View Full Version : Black Powder City Ordnance

05-16-2021, 06:38 PM
I live in a city in Indiana that has a city ordnance that 5# or more of black powder must be keep in a powder magazine designed to contain an explosion forcing it to go up not out. Has anyone ran into this and how do you handle it. Building a 12" concret walled well with a wood roof is several hundred dollars if I could get a permit. This means I find black powder local or pay out the nose for 3 pounds or less shipped to me. I need some good ideas on how to handle having 4 pounds or more in house.

country gent
05-16-2021, 07:49 PM
call the city dept in charge and request what they recommend for storage and what amount it is for. Chances are what you build off your head or on others recommendations wont be right according to them.
What I would make would be a closet from 2 x 8s lined with heavy plaster board ( fire protection ) inside and out. use grill grates for shelves and top.

I have read where the old powder factories were heavy concrete walls and floor no straight hallways a lot of windows on outside walls and a weak roof. widows and roof went but building remained intact to be rebuilt

05-16-2021, 07:54 PM
Here is a link to a site that sells them and holds up to 50lbs but costs $275.


It took me a bit of research to find it. Good luck.


05-16-2021, 09:15 PM
Been using an old shed with partial concrete / dirt covered over with lino/carpet for my reloading all these years ...
lately been thinking about picking up a concrete vault box ..same as is used for water/electrical in ground .
one of the bigger ones , about 2 by 4 ft. or so and as I remember about 18 inches or so deep ..
Also if wanted , can pick up an extension for depth and have the lid stating water or electrical .
Some what familiar with these as I have been in the dirt work all these years .
With the shed floor as it is , no big deal digging out a small section for this purpose.
Priced them out here locally at 150.00 give or take ... for my powder collection.
Depends on how much work but also could be done in a slab by cutting a small section.

05-16-2021, 09:24 PM
I don't remember exactly, but the ATF required black powder dealers to store their bp in a metal box lined with a specific thickness of wood lining. I'm sure the specs are available on line. It would be in the explosive storage rules. Most municipal regs copy the feds specs so should meet local requirements. Whether the locals allow residential storage is a different matter though.
All my powder is in a metal cabinet lined with plywood glued in so no metal can contact the product.

05-16-2021, 09:58 PM
I think you will find using 1" wood planks nailed together is all the material you need. The old powder safes we had in all the stores I worked in were made of 1" thick wooden boards. You might ask them if you make it from wood what dimensions and specific wood thickness would they allow.

05-16-2021, 10:16 PM
ATF magazine specs:


05-16-2021, 10:50 PM
Well I'm not suprised things have changed quite a bit since my days in retail stores. !!!

05-17-2021, 08:47 AM
just store 4 pounds in several different locations. according to powder valley you can transport 50 pounds max in your personal vehicle.

05-17-2021, 11:23 AM
How are they going to know how much BP you have and how its stored?

05-17-2021, 12:51 PM
So if we are talking about a Type 2 rated magazine then according to ATF the Maine Powder house Safe (link in post #3) should have a minimum of 12 gauge outer walls instead of the 18 gauge in the advertisement?
What am I missing?

05-17-2021, 02:07 PM
I worked with a woman that has family that when driving home from Roswell NM and had some black powder new in a paper bag in the back seat of there king cab Toyota that went boom when the ash from the drivers cigarette caught the bag on fire it blow all the windows out she thought they where trying to stop when it went off both family members lost more then fingers and toes . This happened in early 90's to mid 90's maybe someone will remember it happing ? My coworker did not like talking about it.

05-17-2021, 02:28 PM
Well that sounds interesting , how much powder ? bag open? must have been a airtight vehicle , smoking with a open bag of any gun powder what could go wrong ? I have been shooting black powder since mid 70's and other then us kids lighting off a pile as I hear my father and his brothers also did , I have never experienced any issues with black powder and I consider it as dangerous as smokeless .

Both should be treated with respect as should gasoline , but they are not as dangerous as the rule makers would have us peasants believe .

First it is none of their business what you have , and if you think powder is so bad you probably should not have any , or gas or solvents or a host of other things , store what you need separate it if you feel the need , do not discuss what you have with anyone .

I feel that sooner or later there will be more regulations on our hobby not for public safety but for control , limit your magazines , ammo , components and control your ability to fight back . Our founding fathers would say it was no ones business what a citizen had for defense or for sport .

05-17-2021, 03:40 PM
I think the bag started burning and set the powder off in the closed can the flash point of black powder is about 350 degrees . black powder explodes smokeless powder burns .

05-17-2021, 04:50 PM
Bag burning can gets hot explodes , whats that smell oh its the back seat is on fire , got to say it would still explode if it was smokeless , they both will explode , they both burn , one is a low power explosive the other has nitro for its base , both under pressure will explode .

Stories are usually told to mitigate the facts by those who did the ooops , on the other hand the news media loves this as further proof that citizens should not own it or have it in their possession , I have seen so much fear in people of black powder and so many are so afraid of reloading in general along with the myths and misinformation about lead and casting .

Once more keep to yourself what you have and what you do , the storage of and the amounts of powder or primers is always a subject that has some saying you should never buy more then what you will use and wait look no primers or powder , buy what you want when you can and store it with some common sense , reload accordingly , wished I had bought as much as my gov. says I can own .

05-23-2021, 05:15 PM
thanks guys

07-02-2021, 06:20 PM
No gun store in town (and we have about 20 of them) actually carries real black powder. Too much of a hassle for them. Special permits and storage requirements. Even our range won't touch it.

Pyrodex and 777 are available, though.

If you haven't seen the Experts at the Los Angeles Police Department attempt to detonate a bunch of seized illegal fireworks IN A CITY STREET, and then blow up the City's semi-truck-sized detonation "containment" vehicle, injuring 17 and destroying all kinds of near-by property, it's worth a look.

Top. Men.


Black powder is nothing to sneeze at. As they say, smokeless powder burns rapidly, black powder detonates.

07-02-2021, 08:24 PM

07-02-2021, 11:07 PM
Black powder is a low explosive , you are making a mountain out of a mole hill , smokeless under pressure will do the same , black powder is more misunderstood and the above link shows 2 tons , I suggest you research more and see what 2 tons of smokeless would do also .

Fear mongering , your gas can and gas tanks are more of a risk then black powder stored in its original container .

Same with smokeless powder , keep away from ignition sources , store with some common sense .

Primers are a more likely source of explosion and detonation , store all of them properly .

07-02-2021, 11:17 PM
I have had three decades dealing with explosive..... SRT (Tactical Explosive Entries).....Black powder does not need to be "contained" to cause injury....smokeless, if contained, is much worse but if left in a non- sealed cabinet, it simply flares up and no BOOM! Thats the difference between flammable and explosive...albeit low order explosive. In the late 90's we had some kids break into a quarry and took 200 lbs of slurry alas charges we simply put them on a fire pile and let the burn! My biggest boom was a stash of stolen car air bag charges. Two dozen was scary big...bad doo doo!

07-03-2021, 12:53 AM
Black powder belongs to a class of explosives called deflagrating or low explosives. ... Low explosives react so slowly that they will not produce an explosion unless confined. It is the sudden liberation of gases due to the bursting of the container which produces the effects of the explosion.

07-03-2021, 07:22 AM
What the city doesn't know won't hurt them.

07-04-2021, 08:53 AM
You should never have more than 1 lb. of black powder in your house. The real problem comes if, for whatever reason your house should catch fire and burn to the ground and the Fire Marshall should find that an excessive amount of powder (above local or state regulations), black or smokeless contributed to the severity of the fire there is a good chance your insurance company is going to deny your claim. If you live in a multi family building (Townhouse) you could be sued for the damage to the other units.
Just not worth the risk IMHO.


07-04-2021, 09:33 AM
Containment in the total containment sphere made it go high order. echo154 is right on. The explosive potential in one gallon of gasoline exceeds dozens & dozens of powder, by far.

12-23-2021, 01:43 AM
A web search brings up a multitude of videos (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=black+powder+explosions&t=h_&iax=videos&ia=videos) about what happens when quantities of energetic materials are ignited either loosely or confined.

Including Black Powder and some of the substitutes.

It seems to be a very popular "What if?" question.