DIY Black Powder

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Night Driver, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. I'd like to know if any of the black powder fans on this forum have attempted to make shootable black powder for their own use.

    I have recipes from China, Venice, Florence, and Portugal. They are basically the same at 85% potasium nitrate, 15% sulphur 10% carbon (charcoal). I thought I'd ask for any pertinent input you might have.

    I am well aware of the vast number of hazards involved in the making of black powder. Ranging from, but not limited to, heat, open flames, static electricity even percussion. I will not be doing this in large quantities. A 1/4 of a pound to begin with would be a good starting point.

    I realize powder mills of the past had a very high accident rate. They were kept away from civilization for just that reason. Also I believe the quantities of product they were making did much to increase the risk of manufacturing. That and the profit motive to produce as much as quickly as possible both contributed to the inherit risks involved.

    I figure that with making my own powder, casting my own bullets and using flintlock ignition I can free myself from the excesses of the market place and abuses from the government (I hope).

    I'm allready casting my own bullets and making my own percussion caps. The caps are made with a cute little tool Forester products sells. The materials involved are 1/2" strips of aluminum drink cans and the centers punched out of childrens cap gun caps. Sounds primitive but they work fine on cap lock rifles and cap and ball pistols.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    you can make caps as well from match heads alcohol and a touch of ammonia

    i have not bought powder in some years but shoot BP weekly if not daily

    i have maybe 40 lbs stored and fixings enough to make a lot more

    i make in 2 lb lots and have a nice battery set up i can put in a paddock and leave in case , static is the killer , and use a plastic barrel and brass rod cut to 1" sections as the mill componant

    i do make a alcohol precipitate and get a great result ( as good as store bought )

    i make differing grade for pan and charge but this is mainly by the grain size and sieve used to create the grain size

    your reason for making is the same as mine

    they cant stop me and cannot regulate it one scherrick ( one bit for the non english heritage folks)

    enjoy and good luck eh

  3. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    I've used the Tap-O-Cap, neat little gadget. I thought the beer can aluminum was too stiff, so I used the disposable aluminum pie pans instead.

    Didn't have much luck punching out the centers of "Stick'em caps".... I mixed up some priming mixture using the recipe from a book, which worked out OK.
    I eventually found it was even easier to use the igniter tips from "Strike Anywhere" kitchen matches (even though most stores don't carry those matches anymore). I glued those igniter tips into the aluminum cups with small dabs of nail polish.

    As far as homemade blackpowder goes, I will defer to Jack404 and others who have succeeded in that area..... I did mix up some improvised propellant which worked in a percussion revolver, but it may be potentially dangerous so I don't think it's suitable for "public consumption".
  4. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    i'd love to learn the intricacies to make my own black powder. at around 35 dollars a pound around here i'd save money for sure
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    john the secret to good BP is charcoal , if the charcoal aint up to it nothing you do will improve it i've done up some documents on how to make it , i'll dig em out PDF em and send along

    but as a favour does anyone have a link to Tap-O-cap i just did a search and did not find what it was .. ( maybe i missed it , but got lots of dance shoes..)

    i went the flintlock way as the percussion caps could be limited but if i can make my own cheaply and effectivly, well things may change ...

    i did make a press once to do just this but the results where not so great ..
  6. Here is the web site but NO JOY on locating Tap Cap on the site. I Emailed them for an update and will get back to you ASAP.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  7. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
  8. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    excellent!! thanks VERY MUCH

    now next question is whats the life of caps?? a few years ? 10? 20? anyone know this is gonna change some stuff for me big time if its a goodly amount of years

    cheers all thanks again my eyes are opened bigtime!!! but i feel a bit of a dork swearing off cap locks for so long , oh well a dork can learn , that why i'm here and love this place

    here you need a licence to buy caps , if i can make my own 100% like i make my flinter supplies i can stay 100% off the grid
  9. ofitg

    ofitg Active Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    Here's an article on using the Tap-O-Cap -

    I've been looking around some more, and I can't find anybody who advertises them besides Midway.... I'm starting to wonder if Forster stopped manufacturing the Tap-O-Cap....?

    Regarding shelf life, my Sulphur-Potassium Chlorate-Antimony Sulfide primer mix didn't last long, maybe one year before I started getting misfires..... and I live in a very dry climate. In a humid environment, they might last a few months. A lot of it probably depends upon the ingredients and preparation, and I'm no chemist.
    I imagine the igniter tips from "Strike Anywhere" kitchen matches would last a few years if kept cool & dry.
  10. quigleysharps4570

    quigleysharps4570 Active Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    You're paying way too much for it. It's gone up quite a bit but even at that, my last order from Powder Inc. was $12.75 for Goex, $18.90 for Swiss and $11.00 for KIK.
  11. I still have several thousand from 1988 and they work just fine. I store them in the original Remington percussion cap tins I bought before I began making my own. Also have a couple thousand in Gamo and Kugeln air rifle pellet tins. I figure if you keep them dry they should last indefinitely, well almost anyway.

    When I first got the Tap Cap tools I went literally ape cutting up soda and beer cans for materials. Pepsi cans seemed to work best with the paint on the insde of the cap. Watch for accumulations of paint and aluminum in the die. It will build up and clog the works.

    Only one cap gun cap center is required for something like revolver cylinder nipples. I use 3 in the caps desiginated for my .54 caliber Renegade rifle. The bends from the nipple thru to the barrel require a little more oomph.

    I store my rifle caps seperate from the pistol caps and used Coors beer cans for the rifle caps. Its easy to destinguish the two by the color inside the caps. White & blue=pistol, Yellow=rifle. I'm a firm believer in the KISS principle.

    Say Jack404 what is your source of potassium nitrate? Have you tried collecting it the "natural" way? Whats the best way to store it?
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  12. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    i get it from "the bat cave" after a awful long time nature makes nodule of almost pure white , i've found then up to 6 lb in weight , but your looking through bat droppings. nasty eh

    but its free.. i have maybe 300 lb stashed away in places atm i trade it for other stuff with friends i put in on a box with saw dust (NOT PINE) and this works , my grandfather showed me and i used some stuff he collected in the 50" recently with no noticable bad results, when cleaned and washed it dont stink like bat's , but has a odour ..

    a mate buys plant food and extracts that but its a pain in my book ... but he says i'm nuts to go into caves, so we agree to disagree and laugh at each other over a beer

    theres lot of ways , more than i'll ever know , ask folks who do make , you have the mountain men they make BP write and ask them how they do it

    good luck eh

  13. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    PS i've also started to use "sugar mixes" but been told the USA hates that ( bombs and such) so a bit worried about sharing .. i got warned by a leo on a site to not publish or send to US folks ..
  14. What ever you think's best. We still have the 1st ammendmant to the constitution but the authorities pay about as much attention to that as they do the other 9. You have to be a minority, gay or an illegal alien to enjoy constitutional protections in this country anymore. Not quite commonwealth status yet but we may be on our way. Next election will mean alot to this country.

    I'm sure bat guano is nasty enough and I understand some very nasty critters reside in it preying on unfortunate juvenile bats that fall from the cave roof. You better man than I as far as bat filled caves are concerned.

    You want me to see if I can hunt up a Tapp-O-Capp at a retail outlet here in the states or do you have access there? Mine was less than $20 but that was a long time ago. I know of 2 or 3 places that might have them. Are you intrested in the manual or loading press model?
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  15. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    that would be great but i am gonna be tight on $ for a while , i've commited to some expences i had not planned on, ( spent a few hours on the phone to the US the past few nights and the bill will hit any time soon and if i dont pay i'm cut off ) let me get this out the way and i'll be sweet ..

    i asked all i know about tap o caps here and no news back yet forbes wholesale dont sell em and they are the biggest BP folks here green mountain have not got back yet nor izaac's but they really only sell basics and are more into regular rifles

    hey thanks , i'll get back to you if i may on this ..
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns ELG Black powder percussion rifle Sep 3, 2016
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns Managed to get a good Black Powder Cartridge session in today Aug 5, 2016
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns Black Powder Cartridge question Apr 12, 2016
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns fffg black powder in a golf ball mortar Apr 10, 2016
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns Black powder or now not? Jan 22, 2016