Saturday, September 11, 2010

Praxis: Got powder?

Smokeless Powder.

From The Uninvited Ombudsman Report, No. 90 comes this unpleasant reminder.

1- Hidden Firearms Threat

The lamestream media told you:


The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

The two plants that make smokeless powder in the U.S. are the General Dynamics plant in St. Marks, Florida (manufactures for Hogdon and Winchester, plus military contracts), and the Alliant plant in Connecticut (manufactures for the Alliant family, plus the Lake City Arsenal). All other powder used in the U.S. is imported (from Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Israel and others). Two plants for the entire nation is not a very deep backup reserve. Any threats to these operations -- from government, law makers, activists, public pressure, enviro-wackos, islamists, etc., is a threat to us all. Thanks to Montana-based rights activist Gary Marbut for bringing this to my attention. We need to keep a careful eye on this.


Defender said...

Never forget the Clinton flunkie's words: "Stroke of a pen, law of the land. Cool."

Witchwood said...

That's disconcerting. Is there something about the process that precludes an individual making the powder in a private workshop?

Anonymous said...

Witchwood, are you a professional chemist?, smokless is not DIY like black powder is.

Two powder plants, what an embarassment, how many does Russia have? China?

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of 8 pound jugs of powder set aside; enough for 1400 rounds of 308 and more pistol ammo than I will ever shoot.

Bullets might be hard to come by, but I have some lead and molds.

Primers are in pretty good supply.

Not stockpiling is just another way of not being prepared.

As to making your own powder - get real. If supplies are that disrupted, we might make black powder at home, but not smokeless. That takes nasty chemicals and precise controls. If you must try it, don't do it in my neighborhood.

Scott J said...

I've often wondered if someone could start a new powder/primer business in today's climate. The regulatory and liability requirements have to be massive.

I know nothing about running a factory but if some investment type wanted to let me give it a try I'd love to make a career change to help the cause.

Brass I can scrounge, boolits I can cast but powder and primers I have to buy.

The good news is that the powder goes a long way. 8lbs of Accurate 2520 that I can pick up for under $150 will load me about 1,000 rounds of .308.

In most pistol calibers you can get close to 1,000 rounds per pound at less than $25 per pound.

Primers are the real key. They're running about $30 per 5,000 currently and have been in short supply until just a few months ago.

Anonymous said...

re: private production of smokeless powder. The industrial plants that make smokeless powder tend to blow up with some regularity even with good design. Material used in production include but are not limited to nitroglycerin, nitrocellulose, sulfuric acid, ether, heated isopropanol, etc. All very volatile materials if not treated with the utmost caution. The other serious problem with private production would be lot-to-lot consistency. A lot of the effort in production has to do with making a consistent product, which still varies a certain amount. That variability would directly translate into different powder charges for each production lot.

The processing equipment to make the uniform granuules could not be cheap either.

Canister-grade powders which are used by handloaders have lot-to-lot variance more tightly controlled, but still are not exactly the same with each production lot.

Have a read on the process:

Scott J said...

Anon @9:19 is quite correct. There used to be a Hercules powder plant out in Bessemer, AL. I lived about 8 miles away as a boy.

It blew a couple of times I remember and shook our whole house.

Now, try to put that sort of risk anywhere in our NIMBY culture.

Anonymous said...

To satisfy your curiosity

Get thee 2 for a few hours.

Also Book published by NRA - Frost; Ammunition making. available from amazon.

Anonymous said...

Loren said...

sounds like an opportunity for an enterprising chemist to make his mark on the world--give us an alternative.

TJP said...

I got the powder, but there's so much competition in the market that it's no wonder that all the overseas competitors are also government subcontractors.

If you think it's bad here, consider that ADI makes some IMR branded propellants for us that aren't even legal to sell in Australia where they make them!

Guns: forcing tyrants to budget for adult diapers for the last 500 years.

Anonymous said...

$30 per 5000 primers...
Where do you buy those, their $25-$30 per 1000 in my neck of the woods

J. Croft said...

If smokeless powder could be done in a clandestine or home workshop enviroment it would have been done by now. What we need is a substitute-ammopulver would be a contender: 85% ammonium nitrate 15% charcoal. The problem is at 86F it undergoes a shift in its properties; if brewed below or above that temperature the stuff will blow your gun up.

If a stabilizer could be added to negate that characteristic then all that would be needed would be a DIY means of manufacturing the cartridge cases. Bullet and Primer have already been covered by existing materials.

Scott J said...

"$30 per 5000 primers...
Where do you buy those, their $25-$30 per 1000 in my neck of the woods"

Sorry for the typo. $30/1K is the average for me too.

Anonymous said...

lacquer !

Justthisguy said...

There is always the "" site, whose library and associated forum have some excellent improvised field-expedient methods for making one's own nitric acid.

Once you have nitric acid, you can make all kinds of kaboomy things.

As the guy said in the movie, we're all in it together. "They" hate the freedom nerds, the gun nerds, and the chem nerds, just about equally, I reckon.