MidSouth Shooters SupplyLee PrecisionReloading UKInline Fabrication
ADvertise hereRotoMetals2Titan ReloadingRepackbox

Thread: My homemade black powder

  1. #4101
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    2,250
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisPer View Post
    Well done DoubleBuck!
    I have added a gas burner ring to my Weber kettle to cook my soup pot of willow that is waiting to go. I have in stock two shopping bags of paulownia and two of willow all sawn to length for the pot.
    My homemade tumbler is bothering me; too many leaks. I made 150mm x 150mm drums from plastic sewer pipe and a i5omm inspection cover, because I cannot get a 150-100mm stepdown like the examples we see on the web. The inspection cover has given so much grief trying to seal it.
    And the darn $20 tumble dryer has a spider I made, to hold the 150mm drum inside it. Doesnt' hold it tight, so my lashings come undone and its all very frustrating.
    My sand-filled resin pistons for corning has failed - at 30% resin vol to 100% sand (assuming 30% pore space) the corners have not come out sharp enough. Lots of drawing board time.

    However, my powder is working!
    I had no trouble finding the 150 x 100 stepdown but they are bare both ends - I glued in a threaded collar so I could use a 100mm screw on cap - then I had troubles with powder clumping in the 100mm recess so I turned a piece of willow to fill in the stepdown neck and block it flush with the inside of the drum - also keeps the rotating mass of powder and tumble media away from the screw cap - nuther thing to watch is that you have your tumble drum rotating into the thread not away from it. My drum body is 150mm (6") x 200mm (8") just takes a kilo of meal at a fill. Plus have made another 6 x 10".

  2. #4102
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Posts
    96
    ChrisPer;
    That is the important thing, that your powder is working. The other frustrations will work out, because you know what you're looking for. Good luck with them, you'll get it figured out. Thanks!

  3. #4103
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Posts
    96
    I have a question for anyone who can answer it.
    The pic on the left is the target at 77 yards, measured. Ten shots, 60 grains powder, .58 cal. PRB. The pic on right is the same rifle, powder, PRB, at 99 yards, measured. Ten shots. Two missed the entire target. 22 yards should not make that much difference. Yet it does, and pretty much every time. Any suggestions?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210704_185939_HDR - Copy (2).jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	40.4 KB 
ID:	285706Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210704_201918 - Copy (2).jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	29.0 KB 
ID:	285707

  4. #4104
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    2,250
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleBuck View Post
    I have a question for anyone who can answer it.
    The pic on the left is the target at 77 yards, measured. Ten shots, 60 grains powder, .58 cal. PRB. The pic on right is the same rifle, powder, PRB, at 99 yards, measured. Ten shots. Two missed the entire target. 22 yards should not make that much difference. Yet it does, and pretty much every time. Any suggestions?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210704_185939_HDR - Copy (2).jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	40.4 KB 
ID:	285706Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210704_201918 - Copy (2).jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	29.0 KB 
ID:	285707
    needs more powder !

    60 grains is a pretty soft load for a 58

    I would try 85 or 90 grains
    but ....needs a slow twist to support that (1:66 or slower )

  5. #4105
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleBuck View Post
    I have a question for anyone who can answer it.
    The pic on the left is the target at 77 yards, measured. Ten shots, 60 grains powder, .58 cal. PRB. The pic on right is the same rifle, powder, PRB, at 99 yards, measured. Ten shots. Two missed the entire target. 22 yards should not make that much difference. Yet it does, and pretty much every time. Any suggestions?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210704_185939_HDR - Copy (2).jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	40.4 KB 
ID:	285706Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210704_201918 - Copy (2).jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	29.0 KB 
ID:	285707
    Agree with more powder!
    I have this trouble too. Just got a Tryon .54 for Class 2 Traditional Rifle, which we shoot PRB at 50m and 100m. Relatively few people get tight groups at 100m with PRB even under competition conditions.
    The successful ones do use a hotter charge, as well as being the disciplined consistent shooters who control all their variables and practice to keep their edge.
    I believe that the variance you show from 77yards to 99 yards illustrates our problem beautifully. It is a compounding of all the possible instabilities, so variance gets completely of hand. Possibly hyperbolic. Rifling imparts spin, spin reduces the effect of ball and axial variance, velocity sets the rpm of spin and how long the spin prevents the ball acting as wild as a musket ball. More powder, more spin. slightly further stable distance.
    Add to this possible variance in the balls and patches that spin is overcoming. Improving the ball consistency helps too, if there is any that can be controlled.
    Last edited by ChrisPer; 07-06-2021 at 11:31 PM.

  6. #4106
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    42
    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    I had no trouble finding the 150 x 100 stepdown but they are bare both ends - I glued in a threaded collar so I could use a 100mm screw on cap - then I had troubles with powder clumping in the 100mm recess so I turned a piece of willow to fill in the stepdown neck and block it flush with the inside of the drum - also keeps the rotating mass of powder and tumble media away from the screw cap - nuther thing to watch is that you have your tumble drum rotating into the thread not away from it. My drum body is 150mm (6") x 200mm (8") just takes a kilo of meal at a fill. Plus have made another 6 x 10".
    Very interesting!
    I rewired my tumble dryer and the 'warm cold hot' switch does 'clockwise off anti-clockwise'. I set it going the wrong way and the lid came unscrewed and the fan blew the entire charge all through my workshop. Every near-flat surface a potential kaboom. Left it alone awhile, then brushed and vacuumed with great circumspection.

    I am going to try an unglued 150mm end cap on the 150mm drum, and tape it with cloth-back tape. Set up a lever base for pulling it off.

    I had clumping in my first few runs, and drying the charge really well before weighing and milling eliminated most of it. Your turned block between the cap and the 150 dia drum interior is excellent thinking.
    Last edited by ChrisPer; 07-08-2021 at 10:29 PM.

  7. #4107
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    2,250
    [QUOTE=ChrisPer;5221111]Agree with more powder!
    I have this trouble too. Just got a Tryon .54 for Class 2 Traditional Rifle, which we shoot PRB at 50m and 100m. Relatively few people get tight groups at 100m with PRB even under competition conditions.
    The successful ones do use a hotter charge, as well as being the disciplined consistent shooters who control all their variables and practice to keep their edge.

    When I was shooting competition seriously I ran a 50cal flinter on 75 grains FFFg for 100yards
    also had a 54cal cap gun that got 120 grains of FFg (that was a bit of a hero load but it shot real good) that one needed a backer patch on the powder else it would burn patches - a card wad proly woulda been better - cut the load back to 100grains it still shot pretty good.
    Both those guns would stay around 2.5 inches for ten shots @ 100yards (off a rest of course) - cant see open sights good enough to do that these days
    I load careful and consistent at every step ..................

  8. #4108
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    42
    Wow THAT is a tight group!
    My eyes are not so good either; I am using reading glasses with a 1/2" piece of black electrical tape pierced with a 2mm aperture, on my glasses. The 2mm aperture turns the eye almost into a pinhole camera - focus at any distance. NOW I can see the sights well.
    I used to cut a square hole with a sharp knife, then I realised that at last, here is a use for the smallest hole maker in the rotary leather punch. Who knew it could be useful?

  9. #4109
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    2,250
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisPer View Post
    Wow THAT is a tight group!
    My eyes are not so good either; I am using reading glasses with a 1/2" piece of black electrical tape pierced with a 2mm aperture, on my glasses. The 2mm aperture turns the eye almost into a pinhole camera - focus at any distance. NOW I can see the sights well.
    I used to cut a square hole with a sharp knife, then I realised that at last, here is a use for the smallest hole maker in the rotary leather punch. Who knew it could be useful?
    thank you - have been going to investigate that idea .......................

  10. #4110
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by indian joe View Post
    needs more powder !

    60 grains is a pretty soft load for a 58

    I would try 85 or 90 grains
    but ....needs a slow twist to support that (1:66 or slower )
    Thanks, Joe! Those pictures came from two days ago. I posted them yesterday, right before I weighed up some more loads and decided to try going a little heavier with it. I only went 65 grains, but on 20 shots, it did tighten up somewhat. I'll load a couple more and keep increasing the powder and see where it leads. I didn't think just more powder would do it, but it definitely helped. My rifle's factory specs call for "60 grain maximum" I have shot 70 in it a couple of times, but didn't want to get too carried away. I may close my eyes and hold my nose, and try to see what '85 or 90 grains' is gonna feel like on my 68 year old shoulder. haha. This could be interesting....

  11. #4111
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Posts
    96
    ChrisPer; that is a good idea! I bought an extra rear sight for my rifle and am thinking of making a peep sight out of it. I know it's not traditional, but neither am I. I have a six hundred yard target, and several guys have shot at it. But, the best consistent shots on it have been made with my M1 Garands. They are hard to beat, with iron sights. They will both shoot right with my 30:06, with a 4X12 Nikon BDC scope. Of course, neither the rifle, nor the scope, nor I, for that matter, are competition grade, and one of my M1's is. If ammunition ever get's back to a reasonable normal price, I'm going to pull out the artillery again, and scratch this itch...
    Man, it sounds like you're having troubles, with your tumbler! Maybe you need to get off your tight wad, and go to Harbor Freight! Spend that 50 bucks! haha Seriously, I hope you get it figured out. Powder messes take a minute to clean up.
    Last edited by DoubleBuck; 07-07-2021 at 12:57 PM.

  12. #4112
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    42
    Fantastic DoubleBuck!
    My tumbler is my own fault, inventing an idea and whining not just changing it to make it better when it doesn't work right. I might actually do something.

  13. #4113
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisPer View Post
    Fantastic DoubleBuck!
    My tumbler is my own fault, inventing an idea and whining not just changing it to make it better when it doesn't work right. I might actually do something.
    I certainly don't consider it whining. You have an idea and it is a good one. You'll hit the sweet spot and one little modification will turn your project from a failure, to a great success. Stay on it, and keep us updated! You'll save someone else a lot of head scratching!
    On a somewhat related subject... One time I was building a ten dollar part, for my race car. A buddy was leaning over my shoulder, watching, and said, "Buck, I swear, you'll spend three hours building a ten dollar part." To which, I came back, "Yes, Tim, but you see I have three hours of time, and I don't have ten dollars."
    Poor people have poor people's ways...
    Last edited by DoubleBuck; 07-08-2021 at 02:18 PM.

  14. #4114
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,852
    Also.
    Building your parts, you aquire Knowledge.
    That knowledge can be stored away for the time when that ten dollar part is no longer available.
    That over time becomes worth well more than that one part , and forms a basis for other issues that may come up in the future

  15. #4115
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona!
    Posts
    582
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleBuck View Post
    ...
    On a somewhat related subject... One time I was building a ten dollar part, for my race car. A buddy was leaning over my shoulder, watching, and said, "Buck, I swear, you'll spend three hours building a ten dollar part." To which, I came back, "Yes, Tim, but you see I have three hours of time, and I don't have ten dollars."
    Poor people have poor people's ways...
    OMG--> You just described me, and my philosophy, to a "T"! You just left out the gratification of doing it, pride in your accomplishment, and in saving the money!!

    And often times the custom piece is better than the 10 dollar one!

    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  16. #4116
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    42
    More wonderful, the experience building the ten dollar part allows you to later build a different part that is totally unobtainable, or never existed - until you made it.

  17. #4117
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lake Havasu City, Arizona!
    Posts
    582
    Yeah. Now if I could get "reborn", while keeping the last 66 years worth of study, knowledge and experience, I could really "truck on" with some projects!! That would be cool!!

    Vettepilot
    "Those who sacrifice freedom for security, have neither."
    Benjamin Franklin. (A very wise man!)

  18. #4118
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    208
    I've not tested my tree of heaven wood yet, but here's some interesting information on my mill/SS media !

    I did some reading on ball mill optimization and found that for spherical media in a 4" ID tumbler without lifters, the ideal speed is 80-95 rpm. If your jar is bigger, then that speed will be lower. If your jar has lifters, it will be lower. If it is hexagonal shape rather than round, it will be lower, if you use cylindrical media it will be lower. If you search ball mill critical speed or optimization, you should find some helpful info. I set up my HF tumbler to 82-84rpm.

    I got some information on optimal charges for single/double component milling in the HF size tumblers from skylighter and another source. I can't remember the name of the document. I'll post it sometime. For single component chemical milling (like KNO3) the charge is 170g. So I did that for 12 hours in my HF tumbler at 82rpm. I then cleaned the media and put 40g of sulfur and 60g of Paulownia CC in the other jar and milled it for 12 hr. With the bulk of the CC, that may have been a bit too much. I then combined my KNO3 and CC/S into a jar and milled it for about 2.5 hrs.

    I did this because I'm using 304 SS media to prevent lead/copper contamination if my powder and I want to minimize the time that I'm milling with the 3 ingredient combined explosive mixture. Supposedly, you only need to mix the 3 ingredients together really well if their particle size is already reduced. In theory, you should be able to mill the 3 ingredients separately and mix them together by hand, and still get the same results. But, mixing them well by hand is hard. Supposedly sifting multiple times will work. I may try milling the 3 ingredients together for mixing only for 3 hours next time.

    Here's the interesting parts.

    I always start with 130g ingredients in the mill. With my copper/lead media, I'd end up with 133-134g after pressing and drying the pucks. After pressing and drying with the SS media, I had 124.5g after pressing and drying the pucks!!!!!!!!

    When I did burn tests on paper with the powder made with lead/copper media, I'd get a yellow halo around the burn area on the paper. I wondered if that was from the copper or lead. When doing a burn test on paper with my SS media milled powder, NO yellow halo!

    I've been testing 68gr charges of my BP with a 405gr .459 bullet. I did the same today with my new powder. With my lead/copper milled powder, I'd get an avg of around 1220fps. With my SS milled powder, I get around 1275fps!!! Actually, I had some odd velocity results today that I think are from the sun changing positions. The results are below.

    1. 1275
    2. 1271
    3. 1265
    4. 1270
    5. 1278
    6. 1267
    7. 1281
    8. 1281
    9. Error
    10. 1294
    11. 1300
    12. 1297
    Cleaned barrel, noticed the sun had shift and was hitting one of my chronos sensors so I adjusted it.
    13. 1254
    14. 1232
    15. 1249
    16. 1224
    17. 1240
    18. 1238
    19. Forgot to write down

    Before moving in to the TOH, I'll work on further improving my Paulownia powder and optimizing my mills efficiency in milling time.

    I also have some Haifa tech grade KNO3 to test, but I'll move to that when I'm out of stump remover.

    Something else I want to try adjusting is the ratio of KNO3/CC. I know Fly was always saying just stick to the 75/15/10, but I was reading through some of that "mad monk" guys files and he has some detailed info on the Swiss powder process and ingredients. They apparently use 78/12/10? I'm not sure if that's really true, but I'm going to try it.

  19. #4119
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    42
    Very interesting HighUintas!
    I hadn't realised the Tree of Heaven was NOT paulownia.

    Baked my second batch of willow yesterday. I put a cast iron gas ring on the briquette deck inside my old Weber kettle, with the soup pot directly on it so the grill deck is removed. It smoked as before, and naturally there was no wind... got the vented gas to light but only for a bit. Rather unpleasant smoke.

    And I made a couple of new 150mm dia pots which will be lidded with plain end caps taped on. I plan to make a press mounted lever tool to pull the caps off.

    UPDATE: Shot Class 3 Pistol (open muzzleloader, 25m precision) with the homemade 4F in my .45 Charles Moore percussion pistol. Shot two cards, 87 and 87.2, my best ever score, for second overall. Everyone was very happy for me! Also tried a rather nice Pedersoli underhammer. Wow...
    Last edited by ChrisPer; 07-11-2021 at 04:25 AM.

  20. #4120
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    5,194
    Ailanthus altissima = tree of heaven or paradise tree. Long thin leaves that smell awful when crushed. Young trees easily confused with walnut.

    Paulownia Tomentosa = princess tree. Large leaves, as big as your hand or more. Large showy flowers. One of the fastest growing trees in the world. Wood is lightweight and very resistant to rot. Popular to make surfboards out of.

    Both of these are native to Asia, both very invasive and fast growing. Generally it's a good idea to kill them if they're found on your property as they will spread quickly. That is, unless you make charcoal out of them.

    On another note, has anybody tried making gunpowder using narrow leaf willow? It is quite common here in NM, whereas black willow is very seldom seen at least around Albuquerque.

Page 206 of 215 FirstFirst ... 106156196197198199200201202203204205206207208209210211212213214215 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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