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Ever since the invention of firearms sometime around the thirteenth century, ammunition makers struggled to make lead shots that were perfectly spherical. An obvious method was to pour molten lead into molds, but this was a laborious process that could produce only a limited number of shots at a time. Besides, it often left a seam where the two halves of the mould met, making the shots aerodynamically inefficient. Manufacturers tried pouring molten lead through a sieve suspended several inches above a barrel of water, but this often produced tear drop-shaped shots with a tail. Another method that was used until the early nineteenth century was to take small cubes of lead and agitate them in a barrel until the corners were knocked off and approximately round shot was produced. Yet, none of these methods were satisfactory while the demand for shot, both for military purposes and for sport, was continually growing.

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The Remington Shot Tower in Bridgeport, the U.S. Photo credit

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