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Old October 5, 2021, 03:09 PM   #26
Deltadart
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During part of my Air Force munitions career, I was a technition on the AIR2A air to air rocket. This was an air launched, unguided, nuclear warhead rocket for destroying enemy bombers. The 800 pound rocket engine had an igniter that was about the size of the cardboard tube in a paper towel roll. This contained a 2 pound mixture of black powder compound. After seeing one of those test fired, we were all much more careful with inspection and testing of the igniter. Also the Air Force uses a boatload of very small practice bombs called a BDU 33. These have the same trajectory as a standard 500 pound Mk 82 bomb. The 33s use a tube that looks like a 10 inch long 12ga. shell filled with black powder. This is to make scoring much easier on the range.
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Old October 6, 2021, 01:35 AM   #27
armoredman
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reinert, if you're going to quite me, please do it right - I wasn't yelling. Second, I am right - we haven't used black powder in naval rifles since we invented smokeless powder. Primers are not the same as propellant. And I was also right that nobody in the US Navy purchases black powder for any naval round in over 70 years as the 16"50 shells we fired in the reactivated battlewagons were all WWII stock. Also, the steel sharks were retired completely and utterly. I do not know for a fact, but I believe our remaining stock of 16"50 munitions were destroyed. All remaining rounds for any gun on a naval vessel today, with the notable exception of the incredible USS Constitution, are fixed ammo, even the Zumwalt class. So to say the US Navy will be in trouble for GOEX shutting down its plant now is rather ridiculous. I moved ammunition in every caliber the US Navy and others used during my time, and not one of them was black powder - I served on an ammunition ship as a Gunners Mate, so I hazard a guess I would know, at least during that time period of the mid to late 80s.
I can believe black would be used for training air dropped munitions, you are very right, Deltadart, it IS a nice noticeable smoke cloud. It beats the heck out of the flour sacks we used in the interwar years.
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Old October 6, 2021, 08:14 AM   #28
reinert
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My apologies armoredman. I never meant you were yelling; truly sorry about that. I need to learn how to quote another's post properly; I don't do that very often, and again, my bad. And I never meant to insinuate that black powder was used as the propellant in those big battleship guns. It was all about black powder being used as a primer source for those guns, and that our military still uses yearly contracted black powder (however Uncle Sam uses it), which info I got from another firearms website.

I guess the bottom line here on this whole thread is the concern of the muzzleloading/B.P.C.R. fraternity losing our great, American made source of traditional propellant. I hope it isn't lost permanently, and since it seems our military still has use for it, maybe some company will take it over and keep up the manufacture of GOEX and the popular Olde Eynsford. It just won't be a Hodgdon product anymore, so it seems.

And a sincere thanks to you armoredman, for your service.
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Old October 6, 2021, 08:16 AM   #29
HiBC
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I'm not a Veteran of any branch,and I;ve never been on a Navy vessel.
Which means I'm not going to argue with a Navy Gunners Mate.

You tube is no an ultimate source of accurate information. I know that.

I'm just offering this to clarify where my post came from. FWIW,this is not the video I originally watched. Its another one that explains how black powder as used to ignite the nitrocellulose charge.

You,as Gunners Mate may prove it wrong,but at least you will know I was not just "blowing smoke"

You can save some time going to about 4:00.

He describes the primer round,which imo,looks suspciously like a 45-70 brass(no doubt different) The narrator says it can be fired by electrical charge or percussion. then he says "Its not enough to light up the nitrocellulose"

The ends of the canvas powder charge canvas bags have a red silk quilt sewn in place, That red silk quilt contains a black powder charge,according to this vid.

In the previous vid I watched regarding a different ship they loaded the white canvas bags about 3 feet long of nitrocellulose,then before closing the breech they added another bag they said was Black Powder for ignition IIRC.it was also red and maybe a foot long. I got tired of looking for that clip. This one will do.

https://youtu.be/mFAjPdkInds
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Old October 6, 2021, 09:28 AM   #30
Deltadart
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It is my understanding the U.S. Army and Marines use black powder as an ignition charge for fixed ammunition for artillery. Very similiar to the igniter I mentioned for the AIR2A rocket motor. It is a tube that has BP in it extening from the "primer" up the case of the shell. This causes the the powder charge to ignite at once to achieve maximum velocity for the round.
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Old October 6, 2021, 11:32 AM   #31
HiBC
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A significant difference between BP and Nitrocellulose is Nitrocellulose is a progressive burning propellant and BP is a low velocity explosive.

I have no problem lighting a half full tuna can of unconfined smokeless powder.

It will make a spectacular column of fire,that will last a few seconds.

I learned at a young age you do not want to do that with even a tablespoon of black powder. I really do not enjoy the smell of my own flash burned skin.
BP goes "Whoof" Nothing slow about it.
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