Author Topic: Diamondback Powder  (Read 25086 times)

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2011, 11:27:14 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



The Swiss 1.5 Fg has been shown to be the ballistic equal of the old much vaunted C&H #6 powder mentioned in buffalo hunter writings.  Ingredient standards and powder processing being almost identical.


E. Ogre

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2011, 11:48:23 PM »
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.

If you like the KIK your have been shooting you might want to stock up on it.

Made by KIK-Kamnik in Slovenia.  The parent company went bankrupt several years ago.  The company is presently in receivership.  The plant's future looks kinda grim.

A little history on this.
The KIK-Kamink company was once govt. owned and part of the old East Bloc munitions industry.  The BP plant made powder mainly for the military.  Grenade powder and land mine powder.  After the change in govt. the complex was "privatized".
Now keep in mind that this BP plant did not have a long history of making small-arms grades of BP.  The German occupiers during WWII and then the communists government did not promote private ownership of any firearms.  So there is no long uninterrupted history of small-arms BP manufacture.

After GOEX closed their Moosic, PA black powder plant they imported over 1 million pounds of black powder from the KIK plant, in Slovenia, while they struggled through getting the then new Minden, LA plant up and running.  GOEX management traveled to Slovenia and literally taught the plant how to make a rifle burn rate black powder suitable for sale in the U.S.
The KIK plant purchased black alder charcoal to make the powder.  This charcoal being produced in Bosnia has also been used by WANO in Germany.

GOEX never understood the concept of "polishing" black powder and the importance of a good grain polish that promotes best accuracy in the gun.  For the 2000 KIK production run imported and sold by GOEX the powder was low in density.  About 5 to 10% lower than GOEX.  Under the microscope the grains were seen to have very sharp angular edges and rather rough grain surfaces.  So while the powder was fast and clean burning it had a tendency to throw 1 or 2 fliers in a string of 5 shots.
Reports filtering back to me on the last container into the U.S. suggests that they corrected this.  Density higher and more polished grains.  improved accuracy as a result.

But as I said.  The future of KIK is not assured.  Buy now.

E. Ogre

Offline Feltwad

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2011, 01:38:55 AM »
Maybe the older members remember these
Feltwad

« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 01:40:53 AM by Feltwad »

Offline Maven

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2011, 02:03:08 AM »
  Thanks for the clarification,  Dan.  I herewith withdraw my comment re:  tone.  I also wish to say, I got plenty of those big flakes of powder you mentioned with Graf's (Wano) powder in the trade gun, but little if any with DB. :-[
Paul W. Brasky

excess650

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Re: Diamondback Powder now relative density
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2011, 02:10:39 AM »
I rounded up samples of ffg from my stash and some friends.  It just so happens that one guy just bought some Diamondback.  To simplify things, I chose Swiss 111.199 to be the standard with my powder measure set to throw 100.0gr by way of 10 charge average.

Swiss 2F 111.199                                                                 100.0gr
Swiss un# 1325 1/27/98 first lot of Swiss in USA AFAIK         95.3gr
Elephant 25/99                                                                       98.6gr
Diamondback 03-4845                                                            95.0gr

Goex 96MY03B (Moosic Pa)                                                     91.5gr
Goex 98AP02C (Minden La)                                                    86.7gr
Goex 98MA23B (Minden La)                                                    88.0gr
Goex 01JA12B  (Minden La)                                                     93.2gr
Goex 10MY25B (Minden La by Hogdon?)                                 93.8gr  ****this is 3F

KIK 00.04                                                                                84.6gr

All of these samples are 2F except for the 2010 can of Goex 3F.  This is the newest lot of Goex that I had available to me, so was included in this relative density comparison.  I DO NOT have chronograph data to possibly make this more relevant.  Interestingly, the KIK is the least dense listed followed by the early Minden Louisiana produced Goex 2F.  These lots do have soft grains.  I've been shooting up the odd-n-ends left over from my BPCRS days.  The Goex MA23B is the cleanest BP that I ever shot from rifle cartridges, and I shot a couple of cases of that lot.

The KIK seems to group pretty well from my .58 flinter, but its just a hunting rifle.


Online Bob Roller

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2011, 05:21:16 PM »
I still have  several Goex cans like the one shown. The oval DuPont can is a collectors item and the first pound of black powder I ever bought was in one of these. I cost $1.50 in honest Silver Certificated Currency in 1951.
I also had an oval half pound can of "Indian Rifle Powder" but don't recall if it was a DuPont item or something else.

Bob Roller

Offline JCKelly

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2011, 03:17:51 AM »
Bob, I think you were overcharged.
In 1954 Erie, Pennsylvania, I was pleasantly amazed that my parents would permit their 14-year old to buy black powder. I used to pay 75 cents for good du Pont stuff. Still have some in those oval cans.
Now for what shooting I do I prefer Swiss. Hotter than du Pont, volume for volume.

Daryl

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #32 on: November 24, 2011, 03:43:49 AM »
Funy you mention that, James K. seems to me, Curtis & Harvey's was around $0.75 - or maybe it was $1.75, when we built small carriage cannon and shot them huge weed pods floating down the Thames River in Ontario - we were perhaps 10 or 12yrs. old at the time.

We also built ship-side's with gun ports with moving 'port' doors - raise the gun port door, roll the cannon forward on it's ropes, aim and touch it off with a long linstock and blow the opponent's (Taylor's or mine) ship all the smithereenies. 

We'd take turn firing shots at each other's ship side, with what amounted to .25 calibre muzzleloading pistols.  Probably 20gr. 3F powder and a 1/4" X 3/8" long chunk of lead. Yeah - it's a wonder we survived - that wasn't even close to the most dangerous thing we did - well, maybe close?

Offline hanshi

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #33 on: November 24, 2011, 07:24:01 AM »
I remember buying Dupont Black for $1 a pound.  Course that was a while back.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

William Worth

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2011, 02:53:18 PM »
Well I got tired of waiting to hear what someone else might have to say about the stuff, so I up and got myself a case of 2F DiamondBack.

I've only shot about 20-30 shots with it so far, but I do not see any real drawbacks to it.  It does seem to not flow as readily from a small orifice that does pass other brand 2F powders.  What I have, does not look shiny.  It looks to me much like GOEX and puts up dust when you pour it.  It looks a lot like GOEX 5FA to me with a range of particle sizes present.

I understand now why the dealers want to deal in case size quantities only given the packaging.  Each can is enclosed in it's own rectangular cardboard box making for a tight fit puzzle box.  You would not want to try to fit any other shapes or sizes in the case.

It is a really cool looking metal can. ;D

I wonder if I would be better off to remove each metal can from it's cardboard overpacking for storage for fear that the cardboard might retain moisture and promote corrosion of the steel can?  ???

After shooting clean up so far suggests there is a slight lingering grey residue that takes a little more cleaning than other equivilant powders. 

excess650

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2011, 03:33:41 PM »
I actually forgot about this thread.  A few weeks back a friend made the trek to a distributor and brought back a case of Diamondback and a case of Swiss.  I bought a single can of DB from him and finally got to shoot it last Monday.  Unlike William Worth's powder, my can of DB looked shiny and dust free.  Its appearance was like that of the 25/99 lot of Elephant that the Mad Monk was so proud of.

The test rifle was my recently completed .62cal Jaeger.  I had on hand a '96 can of Goex ffg, 2000 can of KIK ffg, 25/99 Elephant ffg, 2000 lot of Goex ffg, and a can of Swiss 2f from 2004(?).  The rifle had previously been sighted at 55 yards with the '96 lot of Goex.  I fired (2) shots, "snake eyes", just confirm POI.  I then tried a round of each of the others, and all held the same elevation except for the Swiss (100gr .605" ball, .020" pillow ticking, and TOW Mink Oil for lube).  I had a horizontal string about 2" wide. 

Next was to try to see how much each fouled(excluding the Swiss), so I was shooting 4-5 shots and trying to feel for a build up of fouling towards the breech.  I cleaned with damp and dry patches between strings, and didn't see much difference between any of the powders.  Too, this is a large caliber hunting rifle, so my results may not mirror in a smaller caliber.

Online Bob Roller

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2011, 05:13:45 PM »
What is this powder?Is it another corrosive concoction or a real black powder? Will sparks from a flintlock ignite it reliably/
Who makes it? Is it domestic or an imported from China.

Bob Roller

William Worth

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2011, 05:18:44 PM »
It's an import from Brazil.  It is real black powder.  I am told it is the old "Elephant" equipment running on a new site under new management and ownership.

The cans even say "Elephant" in the fine print on the back.

Later today, I expect to see how it does in a flintlock, when it warms up to where my hands don't go numb without gloves on.

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2011, 06:17:02 PM »
What is this powder?Is it another corrosive concoction or a real black powder? Will sparks from a flintlock ignite it reliably/
Who makes it? Is it domestic or an imported from China.

Bob Roller

Bob,

When the old S. A. Pernambuco Powder Factory (Elephant) was closed for good in 2002 the machinery was sold off to some young guy who wanted to build a new plant in Brazil.
The S. A. Pernambuco Powder Factory was running into problems.  Repeated flooding that would shut the plant down for 2 to 3 months at a time.  Then there was the problem of getting the containers of powder to a ship.  The city of Reciefe expanded out around the plant.  Trucking 25 to 35 thousand pounds of black powder through residential neighborhoods was simply too dangerous.  The owner was getting pressed for money.  The owner also owned and operated a plant that made alcohol from sugar beets.  The alcohol made a lot more profit than the black powder plant.

The govt. of Brazil set up a new port about 50 miles down the coast from Reciefe.  Built specifically to handle dangerous goods.  So the new plant was built there.

There was a bit of a battle over the Elephant name and trade mark.  That is why the Elephant thing is not featured prominently on the present packaging.

As far as I know the new operation is using the same Imbauba palm tree wood for their charcoal.

I was never able to get my hands on any of the first shipment of the new powder into the U.S.  I had been asked by Diamondback Chemical Co., the new importer, to go up to Tamaqua to watch them test the first shipment.  They had brought a shooter up from Texas to do the testing.  I was to sit and watch.  Say nothing and touch nothing.  So I gracefully declined their most generous offer.  Word passed back to me was that the first shipment was not very good.

When the second container came in I was asked to go up to Tamaqua and work with them.  I had been given a can of the 3f by Dixon.  I looked at it and it looked to be the equal of the 1997 Elephant production.  But considering the improvements in GOEX powder between 2002 and the invite I thought it a lost cause.  We have Swiss on the market.  The only true sporting burn rate powder made to mid-1800 standards.  Then we saw Schuetzen come on the market here.  With the alder charcoal it was heads above the old Elephant when it comes to bore fouling.  So for the "new" Elephant to be competitive on the U.S. market they would have had to make some big improvements in the powder or price it well below the others.  Neither of which were done.

In my work on the second shipment I had some dealings with the parent company of Diamondback that put me off.  So I backed away from that as far as I could get.


E. Ogre

William Worth

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2011, 07:38:29 PM »
Well, I guess I've made my contribution to maintaining a competitive, robust powder market. ::) :P

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2011, 07:46:24 PM »
Well, I guess I've made my contribution to maintaining a competitive, robust powder market. ::) :P

The foreign producers look on the U.S. market as a gold mine.  The reenactors in the U.S. use a lot of black powder.  Amounts greater than that of we shooters.

The problem with the limited market is that you can only slice the pie so many times before nobody can make a profit in it.  But at the same time if you have only one supplier they can control prices and nobody will question it.


E. Ogre

excess650

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2011, 08:25:09 PM »
What is this powder?Is it another corrosive concoction or a real black powder? Will sparks from a flintlock ignite it reliably/
Who makes it? Is it domestic or an imported from China.

Bob Roller

Yes,
It is real BP and does ignite reliably from a flintlock.  My sample is uniform in size, shiny, and dust free.  As I mentioned in the previous post, it looks like the 25/99 lot of Elephant and not like the earlier lots of Elephant(dull grey and dusty with lots of fines).  It sounds like William Worth's lot is different than mine.  I posted the lot # in post #29.

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2011, 09:08:48 PM »


I understand now why the dealers want to deal in case size quantities only given the packaging.  Each can is enclosed in it's own rectangular cardboard box making for a tight fit puzzle box.  You would not want to try to fit any other shapes or sizes in the case.

It is a really cool looking metal can. ;D

I wonder if I would be better off to remove each metal can from it's cardboard overpacking for storage for fear that the cardboard might retain moisture and promote corrosion of the steel can?  ???


When the cans in question here first showed up there were a number of negative comments about the packaging.

The cans are made in Brazil by the same company that made the original Elephant cans.  A good tin coating.  Note the color of the portions of the can not lithographed with the logo, etc.  Tin plate has a poor resistance to sulfur.  Going back in time.  Foods containing sulfur were not packed in tin cans until the tin can manufacturers coated over the tin plate with shellac.  That evolved into what we call modern synthetic polymers being used as a can protecting coating.  So the color of the synthetic polymer coating the tin mimics the color of an orange shellac coating.

The can manufacturer in Brazil has long refused to retool their line to match a metal spout and cap to the cans.  In the case of these new Diamondback cans they copied a pull up spout design from a C&H can that would date to around 1970.  Trouble is the grade of LDPE selected for the pull up spout.  No problem in warm weather but when the weather gets cold the LDPE looses strength.  Gets a bit brittle.  So the little pull up loop may well break off in extreme cold.

Encasing each can in a cardboard box seemed to be a bit of over packaging.  But the plant in Brazil claims that the packaging design is in response to proposed international shipping regulations not yet in effect.
The idea was not liked up here because distributors can mix brands in a shipment to a shooter.  So the Diamondback cans won't pack easily in a GOEX case.  For awhile the 25-pound box size was standard for all brands, domestic and imported.


E. Ogre

excess650

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2011, 11:28:21 PM »
I just got back from the range.  Instead of a larger bore, I took my .45 flinter.  I hadn't shot it in a while, and wanted to try some different combinations.  I had .440" and .445" RBs, but only used the .440s today with .020" pillow ticking and some even thicker cotton duck cloth, both lubed with TOW mink oil.  The pillow ticking loaded pretty easily, so I switched to the duck cloth which was pretty tight.  I shot 55 yards with 25/99 Elephant fffg, some of the early import Swiss fffg, and then some Diamondback ffg.  45gr was the starting point with fffg.  I didn't see much to choose between the 2 brands, so then tried DB ffg.  It shot closer to point of aim, and group size was as good or better than either fffg.  I tired as light as 30gr and and as high as 80gr and watched the POI move up and down.  The DB ffg didn't foul any more than the  Elephant or Swiss fffg.

What did I learn?  Barrel mirage was kicking my butt, so I think I need to put higher sights on this rifle.  Too, I think the touch hole is a might low, but ignition is pretty good IF the pan is completely full of powder.  I didn't find anything to complain about with the DB ffg.  At $10/# its a bargain.  Goex is $15(?) and Swiss $22+.  With Swiss you can back off the powder charge by 10% or so due to the strength of the powder, but the price is at least 100% more. 

Daryl

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #44 on: December 12, 2011, 11:52:58 PM »
Good report, ex650  - wish it was available here.   

William Worth

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2011, 12:15:16 AM »
I have lot #01-2051 DB in FFG.  This afternoon I was trying it out in a Lyman Deerstalker .54 flint.  Out of about 30 shots I had no failure to fire or fouling issues.  POA was the equal of Schuetzen loads I have been using (60-90 grs FFG, pillow ticking and home-made LHV pre-applied to the patch and allowed to thicken slightly).  No wiping between shots.  Clean up was as usual with water only but seem to have a lingering gray residue that takes a few more patches.

I'm pleased with it.  I hope the cans don't rust.

Regarding the pull up spout, I find it works well for pouring directly from the can into the measure.  I leave the spout pulled up and use the red screw on cap on the can in use in the field box so as to not be pushing it in and pulling it back out over and over.

 
« Last Edit: December 13, 2011, 12:19:40 AM by William Worth »

excess650

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2011, 01:39:09 AM »
Regarding the pull up spout, I find it works well for pouring directly from the can into the measure.  I leave the spout pulled up and use the red screw on cap on the can in use in the field box so as to not be pushing it in and pulling it back out over and over.

Yeah, the smallish spout seems odd at first until you realize that you're not as apt to spill powder when pouring from the can to a measure.  I don't use a horn or flask at the range.

William Worth

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #47 on: December 30, 2011, 02:54:16 PM »
I've had some time now with the DB.  I'm fairly satisfied with it.  It does seem to produce more residue.  I've not shot a long range session yet.  The longest string of shots being maybe - 20 shots.  There was a considerable buildup of dry, ash-like residue in the breech area and lock.  I do not wipe between shots and use a home-made LHV lube.

I like the spout.  It's handy for pouring to a measure.

Offline LH

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #48 on: December 30, 2011, 06:03:45 PM »
I got ahold of a can about a year ago and gave it a short whirl.  It shot with about the same power level as Goex,  but was VERY nasty, fouling alot worse than Goex.

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Diamondback Powder
« Reply #49 on: December 30, 2011, 07:14:00 PM »
I've had some time now with the DB.  I'm fairly satisfied with it.  It does seem to produce more residue.  I've not shot a long range session yet.  The longest string of shots being maybe - 20 shots.  There was a considerable buildup of dry, ash-like residue in the breech area and lock.  I do not wipe between shots and use a home-made LHV lube.

I like the spout.  It's handy for pouring to a measure.

When you shoot any of these non moist burning black powders watch the weather conditions at the time you are shooting.  Changes in relative humidity will change the "texture" of the residue left in the bore.  Changes in air temperature will change how much of the powder's combustion residue is retained in the bore versus how much is carried out of the bore in the spent propelling gases.  One can of powder can look like two different powders under different weather conditions while shooting.

E. Ogre