Gunpowder is a mixture of fuel, an oxidizer, and a reducing agent. When combined and ignited, the mixture produces a rapid volume of gas with enough pressure to drive a projectile out of a gun barrel. However, gunpowder isn’t entirely smokeless. Preparing gunpowder at home is not difficult but it should only be performed by adults or older teens following safe practices in a well-ventilated space away from sparks or flame. If you’re ready to begin making your own gunpowder, read on to learn everything you need to know about how to make smokeless gunpowder at home.
How To Make Smokeless Gunpowder?
Step 1: Start with a solid base
No matter what type of gunpowder you’re making, you always have to start with a solid base. So you have to choose a suitable solvent, and a suitable solvent is one that’s completely flammable, completely soluble in water, and also completely insoluble in ether. Ether is a solvent that gunpowder is completely soluble in and water is a solvent that gunpowder is completely flammable in. The solvent you choose must also contain carbon, sulphur, nitrates and oxygen. You should never, ever add potassium nitrate to gunpowder. It’s a highly reactive, unstable chemical that’s dangerous to handle.
Step 2: Mix your nitrates, sulphur, and carbon
Once you’ve decided on your solvent, you can start mixing in the nitrates, sulphur, and carbon. If you’re making black powder, use 50 parts carbon, 25 parts nitrates, and 25 parts sulphur. If you’re making smokeless powder, use 50 parts carbon, 35 parts nitrates, and 15 parts sulphur.
Step 3: Coarse grind your mixture
Next, you need to coarse grind your mixture. This is because coarse grinding minimizes the number of fines, or dust, that you get and minimizes the amount of dust that gets into the air, which is important when you’re working in confined spaces. You should always, always, always wear a dust mask while making gunpowder at home. Many people think that they can get away with not wearing one, but they’re very wrong. When you’re making gunpowder, you’re creating a lot of fine dust. If you don’t wear a dust mask, you’ll breathe this fine dust in. Over time, this can lead to health issues such as silicosis, which is a serious form of dust-induced lung disease.
Step 4: Fine grind your mixture
Once you’ve coarsely ground your mixture, you need to finely grind it. Fine grinding is necessary because coarse grinding creates a lot of large particles that are too big to be used in gunpowder. It’s also important because it allows for more consistent burning.
Step 5: Add Dextraneous matter
Next, add dextrinous matter to your mixture. Dextrinous matter is a substance that improves the burning rate of gunpowder. It also makes the gunpowder more stable, improves flowability, and increases the energy density of the gunpowder.
Step 6: Add plasticizers and dry lubricants
At this point in the gunpowder-making process, you need to add plasticizers and dry lubricants. Plasticizers improve flowability, increase the energy density of the gunpowder and extend the explosive velocity. Dry lubricants reduce dusting and improve flowability.
Step 7: Put everything in a blender for 2 minutes
Next, you need to put everything in a blender for 2 minutes to ensure that everything is thoroughly mixed. For better results, use a blender with a dry grinding function. This will prevent the dry ingredients from clogging the blender’s blades.
Step 8: Store your gunpowder in an airtight container.
Once you’ve blended everything together, you need to store your gunpowder in an airtight container. Keep it in a dark, cool place that’s free of humidity. The best place to keep your gunpowder is in an unheated garage or an unheated shed.
How To Store Your Smokeless Powder?
When you’re a hunter, you need to be prepared for every kind of situation. That means it’s essential to have your ammo organized and ready to go when you need it. Furthermore, this also means that you need to keep your guns and ammo out of reach from young hands. In the case that you have kids or other minors in your house, keeping a locked gun cabinet is important – but only if you keep your smokeless powder locked up, too. Otherwise, there’s no telling what sort of mischief they could get into with all those explosive chemicals lying around! Follow these tips to store your smokeless powder safely and conveniently.
Use the Right Container
The first thing you should do when storing your smokeless powder is found an appropriate container. This is especially important because of the risk of oxidation. Oxidation occurs when oxygen (or another substance like humidity) comes in contact with your powder. This causes the powder to lose its potency and become unusable over time. To prevent oxidation from occurring, you should store your smokeless powder in a container that doesn’t allow oxygen to get inside. This means no metal cans or jars, no plastic containers that aren’t airtight, and no cardboard boxes that aren’t sealed shut. Instead, opt for a container made of glass or plastic. Plastic containers are lighter, so if you have to move your powder around often, a plastic container will be easier to lift than a glass one. Glass, on the other hand, is more likely to break. Also, consider a container with a tight-fitting lid to keep out any unwanted insects.
Store Your Powder in a Cool, Dark Place
While you’re deciding which container to put your smokeless powder in, also think about where you’ll be storing it. Ideally, you should store your powder in a cool, dark place. This will help protect your powder from any changes in humidity, which can accelerate the process of oxidation and cause your powder to spoil. You can also use a dehumidifier to regulate the humidity in your storage area if the space is particularly humid. Just make sure you keep the dehumidifier out of the reach of children, along with your storage container of smokeless powder.
Don’t Shake It Up
You need to be careful not to shake your smokeless powder. Shaking it up can cause tiny particles to break off and mix together. This can result in inconsistent loads and poor accuracy. To avoid this, use a scale to measure out your powder every time you reload. This is especially important when you’re reloading rifle cartridges. Rifle cartridges have smaller charges and require more precise measurements than a pistol cartridge does. If you’re using a scale to measure out your powder, remember not to shake the container. Scoop out the appropriate amount and then place it on the scale.
Mark Your Storage Containers
When you’re storing your smokeless powder, it’s also important to know what you have inside each container. This way, if you have to grab some powder from a container in a hurry and you don’t have time to examine each kind of powder, you can still know which container to grab. For example, if you have three containers of smokeless powder and one is labeled “75-grain jacketed soft point,” you’ll know that’s the one to grab if you need to load your rifle in a hurry. You can mark your storage containers in a couple of different ways. First, you can write the name of each kind of powder on a piece of paper and then tape it to the container. Alternatively, you can use a marker to label the container directly.
Keep the Key in a Safe Place
If you’re keeping a locked gun cabinet in your home, you’ll need to keep the key to that cabinet in a safe place itself. If you have kids or other minors in your house, keep the key to your gun cabinet in a location that they can’t reach. You can put it in a drawer or somewhere behind a picture frame. If you don’t have minors in your house, you can keep the key to your gun cabinet in a more accessible place. You might even want to keep it on your key chain so you always have it with you. However, if you do this, remember to keep the key to the cabinet in a safe place when you’re not carrying it around with you.
Now that you know how to make smokeless gunpowder at home, you’re just one step away from blasting away at the shooting range with your friends. Of course, you’ll need a rifle or handgun to shoot your gunpowder. If you want to make your own shooting targets, you can learn how to make paper targets at home. Now that you know how to make smokeless gunpowder, be sure to invite your friends over for some shooting practice. With a little patience and some basic supplies, anyone can make smokeless gunpowder at home. Enjoy your new hobby and be sure to share your experiences with friends.