Black Powder Measuring?

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  • Last Post 16 December 2019
Brodie posted this 14 December 2019

Gentlemen,

I would appreciate your opinions concerning The measuring of Black Powder with a measure made of cast iron or steel, and the rotor being made of steel.  Will this combination produce enough static electricity to ignite the black powder?  Will grounding the measure to an electrical outlet solve all the problems of static electricity?  Am I just being a cheapskate trying to avoid the cost of a BP measure?

Thank you in advance for your kind participation.

 

B.E.Brickey

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BudHyett posted this 15 December 2019

Vintage Ideal #5 powder measure rotors are solid brass. Any measure part that touches the black powder is brass. The brass prevents sparks which will ignite the black powder. A spark within the measure is the primary safety consideration. The brass also offers a pathway for the static charge to move away into the iron body. Note: This measure is a challenge to use because the black powder residue will corrode the brass rotor; you must tear it down and wipe all parts clean after use.

The question is the safe static discharge when using a measure by grounding the measure. The buildup of a charge is possible even with two similar metals. A person can load for years without a problem, but why chance the possibility. Given that, I still wire the Ideal #5 measure to a ground to pull the static electricity.

Some people will play Russian Roulette with a sub-machine gun because they love taking chances, not me. Wiring the measure to a ground only takes a little longer.

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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R. Dupraz posted this 15 December 2019

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/sparks/sparks.html

 

R

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Ross Smith posted this 15 December 2019

I've been led to believe that all metal measuring devices is desirable and plastic is to be avoided. I also read that experiments have shown that static sparks won't ignite BP or smokeless. After all how many tons of BP has been stored in cow horns. I bet if you rubbed a cat on a horn flask you'd get some static. The only time I notice static in my measures is when they have a plastic hopper. It screws up dispensing but I've never seen a spark.

ps. If you're worried ,I'd sell one of my Belding and Mull measures.

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JeffinNZ posted this 15 December 2019

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/sparks/sparks.html

R

 

That's the article I recall.  Pretty definitive.  Let's not forget also that BP ships in plastic.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Tom Acheson posted this 15 December 2019

I have a Lyman BP measure. Same thing as above, the brass innards must be cleaned after use.

 

Tom

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Redleged posted this 15 December 2019

 Hi. If you're still worried and want brass, you can always buy a Lee Deluxe Perfect Powder Measure that has a brass drum and is significantly less expensive than others. I've used the RCBS, Ohaus, and Lee drop type measures with no problems as well as the RCBS Charge Master Lite when developing loads (both smokeless and BP.) I think the manufacturer's warnings against using these with BP are more at the insistence of the lawyers than fact based. As Jeff pointed out, they now ship BP in plastic, so the spark risk must be minimal, if non-existent.

Ed

Growing old is mandatory, growing up, however, is totally optional!

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Ross Smith posted this 15 December 2019

Please correct me if wrong-----The experiment showed electrical spark traveled over powder granules and not thru them ,hence no ignition. Sparks from a flintlock are actually burning pieces of metal and very hot, hence ignition. Over simplified but accurate.

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Brodie posted this 16 December 2019

 Ross, I am of the opinion that you are exactly right.

Thank you all for your contributions, they are greatly appreciated as always.

B.E.Brickey

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 16 December 2019

i think the photons flowed through the high carbon black powder, but over the plastic, non-conducting smokeless.

i wonder if he had vaporized a small wire in the packed powder, it would have ignited ... brisance comes to mind ...

i used to wind a thin copper wire around a smokess powder bomb and then connect it across the two wires in a long 110 volt cord ... always went off ...  such fun for a farm boy... then there was the time ...

ken

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Ross Smith posted this 16 December 2019

Yes Ken. But you are introducing heat to the equation. The static in a powder measure will not set off the powder, black or smokeless. 

I'm looking forward to the results of the smokeless-black shoot off for barrel heating. 

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R. Dupraz posted this 16 December 2019

We are faced with risk in most everything that we do every day of our lives. In the end each has to decide for themselves what level of risk they are willing to accept. 

 

R

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M3 Mitch posted this 16 December 2019

A set of Lee plastic dippers is looking better and better to me as a way to measure BP.  I do see in Lyman's catalog that they still make a measure specifically intended for BP, probably it is as good as anything you can get.

For me, BP is just too damn messy and dirty to be worth fooling with.  That's just my opinion of course. 

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R. Dupraz posted this 16 December 2019

Aw come on Mitch! That's half the fun.

. The other half is the boom, smelling the smoke and listening to that 550 grn missile chug it's way through the air as it arcs it's way toward the 1000 yard Buffalo. And then there is the satisfying CLANG of a hit as it smacks the steel.

And after the shoulder recovers, you get to do it all again. No extra charge. At least that's how it's supposed to work. 

Best part is that that you can miss as many times as you want and that ugly critter never moves an inch.

Gotta go check my lead supply.

 

R. . 

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