Black powder alternatives

Black powder rifles and pistols, reloading black powder, and other information. The smoky stuff.

Black powder alternatives

Post by Warrigul » 15 Oct 2014, 8:31 pm

Okay, we CAN'T get black powder across the Bass Strait, that is the plain unfortunate truth. I have very little left and am starting to get desperate, I may look into the legalities of making my own.

However I have read a bit about Pyrodex, its classification would allow it to be transported across the strait, has anyone used it over there on the big island?
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by on_one_wheel » 15 Oct 2014, 9:58 pm

Surely there is some way to get it over there, Im guessing its because they wont allow it to fly... no boats heading back and forth ?

The thing I'm surprised by is the mines over there use high explosive, I bet my family jewels that the det. cord and detonators comes from somewhere else and even possibly the sticks of gell.... BP has nothing on that stuff.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by MeccaOz » 15 Oct 2014, 10:47 pm

Do some investigating on gun cotton mate, doesnt appear all that hard to make, and was what came after black powder.. Alot of people think it's nitro glycerine but it's not
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by newsteadvic » 16 Oct 2014, 6:48 am

Obviously ignore bizarre suggestions about making your own guncotton! From the excellent Chemistry of Powder and Explosives by TL Davis:
Von Lenk constructed 12-pounder guns which were shot with guncotton cartridges, but they were much damaged by the firing.
About 1860 he tried bronze guns, which were less likely to burst than iron ones, and with propelling charges of guncotton fired
from them shells which were filled with bursting charges of guncotton. The shells often burst within the barrel, for the acceleration
produced by the propelling charge of guncotton was much too sudden and shocking. They could be shot out without exploding
when a propelling charge of black gunpowder was used. On July 20, 1863, the magazine at Hirtenberg exploded, and the
Austrian government thereupon decided to abandon the use of guncotton as a propellent explosive.


What are you shooting Warrigul? There are probably two alternatives - using smokeless, either in the Nitro-For-Black (NFB) ratio of 40% of the BP grain weight in AR2207 (H4198). This formula gets used by a lot of the BP double rifle shooters, google NFB 4198 or Graeme Wright and his book about it Shooting the British Double Rifle. Depending on calibre some people use the faster shotgun powders like unique in BP cased rifles however the faster powders make me anxious. This is not appropriate for a muzzleloader.

The other option would be BlackMZ. If you have a Nioa/Alliant Powder dealer they can order this is as it is treated like a smokeless powder rather than BP. Is comes as a coarse black grain, about FFg size. It is safe in muzzleloaders and BP cartridge arms. It is citric acid based with chlorates and perchlorates. It is more corrosive than BP if left after shooting but cleans up well with hot water like BP. Apparently it likes a good deal of compression to get consistent velocities however I have not done a direct BlackMZ to BP comparison. It produces less smoke but leaves a white film in bore and case. Some more info here:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthr ... t-Black-MZ
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Warrigul » 16 Oct 2014, 11:26 am

newsteadvic wrote:Obviously ignore bizarre suggestions about making your own guncotton! From the excellent Chemistry of Powder and Explosives by TL Davis:
Von Lenk constructed 12-pounder guns which were shot with guncotton cartridges, but they were much damaged by the firing.
About 1860 he tried bronze guns, which were less likely to burst than iron ones, and with propelling charges of guncotton fired
from them shells which were filled with bursting charges of guncotton. The shells often burst within the barrel, for the acceleration
produced by the propelling charge of guncotton was much too sudden and shocking. They could be shot out without exploding
when a propelling charge of black gunpowder was used. On July 20, 1863, the magazine at Hirtenberg exploded, and the
Austrian government thereupon decided to abandon the use of guncotton as a propellent explosive.


What are you shooting Warrigul? There are probably two alternatives - using smokeless, either in the Nitro-For-Black (NFB) ratio of 40% of the BP grain weight in AR2207 (H4198). This formula gets used by a lot of the BP double rifle shooters, google NFB 4198 or Graeme Wright and his book about it Shooting the British Double Rifle. Depending on calibre some people use the faster shotgun powders like unique in BP cased rifles however the faster powders make me anxious. This is not appropriate for a muzzleloader.

The other option would be BlackMZ. If you have a Nioa/Alliant Powder dealer they can order this is as it is treated like a smokeless powder rather than BP. Is comes as a coarse black grain, about FFg size. It is safe in muzzleloaders and BP cartridge arms. It is citric acid based with chlorates and perchlorates. It is more corrosive than BP if left after shooting but cleans up well with hot water like BP. Apparently it likes a good deal of compression to get consistent velocities however I have not done a direct BlackMZ to BP comparison. It produces less smoke but leaves a white film in bore and case. Some more info here:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthr ... t-Black-MZ


Thanks Vic, the alliant MZ seems sounds like the best alternative.

I will make a few enquiries.

I am only using it in muzzle loaders (an original .58 enfield and a .50 hawken) the pistol cartridges I can use trailboss. I have an original pennsylvanian flintlock long rifle but I will save a bit of black powder for that if I use it again, it is a bitch to get to fire.

Thanks to all who replied.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by melanie » 09 Jan 2015, 9:53 am

MeccaOz wrote:Do some investigating on gun cotton mate, doesnt appear all that hard to make, and was what came after black powder.. Alot of people think it's nitro glycerine but it's not


Are a lot of people missing fingers after experimenting which this? :lol:
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Gregg » 21 Jan 2015, 1:29 pm

Did you end up giving the Pyrodex a go, Warrigul?
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Warrigul » 21 Jan 2015, 3:03 pm

Gregg wrote:Did you end up giving the Pyrodex a go, Warrigul?


Black MZ is on the way, well apparently it will be on the way shortly as the mines department have had a hard time accepting that a "Black powder substitute" isn't actually black powder. This is despite the multplie pages of supporting evidence to say it is a propellant not an explosive.

Gotta love governments.

I found a bit of black and have tried it in the .45 LC, much more impressive to watch than normal smokeless apparently.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Oldbloke » 21 Jan 2015, 6:31 pm

"Black MZ is on the way" Wise move Warrigul. It is not well known that toward the end of the manufacturing process of some compositions (black powder being just one of many) have the nasty habit of igniting without warning. The trouble is that the industry does not advertise this fact, so plenty of people out there think it's safe to make it home. And videos on youtube often give the wrong info and impression.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Gregg » 22 Jan 2015, 12:37 pm

Warrigul wrote:Black MZ is on the way, well apparently it will be on the way shortly as the mines department have had a hard time accepting that a "Black powder substitute" isn't actually black powder. This is despite the multplie pages of supporting evidence to say it is a propellant not an explosive.

Gotta love governments.


:|

Well, keep us posted if it turns up.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by cooker » 22 Jan 2015, 12:38 pm

Warrigul wrote:Gotta love governments.


That's one option :sarcasm:
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Ron Hawkins » 27 Jul 2019, 11:09 am

Hi Warrigul, have you had any success getting substitute black powder. Im in George Town and am desperately trying to find a source of powder in both FFg and FFFg to feed muzzle loading rifles and pistols.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Stix » 27 Jul 2019, 12:38 pm

Ron Hawkins wrote:Hi Warrigul, have you had any success getting substitute black powder. Im in George Town and am desperately trying to find a source of powder in both FFg and FFFg to feed muzzle loading rifles and pistols.

G'day Ron...
Just letting you know...this is a very old thread & it looks like Warrigul left here some 4 or so years ago... (going by one of his posts)...so dont be surprised if you dont get a reply from him...
Hopefully someone else here can help you...
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Ron Hawkins » 02 Aug 2019, 11:26 am

Thanks for that update Stix, ive tried everyone i can think off to get black powder or substitute, no luck as yet.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by bigpete » 03 Aug 2019, 2:19 am

Where are you from ?
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by on_one_wheel » 03 Aug 2019, 5:15 pm

bigpete wrote:Where are you from ?


He's in Tasmania bigpete
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by perentie » 04 Aug 2019, 7:47 am

Dont people take their cars to Tassie on the Ferry?
Drive to the mainland for a holiday and bring some back, or get a mate who is visiting bring some.
Buy in bulk its cheaper anyway. I drove to Helidon in QLD and bought 10 kg from the warehouse years ago. Still using it.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by mickb » 04 Aug 2019, 11:15 pm

I'm trying to get my head around this. Gunstores are able to bring in ammo, primers, smokeless etc but not blackpowder? Is this a new law for you guys?
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Ron Hawkins » 05 Aug 2019, 7:26 am

Thanks for the comments, im still looking for some
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Gamerancher » 05 Aug 2019, 10:12 am

You are not allowed to carry any bulk powder on the ferry, black or smokeless. There are even restrictions on carrying loaded ammo almost in line with air travel.
The gun stores have to get supplies shipped on freighters as dangerous goods.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by mickb » 05 Aug 2019, 6:33 pm

So dealers can have ammo, smokeless and primers shipped, but not blackpowder?? Sounds very weird, must be a law targeting Blackpowder? Or are these guys just saying there are currently no stocks left in the state, and gunstores waiting for the next order?
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Oldbloke » 05 Aug 2019, 8:53 pm

This is an old thread. Seems to has been an assue for 5 years.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by on_one_wheel » 05 Aug 2019, 9:20 pm

Oldbloke wrote:This is an old thread. Seems to has been an assue for 5 years.

There might be money to be made running powder from Australia to Tasmania.
It's probably much easier and safer than running powder from Columbia to Australia. :thumbsup:
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Gamerancher » 06 Aug 2019, 10:19 am

It can be shipped, it just seems that the Taswegian dealers can't be f%cked going through the process.
It is a different class of explosive and therefore has different shipping requirements.
Maybe they don't see enough demand. It is not stocked by a lot of gun shops on the mainland either.
I don't know what you are wanting to use it for Ron, but, a lot of blackpowder competitions allow the use of Pyrodex or similar blackpowder alternatives.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Oldbloke » 06 Aug 2019, 2:24 pm

on_one_wheel wrote:
Oldbloke wrote:This is an old thread. Seems to has been an assue for 5 years.

There might be money to be made running powder from Australia to Tasmania.
It's probably much easier and safer than running powder from Columbia to Australia. :thumbsup:


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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by on_one_wheel » 06 Aug 2019, 3:09 pm

No wonder it's difficult to get in Tasmania.
Looks like dealers have probably put it into the too hard basket.

https://worksafe.tas.gov.au/licensing/d ... explosives
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Ron Hawkins » 09 Aug 2019, 8:52 am

Hi Gamerancher, I need to feed 3 muzzleloaders in rifle and pistol. Pyrodex, BlackMZ Hodgens 777 and all other alternatives are still treated as black powder down here. To import it into Tassie it has to come on a bomb truck and the driver has to have the explosive licence. As for other comments regarding sneaking it onto the boat, forget it.When I moved to tassie, I was fully informed of the consequences if I tried to bring any of my blackpowder 45/70 or 357 rounds or any loose black powder on board. When I arrived at the ferry, there was three blokes and a sniffer dog waiting for me, im bloody glad I didnt try to sneak it on board. The ferry comes under Maritime Law, and I would have been thrown in the brig and dealt with severely.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by cadet » 09 Aug 2019, 12:45 pm

mickb wrote:So dealers can have ammo, smokeless and primers shipped, but not blackpowder?? Sounds very weird, must be a law targeting Blackpowder? Or are these guys just saying there are currently no stocks left in the state, and gunstores waiting for the next order?


BP is in a completely different Dangerous Goods class to smokeless propellant. BP is a true explosive; it doesn't need confinement/pressure to go bang, and it doesn't take much to make it go bang; so it genuinely is a more dangerous ie costly thing to handle, store and transport.
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by duncan61 » 09 Aug 2019, 1:14 pm

Combining Potassium Nitrate (75%) with Charcoal (15%) and Sulfur (10%) gives us a nice, slow-burning black powder! I copied this quote of a youtube video that shows how to put it all together.Is making your own a possibility.Most of us reload for many reasons but doing it yourself is part of the experience and the satisfaction when it all comes together
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Re: Black powder alternatives

Post by Noisydad » 09 Aug 2019, 1:31 pm

duncan61 wrote:Combining Potassium Nitrate (75%) with Charcoal (15%) and Sulfur (10%) gives us a nice, slow-burning black powder! I copied this quote of a youtube video that shows how to put it all together.Is making your own a possibility.Most of us reload for many reasons but doing it yourself is part of the experience and the satisfaction when it all comes together

DIY isn’t even a little bit legal! Plus, with no way to test it, every batch would come out different making it Useless for either comp. or hunting. Also your fingers work better when they’re hanging off you Arms rather than hanging off the rafters.
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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