Anybody make blanks?


August 21, 2003, 12:29 AM
I was reloading yesterday (like everyday, lately) and messed up a couple by accidentally putting the flaring die back in after I'd put in the powder, compressing the powder (a minimum charge) to the point where no amount of poking or scraping will get it out.

I know that blanks have wadding in them, so I put some wax paper in after the powder.

They feed fine, but I want to know if it will work. I'm willing to try it, I just want to be aware of any concerns to my safety or my gun's integrity.

Anybody ever made blanks, same or otherwise?


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August 21, 2003, 07:22 PM
As long as you don't have bullets in the cases fire away. If you put bullets in then they may be safe to fire or they may not do anything more than stick the bullet in the bore.
By compressing the powder into a "pill" you have probably changed the burn characteristics but to which side I don't know. It might detonate or it might not burn at all - at least without the bullet in place the pressure will stay low and you won't end up with a bullet in the forcing cone.


Paul "Fitz" Jones
August 22, 2003, 05:41 PM
My first reloading business was making blanks for my high school cadet corps summer manuevers. I pulled the bullets from GI 06 rounds and stuffed in cotton and was given a case of 1500 rounds for my work.

I then turned them into 7.7 Jap rounds under the supervision of my high school welding instructor who was also my night school gunsmithing instructor in 1949

I have been reloading ever since.

John Paul

August 22, 2003, 11:25 PM
Down here in SE AZ we have a cerimonial cavalry unit, B Troop, and they do reeinactments. I used to load blackpowder blanks for them. I compressed black powder in the case and seated a cork wad. They worked well and made good smoke.

August 25, 2003, 08:56 PM
Blank powder from USGI .30-06 or .50 BMG blanks works great, but it is critical to NEVER put a bullet in front lest you blow the gun up. Use a cardboard wad and nail polish to keep the charge in.

Put enough in the case to fill it maybe 1/4 of the way and you'll get a nice loud bang. I made some actors in college about poo their pants with those in .38 Special one year.

Please beware the blast. The expanding gases can kill. IIRC, at least 10 feet should separate your muzzle and any person, if you feel like breaking Rule #1 or whatever. Eye protection is mandatory because wad particles can blind you.

BTW, beware of .50 BMG primers. A family friend worked in the Denver ammo plant during WWII, and saw a her own acquaintance die after dropping a tray of primers. Big explosive charge + larger metal pieces = penetrated to her heart/aortic complex.

Big charges of Bullseye also reportedly work okay. I don't like black powder because of the cleanup.

I wouldn't expect your powder pellet to make much of a bang, but it's perfectly safe to try, IMO.

All standard disclaimers apply. If there's something you didn't tell us, all bets are off.

August 26, 2003, 06:02 PM
Well, I went and tried my blank.

It was pretty sad. I did it at dusk, and there wasn't much, or any, muzzle flash, and was as quiet as one could imagine. A BB gun is louder. I will have to look into some of that Blank Powder.

I did try just an empty casing with a new primer, and THAT was quite a bit louder, with a neat little muzzle flash. It sounded about like a firecracker.

Thanks for the help.


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