Microshaving or Rock Capping is a technique used for splitting rock by discharging one of more .22 caliber nail gun cartridges (or blanks) within a drilled hole. It is a useful method for splitting boulders into a manageable size, and may also be used, albeit less effectively, to trim bedrock.
I learned about the technique from attending a briefing on the capabilities of a local cave rescue organization. They use this to enlarge passages in order to remove hurt spelunkers, but microshaving is called rock capping in the united kingdom and is used their to widen passages while cave exploring.
This is an inherently dangerous activity as detonating blank cartridges inside a rock is unpredictable, and I do not recommend anyone actually use this technique. However, in the event of some unforeseen future cataclysm, a thoughtful prepper may find a use for this that outweighs the danger to life or limb. (more…)