A Gunslinger's bullets are... unique.
Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!When viewed from a distance, holy ammunition looks like just about any other ammunition of similar calibre. Depending on the model of the firearm it is intended for, it may feature paper, copper, or brass casings (steel casings exist, but are rare.) But when studied closely, the ammunition that a Gunslinger uses is truly unique. As a result, holy ammunition is often used to pass messages among Gunslingers, their allies, and the laity in the Gunslinger faith. Without the necessary understanding or training, most people will not understand the messages conveyed.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
For the Gunslingers, it is the construction of the ammunition that is important. Gunslingers exclusively cast their own bullets, and these bullets have several unique characteristics. Standard ammunition is made with lead bullets, but Gunslingers also use silver, gold, copper, steel, iron, and Cold Iron (meteoric iron), depending on what the Gunslinger intends to use the ammunition against, since different supernatural creatures have different vulnerabilities. Gunslinger bullets also often have mystical marks that communicate simple messages or concepts. In some cases, they are invocations to assist the powers of the bullet. In others, they convey specific meanings. Sometimes, Gunslingers bless their bullets with prayers and incantations. When they do, the bullets glow faintly in dim light. Sometimes, bullets of softer metal like lead, silver, and gold, are jacketed; that is, covered in harder metal. Usually the harder metal is copper, but it can also be brass or steel. Jacketed bullets are not used to convey messages, as those messages may be misinterpreted.
Casting a bullet is a fairly simple process. The metal is heated to the melting point:
And then poured into a mold and allowed to cool. Burrs, edges and imperfections are carefully filed off, and then the bullet is ready to be loaded into a cartridge. Manufacturing Gunpowder is a far more complicated process, which will be dealt with in a separate article.
- Lead 327.5 °C / 621.5 °F
- Silver 962 °C / 1764 °F
- Gold 1,064 °C / 1950 °F
- Copper 1,085 °C / 1985 °F
- Steel 1370 °C / 2500-2800 °F
- Iron 1,538 °C / 2800 °F
- Meteoric Iron 1538 °C / 2800 °F
Messages Conveyed with Holy AmmunitionWhen a Gunslinger wishes to convey a message to other Gunslingers, or to other members of the Order who are laity but loyal, there is a "bullet code" that conveys what they wish to say in a simple, straightforward way. It can be used to carry information quickly or in secret if needed, although it's very difficult to glean specifics. A Gunslinger can either pass a bullet directly to someone, or they can leave a number of bullets at waymarkers, safehouses, and caches to convey specific information.
Giving a Bullet to Someone
|Lead||You're marked; make your peace|
|Gold||I am a Gunslinger; here's my bona fides|
|Silver||All is well; please pass that on to whomever needs to know|
|Copper||Please pass accompanying message to the Gunslinger Order|
|Steel||Tough times ahead; here's a heads-up|
|Iron||There's going to be shooting; back me up|
|Meteoric Iron||Disaster on the horizon; get everyone out of here if you can|
Leaving Bullets to Be Found
|Metal||1 Bullet||2 Bullets||3 Bullets|
|Gold||Desperadoes||Gunslinger in the area if you need a partner||Gunslinger safehouse in the area|
|Silver||Shapechangers or Undead||Gunslinger ally in the area||Organized Gunslinger allies in the area|
|Copper||Witches / Dark Mages||A Courtesan or Witch here is a Gunslinger friend||The Courtesans here will look after you|
|Steel||Gang of outlaws||Gunslinger needs assistance||Gunslingers in trouble, send help|
|Iron||Trust no one around here||Hard times for Gunslingers here||Hard times for everyone here|
|Meteoric Iron||Fey, Djinn & Elementals||Recent disaster, recovering - use caution||Disaster; get out of the area quickly!|
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The Wyrd West Chronicles
Generic article | May 5, 2021
Check out all the published books in the Wyrd West Chronicles so far!
#3 The Vigil
#5 The Reaping
Once Upon a Time in the Wyrd West (Wyrd West Chronicles #1-6)
Gunsmoke & Dragonfire (featuring The Teeth of Winter (Wyrd West Chronicles #7)
Subtype / Model
Rare. Gunslingers are hardly common to begin with.
About 40g (1.4 oz.) to 113g (1/4 lbs.)
.22 calibre to 4 gauge 3 1/2 inch shotgun shell
$12 to $80 per 1000 rounds, depending on calibre
Raw materials & Components
The actual shot in holy ammunition tends to be constructed of unusual materials: silver, gold, perhaps even steel or meteoric iron (cold iron). Some of these materials should technically defy the laws of physics when fired -- for instance, silver, being a soft metal, should warp and perhaps even splatter when the cartridge or powder is fired. But the alchemy of the Gunslingers somehow makes it work.
Molds, crucible, mortars and pestles, files, casings, caps, saltpeter, charcoal, sulphur, various metals, ammunition tools tools.