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Is it legal to make your own black powder and does anyone do this or have any links they recommend? Thanks
 

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Black powder

This can be a VERY dangerous thing. I believe it is normally made, wet and then dried/sifted. Black powder can/will detonate from friction, static electricity etc. I do not want to consider it.
 

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Used to make it all the time as a kid. By volume it is 75% saltpeter, 15% charcoal, and 10% sulfur. As robo mentioned, you need to be very careful about static electricity and heat from friction. You do it right and it can be used in muzzle loaders.

The law has probably changed since I was a kid. Since black powder is a true explosive, and not an accellerant like nitrocellulose gunpowders, it is probably regulated. You would probably be well served to contact the appropriate government agency to find out the legality of rolling your own.
 

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i know of no federal law that prohibits the making of black powder. Some of the nanny states may have laws against it. Used to make the stuff pretty often. It is a big pain to make good black powder. You have to incorporate the mixture by wetting it and then rolling it under something like a big grind stone. Do not roll it with any spark producing metal. The mixture is rolled until dry and then the cake has to be broken up into small pieces-DANGER!!!

You can make black powder by simply mixing the ingredients. This is called serpentine powder and is not very powerful. When this stuff was used in cannon much of the force was expended by venting out the touch hole.

Making black powder is a pretty good way to get hurt, that's why i quit making it. It is easier to just buy the stuff.
 

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I've seen at least a dozen different recipes; slight variations in the proportions give powders with different characteristics. Since consistent accuracy with black powder comes from consistency in the size of the granules, the key steps in any recipe are the grinding and the sifting--and those are also the most dangerous steps.

In some extreme survivalist scenarios, this might be a useful skill; 50 years after society breaks down completely and we're all living in enclaves in the ruins of the cities or in isolated, wandering bands, the baddest guy around might be the one with a stainless Ruger Old Army and his own lead-casting and powder-grinding equipment. I'm not going to be around that long, anyway--but my advice is, as long as the stores are open, making your own black powder is, well, dumb. There are plenty of other ways to get crippled or killed without doing something that's entirely unnecessary. Freeway driving, for instance.
 

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sure, but why?

the issue of electricity brings up another point. that electricity be used instead of a primer to ignite black powder?
Black powder doesn't care if a spark comes from flint and steel, a stun gun, or your finger after walking across a carpet in leather-soled shoes.

That's why it's so !$&%?! DANGEROUS!
 

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Black powder doesn't care if a spark comes from flint and steel, a stun gun, or your finger after walking across a carpet in leather-soled shoes.

That's why it's so !$&%?! DANGEROUS!
because b. p. might be easier to make with limited resources than safer more complex substances

and because using electricity might be a substitute for primer
 

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?

because b. p. might be easier to make with limited resources than safer more complex substances

and because using electricity might be a substitute for primer
Well, I can only speak for myself, but as long as they have butter on the shelves at the grocery store, I see no need to buy a cow and a churn and make it myself--and I don't even have to worry that the cow might blow up and kill me.

But whatever floats your boat... Just make sure your family isn't in the room while you're experimenting, though, OK?
 

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"Well, I can only speak for myself, but as long as they have butter on the shelves at the grocery store, I see no need to buy a cow and a churn and make it myself--and I don't even have to worry that the cow might blow up and kill me."

Very good point. Made a lot of the stuff for bomb disposal classes and for the heck of it over a period of 25 years. i was making a batch for a bomb disposal class. It flashed and i got burned: No more for me.

There is the possibility that the nosey neighbors will call the cops and tell them about the kooky guy next door making all kinds of stinking chemical stuff. The cops raid the place and the media makes a video of the "terrorist" and his handy work.
 

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Well, I can only speak for myself, but as long as they have butter on the shelves at the grocery store, I see no need to buy a cow and a churn and make it myself--and I don't even have to worry that the cow might blow up and kill me.

But whatever floats your boat... Just make sure your family isn't in the room while you're experimenting, though, OK?
Fine, so now we know that you are not interested in the subject.

But this is a thread about the subject, so for those of us who do have an interest in antique technology and wish to learn how to be safe, this would be the right place to discuss it.

The problem of flashing is due to grinding and mixing the ingredients with anything made of metal or other materials that may spark when subjected to compression.
 

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Excuse me?

Fine, so now we know that you are not interested in the subject.

But this is a thread about the subject, so for those of us who do have an interest in antique technology and wish to learn how to be safe, this would be the right place to discuss it.
(1) If you'll notice, I posted to this thread three times. I AM interested.

(2) Advising against an activity IS discussing it.

(3) Virtually every other poster on this thread also advised against it. Why is your post directed at only me?

(4) This thread has been inactive for more than a month. Why would you resurrect it now just to take a shot at me?

(5) In general, I will post what I like wherever I care to post it.

(6) You are also free to post as you wish; but don't be surprised if an unwarranted criticism meets with objections, as here.
 

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Used to make it all the time as a kid. By volume it is 75% saltpeter, 15% charcoal, and 10% sulfur. As robo mentioned, you need to be very careful about static electricity and heat from friction. You do it right and it can be used in muzzle loaders.

The law has probably changed since I was a kid. Since black powder is a true explosive, and not an accellerant like nitrocellulose gunpowders, it is probably regulated. You would probably be well served to contact the appropriate government agency to find out the legality of rolling your own.
re charcoal-- I think that is the crucial element. some say it should be only from a certain type of wood (old?). You would have to make the charcoal and construct a special furnace for it.

re regulation-- you can buy it with no i.d. check and no registration in California, and that is one of the toughest gun control states in the union.
 

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By fed law (check your own state and local-) you can make up to 5 lb.'s of propellant grade bp (this is a good web-site for diy construction of a homestead-scaled bp powder magazine and all the equipment for it).
 

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Is it legal to make your own black powder and does anyone do this or have any links they recommend? Thanks
Obviously it depends on where you are as the laws differ from place to place. That being said, why would anyone want to? Sure do it once as a 'learn how to do this' exercise at age 14, but after that, what for? Just go to the store and get a can of Goex. It will be a lot more consistent and stable than anything you can mix in your garage.
 

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Bp is bp; now, that having been said some black powder is more powerful because of (a) its ingredients (the type of charcoal [willow, red gum or grocery store charcoal briquettes-], as well as the type of sulfer and pottasium nitrate you use has a great effect on quickness of your powder,); (b) How you make your powder (i.e., "cia" method v/s. ball milling for 12 hours) and (c) how you "finish" your powder (i.e., rub it through a window screen and let it dry in the sun on newspaper, or press or "corn" it).

If you know what you are doing, it's 'easy' to make black powder at home that rivals commercial quality (and often surpasses it - look on YouTube for "Brushhippy Outdoors" and see how he does it, he is a master at making bp). 'Course, if you think anybody can do it and that it's safe to handle without proper precautions, well "Good Luck and Was Good Knowing Ya"!

It is a good thing in my estimation to learn how to safely make bp, but it is something that a lot of people could not do well or (some-) safely. Your opinion may vary.
 
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