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Don't use unknown propellant unless you've had an expert look at it and or test it in person. The stuff you have looks like it has at least some gray, circular flakes in it which means to me smokeless shotgun powder. You don't want any of that in your cannon. Anyone who reloads ammo would label a can "black powder" if that's all that was in it. Since he labeled it "powder" it is likely he dumped any and all kinds of unneeded or salvaged powder into that can, which again I would consider unusable and dangerous.
 

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I'm with Cannonmn on this one Skip, if the powder in that can is an unknown, you have one logical step to take; get rid of it!
 

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I'd have to agree with the others. Also, the hazmat fee isn't too bad if you order a decent amount of powder, though I don't know how much you plan on shooting. You may want to try to find other blackpowder shooters in your area to go in on an order.
 

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It AIN'T BLACK POWDER as in cannon fodder. If for shotshell loading it likely is Unique.

BUT you absolutely CANNOT identify powders once out of their factory cannister.

You most definitely CANNOT safely use it in your cannon and since it is not identifiable it is good for one and ONLY ONE thing and that is fertilizer. Toss it into your lawn or garden and use it for that purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all. I will dump it per Graybeard's post. I will not be using the cannon very often, only for holiday salutes. For that reason I would order only the smallest amount, I guess 1lb? That usually means I'll have to pay $50 plus for that amount. I'll keep looking. Thanks again guys.
 

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skip77 said:
Thank you all. I will dump it per Graybeard's post. I will not be using the cannon very often, only for holiday salutes. For that reason I would order only the smallest amount, I guess 1lb? That usually means I'll have to pay $50 plus for that amount. I'll keep looking. Thanks again guys.
You have been given most excellent advice from all of the above.

For $101.75 you can have 5 lbs. of GOEX 1Fg (or whatever Fg size you want) delivered to your door from a well known supplier. Not sure if I am allowed to give the name of a company on this forum, but this is the smallest quantity he will ship. Comes out to $20.35/lb. You may not be able to use this much powder, but it sure beats paying $50 for only one lb.!

Nice piece by the way~ Anthony
 

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While I don't think you should use this powder in any gun, don't just toss it.  If you ever have any large rocks to break, you can drill a hole in the rock, fill it half full of this powder, stick in a fuse and close the hole with quikrete.  After the quikrete has set, light the fuse and the rock will be reduced to smaller pieces.

;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
too late - it's already scattered on the lawn out back and totally soaked in heavy rain. for reply about ordering 20lbs or something like that - i'm not really wanting to keep that much BP around my home. at the rate i will use the powder probably half a pound will last the rest of my life. thanks for comments.
 

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scattered on the lawn
Smart man, glad you asked, so many others just go do stuff without the proper knowledge and wind up missing fingers, eyes, or worse.

What they realize too late is that explosives and firearms are among the most unforgiving things you can ever expect to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks cannonm - sounds like wisdom for sure. i'll get some ffg powder sooner or later and put on a show for everyone here. i'm sure the forum will get a kick out of whatever antics follow but i intend to be "smarter than the chair" as is an expression down here (long story) and hope for good results. more later and thanks again.
 

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GGaskill said:
While I don't think you should use this powder in any gun, don't just toss it. If you ever have any large rocks to break, you can drill a hole in the rock, fill it half full of this powder, stick in a fuse and close the hole with quikrete. After the quikrete has set, light the fuse and the rock will be reduced to smaller pieces.
;D
Smokeless powder burns it does not explode. There is no reason to assume what you suggest would work with this powder as it would with real BP. It is actually not an explosive at all but rather a progressive burning flamable.
 

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I believe George is correct . It would crack the rock ,pretty well too ,I could be wrong as allways ;D
I base this belief on 'something similar' that I saw some moroon ::) do years ago .

I happen to know exaclty how this fool did it some 25 years ago . It was very similar to what George suggested .

I 'believe' he used Unique .

ETA In the case I saw the fool put the smokeless powder a small balloon to insure it was not spoiled by the quickrete . it had a cocktail straw to insulate the fuse .
 

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skip77 said:
too late - it's already scattered on the lawn out back and totally soaked in heavy rain. for reply about ordering 20lbs or something like that - i'm not really wanting to keep that much BP around my home. at the rate i will use the powder probably half a pound will last the rest of my life. thanks for comments.
No one suggested you order 20lb, but [email protected]$20/lb. While I understand the reluctance to order more powder than you think you'll use, which is why I originally suggested finding other blackpowder shooters to split the order, keep in mind that this hobby is addicting. My guess is that once you fire that little Brooks gun for the first time, you'll be needing more than 1/2 lb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
gulfcoast - sorry i meant to say 5lbs. i understand your points and thanks for thinking this over for me. i do not expect to become involved or addicted to shooting the cannon as you and others have suggested in other strings previously. i see that it certainly could be that way, since it is the case for most in the forum. if i didn't have other long-term hobbies it would probably get me as you has proposed. however, almost all my free time is used for fishing and tennis - these are my main hobbies. i really bought the cannon for holiday salutes and since there is no place nearby where I can fire the cannon for fun, i probably will not be jumping on it big. i will get some powder and learn how to fire and clean the cannon and then i will use it probably a couple times each year. i might make the cannon available to local high school if they would like me to start a tradition firing at touchdowns. from lessons learned in other threads here i would insist on my own area to set up and work in that case, where no visitors could intrude for safety purposes.
 

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Regarding the use of smokeless powder for cracking rocks, I suggested this because I have seen it done and it does work. The powder doesn't explode but creates a large volume of high pressure gas which cracks the rock in question but does not send pieces flying. It makes it easier to remove the rock because it is in smaller pieces.

The balloon would be an improvement in technique.
 

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skip77 said:
gulfcoast - sorry i meant to say 5lbs. i understand your points and thanks for thinking this over for me. i do not expect to become involved or addicted to shooting the cannon as you and others have suggested in other strings previously. i see that it certainly could be that way, since it is the case for most in the forum. if i didn't have other long-term hobbies it would probably get me as you has proposed. however, almost all my free time is used for fishing and tennis - these are my main hobbies. i really bought the cannon for holiday salutes and since there is no place nearby where I can fire the cannon for fun, i probably will not be jumping on it big. i will get some powder and learn how to fire and clean the cannon and then i will use it probably a couple times each year. i might make the cannon available to local high school if they would like me to start a tradition firing at touchdowns. from lessons learned in other threads here i would insist on my own area to set up and work in that case, where no visitors could intrude for safety purposes.
I would strongly advise against using your cannon at high schools or other public events until you have accumulated a considerable amount of artillery experience. Too many things can go wrong and the liability is huge! I do not mean any disrespect, but if you are in fact a "hobby" artillerist with little to no practical first hand experience this is not the venue for you to fire your piece. It takes serious discipline and concentration to fire a cannon with distractions such as a football game. Rushing to get a shot off or making one minor mistake could cost big time...

Anthony Variz
 

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To add to what I wrote earlier, I have been shooting and reloading my own small arms ammunition for 33 years, and have been shooting full sized artillery pieces for 10+ years. On the artillery side, we average 800 to 1,000 blank loads a year ranging in size from 7 ounces to 1 lb. plus depending on the cannon, and field two to three cannons per event from my Battery. We also shoot approximately 40 to 60 live rounds each year, and I am talking 10 lb. bolts, 12 lb. shot, canister, etc., some very serious hardware.

After all that experience, I only started shooting at school games last year and only when I have plenty of experienced help by my side, people with equal to or more time on the guns than I have. Yes, I may be overly careful, but I am one who does not believe in cannon accidents. In today's world when cannons do not do what they are supposed to do I call it negligence...

This may help to put my last comment in perspective.

Thanks~ Anthony
 

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Amen, Brother! The fewer accidents, the better!
 

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When I first saw this and watched the video my initial reaction was OHMYGAWD! But most excellent good advice was given - and followed.

Skip, good job on asking. Too many people are too proud to ask. And then we read about them in the paper.

You might want to find a reenacting unit in your area, explain what you want to do, and see if you can piggyback one pound of powder on one of their orders. I'd almost bet that if you only need half a pound, someone might just give you one or two of their blanks that you can then break down into whatever size charges you want. And may put you in touch with someone local that can take you and give you some training.

Did I understand that the bore on your gun is one inch?
 
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