Homemade Muzzleloader Uses Matches to Fire “Fishing Lead” (Video)
Russ Chastain 10.28.15
This homemade gun is pretty great. In the chamber area, and a good ways down the barrel, it is made with double-walled pipe.
(When you get tired of the long intro and its obnoxious music, do yourself a favor and skip ahead to the 1:20 mark.)
When pulled, the trigger slides a pin out of the way of the hammer, which is a spring-loaded bent nail that will hit a touch hole in the side of the barrel when the trigger releases it.
After loading the barrel with “powder” in the form of match heads, the fellow loading it rams and pounds the hell out of it, apparently crushing the chemical to ensure an even burn when the gun is fired.
Then he rams and tamps some paper wadding.
After that comes some sort of something–I think the guy said, “Just fishing lead.” It appears to be a chunk of lead tubing, much smaller than the barrel. After cutting off a hunk maybe an inch and a half long, he puts a taper on one end of it.
After he drops that down the barrel, he inserts some more paper wadding and tamps it well.
He then shaves the phosphorus from more match heads and pulverizes it into powder.
Next step: shaving the striking surface off of a matchbox and mixing that with the powder, “to make it shock-sensitive.” He tests a bit of it between his thumbnails to make sure it will ignite under pressure. Then he carefully fills the touch hole with this priming compound.
When he fires the gun, it seems to have a pretty good kick. Also, you do not want to stand to his right when he’s shooting; a lot of gas leaks out of that touch hole!
It just proves the ingenuity of people, and that even when guns are banned, they can be built.