Musket Ball shot - HMS Griffith Shipwreck

Musket Shot
Recovered from the British Frigate H.M.S. Griffin

Materials: Lead

History: Before the age of rifled artillery, while ballistic science was in its infancy, cast lead shot were the bullets of the day. Referred to as musket balls, they ranged in size from 18-78, and were part of the normal compliment of ammunition aboard historic vessels. Accuracy of small arms, such as pistols and rifles, was only relatively certain at close range. An echo of this short-coming comes from our own history books:

"Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes."

On the night of October 27, 1761, the H.M.S. Griffin, a famous fighting frigate of the Windward Islands station during the seven years war with France, was in pursuit of two French Privateers. Believing she had sighted the privateers, she was lured by strange lights onto the breaking reefs of Barbuda, where she was wrecked. The artifact here described was recovered from the H.M.S. Griffin.