making black powder???

Closed Thread

  #1  
Old 12-11-05, 07:36 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
making black powder???

I know you can make black powder but can you do it safely and if so does anyone have any experience doing it??? Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 12-13-05, 10:22 AM
S
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: kansas city MO
Posts: 103
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
In the attempt to attain maximum consistency (in quest of maximum accuracy), I started looking into diy blackpowder. Found lots of recipes (some calling for the use of stale urine). It was during this search that I realized that manufacturing my own would only remove consistency. A large factory (like Goex) can easily maintain relative consistency from can to can, because it mixes such large batches. There is no way that I could match that. Five or ten grains off on a 1 pound batch would be a much larger percentage deviation than 100 grains on a 1000 lb batch.
 
  #3  
Old 12-13-05, 05:54 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
well since i posted last, i found a recipie for black powder consisting of 74% saltpetre 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur (by weight). I went to a drugstore and got the saltpetre and sulfur (wich was flowers of sulfur). I had some hardwood charcoal briquettes but read that they did not work the best so made my own charcoal out of soft clear pine. I crushed up the charcoal in a ziploc bag with a hammer and rolling pin, crushed up the lumps in my sulfer and the saltpeter was ground anyway so i didnt do much to that. I weighed them all out by grains with a powder scale. I made a 1/2oz. batch that consisted of 164gr saltpetre 33gr charcoal and 22gr sulphur. All calculations were based on the conversion that 437.5gr = 1oz if i did my math right. I mixed it all togeather in a glass jar outside very carefully and then put it in a plastic container and lit it off. All it did was burn like a sparkler instead of explode like normal ffg black powder. Anyone have any tips on how to make it burn better so maybe i can actually use it in a rifle? Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 01-08-06, 05:11 PM
bf140-Albert
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I can't help someone blow his hands off.
 
  #5  
Old 01-08-06, 09:18 PM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,179
Received 47 Votes on 45 Posts
butterfingers,

I'll chime in and offer some safety related advice.
Firstly, to mix explosive chemicals in a glass jar is one of the most dangerous things you could possibly do. Not only to yourself but any one who is nearby.

My recollection of the proper way of making firearms grade black powder involve boiling the chemicals in water to combine them and using alcohol to remove the water.
Really, if you are going to use this powder in a firearm I honestly think you are wasting your time in addition to risking your life and limb.
Commercially produced black powder is consistant, stable and not really that expensive.
 
  #6  
Old 01-14-06, 06:32 PM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,707
Received 785 Votes on 722 Posts
If you are really serious about making your own powder. Before you purchase or touch a single chemical... read a lot. Black powder has been made for hundreds of years and much has been written on the subject. Many people have died learning the ropes and there is no reason you should repeat their mistakes.

Second, learn the law. The manufacture of some things are very strictly controlled. Make sure you stay on the correct side of the legal line. The BATF and every other law agency have lost all sense of humor in recent years.

-----

GregH gave you some insight into mixing and drying. The burn is also affected by particle size, shape and density.
 
  #7  
Old 05-16-06, 04:19 AM
3
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
black powder recipie

Originally Posted by butterfingers
well since i posted last, i found a recipie for black powder consisting of 74% saltpetre 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur (by weight). I went to a drugstore and got the saltpetre and sulfur (wich was flowers of sulfur). I had some hardwood charcoal briquettes but read that they did not work the best so made my own charcoal out of soft clear pine. I crushed up the charcoal in a ziploc bag with a hammer and rolling pin, crushed up the lumps in my sulfer and the saltpeter was ground anyway so i didnt do much to that. I weighed them all out by grains with a powder scale. I made a 1/2oz. batch that consisted of 164gr saltpetre 33gr charcoal and 22gr sulphur. All calculations were based on the conversion that 437.5gr = 1oz if i did my math right. I mixed it all togeather in a glass jar outside very carefully and then put it in a plastic container and lit it off. All it did was burn like a sparkler instead of explode like normal ffg black powder. Anyone have any tips on how to make it burn better so maybe i can actually use it in a rifle? Thanks
Your recipie sounds about right. Did you mix the material wet? Needs to be. Just because it's wet ya still have to be careful. set aside to dry some (if ya can make a ball that sticks togther) and then crumbles when ya squeeze it. It's dry enough for the next step. You will need some kind of stone grinding wheel and incorporate it together by running it under the stone. It's gonna dry out as ya do this so keep it moist. The longer ya keep at it the better the results. When that's over have a wooden box with a lid that fits inside. Put the mix in the box cover with lid and put weight on lid to help squeeze out more water( a screw type press is ideal for this step ). Let the cake of powder dry under pressure then ya can break it up and screen it to seperate into different granual size. It's alot of work but good to know if it ever gets hard to buy black powder.
Another thing ya might want to try is BROWN POWDER. It was black powder at it's best. Velocities nearing that of smokless powder
 
  #8  
Old 09-06-07, 06:03 AM
I
Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 274
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I was surprised that anyone would be trying this anymore. I remember many years ago.. When I was maybe 14 or 15 making homemade black powder. Lucky to have all my limbs from those days but as one said .. you have to wet it and then grind it after it dries.
With todays laws and rules you could easily end up in jail just having the chemicals in your shop or even writing it down on paper could get you questioned. It really doesn't matter what your intentions are with the stuff its just having it that looks bad to local law folks. We are not a free country anymore. Free meaning free to make or build as we choose those things that may be dangerous to ourselves.
 
  #9  
Old 09-06-07, 01:35 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,924
Received 131 Votes on 105 Posts
" ... well since i posted last, i found a recipie for black powder consisting of 74% saltpetre 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur (by weight). I went to a drugstore and got the saltpetre and sulfur (wich was flowers of sulfur). I had some hardwood charcoal briquettes but read that they did not work the best so made my own charcoal out of soft clear pine. I crushed up the charcoal in a ziploc bag with a hammer and rolling pin, crushed up the lumps in my sulfer and the saltpeter was ground anyway so i didnt do much to that. I weighed them all out by grains with a powder scale. I made a 1/2oz. batch that consisted of 164gr saltpetre 33gr charcoal and 22gr sulphur. All calculations were based on the conversion that 437.5gr = 1oz if i did my math right. I mixed it all togeather in a glass jar outside very carefully and then put it in a plastic container and lit it off. All it did was burn like a sparkler instead of explode like normal ffg black powder. Anyone have any tips on how to make it burn better so maybe i can actually use it in a rifle? Thanks"

Congrats, you've achieved 500 year old technology! Safety and legal reasons aside, I just don't see you ever achieving the consistency and performance of factory made BP.
 
  #10  
Old 09-13-07, 06:35 PM
G
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 49
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
fireworks !

Hi folks,

I remember many years ago someone i knew involved in pyrotechnics told me this.
In asia were alot of fireworks are manufactured they give each worker there own concrete cubicle. The reason for it is so that when they are putting the package together and it goes kaboom they only blow themselves up and not the next worker or the factory itself.
Anyhow ,,i was curious exactly what did you ask the drugstore for ..as far as the saltpetre goes.,,was it called something else or was it ordered as saltpetre and what did you tell the pharmacist you were using it for ? Just sorta curious.
 
  #11  
Old 09-14-07, 05:02 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington
Posts: 4,214
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The US black powder industry started here(Wilmington) in 1804 by the duPonts. They often had explosions and had manufacturing and mixing in buildings with 3 stone sides, the 4th side was wood and would blow out in case of an explosion. Those facilities moved across the delaware River to Carneys Point, NJ. They had the last explosion in the late 1960's, when a couple thousand pounds blew. Knocked out shopping center window 3 miles across the river. They stopped making powder soon after.

If they could not do it safely, what makes you think you can!!!!
 
  #12  
Old 09-14-07, 10:33 PM
410a's Avatar
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 31
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I am curious.

What was your cost to create .5 oz. Black Powder??
 
  #13  
Old 09-15-07, 04:38 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,179
Received 47 Votes on 45 Posts
Just so y'all are aware,

This post is nearly two years old and the original poster hasn't logged into this site in ten months................hopefully he is still in one piece!
 
  #14  
Old 09-19-07, 04:40 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington
Posts: 4,214
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Didn't even look at the post date, he is either in pieces or hunting.
 
  #15  
Old 09-20-07, 08:30 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,924
Received 131 Votes on 105 Posts
His screen name was "butterfingers". Makes you wonder.....
 
  #16  
Old 09-24-07, 08:03 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 97
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hey everyone,
Glad to inform you that I am still alive and by the looks of some comments there was serious doubts. As for making black powder I made .5 oz and remotely lit it and it burned and then i havent really done anything with it since. I did get a funny look when i went to the drugstore and bought a jar of sulfer and saltpeter. The funny thing is that they were in the shelf right next to each other and they were cheap. I think around 5 or 6 bucks for bolth and I hardly used a pinch of it. Anyway I have kind of lost interest for now. Also the name butterfingers was given to me by my highschool basketball coach and it kinda stuck. (basketball isnt my thing)
 
  #17  
Old 10-18-07, 04:58 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington
Posts: 4,214
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Making powder that burns are the proper rate is a real art. If it burns too fast, you may blow up the gun, if too slowly, you could end up with the bullet stuck in the barrel. We had chemistry sets when we were kids and made powder, but never got any farther than burning it on a dish.
 
  #18  
Old 11-26-07, 04:14 PM
J
Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oldsmar, florida, usa
Posts: 44
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Not easy and I wouldn't try it.
Get purified potassium nitrate, sulfur, charcoal, by weight 74%, 10.4%, and 15.6%. Powder, mix, wet, press the slurry into a cake, dry, break into grains and sift through a screen for proper size. Grains from about .058 in. to .023 are OK for a rifle, .0376 to .011 for a pistol.
See NRA "Handloading".
 
  #19  
Old 12-19-08, 12:11 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: northeast
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jjk308 View Post
Not easy and I wouldn't try it.
Get purified potassium nitrate, sulfur, charcoal, by weight 74%, 10.4%, and 15.6%. Powder, mix, wet, press the slurry into a cake, dry, break into grains and sift through a screen for proper size. Grains from about .058 in. to .023 are OK for a rifle, .0376 to .011 for a pistol.
See NRA "Handloading".
Am just getting started in researching BP making. Your grain size of .058 according to a chart I have indicates that would be considered FFg. Do you concur with that?
 
  #20  
Old 12-19-08, 12:21 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: northeast
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cwbuff View Post
" ... well since i posted last, i found a recipie for black powder consisting of 74% saltpetre 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur (by weight). I went to a drugstore and got the saltpetre and sulfur (wich was flowers of sulfur). I had some hardwood charcoal briquettes but read that they did not work the best so made my own charcoal out of soft clear pine. I crushed up the charcoal in a ziploc bag with a hammer and rolling pin, crushed up the lumps in my sulfer and the saltpeter was ground anyway so i didnt do much to that. I weighed them all out by grains with a powder scale. I made a 1/2oz. batch that consisted of 164gr saltpetre 33gr charcoal and 22gr sulphur. All calculations were based on the conversion that 437.5gr = 1oz if i did my math right. I mixed it all togeather in a glass jar outside very carefully and then put it in a plastic container and lit it off. All it did was burn like a sparkler instead of explode like normal ffg black powder. Anyone have any tips on how to make it burn better so maybe i can actually use it in a rifle? Thanks"

Congrats, you've achieved 500 year old technology! Safety and legal reasons aside, I just don't see you ever achieving the consistency and performance of factory made BP.
"I put it in a plastic container" is a rather vague statement. BP will burn quickly is loose. Confine it in a chamber and introduce ignition and you have an explosive. It doesn't "explode" unless contained. Did you ascertain the granulation to have an idea of what "size" you had?
 
  #21  
Old 12-19-08, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
making black powder???

One thing everyone is missing is the "recipe" probably deals with DRY weights, while the materials you have will always have some amount of moisture.

Fine grained materials can and do pick up moisture once the are opened and exposed to the air. This can easily be 10% error or variation from day to day.

Commercial production can adjust for the moisture because they can test the materials to betermine the weight adjustment. Even in making colored/pigmented concrete, the weight of the pigments can be adjusted if material in opened packages is used.

Dick
 
  #22  
Old 12-19-08, 01:15 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,924
Received 131 Votes on 105 Posts
Rossandbea - your quoted text was not written by me. Only the last sentence in the quote was mine. Please correct your post.

I don't want anyone to think I am the one that wants to make something dangerous and unreliable with absolutely no expertise or experience. Guys like that often end up with 8 fingers, one eye and no nose.
 
  #23  
Old 12-19-08, 01:19 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,112
Received 4 Votes on 4 Posts
I was wondering CW...didn't read all the way down, but didn't seem like you (except the last sentence).


Why anyone would want this kind of info is beyond me. Unless yer trying to re-create China from 2000 yrs ago?

Pay the money at the local gunstore and keep all yer appendages and organs.
 
  #24  
Old 12-19-08, 04:50 PM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,179
Received 47 Votes on 45 Posts
This thread is way beyond the scope of what this forum is for.
We do not support dangerous projects!

Thread closed.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: