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Thread: making smokeless powder

  1. #1

    making smokeless powder

    Has anyone had any experience in making their own powder?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by daryl8837 View Post
    Has anyone had any experience in making their own powder?
    I don't get much access to nitroglycerine....~Muir

  3. #3
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    I can't imagine that would be legal anywhere. Not even in Texas.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by daryl8837 View Post
    Has anyone had any experience in making their own powder?
    I believe that it's quite common in the North West Frontier area of Pakistan. I think they use old film.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by daryl8837 View Post
    Has anyone had any experience in making their own powder?
    Why would you want to? I use Norma powder made by Bofors. I think they know a bit more than me about making powder. This thread is about as dumb as the one about turning match bullets into hunting bullets.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan_Terrier View Post
    I believe that it's quite common in the North West Frontier area of Pakistan. I think they use old film.
    From what I've read, they don't make smokeless powder out of it - just grind it up and no doubt throw a few 'additives' in like used tea leaves, fag ends, or something. With that and primer compound made from old-fashioned (old-fashioned as in dangerous and banned in the west generations ago) ground-up match heads, I doubt if they worry much about MVs and even less about MV ES values.

    Making nitrocellulose powders is a VERY dangerous process even in proper laboratory conditions. It involves nitrating pure cellulose (cleaned up cotton, treated wood pulp and suchlike) with concentrated sulphuric and nitric acids. This is a highly exothermic process (ie it gives off a LOT of heat) and if the mix is allowed to get above a certain temperature, then clear the area fast before the fire / explosion occurs and concentrated acids are flung about.

    If you don't kill yourself up to this point and see stage 1 through, you have guncotton - a high explosive. It has to have its molecular structure changed to become a propellant which burns as opposed to an explosive which detonates. This was the difficult step in the 19th century, guncotton invented decades earlier and a lot of people killing or maiming themselves trying to make a viable gunpowder out of it until Veille, Nobel and a few others came along.

    By dissolving the guncotton in a solvent such as acetone producing a 'colloidal' toffee like plastic material, it can be rolled and formed into the various shapes used in smokeless powders (originally rolled flat and cut into little squares) and when it is dried out and the solvents drawn off for reuse the resulting material is what you want as your basic propellant, needing various additives and coatings to control burning rate, reduce flash, run easily without generating dangerous static electricity
    etc, etc.

    Alfred Nobel then discovered that nitroglycerin, an unstable explosive like guncotton, but liquid and even more dangerous if anything, could be used as the solvent and both it and the guncotton were combined in a changed safe form that incorporated a higher energy quotient than the earlier method. This is where the term 'double-based' comes from as two explosives are combined in the production process as base materials. (Viht N500 series powders and Reload Swiss RS40, RS60, RS70 etc plus nearly all Alliant Reloder (Bofors) powders contain nitroglycerin, but aren't true double-based forms as they are made as single-based nitrocellulose powder kernels and at a late stage in the process undergo a partial infusion process that sees a bit of nitroglycerin soaking in.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jagare View Post
    Why would you want to? I use Norma powder made by Bofors. I think they know a bit more than me about making powder. This thread is about as dumb as the one about turning match bullets into hunting bullets.

    hahahaha...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by daryl8837 View Post
    Has anyone had any experience in making their own powder?
    You may possibly be verging on the edge of the wide brush of anti terrorism legislation asking that on the Internet.

  9. #9
    You'll be amazed when you see this -


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jagare View Post
    This thread is about as dumb as the one about turning match bullets into hunting bullets.
    Why? The OP is merely asking a question . . . . .
    A Man should be wise, but never too wise. He who does not know his fate in advance is free of care

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