I am desolate and devastated! The Superhero of MY generation,
THE LONE RANGER
has been proven to be a fraud, a sham, fake news, with feet of…. well, not silver.
The story always was, that the cave that Tonto found him holed up in, turned out to be a silver mine. The Lone Ranger used the silver to buy supplies, and make his bullets from. Just how he found time to dig out and smelt the silver, when he was so busy ridin’, and shootin’, and generally saving the west, was never explained. Perhaps he had Tonto’s undocumented relatives do it for minimum wage.
Recently, I was ambling through an online science article, maintaining a brisk pace so that not too much of that learnin’ rubbed off on me, when suddenly I was stopped in my tracks.
Melting point of silver: 961.78°C (1,763°F)
The melting point of lead, to make bullets with, is only 327.50°C (621.50°F). Hell, that stuff is so soft and ductile that you can almost mold it with your hands on a warm, sunny day. Silver though, requires nearly three times the heat. It’s not something that you just warm up like a skillet of beans over a campfire. It requires somewhat sophisticated equipment, often more than merely a rustic, frontier forge.
How could I have missed that??! Even the writer for the Canadian group, The Five Man Electrical Band understood it. In their song, Werewolf, a father must melt a tiny, silver dinner bell into a musket ball, to kill a son who has gone Loup. The lines of lyric read:
We went down to the blacksmith,
Got him out of bed, said, “Get your fire hot!”
We gotta close all the doors, shut up the shutters
We’re gonna need all the heat we got.
Even after you get it melted, this stuff don’t take to being cast in molds none too well. The surfaces all have cavitations and spalling, making any bullets so non-aerodynamic, that he’d be more likely to shoot a passing buffalo, than the gun out of the hand of some cattle rustler.
I never saw him and Tonto, sitting around the fire at night, singing away, like Roy Rogers or Gene Autry. Maybe because they were busy polishing those bullets smooth with their socks – if Tonto even wore socks. 😯 Aagghhh, he was probably just some rich dilettante from back East, who had his ammunition shipped to him, c/o Sitting Bull, by pony express.
A major portion of my childhood is/was not to be trusted. 😳 What’s next??! Somebody will tell me that Aquaman can’t actually talk to sharks and whales? 😕 😀