Nothing new under the sun What’s the problem with primer-powered pellets?
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On to today’s blog….
by B.B. Pelletier
Okay, you had all weekend to think about this. I said at the end of the Zimmerstutzen post last Friday that there was a big problem that Zimmerstutzens and primer-powered pellet guns brought to the table. Today, I’ll show you what it is. First, let me introduce you to a very different kind of gun!
Rocky Mountain Arms muzzleloader
Several years ago, I was fortunate to acquire a rather rare gun. It doesn’t look like much at first glance, but when the truth of what it can do sinks in, you’ll realize that this is a very pivotal piece of shooting hardware.
Rocky Mountain Arms Corp. made this muzzleloading .22 caliber lead ball shooter. It uses toy caps to ignite a small charge of black powder.
That round block is the breech. When unlocked, it turns toward you so the gunpowder and a lead ball can be inserted. When rotated back into this position, it locks in place and a toy cap is inserted behind the knurled ring at the back of the breech. Then, cock the hammer and fire.
The rifle is an inexpensive little .22 caliber muzzleloader designed for kids. A pivoting breech swings open to the side for the powder and a ball to be inserted. It’s called a muzzleloader because the ball is rammed into the firing chamber from the front – just like loading the cylinder on a cap and ball revolver. After loading, the breech is swung back into alignment with the barrel and locked in place. The final step is to insert a cap from a cap gun in the holder behind the breech. The strike of the hammer sets off the cap, which sets off the black powder charge, propelling the lead ball on its way.
We’ve seen cap-firing BB guns before
Besides the posting on the Convert-A-Pell gizmo, I’ve done two posts on the Wham-O Kruger cap-firing BB guns. They launched a BB or .12-caliber lead shot with the explosive power of a toy cap. Some of you are starting to put the pieces together, aren’t you?
The Kruger ’98 was Wham-O’s idea of
a cheap BB gun. It uses caps to propel a steel BB or a .12 caliber lead ball (No. 6 birdshot).
The rusty breech where the caps went. The BB was loaded at the muzzle.
For anyone who hasn’t caught on yet, this idea is very bad. Children and others with sociopathic minds have access to a gun that can ignite any amount of explosive black powder. What’s to prevent kids from stuffing powder down the muzzle of the plastic Kruger? What’s to prevent them from NOT putting a ball in the breech of the Rocky Mountain rifle and filling the entire breech with black powder? Then they could ram the ball down the muzzle – just like dad!
The last time the American public saw black powder seriously misused, it was on April 19, 1995, to initiate a fertilizer bomb that removed the front of a government building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people! When unsupervised children and miscreants have access to black powder, nothing good can result. By the way, Rocky Mountain also made a .45 caliber version of the gun shown here. It also ran on caps; once junior learned how to work his own gun, there was no stopping him from moving up to some serious firepower!
The Rocky Mountain rifles are very scarce, thank goodness. I’ll bet someone in the company realized they’d let the genie out of the bottle and stopped production right away. Wham-O BB guns are not common, but they are around. I own three and see them all the time at airgun shows. I know of four or five other cap-firing BB guns that have been made. There are probably many more than that.
What’s bad about Zimmerstutzens, guns that use primers to fire pellets and cap-firing BB guns is that they’re firearms by the strictest definition of the term. Anyone with half a brain can make them do things their designers never imagined, nor wanted to do. Let’s stick to air!