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Homemade Blackpowder

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by AethelstanAegen, Nov 28, 2013.

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  1. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    I was wondering, how many of you guys make your own blackpowder? It seems like you could certainly save some money over buying it premade or is that a misconception? I'm curious how one would go around sorting the powder into correct size, or do you just load it up with a mix? I'm mostly shooting blackpowder these days so it's tempting from a cost savings standpoint, but also makes me nervous as it seems like the kind of thing that could go really wrong if you make a mistake.
     
  2. jaxenro

    jaxenro Member

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    Check out Brushhippies vids on YouTube covers it in detail
     
  3. EljaySL

    EljaySL Member

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    Usually your best bet cost-wise is to just do a large Internet order to spread out the hazmat and shipping and be done with it. If you want to do it for fun that's another matter entirely...
     
  4. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Two important steps are to powder the ingredients as finely as humanly possible and mix as thoroughly as your equipment allows. The most important step is to be inhumanly careful of sparking when dealing with the mixing of the niter. I would strongly suggest you use the wet mixing method. Even though it's a pain to dry it is a lot safer to the nth degree.

    I, personally, have made about six batches of powder under the guidance of a highly experienced individual in the art. While there is a certain satisfaction in using a product of your own manufacture the risks involved just are not worth it. Order the stuff through your local dealer, the cost for pound cannot begin to pay for a finger, arm or your life.
     
  5. robhof

    robhof Member

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    robhof

    There's a youtube video about making it and in small batches, it's not any more dangerous than reloading. I made it as a teen many years ago and used it in a 3/4" bore cannon with no problems. It's mixed damp and screened; for size by dragging it through the appropriate size screen when still somewhat damp then air drying. Quality depends on the charcoal, as the sulfur and saltpeter are pretty standard. You won't get store bought consistency, but it'll still go bang and you can still hit targets with it.:eek::)
     
  6. Pulp

    Pulp Member

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    I haven't made any in awhile, but I do enjoy making small batches from time to time. Usually just 4 ounces at a time.
     
  7. whughett

    whughett Member

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    YouTube has numerous videos on that subject, some informitive some not. I plan to try it this winter, more out of curosity than a cost saving venture. Firsts up, decide on and buy a ball mill. Leaning to a Thumblers as I can use it to wet clean center fire brass.
     
  8. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    During the American Revolution, the shortage of powder made it a cottage industry with newspapers printing instructions for its readership.
     
  9. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    My uncle always used a capped piece of PVC pipe on a wind screw using large caliber musket balls as the grinding medium. After six days in a 6 to 15 MPH wind the charcoal ended up atomized. He also had a unit that was powered by an electric motor using the same PVC pipe.
     
  10. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Hmmmmm.... I do hobby wood working, wonder if I could incorporate that concept into a whirly-gig.
     
  11. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Have you guys ever seen how many powder mills blew up in the 18th and 19th Centuries? Are you aware that they still blow up? And these guys are the professionals who know what they are doing. I hope your insurance is paid up and you set up your operation far from your house or anything else that you don't want destroyed.

    I would not dream of trying to make Black Powder myself. My father worked for Hercules Powder Company during WWII and he was extremely aware of the precautions needed. He even told me the proportions of the ingredients for Black Powder when I was a kid. And then he told me not to even think about making any. I have always thought it was very good advice.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1000!

    This isn't child's play, except for the You-Tube idjits!

    And Nothing you can make at home will be even close to the same performance of store bought black powder.

    Plus, the risk of serious injury, or worse, due to explosions in the kitchen or garage, is right up there with practicing snake handling while going to church to pray for salvation!!

    And then for the really paranoid like me?
    Go buy potassium nitrate, and sulfur in black powder making bulk quantities.

    And get yourself on the Government anti-terrorist watch list if you want to save a little on commercial grade black powder!!

    rc
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  13. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    This is about what I was thinking, I was just curious if anyone actually does it and has good results. I don't think I'll be doing it anytime soon (beyond the obvious and primary important safety reasons, I just don't think I have the time for it). It seems like it might be a case of penny-wise, pound foolish id I ended up blowing myself up. I also think it would be very hard to make it consistent enough between batches that it wouldn't affect my loads (in terms of POI, etc). Interesting to see the varying degrees of success people have had.
     
  14. BullSlinger

    BullSlinger Member

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    Yes people actually do it and yes it can be made just as good and sometimes better than you can buy.
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'd have to see some actual proof of that!

    rc
     
  16. raa-7

    raa-7 Member

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    If you do decide to make your own BP,, The best thing I can tell you is to do your research and be "very" careful when making it like everyone has stressed. If you have any doubts about it and don't feel comfortable about it then go in on a group buy of Goex or whatever brand you like. Just post on here to find out when someone needs powder,it will save you the work/headaches. Good luck and be safe !
     
  17. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    It's usually in cases where very large corning or meal powder is needed.

    For instance, my uncle's favorite load for the double rifle was a cylinder of powder with a 3/32 hole in the center. As the powder burned in the center the surface area of the powder increased increasing the gas/heat creating a smoother "push" on the ball.

    Keep in mind though, the double rifle is 75 caliber with 52 inch barrels.
     
  18. Pulp

    Pulp Member

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    I don't have any actual "proof" that would stand up in court, but a chamber full of my homemade in a Navy Knockoff .44 gave me over 1000fps over my chronograph. And it has worked fine in .44-40 rifle for CAS. On the downside, it creates a lot more fouling than Goex.
     
  19. Bezoar

    Bezoar member

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    just about any good dictionary will tell you the ingredients and ratios for black powder. and for each kind of black powder usage. Its really an interesting invention when you get down to it. but heres something most dont understand.

    If your the kind of person who doesnt realize that no one washes there hands in the bathrom before they opened the door using the handle, washing your hands is useless if your going to open teh door with a bare hand yourself.

    What i mean is, illiterate peasents in the 1300s made powder. smart scientists made powder in the 1800s. they would blow up now and then when they didnt do it right.
     
  20. MRRAGPICKER

    MRRAGPICKER Member

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    31 grains (measured on a beam scale) of my home made powder, times out at 860 fps from my home made 4" Ruger old army.
     
  21. raa-7

    raa-7 Member

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    I know that once you make your own, and you get real good with the process, and figure out what works well and what doesn't ,, there's no turning back :D
     
  22. jldee55

    jldee55 Member

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    Most of the shootin I did over Thanksgiving was with my homemade stuff (used black willow charcoal) have about 3 lbs of it left, I have milled me up some grapevine charcoal for the next batch, as long as it goes bang I'm happy..I do have some store bought holy black but I'm just keepin it for emergencies...lol
     
  23. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    For those of you that make your own, how much cheaper are you usually able to make it over store bought stuff? Basically, what do you estimate it costs you to make a pound of usable 2F or 3F powder?
     
  24. MRRAGPICKER

    MRRAGPICKER Member

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    That depends on how much your willing to bulk buy.
    To have enough ingredients for 100 lbs, its less than 3 dollars a pound.
    but 2 lbs of ingredients works out to about 9-12 bucks a pound. (depending on source & shipping)
     
  25. elhombreconnonombre

    elhombreconnonombre Member

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    JLD

    What are your thoughts concerning cedar?
     
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