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Silver Bullet member
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At the Augusta Gun Show this Summer I came upon an item that was just so spiffy that I HAD to have it! (Know the feeling?)

So with some ill-gotten gains from the sale of a few rifles earlier this year, I forked over, after due deliberation, the $50 and brought home a BLOOM


It fits right on to the grenade launching muzzle brake of the Yugo M-59/66... as a matter of fact it will go on the launcher of almost any rifle that has one. They even have an adapter to replace the bushing of a 1911 .45, for goodness' sake!

Before long we had an outing with a bunch of fellow ********, where we shot up most of the Russian blank cartridges that I got with the launcher. They were very inconsistent, with some just blooping the ball about 30 ft. while others blasted it out of sight beyond the 100 yd. tree line.

Having determined to start loading my own blanks, i recently recapped some Olympic cases laying around with CCI Milspec primers (The oly takes a Small Rifle, oddly enough) and measured out 5 gr. by weight of some old Du Pont "Bulk Shotgun Smokeless" that i'd inherited from my Dad. By volume, it looked like the equivalent of about 15 gr. of FFG - only it's a pale green color.

Wadding it with half of a cleaning patch wadded up and stuffed into the case, I ventured out to the crab apple tree in search of a projectile.
Here we are in orchard country - there's a huge commercial one right across the road - and yet the only apple tree on our spread produces little hard green golf-ball looking things that taste utterly horrid!

I had a little trouble getting the open mouthed case to chamber.
Actually it was a real PITA.
When finally I did, however, i dropped a crabapple of about the right caliber down the cup, aimed for the sky, and touched her off.


About half of the mangled apple flew about 30 ft. up and came back down with a thud on the lawn, while the other half consisting of applesauce, for the most part, just splattered around.

That was fun, but I decided that crabapples just were not up to being shot out of SKSs, and the cartridge needed something to guide it into the chamber - so back to the laboratory we went.

We used to have a small cartridge collection, and I remember having an old .30-40 round with a strange purple bullet, which my Father explained was a blank round from the time of the Spanish American War, and the rolled paper bullet was supposed to help the round feed from the magazine and chamber like a normal round would, but that the paper bullet would disintegrate when fired and do no harm beyond 10 or 15 feet from the muzzle.

So I cut some strips of printer paper and started folding and rolling.
At last I came up with a satisfactory .30 caliber "spitball" which fit tightly in the case neck and had a tapered, bullet looking "nose".

The next 5 gr. load I corked with one of those and went back out with a real golf ball.
It gave a satisfactory "Pop" and lobbed the ball about 100 ft. into the air.

Not bad, I figured, but we can do better.

So the next one was loaded with 7 gr..
The paper bullet, which ends up being about 1 1/2" long, seats to the powder which fills about half of the case, and compresses it slightly so that it would not set back all that much on chambering.
That's a good thing.

This round chambered just as slick as could be.

I think that I will dip the bullets in melted wax in order to seal and lubricate them on the next batch, now that a load has been established.

This time I had the camera ready alongside the rifle in order to catch the moment of lift-off, so all I had to do was hit the trigger and shutter button as close to simultaneously as I could. ...

Can you pick out the golf ball from the cloud of confetti?
It was climbing for the sky at a pretty good clip!

Looks like I was taking a pot-shot at that passing jetliner.
I don't think he had anything to worry about up there, though.

It went at least 300 ft. up and landed on the other side of our front lawn about 130 ft. away. I had the rifle elevated to about 5 degrees downlawn from vertical, too!

At a 45* angle, I would estimate that I could have driven that ball a good 200 yards - at least.

None of my shots damaged the ball, other than a small sooty spot.
The launcher retained some applesauce and confetti from all of this sport;

But most of that was dislodged by pointing the rifle muzzle down and giving the launcher cup a couple of whacks with my hand.
The rest was easily blasted out with a shot or two of compressed air.

Lotsa fun!

Now run right out and buy one!
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