Blackpowder vs. substitute powder a fresh question


April 24, 2010, 12:52 AM
Here's a fresh question on an old subject that's been argued long and hard, blackpowder vs. substitute.
Would you give up muzzleloading if the gov. outlawed blackpowder? Would you switch to a substitute? Would switching to a substitute maintain the satisfaction you get from loading a firearm they way our forefathers did? Do you love the smell of sulfur burning so much that you'd give it all up if you couldn't get blackpowder anymore?
I never thought I'd see the day but the weather is right for that to happen.
Under our present government there is a clear line between explosive/blackpowder and propellant/substitute and there are precious few of us that would be effected/affected by a complete ban on blackpowder.
The more I think about it the worse I feel. I know I can make my own but I don't relish the thought of saving my urine to make saltpeter. The worst part is that I don't know what to do about it.

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April 24, 2010, 01:57 AM
I definitely prefer Black Powder for my Cap and Ball Revolvers, and, also, it is my favorite for some Metallic Cartridges also.

So, if it were to become unavailable, I would really miss it.

'777' seems very good as a Propellent/Powder in it's own right, whether thought of as being a substitute or not.

April 24, 2010, 07:19 AM
No, I would not give up muzzleloading.

I think you completely misunderstand the current administration. They are clearly, in my mind, driven by populist sentiment only. They have no moral or ethical principles whatsoever, so no matter what philosophy is popular they will only follow that as long as it's the popular thing to do. Black powder as an issue is so far down in the public's consciousness that it'll never come up on the administration's agenda as something they need to deal with.

April 24, 2010, 07:20 AM
I would miss real black powder, but I would miss shooting cap and ball more. I have subs in my powder box now and shoot it occasionally, so it would be nothing new to me.

April 24, 2010, 07:29 AM
I don't think the ban on BP is likely. More likely is a requirement of adding "Tagents" to the powder. As long as some fool does not make a bomb with BP that hurts a lot of people we should be okay. We may be small in number, but we do have friends that see what is coming if they don't help us. They are many.

I will cross the "substitute Bridge" kicking, screaming and fighting all the way.

Rock Island
April 24, 2010, 08:17 AM
I have a stockpile for just this reason, it will keep me going until I learn to make my own, I shoot a lot of flinters, I must have BP for them. The cap guns I could shoot with clean shot or 777 if I had to but I wouldn't be liking it.

April 24, 2010, 08:29 AM
For all intents, black powder IS illegal. I don't know of a store in 500 miles that handles it and certainly none in this population thin immediate area of my state. Draconian shipping and storage requirements have seen to that. I could order it in bulk, but I don't care to. So, I've been using Pyrodex for 30 years. I haven't noticed that it's much different than BP, to be frank, even has the sulfur smell.

I recently discovered 777 in my ROA. I like it a lot, a lot less mess. I'm going to try it in my hawken eventually. My .31, I still kinda prefer Pyrodex.

April 24, 2010, 08:39 AM
A few years back it was being kicked around in the gov. to put bans on reloading components of all types. At that time BP was being thought of as a dangerous explosive that could be used for a terrorist bomb , (that really shows the intelligence of the gov.) so being the true American I am, I started purchasing the materials to make my own BP. I also purchased a very large quantity of BP over a 2 year period.
The estimate of BP from the materials I have on hand at the present is about a thousand pounds. As it is not refined into the end product yet, it is just taking up space in my shed.
The cost of the materials seems to come out to about a third the cost of buying the BP, but there is a considerable amount of time involved in the making.
I have also acquired a very large quantity of lead, and continue to collect that at every opportunity. The primers are all that will keep me from loading for my .45-70 Sharps.
For the front stuffers, it is clear that you will only need lead and caps and you can make your own BP, as I will. Having a quantity of sub on hand is happening now. Having a few hundred pounds of BP, sub, or a combination and a few thousand primers will make for a continued supply of ammo.
A ban n BP may be far off, but taxing the crap out of it and all the components for reloading isn't.
This is what I have done, it isn't ethical, but it keeps me shooting and somewhat protected from the gov.
Will I quit shooing if BP is banned?, the 200 pounds of sub in the cellar says 'NO".


April 24, 2010, 08:53 AM
So long as cap gun roll caps are available, caps aren't a big problem. Only thing, my home made caps work great in revolvers, but aren't hot enough for my hawken. They'd likely work in an inline.

Acorn Mush
April 25, 2010, 12:17 AM
This is what I have done, it isn't ethical, ... .

R. Clem, I must have misunderstood something in reading your post. Why in the world would you consider the steps you have taken to be "unethical"? To my simple mind, ethics have nothing whatsoever to do with your actions. If planning for an uncertain future is not "ethical", then anyone with a bank account, more than a day or two supply of food, insurance, extra cash around the house, etcetera, is not ethical. This probably includes most of us.

Carry on brother, and more power to you!

April 25, 2010, 12:25 AM
I think that what R.Clem is referring to as being unethical is keeping 200 lbs. of BP in the celler when the Federal personal legal limit is 50 lbs.. :D

Old Cannonballs
April 25, 2010, 02:12 AM
I believe he said 200 lbs. of substitutes, not BP. The only figure he gave for BP was that he had fixins for 1000 lbs., but if he makes it up in small batches so he never has more than 50 lbs. on hand at any one time, then that should address that concern.

I don't know if the feds have a personal limit for nonexplosive propellants.

Of course, you never know when somebody from BATF (or BATFE or whatever the heck they call it these days) might decide to give somebody a hard time even if they only have what's technically a legal amount of black powder. I hear that sort of thing happens from time to time. Five guns is an arsenal, a malfunctioning semi-automatic is an automatic weapon, etc. Its nuts.

April 25, 2010, 04:48 PM
I refer to myself as "unethical", because I am an eccentric, I have a few cases of MRE's, some cash, gold and silver, and the desire to foresee the future, and survive long enough to be a problem if need be.
Where I live, the legal amount of BP is 20# on hand, I passed that way back, but it is not stored in the same place, neither is the 200# of sub. I have been storing stuff in different places since I started collecting, all is close to home, but not too close. A fire could cause quite a commotion if you stored everything together.
I have some friends who have hundreds of thousands of rounds stored, and enough components to make thousands more. These guys are every bit as eccentric as I, but they are legal eagles, doctors, a state senator, and the list goes on. We as a group, expect to survive most any calamity, to start anew.


April 26, 2010, 05:12 AM
I'm sorry, I missed the part about the 200# of powder being "sub".

Loyalist Dave
April 26, 2010, 02:09 PM
I'd make my own powder, and one does not need to save urine to get KNO3 unless the govt has the brains to ban KNO3 sources, but a single fifty pound bag will make about 60 lbs of powder. Sure, my target shooting might get curtailed, but it is doable. 60 lbs. would give me roughly 5000 rounds, including priming powder. The limit where I live is about ten deer a year, so that's like five hundred years of ammunition. Lead would be more of a problem than powder.


April 28, 2010, 09:53 AM
I'll say the same thing I tell friends when they ask me " What will you do if the government bans guns"...
I'll ignore the damn government....I don't need them to tell me what to do and idiot proofing society is no excuse to lose ones own moral compass...
Black powder around here has already pretty much disappeared and I've made my own for 5 years or so.
Obviously there's no good reason to ban it anyway, it's a low order explosive, actually, just a deflagrant anyway, so it's not so much an item terrorists are seeking. But when the government starts to fear it's people more and more, they may just start imposing some foolish bans.

April 28, 2010, 11:35 PM
I guess a concern is that the anti-gun crowd generally lose when they go head on with the 2nd but when they nibble at the fringes (we black powder shooters are surely a fringe group) they sometimes win.

Loyalist Dave
April 29, 2010, 09:01 AM
I don't think that crowd is really bright enough for the most part to know and understand us. They like to nibble, true, but they also like to make what they can claim is an "impact" to solicit funds from their mind numbed minions, and so far we'd be so low an impact in their minds..., we're not going to pop up on their radar..., for now.


April 29, 2010, 09:18 AM
"...,for now." It's kind of like being a pipe smoker in my state to date we've been under the tobacco tax increase radar...,for now.

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