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Forgotten Heroes

Forgotten Heroes

By Ian McMurchy

My buddy and I originated in Quinter, Kansas in an old building that used to house a movie theatre. A small group of craftsmen formed our bodies by cutting long pieces of copper pipe into small tubes. Then they ran the tubes of shiny jacket material into a variety of sizing dies and punches.

After one operation, we suddenly had forward and rear sections separated by a heavy midsection of copper. Then they inserted round chunks of lead into each section and ran us through more dies. At one point our upper portions went through an excruciatingly hot bonding process. We were placed into the links of what looked like an old motorcycle chain and dragged through blue flame! Then they dumped us into water to cool us down. After drying, they ran us back into more dies and punches for our final shaping.

After all the manufacturing abuse, we were tumbled for hours in a huge drum filled with sawdust. In fairly short time we were shiny and looked very fine. We were piled into a large box and taken into a quiet room. Then some ladies counted us into boxes and sealed the lids. Seems to me we went for a series of trips. I am not sure since I was sealed inside the cardboard box with forty-nine other A-Frame bullets.

I donít recall much until suddenly the lid was opened and I could see a sign on the wall that said SUPERIOR AMMUNITION. A gentleman took me out of the box and carefully placed me on top of a large cartridge case. He pulled a handle downward and I went up into a dark round cavern until my tip hit a hard object. Although I stopped, the case kept moving and suddenly it was gripping me very tightly up to my midsection. I felt something pushing me from below also, so tightly that the kernels of powder squeezed their shape into my exposed lead bottom core.

At the same time, the mouth of the cartridge suddenly tightened on my midsection. The top of the case crimped into my canelure so tight that there was no way I could move. Then we dropped down, and I was taken out of the reloading press. I realized I was now a part of a loaded .416 Rigby cartridge. The man stood me up in a wooden cartridge block and continued making more ammunition.

Along with nineteen buddies, I was placed into a big black plastic box with individual slots for each cartridge. Then the lid was dropped over us and I rested for several weeks. I recall some more travel, including a long trip by jet airplane. The next time I saw daylight was when some guy pulled the lid off our case, but I was pointing downward and could not see where we were. He slowly took one of my buddies out of our plastic box. A few minutes later there was a huge explosion that rattled all of us in the plastic box. Then he took out another cartridge, and again we were startled by the huge noise. This went on for several shots.

Then he took the cartridge right beside me, but there was no explosion. Suddenly, he reached down and pulled me from my stall and pushed me into an elastic holder on the stock of a strange rifle. The stretchy cloth held me so tightly I could not move. My buddy was right beside me. I could see mountains, water and snow. Later, we went into a tent and the light slowly softened until darkness took over. I heard a wolf howl, and the sound of the wind in nearby trees. The guys in the tent snored in their sleeping bags. They each got up in the middle of the night to go outside for a few minutes.

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