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Thread: My homemade black powder

  1. #61
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by camerl2009 View Post
    you cant put all 3 ingrediens in the ball mill thats a pipe bomb waiting to happen and i think that too much water in the pot there you want to use just enough to cover the saltpeter. then let it dissolve then add the charcool and sulfur mix to a paste like clay
    Sure you can, where's the source of ignition? Sealed rubber drum, and lead balls.

  2. #62
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    Making the charcoal itself is a neat process. That really makes me feel like i am in the old days. I have an old metal popcorn tin (like the christmas ones you get) that I use for making mine. The quality of the product came out really good with my very first batch too. It was fun to watch the gasses start to escape from the top vent hole and then ignite (I did mine in the firepit outside). Once the charcoal is done, dont open the tin till its cool or the product will ignite and your proceeds will go up in smoke. It was a strange conversation when I went over and asked the neighbor if I could cut some branches from his willow tree. When he said 'sure' he also asked what for. I dont think he believed me when I responded, "I'm making gunpowder".
    Good Luck Charlie, Let us know how it goes.
    Mike

  3. #63
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    I read this thread with interest, as when young, I made rockets and other pyrotechnic things. From reading this thread, I am led to perceive that making gunpowder was a home craft, or a cottage industry and our forefathers all made their own powder. I just don't recall ever reading that this was the case, as British powder was preferred, though the British restricted the quantities. DuPont build in 1804. Can anyone suggest reading material to support the home crafting of blackpowder? Extracting lye from wood ashes and making soap with animal fats was common on the prairie in pioneer days, but I just don't recall the same pioneering spirit with regard to black powder.

  4. #64
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    Probably not a cottage craft like soapmaking but it was something that more folks knew how to do. My guess is that it is a question of resources and volume, just like any other comodity. Most people didnt 'make' everything they used but the chain of middlemen was much shorter. If I can dig up an article covering black powder history I will. I think it would make a really cool "Modern Marvels" episode (gunpowder in general that is).

  5. #65
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    sent PM, Adam73,.....John

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by zxcvbob View Post
    Sure you can, where's the source of ignition? Sealed rubber drum, and lead balls.
    heat and friction

  7. #67
    Boolit Man fatboy's Avatar
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    Atom,
    thanks for the post and the time spent to show us all. i have been preparing to make Black powder this winter also. Your post has helped shorten the R&D phase. I have found an easy source for salt peter(KNO3) at lowes. it is the spectricide stump remover, MSDS Sheet, and Spectricide web site list it as 100% KNO3 about 7.00 a pound. Thanks Again
    Chip
    Giving money and power to Government, is like giving Whiskey and Car Keys to teenage boys!!!!

    REMEMBER,,, Boys and Girls,,, An EMPTY gun is just an ugly club!!!!

  8. #68
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    I didn't get to cut the willow today- spent all afternoon in the dang unemployment office, and I mean ALL afternoon. I will tomorrow though- even if it is snowing again!

    I've made char cloth in smaller retorts like I described for flint and steel fire starting kits before, so I know how that process works.

    No, I don't think it was "cottage craft" "back in the day".
    Even the mountain men bought their stock at rendezvous- they took the easy way out like we do today. I think our difference is that we have refined materials easily available to us NOW. They would have had to laboriously refine everything from the source, and their source weren't usually found in large quantities, except maybe for bat guano in the larger caves. Getting all components together in any quanity would have been a logistical nightmare for them.

    Shoot, miners may have been the most likely to try to make BP, and may have tried to make there own nitro gylcerine at one time, I'm sure. THAT would definitely be a "Kids, do not try this at home. These people are professionals." project, IMHO. But probably has been done more recently somewhere, followed by a "Hey, ya'll! Watch this........."
    USMC 1980-1985

  9. #69
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    I thought "Stump Remover" was mostly Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)- better check before you buy a different product. I'm gonna look next time I get the chance.
    USMC 1980-1985

  10. #70
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    Knowledge is power.

  11. #71
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    AND, powder is POWER!
    USMC 1980-1985

  12. #72
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    Charlie, if you search around on that earlier link to saltpeter you will find a kid that posted a video on refining KNO3. He mentions the stump remover and says that the Green Life and Spectracide are the 2 purist brands for it. Figures a 12 year old kid would know the best place to find this stuff.
    We use to get it at the drug store but you had to wait for the little ole lady to be working the register. The druggist wouldn't sell it to mischievous looking young men.

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  13. #73
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    Most of the fireworks making outfits still sell all the stuff you need in pure form if you are really wanting to try it.

    pyrochemsupply.com
    Firefox-fx.com
    Skylighter.com
    Cast Bullet info
    http://www.castpics.net/

    Reloading Data Project - (in retirement)
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  14. #74
    Boolit Master Skipper's Avatar
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    Or, you could get 5 lbs of it for 7.50 here:


    http://www.seattlepotterysupply.com/...Category_Code=

  15. #75
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    I used to find it on the drug store shelves when I was a kid. Our druggist would sell it- in fact, I think he encouraged it! I guess he was just glad to see kids wanting to learn something, rather than be a hippy!
    USMC 1980-1985

  16. #76
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    I bought a bunch of 2 oz cellophane packages of potassium nitrate at local Asian market. (not sure if it's for curing sausage or what) I haven't opened one up and tasted it, but it looks about like the stuff I bought at the drug store as a kid. Much higher grade than nitrate stump remover.

  17. #77
    Boolit Man nascarkent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Sometimes View Post
    I thought "Stump Remover" was mostly Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)- better check before you buy a different product. I'm gonna look next time I get the chance.
    Thats drain cleaner Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

  18. #78
    Boolit Master EOD3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz330 View Post
    Charlie, if you search around on that earlier link to saltpeter you will find a kid that posted a video on refining KNO3. He mentions the stump remover and says that the Green Life and Spectracide are the 2 purist brands for it. Figures a 12 year old kid would know the best place to find this stuff.
    We use to get it at the drug store but you had to wait for the little ole lady to be working the register. The druggist wouldn't sell it to mischievous looking young men.

    Bob
    And a child shall lead them, or words to that affect...

  19. #79
    Boolit Master EOD3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nascarkent View Post
    Thats drain cleaner Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

    Do NOT get powder manufacture and soap making mixed up, you'll rot your rifle and blow your butt off.

  20. #80
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    Yea, I know what it is, and what it is used for.

    The reason I said that about the Lye is because my neighbor had some not long ago that he was using, and I remember reading on the side of the plastic bottle that it had Sodium Hydroxide in it, and some other stuff, which I can't remember.

    Just double check the contents of any product you get, is all I advise.

    EOD3- THAT is funny, I don't care who you are!!!!!!!
    USMC 1980-1985

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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