Thomas looked over his bullet materials and let out a small sigh. He'd been unable to purchase any brass in Reykhoten so he held no hope that he could find it in Ulvstad and hadn't bothered looking for it. It wasn't that big of a deal either. Though brass was an excellent casing for bullets, as well as traditional, it wasn't the only material that bullet casings could be made of. Steel was also used for bullet casings but Thomas intended to just use iron.
The original point of using brass was that it could expand and was softer than the steel the gun was made of so it wouldn't cause damage. Iron would be softer than steel, especially if he used regular iron instead of the 'heart' of iron. Before he could get into any of that though, he needed a mold to create the casings. Using his 'Transmutation' to create the casings would use a ton of mana and they wouldn't be clean enough and would still require work.
He opened his blueprint system and pulled up the measurements for the bullet casing. He used them to make a grid of molds that he could pour molten metal into. He'd made a grid that was four by five allowing him to produce twenty casings at a time. He wanted to make it bigger but wasn't sure if he could maintain a larger shape with what he intended to do. With the blueprint created he walked over to the forge and pulled out the swingarm to load it with a couple of ingots. It was more material than he needed right away but he wanted to make several batches of casings.
Once the ingots were inside the crucible he went to the bellows and started to pump them to get the ingots to melt. As they melted he cleaned off the slag and tossed it in the bin near the forge. Just because he was only using iron didn't mean he couldn't at least use good iron. Once the ingots had become nothing more than a bucket of molten metal he stepped in front of the forge and opened his blueprint system.
During the construction of his gun, he'd learned that focusing on a specific image instead of just using his imagination provided greater results. He had a theory that if he had the exact image of something he could recreate it with his magic rather easily. While looking at the blueprint for his bullet casing mold he started channeling his metal magic to form the mold out of steel. The mold quickly came into existence and matched his blueprint perfectly.
Thomas checked the drain on his mana and was happy when he calculated that it would last quite a while. More than enough time for him to make the casings. He used a hook to tilt the crucible and slowly pour the molten iron into the steel mold. He knocked it around a few times to help the thick iron to sink into the thin wall sections of the mold. He really wished he could do some injection molding... or even better had the proper machines to draw the iron out.
Thinking about that he wondered why he couldn't at least fake injection molding. He made sure the molds were filled before pulling out two more ingots and setting them on top of the mold. He used their weight to help push the molten metal deeper inside of the mold. It was far from perfect but it was better than nothing. He stepped back and let the mold cool for a while using his mana to maintain the mold. He was liking this more and more. Once the metal cooled enough he could just dismiss the mana and wouldn't have to fight to remove the casings from the mold.
Magic really did make life so much easier. He sat back and relaxed for a bit to let the iron cool until it was solid enough to remove from the mold. Once it was he used a pair of tongs to pick up the ingots he'd used for weight, they'd gotten a bit too hot to touch. After setting them aside he dismissed his magic. The casings were far from perfect and would still need a little work to cut them from the excess iron. The important part was that the walls of the casings were crisp and clean.
After letting the casings cool for a bit longer he used his metal magic to create a small jeweler's saw and used it to cut the casings free from the excess metal. Once he had he summoned another tool to clean and deburr the edges to make them smooth. He held up the first completely cleaned iron casing and laughed. It looked exactly like a bullet casing should! Well, except he still needed to drill a hole in the back where the primer would be.
To do that he simply summoned a hardened tool steel drill bit and caused it to spin. Using it he drilled holes into the bottom of the casings. Their holes would be covered with a paper-thin piece of iron that the hammer could pierce. He intended to enchant the hammer of the gun to produce a small ember that could be used to ignite the Firestone in the bullet casing.
Thomas selected one of the bullet casings and stored the rest inside of his inventory. While he was in there he pulled out one of his books on alchemy, the one that contained the most information on Firestone. He read through the passages that contained information on the strange mineral. Unfortunately, they were not very helpful with his current need. The alchemy book provided various uses of Firestone, some he thought sounded fun like explosive potions and even one that would allow him to breathe fire. There was simply no measurement for the power of Firestone. The only good thing he learned was that the power of finely ground Firestone seemed to be uniform.
This meant he would need to experiment with how much Firestone he should use for the bullets. If he used too much it would be very bad, if he used too little it would be useless. After he finished reading, he stored the book back in his inventory and pulled out his crate of Firestone. Though called a crate it wasn't that large, more like a box that was about thirty centimeters on each side. After opening the crate, Thomas could see the misshapen chunks of the Firestone inside. Each little orange chunk would provide a huge amount of power.
He picked the smallest one on top and retrieved Hekrin's mortar and pestle. He very carefully broke off a small piece and slowly ground it into a fine powder. Once it was done he picked up a small scrap of metal from when he cast the casings. With his 'Transmutation', he quickly flattened out a small piece until it was paper-thin. Spreading it so much had made the small piece of scrap rather large, which was perfect. He could carve out plenty of the pieces he needed.
Using the casing as a guide, Thomas summoned up his metal magic and created a steel punch that he could use. After retrieving a hammer off of the wall he used the punch on the thin sheet of iron. With just a couple blows from his hammer he started to punch out small metal circles. They stuck inside of the hollow punch and slowly stacked up. By the time he was done the thin sheet of iron was filled with more holes than swiss cheese. After he dismissed the summoned punch he was left with a neat stack of thin iron circles. He stored the excess and kept just one. He placed it inside of the casing and once again summoned his metal magic to create a ramrod to gently push the thin iron circle in place at the base of the bullet casing.
He checked his work and could see the thin sheet of iron pressed tight inside the casing. With that done he set it down and moved onto making the next part. He needed a bullet for the Firestone to actually propel. He pulled out a crate containing lead and another containing copper. Common bullets, the most basic ones, were lead coated in copper and he intended to replicate that.
After setting the ingots on his workbench he got to work, starting with the lead ingot. He opened his blueprint system once more and pulled up the blueprint for the slug of the bullet. With it in sight, he used 'Transmutation' to reshape a small piece of it into the slug. When it was fully formed there was only a thin strand connecting the slug to the rest of the ingot. With a quick twist, he easily snapped it off then used a file to smooth it out.
After it was finished he set it to down next to the copper ingot. This part was going to be tricky. Normally the best way to plate something with metal was through electroplating or an autocatalytic chemical process. Neither of which he currently had access too. Instead, he once again went with his favorite cheat. Transmutation! He started channeling his mana with the intent to coat the lead slug with a paper thin layer of copper and fuse them.
It took some effort but he eventually managed to completely cover the lead slug with a thin layer of copper. With a little filing, he had a copper coated round. Now he had all the parts he needed, he just had to assemble them together. Thomas took a deep breath and began the work. He carefully poured some of the Firestone powder into the bullet casing and very carefully tamped it down with a summoned ramrod so that it was somewhat packed.
He decided to err on the side of caution and only filled the cartridge one-quarter of the way full. He was rather certain that if he was to put as much in as he could that it would be very dangerous. Once the powder was packed he used another piece of paper-thin iron to hold it in place and act as wadding. There would be a fair amount of empty space and if the bullet got bounced around the Firestone powder may disperse through the casing and not be set off properly.
With the wadding in place, he placed the slug into the casing and adjusted it into proper position. Once there he used his metal magic to make a crimping tool and carefully squeezed it to seal the slug in place. With that last step, he had created his first complete bullet! He looked over the silver colored casing with the copper coated slug and grinned. It didn't look as iconic as a brass casing, but it would work wonderfully.
He set the finished bullet down and pulled out his still incomplete revolver. He still needed to find a material to make the handle from. That could wait though, the first thing he needed to do was enchant the hammer so it would emit a small flame when the trigger was pulled. Thomas carried the revolver over to the enchanting section of the U.L.T.R.A. dedicated to enchanting and got all the tools he would need out. He used one of the goblin mana crystals he'd saved along with the proper oil to make the mixture used for enchanting.
He cocked the hammer of the rifle before picking up the engraving tool and hammer. He closed his eyes to picture what he wanted. He imagined a very small flame at the very tip of the firing pin on the hammer. Hardly more than an ember. Once he had the image firmly in mind he opened his eyes and began to carve a small, simplified, image of a flame on the hammer. He made sure to activate his 'All Seeing Eyes' to keep a close watch on his work. It only took him a few minutes to finish the enchantment.
When he was finished there was no sign of a system notice which was rather interesting. Thomas was coming to believe that the system didn't consider an item finished until he considered it finished. Only then would it reward experience based on his completed work. He liked that. With the enchantment carved, he lifted the gun and began to channel his mana into it. Very little of his mana was used as a tiny flame sparked to life on the sharp tip of the firing pin. He smiled at the sight of the little flame. It would ignite the Firestone causing it to burn or explode and propel the slug through the revolver.
He returned to the workbench with his bullet sitting on it. It was all ready. The gun worked and the bullet maybe worked. Thomas took a deep breath and picked the bullet up. He opened the cylinder door and slid the bullet into one of the chambers. It was a little snug but the bullet still fit into the cylinder without any major issues. He closed the cylinder door and rotated the cylinder around until the chamber containing the bullet would be the next shot if the hammer was cocked.
The revolver was still incomplete and would need a fair amount of work on the handle to be usable with ease, but right now it could be test-fired! Thomas stored the loaded Peace Maker inside of his inventory while making his way into Hekrin's shop. He needed a safe place to test-fire it and wanted Hekrin to witness the first shot.