I wasn’t a complete stranger to gunpowder. I had watched as officers at the department gun range had loaded their own shells, some of them using the old black powder for recreational purposes. But the powder the king’s alchemist had sold me was nowhere near as refined. There were clumps in the mixture, and I thought the proportions might even be off.
I loaded the musket with powder, wadding, and shot, tightly packed in. I loaded the flash pan, cocked it, then fired. It exploded, billowed smoke, and shot the round into the trees. It veered about thirty degrees to the right, making it a most deadly firearm to other people, but not the intended target.
I looked at the lead balls. They were straightforwardly round, ultimately unsuitable for any kind of accuracy, but I might be able to design something more closely resembling a modern bullet.
It’s just lead. If I can design the right mold for it, I’m sure a blacksmith can cast the mold in iron.
But the round was only one problem. A more stabilized round design was pretty easy. I examined the barrel. It was a smooth bore.
“Okay, so I need to figure out a way to rifle a barrel. Not like I can go down to the gun shop and have them re-rifle it for me." And even if I could get the rifling figured out, I was a couple of hundred years away from percussion caps, and cartridges were completely out of the question. My maximum fire rate would be one or two shots a minute.
I went back into my cabin with the musket, sitting down with a piece of paper and a charcoal stick. I had no current cases, so why not work on the most powerful weapon in the Fairy Tale Realms?