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Even rifle calibers were referred to as "so many balls per pound" in the 1700-early 1800's. If you read a period book you will not hear a rifle referred to by caliber but by something akin to "30 balls per pound".
 

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I am srprised you didn't know that. the .410 shotgun is a caliber designation though.
 

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and strangely enough, the .410 guage shotgun smoothbore cylinder bore and modfied choke will pass a lead .45LC (long colt) bullet...quite well I might add:)

i've run into a number of old timers that ONLY carry a .410 and have shot shells and .45 long colt ammo.
 
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