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Thread: Real Black Powder in Juneau, AK

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Default Real Black Powder in Juneau, AK

    Does anyone know if there is a place to buy real black powder (not Pyrodex) in Juneau? I didn't spot any obvious answers during a quick online search and figured I would ask the more knowledgeable folks on here.

    I'm heading down there around Thanksgiving for our annual family deer hunt and was toying with the idea of taking my flintlock. The problem is I live in Anchorage and I don't believe TSA/Alaska Airlines would think too kindly of me putting any premeasured charges in my checked bag for the flight down.

    Thanks,
    -Steven

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    Might try Rayco Sales. They've got a lot of stuff in there if you can find someone willing to go look for it.

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    I gave Rayco Sales a call, no luck. The gentleman I spoke to said he didn't believe there was anyone in Juneau who sold it. That was my fear. Looks like I'll need to take a couple pounds down to leave at the cabin the next time I drive down there!

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I don't think black powder is allowed on any AMHS vessels (?).
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    I don't recall the details, but there is a procedure. Memory sezz there's a hazmat locker on the ferries, and a certain amount of BP can be declared and placed in there.

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I don't recall the details, but there is a procedure. Memory sezz there's a hazmat locker on the ferries, and a certain amount of BP can be declared and placed in there.
    If/When the time comes that I'm taking a drive down to Juneau I'll investigate further, but according to this publication from AMHS it doesn't look like you can take BP on the ferry. http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/doc/...mat_public.pdf

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Have you ever tried making your own blackpowder?
    I've only made it for rockets but it is very easy to do.
    Make some good charcoal .
    Get some good potassium nitrate. Ball mill both with some sulfur.
    75/15/10 Potassium nitrate,charcoal,sulfur.
    Wet it and granulate it through a screen to get the size you want. Then dry it.
    A rock tumbler with some hard .50cal lead balls makes a decent ball mill.
    I don't know how hard it is to get a good consistent product for rifles but in general BP isn't hard to make.
    The chemicals should be available locally to you or are easy to acquire online.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Have you ever tried making your own blackpowder? ....is very easy to do.
    Exactly! It's one of my 8th Grade science class lessons which I remember distinctly. You can buy all the ingredients online and have them mailed anywhere... If I was a muzzle stuffer shooter I think I'd be inclined to make my own just for the fun of it.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
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    Did you try getting ahold of the Alaska State Muzzleloaders Association? I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone in Juneau was shooting a flintlock or two and they might know how to get ahold of them. Making powder sounds interesting (I don't think I'm allowed to try that in our house) but might be too much of a project to take on over a Thanksgiving break.
    Louis Knapp

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Exactly! It's one of my 8th Grade science class lessons which I remember distinctly. You can buy all the ingredients online and have them mailed anywhere... If I was a muzzle stuffer shooter I think I'd be inclined to make my own just for the fun of it.
    It actually is quite bit of fun.
    Of course you can't do this in an apartment but most people should have someplace where they can mill their Black Powder outside for the 24 hours or so it takes.
    Initial investment to make 10 pounds or so will likely be in the $150-$200 range but then you have the scale,Ball mill,lead milling media,screens,and paint can(for making charcoal) that are reusable.
    You would only need to buy more KN03 and Sulfur and make some more charcoal.
    This should all fit in one smallish plastic storage tote.
    Plenty of good videos on the web on making your own black powder.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member Steven_JR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Did you try getting ahold of the Alaska State Muzzleloaders Association? I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone in Juneau was shooting a flintlock or two and they might know how to get ahold of them. Making powder sounds interesting (I don't think I'm allowed to try that in our house) but might be too much of a project to take on over a Thanksgiving break.
    Thanks for the tip, I'll get a hold of them and see if they know anyone.

    Making BP sounds like it could be a fun/interesting experience, but probably not worth it for me due to the little I actually shoot. Plus, my wife would say I already have too many hobbies!

  12. #12
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    It actually is quite bit of fun.
    Of course you can't do this in an apartment but most people should have someplace where they can mill their Black Powder outside for the 24 hours or so it takes.
    Initial investment to make 10 pounds or so will likely be in the $150-$200 range but then you have the scale,Ball mill,lead milling media,screens,and paint can(for making charcoal) that are reusable.
    You would only need to buy more KN03 and Sulfur and make some more charcoal.
    This should all fit in one smallish plastic storage tote.
    Plenty of good videos on the web on making your own black powder.
    Fun, yes! Fond memories of small cannon/mortar fire in the school yard. Became quite proficient at producing pretty high quality powder. Dabbled with other oxidizers as supplements/replacements to KNO3, and experimented with several different processes for combining ingredients too, tho never utilized a ball milling process. Got really good at making very reliable fuse too. Never perfected shaped charges tho; my "firecrackers" usually became missiles, and my "bottle rockets" usually exploded! Fun times! I suppose they don't let you do that sort of stuff in Junior High School science classes anymore (?).

    Am unfamiliar with the ball milling process. What's gained by it (as opposed to using a simple mortar/pestle or a wet cooking process)? And why go to the trouble of making charcoal; why not just purchase a jug of lab grade carbon (as long as we're already similarly purchasing the other two ingredients)?
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    You can order it from down south but you have to order it in case lots and it has to be stamped "For small arms only". There is a hazmat fee too. Jim

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Am unfamiliar with the ball milling process. What's gained by it (as opposed to using a simple mortar/pestle or a wet cooking process)? And why go to the trouble of making charcoal; why not just purchase a jug of lab grade carbon (as long as we're already similarly purchasing the other two ingredients)?
    Ball milling not only mixes the chemicals together but it smashes them together so you get a better slightly hotter powder as everything is more integrated.
    Charcoal is so easy to make and since the goal is a homemade product why not make your own? That way I have made as much of the BP as I can (within reason as the other two are much harder to make).
    I make mine using my wife's backyard fire pit and a paint can from home depot with a hole in the top.
    Fill it with small kindling size pieces of wood,seal the can lid and let it cook on the fire.
    Kind of cool to see the wood gasses shooting out and catching fire while the charcoal cooks.
    The other Chemicals are much harder to make so it really isn't worth it to make those.
    Charcoal is also bulky for shipping purposes. Cost is around $18 a pound with shipping.
    I can make more than a pound in a couple of hours with wood from the woodpile and reuse the paint can many times.
    Willow is one of the best Charcoals and we have that in Alaska.
    I have been using spruce for my rocket charcoal as I have plenty of it and it works pretty good.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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