Purchasing Black Powder

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Larry Stein

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Dec 29, 2021, 6:15:51 PM12/29/21
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Any suggestions on purchasing 4F black powder as I move into dual deployment? Tried the local stores with not much luck -- mostly due to either licensing issues so its not carried or supply chain issues impacting delivery.  Trying to avoid mail order -- and even that is hard to find. Larry

Anthony Cooper

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Dec 29, 2021, 6:18:04 PM12/29/21
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Bring a water tight container to the next launch and I will give you a few ounces. I've had a pound for years and I've used very little of it.

Anthony M. Cooper
31120 Chicoine Ave.
Hayward, CA 94544-7432
510-589-5292

On Wed, Dec 29, 2021, 3:15 PM Larry Stein <larrys...@gmail.com> wrote:
Any suggestions on purchasing 4F black powder as I move into dual deployment? Tried the local stores with not much luck -- mostly due to either licensing issues so its not carried or supply chain issues impacting delivery.  Trying to avoid mail order -- and even that is hard to find. Larry

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Allen Palmer

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Dec 29, 2021, 6:19:13 PM12/29/21
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where are you   where do you live   allen palmer

On Dec 29, 2021, at 2:24 PM, Larry Stein <larrys...@gmail.com> wrote:

Any suggestions on purchasing 4F black powder as I move into dual deployment? Tried the local stores with not much luck -- mostly due to either licensing issues so its not carried or supply chain issues impacting delivery.  Trying to avoid mail order -- and even that is hard to find. Larry

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Allen j Palmer

Larry Stein

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Dec 29, 2021, 6:30:31 PM12/29/21
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Thanks Tony. Very kind!

Larry Stein

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Dec 29, 2021, 6:32:00 PM12/29/21
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Cupertino. Going for Level 2 certification on Jan 8th. But will use Jolly Logic Chute Release for this flight. Just preparing the same rocket for true dual deploy.

Emma Humphries

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Dec 30, 2021, 10:49:57 PM12/30/21
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Anthony, can I prevail upon you for same at the January 8th launch? I'll bring a container as well.

I'm wondering if that Bass Pro Shop out by Tracy on the way out to Snow Ranch has some?

William Kellermann

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Dec 30, 2021, 11:19:18 PM12/30/21
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Not likely.  True black powder has not been sold at retail in California for many years. 

William Kellermann

On Dec 30, 2021, at 9:49 PM, Emma Humphries <emce...@gmail.com> wrote:



srkendal

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Dec 30, 2021, 11:28:35 PM12/30/21
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The last time I bought BP it was in Reno, NV on the way to Black Rock. That was at least 10 years ago now. But on the bright side, I've still got half a pound left. At a gram or so per charge, it lasts a long, long, time.

However, I know that many folks have been successful using smokeless powder. Something like Red Dot (fast burning shotgun powder) should work well for most flights. Always ground test; your mileage may vary.

Steve

Doug Wade

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Dec 30, 2021, 11:41:19 PM12/30/21
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The last place I’m aware of in CA that had it was the gun shop in Jamestown but they closed and then reopened with new owners so I think the likelyhood of them still having it is low.

Aleksandar Milivojević

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Dec 30, 2021, 11:49:15 PM12/30/21
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The problem with both pyrodex and smokeless powders is that they need to be well contained to burn fast enough. Especially smokeless powders burn very slowly if they are not contained well. Not a problem in firearms, there's that bullet thing that keeps everything contained and under high pressure in a very small volume. But there can be a problem with ejection charges. Specifically, it can be problematic getting repeatable results.

That's why pyrodex and smokeless are safer to store and transport (and thus might not have as strict regulations).

This is a good comparison video https://youtu.be/oGyhsQug03o. They used smokeless as a "fuse", and you can see how smokeless burns slowly and unenthusiastically. Also how much faster black powder burns that pyrodex. As long as they are uncontained as in the video. If those three powders were contained while they burn (as they are in firearms), they'd all burn almost instantly.

Some people reported success with pyrodex, but they had to specifically design holders for it to ensure proper containment. Problem that doesn't exist with black powder. Smokeless powders? It'd be even harder.


srkendal

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Dec 31, 2021, 12:12:24 AM12/31/21
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Aleksandsr,

That's all true, but it does work well when contained.  An easy way to do that is with surgical rubber tubing. Cut a small length (enough to hold a couple grams) put an e-match in one end and cinch up everything with a ty-wrap. Put your powder in (sized for your deployment, of course) the other, open end, stick a second e-match (redundancy is good!) in the open end, making sure both match heads are completely touching the powder, and cinch the end closed with another ty-wrap, ensuring that it is all packed tightly.

I've also used centrifuge vials packed with dog barf wadding and taped closed. But most of those will only hold a little more than a gram. For some situations, it might not be enough.

Once again: always ground test. The most common failures in rocketry are recovery related. YMMV

Happy New Year everyone!

Steve
On Dec 30, 2021 at 8:49 PM, Aleksandar Milivojević <al...@milivojevic.org> wrote:

The problem with both pyrodex and smokeless powders is that they need to be well contained to burn fast enough. Especially smokeless powders burn very slowly if they are not contained well. Not a problem in firearms, there's that bullet thing that keeps everything contained and under high pressure in a very small volume. But there can be a problem with ejection charges. Specifically, it can be problematic getting repeatable results.

That's why pyrodex and smokeless are safer to store and transport (and thus might not have as strict regulations).

This is a good comparison video https://youtu.be/oGyhsQug03o. They used smokeless as a "fuse", and you can see how smokeless burns slowly and unenthusiastically. Also how much faster black powder burns that pyrodex. As long as they are uncontained as in the video. If those three powders were contained while they burn (as they are in firearms), they'd all burn almost instantly.

Some people reported success with pyrodex, but they had to specifically design holders for it to ensure proper containment. Problem that doesn't exist with black powder. Smokeless powders? It'd be even harder.


On Thu, Dec 30, 2021 at 8:28 PM srkendal <srke...@comcast.net> wrote:

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srkendal

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Dec 31, 2021, 1:59:05 AM12/31/21
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"Back in the day" I used to buy it Reed's Sporting Goods in East San Jose. Sadly, they closed in 2008 (haha yeah, it really was "back in the day"... 13+ years ago).

They still have an indoor range and gun shop in Santa Clara. I seriously doubt that they have it, but you might give them a call...


-Steve
On Dec 30, 2021 at 8:41 PM, Doug Wade <do...@eljay.org> wrote:

The last place I’m aware of in CA that had it was the gun shop in Jamestown but they closed and then reopened with new owners so I think the likelyhood of them still having it is low.
On Dec 30, 2021, at 8:18 PM, William Kellermann <wt...@comcast.net> wrote:


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Kimball Tucker

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Dec 31, 2021, 4:44:47 AM12/31/21
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I just make my own now.  I enjoy it and my homemade stuff burns faster than goex or other brands.  I use it in my muzzle loader rifles and cap and ball revolers with excellent groups. The trick is to use willow Charcoal or soft wood.  Dont use airflow Charcoal because its made with hardwood.  It will burn too slow. Willow is the best.  Next is white pine. To make your own that's worth its salt you'll need a ball mill with hard lead balls to mill the powder extremely fine. Then you need a press and some tooling. The tooling is to press damp powder into pucks.  The pressing force increases the molecular bond between the chemical components so it burns faster.  When pucks are dry you have to break them up into granuals.  It's a lot of work and you must be careful and safety aware.

Cabelas in Reno Nevada used to sell it.  I did buy some from them 8 years ago.

I bought 4 lbs online 8 months ago.  But I don't know if they will ship to CA.  I now live in Alabama where you can buy it.  But the gun stores are out of it because there was a run on it and smokeless powders when Covid hit.  Go figure...

Sadly the makers are getting out of the true black powder buisness in the USA.   So if you want it you may have to make your own, like I do.


Charlie Wittman

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Dec 31, 2021, 8:40:41 AM12/31/21
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Mike at Bay Area rocket we used to sell 1 lb cans


CW

From: lunar-...@googlegroups.com <lunar-...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of srkendal <srke...@comcast.net>
Sent: Thursday, December 30, 2021 10:58 PM
To: lunar-general <lunar-...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [LUNAR general:] Purchasing Black Powder
 

Larry Stein

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Dec 31, 2021, 1:56:31 PM12/31/21
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I did go and call most gun shops in the south bay -- and due to shortages or licensing, most don't have or carry it. I did speak to Bass Pro Shops in San Jose and they said they carry black powder -- but do not know what is coming on the next truck. They said to keep calling back. It is possible that even with mentioning Goex 4F she thought of different powders. Will keep looking -- thanks for the discussion and feedback.

Larry

William Kellermann

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Dec 31, 2021, 2:08:06 PM12/31/21
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They don’t list it on their website nationally for either Bass Pro or Cabelas.  The Goex site lists a distributor in Auburn but the address is shown as a Spa, not a gun shop on Google Maps. 

William Kellermann

On Dec 31, 2021, at 12:56 PM, Larry Stein <larrys...@gmail.com> wrote:

I did go and call most gun shops in the south bay -- and due to shortages or licensing, most don't have or carry it. I did speak to Bass Pro Shops in San Jose and they said they carry black powder -- but do not know what is coming on the next truck. They said to keep calling back. It is possible that even with mentioning Goex 4F she thought of different powders. Will keep looking -- thanks for the discussion and feedback.

Alan Marcum

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Dec 31, 2021, 2:09:36 PM12/31/21
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I, also, have nearly a pound of good black powder. My son picked it up for me several years ago in Paso Robles. Though I won’t make it to the January launch, I’m shooting for February and, like others, I’m more than happy to share what I have. I live in Palo Alto and folks are welcome to send me email directly if you want some other than at the Ranch.

- Alan
Alan Marcum, a...@RhinoAviation.com
LUNAR 392, NAR 63357
(pronouns: he/him/his)

Aleksandar Milivojević

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Dec 31, 2021, 2:20:20 PM12/31/21
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I could be wrong, but most likely they only have substitutes like Pyrodex, not real black powder.

Goex factory closed some months ago. I think Swiss is the only remaining big-name brand.

Making your own (vs. buying commercial powder)... Not sure, but you might need a low explosives user license from BATF to make your own while keeping it legal; it's worth checking, I'm not a lawyer.

William Kellermann

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Dec 31, 2021, 2:41:24 PM12/31/21
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As a black powder shooter you can possess without a LEUP. 

William Kellermann

On Dec 31, 2021, at 1:20 PM, Aleksandar Milivojević <al...@milivojevic.org> wrote:



Kimball Tucker

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Dec 31, 2021, 2:53:08 PM12/31/21
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That's right.  An unlicensed individual is allowed to have or make black powder for their own sporting use.  You can't make it and sell it.  but you can make it for your own use.  My BATF agent informed me of this.  If you have large quantities, more than 50 lbs then you will need a license and  proper storage.



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Kimball Tucker

William Kellermann

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Dec 31, 2021, 3:06:02 PM12/31/21
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Schutzen (Swiss) distributors:  https://schuetzenpowder.com/find-a-distributor/


William Kellermann

On Dec 31, 2021, at 1:41 PM, William Kellermann <wt...@comcast.net> wrote:

As a black powder shooter you can possess without a LEUP. 

Aleksandar Milivojević

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Dec 31, 2021, 3:15:29 PM12/31/21
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Yup. I know about possession licencing exemption for commercially made black powder. I wasn't sure about making your own part. Kimball covered that bit in his reply.

Aleksandar Milivojević

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Dec 31, 2021, 3:18:40 PM12/31/21
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I was always curious about people referring to BATF agents as "my BATF agent". Once you need to interact with BATF for whatever reason, do you get assigned personal agent, or are their offices small enough that you basically end up always communicating with same person?

Kimball Tucker

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Dec 31, 2021, 3:22:05 PM12/31/21
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Just to be smart, if you have 50 lbs of black powder at home you are asking for trouble.  That could do quite a bit of damage if you have an accident.  I don't keep more than a few lbs.  I use it up quickly shooting each week.
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Kimball Tucker

Kimball Tucker

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Dec 31, 2021, 3:25:11 PM12/31/21
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When you apply or have a license you are assigned an agent who then contacts you every two years for inspections and to pass on any new laws you have to obey.  It is the same agent each inspection period, unless you are assigned to a new agent because the other one moved etc.



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Kimball Tucker

William Kellermann

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Dec 31, 2021, 3:44:48 PM12/31/21
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Yeah, 50 lbs of black powder is a great reason for your homeowner's insurance to deny coverage in event of a fire. 

William Kellermann

On Dec 31, 2021, at 2:22 PM, Kimball Tucker <kimball...@gmail.com> wrote:



srkendal

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Dec 31, 2021, 4:43:31 PM12/31/21
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🤣🤣👍 And, I keep it tightly sealed and stored in a separate cabinet away from other flammables, batteries, etc. There's no sense in taking any additional risks with BP. I mean an errant deployment charge is bad enough! And I usually only bring to a launch what I need and a little extra for those in need.

Good thread. Be safe everyone, Happy New Year

-Steve
On Dec 31, 2021 at 12:22 PM, Kimball Tucker <kimball...@gmail.com> wrote:

Just to be smart, if you have 50 lbs of black powder at home you are asking for trouble.  That could do quite a bit of damage if you have an accident.  I don't keep more than a few lbs.  I use it up quickly shooting each week.

On Fri, Dec 31, 2021 at 1:52 PM Kimball Tucker <kimball...@gmail.com> wrote:


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Kimball Tucker

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Dec 31, 2021, 7:27:44 PM12/31/21
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Just don't do anything stupid or illegal with your black powder.  If you do, all bets are off for your legal defense.  No pipe bombs or exploding pumpkins at a school football field.  I know an 18 year old kid who, just having fun, blew up a pumpkin on a football field.  A woman saw it and called the police. He found himself in jail with a $50,000 bail and the DA saying he would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  No guns for him any more because he was charged with a felony.  Also no working for NASA or any defense type company.  Free agency can get hairy when we make the wrong decisions.



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Kimball Tucker

Andrew Pohlman

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Dec 31, 2021, 7:51:40 PM12/31/21
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Um, I think the intent is to use it for parachute deployment.   Exploding pumpkins and pipe bombs are usually discussed in anarchist forums on Reddit ... and they won't choose black powder.

srkendal

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Dec 31, 2021, 8:01:09 PM12/31/21
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Hi Andrew,

While I agree, we have a fairly big audience, including impressionable readers. In my mind, reiteration of what is obvious (to all of us "seasoned" rocketeers) is still worth the extra characters. I remember being youthful. I also remember that the threat that the cops would simply "take you home and speak to your dad" was sufficient to keep us on our toes. (But...it didn't really deter us, just made us a little more "crafty" 😁)

Anyway, your message enforces that thought so Happy New Years to you. (I just heard a loud boom... They legally sell high grade fireworks up here... It's only just starting. 😖)

-Steve

William Kellermann

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Dec 31, 2021, 8:21:44 PM12/31/21
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Just remember these words of wisdom: “I don’t recall and I need an attorney.”  Never snitch on yourself. 

William Kellermann

On Dec 31, 2021, at 7:01 PM, srkendal <srke...@comcast.net> wrote:



srkendal

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Dec 31, 2021, 8:34:33 PM12/31/21
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Hahaha, never truer words were spoken. But, my dad died in 1974, and I'm pretty sure the statutes of limitation limit my criminal liabilities. (What's your standard retainer??)

Have a good one everyone! (You never know, I might show up at a launch near you sometime!)

-Steve

Curtis Sojka

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Dec 31, 2021, 10:16:12 PM12/31/21
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I buy from these guys online.
powderinc.com

On Fri, Dec 31, 2021 at 10:56 AM Larry Stein <larrys...@gmail.com> wrote:

Kimball Tucker

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Dec 31, 2021, 10:23:46 PM12/31/21
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Thanks for sharing the link.  They're out of stock until June..... That's why I make my own.  Well, I enjoy it too.



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