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Homemade Nitrocellulose

  1. PewProfessional89
    Has anyone attempted to make their own nitrocellulose based propellant? I've read that the old times used to make nitrocellulose using KNO3 and H2SO4, then colloid it with ethanol that they distilled. Once they did that, they would roll it out into sheets and cut it into flakes. Is this legal? Will you get Waco'd for trying this?
  2. Sleeping Dog
    Sleeping Dog
    I've just heard that during the process, you have one of the most dangerous (explosive) compounds around.
  3. 2stepTex
    Nitrating ethanol will produce nitroethane, a slightly less volatile fuel used in alcohol dragsters (nitromethane). Using cotton balls is a more popular medium used in cellulose nitration. Gun cotton is the product. Taking that and soaking it with nitroglycerin and stuffing it into tube (carefully, of course) is what is called dynamite. That's not quite a propellant, except to propel yourself directly into outer space (hopefully to prison, first). Visual effects (flash paper) is the more popular use of these nitrated mediums. I know reloading components are scarce these days, but why would you risk your safety making something that is commercially available?

    I have some data downloaded of the public domain on military propellants that might be of use if you are wondering just what nitrocellulose's physical properties are.
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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