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Thread: Gun Powder Flash

  1. #41

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    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    Powdered aluminum is also the major ingredient in thermite.

    Flour is one of the standard explosives used by special ops folks.

    - Leigh

  2. #42

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    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    You're right. I mixed my metaphors, so to speak. Goex (a brand of black powder) is a synthetic substance that is classified as "smokeless" but it is not true smokeless powder.

    Secondarily, shorthand gets me again. When talking of the fineness or grade of powder, we often refer to "FFFF" or "4-F" but often leave out the fact that they are actaully "FFFFg", the "g" standing for "graphite." That means that some graphite has been mixed with the ingredients as the cake is being made, before grinding, so as to make it flow better and to prevent accidental ignition from static electricity and stuff like that.

    Yes, black powder is not a toy and should not be taken lightly. Yes, you can really do damage if you're not careful. Yes, you can start accidental fires, end up in the hospital or get yourself or somebody else killed. However, I'll say three things:

    1) We're all adults here and, as such, we should all be able to weigh the risks of the things we want to do and, if we believe they are dangerous, we shouldn't do them or else get help from somebody who knows what they are doing.

    2) As photographers, we should all have some idea about handling dangerous or potentially dangerous substances. We work up to our elbows in chemicals.
    (All the while wearing rubber gloves, aprons, face shields and respirators, no doubt!)

    3) I've been working with Goex black powder since I've been old enough to go hunting. I don't think it's nearly as dangerous as some people think it is. Too many people believe what they see in those Wile E. Coyote cartoons. Somebody who understands the risks, understands how the stuff behaves and is willing to work carefully, should have no trouble at all. I've been using black powder and magnesium to make stage effects since eighth grade. I don't do it often but, when I do, I always take my job seriously.

    By the way, I still think binary flash powder would be safer and work better.
    "Goex" is not a synthetic black powder. It is real black powder. The grades, 1F and etcetera, do not have anything to do with how much graphite has been added. The grading is based on granule size, nothing more.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  3. #43

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    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post

    Just to tweak you off, I took a teaspoon full of Goex black powder outdoors and touched it off with a lit cigarette. It did not explode and I'm still in one piece.
    (Oh, my God! He smoked a CIGARETTE!)



    When my father taught me how to load a muzzle loading rifle, he did it with a lit cigarette in his mouth. I kid you not! He died of cirrhosis.
    Please, stop trying to give advice. You don't know what you are talking about, not even close.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  4. #44

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    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    okay okay.

    here is a video!

    My YouTube Channel has many interesting videos on Soft Focus Lenses and Wood Cameras. Check it out.

    My YouTube videos
    oldstyleportraits.com
    photo.net gallery

  5. #45

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    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by eddie View Post
    okay okay.

    here is a video!

    Blinding. (sarcastic smiley)
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  6. #46

    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    If you use modern smokeless powder it will not burn fast enough or consistently enough to use as flash powder. That was established in the second post to this message thread and it was not me who said that.

    The video uses smokeless powder but the question at-hand is about black powder. Since we have already established that smokeless powder behaves differently from black powder, the video proves nothing.

    Read the grade on the label of a can of Goex. It says, for instance, "FFFg." The F's refer to the grade, specifying the grain size which, in turn, tells you how fast the powder will burn. The more F's the finer the grade and the faster the burn. However, the "g" at the end of the grade stands for "graphite." That means that the powder has been mixed with graphite. Graphite does at least two things. It prevents caking, improving flow, thus making it easier to use. Graphite also helps prevent static electricity from igniting the powder as easily. Powder can still ignite from static and over compression. The graphite only reduces the chances.

    Yes, I know Goex is real, honest to goodness, black powder and not synthetic. I know that it can be dangerous, in almost every post I have made here, I have said that. Further, I have given two different alternatives to using black powder that I believe might be safer, better, easier to obtain and subject to fewer legal hassles.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  7. #47
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    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    I live in South Dakota, and there's at least four shops in my small city alone that sell reloading supplies, maybe even six. The binary flash powder probably does come closer to what I want. At any rate, I'm respectful but not afraid of things that go "boom." I used to make pipe bombs in my high school chem class, using potassium chlorate and powdered sugar. My friends and I would blow up abandoned sheds with them, or just see who could make the biggest crater in the mud on the river flats.


    Kent in SD
    Gud blessi Island!

  8. #48

    Re: Gun Powder Flash



    It was nitrogen triiodide, here, with an occasional soup can filled with black powder thrown in for good measure but, being a theater techie, I had a lot more fun making special effects.

    There was also one time when we made a "magic campfire" by placing an Estes rocket igniter underneath a pile of logs and tinder.

    While mayhem for its own sake is fun, it's more fun when you do things that other people can watch, too.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  9. #49

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    3,116

    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    Nitrogen tri iodide, perhaps the most contact sensitive explosive available and soup cans of black powder....the mind boggles.

    Then, a magic campfire with an Estes rocket ignitor, which is a bit of wire coated with someting flammable, used in the nozzle of the engine to start it.

    I'm calling you full of $hit.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  10. #50

    Re: Gun Powder Flash

    Yes, NI3 is very sensitive. It will detonate if a fly lands on it and I have known it to go off all by itself for no apparent reason. It is tricky stuff. That's why I only made a teaspoon full of it at a time. I know a guy who has made it in bulk, using 500g of iodine and a bucket full of ammonia. Then, again, he makes nitroglycerine just for the fun of it.

    The campfire was started by placing the igniter and a small, size A engine in a coffee can stuffed with newspaper and charcoal starter. On top of that was more newspaper and dry tinder, then the kindling wood and, finally the firewood. I assumed that people could figure that out.

    Soup cans full of powder were small potatoes compared to the guys who used to go dynamite fishing in the creek behind the house. People would hear the explosions and say things like, "The Luciano boys are at it again!" One of them now has hooks for hands. No $hit.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

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