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Black Powder


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#1 chuck45

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 05:17 AM

Hey team.

I've been doing alot of research lately in relation to particle size of blackpowder. My interest at this point is in firearm use.

The powder to be used is a very fast granulated form, using willow charcoal. Burns cleaner than commercial.

My main question is; roughly what is granulated powder (through a kitchen sieve) equivalent to in grain size? It would appear to be approximately the same as FFg. I am confident it would be suitable for use in blackpowder pistols, but I would like to try some 12g loads. The loading manuals give appropriate loads for FFg, but I'm looking for anyone with experience in using granulated powder in firearms. The shotgun is a boito single shot break action, external hammer, near new.

At this point I have no powder press and such. Hence my asking about granulated powder specifically.

If this is not appropriate, I do appolagise. It is difficult to find this information on firearm forums as not many of the shooters seem to be well versed in powder making. Thus, I ask here.

Any help would be much appreciated.

chuck45

#2 dan999ification

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 05:51 AM

Hey team.

I've been doing alot of research lately in relation to particle size of blackpowder. My interest at this point is in firearm use.

The powder to be used is a very fast granulated form, using willow charcoal. Burns cleaner than commercial.

My main question is; roughly what is granulated powder (through a kitchen sieve) equivalent to in grain size? It would appear to be approximately the same as FFg. I am confident it would be suitable for use in blackpowder pistols, but I would like to try some 12g loads. The loading manuals give appropriate loads for FFg, but I'm looking for anyone with experience in using granulated powder in firearms. The shotgun is a boito single shot break action, external hammer, near new.

At this point I have no powder press and such. Hence my asking about granulated powder specifically.

If this is not appropriate, I do appolagise. It is difficult to find this information on firearm forums as not many of the shooters seem to be well versed in powder making. Thus, I ask here.

Any help would be much appreciated.

chuck45



i cant give you complete answers and have no experience with bp firearms but here goes.
kitchen sieves vary in size i have a few different mesh sizes from sieves, if yours is the same as ffg thats what you have though if your powder is better the grain size could be too small[ you my get higher velocity/ more recoil/ broken weapon]
if your powder is superior to commercial you will obviously put more stress on the pistol when fired, is that 12 grains or 12 grams you want to use?
pressing the powder will get you more consistant results than granulating through sieves as the grains have different structure, granulated powder from a screen burns faster than corned powder imho as it often has pores,batches can differ that will have to be taken into account using larger loads.
i would work my way up untill happy with the performance.
sorry for the incomplete post, i just try to help where i can.

dan.

Edited by dan999ification, 02 February 2012 - 07:07 AM.


#3 Potassiumchlorate

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:56 AM

Ulrich Bretscher knows a few things about BP.

Personally I'd prefer Pyrodex or Triple Seven for firearms. It's more powerful but spares the barrel, since there is no sulfur in it. He has some sulfurless BP compositions as well on his page. :)
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#4 nater

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 06:57 AM

My grandpa used to make all of his own powder he used in some vintage firearms, he intentionally made it slow. Keep in mind that commercial BP is slow, if your powder is too fast you can blow up your gun and your hands with it.
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#5 cogbarry

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:53 AM

I would not do this and I can't see how it would make sense economically. You would have to use a lot of BP to make this worth your time and effort. Like others have said, faster may not be better. The charge used in firearms has to be very precise and the rate in which it burns would be determined by the pressure the gun can take, length of barrel, etc. Too fast and the gun blows up in your face. Too slow and the bullet,wadding,etc doesn't leave the barrel - put another round in and the gun blows up in your face. One of the first safety rules you will read in any gun manual (right up there with "watch where you point it") is "use the right ammo". I wouldn't use any BP or ammo in any gun that wasn't recommended by the manufacturer unless I really knew what I was doing and I knew my BP was consistent (and I mean exactly the same between batches). You are experimenting, you can't know the specs of your BP that well.

#6 Blackthumb

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:44 AM

take a few hours and read this pub...one of the best I've found...

Edited by Mumbles, 02 February 2012 - 12:25 PM.

"I split the heavens with the thunder of man..

I vanquish the night with the stars of my hand."


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http://www.blackthumbsupply.com
Book 75, Chapter 15, Verse 10


#7 Mumbles

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:33 PM

Unfortunately what you posted blackthumb is a copyrighted book. The pyro community is a small one, and the fringe literature doesn't make the authors a lot of money in the first place. It however is an excellent book. I have it and love it. That combined with Lloyd's ball milling book pretty much give a complete story on BP manufacture. Luckily however, both are quite inexpensive.

http://www.fireworks...om/product/34/2


Here is a few tables on the graded sizes of BP grains.

http://www.skylighte...Size_Charts.asp

If you're going to do thing, you'll definitely want to carefully grade your powder. This means a maximum size cutoff, and a minimum size cut off. Just granulating through a kitchen screen will give erratic and potentially dangerous results. I know there are a few people who have successfully made their own firearm propellants, but it's not exactly a task to be taken lightly. The quality and size must be very consistent. It would make me feel uneasy to use granules instead of pressed and corned powder. The corned powder is just so much more resilient.
Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

The sky is my canvas, and I have 2,113 pounds of powdered paint in the workshop.

#8 RogueSwimmer

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:22 PM

The pyro community is a small one, and the fringe literature doesn't make the authors a lot of money in the first place



Mumbles, I agree, but there is hardly any guarantee the book writers get any money from someone purchasing it as it could be used book resales. If they do, I strongly encourage to buy it because it is much more pleasant to read a book in hardcover than stare at computer. And if you were to print it out yourself, it would take you about same amount of ink and paper.


EDIT:

Actually, the website you posted, M, is in fact the publisher, so yes, I would imagine some percentage would go to the writer or at least benefit the pyro publication industry.
For a small price, it is worth buying a book VS. killing your eyesight on a computer.

Edited by RogueSwimmer, 02 February 2012 - 06:02 PM.


#9 Mumbles

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 03:17 PM

Even if not, American Firework News is a cornerstone of the pyro literature world. The owners are good people. To me, support of them is as important as the support of the authors. In any case, we really can't be condoning literature piracy here. I am all for spreading information, but without limits and incentive to create good work, well you end up with youtube quality pyro information.
Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

The sky is my canvas, and I have 2,113 pounds of powdered paint in the workshop.

#10 Blackthumb

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 03:32 PM

I goofed...didn't see the copyright...thanks for removing it...here is an uncopyrighted set of notes on BP grades that may be of help


Sporting Grade Black Powder -- "g" type powders

Powder Grade pass screen, holding, stays on, passing

Fg 12 mesh 3% 16 mesh 12%
FFg 16 mesh 3% 30 mesh 12%
FFFg 20 mesh 3% 50 mesh 12%
FFFFg 40 mesh 3% 100 mesh 12%
FFFFFg (no longer manufactured by Goex)



"I split the heavens with the thunder of man..

I vanquish the night with the stars of my hand."


Blackthumb
http://www.blackthumbsupply.com
Book 75, Chapter 15, Verse 10


#11 marks265

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 05:39 PM

I have a 75 caliber Brown Bess. Basically, I used willow charcoal in 75/15/10 plus 5 dextrin. I added water to it about 8 -10 percent and ran it through a window screen a couple of times. After I let it rest I ran it back through the screen until it riced nicely. If it is too wet, wait a little longer and rice it through the screen again. If spread out well on chipboard or something it won't take long to dry. This flintlock is a smooth bore so I started out with 75 grains of powder and worked my way up to ballistically match what Goex would do for me at 50-75 yards shooting distance. I think with Goex I was loading 125 grains. It was a real hoot to load this thing and go bird hunting for grouse with shot loads. My neighbors knew when I had the smoke stick out!

Mark

#12 chuck45

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:15 PM

Thanks for the kind and useful advice everyone.

I will certainly doing further reading before trying anything. Whilst my powder is super consistent, my granulation isn't. I will most likely wait until I begin proper corning, to get better grain geometry and performance.

I will tread with caution and keep you all posted.

#13 Blackthumb

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

I have a 75 caliber Brown Bess. Basically, I used willow charcoal in 75/15/10 plus 5 dextrin. I added water to it about 8 -10 percent and ran it through a window screen a couple of times. After I let it rest I ran it back through the screen until it riced nicely. If it is too wet, wait a little longer and rice it through the screen again. If spread out well on chipboard or something it won't take long to dry. This flintlock is a smooth bore so I started out with 75 grains of powder and worked my way up to ballistically match what Goex would do for me at 50-75 yards shooting distance. I think with Goex I was loading 125 grains. It was a real hoot to load this thing and go bird hunting for grouse with shot loads. My neighbors knew when I had the smoke stick out!

Mark



Marks...reminds me of hunting with a muzzle loading double bbl...set a field on fire but I got the rabbit!

"I split the heavens with the thunder of man..

I vanquish the night with the stars of my hand."


Blackthumb
http://www.blackthumbsupply.com
Book 75, Chapter 15, Verse 10


#14 marks265

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 03:33 PM

Marks...reminds me of hunting with a muzzle loading double bbl...set a field on fire but I got the rabbit!


hehe, I hate it when that happens! My brother got our grandfathers double bbl and he sold it. I wish I could have had my meat hooks on it instead. I believe that had damascus barrels so maybe it is better off that I never did get it.

Mark

#15 chuck45

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:33 PM

It's great to hear some others who enjoy the challenges of shooting blackpowder, especially self manufactured powder. Much cheaper and cleaner than commercial.

Marks265, with your process, do you skip milling?

Also, when I said 12g loads, I mean 12 gauge, as in shotgun.

Thanks.

#16 marks265

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:40 PM

75 cal is 12 gauge. If ya wanna be a real man, try shootin' a 4 bore which is one inch caliber! Yep, ya gotta mill the powderPosted Image

Mark




#17 mxman123

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 12:50 PM

If I were to order (can't purchase locally in NW Washington) sporting powder for lifting shells ranging anywhere from 2.5 - 8" what would be the most useful size to purchase? Cannon or 2fg? -OR- a little of both (2fg for < 6") and (cannon >= 6"). The reason for commercial for lift? Weak burst = bad aesthetics : Weak lift = bad day

#18 Peret

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 04:52 PM

Cannon is the equivalent grade of 2FA. You might need it for 6 and above but it's on the slow side for small shells. I think 2FG would make a good universal compromise. I make my own lift and use what passes 10 and is retained on 20, which is about 2FG equivalent.

#19 mxman123

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 08:30 PM

Cannon is the equivalent grade of 2FA. You might need it for 6 and above but it's on the slow side for small shells. I think 2FG would make a good universal compromise. I make my own lift and use what passes 10 and is retained on 20, which is about 2FG equivalent.


Thank you!

#20 Arthur

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:34 AM

Sadly a kitchen mesh isn't adequate for grading BP. You really do need some proper sieves, a set for grading BP should go from 10mesh to 100mesh and within that range should be at least seven grade cuts. I was once aware of BP weapons using 7Fa which is very fine.

http://www.pyroguide...unpowder_Grades

The grade table is worth a look, Several UK suppliers sell stainless meshes, as I thik do McMaster Carr in the USA. (Other sellers will exist some will do mail order)

A set of stacking small sandwich boxes with the bottom removed and mesh fused in will nicely separate corned or grated powder into mesh cuts and hence grade sizes.

Having good BP in good grade cuts is essential for safe and reliable pyro (Try to lift a 3" shell with FFA and it will plop out and you will see the rest o the powder burn try the same with finer powder and you will get a nice lift to height, Lift a 6" with FFA and it will lift nicely try 7FA and something msy break.)




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