Being A Proposal To Explore The Nature Of Gunpowder In This Modern Era...

Being A Brief Speech On The Nature Of Firearm Manufacturing In This Modern Age – A Proposal Penned by one Herr Doktor Viktor von Krupp, To the August Body of Elders At The Canard-Teagues Academy of Higher Learning, Gatono.

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"Let me be perfectly frank – it is a truism long held that we of Gatono enjoy a great cultural and economic superiority over most in these most halcyon days. By the grace of the Tinker and his mighty creations, we have forged a technological marvel second only to that of the Magnificent, and well do we wield it against the enemies of our state, of our faith, and of our Humanity.

It was Gatonian bows which paved the way for the development of our culture – a magnificent creation which permitted us to soothe the savage land with which he have constructed our great City. They were once held as the pinnacle of weapons technology, allowing us to expand our republic far and wide – but that pinnacle grew higher, for it was Gatonian firearms which allowed us to complete our great restructuring.

For fifty years, our expertise in the manner of blasting powder, fireseed, gunpowder – call it as you wish, shifted and changed to an incredible degree. Proportions were tested, measured, adjusted – refined to the picture-perfect formulae which is now standard amongst every manufacturer within our nation. Seventy-five percent saltpeter, fifteen percent charcoal, ten percent sulfur. Even the youngest child in our country knows that proportion.

For fifty years, our expertise in the manner of gunsmithing astounded the Globe. From the humble arquebus, the most basic matchlock guns with which we armed only scouts, to the standard long-barrel muskets with which every Trade Prince’s rank and file now wield on the field of battle when Gatonia dares to test her neighbours. My own family, the Krupp Consortium, earned their fortune through the manufacturing of some of the finest guns one may find on the market today. Accept no substitutes – accept only Krupp work.

But a question comes to mind, a question I have developed an answer to for this august body’s request for a final master’s dissertation subject. Why, in the twenty, thirty years after those halcyon days of development, has our craftsmanship seemingly ground to a halt? Why have there been no further refinements beyond…minor, independent shops that seem to disappear after one or two lines are produced?

The fact is, gentlemen of the Academy, we are living in an age of stagnation. Consider the ubiquitous Manstein “Brown” musket – a common enough weapon, I grant you, but emblematic of a standard problem with our weapons development. Far better than any other musket on the market, save the Krupp Ninety-Eight; but heavy on powder consumption – not to mention the accuracy problem. If you will permit me?"

[Note, at this portion the Student (with very little warning) raised the musket to his shoulder, and fired unsuccessfully at a set target a goodly portion set at some unknown time halfway down the lecture hall. His ledger is currently being marked with the cost of the broken window, as well as separate fines.]

[Post-settling of the court]

"As you can see…[coughing]…beg pardon, smoke – examine the difference in powder applied to the Manstein Brown, and our own Krupp Ninety-Eight. And that, I believe, is the cause of our current halted innovation.

A central part of every trade prince’s and consortium’s income is the gunpowder development – more and more we hear of increased production on these; Manstein Unconsecrated, Krupp Standard Issue, Black Ocean’s Best. Manufacturing and sales of gunpowder are up, very up. The common man buys ample amounts of these, in addition to the always popular weapons sales of fine Gatonian steel swords, axes, maces, and so on. Craftsmanship counts for a lot, but it is in this heavy powder consumption and drive for earnings based on said consumption that we find the inherent flaw in our weapons development. It is this focus on earnings that keeps us stagnant – our weapons are the best in the world, but they could be better. Less powder-intensive, more damaging, longer ranges and safer ammunition. But who would buy them in such large amounts, and for such great profits?

August gentlemen, I would like to request to perform an indepth study into this phenomenon, assemble proper statistics and examples of various modern firearms, as well as more experimental examples both from my own work, from fellow students, and from those of my family – comparisons, if you will. The intent here is to prove that our society, with it’s emphasis on earnings through these tried and tested methods of flintlock and powder, have become tragically mired and unable to truly advance further.

I await your decision with great dispatch."

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