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Roll your own

Old 09-11-2011, 04:19 AM
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Default Roll your own

Out of necessity I make my own BP. I suggested the same to a fellow BP shooter, and the people around nearly had a stroke, which surprised me.

True, DIY in firearms should be approached with great caution. But regarding BP:

1. BP was (and is) made from natural and impure ingredients (mainly charcoal), using non-standard procedures. So the end product varies very much, or is very forgiving to variations.

2. Home making (milling, pressing ect.) will always be inferior to a factory with proffesional heavy machinery. So grain-to-grain, the homemade BP will probably be inferior too.

3. The grains size is kept to the industry standards.

So it SEEMS to me, that reasonably made homemade BP, should be safe to shoot. what do you think? If you think it's unsafe, why? Are there specific issues to consider (say, density)?
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:19 AM
Boone & Crockett
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I often wanted to try it myself but not sure how to go about it. I know its charcoal, sulfur and niter (salt peter) but I don't know the proper mixture.
I think it would be safe to make yourself if you followed basic safety practices and used the proper equipment.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bronko22000 View Post
I think it would be safe to make yourself if you followed basic safety practices and used the proper equipment.

In "safety" I was referring to the shooting, and not to the making.
The making is WAY beyond the composition itself, which is 75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur. It includes the type of wood from which the charcoal is made. The milling of all the components for several hours. Pressing it under several tons, granulating, polishing, grading and (sometimes) graphite coating.

I"ll be happy to advise anyone interested, but that's beyond this discussion.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:51 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Minnesota
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I almost hate to reply to this one.
While I think it is an interesting subject, I don't think I would mess with shooting homemade black powder unless there was no other choice like in a survival situation.
I don't feel I am at all qualified to say if your powder is safe to shoot. I'm not sure why you can't get store bought black powder but that would be my choice for sure. The only advice I have is if you are going to shoot it anyway start out with small loads, very small loads.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:29 AM
Dominant Buck
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Location: Wisconsin
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If the modern production world came to an end.. and that was the only alternative to shooting and especially hunting for food.. I would attempt making the black powder and using it. I mean what choice would I have.

But first off insurance companies find out your making black powder they get real excited. Consider, even under professional circumstances, these factories blow up, so what chance would I have... probably slim to none.

As for would I shoot it.. the problem I can see in shooting it would be the consistency of the powder. Even if the powder "home made" was under powered.. you could compensate for that. But what might be under powered in this batch might be very different in the next. You would do a lot of sighting in and checking loads I believe (which I do now with factory powder).

Personally as much as a DYI that I am.. I would not mess with the black powder.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:55 AM
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I don't think I would mess with making it. I doubt I could make it near as well as what I purchase and there is just way too much "Big Brother" nowadays anyway. As far as shooting it, it probably wouldn't be near as consistent as manufactured powder so you would probably be pulling your hair trying to get good groups. As mentionioned earlier, if our high-tech modern world were to crash (and someday it will) I would probably find a way out of necessity, other than that I'll stay away from it. Furthermore, some forums won't even allow any discussion on the subject.....BPS
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