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Smokeless gunpowder problems Answered

i need help making smokeless gunpowder into a solid ball instead of loose powder


consists of nitrocellulose (single-base powders), frequently combined with up to 50 percent nitroglycerin (double-base powders), and sometimes nitroglycerin and nitroguanidine (triple-base), corned into small spherical balls or extruded into cylinders or flakes using solvents such as ether This might help

why for goodness sake? You do know that smokeless powder does not explode unless it's properly contaned, right? That's a safety feature, not a bug.

you can get 'slugs' of powder for BP weapons, is that what you are trying to do? part of your problem is your solution : ) gunpowder burns fast because of it's size and shape, not just it's chemical composition. look at the side of your powder can-it has a rating for size of grains. the larger the grains, the slower the burn and you are making one hell of a huge grain. you are expecting the powder to act as a high explosive (like a primer-detonates by pressure wave not flame) when it isn't. you need to take a look at what you are trying to do with a better understanding of how it's suposed to work. ps C4 burns in open air, it needs a pressure wave (detonator) to set it off as a high explosive.

I Already understand what i am trying to do. i am not trying to make an explosive. all i wanted was a solid lump of powder, almost like C4. i have succeded in making that lump of powder useing one part powder to one-half part household hydrogen-pyroxide.
thanks anyways

I already knew everything you told me :P


11 years ago

The first thing that comes to mind for me is to just wrap it in something. I really can't help you unless I know what it's for...

well i tried to wrap it but that didn't work, so then i tried acetone which was somewhat affective in that it made a nice solid lump but had highly flammable fumes, what i want is a solid, almost like C4, that i can pack into a tube

Making rocket motors? You do know that you are veering in to the "dangerously stupid" zone, right? I'm guessing the solvent idea is the right track, but I have no idea what would be appropriate. One of the firearm cartridge reloading manuals might have a chapter on how smokeless powder is made. You might want to study up on that and make sure your solvent isn't changing the smokeless powder into another chemical altogether. That is, if you value all your fingers. Check with the BATFE too, make sure you are not manufacturing a felony. Just out of curiosity, what brand and type of smokeless powder are you using? That stuff is around $20 a pound nowadays, right?

i am an avid shotgun shell reloader and i use Red-Dot shotgun powder, and yes it is expensive, but of course you could always pull apart rifle shells, as for the changing of chemical comp., there is none, it simply acts as a binder. i also make rocket motors, but dont use smokeless powder i use black powder. all i want is a solid propellant to use in a survival kit. P.S. i checked with BATF i\and it is not illegal, just dangerous.

I suggest drying the lumps for a longer period away from heat and flame. That's close to how I remember they make smokeless powder in the first place. Red dot is pretty fast burning by itself, but if you're making large lumps, you will lose that property. So as long as you are making just lumps, check out the price on surplus "pull down" powder. Frequently it's a fourth of the price of the name brand stuff. Specific, calibrated burning rates that do not vary between powder lots are not needed if you are just making lumps. I also assume they can sell it cheaper because there's no consumer liability insurance. It might work well in your application. You do realize I have zero experience and disclaim all responsibility. Furthermore, IANASPM (I am not a smokeless powder manufacturer) Good luck with your secret plans. Take care of those digits. (and if you are making rocket motors, others have done it differently with cheaper materials)