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Old September 27, 2021, 09:52 PM   #1
Deltadart
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Hodgdon to Close GOEX

I understand Hodgdon is closing the Louisiana GOEX plant by year end.
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Old September 28, 2021, 01:17 AM   #2
armoredman
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Why? I figured even black powder stuff is hard to find due to increased demand for anything that shoots a bullet, plus those of us making ammo stretch by spending more time with the smokepoles. I am glad I snagged some Olde Eynsford when I had the chance.
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Old September 28, 2021, 07:36 AM   #3
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It's only a guess, but since military operations have stopped in Afghanistan, the government is probably cutting back on ammo purchases. Hodgdon may have had some sizeable contracts to supply powder that are now gone. The loss of income from those contracts will cause them to close any business that does not have a high ROI.
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Old September 28, 2021, 02:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltadart View Post
It's only a guess, but since military operations have stopped in Afghanistan, the government is probably cutting back on ammo purchases. Hodgdon may have had some sizeable contracts to supply powder that are now gone. The loss of income from those contracts will cause them to close any business that does not have a high ROI.
They're closing the black powder plant.
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Old September 28, 2021, 03:09 PM   #5
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I don't really know what I'm talking about...This s purely "blowing smoke"

Historically,black powder plants eventually have a catastrophic event.....sooner or later.

Dust and fines accumulate in nooks and crannies. Eventually.a spark finds it.

It might be its not so much about profit under normal conditions.

It might be more about the potential. The only thing that might cost more than people getting killed or injured is the hellfire and brimstone that agencies like OSHA,EPA.and I don't even know what else rain down.

It takes a lot of Buckskinner Squirrel Rifle Shoots to sell enough BP to pay a 20 million dollar fine.

Risk management might suggest "Quit while you are ahead"
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Old September 28, 2021, 07:35 PM   #6
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HiBC
They may have had an accident earlier this year requiring evac of employees for a day or two. Perhaps you are right, time to get out before it gets really expensive in lives and dollars.
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Old September 28, 2021, 08:52 PM   #7
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If they are getting out, too bad they can't sell the operation.
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Old September 28, 2021, 09:08 PM   #8
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Sigh... I guess it’s getting about time to order that saltpeter and sulphur stash I contemplated a couple years ago. Olde E was a really good powder for the price too. My Uberti NMA repro loves the stuff, and I can launch a 140 gn ball to 1100+ FPS with it. Fairly accurately too. The semi-decent availability of good BP has been the one thing that has kept me from stressing too much over the ammo crunch.
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Old September 28, 2021, 10:01 PM   #9
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I believe the operation is for sale.
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Old September 29, 2021, 04:24 PM   #10
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FWIW: On another website, it was posted that the U.S. Gov't is the largest consumer of black powder, as it's used as primer material in artillery ammo. Also, it was stated that the purchasing stipulations require that the black powder needed for that ammo be domestically produced (made here in the USA, I guess). Civilian shooter needs are but a small piece of the black powder sales after military considerations. Hopefully it might be possible that b.p. will be produced here again at some point down the trail. It was also predicted that a foreign supplier would pick up production to feed the demand; I would imagine that Scheutzen and Swiss powders will still be available. Again, just passing along a comment from another site regarding the GOEX/Hodgdon black powder concern.

www.schuetzenpowder.com (Hopefully we'll still have this powder available)
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Old September 29, 2021, 04:42 PM   #11
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Glad I picked up an extra can of 2f and 4f a few months ago in the slow season. I might touch off 5 shots a year, 10 if the dang elusive deer are everywhere to be seen. Still scares me that GOEX might be going away, even if it is a temporary shutdown.

My flintlocks LOVE the GOEX stuff. Might have to go find some more and stock up a little bit before this comes to pass. Heaven forbid it all goes away.
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Old September 29, 2021, 07:43 PM   #12
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I read somewhere the US Army uses about 1 million pounds of black powder per year. The military has a great deal of influence on DOD related business. I am sure there will be much further discussions on closing the plant.
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Old October 4, 2021, 12:39 AM   #13
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I honestly had no idea the US military still used black powder for anything. Interesting. Since the GOEX facility will be up for sale, here's hoping someone with a brain buys it, refurbishes it and opens up again.
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Old October 4, 2021, 07:32 AM   #14
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I recently watched a you tube video on the firing of naval guns. The turrets and magazines and elevators,etc.

Its not brass cased fixed ammo. The projectile is loaded, then "bags" (for lack of a better term) of propellant are loaded behind the projectile. The last thing loaded into the chamber is where the black powder comes in. Its a smaller bag of Black Powder used as an ignition charge to get everything else lit up.

FWIW, BP often gives remarkably uniform velocities through a chronograph.
A uniform ignition might be a good thing when you are shooting 20 miles.
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Old October 4, 2021, 09:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiBC View Post
I recently watched a you tube video on the firing of naval guns. The turrets and magazines and elevators,etc.

Its not brass cased fixed ammo. The projectile is loaded, then "bags" (for lack of a better term) of propellant are loaded behind the projectile. The last thing loaded into the chamber is where the black powder comes in. Its a smaller bag of Black Powder used as an ignition charge to get everything else lit up.

FWIW, BP often gives remarkably uniform velocities through a chronograph.
A uniform ignition might be a good thing when you are shooting 20 miles.
Those 20 mile shots are made with precision, too.

They consistently hit a building at 20 miles. So, a 100' target at 20 miles. Equivalent to a 5' target at 1 mile (1760 yards). Equivalent to 12" target at 400 yards.
3" 100 yard groups. .30-30 accuracy at 20 miles. Pretty dang good, but from what I have read; it's not a 100' building, more like a 30' house; compares to 1" or less precision. A bit more impressive
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Old October 4, 2021, 05:22 PM   #16
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Well THAT stinks. KIK is gone right now too. I don't know who made it. I guess I'll have to spring for the Swiss and see what all the fuss is about. I never bought the high end stuff as The deer didn't know the difference. But now I guess I have no other choice.
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Old October 4, 2021, 07:38 PM   #17
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That Goex plant has experienced seven explosions/fires since 1997 when it became operational.

TIMELINE
June 2011: About 1,000 pounds of black powder explode in the
Goex corning mill plant. One worker is slightly injured when he
slips and falls during the evacuation. Temporary evacuations are
ordered in the immediate vicinity.

July 15, 2006: A fire and a "small explosion" cause no injuries at
the Goex black powder facility.

Nov. 3, 2004: Goex explosion; no injuries.

Oct. 31, 2001: An explosion at Goex injures two employees and
causes $2.5 million in damage.

Jan. 25, 2000: A flash fire and explosion at Goex burn one
employee.

Nov. 5, 1998: A worker dies in an explosion at Goex.

The 2011 explosion in the corning mill building was caused by a piece of quartz. In the accident report it was noted that floor sweepings should not be thrown into the batch.

Last edited by thallub; October 4, 2021 at 07:53 PM.
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Old October 4, 2021, 10:49 PM   #18
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I suppose we can all learn to make our own black powder, the fireworks company Skyligher has the stuff.
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Old October 5, 2021, 12:44 AM   #19
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options?

With no Goex, what are the remaining options? BP, real BP, is hard enough to find over the counter at present anyhow!
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Old October 5, 2021, 05:10 AM   #20
armoredman
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HiBC....we haven't used that type of ammo in naval vessels in a very long time. The 16" 50sd are long retired. 5"54 and 3"50 are fixed rounds, not semi fixed, giant rifle shells. We also never ever used black powder, not since we developed smokeless powder. The only serving US naval vessel with black powder guns is the USS Constitution. The silk bags of propellant in the 16"50s are actually smokeless powder. BIG smokeless, but definitely not black.
Former US Navy Gunners Mate, Guns, BTW.
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Old October 5, 2021, 07:49 AM   #21
Deltadart
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Good video on black powder history
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yjepTZ-lH4
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Old October 5, 2021, 07:49 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by bamaranger View Post
With no Goex, what are the remaining options? BP, real BP, is hard enough to find over the counter at present anyhow!
Wano/Shuetzen and Swiss for real BP. Pyrodex and T7 wont be affected.
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Old October 5, 2021, 08:14 AM   #23
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Who sources Graf's BP?
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Old October 5, 2021, 08:40 AM   #24
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From the Heads of Hodgdon:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHLS3dwxr4o&t=268s
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Old October 5, 2021, 12:22 PM   #25
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FWIW, and no more than that:

"WE ALSO NEVER, EVER USED BLACK POWDER SINCE WE DEVELOPED SMOKLESS POWDER. THE ONLY SERVING NAVAL VESSEL WITH BLACK POWDER GUNS IS THE USS CONSTITUTION..."

For the main propellent charge, no doubt there... but here's a question about IGNITER powder on the old Iowa Class battleships with the 16" guns:

QUESTION: "On the big guns (i.e. 16") on battleships, what IGNITED (caps mine) the powder?"

ANSWER: From Geoff Smith, MSc FIMF Scientist, Ordnance Society. Gunpowder researcher:

"The big guns used bagged charges. Often several bags were used to make the weight manageable. The bags were filled with modern nitro propellants BUT nitro powders are difficult to ignite so at the base of each charge was a small charge of gunpowder. That is the red bag (my comment here: a photo shows three bags, white with red ends, about to be loaded into the breech of a 16" gun, and each bag looks about the size of a 25 lb. round metal can of 2fg GOEX that I have had for many years. Alas, empty now!). The whole charge was fired by a primer tube in the breech block, again containing gunpowder (aka Black Powder) and that was fired electrically by a fine platinum wire and a small tuft of guncotton."

A few years back, my wife and I got to tour "Old Ironsides" there in Boston Harbor. Before we got to board, we watched from the bridge (the one the Freedom Trail led us to cross) as it was being towed by tugs to port. And the old ship had just fired off a few salutes as it made its way to the docks! So freeking cool! Geeze, but those reports were unbelievably LOUD! I've never heard cannon fire over water before, but I can't begin to imagine what a fully engaged naval battle must've sounded like back in those times. Old Ironsides is kept spotlessly, sparklingly clean; our oldest, still commissioned Navy ship and our fine, national treasure.
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