I ate my wafer...

6/22/2006

Negligent Discharge #1: The Dryer Lint

So, based on several conversations last weekend, I decided that I've probably unnecessarily avoided blogging, especially about some topic areas, in the last couple of months or so. Since apparently "weird bob stories" are desired, and I want to start talking about firearms topics more, I present the story of the flaming dryer lint.

So, one winter when I was 12 or 13, I went hunting with my dad over Christmas break. The first day, we went out in the late afternoon, in 15 degree weather, complete with blowing snow. After many hours of walking and sitting in the woods, we arrived home after dark, probably close to 9PM, planning on returning the next morning before dawn.

I had not fired my rifle the first day, and had brought it home, pulled the .50 caliber Maxi-Ball projectile with a ramrod screw, removed the nipple, blew compressed air through the nipple fitting on the drum to empty the pyrodex charge, wiped the rifle with a RIG rag, dried off the telescope with a dry cloth, the stored it for the night.

The next morning, before dawn, I began the somewhat laborious process of readying for the next round of hunting. As there was driving snow outdoors, I planned to load, saran wrap the nipple, then cap the rifle after the 2 minute car ride to the woods (Note, at the time OH law considered uncapped muzzleloaders to be "unloaded" for transport purposes.)

Before loading, I wanted to fire several caps threw the empty gun per good procedure, but it was snowing outside, and I decided to simply fire them on the front porch of my parents house…which unfortunately contains the laundry room.

Wandering out onto the porch, I saw the trash can full of paper, pocket spore, and dryer lint; promptly pointed the muzzle into it, loaded a cap, and pulled the trigger.

(Unfortunately, the night before, I had let the rifle sit in a 70 degree workshop for an hour before I blew the pyrodex out, during which time condensation certainly occurred within the barrel, leaving perhaps 20-40 grains out of 110 grains of Pyrodex RS was clinging to the inside of the barrel.)

So, instead of the mild "pop" I expected, there was a roar of flame and smoke, the trashcan basically disintegrated, flaming chunks of dryer lint flew around the room, and I couldn't hear anything for 30 minutes or so. In a 8'x10' room, it was basically the end of the world, sulphur smell included.

So...I killed a $1.97 trash can, which hillariously opened up like a flower with each of the four "sides" only attached to the base. Before I threw the old trash can out, I did stick my unused deer tag to it, and my parents did made me buy another one. I also learned all sorts of lessons about gun safety from the experence:

A. Run a patch down an "empty" muzzleloader before loading.

B. Even if you unloaded it yourself, treat it like its still loaded. Just think about what would have happened if I had pointed the muzzle at something other than a $1.97 trash can.

C. Dryer lint is very flammable.

2 Comments:

  • LOL! That's AWESOME! -JJ

    By Blogger JaundiceJames, at 12:43 AM  

  • dryer lint is my favorite fire starter. I have heard (I think George's mom) that it can be made into paper pretty easily.

    By Blogger luke, at 9:55 AM  

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