View Full Version : Black powder

Shed Machinist
09-21-2003, 11:21 PM
I was just wondering if it would be worth it to make your won black powder, i know the main ingredients and the basics of making it, but i would wa until i was around somebody who knew aoubt it, but would it really be worth it?


09-21-2003, 11:44 PM
NO!!! If you do this we will no longer have the pleasure of your company. NO!!!!!

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 09-21-2003).]

09-21-2003, 11:45 PM
If you were in a post apocalyptic world, it would be very important to know.

Know this, real black power is extremely static sensitive - many professional powder makers lost BP plants before Hogden Pyrodex (nitrocellulose based) Powder was invented. It is much safer to handle.

Mixing the components for real black powder can set it off. Transport of Black powder requires the same permits as blasting caps (class C). Pyrodex is a class A explosive like modern smokeless powder. I refused to keep BP in my powder magazine - too dangerous.

So, don't even think about it - acedemic reading aside.

09-22-2003, 12:00 AM
I took some black powder, rolled it up in newspaper with a small wire in the middle. Hooked it up to a battery. It sizzled.

I picked it up about two minutes later, it went whoosh and flew out of my fingers like a rocket, blew up and shook the houses in the neighborhood.

If it had blew in my fingers, they would be gone. No more fingers to pick my nose or fire my target pistols.

Black powder can be really dangerous.

09-22-2003, 12:37 AM

By all means, listen to what your friends have told you.

It's not worth messing with and may be illegal.

Stick to building cool mechanical stuff. There is a lot more future in it.

I tell you this from experience:
It was a cool March morning in 1968, I was 14 years old. Only by the Grace of God am I still alive.

Please don't mess with explosives.


09-22-2003, 08:16 AM
Listen to the guys. Leave the BP alone unless your are using antique firearms. If you don't get killed or injured you will probably end up in trouble with the law. I have made countless responses to scenes where kids and adults were trying to manufacture various explosive compounds. Some lost their eyes and hands while others lost their homes. The lucky ones just went to jail. Retired 28 years with Bomb Squad

Shed Machinist
09-22-2003, 08:47 AM
Okay, i just wondered if it was still made at home. Well i guess that is the end of that. thanks guys.

G.A. Ewen
09-22-2003, 09:29 AM
This is definitly a smart young man we have here fellows! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

Greg Parent
09-22-2003, 09:33 AM
Making black powder in your house or in your shed is illegal in Canada. To make it legally requires reams of paperwork (expensive license) a properly constructed manufacturing plant (HE magazines), extensive training in the handling of explosives and insurance out the wazoo.
When you can buy it for $25 a pound it makes little sence to make your own.

09-22-2003, 09:53 AM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 11-16-2003).]

lone waddie
09-22-2003, 07:27 PM
Howdy Shed! It is great to hear of a young man taking interest in mechanical stuff.Homwbrewed Black powder is really a BAD idea. I thing part of the process is called 'corning'. The mixture dries into a big cake. A machine with wooden paddles hammers it into small grains. The powder is shifted trough brass screens (anti-static) to get the various sizes. Fg, FFg,FFF, etc. Pounding on a lump of explosive with a hammer is sure to shorten one's life. DON'T do it!!! Static electricity has killed many black powder users also. Why not a few experiments with soda bottles, water and compressed air. Try to improve on your power to weight ratio. Maybe a smaller nozzle, less water more pressure, etc. Get you science or physics teacher to give you some info and formulas. You sound like a fine young man, and know to never aim even a water rocket at another person. Be safe, Regards, Tim

[This message has been edited by lone waddie (edited 09-22-2003).]

Alistair Hosie
09-22-2003, 07:42 PM
Perhaps GA you could tell us whats so smart about a child wanting to make black powder.Sorry I don't get it.Alistair

09-22-2003, 07:51 PM
Alistar, I belive GA said Shed was smart for making the following statement:
"Well i guess that is the end of that. thanks guys."

lone waddie
09-22-2003, 07:57 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Alistair Hosie:
Perhaps GA you could tell us whats so smart about a child wanting to make black powder.Sorry I don't get it.Alistair</font>
The pursuit of knowledge by a young mind is a wonderful thing. Asking older folks for guidance is very wise and a rare quality these days. This kid gets and "A" from me. Tim

Shed Machinist
09-22-2003, 08:54 PM
I should really stop watching the history channel!

lone waddie
09-22-2003, 09:04 PM
Quit watching the History channel!!!??? Nah, Shed. Knowledge is a powerful thing. Try to fit in as much as your brain will hold! But pray you have the wisdom to use your knowledge in a 'positive' way. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Alistair Hosie
09-22-2003, 09:35 PM
Sorry G A I did not catch your meaning guess its a bit late here in Scotland I should be off to bed http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

09-23-2003, 04:27 AM
Shed Machinist:

It is one thing to read about explosives - and there is nothing wrong with know about them. They take special training to handle them safely. My uncle was an experimental ordinance scientist and taught me how to use them safely. They still scare the crap out of me - especially caps - the most dangerous part of using explosives.

Don't stop learning as you never know what you might need to know - for a job, research, or survival. The important thing is knowing where to draw the line and act as a responsible human being.

As was said before, find a difficult problem and work on it - you know, there is a $100,000 prize going to the first person to discover the first 10,000,000 digit prime number - the largest known outside of the US government is 4.5 million digits - about (2^13,000,000)-1! My best friend has been trying to find a formula to generate perfect numbers - because it facinates him.

09-23-2003, 03:44 PM
As someone who has made black powder, the dangers retreat to acceptable when the components are ground separately, dampened prior to mixing and handled appropriately.

If you know what you're doing, making black powder is no more dangerous than handling gasoline, welding tanks, crossing the street or the various and sundry stuff most people do every day. Come-on guys. Most things are dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Just don't get into such things w/o all the necessary information.

09-23-2003, 04:15 PM

At some point if you are going to actually use the stuff then it must be dry. It is then VERY static sensitive. Home made black powder is not likely to be well controlled for grain size and will likely contain "fines" that are even easier to inadvertantly set off. Besides, it is illegal.

09-23-2003, 04:32 PM
No problem with the pursuit of knowledge, as long as you go about it slow enough to recognize the hazard.

Did the first man to fly a airplane visit people who had broken backs? probably not. If he understood all the hazards, he was crazy as a loon. (he was laying on a kite)

When they set the first H-bomb off they kinda had a theory that it would create a chain reaction that would destroy the world. WE ARE LUCKY, it didn't happen. Testing did radiate the whole United states and parts of Canada thou. Cancer is up across a specific region. They did the thinking about the hazards for us.

It is a rare thing for a young person to listen "who probably thinks like I did. I thought I was bullet proof". Let me assure you I am not, nor was.

I once read a book (CIA black book) on making nitro glycerin, but if a inept person made it like the book says they would not be long for this world. It would make geysers or orange smoke that quickly reach the self-ignition point and explode. Follow the directions and die.

Might seem like a good ideal to a desperate person, till the boom took him to somewhere else. Maybe a good ideal to remove the desperate confused people? Maybe why the authors planned it that way? to get rid of the loose cannons..

We take enough known risks, experiments should be considered from all angles before started.

I am the luckiest man alive today, thou I have never hit the lottery.

Al Flipo
09-23-2003, 07:35 PM
Well, I have two cans BP sitting on the top self in my shop and after reading some of the post; I am more then a little worried about this. Is BP it really that dangerous? Should it be compared to explosives? And is it really all that sensitive to static?
While serving with the army engineers I handled a lot of TNT and other explosive devises and never thought it was all that dangerous or intimidating.
I would love to hear from someone who is an expert on BP and really find out what the limitations are.

09-23-2003, 08:29 PM
Of course black powder is dangerous, but handled as it should be, not overly so. Witness countless black powder firearms being sold today, and the wide availability of black powder from fffg to grades suitable for rifle and canon useage. However, for those who don't know, commerical black powder was once made with a different nitrate component which raised it into a grade of higher explosive quality. No, not on the same level as nitro, or dynamite, but not suitable for use as a propellant in firearms of any type, but for blasting only as I understand it.

09-23-2003, 09:07 PM
TNT is far safer than black powder. You can smash it with a sledge hammer and it won't go off. Watched a show the other night where they dropped an anvil 30 feet onto a block of TNT and it just squished. Modern high explosives are not sensitive to ordinary shocks. Black powder is not a high explosive and does not detonate, it deflagrates. That means it burns and the more there is and/or the more confined it is the faster it burns.

It IS that static sensitive. That is why it is sold in metal cans. Commercial black powder also has an anti-static additive in it. You will notice the black powder shooters (I are one) always use either brass or wood powder measures, they don't make sparks. Black powder is also very easy to set off through friction, unlike TNT, C4 etc.

Greg Parent
09-23-2003, 09:56 PM
I believe the anti-static additive is graphite.

09-23-2003, 09:57 PM
I had a physics prof, Dr Hughes, at Aurburn. Doc had a couple expressions: "file that idea under the list of things you only do once" and with home made explosives "you WILL leave the room by the hole that appears in the roof".

09-23-2003, 10:00 PM
Black powder for use in firearms has always been the same mixture. Potassium nitrate ( saltpeter ), sulfur and charcoal. There have been many explosive mixtures developed and used that are also "black powder" that contain combinations of other similar chemicals. Many with oxidizers of Potassium Chlorate are extremely unstable, however they burn faster and make better blasting powder.

Yes, modern high explosives are very stable and require a detonator ( blasting cap )or other high explosive device to initiate the explosion. They are as Evan pointed out in a different class.

There are horror stories about kids making pipe bombs with black powder and when they went to screw the cap on the pipe, the friction ignited the powder and they were killed or maimed. Black powder is reasonably safe when used in muzzle loading firearms, but you still need to be careful with it. Commercial grade powder is very uniform in size and grain formation and won't contain the "fines" or powder that will be more sensitive to static ignition.

My dad has shot muzzleloaders since about 1959 when he chartered the Fort Walla Walla Muzzle Loaders with the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association. They still shoot the first Sunday of every month at their range up in the Blue Mountains. So I kind of grew up with the black powder thing, but never took much interest in shooting muzzleloaders.


09-24-2003, 12:38 AM
Nobody uses black powder to blast anymore, too dangerous (well, except that couple of stumps I blasted some time ago, we won't go into that). So called "stumping powder" isn't powder at all, it is dynamite. 20% nitroglycerine and 80% Kielsghur clay. You can drop it out of an airplane and it won't go off. If you want something better there is 70% Forcite, good for breaking rocks with a burlap and mud blanket on top. The reel deel is Submarine Blasting Gelatin. I forget what the velocity of expansion is, I'd have to go look it up in my Blasters Handbook.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 09-23-2003).]

09-24-2003, 03:57 AM
Picric Acid - an extremely dangerous and unstable High Explosive (class c) compound was once used in the metal industry for blackening/blueing compounds. It was relatively safe in the solutions used, until they started to evaporate...

By itself, this compound is far more dangerous to handle than pure nitroglycerin. It is also a deadly poison. Small crystals often form near the container/lid interface where the slightest motion would disturb the crystals and detonate the compound. It is only used in special detonators now.

To be fair, most black powder arms sold these days are designed to safely use Pyrodex. They even package Pyrodex in slug form for the new breech loaders. There is no reason to use normal black powder these days

Greg Parent
09-24-2003, 10:06 AM
I find that black powder gives a slightly different recoil than Pyrodex. It feels a little softer, more of a push than a shove.

Al Flipo
09-24-2003, 12:16 PM
I have a 1" bore cannon that I shoot on rare occasions, Pyrodex is much harder to ignite and is therefore not suitable for flint or fuse, unless mixed with BP perhaps.

09-24-2003, 02:37 PM

I agree with all that has been said about the dangers of black powder. I just don't think those dangers are any more exigent than the other dangers we face every day from other "dangerous" things around us. Just don't deal with it until you know what you're doing.

Yes, BP is an explosive and not a propellant (unlike modern smokeless powder). Yes it is shock, static and temperature sensitive. Yes, its by-products are corrosive and rust steel. Yes, it can harbor spark from a hang fire for quite sometime until it goes off w/ no provocation or warning. Yes, modern high explosives are far more stable and easier to handle with a longer shelf life in less than ideal conditions (although they are also FAR more energetic).

Confine BP and when it goes off, it will create shrapnel. Keep it unconfined when it burns and it will take down most buildings and render the unburned portions uninhabitable due to the volumes of smoke. Yes, yes, yes.

So, take no unacceptable chances. Make sure you know what you're doing. But let’s not blow this thing up [pun intended http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif ] to more than it is. Just handle it correctly. Look at matches. Keep them in their box and they’re completely safe. Break-off the heads and put them in an inappropriate container and you’ll probably kill yourself.

Adults keeping small quantities of BP in approved containers and handling it in appropriate ways is no more dangerous than keeping that gasoline powered lawnmower in your garage; certainly far less dangerous than riding a motorcycle!

09-24-2003, 03:14 PM

All you have said is true. However, making your own black powder at home is what this thread is about and that is far riskier than anything you have mentioned. In fact, I have a hard time thinking of something more dangerous. It's in league with self taught sword swallowing, high diving into a wading pool and playing in the railway switching yard.

09-24-2003, 03:28 PM

True, the thread started with making the stuff. However, it started to evolve into the dangers of BP itself and that what I was addressing in my second post.

I still stand by my first post that BP is no more dangerous to make (when done by someone who knows what they're doing) than any other "hazardous" activity. If you know what you're doing, the risk is acceptable. If you don't, you're going to hurt yourself. No different than anything else in life.

09-24-2003, 04:02 PM
Nope, it's not safe at all, even if you know what you are doing. Fireworks factories blow up regularly, year after year. There is a reason that black powder mills have extremely strong walls and lightweight tin roofs.

Al Messer
09-24-2003, 04:36 PM
Did any of you non-farm boys ever hear of blowing up stumps and Beaver dams with a mixture of Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer and Diesel fuel in a PVC pipe with a stick of Dynamite for the primer?

09-24-2003, 04:51 PM
I think a lot of people learned about that after Oklahoma.

09-24-2003, 05:45 PM

Sorry, but you're just wrong. Fireworks factories don't blow up regularly. They blow up sometimes,... just like grain silos -- and very few in the US. If they blew up all the time, we wouldn't have any more because it just wouldn't be economically feasible to keep rebuilding them and paying settlements out to the survivors. I don't mind the appeal to safety. I'm with you on that. Just be realistic and avoid the hyperbole.

(BTW, every sturcture acting as an explosive magazine will have thick walls and venting roofs; black powder or no.)

Benjamin Borowsky
09-24-2003, 05:54 PM

My brother nearly lost three fingers to black powder burn - I know you've already backed away from this (good!), but just thought I'd add this one point.

There are much better (safer, just as fun) ways to make things that go bang and pop. Far be it from me to suggest them, but they exist... and when I was your age I was doing them all.


09-24-2003, 05:55 PM

You should do a little reading.


[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 09-24-2003).]

09-24-2003, 06:11 PM
May I suggest an alternative. I have this book and I recommend it.


G.A. Ewen
09-24-2003, 06:22 PM
Wow! that link says it all Evan. I'm glad that it didn't take that much evidence to convince Shed. Like I said, he is a smart young man.

The first link.

[This message has been edited by G.A. Ewen (edited 09-24-2003).]

09-24-2003, 07:12 PM

Again, you exaggerate. Read the site --starting at the home page. It's a site created by professional pyro-techs advertising their services. Do you really think they are attempting to tell potential customers that they should beware of and stay away from the very product and service they're selling?

The accident portion of the site is intended to show what happens when the proper precautions are not followed or untrained people get involved. Again, I'm with you on the safety stuff. Just don't exaggerate. This stuff is safe when handled properly. If it were otherwise, our nanny government would have banned it years ago. I hate to be pedantic, but come on. This stuff is not plutonium...

09-24-2003, 07:27 PM
Hmm. What exaggeration?

09-24-2003, 09:47 PM
If I'm not mistaken, I believe I read some years ago that there was an explosion at the Pyrodex factory. This was soon after they had gone into commercial production of it and there was question as to whether they would recover.


09-25-2003, 03:06 AM
...and lets not forget the the Thiokol propellant plant that blew up in Arizona...

THEY were professionals too. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

Or the Halifax harbour incident that killed nearly 4,000 people. (transportation boo-boo)

Or the military base in California that was loading ordinance onto a freighter.

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 09-25-2003).]

09-25-2003, 03:18 AM
Yeah, Morton-Thiakol, manufacturer of the o-ring seal, vis-vis the Columbia space shuttle disaster.

That was Hercules, California I believe, on the upper estuary of San Francisco Bay, the scene of the freighter loading incident during WWII - you wouldn't BELIEVE the damage ! Documentary film was shot by the (then) War Department.

The descendant of that ordinance company may still be in existence (I have a cannister of shotgun propellant: Herco, which I think is made in Hercules.)

edited to add: I meant "Challenger", not "Columbia". One too many disasters - the images are still nightmarish.

[This message has been edited by randyc (edited 09-25-2003).]

09-25-2003, 12:03 PM
I just watched a documentary about that freighter loading incident. The blast was so powerful the military used the effects to estimate how an atomic bomb would produce damage. That was before Trinity.

09-25-2003, 12:41 PM
While you are frightening each other, remember the "Texas City", disaster. Several ships blew up, because they were too close to the first ship that blew up- They were loaded with fertilizer. I (and many other "hams") passed considerable message traffic right after the ships blew up. Lots of "sabotage", "Russians are behind it all", super explosives , govt secrets, and such stuff- turns out it was fertilizer (unless govt really hid the real cause).

Uranium mines in New Mexico used diesel fuel and fertilizer (the stuff was still on display just a few years ago) to blast. According to the museum, it was as safe as dynamite, cheaper and the job.

"if the risks are acceptable , the job is safe" is good guide- and that assumes you know all the risks. But WE seldom know the risks so I guess NOTHING is safe to do unless God or Govt says it safe.. But Govt keeps finding more things are too risky. And I guess God changed his/her/it mind on a few things- So some things that were risky are now ok.

09-26-2003, 02:29 AM

It is very safe. Fertilizer does not have enough "fuel" for an explosion, the diesel fuel added to it makes a huge difference. Most of the modern blasting compounds are partly Aluminum powder and other chemicals in a water based jelly. If you look at most chemical explosions you will note two things, the primary explosion and then a fireball.

In the lack of oxygen the explosion will produce lots of "soot" which is the fuel for the fireballs. All high explosives are "carbon rich" in that they have sufficient oxidant within themselves to cause the explosion but not enough for complete cumbustion. In the prescience of oxygen this "extra fuel" produces the attendant fireball following the explosion.

The boosters on the shuttle are high explosives burning on the very edge of detonation - the charges are cored to produce a constant pressure as they burn until expended. If there are hot spots, it can blow up. Very dangerous stuff - solid fuel rockets...

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 09-26-2003).]

09-26-2003, 02:55 AM
Shuttle boosters: Potassium Perchlorate and Aluminum Powder, appropriate binders and alkali stabilizers, star shaped core up the center to equalize the pressure as the burnt radius expands, maintaining equal outlet nozzle pressure during the entire burn.

Potassium perchlorate and aluminum powder ( not the aluminum powder used for paint pigment, it is coated with a wax so it will dissolve in the vehicle) is the highest power low explosive. Confined by a simple wrap of paper it will go BANG.

Shed Machinist
09-26-2003, 08:57 AM
I thought rocket boosters were kerosene and another fuel pumped into a combustion chambers then when they cumbust it is forced down?

09-26-2003, 11:07 AM
(geeze) The kid asked one question, now we have him thinking of producing nitro, solid propellant rockets in his shed. I can see it all now.. The evening new, a crater behind this small community house.

Not good, Not good..

You know I was a kid that never listened to anyone. I thought strapping bottle rockets on the rear of my bicycle was a good ideal. Not enough thrust I found out. but they sure bliStered the paint.

Roman candles, now, that was the next item, and light them in front of my buddies in traffic. I got talked to severly by a policeman. I was always looking for a larger more powerful push. (still looking)

Someone should point to the Impala desert crash scene on the DARWIN's site. something about running 600mph in a impala (w/Jatos designed to lift C130's tonnage) with 113 mph tires just don't make good sense. Made a large crater so the story goes.... is it true??

09-26-2003, 12:47 PM

Not to worry, you can't just go to the drug store and buy potassium perchlorate. It's even harder to find untreated aluminum powder. Aluminum filings don't work.


There are two basic types of rocket motors, liquid fueled and solid fuel. If you want to play around with rockets see if there is a local model rocket club. The rockets are based on safe non-metallic solid rocket motors and are a blast. He he. The performance can be amazing. Some can do zero to 400mph in 50 feet. Don't think about trying anything with liquid fuel. BOOM. (except water rockets)

09-26-2003, 01:14 PM
Very possibly the first fireworks/black powder fatality was a Chinese nobleman named Wan Hu a millenium ago. He strapped himself into a bamboo chair with about 27 black powder rockets attached to it. He intended to fly under rocket power. His 27 assistants simultaneously lit the fuses and cleared away. There was a brilliant flash and a huge boom. Chair and Wan Hu were gone.

09-26-2003, 02:21 PM
IBEW: The Jato may have a germ of truth but I heard it first in mid 1950's. Story was Air force kid had a 50 plymouth, pretty gal friend. Bad guy with a hot ford took gal. Kid mounted Jato in trunk, pulled along side the Ford and blipped engine. WHen ford passed plymouth, the kid hit the jatos, passed the ford, one semi and went under another. All with the wheels locked, tires flat, rims ground down. Supposed to have happened at Albuquerque NM. Guy that told the story said he had heard it in WWll with different details. I suspect it is not even based on actual event- but I guess it could happen.

We had a man injured on Swan Island, coastguard flew in. The air strip was grass, very short. I figured they would never get it out unless we chopped some coconut trees. Coast guard said no sweat and at daybreak they hit the jatos. Half way down the strip they were probably over 100 feet high. AWESOME!

I think JATO COULD do it to the chevy or Plymouth but I doubt any one tried it. But I been wrong before.
I also have doubts about the guys (usually sea-bees in WWll, that supposedly rode Oxygen bottles in south pacific. I doubt they could hold on. Story was, they straddled a tank, took a hammer to the valve and rode the tank till it was empty.

I eyeballed a jail cell where one of MY tanks of oxygen got loose. Thats another story too, but that tank did rip things apart.
But man, I do love a wild story, well told- true or not! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

09-26-2003, 07:38 PM
You missed two, the Ion engine - low, continuous thrust in vacuum (proven system). As well as the new scram jets they are considering for the x-30 (space plane).

They had also played with Lithium/Florine fueled engines - these produce the highest thrust of any chemical rocket fuel and exhaust temperatures in excess of 13,000*F. I do not know if the lithium was in solid, powder, or liquid form.


The Saturn 5 main boosters were kerosene and oxygen. The command module and lunar modules used Hydrogen/Oxygen, solid fuel booster (lunar escape rocket on LEM) and pyrogolic fuel (ignites and burns in prescience of oxygen)

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 09-26-2003).]

09-26-2003, 08:35 PM
Thrud, I concede I missed the ion engine but the scramjet isn't a rocket, it's an air breather. You missed one as well, NERVA, atomic rocket.

Greg Parent
09-26-2003, 09:42 PM
You can also add Hybrid motors; gaseous Nitrous Oxide and any carbon containing solid.
Tri-brid motors; hybrid technology with an alcohol injection. RATT works makes these for sale.

You can check Rocketry Online, Tripoli Rocketry Association or the Canadian Association of Rocktery for lots more info on motors.

09-27-2003, 01:18 AM
One of the interesting rockets is kerosene and hydrogen peroxide. It self ignites, the blast coming off the catalyst pack that converts the hydrogen peroxide to steam reaches such a tempature it ignites it.

I was working on a rocket here. Not now, too covered up... I am still a big kid, but I look at things from all angles before I do it. I know I am not bullet-proof...

09-27-2003, 01:54 AM
Actually, it is "hypergolic". The fuel and oxidiser self-ignite when combined. This is what is used on the thrusters on the shuttle. I belive red fuming nitric acid and hydrazine. Very toxic. That is why they warned no-one should approach parts of the Columbia.

09-27-2003, 02:54 AM
You are right, more brain farts... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

10-02-2003, 06:36 AM
Making your own blackpowder is not worth the dangers involved as long as it can be obtained from a commercial source. Perhaps if the government were to ban it and the only way you could get it was to make your own it would be worth the risk. It would be very hard to ever achieve any consistency with home made blackpowder made in tiny batches. No consitency equals no accuracy in a rifle.

I shoot flintlocks and blackpowder is the only powder that will ignite consistently in it. Oh by the way there is no delay in the ignition of a flintlock. Shooters at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Associations National Matches at Friendship, Indiana shoot 5 shot groups of 1" at 100yds off the bench. I have seen 5 shot groups of 2" offhand at 100yds!

For more information on the NMLRA go to www.nmlra.org. (http://www.nmlra.org.)

Bill Wheelock
NMLRA Field Rep.

10-02-2003, 02:24 PM
Back in the 12th century or so when gunpowder first got into considerable usage, "gunners" made their own gunpowder.

After hauling to the next siege site, the gunpowder often had separated, and needed to be stirred up again to mix it right.

And, the strength of the powder, and of the gun, tended to be inconsistent. This could cause *interesting* results.

There were a number of sayings about gunners, which I was trying to find a reference on, but haven't. Some were pretty amusing.

But, nevermind, the upshot of them all was that the gunners needed to go to confession regularly because they were pretty likely to need to have just confessed and been given absolution......because they were not likely to have access to a priest when they died......
Not because the priest wasn't around, but because the gunner wouldn't be.......

Making your own gunpowder is kinda returning to the 12th century. But I don't think you would want your "historical re-enactment" to be too close to the real thing........................ http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

[This message has been edited by Oso (edited 10-02-2003).]