Author Topic: Diamondback Powder  (Read 25085 times)

William Worth

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Diamondback Powder
« on: November 17, 2011, 08:44:44 PM »
I've still not seen any reviews of this stuff.

Has everyone stopped shooting?  ???

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 06:28:51 AM »
William,

Not much of that floating around in the system.  Last week I looked at how much of it has been brought into the U.S.

I had looked at a sample of the second shipment into the U.S.  Was not allowed to check the first shipment and opted out of the third shipment.

I don't know if the importer, Diamondback Chemical, is still in business.  They were located close to me at Tamaqua, Pa.  This Diamondback Chemical Company was a subsidiary of Copperhead Chemical Company.  This Copperhead Chemical Company producing medicinal nitroglycerin products.  The plant was formerly owned by ICI and before that it was an Atlas Powder dynamite plant.

The Diamondback Black Powder came in from Brazil.  A BP plant built around 2003 or 2004 using machinery pulled out of the old Elephant plant after it had been shut down in 2001.

E. Ogre

Offline Gene Carrell

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 01:18:49 PM »
I  have yet to find it anywhere I have looked. No  distribution?
Gene

Offline alex e.

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 01:25:20 PM »
Powder lnc. had/has it.
we bought a case a couple years ago,used most of it for reenacting.It goes BOOM.
I used it in a couple rifles
&smoothbores.i didnt care much for it as a priming charge as i prime with fffg most times.Its better than the substitutes though.
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Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 05:50:04 PM »
I have been wondering (a little) what became of that stuff>  .   Only can I saw was 'tested' by another shooter offhand at 25 yds which was really no test at all. It did go boom.  Looked nice and black and evenly sized in my hand.  I had a near death grip on the can; but he managed to grab it back  ;D ::)

Daryl

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2011, 06:49:40 PM »
No shooting today, -15. Stay in, stay warm.  If it goes boom, it would probably be just fine in a close range gun, like a smoothbore or shotgun.

Online Maven

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 08:14:52 PM »
I bought a mixed case of DB 2F & 3F from Crater Fireworks, Inc. last April and have managed to use almost 3 lb. of 2F since then.  It works at least as well as Goex and Graf's (Wano) in both my trade gun and percussion rifles.  If anything, it is cleaner than the other two as I don't get much of a crud ring in any of my [long] guns any more.  Btw, here's a link:  http://addictedtoblackpowder.com/index.html  His prices on other brands of BP are also worth a look. :)
Paul W. Brasky

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 12:26:53 AM »
Cheap powder is invariably just that. Cheap powder.
While I would have to consult Ogre I think the "FA" is fireworks powder. Re-enactor and other such powder is stuff the does not make the grade for density or granulation and/or is floor sweepings. So rather than recycle they sell it to people who shoot blanks where ballistic uniformity is of no import.
There simply is no free lunch in propellant powders
So I pay the premium and use better powders.

Dan
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 12:27:59 AM by Dphariss »
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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2011, 02:40:25 AM »
Dan, Although Jon does carry "floor sweepings" powder, I assure you the DB FFg I've used is most certainly not that.
Paul W. Brasky

excess650

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 04:28:44 PM »
Dan,
Are you using Swiss exclusively in your frontstuffers?

I've not shot or even seen any of the Diamondback, but still have some of its predecessor, both the mid '90s Elephant and the much improved lot of 25/99.  The latter was pretty good powder despite being inexpensive.

Too, I'm shooting some of the 2000 lot of KIK, and it seems to work well in my PRB rifles despite its soft powder grains.  It  it was inexpensive as well.  The 2010 lot of KIK is reputed to be denser, and I would like to try it.

Most of the BPCRS crowd seems to be using Swiss, but have given up on the blowtube.  I chose to NOT use Swiss in cartridges because of how fast it heated the barrel up.  With relatively low sights on my MLers, I would expect barrel mirage to show up rather quickly.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2011, 05:06:36 AM »
Dan, Although Jon does carry "floor sweepings" powder, I assure you the DB FFg I've used is most certainly not that.

Its not listed as re-enactor powder either.

There are a great many things that go into making BP.
For example is it a Musket grind, Rifle Grind or Sporting powder?
There is a significant difference in performance.
Swiss is pretty much the only sporting powder on the market.
Some are Rifle grind and some are Musket.
Sporting powder, from the same maker, back in the day, would produce 8 to 13% better velocity than "rifle" powder.
Musket powder is even slower.
Why? The military did not want to pay for the extra care and time needed to make sporting powder.
Does it have a graphite coating or is it properly polished?
What is the ballistic uniformity?
Does it foul more or less?
If it does not cake in the breech, for example, it could be because its a high grade powder or because its a low grade powder and won't make enough heat to cake.
Goex, for eample, always fouls in the breech to some extent. Swiss never does, not for me anyway or to the extent that GOEX did.

What do you use the powder for?
A great many shooters are happy if the gun goes "bang" consistently. A great many people do not consider the ML to be a real firearm and will not spend money on good powder as a result. I don't fall into either group.
I had several reasons for trying Elephant and I went to Swiss as soon as it came out.
I haven't spent a dime on anything else since.
But I don't shoot blanks.

Dan
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2011, 05:41:58 AM »
Dan,
Are you using Swiss exclusively in your frontstuffers?

I've not shot or even seen any of the Diamondback, but still have some of its predecessor, both the mid '90s Elephant and the much improved lot of 25/99.  The latter was pretty good powder despite being inexpensive.

Too, I'm shooting some of the 2000 lot of KIK, and it seems to work well in my PRB rifles despite its soft powder grains.  It  it was inexpensive as well.  The 2010 lot of KIK is reputed to be denser, and I would like to try it.

Most of the BPCRS crowd seems to be using Swiss, but have given up on the blowtube.  I chose to NOT use Swiss in cartridges because of how fast it heated the barrel up.  With relatively low sights on my MLers, I would expect barrel mirage to show up rather quickly.

I shoot Swiss in everything.
Elephant was too hung up in doing it their way to make really good powder I think.
Some was pretty good some dismal. Some they overpressed and slowed the burn rate too much.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Online Maven

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2011, 05:19:06 PM »
"What do you use the powder for?   A great many shooters are happy if the gun goes 'bang' consistently."

Dan, I use it for target shooting in 2 .50cal. caplocks and a .62cal. flintlock trade gun for target shooting, if it can be called that, as well.  Why don't you try some DB before you condemn it as being "old wine (Elephant, for ex.) in new bottles?"  Btw, your 2nd sentence is insulting and I won't stand for such a characterization.
Paul W. Brasky

Online Bob Roller

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2011, 09:18:00 PM »
I have never heard of DB powder so will offer no comment.
In an earlier posting,I mentioned the name of Tom Dawson who in addition to making possibly the most authentic Hawken replicas ever made was also one of America's most knowledgeable men when it came to double barrel black powder cartridge rifles. Like many others,Tom loaded his own cases and when Goex came on the market,he loaded some cases for a 500x3 1/4" BP Express that I had sold him. It was  a Grant&Lang "Hunter's grade" that Tom said would,with Kynoch BP ammunition would place both barrels on a house cat's ass at 200 yards from a rest. When he reloaded the brass with the then new Goex it would not regulate the two barrels. A test with a chrongraph showed radical variances between shots and the puzzler was that all the fired brass had been reloaded from the same can of powder. With the old Kynoch loads,the variances were only nine feet per second between the two barrels. He called Goex and told them his problem and they said that they were catering to a market that was tickled pink if they got the gun to fire and weren't concerned about someone with an exotic relic.
This was in the early 1970's and we know today that the quality of Goex has vastly improved over the interviening decades. I have used a small amount of the Swiss powder but after seeing the black powder hobby nearly wiped out in 1971 when DuPont closed up so I won't support the imports due to bad memories of that near extinction of our sport.

Bob Roller
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2011, 11:02:54 PM »
After Dupont stopped making bp and after I pretty much shot up my hoarded supply, I burned anything I could find, including quite a bit of Elephant.  In all honesty I was fairly satisfied with it.  For years, now, I have been buying Goex, exclusively.   Swiss is simply too costly but there are now other powders to select from including the well reviewed "Jack's Battle Powder",  a less expensive American product.  I'm interested in hearing comparison reports on Diamond Back as it's much less costly as well.
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Offline Larry Pletcher

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2011, 12:18:36 AM »
I thought Dan did a good job in his comparisons of BP.  I'd like to add one additional consideration.  When Swiss makes their charcoal they limit the temperature to 300-320 degrees.   This prevents creosote from flashing off.  They want about 8% creosote and 65% carbon in the finished charcoal.  It is this part of the process that makes Swiss a moist burning powder.  Other charcoal makers that burn to highter temps loose the creosote content.  (This from reading Bill Knight's information --- thanks Bill.  Please clearify if needed)

My personal opinion is that Swiss's extrordinary control of their materials- especially their charcoal - produces the things we like about the powder and also adds to the cost.

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jamesthomas

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2011, 04:04:25 AM »
 Excess650 , I got  some 3fff KIK last week and to me it shoots excellent. I compared it to 2ff Swiss and 65 grains of each shoot the same, The Swiss was still cleaner and I wish I could afford it but it's out of my price range now. The KIK is cheaper than Goex and at least for me cleans up better too.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2011, 03:54:10 PM »
"What do you use the powder for?   A great many shooters are happy if the gun goes 'bang' consistently."

Dan, I use it for target shooting in 2 .50cal. caplocks and a .62cal. flintlock trade gun for target shooting, if it can be called that, as well.  Why don't you try some DB before you condemn it as being "old wine (Elephant, for ex.) in new bottles?"  Btw, your 2nd sentence is insulting and I won't stand for such a characterization.

I have been though the powder thing frontwards backwards and sideways for DECADES about 4 of them now. I KNOW its just not possible to make a really GOOD powder CHEAP. It never was. Good powder ALWAYS costs more.  Not liking cheap powder is not something I decided just for this discussion.

But then "good" is relevant. Compared to the C&H being imported at the time Lyman was doing their first BP Manual ANY TRUE propellant powder would have been miles ahead since the stuff was basically blasting powder and required HUGE charges to equal normal loads of Dupont/GOI/GOEX. Low quality ingredients, short mill times cause s-l-o-w burn rate and poor velocity performance. This was the C&H Lyman used.
But if we compare propellant powders to propellant powders then cheaper is still always a trade off. The best that can be hoped for in lower end powders is a "rifle grind" which is OK. Its cheaper to mill the powder for a shorter period of time. Musket grind I would not care for much. But a GOOD musket grind is probably going to be better than a sloppily made rifle grind powder. But they also are unlikely to use carefully burned charcoal from a really suitable wood. Its to much trouble. So they now have 2 second (or worse) best factors. Are they using PURE saltpeter? Even tiny amounts of residual sodium can cause real problems. This afflicted American made powder for probably decades in the late 20th century and only relatively recently was this fixed. Is it uniformly compressed to the uniform density? Is a significant percentage of the powder UNDER compressed because of the technology used? Good in the middle loose at the edges? Is it carefully polished or do they add graphite? Graphite has been the hallmark of powder making shortcuts for about 200+ years.
Short milling times slow burn rates and reduce velocity.
Carelessly burned charcoal can cause velocity and fouling problems. The creosote level is critical.
Impure saltpeter, sodium contamination, sucks up water from the air.
Inconsistent compression makes for some of the powder having soft easily damages grains that may fall apart when loaded or carried in a flask or horn.
Graphite increases fouling and can make cleaning more difficult since, while carbon, it will not burn with the rest of the carbon in the powder.

Having used pretty crappy powder for YEARS while shooting competition, sometimes throwing away 25% or more from every can as totally useless dust, having to do ALL the load development over again every time I bought powder. Not being able to get close to original ballistics etc etc etc. Its not fun...
My second choice after Swiss would be another of the European powders. Schuetzen or maybe KIK. I would certainly try GOEX, now.

For example I have a Nock breech (1787 patent IIRC) English style sporting rifle. I had some older Schuetzen that I tried in it. While I can shoot it literally all day with Swiss, the old lot of Schuetzen (newer stuff is supposed to be much better friends tell me) would block the passage to the antechamber within THREE SHOTS, causing misfires. BECAUSE IT PRODUCED LARGE FLAKES OF FOULING IN THE BORE that would then break loose from the bore wall and fall into the breech and block the powder passage.
So why would I risk low end powder? Even if it were as good as GOEX I have no interest in it if I can get Swiss
A round ball gun can be made to shoot pretty well with almost any BP they are very forgiving. But consistent accuracy requires consistent powder. The old time shooters, the serious ones, always used the best powder they could get. Many would screen it themselves to get  uniform granule size. In reading old cartridge boxes from the 1870s (they sometimes gave reloading instructions) Dupont was not mentioned at all in many cases. There were a number of American makers that made better powder. But Dupont was making military powder, where the money REALLY was and did not much care. This carried over until the importing of superior powders changed the market somewhat. But they still have the military contracts. But the Military has not use for even propellant grade powders. I would point out that Goex is now under new management and the attitude of the past is not that of today SFAIK. In the 1970s it was "take it or leave it" and that was about how good the powder was for a long time.

The statement that "many shooters are happy if the gun goes bang" is simply a statement of fact and I am sure you know it to be true, it was not aimed at any particular person.  The wide spread use of "re-enactor" type powders (Schuetzen "Re-enactor" powder, for example, has a grain size from .009, the size of really fine Null B Swiss priming powder, to .063 which is max for Swiss and Schuetzen FG and costs about 10-11 a pound by the case) and even fireworks powders confirms this. I have no idea what  DB really is. But I suspect from what I have read its a middle of the road propellant powder, rifle grind and likely good components. If it works for you fine. But my experience tells me that better powders are just better. The fact that its not in production anymore makes it pretty useless from my point of view. I am about to order 25 pounds of Swiss. Probably 21 pounds of FFF and 4 pounds of Null B.

It is too easy in banging out thoughts on the computer to write things that are perceived as insults when face to face in conversation body language and inflection change the tone. Writing is a stiff, hard way to communicate and I tend to be too blunt at times I know and I have been attempting to be more diplomatic. Writing conveys the facts but it does not convey the meaning as it might be "seen" as spoken language. It was not intended as a personal insult.
 
Dan


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Daryl

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2011, 08:25:33 PM »
I didn't read the original text as an insult either and I most certainly applaud your last post, Dan.  Your thought direction and attention to detail is excellent.  Good post.

The internet presents a wonderful opportunity to thought & information exchange that happens almost instantly, around the world we're right next door if online. Information that took weeks and months (I just received a small 'express mail' package from Alberta - took 7 days to get to me - 1 province - 8 hour drive) is available today - mere minutes apart on the net.

 Ain't it GREAT!

Unfortunately, what Dan says is true - it is very easy to misunderstand or misinterpret what is written - I've been on both sides many times - here as well as on other forums. It most certainly will happen again, but we can reduce these 'events' by re-reading and trying to put ourselves in the other's shoes, before hitting "Post". Think, how does that read?

 Sometimes we only have to change a few words to completely difuse what might be construed as a confrontation. Sometimes it takes a long post - must have taken an hour or more to compose that post, Dan. Well done & well thought out.

Online bob in the woods

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2011, 08:56:11 PM »
The differences in powders are more apparent when the demands on accuracy are more stringent. I have a stash reserved for my 45-100 1000 yd gun. The load development was painstaking, and Lot #'s make a difference. The powder that doesn't make the cut for round ball match grade accuracy is saved for my fowling guns. Partridge at 20 yds works with a wide range of powder/shot combinations. I miss with most of them  ;D

Vomitus

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2011, 09:05:01 PM »
(quote\)It is too easy in banging out thoughts on the computer to write things that are perceived as insults when face to face in conversation body language and inflection change the tone. Writing is a stiff, hard way to communicate and I tend to be too blunt at times I know and I have been attempting to be more diplomatic. Writing conveys the facts but it does not convey the meaning as it might be "seen" as spoken language. It was not intended as a personal insult.
 
Dan(/quote)
  
Dan, I'm glad you wrote this last paragraph. The written word can be very stiff at times.My respect for you just jumped 10 fold(although I can't show the proof,lol!)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 03:49:21 AM by Leatherbelly »

excess650

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2011, 09:26:10 PM »
[quote author=Dphariss

It is too easy in banging out thoughts on the computer to write things that are perceived as insults when face to face in conversation body language and inflection change the tone. Writing is a stiff, hard way to communicate and I tend to be too blunt at times I know and I have been attempting to be more diplomatic. Writing conveys the facts but it does not convey the meaning as it might be "seen" as spoken language. It was not intended as a personal insult.
 
Dan[/quote]

This is very true, and I applaud you for pointing it out.

I've been contemplating another case of ffg, and may have to try a couple of pounds of Swiss prior to making the bulk purchase.  IF I conclude that I do have less flyers, then I'll pony up the extra $. 

Offline Feltwad

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2011, 09:39:40 PM »
I still prefer ed the old types of powder that are now  non existing ,of which the best were  the Curtiss & Harvey made by Nobel-Glasgow which came in four grades of Fg,FFg, FFFG, FFFFg,
Feltwad

« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 09:44:40 PM by Feltwad »

excess650

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2011, 10:31:59 PM »
I still prefer ed the old types of powder that are now  non existing ,of which the best were  the Curtiss & Harvey made by Nobel-Glasgow which came in four grades of Fg,FFg, FFFG, FFFFg,
Feltwad



I'm not old enough to remember seeing any of that stuff.  I might have an oval can of DuPont, and I know I have a 1970 vintage sealed can of Meteor.  To get anything older I would have to disassemble 100+ year old cartridges.  That reminds me, I did disassemble a couple of mid 1880s 11mm Mauser cartridges, and powder was coarse (think fg) and glossy.

Offline bgf

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2011, 11:13:23 PM »
Quote
I've been contemplating another case of ffg, and may have to try a couple of pounds of Swiss prior to making the bulk purchase.  IF I conclude that I do have less flyers, then I'll pony up the extra $.  

That is likely to leave you with a case of powder that you'll find difficult to continue using after you've tried the Swiss :).  My friend jinxed me by giving me a pound of Swiss 3F to try, and it is good stuff.  That is not easy for me to say, because I'm as cheap as they come :).  I also like the Graf's/Scheutzen I tried recently, almost as clean and consistent as the Swiss, but nowhere near as energetic.  

PS. I might have mis-read your post and inferred that you were going to order them both at the same time, sorry.  Do try the Swiss before ordering a case of anything else!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 11:25:06 PM by bgf »