from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A conical rifle bullet, with a cavity in its base plugged with a piece of iron, which, by the explosion of the charge, is driven farther in, expanding the sides to fit closely the grooves of the barrel.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • I'm not sure what you mean by "resulting in ... suspect myth."

    Also, Wikipedia (see link above) explains the origin of the name pretty decently (and has pictures). It is actually properly spelled MiniƩ ball, after the inventor's surname.

    October 28, 2009

  • Sometimes refered to as a "minnie ball" it was neither a "ball" nor of small caliber, a conical bullet and a rifle with "rifling" to impart spin to the bullet as it traveled down the gun barrel. Invented by the French it was used in the American Civil War, resulting in terrible injuries, and suspect myth.

    October 28, 2009