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Ammunition - The muzzle-loading muskets and pistols that make an appearance in the Outlander series fired ammunition that can best be described as lead balls of various sizes. Gun making was moving toward standardization, but bore diameters still varied, so many gun owners also had their own molds to make the right caliber ammunition for their weapons. By the mid-18th century this ammunition was typically packed in paper cartridges so that it could be easily inserted into the gun barrel with a pre-set amount of gun powder. Illustrated examples of 18th-century paper cartridges, caption reads:Paper cartridges were used in the 18th century because they spared shooters from having to measure powder and shot during the gun-loading process. They could be pre-loaded with a single ball, several pieces of shot, or a combination of both., Photo image of lead shot and musket balls:Lead Shot and Musket Balls, Date: ca. 1666-1690, Site Name: Mattapany, Site Number:18ST390/153 - Lead shot is found on most colonial Maryland sites, but when excavations were conducted at the Mattapany-Sewall site, there was a lot more ammunition found than usual. This archaeological evidence agrees with historical documents indicating that Mattapany-Sewall was the home of Maryland’s Governor and Proprietor, Charles Calvert, starting in 1666, and it was also the location of one of the colony’s primary weapons magazines until 1690. Firearms, gunpowder, and ammunition were stored at the site, and the stockpile of public arms attracted some unwanted attention. According to the Archives of Maryland, the weapons magazine was targeted by pirates in the summer of 1682, prompting the Maryland Assembly to discuss security measures. A guard of 12 troopers and two officers was proposed. Two years later, Charles Calvert moved to England to oversee his responsibilities there. He left Maryland’s governance in the hands of close family and friends, most of whom shared his Catholic faith. This produced resentment among Maryland’s majority Protestant population who were denied access to Calvert’s inner circle of political power. After the 1688 Glorious Revolution in England replaced the Catholic King James Stuart with the Protestant duo William and Mary, Protestant leaders in Maryland took the opportunity to eject their Catholic leaders as well. Armed groups formed up on both sides in August 1689, but Maryland’s Protestants had the better numbers and Calvert’s loyalists surrendered.  By 1690, the new regime was taking stock, and the weapons stored at Mattapany-Sewall were seized and redistributed. That included four barrels of gunpowder, about 350 firearms, and 6,000 pounds of shot, some of which had been plastered up in the walls in an apparent attempt at concealment. Many pieces of shot were lost along the way, making them part of the archaeological record 300 years later.  Although the Mattapany-Sewall ammunition was lost about 60 years before the Jacobite rebellion that is  central to the Outlander series, the artifacts still represent a connection to the story. The very same Glorious Revolution that prompted colonists to initiate Maryland’s Protestant rebellion was at the root of the Jacobite uprising; a conflict in which those loyal to James Stuart backed his grandson Charles Stuart (a.k.a. “Bonny Prince Charlie”) in an effort to retake Scotland and England., Illustrated image titled:How were musket balls and shot made? - In colonial Maryland, most people made their own ammunition by heating up lead andpouring the molten metal into molds such as those shown here. Archaeologists know when colonists used this DIY approach because they find sprue, which is excess lead from the molding process that gets clipped away before use. The sprue was either discarded or saved for melting into more ammunition. Shows a mold for a single ball, with built-in nippers for removing sprue., another image shows a "Gang" mold for making a dozen pieces of shot. The shot comes out connected by a string of sprue, and then each ball is clipped free. Sprue knobs are left behing on the shot after clipping, and these can be seen in the photo of the Mattapany-Sewal shot (above left).
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