May 16th, 2012

Holy Smoke LLC Loads Ashes for Final Send-Offs

Here’s an oddball item cited on The Firearm Blog. There’s a new service that loads a decedent’s ashes into shootable ammunition. This story will shock some readers, amuse others, and have some saying, “Well why not?” Thanks to Holy Smoke LLC, when a person passes away, and is cremated, his ashes can now be loaded up into commemorative ammo, and fired off in tribute… or used on one “final hunt”.

Choose Shotshells, Rifle Rounds, or Pistol Cartridges for Your Decedent
We kid you not… Holy Smoke LLC is offering a service by which a loved one’s ashes can be placed in shotshells, rifle cartridges, or pistol cases. Holy Smoke says: “One pound of ash is enough to produce 250 shotshells (one case).” If the decedent is not a shotgunner, you can also chose either 100 rifle cartridges or 100 pistol cartridges. We’re told that “Wildcat cartridges” are no problem (for a slight extra fee). So, if you want to make your “final flight” propelled by a Dasher or 300 Boo-Boo, that’s possible.

Could “one final trip downrange” be the perfect send-off for the avid rifleman, shotgunner or hunter? Perhaps. This option could appeal to some folks. And if you really don’t feel too good about blasting old grand-dad’s ashes into the air, Holy Smoke LLC also offer “mantle-worthy wooden carriers with engraved name plates”.

Having attend some ceremonies where ashes were distributed at sea, or cast to the winds, I think a “final salute” with shotshells could be handled with dignity. But 250 shotshells or 100 rifle cartridges is a lot to shoot on one occasion. Maybe the better idea would be to have all the ashes fired off in a cannon in one big bang. Now that would be impressive! As for you 3-gunners, Holy Smoke doesn’t list a “mix and match” option with shotgun, rifle, and pistol rounds, but that might be a future option. Heck, you could even have a memorial 3-gun match — with ammo supplied.

How did Holy Smoke LLC get started? Well the company’s founders are both game wardens who love shooting and hunting. One day the subject of burials came up:

“We were discussing the passing of one of our relatives and the topic of conversation turned to our own demise and whether we preferred burial or cremation. I told my friend that I had some cost, waste of space and ecological issues with burials and that I thought I wanted to be cremated and in some fashion, have my ashes tossed into a river or spread through the woods.

My friend smiled and said ‘You know I’ve thought about this for some time and I want to be cremated. Then I want my ashes put into some turkey load shotgun shells and have someone that knows how to turkey hunt use the shotgun shells with my ashes to shoot a turkey. That way I will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second‘.”

What does it cost? The price for either 250 shotshells or 100 cartridges (rifle or pistol) is $850.00 (this does not include cremation costs). Could you load a decedent’s ashes yourself for less? Yes, of course, but there may be legal issues involved with the disposition of cremated remains. Even the $850.00 price is a fraction of what typical funeral burial services cost. If you’re interested in Holy Smoke’s unique services, visit or call (251) 232-4414 or (251) 213-1211.

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