There are certain things that absolutely nobody who is living off the grid should be without. JB Weld is without any shadow of a doubt, one of the things that should be purchased in excess and stored in its very own private location in every off-grid environment or homestead. JB Weld has been instrumental in our efforts to keep generators, engine blocks, wheel rims and a virtually endless string of items running long after they would have been formerly retired and quickly trashed in more “civilized” society.
While there are likely more than a thousand different uses for JB Weld on any given day, perhaps nothing will serve to better demonstrate its strength and importance, than a minor demonstration … and some tightly packed high-explosives.
My dad was nothing if not creative … and experimental in nature. If there was a better way to do something, he would be the first one to explore that option. If there was not a better way to do something, he would look for one. This was not merely obsessive behavior that prevented him from ever getting anything done mind you, as “analysis paralysis” was never a problem for him, but rather an innate ability he had to see things in a different light … successfully more often than not.
As we were not wealthy, and my dad begrudgingly began accepting that social security would be his only source of income, he began storing up large numbers of firearms. Generally, we would purchase a large number of the old 8MM Mausers from Big5 or other stores where we could get them on sale for forty or fifty dollars each. We would then purchase other supplies from Numrich Arms and rebuild these firearms into ones that could be sold for three or four hundred dollars each.
Having as he did, a penchant for weapons, both old and new, and repairing them for friends, it was not long before we had a semi-regular business buying, selling and repairing firearms to supplement his social security. Among these were a number of black powder arms. Someone once brought in a .50 (fifty caliber) Kentucky Rifle for alteration … primarily turning it into a carbine.
While my dad loathed the idea of turning such a beautiful piece of work into a carbine, he did it anyhow … and we ended up with about eighteen inches of fifty caliber barrel. We had a broken down old Colt Walker lying on the desk, and I must admit to being somewhat taken aback when my dad picked it up, laid it down next to the remaining length of barrel and muttered something about “Yeah. Why the frack not?” … though that was not the actual term he used.
Eighteen inches of fifty caliber barrel proved to be too long even for a two-handed revolver. As did fourteen, twelve … and we kept shortening it until we finally ended up with an eight inch barrel on a fifty caliber blackpowder pistol. The only thing remaining to do was to bore out the cylinder from the .44 in its original configuration, the .50 caliber we would need. (Actual calibrations for the cylinders and barrels are done slightly off from the actual calibration of the rounds, but you get the picture and yes, that is it in the picture)
Unfortunately, when we bored out the cylinder, the walls were painfully thin around the front where the majority of the blast would be directed. Fearing the ensuing explosion that would occur if all six rounds were to discharge at the same time, and yes, we will get there … my dad, in his infinite wisdom and unique vision, decided to reinforce and rebuild the cylinder with JB Weld.
His patience and his artwork can only be deemed as somewhere between madness and masterful, but at the end of the day, there was a very ornate, almost flower-shaped front on the cylinder and the fifty caliber pistol was only a day away or so of drying away from being ready to be tested.
Me being somewhat cynical, I politely declined to take the first shot with it. My dad virtually squealed with delight as he squeezed the trigger and the round hit squarely in the center of the target at thirty meters. After a few more rounds, I was finally able to reclaim an opportunity to try it out and found it to be surprisingly pleasant to shoot with roughly sixty grains of powder … slightly more than my dad used, but suitable to my taste.
My dad’s friend Harry however, was not quite so reserved and insisted on packing … I believe it was around ninety grains into each cylinder … enough powder at least where the compression of the rounds into the cylinder was substantially more challenging than it should have been. Sure enough, all six rounds went off at the same time … but to this day, some thirty years later, the JB Weld still holds and it is still an amazingly fun plinker to play with around the Prepper Paradise and the old Homestead.