Author Topic: Blackpowder ?  (Read 1818 times)

Offline Dave B

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Blackpowder ?
« on: December 19, 2021, 12:39:26 AM »
I guess I better do a better job of looking at the rest of the ALR web site. I only last week found someone talking about Goex's fire. I saw the post about hording but only  chalked it up to the routine issue of ammo in these Covid times  etc.... Well now I am looking at whats on my shelf and thinking got to step up a get some BP. I have not used any Shutzen or that other stuff called Swiss. It seems I need to understand the designations for Null B 1.5F . Just what is equal to goex 3 F. Can some one educate me on the differnce compaired to Goex I have only shot it and some Elephant so far. I use 4F goex for my priming and the 2F, 3F for my rifles/pistols. What would I need for them using the two powders new to me?
Dave Blaisdell

Offline Bill in Md

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2021, 12:43:12 AM »
just work up a load with the new powder. if it is all you can get, make it work.
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Offline Maven

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2021, 02:16:40 AM »
I used to get Schuetzen BP (made by Wano) at Graf & Sons and rather liked it and its price.  Also, Elephant BP is long gone and has been replaced by Daimondback BP, which performed as well for me as Goex FFg and Schuetzen.  Unfortunately, I don't think it's being imported in the US any longer, but you can google the Addicted to Blackpowder website and ask them about it and other BP's.
Paul W. Brasky

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2021, 03:40:02 AM »
Coonies in Hobbs still had some GOEX a few days ago.  Mad Monk did a bunch of testing of GOEX versus Schuetzen versus Swiss some years ago.  His conclusion was that Schuetzen was the most similar to GOEX in terms of velocities produced for a given load.  Swiss burns hotter for the same grade.  He may jump in at some point on this.  He is a wealth of information.

Offline Coal-Cracker

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2021, 05:28:34 AM »
Good luck finding bp. (I guess hoarding and panic buying ain't just for toilet paper. ;D )
I was at Dixon's today, and they did have Schuetzen (3F) in limited supply. But, everyone was limited to a purchase of 1/2 lb. ($23)
They said they did that because they wanted to make sure that everyone got some. For which, I'm grateful.

Offline Dave B

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2021, 06:22:29 AM »
Thanks guys.  Sounds like an experiment and further hunting for some powder.
We deal with what were given and make it work. It was a long while back but some one here shared how his Grandma made her own powder  for her rifle and it was   not black but red. It still went Bang took the squirrels so thats what matters.
Dave Blaisdell

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2021, 06:49:38 AM »
I guess I better do a better job of looking at the rest of the ALR web site. I only last week found someone talking about Goex's fire. I saw the post about hording but only  chalked it up to the routine issue of ammo in these Covid times  etc.... Well now I am looking at whats on my shelf and thinking got to step up a get some BP. I have not used any Shutzen or that other stuff called Swiss. It seems I need to understand the designations for Null B 1.5F . Just what is equal to goex 3 F. Can some one educate me on the differnce compaired to Goex I have only shot it and some Elephant so far. I use 4F goex for my priming and the 2F, 3F for my rifles/pistols. What would I need for them using the two powders new to me?

The Swiss Nul B is a very fine powder developed for flintlock lock prime only.  Not for main charge use.  The 1.5F is about halfway between a regular 2F powder and a 1F powder.

Offline Top Jaw

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2021, 04:37:13 PM »
Just watched a YouTube video yesterday were a guy chronograph tested all three powders with an 80 grain charge weighed out on the scale. Shutzen had the lowest velocity.  Goex was about 100 ft./s above that.  Swiss about 200 above that.  He accuracy tested Swiss and Schutzen.  They were very similar.  A slightly smaller group with Swiss in his rifle at 60 yds with the same weighed charge. 

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2021, 08:37:39 PM »
Thanks guys.  Sounds like an experiment and further hunting for some powder.
We deal with what were given and make it work. It was a long while back but some one here shared how his Grandma made her own powder  for her rifle and it was   not black but red. It still went Bang took the squirrels so thats what matters.

The red powder was most likely a mixture of maple sugar and potassium nitrate.  We saw that approach in GOEX's fruit sugar based Clear Shot powder.  GOEX "toasted" the fruit sugar for use in the Clear Shot which gave it that color. 

The crowd that pushed the ascorbic acid based powders never fully understood that plants make ascorbic acid by adding a hydrogen and oxygen atom to the common sugar they normally produce in the leaves.  So when you use that ascorbic acid to make a powder the ascorbic acid must first break down to the original sugar molecule before it becomes involved in the powder combustion.  It took one of them over 10 years to realize that they could make nearly the same powder with 50 cents a pound sugar rather than 9 dollars a pound ascorbic acid.   Also with the powder made from sugar and potassium nitrate you get a lot less bore fouling than with real black powder.  And along that common thread thing.  Wood cellulose as you would char for black powder has been called a high polymer of sugar.  The cellulose in the wood is simply long strings of sugar molecules arranged in a specific crystalline manner.   

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2021, 11:58:36 PM »
Just watched a YouTube video yesterday were a guy chronograph tested all three powders with an 80 grain charge weighed out on the scale. Shutzen had the lowest velocity.  Goex was about 100 ft./s above that.  Swiss about 200 above that.  He accuracy tested Swiss and Schutzen.  They were very similar.  A slightly smaller group with Swiss in his rifle at 60 yds with the same weighed charge.

When you look at the YouTube vids were shooters are comparing the different brands of black powder over a chronograph their data leaves a bit to be desired.  They assume that the data represents the particular companies results for that particular grain size.  Often far from accurate.

When the Schuetzen was being developed GOEX was still trying to get their charcoal supplier problems squared away.  When they went to start up the Minden plant they found their old long-term supplier of charcoal in Ohio had ceased operations.  So they had to find another supplier or suppliers.  That was about two years of mental trauma for them.  They finally found one that came close to the old supplier.

Lot to lot variations in charcoal properties from one supplier or one shipment to the next is going to have a big influence on the velocities in the finished powder.  I as not able to follow Schuetzen production as closely as i would have liked to in order to see what their lot to lot velocity variation would be.  But since I used GOEX as the standard by which other powders are judged I had a wealth of data on the velocities produced by a large number of lots covering several years of production.  I had found that in the GOEX Minden production I might see a 100 fps difference in muzzle velocity from one lot to the next.  I had discussed with GOEX plant management how to look at that and possibly minimize that wide variation.  That being to check fixed carbon content of the different lots of charcoal being purchased.  And their charcoal supplier could easily provide that data.  Then set aside lots with a fixed carbon content of 74 to 76% fixed carbon for use in the rifle powder production.  This was also important in any production of premium black powder they would produce where a higher sale price would require a bit more quality in the product.   


Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2021, 01:16:57 AM »
just work up a load with the new powder. if it is all you can get, make it work.

As far as I know the plant in Brazil that was making the Diamondback black powder closed.  When the S/A Pernambuco Powder Factory ceased operations some rich young guy in Brazil bought all of the machinery and "technology" and built a new plant about 50 miles down the coast from the old shuttered plant.  Took him awhile to get it set up and running.  But by then Schuetzen was on the U.S. market.   The owner in Brazil got together with Copperhead Chemical Company in Tamaqua, PA who formed this Diamondback Powder Company using the Copperhead pharmaceutical -grade nitroglycerin plant as their base of operations.  That plant previously owned by ICI who had purchased it off Atlas who made dynamite and black powder at that plant.  But it gave Diamondback plenty of big storage magazines.

When the first container of the Diamondback Powder came up from Brazil it was November.  Diamondback tried to get the then owner of Maine Powder office to become their primary distributor.  He told them only if I gave my seal of approval.  So they invited me up there for a day of testing.   I was to sit in a lawn chair about 20 feet from the shooting table.  I was to say nothing and touch nothing.  They had brought a shooter up from Texas to do the testing.  The day of the testing was nice.  Wind gusts up to 45mph with lake effect snow blowing around.  I opted out of that.  Spend a day in a lawn chair wrapped in a heavy microfiber blanket.  I was not allowed to touch any powder cans nor would I be given any to bring home and test.

About a week later I got a call from Chuck Dixon.  I was to go up to his shop and pick up a can of Diamondback 3F to check out.  Brought it home and took some apart.  The same Imbauba charcoal as in Elephant.  Then they were going to price it right up there with GOEX and Schuetzen.  Even if it equaled the no longer available Elephant it would not really be competitive.  And it was made clear they would not drop the price. 

Then I had a call from the head of the Copperhead Chemical Company in Canada.  Asking me to help him with the Diamondback powder.  That was a Thursday one week.  My wife and I spent Saturday and Sunday out on long bicycle rides.  Monday morning he called and got rather nasty that I had not spent the weekend on his powder that I was not charging him for.   So I cut all ties with that crowd.   So that killed the meeting between myself and the owner of the powder plant in Brazil who wanted to spend a few days up here picking my brain on charcoal properties to look for. 

The plant in Brazil desperately need the U.S. market to keep the plant profitable in Brazil.  That just did not happen.   

Offline terryk

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2021, 03:31:38 AM »
I split a case of 3F Goex with my friend last year, so I am just starting to use it.  Since I have some 2F also, I am well stocked up.  Naturally Goex may come back or just fade away.  Some rumors say they are already acquired. 
Anyway my next powder will be Swiss if I can get it, but I have a lot of shooting to do before I order. 

Offline Dave B

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2021, 04:53:06 AM »
Wow!  That was excellent! Thank you Mad Monk for taking the time to educate us with that information.  I am sure you must get tired repeating your self over the years. For me I have been more of a builder than a shooter and I still have several cans of Goex I bought in the 90's. It is exactly what I needed to get my head around the nuances of the powders out there and what i should be looking for. I love this website for the wisdom of its members and their willingness to educate others about it.
Dave Blaisdell

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2021, 06:48:17 AM »
Wow!  That was excellent! Thank you Mad Monk for taking the time to educate us with that information.  I am sure you must get tired repeating your self over the years. For me I have been more of a builder than a shooter and I still have several cans of Goex I bought in the 90's. It is exactly what I needed to get my head around the nuances of the powders out there and what i should be looking for. I love this website for the wisdom of its members and their willingness to educate others about it.

Dave,
I still laugh at the thing about me being invited up to Tamaqua to watch some Texan test their powder.  Me sitting on a lawn chair in below freezing temperature with wind gust up to 45 mph and lake effect snow.  So there I would be sitting with the snow piling up on me while I try to sip hot coffee but the duct take across my mouth to keep me totally silent would have prevented me from drinking the coffee.  I live about 45 miles South of Tamaqua about 400 feet above sea level.  That mountain up at Tamaqua is well above sea level.  Big difference between down here and up there.  I wonder what they figured my I.Q. was????

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2021, 08:26:39 PM »
Thanks Bill. For this and everything over the years.

Dan
Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant”. James Madison

Offline ScottH

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2021, 10:56:01 PM »
FYI
I checked the website yesterday and it looks like "Maine Powder House" has Swiss and Schuetzen black powder in several granulations in stock and ready to ship.
 8)

Offline Mad Monk

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Re: Blackpowder ?
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2021, 01:20:06 AM »
I caught something in the news today.  As I stated previously The Minden GOEX plant relied entirely on potassium nitrate shipped up from Chile.   The future of that source could have invloved increased pricing due to increases in sea container shipping charges.  So that would add to the production costs for any future black powder out of Minden if somebody buys and restarts the plant.

Chile just had an election.  They elected a younger man who is described as as a communist-supported radical.  It took Chile 20 years to straighten out their economy after the previous communist government destroyed that country's economy.  Then Chile is being torn by indigenous separatist guerrilla groups in the southern part of Chile.  These resistance groups are unhappy with the major deforesters and aggregate extraction mining companies.  Little of their profits go back to the common folks of Chile.  And these aggregate extraction companies are destroying large areas in Chile.  So changes in the Chile government could impact pricing and availability of potassium nitrate in the future. 

A few years back the international market for potassium nitrate was split between Haifa Chemical in Israel and the producer in Chile.  Then Israel shut down the Haifa operations because they were dumping highly toxic process waste into the Dead Sea.

So problems with the supply from Chile would be big production scheduling problems for the BP plant at Minden.  It would make running the Minden plant more difficult.