article 1 of 2 today
Did someone mention a forever gun? Because once again, here comes the guy that’s telling you to go out and get a flintlock musket :D Yeah, I know; it’s a sin in these here parts to tell someone to go out and drop $1500 on an 18thcentury weapon, so here’s what you do instead.
Pick up that gun making book from Ronald B. Brown. He doesn’t give specific directions for making what I’m about to touch on, but he provides the basics. I’d suggest a shorter, large bore weapon, such as a Blunderbuss design (Think in terms of one shot, maximum damaged bad guys). You can buy the flintlock, lock work at a place such as Dixie Guns Works.
Now you’re probably thinking that this is really not a forever gun, because eventually, even the steel will no longer be available. Not a problem. Remember that episode of Star Trek in which Capt Kirk grabbed a piece of bamboo, miraculously came across some charcoal, salt petre, and sulfur, combined it all together, and with a makeshift fuse, shot the reptilian dude that was stalking him? Well sure, it was a load of shit, but what do you expect from a commie puke like Roddenberry? But apparently there is some truth behind it. Ronald Brown briefly touches on the design of a low tech, all wooden gun that utilizes a fuse (Here’s where it would be nice to have an old fashioned hand drill with some bits. Some hobby cannon fuse would be nice to have as well).
Next you will be asking, what about the powder? Well, I’m not gonna sugar coat this, as it does present quite a challenge. However one factor to consider over a past civilization collapse, is that we have superior knowledge going into the next collapse. You would have to learn basic chemistry, and learn how to procure nitrates and sulfur (the charcoal is the easy part). Also included in that Brown fellows book, are various ways to make gunpowder; many of them easier than what I’ve outlined above, so start off with the easy stuff first, depending on what resources are still available. None of this will be easy, but it will provide you with a true forever gun, if you’re willing to put the effort into it.
( note from Jim-not sure if you can find a cheap print book. Here is a PDF book:
Actually, sugar is subbed for sulfur in some recipes.ReplyDelete
But wouldn't we be eating the sugar instead, by this point?Delete
I guess I inadvertently sort of made a pun there. The sugar recipe is mentioned in Mr Brown’s book.Delete
Thanks for adding the PDF Jim. I didn’t put much effort into this particular guest spot, since it was originally just meant to be a comment.
No problem. It should be owned by everyone. Sometimes it is e-books or nothing. Why they can't re-print I don't understand. Unless, you know, pimping for LEO's and we can't have GWOT material like this out there.Delete
After reading your article, I started looking for flintlock blunderbusses. I found this interesting article...ReplyDelete
Two things concern me about the blunderbuss. There's no provision for an accurate shot (even though it's designed for close range, accuracy might be very important for a specific shot). The other is that the ramrod appears to be under constant stress as it bends around the bell of the muzzle.
The easy answer is a flintlock shotgun, but I found one even better. A .75 caliber, smooth-bore, Brown Bess musket (single ball or shot) that will accept a bayonet.
Too bad I don't have an extra $1100 around to spend, it has all 5-star reviews.
The Brown Bess as traditionally made is near worthless unless volley fired, from what I understand. Didn't check out the reviews though, so I might be pissing into the wind.Delete
Thanks for the input. What I’m referring to would not be a true Blunderbuss, since it would be a homebuilt (hence, minus the bell shaped end) but you raise a good point. The Brown Bess is a wonderful weapon, and I’ve always wanted one, but can’t justify the price. The .75 caliber is an 11ga equivalent, and Track Of The Wolf sells the accessories needed for such a gun.Delete
You can build a long gun if you wish, but I think for sake of weight, along with the ability to carry more than one, the shorter, large bore Blunderbuss style might be a better way to go. The empty vessel can serve as a pipe club, keeping in line with Jim’s bayonet philosophy.
By the way, the original Blunderbuss were usually a 4ga. Remember, the smaller the number, the larger the bore (So a 10ga is larger than a 12ga, and so on).
The curve of the bell on that blunderbuss prevents the ramrod from falling out. Just rotate 90 degrees each time it's used and shouldn't be a problem unless stored that way for a long time, or it gets wet.Delete
The Brown Bess was the "assault weapon" of the day and I wouldn't mind having one, just because. Saw an roughly used one for sale in an antique museum (they have a lot of them antique museums around here) and the price was right but I figured it was too far gun to be restored. Oh yeah, that thing was unbelievably heavy and very long so it would be cumbersome to deal with. Must have been 15-20 lbs or more. Clearly that is a gun that is meant to fired, if to be fired multiple times in succession, in some sort of supported position - or by the Incredible Hulk.
I've entertained the notion to build an old gun from a kit but the entry price holds me back. Like building an AR the cost can quickly spiral out to the stratosphere.
would a crossbow be easier to build and operate?ReplyDelete
Perhaps not the trigger, to build. But regardless of the issue with bolts, they are far easier than gunpowder ( the powder is easy-getting the nitrates is not ). Of course, only use a crossbow in ambush as without support troops they are at a disadvantage on the battlefield ( unless up in your fort ). If you are interested let me know and I'll look up the crossbow book title that has old timey manufacturing technigues.Delete
In addition to always preaching about flintlocks, I’m also the minion that’s always banging on about primitive archery. And yes, even taking into account that weaving a primitive bowstring is challenging, it’s far less challenging than keeping the forever gun going.Delete
In reality, here is the way that I would probably go about it in a post collapse scenario. I’d go for the homebuilt flintlock, and once all supplies were exhausted, and I could no longer keep the gun going, I’d then opt for the primitive bow.
I've got about 14k rimfire. I figure that will last a good long while. My spawn can inherit the archery books and it will be their problem transitioning ( if they do it right, they can make it the grandkids problem ). Sure, transition prior to that for the tribe. Get skills up, trade if needed. But for my own use, the rimfire. So much easier, so as long as I can I will.Delete
That sounds like plenty to me. Allow me to recant slightly. I still have a full box of 12ga shotshells (I think it’s 12 boxes of 25, or something like that?) purchased several years ago from Walmart, and then I have some on top of that. Same with rimfire. I have one of those small cases of 800 from the days back when they cost $8, and some random boxes as well. I still have a couple of hundred 9mm as well. Once all of this is gone, then I still have a few cans of black powder, some percussion caps, and many balls and bullets. The plan is to make a bulk purchase of black powder or Pyrodex (probably at least 20 cans) as well as about 10k percussion caps. I just really lack the room right now and that’s the only thing keeping me from doing it.Delete
Then finally, I have my bow, and my Slingbow. At some point I’m going to make a bulk purchase of the neoprene tubing (for the Slingbow) and then vacuum pack it in sections; enough to last for several years.
If space is a concern, I'd do the percussion caps. Before you do, though, check out the company that sells the rimfire reloader ( I can look up the address if you don't have it ). If I recall correctly, they have the kit that up make your own caps out of aluminum cans, then use their primer liquid to arm them yourself. I remember you can get the primer liquid for one cent a shot. I don't know if the percussion takes more than one drop though ( the rimfire is one drop per primer, $20 and 2k drops ). If the price is about the same, obviously go with factory stuff for quality control. It is just another option. If you have the caps you can always make your own powder if needed.Delete
Careful with them Walmart Winchester 12ga shells. They fire fine in my very old (1917) Winchester model 12 gun but many of them will not eject out of my 15 yo Remington 870 Marine Magnum. I bought (8) 100 rd boxes about 10 years ago and wish I hadn't. I have to use a long wooden dowel to get the empty out of my 870. Not good in a battle zone. I keep that dowel in the 870's hard case.Delete
Yeah, I sometimes wonder if it’s worth even trying to reload the .22lr cases, or making your own percussion caps, vs just buying more rimfire or percussion caps. I haven’t researched it, but my gut tells me that it probably isn’t. I think that I would rather just invest in more primitive weapon making materials, as in bow making components.ReplyDelete
Honestly Jim, if we have the type of collapse that you discuss here, I feel that there’s a 99.999% chance that I wouldn’t last long anyways. I’m 54, and I already feel like crap. I’m not overweight either; just a shadow of my former self, that’s all. As much as I enjoy my PA fantasies of having a harem of young females at my beckoning, I just have to be honest and concede that the apocalypse is a young man’s game, and that there’s no place for a middle aged dude in such a world.
Had I followed my own advice, and were already living in that remote as hell parcel, this would have upped my chances considerably, but it’s all hindsight now. I do have my Elko land, and you have informed me that it’s rather remote (I haven’t been there yet). But I’m guessing that in a severe collapse, it might not be remote enough. But hopefully it will be, and I would at least survive for a while out there.
Yeah, really only Remote For Now on the land. It is just better than what most folks have. That is all most of us can do, and most of our planning is fantasy in reality. None of us could even make it in the ghetto or prison, so we drape ourselves in semi autos and pretend it will make a difference. But still, you don't prep because it will matter but in case we survive anyway. And, really, what else are we going to do with our free time? :)Delete