View Full Version : Bulk black?

Andy Griffith
March 18, 2012, 05:06 PM
I said that I'd never do it...but with increasing costs, I guess I may try it.

If I decided to get some 2FA and had to divide it up, do any of you guys that have done it have any suggestions into what to put it? 16oz metal paint cans?

Any place I can get the same type of metal bottle that black powder comes in for a few cents each? (I haven't been smart enough to keep them :( )

March 18, 2012, 08:12 PM
It comes in one pound bottles.

March 18, 2012, 09:42 PM
Andy, save all of your old powder cans including smokeless. Then duct tape over the labels and mark the cans with a permanent pen. A screw top cap will do a better job of keeping humidity/moisture out. In a pinch, empty soda pop bottles would be better than a paint can.

I would recommend 5FA as a perfect substitute for FFFg. I was able to buy it in 25 lb sacks years ago when our local BP club did a spring bulk buy. I'm not sure what equivalent the 2FA is but 5FA is basically ungraphited 3F. I've used it for just about everything: 12ga, cap & ball, rifled muskets, etc.

BTW, where do you get 2FA these days?

Andy Griffith
March 18, 2012, 09:44 PM
I was told by the distributor that it comes in one 25lb plastic bag.

I can get new metal paint cans for 30 cents each- I figure this is the way to go.
This is primarily going to be used for shotgun use. I guess on the east coast it's a bit cheaper- I'm planning a trip to northern VA, and may stop by and get a pkg.

James K
March 18, 2012, 10:07 PM
May I be permitted a comment on bulk black powder?

Even smokeless powder can be dangerous in bulk, but BP is beyond dangerous, and should never be stored in other than a remote magazine. It is fairly dangerous even in small containers since, again unlike smokeless, one container letting go will almost certainly set off all adjoining containers.

I can guarantee that 25 pounds of bulk BP would, if it let go, reduce the average house to rubble. I know, I know, it won't happen to you, and I know, I know, that folks do it all the time. But there is a reason for all those warnings you are about to ignore.

In many jurisdictions, storage of that amount of BP, even in small containers, is illegal except in an approved magazine, and if anything should happen, its storage otherwise would result in your insurance company cancelling the policy on what used to be your house.


Andy Griffith
March 18, 2012, 10:19 PM
Don't worry, I'm real careful when I smoke my pipe while pouring up blackpowder.

I learned all I need to know about explosives safety from watching the Red Green show. :D

All joking aside, I believe they use this bulk for cannon use at reinactments- it'll be perfect for shotshell use, and whats left that isn't loaded up, will be stored correctly.

And honestly, there is nothing wrong with storing blackpowder in the refrigerator, under the dining room table, in the kitchen cabinet, in your closet, near the toilet, or anywhere handy in the home that you may need to shoot any varmint (or just shoot for the fun of it) from a window with a black powder firearm. ;)

The cans rust in the shower though.

March 19, 2012, 05:26 AM
If a can of BP explodes inside your house, it's a safe bet that your house was already on fire anyway.

March 19, 2012, 06:20 AM
Yeah, and it's an even safer bet that the insurance company that would have normally paid for the fire loss will take the fact that you were storing a bulk explosive in the house as a good excuse to pay nothing. Believe me, the fire department WILL document the explosion, and that evidence is all the insurance company will need to become unacquainted with your claim.

Andy Griffith
March 19, 2012, 07:35 AM
So, I gather that a feller shouldn't have a couple of hundred pounds in the basement and store right up next to the furnace and put three 30lb propane cylinders on top of it?
What if a feller also has five non-Carb compliant jerry cans of diesel, four of kerosene and six cans of gasoline nearby, and five or ten gallons of paint thinner near it too? That shouldn't be a problem, should it?

March 19, 2012, 11:12 AM
It would be.

March 19, 2012, 11:24 AM
That shouldn't be a problem, should it?

My agent is at lunch, but she's gonna get back to me on it.
I'll let you know. ;)

March 19, 2012, 12:18 PM
I'm not well versed in storage of black powder, but it seems like storage in a plastic bag would be prone to static electricity. If black powder flasks and measures are typically made of brass, wouldn't static electricity be a major concern?

I recently bought some Swiss 3F and was suprised that it came in a plastic container, unlike the steel Goex cans. Would the plastic be treated with some sort of anti-static coating?

Thanks for any insight in this.

March 19, 2012, 01:14 PM
Would the plastic be treated with some sort of anti-static coating?

It would probably have an antistatic additive mixed in when the plastic is manufactured. There are coatings, but I think that there would be some danger of the powder wearing the coating off of the inside of the container.

As far as storage of a bunch of black powder, my grandmother was a firm believer in the adage of "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

March 19, 2012, 03:08 PM
Static is very unlikely to ignite the powder, it is heat that does it. BP is vety conductive with static. Posted elsewhare (can't remember) there are photos of huge static sparks failing to ignite BP granules. But a heated spark or ember is what'll do it. Keep the powder in an outbuilding or garden shed.

March 19, 2012, 03:28 PM
The myth about static electricity and black powder has been pretty well refuted by now. But, there is a condition to be avoided: contamination of the powder.

Static electricity will not ignite black powder itself because the powder is electrically conductive. The electricity will pass through it without heating it up enough to reach the powder ignition temperature. HOWEVER, if the powder contains any material contamination that is itself an electrical resistor, the powder will conduct the electricity to that material, which will in turn heat up enough to set off the powder.

March 20, 2012, 02:39 PM
The talk about static electricity makes me think of the newfangled "electra" rifles that are fired by electricity. If it can be used to ignite BP in that rifle, i don't want it around if i happen to be using 25 pounds of BP as a footrest. I will keep buying by the single pound.

March 20, 2012, 03:00 PM
As far as static electricity goes, I was thinking more in terms of what would happen if I, as a giant mass, just brimming with positively charged particles, touched the bottle, itself jam-packed with negative ions, as plastic is wont to do.

I suppose that the charge would pass harmlessly through the black powder, but I'm also thinking that there might be a touch of a problem with the spark in the air gap between my finger and the bottle. I guess that as long as there's no powder in the immediate vicinity, all would be well.

I think that we've been down this road before, though.

March 21, 2012, 11:35 AM
James K you are passing on old wife tales that are like a snowball going down hill. BP is classified as a low explosive and is no more dangerous than walking around with a ball of C 4 and throwing it in the air.
You are no way a BP shooter to be saying such nonesense.
You can't buy a bag of BP unless it is a FTF deal. It can't be shipped.
The best way to buy in bulk is from shops like Powder Inc and others.
They will ship 25 pounds in the factory case and containers which may be can or plastic.
That it is because at one time it was said to be dangerious to use BP and plastic together because of static electricty. They now sell it in plastic.
As fgar as using the FA powders for sport shooting, you can but the graphite coating does make it flow well and that is the reason it is added. It also slows the burn some which may be a advantage in certain settings.

Don H
March 21, 2012, 05:21 PM
Black powder and static electricity: http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/sparks/sparks.html

March 21, 2012, 06:35 PM
I think the reason that both black powder and smokeless powder is graphite coated is to ground static electricity.

March 21, 2012, 08:11 PM
Swiss comes in one pound plastic bottles. I you were in the area I have a few empty powder cans I'd give you.

March 22, 2012, 08:47 AM
Too much nonsense posted in many of the replies so far to cover in less than 20 pages.
I'll adress one. There have been many tests proving static electricity will not set off black powder. Googling will confirm that.
I have been an avid, and active, muzzle loader for over 40 years. In the 1970's I had a gun shop specializing in muzzle loaders and sold black powder. During that period there was an interruption in supply and bp was hard to get. I bought some in metal (plastic bag lined) 25 lb. canisters.
For resale I weighed out 1 lb. worth into freezer boxes. There were cardboard with plastic bag liners. Worked fine.
Handling bp is not the demon the uninformed make it out to be. Common sense certainly needs to be applied.