Gunslinger's Guide Teaser 8 - History of Gunsmithing

In addition to the histories of people and places, the Gunslinger's Guide includes a very important section on the history of gun-making. This section has been written by our guest writer for the Guide, Richard Gilbert. Richard is an expert in stage combat and violence design. He has worked as a stuntman and fight choreographer for many years, and is also an avid gamer who has been part of the Steamscapes playtest from the beginning.

The history of gunsmithing section in the Guide is written in a narrative style - a set of instructional lessons between a veteran gunsmith and an eager learner.

A sample from the book:

The boy began to look at the guns sitting half-put-together on the shelves, and listening to the old man, who started showing him how the pieces fit. He pulled down an old reloading kit and some spent brass and showed the boy how to reload a cartridge with powder and a bullet to make a new round. The boy was a quick study, with hands whose youthful, unconscious steadiness the old man found himself envying…

“Why is everything made of brass? Isn’t steel better and cheaper? 

“Sparks, son. Brass doesn’t spark.”

The boy suddenly froze, looking at the loose gunpowder he had spilled on the table and how close that table was to the forge.The old man nodded, approvingly.

“Good! You need be thinking about sparks when you are working with explosives. But don’t get paranoid. What happens when you ignite gunpowder, boy?”

“It explodes! Everyone knows that.”

“Actually, it usually doesn’t. Any miner will tell you. Gunpowder burns. You can make a makeshift fuse just by laying out a line of powder. It doesn’t explode.”


“Gunpowder needs to be packed tightly to explode. That’s something a gunslinger needs to know. Guns rely on it. That’s why we pack the powder so tightly into the brass cartridge.”