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Black Powder update

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by brushhippie, Nov 25, 2012.

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  1. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I'm gonna gear up to make mine as per your vid. I've got some 16 mesh screen spotted, in the door of my travel trailer. ROFL! Well, I'll buy some, ain't gonna molest the door of the trailer. I don't have facilities to do it, yet, though. I'm going to make my own charcoal, eventually, but for now, I'll order it.

    You SURE that 16 mesh is making 3F? Sure getting good results. Weight seems a might light. But, hell, if it works, it works! Don't fix what ain't broke. Soon as I get my shop set up and new chronograph (time to retire the old one, needs screens, is a bit dated) I'll be testing myself. But, sounds like some GOOD stuff. :D I'll have to back off the charge in my brasser, but I reckon the ROA and the Remmy are good for it.
     
  2. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    MCgunner, back in the 1800s, manufacturers started compressing the moist powder to squeeze the air out and increase the density. According to my books, the modern process entails 1200 psi from a hydraulic press to squeeze a moist wheel-cake from 1-1/4" thickness down to 3/4" thickness. Most of us homebrewers don't have this type of equipment, so our powder is less dense/heavy, more like the powder manufactured prior to the 1800s.

    Still works good, though! The only possible drawback might be that our powder granules still have the internal pockets of air, so they will burn up faster than similar-sized factory granules.
    The Lyman Blackpowder Handbook lists some "ultra-magnum" loads for .58 rifles, using FFg..... I'd be scared to duplicate these loads with homebrew powder which might burn like 4Fg.
     
  3. YumaKid

    YumaKid Member

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    Which could then, because it's 'fluffy', burn faster and therefore "spike" its pressure peak that much sooner; and therefore cause those "unbelievable" speeds you're chrono is reporting. :D

    Or maybe not...... I'm commenting on a subject of which I have no knowledge/experience base. But it's another variable which COULD and SHOULD be explored, from both an educational and safety standpoint.

    (Yeah, the "Old Fart" in me is poking its head out of the hole in the ground.)
    But, I'm following your YouTube vids; and waiting for Harbor Freight to advertise another sale on their Rock Tumbler/Polishers. I've got a box of Hornaday .451" roundballs that aren't being used since I've moved on to .454's; so the "media" is already waiting for a home. :D
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Thanks for that info. That makes it more understandable. I do have a press, but I'd have to make some dies or somethin' I guess. I'll just run with what you guys are doing. The thought of compressing black powder kinda gives me the chills, anyway. I do have a chronograph so I'll work with it on my loads. Should keep me out of pressure trouble. Don't have an Ohler with a strain gauge, but I can see if I can duplicate my normal loads with it using less powder. Be more economical if nothing else!

    I'm kinda interested in what it will do in the ROA. I stuff that thing full of 777 compressed with a 220 conical and get around 1300 fps. I ain't skirt of the home brew in that gun. :D I shoot my revolvers more'n my rifles, probably just use the stuff in the revolvers if I duplicate these results. Sounds a might fast for a rifle at this point. Better to be safe.

    Great thread, regardless of all the bickering! THANKS! Gears in my head are turning, I'm learning here.
     
  5. Pulp

    Pulp Member

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    One time I took some of my wet BP, spooned it into a piece of PVC that was capped on one end, then took a dowel and used it as a press. I could get probably 25% compression. But I worried about the water being squeezed out, because the KNO3 is dissoved in the water. Would I be losing too much of KNO3. I also worried about regranulating it, as after dry it was very hard.

    BTW, that would be a great way to make your own pellets. Compress it a bit, remove the cap, push it on out and cut to length. 'Course you'd have to have PVC that had an inner diameter a bit smaller than the chamber of your guns.

    Maybe I need to try that again.
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've got both these vids bookmarked for reference. Thanks again!

    Ah, well, pellets, I never messed with the pellets, just load loose powder. for my rifles, I have these plastic "speed loaders" to take afield when hunting. Works for me.
     
  7. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I'm more for loose powder myself, but i can see the allure were you able to make high powered BP in pellet form to whatever volume/weight your rifle liked most.
     
  8. brushhippie

    brushhippie Member

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    The 16 mesh screen is supposed to be 3f, fly had put the sizing chart up somewhere....Ill see if I can find it and get a link up for ya!
    Thats a really good idea Pulp Ill have to try that, my only concern would be getting it to ignite, that stuff gets HARD!
    Heres a link to a good sizing chart http://www.skylighter.com/fireworks/help/Black_Powder_Size_Charts.asp


    GRADE MESH RANGE
    FA 3 - 5
    2FA 4 - 12
    3FA 10 - 16
    4FA 12 - 20
    5FA 20 - 50
    6FA 30 - 50
    7FA 40 - 100
    Meal D + 50
    Fine Meal + 100
    X-Fine Meal +140
    Cannon Grade 4-12
    1FG 12-20
    2FG 16-30
    3FG 20-50
    4FG 40-100
    5FG +100


    as you can see there is some overlap, so you could call 16 mesh 3 or 4f, you will find the weight is extremely light, what I was shooting through my cap lock turned out to be 43 grains, which seems light but shot and barked like a hot load....wish Id have had it with me for chrono'ing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  9. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    Just saw some posts on the Castboolits forum which reminded me of this old THR thread.

    A fellow called "Cal50" has developed a first-class system for compressing his moist BP. If I'm doing ther math correctly, his hydraulic press applies roughly 1500 psi to the puck, slightly more than the pressure used by the big manufacturers -

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...d-to-corn-my-black-poder-for-use-in-cartrides
     
  10. Rattus58

    Rattus58 Member

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    Hi... is wettable 90/10 sulfur going to work in this process you think?

    Aloha... :cool:
     
  11. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    Aloha, Rattus58. I tried it once, just to see what would happen. I used "dusting sulfur" from Do-it-Best Hardware (stock # 722367).

    It seemed to work just fine. The chrono results were not significantly different, as far as I could tell.
     
  12. Rattus58

    Rattus58 Member

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    Thank you! I can't find any pure sulfer here in Hawaii but have found some 90/10 stuff at a fertilizer wholesale place.

    Thank you again.

    Much Aloha... Tom
     
  13. brushhippie

    brushhippie Member

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    Hey Rattus, I have heard several people talking about making it sulfurless (I havent tried it myself) but I dont see why it wouldnt work. The way I understand it the Sulfur aids in ignition, so it might be harder to ignite ...but in a revolver I doubt if you would be able to tell, it might slow your speed a little. Good Luck and have fun!

    One foot, awesome link thanks! This is exactly what I had in mind as far as compressing powder into pucks. Im about to try this myself.
     
  14. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    That was an awesome video, Brushhippie, and unlike many YouTube videos, I actually learned something. As a result, I plan to make my own black powder in the future. I really appreciate your posting it. Excellent and highly instructive presentation!

    (BTW, your voice reminds me of Jeff Bridges in True Grit. That ain't a Brooklyn accent you've got there, is it? :D)
     
  15. Rattus58

    Rattus58 Member

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    Thank you... I was thinking along that line but you know when you are stuck on a lily pad.. :)

    Much Aloha... :cool:
     
  16. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    BH, keep us posted! Getting rid of the dextrin and setting up a hydraulic press may be the next big step for us home-brewers.... we can finally move forward into the 19th century :D
     
  17. Busyhands94

    Busyhands94 Member

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    I had an idea for compressing the powder. My truck weighs 5000 pounds, that aught to be more than enough pressure to make it do what we want it to do. I could probably cut some kind of ramp and use a 9X9 baking pan, and then cut a piece of 1/2" mild steel that fits inside the pan nicely.

    As for how to press that sucker, I'm thinking cut a 2X10" piece of lumber that will be wider than my truck. Then put the pan of wet BP in the gutter, stick two bricks laying flat on the mild steel, put the board on there, drive that sucker right onto the board so only the two front tires are on there.

    Let's hope it isn't a "hold my beer and watch this" type scenario. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Logan5579

    Logan5579 Member

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    1000fps+...

    Here's a link to an old thread I was reading...the interesting part is on pg 3, post #56 by mec...
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=229197&page=3

     
  19. ZVP

    ZVP Member

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    I would be very pleased getting 1000 fps with a 35-40 gr charge of Pyrodex If you do the math on a '58 Remmie that .44 caliber ball moving at 1K is a heck of a powerfull load! I always shoot my '58 with 35 gr and can attest to it's awsome discharge and poser!
    Most internet claims are overinflated and normally bragging. I have never clocked any BP load just cause I didn't want to dirty the other guy's
    ZVP equipment up.
     
  20. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    BH, those numbers are great. Where can I find your recipe for Holy Black?
     
  21. brushhippie

    brushhippie Member

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    On my youtube channel there are two vids entitled Making Black Powder and making II also on our forum at gunslingersgulch.com Good luck with your own experiments and have fun!
     
  22. cp11

    cp11 Member

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    When grinding powder, what size and how many balls do you use for say a 200 gram batch?
     
  23. brushhippie

    brushhippie Member

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    Ive got .44s and 32s in mine and Ive got the tumbler about a quarter full
    grinder_zpsa46acf47.jpg
     
  24. cp11

    cp11 Member

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    I'm using all 44 balls, but it seems to take a lot longer to grind the powder. my 1st and 2nd batch would leave like little balls of KN03 behind when doing the burn test. Should I be using smaller balls to grind with? I'm using the HF tumbler as well. Thanks for any help.
     
  25. brushhippie

    brushhippie Member

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    I really dont think it would make any difference as far as ball size, if you have kno3 that doesnt have anticlump you might mill it for awhile before addint the other ingredients...or mill it all a little longer. I had a batch that left some small chunksof charcoal in them but no other probs.
     
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