Guys, Guys, Guys...
Just buy the flash paper from the major pyrotechnical supplies (fireworks supplies) companies, its really cheap, like a $1.60 for a 8" X 9" sheet, or, a "pad" of 20 sheets of 6" X 4" for around $6.00
I do sometimes make my own black powder, and when I do, I purchase my supplies from outfits like that, they offer chemical grade ingrediants at bargain basement prices. Yes, I know, you can buy Saltpeter from Chinese/Oriental Markets, they use the stuff in pickling and pickled meats, pretty cheap... Yes I know, you can buy Sulphur, from large gardening supply shops or departments in very large supplier outlets, and yes, I can grind my own charcoal, I still have two hands and ten fingers.... BUT, NONE of those sources supply high grade chemical grade ingrediants, they are all home/garden and food grade components... Not so hot really.
And there is the time factor, I mean, making the damned BP is nearly a mini-profession in and of itself, do I really want to waste another couple days chasing down the stupid supplies too?
I suppose if I were 75 years old, and living on $200.00/month, I might consider such extreames, just to fill my time up with, because I didn't have anything better to do, and even if I did, I wouldn't have the money for the gas to do it.... I would probably even consider making my own damned paper from old newspapers... But, I am not that far over the hill... YET !!!
I am over the hill enough to know however, paper cartridges are few and far between, and expensive when you can find them, so, doing the bare minimum necessary to make those makes sense. In my case with BP, living in Los Angeles, where, even matches are stored behind locked gates at the grocery stores, BP is a rare bird in these parts... It's not about the cost with me with BP, it's the damned availability.
NE-Wayz... I digress...
I also purchase flash powder and gun cotton from those pyrotechical supply houses. I use the flash powder in a 50/50 by volume mix with 4Fg BP as my priming powder for my flints. It flashes faster, hotter, and with a larger flame burst. I have found that using this mix ignites my flinters much faster and more reliably than just priming the pan with 4Fg priming powder by itself. It even works well on very damp, rainy days, I almost never have misfires on my flinters anymore, even in the worst of weather conditions. (someimes I even buy the "fancy" ones, the ones that gold sparkle, or silver sparkle, or red or green colored flashes... for the holidays and "Special" occassions, like, when I show up at a civil war re-enactment, dressed up as a green forest elf, prancing around with my nickle plated and ivory simulated flintlock Zuave... firing my musket, screaming at the top of my lungs... "You Go Girls !!!" Yes I know, I'm a bit eccentric, aren't all us old BP dudes WiLd 'n CrAzY??? I mean, think about the average mentality of the average mountain man... These were not exactly "normal" people, and didn't want to be...)
And, the gun cotton, (Nitrated Puffy Cotton).... It "flashes", just like flash paper and flash powder, it was also a key ingrediant in early smokeless powders, so, be very STINGY with it's use. I use that as a flamable cotton wad, I just stuff a small tuft of it down the barrel, on top of the powder charge, before I seat down the lubed conical or min-ball. I do this to have a pad inbetween the lubed conical/mini and the powder charge so that the lube will not soak into the powder. Needless to say, I don't do this with patched balls, waste of good gun cotton that. Although I haven't tried it yet, I suppose using a teency bit of the gun cotton, instead of those super overpriced, pre-lubed overpowder pads in revolvers would work perfectly well too.
Heck, if some BP'ers are so full of pocket money they want to overspend on everything, I just may start making the damned flash paper, special flash priming powders, and gun cotton tuft wads myself, in mass, and market the stupid things to Dixie and the others, for a 300% markup, who will, offer them for another 300% markup.... THINK ABOUT IT GUYS !!!
ALL, of those supplies, ALL OF THEM, and MORE, like fuses, CHEAP FUSES, are available from the pyrotechnical supply houses....
Here is a link to one, not the best, not the worst, but a good one with good prices.
Have FUN with it Guys !!!
ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"