Friday, December 18, 2009

Fun with Gunpowder

Sous Vide my ass.

I'm sorry, I appreciate the art, but you can't get much farther from the elemental than controlled temperature baths. Braising short ribs at 138 degrees for three weeks...yum, just as nature intended.

And so I revert to the elemental. Gunpowder: Charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate. I spent a glorious afternoons a few weeks ago playing with two forms of gunpowder: Black and smokeless.

The black powder was used while shooting a 50 caliber muzzle loader. Pure glorious. Let me set the stage. I hate shooting rifles. I am good at it but that doesn't mean I like it. The crack of the bullet (seriously, wear ear protection) the recoil of the ain't fun. I can do the macho crap and suck it up, but honestly I would rather be eating some chicken wings than spending time on the shooting range.

The difference between black powder in the muzzle loader and smokeless powder in a modern rifle is best described as the difference between being punched really hard in the shoulder and receiving a strong shove. The black powder is a big shove...a big messy shove.

It doesn't get much more elemental than a muzzle loader. Measure your powder (pyrodex) and pour it down the muzzle. Place a lubricated patch over the exit of the muzzle, place a 50 caliber ball on top of the patch and ram the ball down onto the powder. Load a primer onto the trigger and fire. You get a massive amount of smoke, a "Kabam!" that garners respect at the range, and a massive hole in your paper target. Oh, by the way, it is really fun and doesn't hurt. For anybody who has the least bit of interest...go to a gun range and get someone to educate you about this. I cannot stress how much fun this is and how easy it is. That being said, you need someone to walk you through it the first time. Crap can happen.

So after firing massive lead missles we spent the rest of the afternoon making rifle rounds for the 30-30. This uses a smokeless gunpowder. I shall not go into details because it would be meaningless until you have experience doing it. Let me say this: It is easy once you have the right equipment. The right equipment will cost ~$150. Get someone from the gun range to show you. People at the range are lunatics, but in a nice way. Don't be a judgemental ass, ask to be enlightened and they will be happy to share the knowledge. It ain't hard, it's a lot of fun and it's very elemental.

Seriously....muzzleloaders are the definition of the serious fun. Go to the range and learn from the lunatics. Sanity is a matter of perspective.

Beats the hell out of sous vide.

1 comment:

  1. No it doesn't. Sous vide rocks!

    But then again, we don't have muzzleloader seasons in California... ;-)