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Gunpowder, also known as black powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate (saltpeter). The sulfur and charcoal act as fuels, and the saltpeter is an oxidizer. Because of its burning properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been widely used as a propellant in firearms and as a pyrotechnic composition in fireworks. Formulations used in blasting rock (such as in quarrying) are called blasting powder. Gunpowder is mainly used in older guns now because the propellants used today are too powerful and could break the already fragile barrels.
Gunpowder is assigned the UN number UN0027 and has a hazard class of 1.1D. It has a flash point of approximately 427–464 °C (801–867 °F). The specific flash point may vary based on the specific composition of the gunpowder. Gunpowder's specific gravity is 1.70–1.82 (mercury method) or 1.92–2.08 (pycnometer), and it has a pH of 6.0–8.0. It is also considered to be an insoluble material.
Gunpowder was, according to prevailing academic consensus, invented in the 9th century in China, and the earliest record of a written formula for gunpowder appears in the 11th century Song dynasty text, Wujing Zongyao. This discovery led to the invention of fireworks and the earliest gunpowder weapons in China. In the centuries following the Chinese discovery, gunpowder weapons began appearing in the Muslim world, Europe, and India. The technology spread from China through the Middle East or Central Asia, and then into Europe. The earliest Western accounts of gunpowder appear in texts written by English philosopher Roger Bacon in the 13th century.
Gunpowder is classified as a low explosive because of its relatively slow decomposition rate and consequently low brisance. Low explosives deflagrate (i.e., burn) at subsonic speeds, whereas high explosives detonate, producing a supersonic wave. Gunpowder's burning rate increases with pressure, so it will burst containers but just burns in the open. Ignition of the powder packed behind a bullet must generate enough pressure to force it from the muzzle at high speed, but not enough to rupture the gun barrel. Gunpowder thus makes a good propellant, but is less suitable for shattering rock or fortifications. Gunpowder was widely used to fill artillery shells and in mining and civil engineering to blast rock roughly until the second half of the 19th century, when the first high explosives (nitro-explosives) were devised and formulated. Gunpowder is no longer used in modern explosive military warheads, nor is it used as main explosive in mining operations due to its cost relative to that of newer alternatives such as ammonium nitrate/fuel oil (ANFO). Black powder is still used as a delay element in various munitions where its slow-burning properties are valuable.
2 @ 4lb jugs of that magical fairy dust Vihta Vuori N320. Sealed, February 2021 manufacture date. Purchased from Bobcat Armament in September. Bought too much, just selling for what I paid. $240 each or $440 for both. Cash only, no trades, no shipping, meet in Tigard near Oregon Rifleworks
I have a few pounds of Accurate No. 2 to sell to pay for some other expenses. Asking $40 per pound. I will remove the ad when all of it is gone.
In NE Salem. Please message or call for details or to schedule pickup. No trades, thank you.
Got a couple 8# sealed jugs of Varget. Always stored indoors, climate controlled.
Looking to trade for CCI small pistol primers, or match grade small rifle primers.
Ratio would depend on primers and primer type.
Thanks for looking!
I thought my fellow reloaders might be amused by this.
I had just poured some HP-38 gunpowder into my powder measure in preparation for loading up some 357 Mag cartridges when I noticed some odd pieces of gunpowder sticking up inside the dispenser. On closer inspection, I found this was not...
I have 2 lots of gunpowder for sale...at the moment I am looking to sell as 2 lots.
Only trades are good, high quality optics or handguns....safe won't hold any more rifles:
Lot 1: 17 lb containers...some are open, but not used. some are sealed. Some are 1/2 full.
probably 15 lbs...
I've been doing some reading on spearguns lately. Most of them out there now appear to be powered by rubberband or pneumatic system. I did, however, find that there were some produced in decades past that were powered by what appears to be a blank cartridge.
Out of curiosity:
How common was...
Grow your own Gunpowder™ - might be Illegalized even before it's introduced in the US - The Firearm Blog
During a raid in a warehouse in the small town of Strauch in The Netherlands, the Police found evidence of what they considered being the illegal manufacturing of ammunition.
It looks like the floodgates are breaking loose on gunpowder availability. Wideners has a sale, haven't seen some of these prices in a while: Alliant Powder for Sale at Widener's
I don't use enough to justify making a powder order. I'd need to order more than I'd use to justify shipping and...