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Thread: Just how touchy is BP?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Probably, you'll just have to search around used book stores garage sales and the like. Cornell Publishing makes reprints of a lot of old catalogs etc, that you can purchase.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I have a old Lyman 55 with a red plastic hopper and along side of it there is a Lyman 55 with a aluminum hopper and both are filled with black powder. Also I have a Redding, my first powder drop that also has a plastic hopper that has dropped black powder since the 50's for me and still dropping it.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master

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    i dunno where in the world this nonsense about black powder and static electricity started, but i'd bet there's either litigators or politicians or both behind it somewhere. lawyers and politicians. yep.

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
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    Do a search for

    A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF BLACK POWDER
    Ronald A. Sasse'
    January 1985

    I have the document but can't post it here. After you read it you'll never have another question about BP.

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

    ― Karl Von Clausewitz

  5. #25

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    Thanks rfd

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

    ― Karl Von Clausewitz

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    This sounds like some very interesting stuff. I’ve got to start reading it tomorrow.
    Thanks.

  8. #28
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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.
    Agree !!
    A small quantity spilt over a large area will/can flash ignite and scare the pants off you
    Temerature makes a huge difference to how easy it sets off.
    I believe the hammer theory and the static spark ignition is largely a fallacy
    However if your hammer strike or your static spark generates enough temperature (360some plus degrees F) then you have ignition - and both of these generate heat so if you hold that hammer tight and swing it hard ? maybe could come back and penetrate your forehead ?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    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
    Differently dangerous than gasoline! you can set light to a 50 gal drum of gas and put it out so long as its mostly full - empty that same container all but a teaspoon full - drop a match in and you just made a house payment for the undertaker!
    Set light to a big heap of blackpowder - you and the town firebrigade not gonna extinguish that lot! but a couple teaspoons? might lose an eybrow is all .

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    i dunno where in the world this nonsense about black powder and static electricity started, but i'd bet there's either litigators or politicians or both behind it somewhere. lawyers and politicians. yep.
    dont forget that chemical companies (powder manufacturers) and ammunition makers have a vested interest in keeping blackpowder listed as a class one explosive

  11. #31
    Boolit Bub
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    I've been using black powder for over 50 years and there is a lot of questionable information in this thread. It is as safe as any gunpowder when stored and used properly. It will not go off if dropped, hit with a hammer or left in the sunlight. The static thing is questionable but it seems to not be ignited with static in experiments. It is now shipped in plastic containers so the static thing with plastic seem to be a non issue. It is stable in loaded rounds either compressed or uncompressed for many years. It does not deteriorate with age. Extreme spreads in velocity in properly loaded ammo can be in the single digits. Clean up is not a nightmare. Water is the best solvent ever invented for black powder. I use a water and soluble oil mixture to clean mine because the oil provides protection form rust after cleaning. You do not need to completely disassemble your firearm to clean it unless you are shooting a Colt type percussion revolver. My Sharps cleans up with 2 wet patches and a dry one and then one with LPS. I drop the breech block once or twice a year but have never found a problem with rust. Marlin lever actions are the easiest to clean. Take out the lever screw and lever and the breech block comes out for cleaning from the breech end. It will always be a class 1 explosive. Treat it with respect and care and you will have a lifetime if fun with it as I have.

  12. #32
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    A bit of historical information. This thing about putting powder on an anvil and hitting it with a hammer was how Ned Roberts described the way of determining if you had a batch of powder that was unmarked whether it was black or one of the lessmoke, semi smokeless. You simply put a few grains on top of an anvil and hit it with a hammer , if it went off chances were pretty good it was King's semismokless or similar, if it didn't then it was black.
    GUSA #6
    People will forget what you said...
    People will forget what you did...
    But People will NEVER forget how you made them feel

    Want to join in adult conversation about shooting the old ways without the hysterics associated with other places?http://historicshooting.com/mybb/index.php

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye Bly View Post
    I've been using black powder for over 50 years and there is a lot of questionable information in this thread. It is as safe as any gunpowder when stored and used properly. It will not go off if dropped, hit with a hammer or left in the sunlight. The static thing is questionable but it seems to not be ignited with static in experiments. It is now shipped in plastic containers so the static thing with plastic seem to be a non issue. It is stable in loaded rounds either compressed or uncompressed for many years. It does not deteriorate with age. Extreme spreads in velocity in properly loaded ammo can be in the single digits. Clean up is not a nightmare. Water is the best solvent ever invented for black powder. I use a water and soluble oil mixture to clean mine because the oil provides protection form rust after cleaning. You do not need to completely disassemble your firearm to clean it unless you are shooting a Colt type percussion revolver. My Sharps cleans up with 2 wet patches and a dry one and then one with LPS. I drop the breech block once or twice a year but have never found a problem with rust. Marlin lever actions are the easiest to clean. Take out the lever screw and lever and the breech block comes out for cleaning from the breech end. It will always be a class 1 explosive. Treat it with respect and care and you will have a lifetime if fun with it as I have.
    Good post !!!!!!

  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Dust is explosive if fine enough and mixed with air. Bp Is about the same BP dust mixed with air will ignite with static a PILE of FFFg won't. A spark from a flinter is red hot steel say 900 degrees or more. Paper burns at a little less than 500 degrees and ill ignite BP. You can hammer BP and it won't go off IF you don't make a spark. You just need to use reasonable care in use and storage.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    Differently dangerous than gasoline! you can set light to a 50 gal drum of gas and put it out so long as its mostly full - empty that same container all but a teaspoon full - drop a match in and you just made a house payment for the undertaker!
    Set light to a big heap of blackpowder - you and the town firebrigade not gonna extinguish that lot! but a couple teaspoons? might lose an eybrow is all .
    I learned about gasoline vapors when I was less than ten years old. I threw an empty metal five gallon gas can on a fire. Lost all my eyebrows and eyelashes.

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy

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    Ok so I have to tell on myself. I was in my shop one fine day and I was working on a project that required the brief use of a grinder. I commenced to grinding and forgot about the mesh strainer and bucket I'd used the day before to grain some BP-big mistake! Sparks flew then strainer and bucket flamed up- good thing I had a fire extinguisher handy. Nothing else was damaged fortunately and although this proved I had a good batch of BP, I will NEVER store anything with residue in shop! At any rate I had to go buy another strainer.

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

    ― Karl Von Clausewitz

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye Bly View Post
    I've been using black powder for over 50 years and there is a lot of questionable information in this thread. It is as safe as any gunpowder when stored and used properly. It will not go off if dropped, hit with a hammer or left in the sunlight. The static thing is questionable but it seems to not be ignited with static in experiments. It is now shipped in plastic containers so the static thing with plastic seem to be a non issue. It is stable in loaded rounds either compressed or uncompressed for many years. It does not deteriorate with age. Extreme spreads in velocity in properly loaded ammo can be in the single digits. Clean up is not a nightmare. Water is the best solvent ever invented for black powder. I use a water and soluble oil mixture to clean mine because the oil provides protection form rust after cleaning. You do not need to completely disassemble your firearm to clean it unless you are shooting a Colt type percussion revolver. My Sharps cleans up with 2 wet patches and a dry one and then one with LPS. I drop the breech block once or twice a year but have never found a problem with rust. Marlin lever actions are the easiest to clean. Take out the lever screw and lever and the breech block comes out for cleaning from the breech end. It will always be a class 1 explosive. Treat it with respect and care and you will have a lifetime if fun with it as I have.
    What he said. I agree completely. The static thing is nonsense I have never seen it proven.

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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