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Salvaging blackpowder

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Mad Monk:

--- Quote from: hanshi on November 25, 2021, 06:02:42 PM ---Around the late '90s and early 2,000s I used quite a bit of Elephant since usually that was all I could get.  I don't recall ever chronographing it.  It did it's job in the woods, was accurate so I was quite satisfied with the results.  Can't say whether or not it was "dirtier" than other powders.  I've just never, ever come across a "clean" black powder.

--- End quote ---

Hanshi,

Went back into my book on the Elephant plant in Brazil.  Looking at data where I was coaching them on getting their powder velocities up to where the Elephant powder would be more competitive with GOEX.  In addition help fill the supply gaps every time GOEX had an explosion at the Moosic plant.  The Elephant could fill in their production gaps and not give the shooters a lot of trouble with the change.  Elephant was to be little more than a back up to GOEX supplies when GOEX supplies stopped.  At the same time WANO, in Germany, was trying to get into the U.S. market through WASAG, USA.  I had little faith in WASAG's WANO powders.  Over rated and over priced.

Test rifle was my Getz barrel .45 caliber Schimmel flinter with a 38" long barrel.  I forget what chronograph I was using at that time, 1995.  Patches were #40 cotton drill from JoAnn's and Tom Decare's original Lehigh Valley lube.  All of this data was shot on one day so there was no big air temperature differences effecting resulting velocities.

WANO 3P
60 grains, 1591 fps
1.05 g/cc loading density

WANO 3F
60 grains, 1625 fps
1.03 g/cc loading density

Elephant 3F
60 grains, 1358 fps
1.15 g/cc loading density. Lot 153/1992

Elephant 3F
60 grains, 1723 fps
1.15 g/cc loading density. Lot 171/1994

GOEX 3F
60 grains, 1708 fps
1.07 g/cc loading density. 1995 May lot.

The velocity jump between the 1992 lot of Elephant and the 1994 lot of Elephant came about after I convinced the plant in Brazil that they had to stop charring their wood to an 85% fixed carbon content.  Once they charred to the 75% fixed carbon content spec. the velocity jumped up to where it should have been.

When these various powder makers wanted to jump into the U.S. market they did not understand that GOEX production was the gold standard they had to match in order to compete.

The thing with WANO was touchy for a year.  The guy who was setting up WASAG, USA to import WANO powders was a retired du Pont explosives man.  But no real bp experience.  He got really upset with me for going with Elephant.  Then a year later he is back at my front door.  Over a beer and pretzels he was appologizing to me.  WANO refused to make any changes to their powder for the American market.  After a year he realized that he would have lost every penny of his du Pont retirement fund with the WANO powder project.  So I had actually saved him a pile of money.

Dobyns:

--- Quote from: Marcruger on November 25, 2021, 04:27:28 PM ---Dobyns, can I ask why you decided to mix all of the grades/brands of powder together?   You may have had some powder that was acceptable shooting if you had kept them separate.  You are sort of left with an indeterminate grade of low-performing powder now.  Just trying to think through you reasoning.  God Bless,  Marc

--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: Marcruger on November 25, 2021, 04:27:28 PM ---Dobyns, can I ask why you decided to mix all of the grades/brands of powder together?   You may have had some powder that was acceptable shooting if you had kept them separate.  You are sort of left with an indeterminate grade of low-performing powder now.  Just trying to think through you reasoning.  God Bless,  Marc

--- End quote ---

I had already repackaged what I perceived to be the best powder out of this mess.  This mixture was stuff I had serious doubts about (other than the can of Goex Ctg), and I had one plastic (smokeless) jug in which to transfer it.  3/4 of it was the old, grey Elephant ffg and fffg, and adding a couple of suspect cans of Goex ffg just made for a bigger lot.  The CTG looks like little black diamonds in the sea of grey, and seems evenly distributed.  The thought of screening had crossed my mind, but I didn't see an excess of dust when pouring through a funnel into the jug, so rejected that idea.

The initial range test suggests it will be OK.  Certainly, it seems slower than the Goex fffg I've been shooting, but this was to be expected in that 3/4 of it is ffg.

Daryl:
Hmmm- black diamonds in a sea of grey almost sounds like a smokeless/black powder mix - YIKES, if it is.

A friend once gave me a can of IMR4227 that he bought from a local store as "black powder", but since the granulations didn't look like his previous BP, he hadn't tested it.
in his ML.

Bob McBride:
Thatís the guy who overthought safe bp storage.

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