Firearms Need Fuel Too

Thinking about firearms today.
Which is best, what works well, calibre choice and I came to a stunning conclusion.
It doesn’t really matter what weapon you use, it requires feeding i.e. Ammunition.

No ammunition renders your weapon about as useful as a length of lead pipe.
If you can’t find any ammunition, you’ll probably have to make some.
The site http://www.thehomegunsmith.com has basic instructions on rolling your own BUT if you come across spent brass, keep it for reloading. You’ll see why later on.

Cased ammunition is made up of 5 parts:
Projectile (no problem)
Wadding (easily made)
Propellant (Black aka gun powder)
Primer (The main problem when reloading)
Casing (Plastic pipe inserts, brass tube, old brass)

Caseless, i.e. Muskets, etc
Projectile (no problem)
Wadding (easily made)
Propellant (Black aka gun powder)
Primer (Sometimes just very fine ground gun powder)
Ignition source (slow match, flint, primer cap, even electrical)

It doesn’t matter which one you want to produce or use, the key is how you set the main propelleant off and that is down to the percussion primers or the ignition source.

Primers are used to start the ignition process in cartridges and commonly contain lead styphnate, barium nitrate, and antimony sulfide compounds.
All three are difficult and dangerous to produce however if you get a copy of  US Army Publication TM 31-210 – Improvised Munitions, there is a way of making reusable primers with strike anywhere matches, a filed down nail, spent brass, and a bench vice.

Propellants are unlikely to remain smokeless nitro-cellulose types if the world’s manufacturing base collapses so concentrate on high quality black powder. Same book as listed above

Basic Formulation for Black Powder
75 parts Saltpeter or Potassium Nitrate is fairly easy to produce, used in meat preservation, some stump removers.
15 parts Charcoal comes from many sources BBQ fuel, Aquarium filters, Chemists, and health food shops.
10 parts Sulfur (Sulphur) is used as a greenhouse Fumigator Tin, and health food shops

Long term simple weapons like bows are easier to fabricate including the arrows / bolts.
Quieter, reliable, and don’t generally rust.

Having said all that, I prefer trapping for food and the humble airgun for everything else.

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