Black powder is the original gunpowder. For nearly a millenia, the deep aroma of brimstone and charcoal has shaped human history and continues to be appreciated by a wide community.
For traditional hunters, the smell has come to define the few seconds between pulling the trigger and the wall of smoke disappearing behind the iron sights, revealing the harvest of a pursuit days in the making. For many, it enlivens history to a range of senses and experiences beyond reading stories or watching films. For target and recreational shooters, it remains the most ballistically consistent propellant known to man. Best of all, it is a lot of fun to shoot.
My name is Matt Jallo, and I am a boutique maker of real black powder in Apache Junction, Arizona. I craft small batches with my own hands, right here on my 2.5 acre ranch at the foothills of the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. I harvest the wood from high up in the White Mountains to the east.
It was in these mountains that Brimshiner got its mascot, while I was bear hunting with two of my sons. We were driving the UTV up a path to an old abandoned radio tower at the top of a large hill, which affords a great vantage point to glass for wildlife in the valleys below. I was preoccupied with business, when my son's eyes suddenly got wide. He had spotted a blue grouse, which I had read about in the game regulation pamphlets, but had not seen in Arizona. My son asked if he could go after it, chomping at the bit.
I had to check to see if they were in season, but by some stroke of luck my cell phone had a signal. After waiting for the page to load with one bar of signal, all the while hoping this bird would stay put, the good news came up. It was one of the few weeks of the year that they were available for take. I had barely uttered "Go for it" before both boys had hit the ground, running after the bird. They were so excited, they forgot to take their helmets off. The 9000 foot elevation dampened the spring in my step, so it took me a while to catch up with them. By the time I had, my son was holding dinner and had a smile on his face that no video game could ever bring. I took a picture, and it occured to me; now we had a mascot for the business that really captures the kinds of memories that I want to help people make.