Where would video tutorial on DIY smokeless powder and primers be posted?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Brad Cobb, Nov 17, 2020.

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  1. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    If someone made a tutorial video showing how to make your own smokeless gunpowder and primers, where would such a video be posted? YouTube (where freedom of speech is suppressed) is obviously not a contender. Same with Facebook.

    My ammunition for orientation and practice session at Capital City Gun and Rifle Club finally arrived, 5 days past due, because UPS miss-scanned package. This caused me to miss practice session/orientation and these had to be rescheduled for when ammunition was available.

    Ammunition has become scarce and reloading components unobtainium at any reasonable prices, & since it's legal in the United States and in the State of Kansas to make your own primers and smokeless powder, that looks like the best work-around available.

    My research so far is showing some form of cellulose (cotton, paper, sawdust, etc) is nitrated in nitric and sulfuric acid, thoroughly washed several times and baking soda solution used to neutralize any left over nitric or sulfuric acid in the nitrocellulose.

    The next step in the process when making a double base gunpowder, is forming nitroglycerin and adding it to the nitrocellulose, which then has to be thoroughly washed and neutralized (following proper safety protocols and procedures).

    Nitrocellulose is next absorbed into acetone, which is decanted off (acetone emulsifies and breaks up cellulose fiber structure, plasticizing it), and the nitrocellulose is again washed several times and any acids neutralized with baking soda solution, before adding diesel exhaust fluid (urea) as a modifier (prevents early high peak pressure).

    This modified nitrocellulose is mixed with water which is gently agitated allowing balls of gun powder to form, which are then removed and dried.

    The final step in the gunpowder making process, is to coat resulting gunpowder with graphite, to slow down burning, providing a longer length of burn and even pressure.

    Once made, DIY homegrown smokeless powder is necessary testing characteristics, and developing load data.

    All in all, that's a lot of work to go through when what's wanted, is purchasing a can of powder for reloading, but if DIY's the only way obtaining reloading components?
     
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  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    You outline the Ball process.
    Lots of process control in there.
    Like degree of nitration. Too low and you have celluloid for collars. Too high and you have guncotton high explosive.
    Then you are dealing with nitroglycerine.
    You will need better inhibitors than graphite to control burn rate and you might want to roll the little balls flat, too.
     
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  3. Eugen

    Eugen Member

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    Hmm...good luck with that project. :eek:
     
  4. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    I enjoy learning, it stimulates the brain :) ...

    Lots of patents to read, and books like: "The Chemistry of Powder and Explosives" ... http://www.sciencemadness.org/library/books/the_chemistry_of_powder_and_explosives.pdf

    So far, information is protected under freedom of speech and readily available, but there is for sure a learning curve ...

    Fortunately, there exists forum archives, detailing people's experiences, results and experiments with links to further information, for those desiring to learn.
     
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  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I am by no stretch of the imagination a trained energetics engineer, but I got involved in a couple of projects that showed me a number of those references.
    (I think the rationale was "Watson likes guns, he can help us with bombs." Not really but at least I understood the terminology.).
    Learning, si.
    Experimenting, not for me.
    One of those references was 'Poor Man's RDX.' Actually a recipe for kitchen chemistry guncotton.

    There is a thread on DIY black powder. Maybe somebody there can give you leads.
     
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  6. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    Jim, Thanks for the reply and references; I'll be sure to look up "poor man's RDX" on homemade gun cotton.

    Many fireworks suppliers (IE: Skylighter) have potential modifiers for controlling burn rate, and other characteristics.

    I've always enjoyed experimenting, building, modifying, inventing and research into learning something new.

    There will be plenty of time for studies, while I'm waiting on backorder for gunpowder.
     
  7. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    No offense intended but glad you’re in Kansas and not my neighbor. I know, you feel the same.
     
  8. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Haha, love the avatar! Good luck with the project!

    Personally, Ive been thinking more along the lines of loading with black powder. Im willing to accept the reduced performance for better stability and longer shelf life.
     
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  9. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Just because something can be done does not mean it is a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
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  10. klausman
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    klausman Member

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    I think you are talking about something far more hazardous than you imagine (even in small quantities). DuPont quit the powder business after their plant in New Jersey blew up, and I think they had a pretty good handle on what they were about. AngelBuggy.JPG
     
  11. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    So is this gonna be like your "making homemade primers thread"??:uhoh:

    It would be much easier to make Black Powder or even better, search the internet and you may find primers and powder somewhere.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures
     
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  12. DukeConnor

    DukeConnor Member

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    What are you going to use for load data ?
     
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  13. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    All good thoughts put forward, deserving contemplation... Fortunately, no harm can come to anyone merely studying, reading and learning... Most things can be accomplished where protocols and safety standards remain satisfied ... People have successfully made their own primers and smokeless powder, as witness to the many archived forum threads featuring successful results and experimental load data findings DIY developed... Hopefully this isn't going to be like my primer thread, which was posthaste shut down by a moderator ... Mostly I'd like an answer to the question posed: "If someone made a tutorial video showing how to make your own smokeless gunpowder and primers, where would such a video be posted?"
     
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  14. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    Testing every batch for characteristics would be mandatory, in classification for powder's best usage... Since I reload for pistol, rifle and shotgun, were a batch to test out being like a pistol or shotgun powder, then that's what I would reload with it... Adhering rigidly to protocols and safety standards would be normal routine, used in preventing and avoiding any potentially unpleasant issues that you've alluded to...
     
  15. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    Duke, If you have ever developed a load, then you're aware one generally begins with published information for a similar characteristic powder, starting on the low end of the scale, & working up until obtaining desired results, proceeding with all due diligence and caution, following safety protocols and taking prudent precautions.
     
  16. DukeConnor

    DukeConnor Member

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    I have developed loads using published data.

    I'm just not sure where one could find published data for home made smokeless powder.

    Is there a way to determine burn rate of a unknown powder ? Obviously manufacturers do it , but I am totally unfamiliar with the
    process and wether it could be replicated by a hobbyist.
     
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  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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  18. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    Yes sir! Thanks for primer compound thread link... I'm very much inclined to agree with your notion of working in very small batches... There is a learning curve here, including how to test powders when developing a load... I would imagine a tutorial "how to" going a long ways towards satisfying one's curiosity, at the same time outlining safety protocols to keep people out of Harm's Way ...

    Whatever sort of "how to" resulting, there would definitely be need for a video tutorial, and since Facebook and YouTube are out, where would such a video tutorial be posted?
     
  19. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I don't care how bad it gets. I'm not making primers or smokeless powder.
    I'd look like daffy duck when he blows his face off.
    Making gun cotton is a cool read though.
     
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  20. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    I feel there is an elephant in the room, er forum, and I’m sorry if this offends, but in what universe do we want videos teaching any Tom, Dick, Harry, or Igor how to make highly flammable materials in their bedroom?

    So moving past the video, the accumulation of the ingredients could be dangerous enough but training oneself to manufacture something so dangerous is beyond the pale. In what type of dwelling are you playing with your chemistry set? Detached single family on an acre+ of land, an attached home, or an apartment?

    What are your zoning laws? Insurance restrictions?

    To me this is not too far away from making explosives and could in fact be the actual intent and not calling it out is abetting same.

    I really have to part company with this forum. Some of you will say good riddance and that’s fine I understand, but others know precisely how I feel.
     
  21. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    I don't blame you for wanting to leave... "Birds of a feather flock together" ... No one wants to be where they feel uncomfortable ...

    This is a little bit like gun control, imho ... Gun control doesn't work, all it does is disarm law abiding, creating more innocent victims for violent criminals ... Suppressing such information having to do with powder and primers doesn't work, either ...

    Companies regularly produce gunpowder for reloading ... They do it safely ... This information is available for those who wish to learn the proper protocols and safety concerns ... reading through many Forum threads on those who've succeeded in safely making their own primers and smokeless powder, I would say hobbyists have the capability to safely proceed ...

    However, there is the Darwinian saying: "You can't fix stupid" ... There is that, and for those people, it really doesn't matter where they find the information ... I would much rather see a valid practical and no-fail set of tutorial instructions to keep people safe ...

    If they want to be stupid, and not follow proper safeguards and precautions? ... Well, there is that Darwinian saying ...
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Make your video and if you can’t find a place to post it, send it to me, I have a friend that has posted videos for me on his own server.

    As far as working up a load from your powder, something like this would be nice to have.

    https://www.shootingsoftware.com/pressure.htm

    As for people saying, “you’ll shoot your eye out”, they forget people go to work everyday doing exactly what you are wanting to do. You need to make sure of two things, you work safely and legally. Other than that, sounds like an interesting project.
     
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  23. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    I find the chemistry interesting, and the risks very hazardous to both the person making it and the learners.

    If you posted something like this in a website, there are legal risks when a person makes it and hurts themselves or others, not to mention the person who has mental issues and goes from shooting up a building full of people to adding explosives to the mix. I would not want that information out there any more than it is. Some knowledge is best kept away from public consumption and taught in small groups of vetted individuals.
     
  24. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Making explosives is not particularly difficult, the "recipes" are widely published.
    Anecdote alert: Years ago, a fire department got a call that a kid had made some nitroglycerine. A crew went to the house expecting to find a little in a chemistry set test tube. They arrived to find a quart jar on the mantel.

    Assuming you can get through that part, converting explosives to propellants is the hard part. There were lots of guns and probably some gunners blown up learning how to do what jmorris' people "do every day." The OP is at the "then" stage, not the "now" stage.
     
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  25. Brad Cobb

    Brad Cobb Member

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    Now that is what I'm talking about! :) very useful information ...
     
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