Attending the panel “Ammunition, Explosives, and Ordinance” as lead by K. Dockery, head of the armory track, was an experience for this reporter. The panel opened with a basic history of the invention of black powder and the problems involved with its first implementation–particularly the separation of sulphur and saltpeter.
From that point on, Dockery proceeded to captivate the audience with humor, knowledge, and wit as he carried everyone along a trip through the various ages of bullets. After the invention of black powder came caked explosives, and then cartridges. Dockery then delved briefly into the realm of Science Fiction, chatting about gyro jet-propelled ballistics with no recoil that can shoot around walls or correct misfires.
Dockery then analyzed the grenade and its fascinating history. Some early grenades used live bees in a breakable container. Yikes! He then spoke of explosives like the petard and the cannonball-styled grenade to round out the discussion.
For the finale, Dockery described the fusion of the bullet and the grenade, accompanied by his established charm and hilarity. He moved through the topics of: artillery shells that exploded in their casings, advanced ballistics that measured the number of rotations in the air before exploding, and detonite–a material that only explodes when a very specific action is taken.