Question-Important..


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GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 5, 2011, 09:04 PM
10 pounds of Potassium Nitrate, 10 pounds of Flour Sulfur, and 10 pounds of Charcoal Airfloat...How much black powder will this make? Have 4 Indian families here in Wyoming and they all lost their jobs. They'd rather die than beg for food or money from the government. They will be doing a lot of hunting. They have enough money to pay for the ingredients and they have plenty of lead and sabots..Can someone help me here so I can pass the word on to them? Thank you and they thank you to....PS. I KNOW THE MEASUREMENTS ARE NOT EQUAL AND ALL, BUT THE MOST I HAVE EVER MADE AT A TIME IS ABOUT 5 OUNCES AND THAT'S MIGHTY FEW AND FAR BETWEEN....

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makos_goods
April 5, 2011, 09:10 PM
Not only is Black Powder measured by volume, it is mixed by volume.
Give us a relative volume of each component...

But a rough formula for ratio is
15 parts by weight of Potassium Nitrate
3 Parts by weight of Charcoal
2 Parts by weight of Sulfur

so basically 13 lbs 5 ounces of powder, you'll have 8 pounds of Charcoal and 8 5/8 pounds of Sulfur left.

How are they going to mix it? Serpentine powder is not very powerful, and Corn style is still not as powerful as what you get from a real mill. Wet mixing is best but then you have to mill it. I don't say this lightly, but "you'll put your eye out kid..." You'd be better of buying them 13 pounds of Diamond back powder form Powder Inc. You'll have to order 25 pounds at $11/lb delivered, keep the balance or sell it to your local shooters to cover a portion of your costs.



~Mako

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 5, 2011, 09:21 PM
Sir, I guess I can figure it out pretty close. I know the measurements for anywhere from 2 to 5 ounces. I just thought someone on here who make's it and shoot's it all the time could just sort of rattle off from the top of their head so to speak. At least somewhere in the ball park. Thank you....

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 5, 2011, 09:37 PM
They have ball mills and some good framed screens. They have a small supply they pooled together on but no money to spare for any more chemicals. They are reasonably well experienced. I was trying to figure it out because I know they're real good people and I wanted to help them. I just passed word to them that I will give them 6 pounds of Triple Seven 3fff. If they smoke that much up before they find some work then I'll get them some nitrate and sulfur. They can make their own charcoal..Thank you....

makos_goods
April 5, 2011, 09:42 PM
Sir, I guess I can figure it out pretty close. I know the measurements for anywhere from 2 to 5 ounces. I just thought someone on here who make's it and shoot's it all the time could just sort of rattle off from the top of their head so to speak. At least somewhere in the ball park. Thank you....
Look at my post #2

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 5, 2011, 09:50 PM
I did. But still, when you're sitting here bone tired and cold to the bone and the beginning of saddle sores on your ass it's kind of hard and frustrating to work your measurements through 10 pounds of each..Again, thank you sir..

Oyeboten
April 5, 2011, 10:41 PM
If they live in an area where one can find Elk Antlers laying around, they can cut those up and or leave some whole, and, sell them on e-bay and Gunbroker for Knife Makers and Pistol Stock Makers and whoever else needs them, especially if they ask a reasonable price.

Far as having some diversified 'skills' or willingness to hustle a little, for having some Cash income if in a rural area.

Other things too...

What part of the Country is this G of the CC?

Bluehawk
April 7, 2011, 02:01 AM
GOC...
with 10 pounds of Nitrate you can make 13 pounds of BP:

Pot. Nitrate 9.75 lbs
Sulfur: 1.30 lbs.
Charcoal 1.95 lbs.

hope that helps (you can actually make 13.3 pounds but I figured it to the nearest pound)

Bluehawk
April 7, 2011, 02:05 AM
Not only is Black Powder measured by volume, it is mixed by volume.

If you want to produce really good, consistently reproducible BP for firearms, you weigh it...not mix by volume.

makos_goods
April 7, 2011, 02:25 AM
Bluehawk,
Did you read what I said in post #2? I already said there it would produce 13 lbs and 5 ounces of BP and I gave the ratios necessary to make that amount.

And at the mills the powder is mixed by volume, the volume is determined by initial weighing. Then each of the components are processed to the appropriate screen size and the put into the volume hoppers and dispensed by volume. There are variations primarily in the density of the charcoal which varies the weight, but the volume is not changed. I know this because I used to direct a munitions division, we used a LOT of BP as the bursting charge for our fusing.
Regards,
Mako

Bluehawk
April 7, 2011, 12:36 PM
Mako
I did read what you wrote in #2 but that didn't give GOC what he truly needed. Ratios are fine but the exact weights are much better...easier to understand.
By your own admission you weigh the components first...mixing by volume is not an important criteria.
I've been a pyrotechnic for over 20 years and never do anything by volume.

MCgunner
April 7, 2011, 04:36 PM
They'd rather die than beg for food or money from the government.



I just think it's damned cool that there are folks with this sort of ethos. Of course, they'd be native Americans. :D I think even in Texas, at least in incorporated areas, the white folks, this sort of spirit is all, but lost.

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 8, 2011, 05:52 PM
Okay, been checking around very thoroughly. Now, I have a good stockpile of my own supplies (buried) which I don't want to get into..Now, I have checked with several pyrotechnic people and with a few chemical supply houses including the one I trade with. They have ALL assured me that if I buy the HARDWOOD charcoal that it will work fine for use in blackpowder. They told me to stay away from all other brands such as 'quick start' and 'match light' and whatnot because those brands have other chemicals in them, but that plain hardwood charcoal would work just fine..I would like to have some of ya'll's opinion and knowledge on this if you would be kind enough to give it to me...A couple of the men found work on a ranch. I'm glad about that and know they are to....I'll be waiting here for an answer from ya'll..Thank You....

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 8, 2011, 05:56 PM
Thank you BlueHawk..Appreciate it. I mean it to sir. Not just paying lip service. THANK YOU....

Remo223
April 8, 2011, 06:05 PM
They don't need a hunting permit or a hunting season because they are native americans correct? I would think that also means they don't need to obey the rules on daily limits and methods of harvesting. I would consider traps of various sorts.

Something to think about.

arcticap
April 8, 2011, 06:15 PM
They have ALL assured me that if I buy the HARDWOOD charcoal that it will work fine for use in blackpowder. They told me to stay away from all other brands such as 'quick start' and 'match light' and whatnot because those brands have other chemicals in them, but that plain hardwood charcoal would work just fine..I would like to have some of ya'll's opinion and knowledge on this if you would be kind enough to give it to me.

That's true and natural hardwood lump charcoal would be much better than briquettes because it's pure charcoal of various types of wood, and it doesn't contain any clay, binders or chemicals. Its compatibility with making black powder is mentioned in the following article several times.

If you don't have airfloat from Skylighter or you just don't deal with Skylighter (they're pretty good so give them a try if you haven't), then use a hardwood charcoal like lump charcoal (available from most stores).

http://www.wichitabuggywhip.com/fireworks/blackpowder2.html

This is what a bag of it looks like:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=101373&d=1247370940

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 8, 2011, 06:38 PM
Articap..THANK YOU SIR. Again, not just paying lip service. When I say 'thank you' I mean it. I'll be going into town in a few days. I'll pick up a couple of large bags of it and drop it off to them. I think they're going to be just fine. I sure think a lot of them and I know they think a lot of me. There is not a member of the 4 families including the children that I don't just love to death..Good people, real good people..Thank you....

arcticap
April 8, 2011, 06:54 PM
I hope that you can find the right stuff. Just remember no briquettes.
And buy an extra bag to barbecue with, that stuff burns good & hot! :)

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 8, 2011, 07:00 PM
Articap, will do..Do you think Wal-Marts would carry it? Maybe Safeway or True Value or maybe Ace?..Does it have to be the 'Cowboy' brand or are there other brands out there that will work just as good?....

arcticap
April 8, 2011, 09:26 PM
I've seen another brand at one Walmart so you might find some there.
It's available at True Value hardware stores but it needs to be ordered ahead of time and shipped to the local store for free, which takes 3-8 business days.

http://www.truevalue.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=1602&parentCategoryId=12&categoryId=178&subCategoryId=1574&type=product

Home Depot lists it based on local availabilty but doesn't sell it online.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202523614/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

shunka
April 8, 2011, 09:44 PM
My Dear GOTC -

if you go here, there isa a very long thread discussing the hiome manufaturing of the product in question. You will need to sift out all the "you'll blow your head off" nonsense as well as all the "that ain't legal" BS but there is some excellent info on making fine powder.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=103852

good luck, god bless you & your friends

aho mitakuye oyasin

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 9, 2011, 10:34 PM
Thank you Shunka..Went into town today. I'm retired (trying to be) so I just get my 2 checks once a month so it almost broke me but I picked up 5 large bags of 100% all natural lump charcoal. Dropped off 4 bags to them and kept one for myself.....

makos_goods
April 10, 2011, 03:52 AM
What kind of charcoal did you buy? There is a significant difference between wood types. The majority of charcoals you're going to get for cooking will be oak or mesquite which are exactly the opposite of what you need.

Charcoals all have energy values. The secret that is never spoken is that it all really relates to density. Cellulose really only differs in the sugar, water content and the amount of porosity.

This is where it gets interesting, anyone who is more than an amateur pyro-technician (I love what that entails) will tell you that BP is all about the charcoal. That is assuming the corning, granulation and water content are held constant.

Let me show you a couple of things. This is the densities of two charcoals good for BP and three common fuel charcoals. Note that the densities for "lump" charcoal as you are calling it is very low. The second column is for the milled charcoal. It has been rendered to the powder form necessary for creating BP.

http://i627.photobucket.com/albums/tt358/Mako_CAS/Odds%20and%20Ends/charcoals.png

Quite a range isn't there?

Now break that into a chart including Potassium Nitrate and Sulfur and we will be using the units for density of grams /cubic centimeter because all of the records I have are in those units.

http://i627.photobucket.com/albums/tt358/Mako_CAS/Odds%20and%20Ends/Densities.png

In this case note that this is for milled KNO3 and Sulfur. It is the opposite of charcoal, it starts out much denser and is "fluffed" up by the milling.

Then a pressed cake is formed which will have a density ranging between 1.4 to 1.8 g/cm3 depending upon the charcoal type. After it goes through a breaking mill, the ball milling and barreling the densities will translate to this:

http://i627.photobucket.com/albums/tt358/Mako_CAS/Odds%20and%20Ends/WeightsandVolumes.png

Notice that if you use weight for the 75/15/10 ratios you end up with a 254 grain difference in 1 pounds of yielded powder? Charcoals are different, and different manufacturers uses different charcoals and they yield different energy factors. You've probably seen chronograph from different powders and they vary.

The secret is the powder density. Lighter woods are better, porosity in the charcoal is better. and here is the real dirty secret...It's volume. If you mix by volume and abandon the 75/15/10 weight ratios you can get similar energy factors with different charcoals. The denser charcoals have lower energy factors but if you mix them by volume then you can regain some of the difference because you have added fuel to the mixture. Otherwise you have too much oxidizer and too little fuel by volume. Guess what? Combustion is volume driven.

Bet your amateur pyro-techs didn't tell you that did they? Commercial mills that are producing based on gas and energy generation tests vary their mixtures to yield consistent results with similar volumes. 75/15/10 is just a starting point. But if you track the mixtures a trend shows up and it is volume driven.

Well back to your bags of charcoal...What did you get and how will they mill it the required density?

Regards,
Mako

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 10, 2011, 06:53 AM
Good morning Mako. Thank you for the charts. I have saved them. The charcoal is natural hardwoods. I don't know exactly how they will grind it. Probably in a ball mill. I know they have a couple of mills. (not big ones but high quality). I know they pretty well alway's make their own powder except for one of the women and a couple of the children and they use .22's....

arcticap
April 10, 2011, 02:57 PM
The article also recommends precisely measuring the ingredients by weight.

Process - mix the ingredients by weight (75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal, 10% sulphur), ball mill with lead balls for at least 24 hours, dampen, screen, and dry. This makes suitable pulverone for drivers, etc.

http://www.wichitabuggywhip.com/fireworks/charcoal16s.jpg

http://www.wichitabuggywhip.com/fireworks/blackpowder2.html

makos_goods
April 10, 2011, 05:58 PM
The article also recommends precisely measuring the ingredients by weight.
Articap,
Now read the rest of the information on their site including their relative comparisons of charcoal's effect on the energy:

http://www.wichitabuggywhip.com/fireworks/charcoal_tests.html

Secondly,
They are producing their own Willow charcoal (not just buying whatever you can buy at Walmart) for an important reason. You can mix by weight with Willow and Alder and get pretty good home made powder. If you confer with the charts I posted you will see why the density of Willow makes it one of the better charcoals. If you refer to their additional tests you will note willow is neither the longest burning, the fastest burn rate or having the highest brisance. It takes a balance of the right properties to give a suitable BP for firearms. In the case of the guys you gave us the link to they are looking for lifting charges for fireworks, which are very similar.

You can adjust for the properties by changing the ratios of the three components. If you run the numbers yourself you will find there is a direct relationship between the volumetric ratios and the baseline willow powder. These correlations will keep you in the "sweet spot" for the three properties that give you a suitable or even a superior BP. This is what commercial mills do as well, once they find the ratio that gives the right energy and gas rate they determine the volume and set all of the hoppers accordingly.

Then as new carloads of charcoal come in they rarely if ever have to adjust the ratios because even as the density varies within the material of choice (and it does based upon region harvested, time of year and especially water content and cell size). The volume is always driven by the density and not weight. It's almost self correcting.

So, you have helped make the point, thank you.

Regards,
Mako

Jaymo
April 10, 2011, 07:34 PM
Mako, I have a question.
Is charcoal made from tulip poplar good for making BP? I ask, because it's not a dense wood. It's easy to cut and split and char. I've used it for light blacksmithing. It burns really hot, but fast.
I have access to a lot more tulip poplar than I do to willow or alder, living in the SE USA.
Thanks in advance.
Oak seems to make just too much ash.
I've also considered clean, knot free white pine. Any thoughts on that, or on yellow pine or other conifers?

GENTLEMAN OF THE CHARCOAL
April 10, 2011, 09:49 PM
Mako..Now, I shoot Triple Seven 3fffg plus I'vd got a few containers of BlackMag3 left over and I'vd got 5 maybe 6 pounds of American Pioneer my sister gave me although I'vd never shot any of it. I'vd got a good supply of P. Nitrate, F. Sulfur and C. Airfloat. A damn good supply. I keep it for a reserve and perhaps some emergency. I called some people today and they assured me once again that the hardwood charcoal I picked up would work just fine. Powder some of it up, throw in the nitrate and sulfur and let it tumble for a few hours and then just follow my normal steps and that the powder would be far superior to most commercial grades. I told them that the few ounces I had made here and there using airfloat was for damned sure superior to Goex. They replied: "Exactly. I know you have at least one damn good set of scales because you bought them from us years ago. You can weigh or you can measure. You're still going to have an excellent grade of black powder. Those hardwoods will serve you just fine. You have certainly purchased a lot of supplies from us and I have often wondered why you purchased the airfloat. Don't get me wrong. Happy to sell you all you want but the hardwoods will do you just fine."....Anyway, that was the gist of the conversation. I'm pretty sure the store bought airfloat will be more consistant and 'level' from container to container but I truly don't believe the difference in the 'store boughten airfloat' and the 'home ground airfloat' will be enough of a difference to really make any difference. Not to those Indians anyway. They are good shots. I know because they are my friends and I have hunted with different members of the families more than once. Besides, you ever see a damn Crow that couldn't shoot your eyeballs out at 100 paces from a full gallop?....

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