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Thread: Just how touchy is BP?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just how touchy is BP?

    When I started telling friends that I was interested in shooting BP they all said “be careful that’s dangerous stuff”. It will go off with the slightest knock or static electricity.

    Well I did find a video, where someone tried to set off BP with a static charge and they worked their way up to putting a pile between the two electrodes of a taser and it wouldn’t go off. I guess that means static electricity isn’t a great deal. Right?

    I haven’t seen this tested, but someone told me if you hit a few grains with a hammer it will go off is that true?

    What else have others heard that isn’t so. What should one be aware of other than the normal precautions with smokeless? Maybe a round touching off others in a cap and ball revolver? Anything else.

    Thanks

    I’m new to BP, so I am all ears.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    I always considered Black powder the same or more volatile than gasoline.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The difference between BP and smokeless is when smokeless ignites it burns at a set rate. BP when it Ignites is an explosion. Bp is classified as an explosive while smokeless and the substitutes are classified as propellants.

    Use common sense when handling and equipment rated for use with BP. I have heard the static electricity also but don't know for sure on that. One simple thing is to keep the amount your handling small. If in a measure a amount appropriate to what your doing. In BPCR a measure empties pretty quick with the charges being thrown. Same with a horn or measure for a muzzle loader. Don't leave containers open on the bench cover the measure when using. With the horn if shooting 10 shot groups have enough in the horn for that plus a little.

    At the range when filling my horn I move away from the line and others fill the horn with the amount needed and come back.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Keep it away from fire and sparks and it's no problem. It won't go off if you hit it with a hammer. It's not a primary explosive. It will, however, burn extremely fast if ignited when unconfined.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobade View Post
    Keep it away from fire and sparks and it's no problem. It won't go off if you hit it with a hammer. It's not a primary explosive. It will, however, burn extremely fast if ignited when unconfined.
    This the correct answer. I've hit BP with a hammer to test the truth of that and it didn't go off; however the smokeless did pop!
    NRA Endowment member, TSRA Life member, Distinguished Rifleman, Viet Nam Vet

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for the comments and keep them coming. What about heat? If you leave a can in the sun will it explode?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    . What about heat? If you leave a can in the sun will it explode?
    no...…...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    some one did a test on the static el. claim found out you would need to generate enough to lite a 100 watt light bulb. I don't beat on any powder with a hammer. I have been using bp since 1984 never have had a problem never heard of any one else having a problem. all these vile warnings from people not in the know remind me of the robot in lost in space danger will robsion.

    boils down to treat it like you do any other powder unless you are in the habit of smoking while beating on it with a hammer.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    Thanks for the comments and keep them coming. What about heat? If you leave a can in the sun will it explode?
    From the MSDS sheet: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production...ts/9530608.pdf
    Flashpoint Not applicable
    Auto Ignition Temperature Approx. Range: 392°F-86rF I 200°C-464°C
    Explosive temperature Ignites@ approx. 42rC (801°F)
    NRA Endowment member, TSRA Life member, Distinguished Rifleman, Viet Nam Vet

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    BP when it Ignites is an explosion.
    Not a true statement ... black powder on ignition "deflagurates" - only smokeless powder explodes
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deflagration
    Regards
    John

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    I.e. disappeared in a puff of smoke...
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    No more dangerous than gasoline.
    It needs a decent spark to ignite , static electricity would be iffy but not impossible .
    When ignited , even just lying in a dish, it all goes up at once like flash powder. Very exciting but Watch your eyebrows.
    Smokeless powder in a dish just lays there and burns slowly at a controlled rate.... Boring
    When younger we tried lighting both .... as an experiment you understand ...
    Gary
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    So there’s no problem using a Lyman 55 powder measure to dispense it.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    i know of two folks who use lee plastic hopper powder dispensers for dropping black powder loads. they ain't been blowed up in decades of use. it's almost a myth that static electricity will "ignite" black powder. yet the myth continues, even in the face of exhaustive testing.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    No more dangerous than gasoline.
    It needs a decent spark to ignite.
    Not many people know this, but you can put out a lit match in an open container of gasoline without the gasoline catching fire, such is not true with black powder.

































    I wonder what sort of response this comment will generate?
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickory View Post
    Not many people know this, but you can put out a lit match in an open container of gasoline, such is not true with black powder.
    my dad and his crazy buds use to demonstrate that while he was crew chief for AT6-Texans at the randolph army air corps field in san antonio, back in the days of WWII.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregLaROCHE View Post
    So there’s no problem using a Lyman 55 powder measure to dispense it.
    Don't know how the instructions read for a normal Lyman 55 measure today, but even into the 1960's the operating manual told how the slides were graduated for black powder and how to adjust them for any given charge of black powder. Wasn't until the 1980's they decided to sell the blackpowder model with the aluminum hopper.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    My experience with black powder is it’s relatively stable and have even put out a lit match while trying to ignite it but much prefer a hot iron on a stick to stay away from the flash like with my cannonClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	230020 but when loaded in a cartridge or muzzle loader it must be compressed or it can act unpredictable possibly causing an explosion with that said bp is great fun with the smoke sparks and flash so have fun

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Cast_outlaw;4497 but when loaded in a cartridge or muzzle loader it must be compressed or it can act unpredictable possibly causing an explosion with that said bp is great fun with the smoke sparks and flash so have fun[/QUOTE]

    Sort of. It's not dangerous uncompressed in a cartridge, just inefficient and gives big velocity swings. Otherwise percussion Sharps rifles wouldn't work since there's no way to compress the charge in one of those.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don McDowell View Post
    Don't know how the instructions read for a normal Lyman 55 measure today, but even into the 1960's the operating manual told how the slides were graduated for black powder and how to adjust them for any given charge of black powder. Wasn't until the 1980's they decided to sell the blackpowder model with the aluminum hopper.
    Is there any chance of getting a hold of a copy of those original instructions?

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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