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Old 03-26-2014, 10:06 AM
birddseedd birddseedd is offline
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Default Can you make your own smokeless powder?



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Can you make your own smokeless powder?
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:15 AM
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Simply put -- NO!

If you had the proper components then yes--the mixing is easy...The problem is making the components.

Far easier to make black or brown or white powder.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:51 AM
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brown or white?


iv looked into black powder, but that's not a viable option in a closed range. is it "possible" to make smokeless powder, or is it just not safe to do without proper facilities?
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birddseedd View Post
brown or white?


iv looked into black powder, but that's not a viable option in a closed range. is it "possible" to make smokeless powder, or is it just not safe to do without proper facilities?
This pretty much sums it up. However, the same thing applies to black powder. The difference being that, you can acquire the components more easily.

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Old 03-26-2014, 12:07 PM
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brown or red uses iron oxide to replace sulphur
white uses sugar instead of charcoal

the recipes are in foxfire and backwoodsman
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:20 PM
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Back when Hitler was running amok,
people used to shred nitro cellulose film and use it as a reloading component.

Nitro cellulose is easy if you have nitric acic and cotton, celluloid could also be used.
Colloiding it is a little bit more difficult, but possible. (Im not telling!)
Running it through a sieve is a brainless task.
Testing it would be a pain but devices could be built to test its power.
Reloading based on your test results could prove to be very interesting!

Testing burn rates might be done by my son's method of pouring the old man's powder out on the ground and seeing if Unique burns faster than 4831... Though thats very unscientific!

So yes, its possible.
But it takes a bit of research.

Last edited by Oldvernie; 03-26-2014 at 12:22 PM.. Reason: B e c a u s e . . .
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birddseedd View Post
brown or white?
iv looked into black powder, but that's not a viable option in a closed range. is it "possible" to make smokeless powder, or is it just not safe to do without proper facilities?
Posted this before:
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One thing, albeit difficult but not hard, you can always make blackpowder but you need a chemist and specialized materials and tools to make smokeless--even old gun cotton...Find a good source of lead (water/sewer stack in older homes) and get a couple three moulds for different bullet weights and/or shapes and you're set for life.

You're going to be able to make the charcoal (or dig the coal) and leech out the saltpetre? Would you be able to mine the sulphur although it really isn't truly necessary--except for more smoke--you just have to increase the saltpetre content to get a proper bang.

Capt. Turk replied:
Sulpherless black powder will work in a cap lock, but the ignition temperature is too high for reliability in a flint lock. The sulpher lowers the ignition temp. Look up brown powder and white powder. They are made without sulpher.

The BP I make costs me just less than $4 a lb.
The lead, I usually pick up for free.

A very usable black powder can be made without any mill, screens, or other fancy equipment. I've made it using nothing more than a wooden spoon and a ceramic bowl. It's not quite as hot, but it works. It will kill a large animal like a deer. The granulating, and screening, mostly just give the powder a more consistent burn rate.

Sulpher is one of the waste products of many industrial processes. Oil refineries generate huge amounts of waste sulpher.
Wiki: Brown Powder
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Brown powder, also known as prismatic powder, and sometimes referred as "cocoa powder" due to its color. It was a development of black powder and was designed to produce with a slower (and therefore gentler) burning rate. These differences in burning rate were achieved by incorporating fuel ingredients that were in a less-reactive state that those used in gunpowder. Pulverized and fully processed charcoal (elemental carbon) in black powder provides its distinctive black color, while its replacement with a different substance produces a more reflective powder, hence its name "brown powder". Further modifications of burn rate were achieved by shaping the individual powder grains, often into prismatic shapes such as single-perforated hexagonal or octagonal prisms.
Technical considerations
For pure explosive damage, high burn rates or detonation speeds (and accompanying brisance) are generally preferable, but in guns and especially cannons, slower-burning powder decreases firing stresses. This allows for lighter, longer (and more accurate) barrels with associated decreases in production and maintenance costs
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:56 PM
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...and then there's the guy who ground up his vitamin C tablets and mixed them with an oxidizer. Yes he did shoot a ball from his cap & ball musket!

I believe he only mixed about 50 grains, but it worked.
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Old 03-26-2014, 01:19 PM
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Paladin press put out a paperback on home ammuition making. Homemade black powder can be a dangerous undertaking. Smokeless even more so.

You need a source nitric acid, and there's a procedure in the book about boiling Potassium Nitrate in Sulphuric acid. You then distill off the nitric acid from the boiled mixture. You're supposed to get the sulphuric acid from the batteries of abandoned cars. You're supposed to get the PN scrapping piles of cow stuff.

After synthesizing the nitrocellulose, you dissolve it in a mixture of acetone and ethanol. There's no mention of where the acetone comes from except Home Depot.

Finally, you end up with a soft putty-like mix that you extrude out of a garlic press or some other device that makes spagetti like strands.

What you will end up with is totally raw first-generation smokeless powder of a 19th century quality. Don't even conteplate trying to duplicate Clays or IMR4891. More likely than not you'll produce something that erodes away your barrel within a hundred shots, assuming it doesn't blow up your gun (and you) on the first day.
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:54 AM
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I have some 44 spec. rounds given to me by the older fella that started me in reloading that are a home cast 250 gr. lead bullet on 6 gr. of "Mary Pickford "
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:39 PM
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brown or white have less smoke?
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:31 AM
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I followed a thread on another site all about how to make your own propellent. I mean these guys were hard core about figuring this stuff out. I was interested...but then I thought, "why spend the 20 hours re-learning your chemistry, scour the planet for the resources needed, add risk (at a time you really don't need more risk), and have an unpredictable and lower quality product when all you have to do is stockpile some powder today?" Or better yet stockpile the ammo?

Don't get me wrong...I love the ingenuity and desire to learn, but I would apply that energy in a different direction.
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birddseedd View Post
Can you make your own smokeless powder?
No, I can't.
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
I followed a thread on another site all about how to make your own propellent. I mean these guys were hard core about figuring this stuff out. I was interested...but then I thought, "why spend the 20 hours re-learning your chemistry, scour the planet for the resources needed, add risk (at a time you really don't need more risk), and have an unpredictable and lower quality product when all you have to do is stockpile some powder today?" Or better yet stockpile the ammo?

Don't get me wrong...I love the ingenuity and desire to learn, but I would apply that energy in a different direction.
Has to do with cost and availability of product.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:04 PM
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Can you make your own smokeless powder?
Requires all the usual stuff for BP manufacture but extra chemicals I think. Gun cotton can work at a pinch I have heard, at least that's what they did back in the day...
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:35 PM
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The biggest problems would be identical to the problems faced with Dupont's Military Rifle powders in the early days of smokeless. Hot temps and bore erosion!
The IMR Powders, Improved that is, used burn deterrents to slow the stuff down and they also worked with perforated granules so the surface area of the burning powder wouldn't just go away (like ball powders like to do!)
Some powders were colloided in nitroglycerine to increase volatility and others - I'm not so sure about...!
The ball powders we enjoy today were remixed and reprocessed surplus powders that ended up as flattened globs which mimicked some flake powders until coated with burn modifiers and graphite. The reason for flattening is mostly to minimize the extreme reduction of surface area of the powder as it burns.

That being said - gun cotton might just make for a really bad day.

Maybe small doses in straight walled cases with regular (not magnum) primers, but even then the chances of a big "oops" are too high.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:55 PM
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Hmm so a deterrent element is needed to slow things down a bit...?
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:55 PM
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What about making primers. i cant seem to find any way to make your own primers.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Watch Ryder View Post
Hmm so a deterrent element is needed to slow things down a bit...?
Graphite was one on the first things used, it worked as a dry lube and had limited value as a deterrent.
Black powder was processed wet, then compressed and coated with graphite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by birddseedd View Post
What about making primers. i cant seem to find any way to make your own primers.
The old Indian trick was to soak the heads off of what Tom Sawyer called "lucifer matches" and use that in a primer cup that had had the dent hammered out.

The dent could be hammered out with a small punch.

Modern day primer fixes could be the children's caps, (ironically invented for use on the linen or paper cartridge Sharps rifles,) used either in tandem or singly.
Or the sodium azide charges used in automobile airbags for inflation.
They're quite volatile, so extreme care must be used or you may lose fingers.

Last edited by Oldvernie; 03-29-2014 at 04:57 PM.. Reason: Primer primer
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:58 PM
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Default Ingredient safety warning.

Guys.
I am also a researcher regarding the matter of DIY smokeless gunpowder.

My recomendations and a bit of guidance.

1. First it's good to learn some basics of explosives and chemicals safety.
2. Than the basics of gunpowder from the start.
3. Making of simple black powder.
4. Processing of black powder and shaping (depending on the purpose) your project and of course carefull testings like you do before making reload data for a firearm. You need to succefully create black gunpowder and test it with different cardridges. Develop cartridges actually to gain experience.
5. Research of self reloading ammo pressure management velocities etc.

6. Once you done all of this for smokeless gunpowder you need to know that it's based on nitrocellulose or guncotton.

Making guncotton is easy but the handling regarding safety is a great concern.
So learn the treating process.

And DO NOT by any circumstance mix with alcohol!
30% alcohol mixed with nitrocellulose once Dried will cause explosion by friction or static electricity or anything depending on how strong you made it. For example you can make it as explosive as the manufactured one if you use 24hour controlled soaking during the process of creating it.

7. Once you succefully created guncotton and know how to handle it then make some research as of how to mix the desired ingredient and what the results might be. Always keep in mind the matter of safety!
Its serious one failure and you turn into a burned ghoul.

8. Then once you know what you are doing make your intended mixtures for what ever purpose and do what you always do as you do it with black gunpowder.
Form reload data and develop your first cartridge.

Keep in mind that you also need to make primers and as always friction of highly flamable materials can create undesired effects.

Creating Smokeless gunpowder may not be the super expert science as most people would think but you have to think like a proffesional like a scientist.
So it is a challenge and you need to prepare well for every step you do.

9. Sharing of knowledge in making smokeless gunpowder must be done carefully like a do now because it is necessary that you research it like a proffesional to become a person that has experience and knows what he is doing.

Its not overcautiouness it's that an EXPLOSION is inevitable if you do not meet the neccesary skills. And the process of learning a skill is using the right method to develop it. It's the only way.

Clearly some may not wan't us preppers to know smokeless gunpowder making. Because they are concerned about POST apocalyptic control. They will do anything to control us but it's not in their hands. And their narcissistic desires controling everything will never succeed.

So.
Learn and master this skill. Freedom depends on it. Survival depends on it. Humanity may depend on it one day.

Search at instructables.com nitrocellulose making. It's a first step experimental process and it works well. Combine it with Black gunpowder proccesing and you are a step closer.

Last edited by Predator.mz; 03-13-2019 at 05:00 PM.. Reason: Grammatic error
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