Enfield design bullet comparison

Jan 9, 2010
I took 7 Enfield style dropped, or un-fired bullets (1 British, 6 Confederate) out of my WBTS bullet collection. I wanted to compare sizes, (and using a new electronic scale I have) weigh (in Grains) them also.

Though they all look the same, they are not!

1. .550” Diameter, .917” Length, 438.3 Grains
2. .570” Diameter, .994” length, 511.9 Grains
3. .550” Diameter, 1.72” Length, 505.4 Grains
4. .550” Diameter, 1.48” Length, 539.0 Grains
5. .563” Diameter, .994” Length, 523.3 Grains
6. .556” Diameter, 1.65” Length, 530.1 Grains
7. .560” Diameter, 1.73” Length, 544.8 Grains

I don’t know how much “patina” will affect measuring, or weighing the bullets, and some of the diameters would vary a bit, so I had to “best guess” it.

The only "British" made bullet I have is #3, it came from the Blockade Runner the "Minho", and has a L2 stamped in center of the cavity. The other bullets are CS manufactured cone-based designs that show a good variance in weight, Length, and diameter.

I will never know what CS arsenal made which bullet, but you can see from the differences, they are not real consistent with each other.

One thing I know is that you can get great accuracy from WBTS .577/.58 caliber Rifles and Rifle Muskets, IF you have consistent powder charges, bullet weight/designs, loading procedures, and a steady aim, clear shots...

If you have problems with ANY of the above mentioned circumstances…well, you know why they missed a lot!

Kevin Dally

PS. I’ll post comparisons of my collection's US/CS style 3-ring bullets in the near future.


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Feb 20, 2005
Patina in this case is the lead corrosion of the bullet and that will affect the weight and diameter of any lead bullet. Guess we should go to gold bullets. If we did, I'd pay people to take a hit.


Feb 20, 2005
Gettysburg, PA

Dean Thomas has an incredible amount of new information concerning enfield production and the facts will be presented in Volumes 4-6 of the Roundball to Rimfire series. He can now identify many cartridges and projectiles to the production facility through broken labeled packets.

Volume 4 is an overview of the CS Ordnance system and a discussion of those projectiles and cartridges that cannot be identified to a specific location. Volumes 5 and 6 will be detailed views of each location (there are actually more than 50 documented manufactories listed) including details of the projectiles that are now identified to each location.

I photographed all the bullets and cartridges last week and my head is still spinning. Some specimens are so rare that fewer than 10 currently exist anywhere in the world. In all, more than 250 setups of from two to nine bullets/cartridges per setup including a labeled Selma Arsenal packet, a CS experimental two piece explosive bullet, two formerly unclassified CS explosive bullets that look like .577 cal Enfields with a flat base and a Gardiner style powder train to the explosive charge, arsenal identified wooden crates, etc.


BTW: Generally, patina adds to the diameter of a projectile as the mineralization forms on the surface. Ground action wears bullets down and causes difficulties in determining the original dimensions.

Craig L Barry

Sergeant Major
Jan 5, 2010
Murfreesboro, TN
I would second that (about Dean Thomas's research) and add that the M-1854 Austrian Lorenz was
often adversely affected by issuance of the wrong size ammunition. The US 1841 .54 ammo (.535)
was sometimes issued, and the Lorenz .54 cal was actually .556 (13.9mm). As Joe Bilby would say,
"that's quite a bit of windage." In addition, the Lorenz was produced in various bore sizes depending
on the specs of the government contract. Some were .577, .58 or .59.

The P-53 rifle-musket was not the only imported weapon to receive ammo "a bit off spec."


Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Feb 20, 2005
Near Kankakee
And here I thought I knew a thing or three about projectiles and propellants and such. You guys have just cut off the pins I've been standing on. But that's one of the reasons we are here. Hurt me some more.


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