The weight of the Minie ball is about one and a half ounces, and the weight of powder for the charge about one-tenth as much. The cartridge is so constructed that, encased in paper, and greased by dipping it in tallow, it slips easily into the barrel till it arrives at the charge. In this respect, the Minie has greatly the advantage in saving of time and labor of forcing down the ball with the ramrod. These balls have a range of ten hundred to twelve hundred yards, with an elevated "back sight" perfectly within the command of the marksman, and just as easily used as any short range or point blank shot.
This article was originally published with the title "The Minie Rifle Ball" in Scientific American 13, 11, 81-83 (November 1857)