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Thread: My homemade black powder

  1. #1961
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    Thanks for the tip about using a binder. I'm starting to lean to compressing the powder into a puck just to increase the density of the final product. This first batch is just an experiment to see if I'm getting it correct so far and planning my next steps.

  2. #1962
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie2002 View Post
    Thanks for the tip about using a binder. I'm starting to lean to compressing the powder into a puck just to increase the density of the final product. This first batch is just an experiment to see if I'm getting it correct so far and planning my next steps.
    I tell you what, compressing into pucks makes all the difference in the world. In my experience, screened powder will flash off faster than the pucks, but the difference is in the firearm. And that's where it counts.
    I am the one your mom warned you about!

  3. #1963
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    Hears a dumb question, I compressed my first batch in a puck maker made out of three 1/2 inch thick aluminum spacers which I bolted together that have abut a 2 inch hole through the middle of them. I got decent compression with a 5 ton bottle jack by wrapping everything with a piece of chain but I couldn't get the puck out without busting it up with a screw driver. Should I of lined the wall with paper or something? I took the pieces of the damp puck and screened them just to see what happens with compressed screened BP. I also started a second 1/4 lb batch in the tumbler for more hands on experience.
    I know I'm repeating a lot of mistakes that already have been made and posted but the journey is half of the fun of getting there.
    For dextrin all I need to do is cook some corn starch till it turns yellow, correct?
    Thanks for all the help.
    Just did a search and found that dextrin is an over the counter laxative.
    Last edited by Eddie2002; 02-09-2018 at 11:47 PM.

  4. #1964
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    I was quite happy with my screened powder in the muzzlelloaders - so long as you load it by WEIGHT - have given some to mates in the club and they give good report too - I rammed the powder before I loaded ball (dont usually do that with bought powder ) had this old rhyme tickin around in my head for a lot of years - dunno where it came from ... "If ya wanna kill em dead - ram the powder not the lead"

    *The die body is 3 inch diameter high pressure pvc pipe - the heavy wall stuff - its open both ends - If I lean on the jack properly you can see this stuff bulge - its only just good enough

    * I made a set of plastic dividers so I can load it with a series of thin pucks

    There was a video posted a while back of a puck breaker machine - If I can find the material to make one - I will do that - breaking up pucks is the bottle neck in my system at present

    We actually tested screened vs compressed powder and found that the compressed powder shot consistently 3-5% faster than the screened. I am sure there is a formula out there that would explain it but that kind of thinking makes my head hurt. And the percentage is not that much, but I use the results to justify my process. Plus the compressed seems to make a deeper boom when it lights off.

    I too made a die with 3" ABS and after destroying several I found a piece of iron pipe that nested over the ABS and have had no problems after that. I also cut out several spacers from a thin nylon cutting board to keep my pucks about 1/4" in both my die and the one I got from Fly. Like you my biggest stumbling block is breaking them up. I started wrapping up the pucks and throwing them in a wooden box for awhile then got the bright idea of wrapping them in 2-3 layers of paper. Then when I take them out I just pound on them while wrapped with a baseball bat or if my wife is out of the house I use a meat tenderizer that has a bunch of sharp points on it.

    If you come up with a working puck breaking machine, be sure to post about it, that sounds very neat.
    I am the one your mom warned you about!

  5. #1965
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    Just finished the second 1/4 lb batch and combined the two together for a total of 1/2 lb of compressed then screened when damp powder. Don't know if it will make any difference but the powder granules are harder than the just screened powder and seem to be more consistent in size, maybe a 3F with less dust. I've enough powder made now to take out to the range and try load testing. Since I'm using front stuffers for my BP I'm not exceptionally worried about getting to full commercial density right now. I just want to see if it works.

  6. #1966
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    I was able to get some weights on my powder today. I used a 100 grains volume measure and took the weight of charge in grams. Goex 2f and 3f both weighed in at 6.15 grams.
    My screened mix which had not been compressed while damp weighed 3.85 grams for a 100 grains measured volume. Around 62% of commercial powder density.
    My powder that had been compressed into a puck with a bottle jack and then screened while damp weighed 4.65 grams for a 100 grain measure volume. Around 75% of commercial powder density.
    Both of my powders were weighed as they were screened and included finer dust as well as a mixture of 2F and 3F granules. The charges were poured into the volume measure and not compressed or packed. I dried the powder under a lamp for 4-5 hours stirring it every hour or so.
    Tried some of the compressed screened powder in a flintlock with no charge. It lit up nicely but left a lot of residue in the flash pan. The residue was probably caused by the cedar charcoal and using 90% sulfur along with not grinding the charcoal all the way down to air float.
    Going to hold off from making any more till I get to shoot this batch and compare it to Goex.
    Thanks for all the the help in getting this far.

  7. #1967
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    Here is a picture of my cobbled together press and my first 1/4 pound of powder.Click image for larger version. 

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    Still need to test the powder. I just picked up some dried Willow branches about one or two inches in diameter which should be perfect for the next batch.

  8. #1968
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie2002 View Post
    Here is a picture of my cobbled together press and my first 1/4 pound of powder.Click image for larger version. 

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    Still need to test the powder. I just picked up some dried Willow branches about one or two inches in diameter which should be perfect for the next batch.
    You might want to stick with the 1" if you have plenty of them, just easier to do the smaller stuff.

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  9. #1969
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    Does anyone know the diameter of the hydraulic plunger for the harbor freight 12 ton press?

  10. #1970
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    Which one, the pnumatic actuated one, or the hand crank?

  11. #1971
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    The hand crank. By the way, 1" gas pipe fits perfectly in the handle slot. It is way easier to crank.

  12. #1972
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    I know somewhere in this multi-year thread I've seen the answer, but sometimes my head hurts trying to keep all this contained. I need to ask a question that is so simple, I'm sure that I'm in the forest and just can't see the trees.....

    If you are currently shooting 80 gn. of commercial powder and want to find the equivalent load of your homemade:

    Set the BP measure to dispense 80 gn. of commercial powder. (this is actually a volume measure)
    Weigh that 80 gn. to find the actual weight.

    Then weigh out the same weight of homemade corned powder.
    Pour this into the BP measure and read the actual volume of the homemade powder.

    Now keep the BP measure for that volume of homemade powder, and you have the equivalent load of homemade to commercial 80 gn.

    Is my understanding correct, please?
    Last edited by pwc; 03-06-2018 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Correct spelling

  13. #1973
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    That is exactly the way I do it.

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  14. #1974
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
    Which one, the pnumatic actuated one, or the hand crank?
    WR I have a pneumatic but I very rarely use the air feature. I use the pump with it more. I almost
    never turn on my compressor unless I need it for something else. That's just me. I,m with Bob on the
    other question. In fact I have some ole brass I have that I use as powder measures.

    Fly

  15. #1975
    Today I made up some lead-filled copper pipe pieces. Do you think I need more? I'm going to use the Harbor Freight tumbler.



    Steve

  16. #1976
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    I really like the way you rolled the ends of the copper tube. Did you just beat them over with a hammer?

    Fly

  17. #1977
    Thanks! No, I used a "dapping block" from Harbor Freight that I had for other purposes:

    https://www.harborfreight.com/25-pie...set-93539.html

    I set the pipe/lead into one of the appropriately-sized spherical pockets, and then gave it a whack with the hammer.

    Steve

  18. #1978
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    Wow that's a new one for me. What are they used for. I can see they work great & would also be good for flaring tube. Is
    that there main use?

    Fly

  19. #1979
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    This is the way to do it. I started using the same type of grinding media last year and it grinds quickly and much finer than balls. Produces exceptional green meal.

  20. #1980
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    You can make a superb "black powder" with sugar/KNO3. It forms into pellets of uniform shape and mass very easily. IMR makes them for use in BP rifles as a substitute similar to Pyrodex, and calls them "White Hots". Supposedly they produce greater velocities than are possible with regular BP. I think I have seen them at Cabelas. They have a very different smell after firing as I think there is no sulfur in the formulation.

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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