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I know that Paladin Press has a book on doing it but I don't know anyone that has tried it. I would be interested in hearing if anyone has any experience with this book.


"THE DO-IT-YOURSELF GUNPOWDER COOKBOOK
by Don McLean

Learn how to make gunpowder from such items as dead cats, whiskey, your living room ceiling, manure and maple syrup with simple hand tools and techniques that have been used for centuries. This is a practical and safe approach to making the oldest propellant/explosive known. For information purposes only.
Warning: Actual construction of the firearms described in these books and videos may be illegal under federal law. The BATF actively pursues and prosecutes anybody who violates firearm statutes."

http://www.paladin-press.com/product/425/44
 

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Charcoal is easily made if you read up on it. Salt Peter is refined from nitr rich places like old basements, manure piles, barnyard soil, etc.
Not easy but it is simple enough if you learn the process. Sulphur is mined from the earth- if you don't have any locally you will have to buy it.
The problem is that unless you are a pretty skilled and careful lab worker/ chemist, you have a non trivial chance of blowing your self up on the manufacturing process. It is _dangerous_ to do with fully controlled conditions- the plants where Black powder is made are designed to contain explosions to a limited area and injure as few workers as possible, because they DO blow up periodically.
 

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Charcoal is easily made if you read up on it. Salt Peter is refined from nitr rich places like old basements, manure piles, barnyard soil, etc.
Not easy but it is simple enough if you learn the process. Sulphur is mined from the earth- if you don't have any locally you will have to buy it.
The problem is that unless you are a pretty skilled and careful lab worker/ chemist, you have a non trivial chance of blowing your self up on the manufacturing process. It is _dangerous_ to do with fully controlled conditions- the plants where Black powder is made are designed to contain explosions to a limited area and injure as few workers as possible, because they DO blow up periodically.
So then, in an apocalyptic scenario, who would want to own a gun? if powder is limited? I understand in the Wild West, ammo could be readily obtained. That's not apocalyptic.
 

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Potassium nitrate (salt peter) and sulfur can be be bought at garden shops as stump removers and garden sulfur. Charcoal can be made (briquets are not suitable).

The proportions are 75% salt peter, 15% charcoal and 10% Sulfur.

Google "making black powder" or "lift powder" or go to YouTube and search for for the same. Plenty of sites give you the process and and show you how. Your safety is up to you however.

http://www.wfvisser.dds.nl/EN/bp_making_EN.html


Oops, I forgot to add, that salt peter can be extracted from soil where animals have been raised for some time (it takes several years for the waste to break down and leave the salt peter). The process to collect it is a precipitate process. The problem, will be finding sulfur in your area if it is not native.
 

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So then, in an apocalyptic scenario, who would want to own a gun? if powder is limited? .
Idea is to have some (as much as you can) stored up. Also, my idea for doing it is only to see if I could survive the first month or six to see how things might play out, and whether I even cared about sticking around for any more of it. (cheery note, I know)

I understand in the Wild West, ammo could be readily obtained. That's not apocalyptic.
The only thing "apocalyptic" in US history was for native americans. Their devastated worlds were almost certainly perceived as such, by themselves.

As far as ammo, yeah, was coast to coast, but certainly often very far between places to get it. Dang sure those guys who traveled, drovers and whatnot, stocked up with all they could reasonably carry, particularly before the afore-mentioned native americans had been mostly obliterated.

- OS
 

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Ammo in the Old West

Several accounts I have read confirm that "Cowboys" did things a little differently from what we saw in the movies. For example, Billy Dixon, after he lost his Sharps rifle purchased another one with a case of ammo to go with it; a case meaning at least several hundred rounds (The Life of Billy Dixon, by Olive Dixon)

Louis Lamour talked about meeting a half-breed Indian skinner that told him of a particular fight the skinner had witnessed as a boy. In that fight the men in the stagecoach were ambushed in a canyon and along with the winchesters, they pulled out boxes of ammo (The Education of a Wandering Man, by Louis Lamour.)

Also, most cowboys crossing the great empty plains did not do so riding one horse, they took several, so porting along a case or two of ammo was not out of the question.

The bottom line is that any society that has reached the level of pottery, and certainly bronze should be able to make both blackpowder and soap.
 
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