making powder and primers?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 1932chevy truck, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. 1932chevy truck

    1932chevy truck Member

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    Ok this may be a taboo set of questions but here goes anyway.


    With recent events I am sure most of you are in (or getting close to) the same boat as I am and run your supplies dry, any brand powder and pistol & rifle primers are just not available and if you do find individuals selling them there marked up at least 300 to 400% :rolleyes:

    In the past I have always said it was both cheaper and safer just to buy commercially made powder and primers and eventruly I think these supplies will catch up with demand (mite not be until after Obama is out of office) But for now I personally don't like feeling helpless and am willing to throw out the idea of it being impractical to set up to make my own primers and powder , this set of questions is more to find the information to see if it is possible without excessive dangerous experimentation.

    I have seen the information on using match tips to reload "old" primers and all kinds of videos and books on homemade black powder and that is NOT what I am asking about here.

    I have been unable to find any real information to produce modern smokeless rifle powders or primers (discussions/questions below) I have even tried to contact manufacters but was unable to get even safety procedures form them. My hope is that maybe someone on the fourms has detailed knowledge of one or both of these that would be willing to share it with me on the fourm or by PM or email ??????

    Discussions questions :

    Boxer primers --- I can make some stamp dies to cut and form the copper cups and caps , but ...........
    1) where do I find a source for anvils ?
    2) what is the mixture for the igniter mix ?
    3) how do you determine the heat of each mix? ie: std pistol , magnum pistol, std rifle, mag rifle, large rifle is it the amount of igniter or one component that makes one primer "hotter" then another?
    4) what is the max and min safe psi pressure to compress the copper caps loaded with igniter into the copper cup loaded with a anvil to safely seal it without setting it off?

    Modern smokeless rifle and pistol powders ---- there seems to be lots of infromation on old fashion quick burning blackpowders but not really anything in detail of modern smokleess powders or how the mixtures differ to allow one powder to burn slower or another to burn quicker, nor is there anything about how the different shapes (flake, sphere, cylinder) are produced does anyone have knowledge about this subject?
    1) what are or how would one find out the mixture of ingredients for a modern smokeless rifle or pistol powder per pound ? (just to narrow it down for discussion lets use examples ; ramshot's X-terminator or Tac for rifle and their True blue or Zip for pistol powder)
    2) lets say we agree that different shape powder such as sphere, flake , cylinders have differences in performance depending on what you want to do, But how are this different shaped powder produced ? does anyone have pictures or videos of machines, tooling that is used ???



    .gun)
     
  2. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    I did a quick Google search and found a bunch of information. Here is a YouTube video showing how to make gun cotton but anything cellulose can be substituted as a host. Impregnated cellulose based wallpaper paste could be extruded through a spaghetti sive and cut to small lengths to make stick powder. The stabilizers are going to be tricky but I think graphite might work. Let us know how you make out.

    Edit: the web address won't transfer to the post.
     

  3. 1932chevy truck

    1932chevy truck Member

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    isn't "gun cotton" considered to be much more highly explosive then gun powder or flash powder or paste ? ( I think it is)

    also searching I saw "flash powders" but to my understanding commercail primers use a flash paste to be more stable an better controlled
     
  4. Zep

    Zep Well-Known Member

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    I live near Wilmington DE, home of Dupont. A number of the men i shoot with at my club worked at DuPont's Chamber Works where they used to make and store modern gun powder. I could tell you stories. The last man I spoke with told me the story why Dupont stopped storing powder at the Chamber Works, 8 men were blown to pieces. They were transporting powder using a rail car system between the warehouses where it was stored, major chain reaction, everything blown to pieces. The near by town was rocked it was so intense. If it were me, I would forget about even thinking about making gun powder. I think I would take up surfing before I would try to make gun powder and I can't swim.
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Nothin to fool with. Just tough it out and shoot less, or barter for powder/primers on here....

    I hauled dynamite and powder, nitro and fertilizer when I was younger. I used to take it to the coal mines where they did coal longwall extraction. Mixed cheap fertilizer with diesel fuel and put the paste in what looked like Vienna bread bags and stuffed those into holes drilled in the face of the wall they wanted to remove. Some mines made their own blasting caps from powder, some used electrical ignition and some just used dynamite or nitro to blow the wall. The bags are called 'wet hole bags' btw.

    Thats where the Nichols boys got the idea on how to blow up that Federal Building. Diesel fuel and fertilizer with a cap or electrical ignitor makes a big whump. So does powder and nirto and dynamite which is nothing more than nitro in a paraffin base. When dynamite sweats, the 'sweat' is pure nitroglycerine and even a fly walking on it can set it off.....

    Did that back when I was youg, dumb and full of.....

    I have lots of respect for any type of powder or primers and would never consider attempting to make it at home... Just too many things to go wrong.
     
  6. 1932chevy truck

    1932chevy truck Member

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    ya we couldn't afford the dynamite when I was younger so we used the fert and diesel with 12v blubs to blast stumps out of the field I've been aroudn soem professiaonl blasters overthe years one industrial park I worked on the road grading and there was two guys I young black guy carried everything and the older white guy with only one leg ............ that one legged white man beat the young black guy across the field EVERY time !!! (he said he only had one leg left and wanted to keep it...lol)


    I do respect the hazards involved even in doing small quantity like I plan
     
  7. Zep

    Zep Well-Known Member

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    There is an old Delaware expression for a DuPont powder worker who was getting a little cocky - "We'll see him on the other side of the river". When they built the original powder mills they built them out of store but one side was wood so it would blow out and the stone part of the building would stay standing. And these powder mills were built on the Brandywine river, wood side facing the river. Hence - "We'll see him on the other side of the river".

    Let this fate not become yours, take up surfing.
     
  8. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Just to pile on here a bit, but making smokeless powder is downright safe, compared to making primers. If you've ever been inside of a primer production operation, you IMMEDIATELY get a sense of just how serious a business this is. At Lake City, you're issued all clothing, pants, smocks, shoes, to ensure that they're non-conductive and meet flame retardant regulations. You have grounding cord that attahes to your shoe, and drags along behind to make sure any static build-up is immedaitely discharged. The door to the primer assembly room is a large, heavy blast door. Before passing through it, you have to sign in on a log, so that they know how many people are in the room at any given moment, and just who they are; I'll leave it to your imagination as to why they're so picky about that. As you go in, you have to grab a grounding pole and wait until you're clear (it's actually measured at the door) of of any residual static electricity. The door is immediately closed behind you once you enter. Once inside, you notice that the work stations are divided up like office cubicles, but the partitions are made of heavy armor plate. There are warnings about having any more than "X" number of people in any given area at a time, again, I'll leave the conclusions as to why to your imagination. The priming compound is actually pretty stable and fairly harmless stuff, when it's still wet. Once dried, and sort of impact, friction, excessive heat, etc., and you've got a very serious problem for a microsecond or two. Not that you'll know anything about it, I assure you. The shifts there for the guys who are actually doing the primer wiping (seating the mixture in the cups) are split up into two four hour periods. The first is spent wiping the primers with the still moist compound. The last four are spent cleaning the station from top to bottom, with a series of chemicals and washes that will kill every trace of the priming compound in that area, before it can dry out. Every speck of compound residue has to be removed, treated, washed away and destroyed before it can dry, each and every shift.

    Once the primers are completed, they are transferred to drying bunkers until they're ready to be loaded. They are transported to these bunkers in wheeled hand carts. The term for these carts among the employees is an "Angel Buggy." Again, you can draw your own conclusions from the name.

    This is a fool's plan, and a downright suicide mission for the DIY type. If you choose to try this, just make sure you lace your dog tags into your boot laces; they're probably the only part of you that the coroner is likely to find.
     
  9. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Reminds me of Iodine crystals. That tincture of Iodine that you buy at the pharmacy is pretty harmless (other than it stings when applied to a cut) but Iodine has a sinister side...

    Iodine (pure) has to be kept in a liquid (wet) form. Once dried out and crystalized, it becomes very unstable. Just the act of an insect walking on Iodine crystals causes them to rapidly oxidize (rapid oxidation is what powders and primers do that makes them go bang). My dad used to take iodine (wet) and smear a bit on the window ledge and let it crystalize. A fly landing on the crystalized Iodine was immediately expunged. He blew the back of his desk out one time at work (he was head of Analytical Research for a large Steel company). He put some liquid Iodine in his desk drawer with the stopper not toght in the bottle and it dried out. He closed the drawer and bang, out went the desk.

    I had a very interesting childhood. Found out early on about frozen Co2, Iodine and distilling various substances.....

    Probably why I have a profound respect for compounds that oxidize rapidly.