Type 3 Williams “Cleaner” Bullets (Qty. 36 ea)


THIS LISTING IS FOR A BOX OF 36 BULLETS, You can also add these bullets to a box of Burton Minies in the options drop-down on their page!

These days, almost nobody is cranking out a reproduction cleaner bullet, but there was a time when the US Government was buying millions upon millions of them at a time! Designed and patented by Elijah Williams in 1861, they progressed through several iterations during the American Civil War. He had intended them to serve primarily to improve accuracy, but during tests supervised by Colonel Hiram Berdan it was discovered that they also had the cleaning properties for which they became known.

The Type 3 bullet specifically differs from its predecessors in being shorter and lighter, which allow it to shoot much closer to the sight settings of the standard Burton bullets, and of course, saved the government money. But, Williams of all varieties were often hated by the troops, as they become very difficult to worm out at the end of a guard duty shift. Worse, an aggressive PR campaign against Williams had been carried on from the outset by his competitors, and when he died in 1864 there was nobody left to protect his, or his bullets reputation.

These reproductions are cast on two different custom mold blocks, made to patent drawing dimensions, and a sampling taken from several original specimens. They measure .574″ in diameter and weigh 478gr. In my US M1855 Rifled Musket (Whitacre barrel), they are more accurate than Burton minies with the service charge of 65gr 1fg black powder, and they absolutely do clean the bore. My first time firing these, I fired them 1:10 with Burtons, and fired 70 consecutive rounds without cleaning or jamming.

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1 review for Type 3 Williams “Cleaner” Bullets (Qty. 36 ea)

  1. Art (verified owner)

    Purchased 36 of these for my 1861 Springfield, just had a chance to try them in a black powder match, shot one every 10th round as they did in the Civil War, they really do work, much easier to load and they do remove the fouling. At the end of the day the barrel still needs a normal clearing, however, matches do go much smoother with these.

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