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Homemade black powder substitute?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Hobbja, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Hobbja

    Hobbja Member

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    Possum living, a you tuber, has a video showing him using a ball mill to mill a 65:35 ratio of potassium nitrate:table sugar and then using that mix he fires a small .44 bp boot pistol.
    I was considering making up a batch to use in my 1858 pietta brasser with some magnum caps, just for fun.
    If anyone has tried this I would like to know what kind of result you ended up with. Safety concerns, etc. It has a high ignition temp from what I can tell, That's why I said magnum caps.
     
  2. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    If you are going to make something, why not make (normal) black powder?
     
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  3. goldpelican

    goldpelican Member

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    Making your own powder is surely one of the most dangerous endeavors you could undertake in the sport.
     
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  4. Hobbja

    Hobbja Member

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    Curiosity I suppose. I have seen the standard recipes, the high sulphur flash powder recipe, and also several sulphur-less blends and a few with the standard recipe plus sugar.
    I just want to know if anyone has tried it in a revolver. I have seen it work in a single shot.
     
  5. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    Would the sugar make it a lot harder to clean????
     
  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Seems to me looking at the chemistry of the sugars that they would break down poorly during ignition and be dirty. Dirty with sugar seems like it would mean sticky, kinda like what you get if you run a tater cannon with hairspray
     
  7. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    The Potassium Nitrate/sugar mixture is often called "rocket candy", and is used to make homemade rocket engines for model rockets:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_candy

    http://www.nakka-rocketry.net/sucrose.html

    The balanced chemical equation for this reaction is

    5C12H22O11+48KNO3→24K2CO3+36CO2+55H2O+24N2

    The products will be potassium carbonate, carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen gas.

    https://socratic.org/questions/what-it-the-chemical-equation-for-sugar-with-potassium-nitarte


    The potassium carbonate has a pH of 11.5, making it a base. Neither it, nor the other byproducts, seem to be corrosive. But don't forget that one of the byproducts IS water, which means you ought to be diligent about cleaning your guns after use so they won't be stored any length of time with moisture in them. Also, potassium carbonate is water soluable, so normal hot water cleaning of black powder guns will work for cleaning rocket candy fueled weapons. So it's probably safe to use.

    The question is "how effective is rocket candy and how does its performance compare to black powder?"

    Which is an opportunity for YOU to post the results of your experiences with this. A chronograph would be great to compare the results!
     
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  8. Noz

    Noz Member

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    and commercial black powder is not dangerous enough?
     
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  9. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Is creating this much safer than black powder? I've been curious but with the consequences so high for myself, family, and neighbors I've not cared enough to consider it.

    I'm also curious how it stacks up to the more energetic powders such as Swiss, Olde Eynsford, and Triple 7, as well as how it stands against time and the elements.

    Please do post any results if you try.
     
  10. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    Sounds like fun, whatever you do. Just make sure it isn't one of those "hey ya'll, watch this!" moments where you lose fingers!
     
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  11. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    Those youtubers....
    Like others said, rocket candy fuel and it can be slow burning and unreliable.
    I am no expert but I think for black powder there is a wet method that is very safe but it is messy.
    And when the batches dry the powder is as dangerous as any other black powder.
    Something you don't want to be doing inside the house that is for sure.
     
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  12. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I didn't watch the youtube video, but whatever you make will not have much power (even if you use the usual ingredients) unless you corn it (compress it, and grind it to a usable powder). Commercial black powder is corned, so it's more dense than powder that is just damp screened. It needs to be more dense for the limited capacity of a revolver cylinder chamber. You don't have to corn powder when you have plenty of space to get enough in there, like shotgun shells or percussion shotguns and some rifles. Powder made with sugar instead of charcoal will not keep for long. It will draw moisture, and clump up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
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  13. midland man

    midland man Member

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    ive made some bp and its not hard but require's attention to detail but theres some good info on gunslingersgulch.com those guys know a bit about making bp! infact you can make it really cheap if you get the componets in bulk!
     
  14. midland man

    midland man Member

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    the key to good bp is using a press with a press puck brushy on youtube shows you how! :)
     
  15. Blackpowdershooter44

    Blackpowdershooter44 Member

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    Midland Man is right on, you need a good shop press to corn the powder to be able to measure the powder by volume when loading a muzzleloader, and a ball mill with lead round balls in it to mix the ingredients in. It's not hard to do and it's safe unless you get a spark into the powder, which cannot happen if you use the lead balls.
     
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  16. Hobbja

    Hobbja Member

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    From what I can tell, just from research not personal experience, it that this white powder is fairly powerful, and safer to handle as it has a higher ignition temp. I believe that the French used it in grenades a hundred years or so ago.
     
  17. Hobbja

    Hobbja Member

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    Nahh, nothing like that. I got a wife and kids. Can't afford to be blind or cripple. Probably use a vice and string for the first few test shots. I got the pistol on sale at cabelas so not out a ton of money if it can't take the heat.
     
  18. Hobbja

    Hobbja Member

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    As far as shelf life goes I theorize that without a true air tight seal and probably some dessicant packets, this powder won't last long in humid climates.
     

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