I had a friend once who liked guns. Big guns. Well at least for the time. He had a .44 magnum, with a 12″ barrel and a scope. That thing weighed a ton.
I would go with him to the firing range and borrow his hardware, pay for some ammo, rent the safety gear. But at some point, he got me hooked. I bought a 6″ barrel Colt .357 magnum revolver, in stainless steel.
It was a nice gun, shot pretty well, but kicked like a mule, well, what can I say, I was a newbie with handguns. I fired all kinds of guns growing up in the midwest, but mostly they were .22 cal rifles, and 12 gauge shotguns. Pheasant, gopher, and squirrel hunting were some of my pastimes as a kid, and handguns simply weren’t practical.
One night I stopped by my friends house after a session at the range. He showed me his reloading equipment. I found it amazing. He had the powder, the bullets, the primers, everything necessary to reload most anything he shot. Since I had a bunch of empty brass from the range, he talked me into reloading it.
Only one problem, we didn’t have .357 gunpowder. I am not an expert on all the details, there are other bloggers out there, such as Tam who I am sure can quote weights, specifications, and all kinds of numbers about it, but not me. All I know is that 9mm powder burns fast, .357 burns a little slower, and .44 magnum burns slow.
What my buddy had was .44 magnum powder because that’s what he shot. However after researching in his little reloading book, he concluded that yes indeed, we could reload my .357 using .44 magnum powder. OK then, what are we waiting for?
We reloaded up a box of 50 and went to the range the following week. I put a set of six in the revolver, took aim, and blasted away. Previous to my shooting I heard a number of the lanes to the right, firing rounds, but for some reason now they were all quiet.
I turned around to look at my buddy, who was standing behind me, and he is laughing so hard, tears are rolling down his cheeks. I give him the WTF look and he points down the lanes. I look around the lane barrier and the entire range is looking my way, with wonder in their eyes. I checked, but my pants were still covering my legs, so I couldn’t figure out what the heck they were looking at.
My buddy finally stopped laughing long enough to tell me that what everyone was looking at was the dragon breath that came out of the barrel every time I took a shot. You see, whenever I would pull the trigger a 3 foot stream of fire would shoot out the end of the barrel, lighting up the range like a flame thrower. The other shooters were wondering what the heck kind of ammo I was shooting. We all had a good laugh when I explained.
Turns out that the .44 magnum powder burned so slow, that it was still burning when the bullet was long gone out the barrel.
I still wish I had that gun, but that’s a story for another day, and it doesn’t have a happy ending.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of my latest thriller.