I’ve always been curious about rock salt loads. They’re a staple of movies and TV, with cantankerous old folks peppering rowdy teenagers and the like. Children of the eighties will recall Tanya Roberts, in A View to a Kill, providing Roger Moore’s James Bond with a shotgun that he uses to shoot a bad guy to no effect. (MOORE. “What’s this loaded with?” ROBERTS. “Rock salt.” MOORE. “Now you tell me!”) But when it comes to guns, I am, like Robert Ruark’s Old Man, a damned old maid, and the idea of home-brewed “less than lethal” ammo makes me a little queasy. It seems to me to make the idea of pointing a gun at somebody else into a casual affair, which it isn’t and shouldn’t ever be. Plus, accidents happen, and shells can get mixed up, and… yeah. But it’s a great idea for ghost-fighting.
You can always count on TBOT’s Old_Painless for an interesting range report, and I recommend his post to fanfic writers looking for a little color to throw into SPN stories. He explains how to make rock salt loads, what effect they have, and how to clean the gun after use. (Salt can corrode the weapon. You don’t want that.)
You’ll note that Old_Painless says that after the shooting was done, he and his friend Tman “broke out the Tampax.” Tampax? Yes. As Old_Painless reminds us, feminine products are terrific for cleaning 12-gauge shotguns.
(That’d be a cute bit to throw into an SPN fic, actually. You could go a couple of ways with it: Dean buying tampons in bulk, and Sam squirming with embarrassment at the counter as the cute shopgirl rings Dean up, or looks at him in extreme punishment. Or the guys have an enforced stay at the Roadhouse, and Dean is made extremely uncomfortable by feminine products, until Ellen shows him how useful they are for cleaning shotguns.)