Titan ReloadingWidenersRepackboxRotoMetals2
Graf & SonsMidSouth Shooters SupplyLee PrecisionInline Fabrication

Thread: My homemade black powder

  1. #2381
    Boolit Buddy

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Southeast Louisiana
    Posts
    444
    Well after 2 weeks (off and on) I was able to dl this thread to present (this page). Very valuable info which I'll probably read over and over. Like for one, have to go back and find out about all this "pressing" BP into "pucks" is all about and research all the prime trees to make charcoal out of! I killed 2 birds with one stone by running across the "Paulownia" or "Royal Empress" tree here. Been trying to find a very fast growing shade tree to put in front of house!
    Pain is just weakness leaving the body...
    It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not (ask DJT).

  2. #2382
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Yeah looks like none of us read the can ........"Pinnacle" ..... replica black powder .........................................
    It really doesn't matter if it was black powder, or modern substitute. There will be no explosion if there is no pressure vessel.

    I could pile up 50 pounds of the best black powder, in the open with no pressure vessel, and light it off, and there wouldn't be an explosion. There would be a big fire, lots of smoke, but no explosion. And certainly no crater.
    Last edited by Markham; 02-09-2019 at 11:52 PM.

  3. #2383
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    962
    Quote Originally Posted by Markham View Post
    It really doesn't matter if it was black powder, or modern substitute. There will be no explosion if there is no pressure vessel.

    I could pile up 50 pounds of the best black powder, in the open with no pressure vessel, and light it off, and there wouldn't be an explosion. There would be a big fire, lots of smoke, but no explosion.
    I agree 100 percent - been there - done this experiment - which is why I issued the challenge to Hotfxr - however get enough of this stuff in a pile and it does go kaboom - big time - BP plants blew up with monotonous regularity in the olde days - in those circumstances the buildings became the pressure vessel and the quantity of powder involved was likely tonnes - and everything was coated in a fine layer of powder dust - flash ignition of loose dust and or small quantities of spilled powder on benches etc needs to be seen to be believed.

    The guy in the video was dumb - his fuse was way too short in that demo - if he had got ignition from a stray spark when he lit that he woulda lost eyebrows, half his hair and maybe an eye

  4. #2384
    Boolit Buddy

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Southeast Louisiana
    Posts
    444
    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    I agree 100 percent - been there - done this experiment - which is why I issued the challenge to Hotfxr - however get enough of this stuff in a pile and it does go kaboom - big time - BP plants blew up with monotonous regularity in the olde days - in those circumstances the buildings became the pressure vessel and the quantity of powder involved was likely tonnes - and everything was coated in a fine layer of powder dust - flash ignition of loose dust and or small quantities of spilled powder on benches etc needs to be seen to be believed.

    The guy in the video was dumb - his fuse was way too short in that demo - if he had got ignition from a stray spark when he lit that he woulda lost eyebrows, half his hair and maybe an eye
    If the powder in the video would have been ignited from the "bottom" it would have different results. Like you said about the factories, the "weight" of BP alone can cause all the pressure it needs to make a bigger BOOM! I wonder if the variation in pressure can meter the results? Probably not.
    Pain is just weakness leaving the body...
    It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not (ask DJT).

  5. #2385
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,071
    Paulownia" or "Royal Empress charcoal is one of the best. I have made much of it. Problem is it is very hard to find in most areas. It is a Chinese
    tree & very invasive. I have one growing in my front yard. A fireworks friend of mind in Kentucky was selling charcoal made of it because he had
    plenty growing around him. (long story). Any way it is not worth your time trying to sell it. He quit.

    Fly

  6. #2386
    Boolit Buddy

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Southeast Louisiana
    Posts
    444
    Quote Originally Posted by Fly View Post
    Paulownia" or "Royal Empress charcoal is one of the best. I have made much of it. Problem is it is very hard to find in most areas. It is a Chinese
    tree & very invasive. I have one growing in my front yard. A fireworks friend of mind in Kentucky was selling charcoal made of it because he had
    plenty growing around him. (long story). Any way it is not worth your time trying to sell it. He quit.

    Fly
    So a “Chinese Tallow” AKA “popcorn tree” wouldn’t be a close cousin would it?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Pain is just weakness leaving the body...
    It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not (ask DJT).

  7. #2387
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Cal
    Posts
    101
    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    I agree 100 percent - been there - done this experiment - which is why I issued the challenge to Hotfxr - however get enough of this stuff in a pile and it does go kaboom - big time - BP plants blew up with monotonous regularity in the olde days - in those circumstances the buildings became the pressure vessel and the quantity of powder involved was likely tonnes - and everything was coated in a fine layer of powder dust - flash ignition of loose dust and or small quantities of spilled powder on benches etc needs to be seen to be believed.

    The guy in the video was dumb - his fuse was way too short in that demo - if he had got ignition from a stray spark when he lit that he woulda lost eyebrows, half his hair and maybe an eye
    The next time I am able to freely and without fear of arrest light of some powder, I will video the tests. I love to do this. However, in the last two years it seems that half of our state burned down. 2017 our county had over 6000 homes burned and this year the fires in the north basically destroyed the entire city of Paradise. Almost every place I used to be able to hunt, shoot, and make loud noises now looks like the surface of the moon, if the moon was covered with burned stuff and ash. As a result folks are a wee bit sensitive when they hear explosions and see smoke. So it might take a while, and by a while I mean months. Since this will be just another repeat of things that we have already done, I have to say that lighting a pound of powder just poured into a pile is a beautiful thing. From a safe distance there is a blindingly bright light followed by a muffled "whoomp" sound and an incredible perfect mushroom cloud going up and out. In a jar like the one i the video, light, very deep loud crack sound followed by a narrower mushroom cloud with smoke rings and plastic shrapnel. I will say that we have always lit anything we put a fuse into from the bottom. The weight of the powder and the sides of the jar including the restricted neck make for more pressure than you would think. Not nearly what it would be if there was a lid on the jar.
    So when I can I will take videos of our "experiments" , but be patient. And Joe, with what I paid for my materials, it costs me about $2.25 a pound to make. (I have to keep the cost down since it takes 3 ounces per shot in my cannon.) When I can I am more than happy to burn it up. As long as I get lots of noise and smoke.
    I am the one your mom warned you about!

  8. #2388
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    962
    Quote Originally Posted by Hotfxr View Post
    The next time I am able to freely and without fear of arrest light of some powder, I will video the tests. I love to do this. However, in the last two years it seems that half of our state burned down. 2017 our county had over 6000 homes burned and this year the fires in the north basically destroyed the entire city of Paradise. Almost every place I used to be able to hunt, shoot, and make loud noises now looks like the surface of the moon, if the moon was covered with burned stuff and ash. As a result folks are a wee bit sensitive when they hear explosions and see smoke. So it might take a while, and by a while I mean months. Since this will be just another repeat of things that we have already done, I have to say that lighting a pound of powder just poured into a pile is a beautiful thing. From a safe distance there is a blindingly bright light followed by a muffled "whoomp" sound and an incredible perfect mushroom cloud going up and out. In a jar like the one i the video, light, very deep loud crack sound followed by a narrower mushroom cloud with smoke rings and plastic shrapnel. I will say that we have always lit anything we put a fuse into from the bottom. The weight of the powder and the sides of the jar including the restricted neck make for more pressure than you would think. Not nearly what it would be if there was a lid on the jar.
    So when I can I will take videos of our "experiments" , but be patient. And Joe, with what I paid for my materials, it costs me about $2.25 a pound to make. (I have to keep the cost down since it takes 3 ounces per shot in my cannon.) When I can I am more than happy to burn it up. As long as I get lots of noise and smoke.
    This will be fun and when ya do it I want explicit details on your container and how you set it up cuz I can get some of that $2.25 powder too - do ya reckon it would work with meal powder straight out of the mill (that would save a lot of work!!!) That would be fun!!!!!
    So you drill the bottom of your container and run the fieuse in there?

  9. #2389
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Cal
    Posts
    101
    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    This will be fun and when ya do it I want explicit details on your container and how you set it up cuz I can get some of that $2.25 powder too - do ya reckon it would work with meal powder straight out of the mill (that would save a lot of work!!!) That would be fun!!!!!
    So you drill the bottom of your container and run the fieuse in there?
    Yes to the fuses on the bottom. I have been having computer issues lately and have not been able to post pictures here. We always drill or burn a hole at the bottom and usually glue a fuse in. I made up a couple of 6" tall cans from 1 1/2" ABS with fuse holes in the bottom. When the kids come over I set them up with 1/4" of 2f or cannon grind powder in the bottom, cover with a tissue, then fill it to the top with powdered non-dairy creamer and light the fuse. Makes a satisfying "boom" and a huge ball of flame. Too much fun.
    I am the one your mom warned you about!

  10. #2390
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    57
    Corning questions:

    I read several places in this thread where people were taking their pucks breaking them up and using a ceramic coffee grinder to produce their powder.

    1) It was my understanding that ceramic can spark. At least I read on one of the pyro websites NOT to use ceramic grinding media in your ball mill, because it can spark. Is this somehow okay when it comes to ceramic coffee grinders?
    2) What grade of powder can you get from a ceramic coffee grinder? Is it relatively consistent?

    Next question; Regarding the hydraulic presses people are using. I understand some here have just made their own, but I just want to buy one ready made, and I'd like the smallest effective press available. I just don't do enough work were I need a large press, and I value the real estate in my garage. Fly said this one is fine, https://www.harborfreight.com/6-ton-...ress-1666.html....but man, the reviews are mixed on it. Some are horrible. Is there another off the shelf option that people are successfully using?

    Thanks.

  11. #2391
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    772
    The grinder I use is adjustable. I adjusted till I got what I wanted. It now gives me mostly 3F. Too large gets reground and too fine gets repressed. I got lucky and it did not take a long time of trail and error adjusting the grind. I have not messed with it since. It is also a ceramic one.

    As to the HF press. It is what I use and it is working well. I am happy with it.

    swamp
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  12. #2392
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    962
    Quote Originally Posted by Markham View Post
    Corning questions:

    I read several places in this thread where people were taking their pucks breaking them up and using a ceramic coffee grinder to produce their powder.

    1) It was my understanding that ceramic can spark. At least I read on one of the pyro websites NOT to use ceramic grinding media in your ball mill, because it can spark. Is this somehow okay when it comes to ceramic coffee grinders?

    a couple of things come to mind here
    a) in the mill the media tumbles against each other - hit two rocks together can make a spark - ceramic is not rocks but its a possibility??????
    b) in the grinder the ceramic parts are mechanically separated - 1/8th inch or whatever gap for the powder to pass through - there is no contact of ceramic to ceramic.


    2) What grade of powder can you get from a ceramic coffee grinder? Is it relatively consistent?

    You will get a range of grades from cannon chunks to fines that go back for reprocessing - its just a matter of adjusting your technique so you get the most amount of the grade you want and the least amount of what you dont want - well thats been my experience with any method tried so far.

    If you going to shoot it in cartridge guns (or even for best accuracy in muzzle loaders) be diligent with your screening (grading) process after you break it up - for consistent accuracy you need even and consistent kernel size in the powder - even if that means you have to switch grades at some point is way better than using mixed grade powder

    Next question; Regarding the hydraulic presses people are using. I understand some here have just made their own, but I just want to buy one ready made, and I'd like the smallest effective press available. I just don't do enough work were I need a large press, and I value the real estate in my garage. Fly said this one is fine,

    Fly says its fine - it likely is - if you are using his puck dies -- that press looks a really good buy for the price -- looks a little flimsy to me - I would proly weld the frame up after I got it assembled - but I am a belt and braces kind of dude anyway. If you go to a bigger diameter die than Fly makes you would need a stronger press to exert the same force (thats just physics working)

    https://www.harborfreight.com/6-ton-...ress-1666.html....but man, the reviews are mixed on it. Some are horrible. Is there another off the shelf option that people are successfully using?

    Thanks.
    ........

  13. #2393
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    57
    Thanks, yeah, I get the impression that Fly knows his stuff. I was just about to order it and read through reviews, that had a bunch of catastrophic failures, rams twisting, frames bending, sometime breaking apart violently. ...so I second guessed the purchase since I basically have to get it delivered and really don't have an opportunity to inspect it. My next thought was just to buy the 20 ton which has better reviews. But the thought of putting another space stealing piece of equipment in my garage, that I'll rarely use, doesn't appeal to me. So the somewhat smaller and lighter press appeals to me.

    I want to come up with an efficient way to make FFg and FFFg. I guess I'll just buy the coffee grinder that's been recommended here, and play around with it. I'm going to start my next batch this weekend, and this time I'm going to make some Mimosa charcoal. I still have quite a bit of willow charcoal, but I want to see if the fast growing, asian "weed tree" makes good powder. We have tons of these invasive trees in my AO, they grow crazy fast, and have a thin bark that is easy to strip away. I found one reference that one particular tree in the Mimosa family makes good powder, but nothing about the species of pink Mimosa trees with have in the southeast.

    Again, thanks for the advice.

  14. #2394
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    57
    Can anyone recommend a good cheap gun powder scale. Preferably available on Amazon Prime. I need to do a better job of measuring my powder loads than volumetrically, at least until I get better at producing a consistent grain and dial in what's what.

  15. #2395
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    772
    I use a digital that has a 5 lb. limit It measures in lb. or oz. Got it at a yard sale. I think any scale that has decent accuracy will work. I decided to make 1 pound batches. Figured the % of ingredients in ounces and weigh out.
    swamp
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  16. #2396
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    57

    pressing pucks

    Quote Originally Posted by swamp View Post
    The grinder I use is adjustable. I adjusted till I got what I wanted. It now gives me mostly 3F. Too large gets reground and too fine gets repressed. I got lucky and it did not take a long time of trail and error adjusting the grind. I have not messed with it since. It is also a ceramic one.

    As to the HF press. It is what I use and it is working well. I am happy with it.

    swamp
    Swamp, when you press your pucks, how do you do it? Do just go to maximum pressure, and then let it off, or as other's have said in this thread do you leave it under pressure for a certain period of time. I've read this whole thread, but I didn't take notes, and now I can't remember who did what.

  17. #2397
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by swamp View Post
    I use a digital that has a 5 lb. limit It measures in lb. or oz. Got it at a yard sale. I think any scale that has decent accuracy will work. I decided to make 1 pound batches. Figured the % of ingredients in ounces and weigh out.
    swamp
    Ah, yeah, I have that kind of scale. I wasn't clear, I need a gunpowder scale that measures in grains. I don't own one.

    Before getting into black powder this past December, I only shot modern firearms, and I've never gotten into reloading, so I need something that will accurately measure my loads by weight. All I have right now is volume measurement cylinder, which without knowing how consistent my powder grade is, can lead to all kinds of loads.

    I'm almost embarrassed to say, I've never bought commercial black powder, for one thing no one near me carries real black powder, so I started making it straight away making it myself. I've shot almost 4 lbs now through my Walkers since mid december. Having your own range is nice, but it makes it easy to go through quite a lot of ammunition.

  18. #2398
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    772
    I use one of Flys puck dies. I press one at a time and it comes out about 1/4 to 3/8 thick. Haven't tried to do any with spacers between pucks. I moisten the meal just enough to get the powder to just hold together. Use a fine pump mister.

    I usually leave it under pressure for 10-15 minutes. pump it up 1 or twice to keep the pressure up. Once dry they ring pretty good. I have been reading this thread since it started. Loads of excellent information here and people willing to share it. So far I am happy with my results and surprised how well homemade powder works. Follow the rules and take care to prepare your ingredients and mix well. Practice will make it easier.
    swamp
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  19. #2399
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    772
    Sorry, I didn't understand. A beam scale or digital one made for reloading. I have an Ohaus beam and a Pact digital. Other brands are out there. Definitely need one for reloading smokeless. Black is usually measured by volume.

    swamp
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  20. #2400
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    604
    I've been using an older beam gram scale for the BP components and also for reloading smokeless. It's calibrated down to one hundredth of a gram but only goes up to 311 grams which works well for my 1/4 lb batches.

    A freshly minted nickle coin weight five grams and can be used for a quick calibration check on a scale if needed.

Page 120 of 127 FirstFirst ... 2070110111112113114115116117118119120121122123124125126127 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check