DIY Black Powder

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

  1. ElvinWarrior

    ElvinWarrior New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Los Angeles California, USA
    Re: DIY Black Powder, Ball Mill Method, Detailed Instructions - Part TWO

    This is part two (2) of the Ball Mill Methode of BP Home Manufacture.

    Pictures are helpful, I find, in bringing a subject home to roost.

    The following photo is a typical triple beam scale, available for around $100.00 from most online suppliers.

    [​IMG]

    This is the chemicals supply kit, available from skylkighter.com. It costs $59.97, plus shipping, and is enough supplies to produce 10lbs of finished Black Powder. Now, I know, that people have posted alternate sources for the base chemicals, such as, large Oriental Markets for the Saltpeter, Large Nursery outlets for the sulphur, and large home depot type outfitters for whole, uncompressed charcoal... But add up the $3.00/lb for the FOOD GRADE Saltpeter, whatever the FERTILIZER GRADE Sulphur costs, and having to grind up your own Whole Stick Charcoal, which costs a premium in my area... and, your close to the 60 bucks for the chem kit, at HOME GRADE ingrediants, as opposed to the CHEMICAL GRADE ingrediants shipped by the pyrotechnical outfits... and... my inclination is... Ummm... I think I will go with the chemical suppliers....

    [​IMG]

    The ball mill, used to mix and grind the components together. This model is a 15lb ball mill, and is available for $229.00 from pyrocreations.com

    [​IMG]

    The sizing screens, this is a set of square sizing screens, containing 5 screens of screen meshes #10, 20, 40, 60 and 100, they are available for $139.85 for the set, and are available from skylighter.com

    [​IMG]

    A large Mortar and Pestle, used to break up the dried Black Powder bits and chunks into the Fg, FFg, FFFg, and FFFFg granulations used by Black Powder shootists worldwide. It is available for $58.72 from skylighter.com

    [​IMG]

    That's pretty much it. The tools are pretty basic and simple, Although you can use Black Powders as a propellant for pyrotechnical (Fireworks) rockets and launching mortars, this process really isn't "Rocket science" at all. Mostly, it's just a matter of careful, patient, methodical preparation. Making your own BP can be a very fun, and rewarding part time hobby that will save you money on your hobbiest powder needs. If you are like me, and are a bit stingy with your powder, making two ten pound batches a year is enough for most of your needs for 9 or 10 months of the year. Not a bad passtime, and if you store your powder in little wooden kegs, quite an attention getter at meets, ranges, competitions, and hunting outings. In most states, it is legal for you to have and store 50lbs of black powder at home. What one does with 50lbs of black powder I have no clue, unless you are a cannon or a gattling gun re-enactment enthusiast, that's way more powder than I have any use for. So, it's okay to home prepare small batches of BP at home, for private use, it's okay to store reasonable quantities of it, but... Don't sell the stuff, even to friends, without proper authorization. And, it's always a good idea to have a welded, padlocked steel powder storage chest, keep your hobby, and your home safe !!!

    Have FUN with it guys !!!

    Sincerely,

    Elvin Warriror... aka... David
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  2. junk250

    junk250 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    This is an interesting subject, BP is just about impossible to purchase reasonably unless you buy 5-10 pounds at a time mail order then is still over 20.00 lb. with fees.

    BP substitute is over 25.00 a lb. if you can find that !

    The best info I have found concerning homemade BP , is also from skylighter.com .

    In this article http://www.skylighter.com/skylighter_info_pages/article.asp?Item=115 the author discusses and tests several methods including different ball milled methods but the "simply screened red gum/alcohol method" and the resulting tests done seem like the very best/easy/cheap/safe method out there, and compares to commercial BP in his tests !!!

    Note that he describes several different methods/techniques in the same article, but look close at the "simply screened method".

    He does two tests of "simply screened red gum/alcohol method", one with commercial air float charcoal (good) and one with Pine air float charcoal (very good).

    You can get all the materials at hobbychemicalsupply.com cheap, they even occasionally have willow air float charcoal (the best) but it sells out fast.

    You can get enough chemicals/charcoal for 10 lbs of BP for about 40.00(yes, that's 4.00 a lb. !), no ball mill needed. (Edit to say: not mix 10 lb at the same time, maybe
    .5 lb at a time : )

    I haven't tried it yet, and it really sounds too good to be true, but the article's Author obviously knows what he is doing, and he did the testing to prove the results.

    Hope this helps someone, I would like to be able to afford to shoot my BP .44 revolver every once in a while, so I'm going to try it soon.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  3. ElvinWarrior

    ElvinWarrior New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Los Angeles California, USA
    I know that the alcohol, or "CIA" method, as sometimes referred to, works well.

    There is something however, about, soaking BP in alcohol, and letting the alcohol fumes evaporate off, into a garage or workshop, that just makes me a bit uneasy... call me silly, but I will stick with the ball method, mixing with distilled water.

    [​IMG]

    Sincerely,

    ElvinWarrior... aka... David, "EW"
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns Black Powder "starter kit"? Apr 7, 2014
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns Where to start with black powder weapons Mar 23, 2014
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns Need help with blackpowder corrosion! Feb 26, 2014
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns Type of powder for blackpowder revolvers? Feb 8, 2014
Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns Blackpowder revolver for deer? Feb 5, 2014