44 PM   #8
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Lost in translation

The French word for bullet is balle.
The Minié ball is a corrupted version of Minié balle,
or Minié bullet. Since it is a conical bullet, ball (as in musket ball)
does not apply. That points to poor translation combined with
common parlance back in the day.

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Old January 7, 2020, 12:39 AM   #9
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So what do the British call it?
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Old January 7, 2020, 02:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
So what do the British call it?
probaby "Number (something) Mark (something)
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