Author Topic: Powder Progress  (Read 3277 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ssb73q

  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3296
  • Gunsmoke junkie
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2016, 01:13:49 PM »
Hi Lead, I look forward to your report smelting lead ore for lead.  )L$ )L$

There are a lot of things that can take all of one's time improving the shooting of these BP revolvers. Practice and more shooting practice takes most of my time, and I'm retired.

Maybe as a retired scientist, I appreciate the potential problems working to make BP more than most?

I'm not trying to minimize your fun, far from it. However, I would like to have you as a long term contributor to this message board and not learn that you hurt yourself.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Offline Dutchie

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2016, 12:41:44 PM »

They say to use soft woods, and to avoid hard woods. I am using willow, I hear grape works, and adler is good, and hemp.
So your a Dutchman, huh? Well I happen to be one of the very few Americans who knows who Karel Doorman was. I have a book I would suggest all Dutchman read, "The Ghost That Died At Sunda Strait", by Walter Winslow. In  fact, I suggest it to everyone, it's one of those books that really made a huge impression on me. It's written by an American, but he was pretty clear about who's party that was, and who the hero of the story is, Doorman. But there aren't many eye witness accounts of that event, since there were so few survivors, and I don't think any of the Dutch survived it, so take what accounts you can get.
https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=the%20ghost%20that%20died%20at%20sunda%20strait&index=blended&link_code=qs&sourceid=Mozilla-search&tag=mozilla-20
That'll be the best $10 you ever spend on a book, read it, and share it.

Hi Lead Ball!

I'm truly FLABBERGASTED!
Thanks again, and I'll tell you why...

... Better still, I'll PM...

I haven't read that book yet (I will order it today, for sure!). I know quite a lot about what happened there in the Java Sea (the battle of the Java Sea) and do have other books about it.

My father was in the Java Sea, at that time...

And nearby, but was not on time to take part. Else, I probably wouldn't be here writing this... Indeed only few survived the ordeal, and more than 1000 man lost their life. There were a lot of brave souls in those days, regardless whether American, British or Dutch etc, to thank for what they did...! Fascinating history indeed...

Karel Doorman. One of a kind indeed... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_Doorman

Needless to say, that your remark, was a real surprise and pleasure to me...

Thanks again...
And Hurray for all your countryman, who gave their best...
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 12:57:59 PM by Dutchie »

Offline Lead Balls

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
  • 10gr under a .43 paintball for "Civil War Rematch"
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2016, 03:42:51 AM »
I'm getting pretty frustrated here. I have been unable to get the same results as I got with my first pound of willow powder, and I can't figure out what I could have done differently. I hate when that happens. Well, that's what it's all about, trial and error, process of elimination, it wouldn't be any fun if it were easy.
In my experience, the secret to happiness is a matter of learning to sort the occasional good idea from an endless body of bad ones.

Offline Dresden

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 35
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2016, 06:39:45 PM »
Buckthorn was brought to North America to make charcoal for gunpowder

Offline Lead Balls

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
  • 10gr under a .43 paintball for "Civil War Rematch"
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2016, 05:31:43 PM »
I still can't seem to make it burn like the first batch I made from the willow charcoal, no matter what I do. But, at least it's all consistent. I think I'll try leaving out all, or most of the sulfur, I don't think it'll burn faster, but it should be 15% stronger, since the sulfur doesn't do anything except lower the ignition point, and isn't really needed unless you use a flintlock. But I have learned a bunch about intimately mixing powder.

First, potassium nitrate is interesting, it's not soluble in alcohol at all, and only slightly soluble in water. Spraying with either is less than ideal, particularly with alcohol, since in this case, it's just wetting together so it sticks. They say the "CIA method" is the best way, in this case it's boiled in water, which completely dissolves the pn, then you add in something like 4 or 5 times as much alcohol to it. This forces the pn to precipitate back out of dissolution once the concentration is high enough, since pn is insoluble in alcohol, in a process called "salting out". The idea here is to get the dissolved pn to soak into the charcoal, as opposed to just sticking it together. I tried this method, once, it was the biggest mess I ever made, so I really don't want to go there again.
In my experience, the secret to happiness is a matter of learning to sort the occasional good idea from an endless body of bad ones.

Offline old fogey

  • Forum Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 1929
  • What do you mean "Tax Time Again"?!?
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2016, 12:40:08 PM »
The sulfur is added to make the mix more "combustible" at a lower temperature and easier to light off (otherwise you may find you need "Magnum" caps and/or a "booster" charge [ a la "Johnnies Load",] of regular bp to light off).
                           With homemade bp, kinda hard to tell exactly whats going wrong (mighta had a bit of sapwood included when the charcoal was made, chemicals may have been contaminated, coulda added your charcoal to the pot.nitrate/sulfur soup 5o too late, Mars may have been to close to Venus, etc....) to figure out whats going on over text offa compooter screen!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 12:46:33 PM by old fogey »

Offline jdurand

  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 2656
  • Mostly Harmless
    • Company web site
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2016, 06:55:23 PM »
While BP isn't too fussy, with many/most/all fireworks type mixes you have to be careful of the chemicals you get.  Technical Grade sounds like a good thing, but it's the LOWEST grade where they'll still say most of what's in the can is what you ordered.  It really bothers me to see people using this grade to make home remedies, you really have no idea what's in it.

Sulfur is bad in many energetic mixes, it can make things WAY more sensitive and they may go off because it's Tuesday.  Copper can be bad with some things, copper salts form and it's Tuesday again (bang!).

So, buy good grade chemicals from a reputable source or happen to be around when they punch a hole in a bag.  I got 50 pounds of airfloat charcoal because I was there when the forklift punched a bag.
Standing on the edge of reality... (me)
Quando omni flunkus moritati (Red Green)
Let no man belong to another that can belong to himself. (Paracelsus)
All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison. (Paracelsus)
NRA Life Member, Gun Owners of California member

Offline Dellbert

  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 3881
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2016, 11:01:39 PM »
Hi Lead Balls. I'm glad to see your making your own stuff. I was going to give it a try a long while back when a fellow by the name of Fly was on the forum. He did a write up on the way he made his. I took all the notes I could from his right ups and then ran into a man that lives near some folks that store it for Civil War games they put on. That gave me a way to get it without paying hazmat fees. What your doing makes since to me because if they ever ban guns you'll be lucky to buy a BB gun. I hope you have a great time and get it made the way you like it. (T^ Oh I need it to go off cause I do like flint locks. (^h
If it's not broke don't try fixin it.

Offline old fogey

  • Forum Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 1929
  • What do you mean "Tax Time Again"?!?
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2016, 11:13:09 AM »
Think this is pretty close to best boob-tube video for home-made bp (though this one is close second - shows totally different method tho)! Just posting these links 'cause a lot of folks seem to be interested in this topic (teach a guy to fish rather than toss him a "Big Mac" philosophy)!

                                                                       If'n you go with Brushhippies' corned black powder (the best way as far as velocity of powder, imho,) you'll want onna these!
                                                                                                     Corning isn't hard or "magic", it's simply a time-proven way of compressing your powder so that there is more energy per gram than there is via "normal" home production methods! This webpage (while not really explaining the advantages of corning -) shows how to easily and cheaply equip your "powder magazine" with the basic equipment to perform your own corning operations.

Now this isn't to say that just everyone can or should make their own blackpowder (folks that shouldn't try it generally know who they are before they even try it, so if'n yer thinking that maybe you shouldn't - well, just don't), just that yep you can do it waaay cheaper than you can buy it! Just use the best chemicals you can (jd + 1 on this,), as well as the 'correct' charcoals, corn it and you should be rewarded with decent powder (doesn't always work out that way though, unfortunately)!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 12:00:14 PM by old fogey »

Offline jdurand

  • Ultimate Forum Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 2656
  • Mostly Harmless
    • Company web site
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2016, 07:28:35 PM »
With current laws trying to ban everything that burns, I'm not sure if you can still get potassium nitrate prills from Haifa Chemicals in Israel, but that is/was very good pure potassium nitrate.

Minor detail is the prills are like little white ball bearings.  You'll need to turn this into dust, a mill of some sort or a hammer and spare time work.  Potassium nitrate is hydroscopic so it will absorb humidity and turn back into a clump.  There was a case where a very large pile for fertilizer turned into a giant rock at a storage facility so they tried to break it up by inserting a stick of dynamite.   The blast took out the entire surrounding area.  Keep your powder dry.
Standing on the edge of reality... (me)
Quando omni flunkus moritati (Red Green)
Let no man belong to another that can belong to himself. (Paracelsus)
All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison. (Paracelsus)
NRA Life Member, Gun Owners of California member

Offline old fogey

  • Forum Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 1929
  • What do you mean "Tax Time Again"?!?
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2016, 08:35:33 PM »
Dudadiesel is a good supplier of 99.8 % prills right now (get it while you can, but eBay has it sporadically as well)! Amazon also occasionally sells it, as well as various other spots on the interweb (use Dogpile for expanded results far superior to doodle)!
                                                           A child's "rock tumbler" (actually a ball mill,) is a good way to reduce prills to fine powder with something hard & heavy (billiard balls, .70 cal. lead balls, etc...,-) and 30 minutes (beats wearing out yer arm with a mortar and pestle)! Occasionally you can find them on flea-bay fairly cheaply!
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 10:47:36 AM by old fogey »

Offline Lead Balls

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
  • 10gr under a .43 paintball for "Civil War Rematch"
Re: Powder Progress
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2016, 12:27:12 PM »
What your doing makes since to me because if they ever ban guns you'll be lucky to buy a BB gun. I hope you have a great time and get it made the way you like it. (T^ Oh I need it to go off cause I do like flint locks. (^h
I already got my BB gun, and it's a good thing, too, since they already banned it on account of it's being Russian. And I made it the way I like it, so don't laugh too hard, it spits out steel or lead balls at about 800fps, and with a cyclic rate of 2000 rounds per minute- it's a BB machine gun. And it holds about 900, so when I connect it up to my scuba tank, it's a hoot and a half!



I just love breaking glass.......  and turning pigeons into goo....
In my experience, the secret to happiness is a matter of learning to sort the occasional good idea from an endless body of bad ones.