Author Topic: DoPont black powder  (Read 668 times)

Offline patkinson

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DoPont black powder
« on: April 23, 2019, 04:40:49 AM »
Does anyone know DoPont last made black powder?(year)   Thanks    Phil

Offline Shovelbuck

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 05:09:35 AM »

Offline horsetrader

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 05:58:57 AM »
Some time after the Goex plant in Moosic, PA closed in 1997 or 1998, I was working for a company that was hired to dismantle and load for shipping some of the equipment and holding tanks at the Moosic site. The plant was actually separated into some small buildings that each one was in a bunker like diked area. I assumed to minimize damage when there was an explosion, and there were explosions. There was also a company that made dynamite at the same site. We did some installation work for them in the late 90's, but I think they are gone now.
Ed Radzinski

Offline porchdog48

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 12:51:54 PM »
The Dupont plant had an explosion in 1972 and never reopened. I had just gotten out of the service and drove to ever gun shop in the area buying all the powder they would sell me.   
Dave

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 04:15:00 PM »
I think it was 1971 and there was a scramble for sporting grade black powder.
At that time it looked like our sport was doomed after the last can was empty
but Gearhart Owens?GOEX saved it for us.There was some Curtis&Harvey around
then but they had a blow up and that stopped it here in the USA.I have a can of
something called Meteor and a can of C&H plus old DuPont,about 4 pounds and
maybe a can of Elephant.Don't take anything for granted because things we think
are stable suddenly go away.I almost forgot,ONE can of Swiss 3fg on the shelf.
It was a gift from a now deceased friend.Personally I won't support imported
powder because of how close we came to becoming extinct as a sporting group
back in 1971.

Bob Roller

Offline Daryl

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 07:56:52 PM »
I still have some Meteor 1F.  We used to call it Canon Powder, but it is a LOT more coarse than GOEX Cannon powder - like about 3 to 5 times the size granuals.
At one time, that is all we could 'find' here in Northern B.C.  Shot a lot of C&H in the 70's, some in our 'ship's cannons" in the early 60's)  but only a few pounds of Dupont.
Daryl

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Offline hanshi

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 11:46:21 PM »
I bought plenty of Dupont back in the day and still have an unopened can of 4F. 
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Offline Mad Monk

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2019, 05:42:59 AM »
I think it was 1971 and there was a scramble for sporting grade black powder.
At that time it looked like our sport was doomed after the last can was empty
but Gearhart Owens?GOEX saved it for us.There was some Curtis&Harvey around
then but they had a blow up and that stopped it here in the USA.I have a can of
something called Meteor and a can of C&H plus old DuPont,about 4 pounds and
maybe a can of Elephant.Don't take anything for granted because things we think
are stable suddenly go away.I almost forgot,ONE can of Swiss 3fg on the shelf.
It was a gift from a now deceased friend.Personally I won't support imported
powder because of how close we came to becoming extinct as a sporting group
back in 1971.

Bob Roller

Bob,

1971 was not the only time we almost became extinct.
After Gearhart and Owen parted company you see the name on the cans change from GO to GOEX.  It then became part of Pengo Industries.  By 1988 Pengo was forced into bankruptcy and that whole business, including GOEX, was then run by a bankruptcy court. Then in 1991 they have a major blow up at Moosic.  The industry waited to see if the bankruptcy court would kick enough money to rebuilt the plant.  U.S. customers started looking for other sources since the bankruptcy over watch group was taking their time deciding to rebuild or fold it.  Wano came into the U.S. with a company they formed known as WASAG USA.  An old du Pont guy ran it.  Stew Fisher. Then they rebuilt and got back in operation.  Between 1992 and 1996 they had a number of small "incidents" at Moosic.  Then in 1997 they had another major blow up.  They had already started on the plant down at Minden.  But they did not know if they could get the money to complete the Minden plant.  So it was another  time of trauma in the industry.  GOEX themselves started to import black powder out of Slovenia.  In two years hauling over a million pounds into the U.S.  Mick Fahringer had even gone over to China to see if they could find a supply to import into the U.S.  The idea being that Minden could make military powders with all of the other powders, including our Rifle grade powder, being imported from China.  So when Hodgdon bought GOEX it made the future a lot brighter as to steady supply. The thing here though it that the civilian market for black powder is not nearly as profitable as the military sales.  So our powders are simply time fill in between military orders.  But at least with Hodgdon you know they have some money behind it compared to all of those lean years under bankruptcy court and iffy investment groups.

Bill K.

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2019, 03:15:34 AM »
More great info from the NOTSOMAD Monk.Thanks a million Bill.

Bob Roller

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2019, 05:53:45 AM »
More great info from the NOTSOMAD Monk.Thanks a million Bill.

Bob Roller

Bob,

There is a bit more to that.  When GOEX quit Moosic they had started on the plant at Minden. They left the big 10 ton wheel mills at Moosic.  GOEX had purchased machinery from a closed bp plant in South Africa.  The machinery was loaded into containers on a ship heading to the U.S.  Off the coast of Africa the ship ran into a bad storm.  Some of the containers tied to the deck broke free and went overboard.  One on the containers lost at see had all of the spare parts for the 5 ton Krupp built wheel mills.  So the Krupp wheel mills used to set up Minden had no spare parts.  And Krupp had quit building these wheel mills as stock items some time before this.  So Goex searched around the world to see if they could locate and purchase spare parts.  This quickly became a problem at Minden.  When GOEX looked at making the fruit sugar based Clear Shot powder they tried making some in one of their 5 ton Krupp wheel mills.  The supervisor that went down to Minden was in the wheel mill working on it with a batch of the fruit sugar based powder still in the bed pan of the mill.  Something went wrong and the batch blew up and killed the man.  The explosion broke the big mill pan.  Those Krupp wheel mill pans were cast and not assembled from sheet steel as the old Du Pont wheel mills were.  So that shattered mill pan put that wheel mill out of operation.  GOEX had been told by the Pernambuco Powder Factory, in Brazil, not to run the sugar based powder in the standard wheel mill.  The plant in Brazil was making a similar powder in their plant.  Away from the black powder production with a different process.  When GOEX moved from Moosic they simply terminated all of the production workers.  So when they started up at Minden only the president Frank Fahringer and McDonald and the killed man had any knowledge of making black powder.  So Mick and McDonald had to do all of the training of the local workers hired down there.  GOEX then realized that making the fruit sugar based powder in a wheel mill was not ideal.  But the guy that set up the original fruit sugar based deal insisted it was totally safe to make in a wheel mill even thought it never had.  That guy came out of the ascorbic powder business.  He had been one in the group that put out the original Golden Powder and then several later versions.  Goex then set up a system to make the Clear Shot that was basically candy making machinery.  Sort of explosive jelly beans.  Under pressure from investors they ran this candy making machinery powder in a building without a fire suppression system.  About a week before the fire suppression system was to be installed a fire started in the finished powder end of the continuous line.  Started burning up through the line.  So the crew bailed and ran.  Then about 1000 pounds of it went up with a roar.  And then ended GOEX's adventures in the BP sub business.

So you can see just how iffy the business was until about 2000 or 2001 with GOEX.  Then in the wings you had a bunch of foreign producers ready to jump in and fill any gaps in the supply of bp in the U.S.   Were it not for Elephant and WANO there would have been periods of time where there simply would have been no powder available.  That was due in part to our PA government.  Every time GOEX had an explosion they would rebuild machinery.  But then the PA DER would drag there feet on issuing the permits to resume operations.  And they always made GOEX wait at least 6 months before giving the OK to resume production.  I know about that act simply from my job in the chemical plant where they ran us through the same thing.  We changed an old big vacuum filter for a centrifugal unit.  It took us a week to switch the equipment.  But waited for 6 months while the DER approved it.  They claimed they had to insure that the new machine did not create more pollution than the old.  And the filtrate out of the cotton fabric filter cloth vacuum filter was no different than that kicked out by the new centrifugal unit.  In some ways the PA DER helped to insure that GOEX would be leaving this state as fast as possible.

Bill K.
 

Offline Natureboy

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Re: DoPont black powder
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2019, 07:42:05 PM »
Fireworks manufacturers, who use blackbowder for lifting charges, quick match, and the central bursting charge, insist on blow-out walls for safety. They have had a few thousand years' experience in the bang and smoke industry.