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Ohartless1

Black Powder Laws (Illinois)

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My son is wanting to get into SASS and likes the "authentic" ways of doing things.  We attended a local shoot and there was a gentleman using black powder which my son thought was AMAZING.  That lead to a discussion about becoming active which lead to a discussion at work which lead us down the rabbit hole to this question.  Is it legal to produce and use your own black powder for SASS and CAS events? We live in the Communist State of Illinois so I'm sure the answer is ABSOLUTELY NO.  I've looked online and can't find any information this particular issue.  I can find information about quantities, storage and the necessity of a FOID but nothing about making your own black powder for your own use.  Can someone please help me with the answer so I can get him to calm down and we can just go buy a can? 

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I agree fully, I'm kinda attached to my fingers and they're attached to me.  But until I can show him in black and white, I'll never hear the end of it.  I think he's going to be a lawyer when he grows up.

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Then tell him to do the research. ^_^

Call your DOJ......

OLG

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Lumpy wasn't giving you the law. For that I would suggest you contact a local lawyer, or if there is an organization in the state similar to the Texas Rifle Association ask them. asking for legal advice on an open forum is at best risky, you don't know some ones true knowledge on the subject. What he was pointing out is the risk involved with making your own powder. The pro's, the commercial makers of powders, seem to blow themselves up every three or four years. So why would you think it is any safer for you?

 

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The solution is to move from that *%$@^ state and never look back.

Went into the military in 1988 and have only been back to visit since.

Pizza - Yes, Italian Beef sandwiches - Yes, Love my Cubbies too, but NEVER going back to that crooked, liberal state!

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Why does he feel the need to produce his own black powder?

 

Regardless, that wouldn't be authentic either as I'm convinced that cowboys were too busy herding cows and fighting Indians to stop and make gunpowder. Not mention I'm sure the materials probably weren't available on the frontier.

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If he wants to talk to people knowledgable about real BP shooting there is a branch of the n-ssa in Springfield, IL.

 

I made many pounds of real BP back in the 60's and I don't recommend it for amateurs. 

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Goody,

I believe a novice should avoid it at all cost.

 

Rainmaker,

Pizza, Italian Beef and Cubs?? You're coming across like one of those people that think anything south of I-80 is "Southern Illinois".  There's plenty more to this state.  Outside of Cook County it's a pretty decent state.  There's Coal, Corn, high taxes, strict firearm laws, and FOID cards.  There's even talk of expanding the Cook County tax on ammunition (five cents per round for center-fire ammunition) to the rest of the state.  We even need a FOID to buy a BB gun that fires over 700 FPS and some retailers require a FOID for pellets if you are using them in an air rifle that fires over 700 FPS  :mellow:

 

Cody, 

I don't think it's the "need" it's the desire to do things as historically accurate as possible and a thirst for knowledge.  We went to the shoot a few months ago and just came back from Gettysburg which sparked an even deeper interest in the whole thing.  In fact he tracked down a copy of the US Army Ordinance Manual from 1861 and wants to build a modern version of a Civil War Caisson to take to the SASS events and wants to join a Civil War Reenactment group.

 

Happy Jack, 

Thank you for the information.  I'll see if he can track them down. 

I know it's unsafe at a whole different level but so is reloading and millions of rounds are reloaded every day. 

 

Specifically I was just looking for an Illinois or Federal statute that says no.  Every agency I've searched leaves it out.  Grasping at straws, I've tried the Illinois State Police, Illinois state regulations, ATF, the EPA and even the Department of Natural Resources.  I've found everything you can and cannot do with a black powder firearm but limited information about the powder its self.

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That IS Southern Illinois! Hahaha. Spent the first 25 years of my life there (DuPage Co), loved it, never thought of going anywhere else... then Uncle Sam called and I have been to some of the most beautiful places this country has to offer. Anchorage, Alaska - Wow!, beautiful! Kansas was fine, Mt Home Idaho - gorgeous!

Tucson, Az - Love me some desert. No California was great, just too liberal and too expensive. Middle Georgia is fine, but I sure miss the mountains back West.

Oh, "Southern" Illinois is fine... if ya like CORN!!! Hahaha. Family in Putnam; very nice and quiet there.

Really though, my dad told me many years ago how messed up our country was getting (with all of the laws and nonsense we have to deal with) and being in Illinois, it was that much more prevalent. People didn't take him seriously, but he was RIGHT! Now he's gone and Illinois is worse than ever and I can't see ever going back to the oppression there.

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I'm trying to escape right now but the hard part is talking my wife into moving.  If they pass the 40 cent per gallon gas tax and the ammunition tax, I think she'll finally be convinced.

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Howdy

 

According to the ATF it is legal to make Black Powder.

 

https://www.atf.gov/explosives/qa/black-powder-subject-regulation-under-federal-explosives-laws

 

I cannot tell you about your own state, you will have to do the research on that.

 

However, I cannot stress too strongly how much I suggest you, or your son do not try to make it on your own.

 

Throughout history, Powder Mills have blown up. Not too long ago Goex, the only company still making Black Powder in the US had an explosion.

 

These are the professionals, and they have explosions periodically. How is an amateur going to avoid the mistakes that the professionals make?

 

Typically, during the corning process, foreign matter gets into the mix, causing enough friction to cause an explosion.

 

Tell your son to look up 'corning'.

 

My dad worked for Hercules Powder Company during World War Two making explosives in Lawrence Kansas.

 

One day one of the buildings blew up and everyone in it was killed.

 

Typically a powder mill is built far away from anything, and a berm is built around it to direct any explosive force upwards, away from any surrounding buildings. In my Dad's case the buildings had a blow away wall pointing out into the empty prairie.

 

Are you going to build a berm around your house?

 

If you have an explosion and blow up your property, your homeowner's insurance certainly will not cover the loss.

 

God forbid somebody dies.

 

Tell your son if he wants to be historically accurate that during the Civil War Winchester employed women to stuff powder into cartridges and seat bullets. I'm going to look it up, but I think they had an explosion at one point too.

 

Tell him to just buy his Black Powder like the rest of us do.

 

 

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I'm going to pile on with the "It's too dangerous to make your own black powder" crowd.  Use it, load it, fine.  No problem.  

 

Reloading is a breeze and as long as you pay attention to what you're doing you'll be fine.  But you can do everything "right" while making black powder and still blow yourself up.

 

Some years back a man and his son were making black powder to put in shotshells for blanks.  The end result was their house was burned down and the man died.  I don't recall the injuries to his teenage son.  Really not worth the risk IMO.

 

FWIW I shoot BP in cap and ball pistols as well as loaded into shotshells and cartridges for my rifle for SASS.  Store bought.  More consistent than home made and a lot safer.

 

Tell your son, legal doesn't mean it's safe.

 

Black Angus McPherson

 

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On a scale of one to 10, where 1 was the safest and 10 the least safe. Reloading ammunition would be a 1.5 

 

Making your own black powder would be a 1000. Yes 1000

 

The reason there are no laws on the books in Illinois is that it has not occurred to your state idiots (legislators) that anyone would attempt it.  Ask you son if he wants to have his name associated with the law banning the home manufacturer of black powder when he levels the house and possibly the neighborhood. 

 

Given that Black Powder is considered an explosive I bet there is a state law banning the home manufacture of explosives.

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When I was young, we did make our own black powder in small batches.  There is a standard formula that works fine.  The ingredients were readily available then but became more restricted a couple years later, especially salt peter.

 

But some of the problems are getting the right wood and making good fine powdered charcoal.  Then getting all three ingredients to a good consistency - and then mixing them properly.  It would take too much machinery for most of us and would not be economical.

 

(I believe some makers use a method using liquid for all this and then drying it, but I may be wrong there.)

 

And as mentioned, with a good powdered form, the products are not only flammable, but explosive.  And are very easily ignited -  not a burn but an explosion.

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1 hour ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

That IS Southern Illinois! Hahaha. Spent the first 25 years of my life there (DuPage Co), loved it, never thought of going anywhere else... then Uncle Sam called and I have been to some of the most beautiful places this country has to offer. Anchorage, Alaska - Wow!, beautiful! Kansas was fine, Mt Home Idaho - gorgeous!

Tucson, Az - Love me some desert. No California was great, just too liberal and too expensive. Middle Georgia is fine, but I sure miss the mountains back West.

Oh, "Southern" Illinois is fine... if ya like CORN!!! Hahaha. Family in Putnam; very nice and quiet there.

Really though, my dad told me many years ago how messed up our country was getting (with all of the laws and nonsense we have to deal with) and being in Illinois, it was that much more prevalent. People didn't take him seriously, but he was RIGHT! Now he's gone and Illinois is worse than ever and I can't see ever going back to the oppression there.

 

Drive through Putnam often on the way to LaSalle to visit friends. Trying to get out of Illinois now. Looking at "pension friendly" states.

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Thank you to everyone for the information.  I'm going to go with "just because it's legal doesn't make it safe".

 

Sedalia, 

I would disagree about your estimates for reloading only being 1.5.  There's still a lot that can go wrong which is why our insurance company asked about it when we were getting our homeowners policy.  I do like the approach of  calling it an explosive, that'll be my search and ultimately putting a stop to the idea.  We live near Winchester in Alton, IL and over the years have heard stories about the dangers but as you know we only have so many years to train and teach our children.  I want to stress to him and to anyone else researching this topic that it may be legal but here are a 1000 reasons it's a really bad idea. 

I don't want anyone to be afraid of firearms or gunpowder but I want to make sure they are given the respect and safety they deserve  I'm looking for enough information to make sure that when my son is living on his own he doesn't decide to give it a try because he's older and wiser.

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Having a pretty decent chemistry background I have made small batches of black and white (sugar based) gun powder.

I still have all the ingredients including a ball mill.  While nice to know how I will tell you the danger is not worth the risk unless in an end of the world case.

The same triple goes for making primer material and no cowboy or very many frontier chemists were making primers or caps.  I have done mercury fulminate once and that was in a laboratory with very high precautions.

 

Glad he wants authentic but buying commercial  and having intact gingers and eyes is better.

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Thanks LostVaquero.  Teenage boys know more than their fathers ever will and with information like you provided I can add it to the list and show him a list of experienced people that say it's a BAD idea.

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contact these people.

 

 

they're located in Illinois.  i'm sure they can help you.

 

http://www.addictedtoblackpowder.com/

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I have a friend called two fingers. Years ago he tried his hand , no pun intended , in making gunpowder..... He also has no eyebrows.....

 

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2 hours ago, Marauder SASS #13056 said:

(I believe some makers use a method using liquid for all this and then drying it, but I may be wrong there.)

 

All commercial Black Powder makers do that. It is called Corning.

 

It was discovered a long time ago that if the three ingredients of Black Powder were mixed dry, they would tend to separate if loaded into kegs and bounced over old rutted roads on the way to a battle. If the three ingredients had started to separate, the repeatability of the powder could not be depended on.

 

So probably about 200 years ago powder makers started mixing the ingredients with water stirring them together to make a paste. Once the paste dried it was formed into cakes. The cakes would then be broken up into chunks and the chunks were processed in a rolling mill to break them down into grains of the desired size. Corning mixes the ingredients in a mechanical mixture that will not be broken down further and can then be transported without worry about the three ingredients separating.

 

It is in the corning mills that disasters usually happen. Modern powder makers use automatic equipment to perform this. If foreign material gets into the rolling mill it can cause friction which can then ignite the powder. I'm pretty sure that is what happened the last time Goex had an explosion. Since the equipment is automatic, there was nobody in the building when the powder ignited.

 

Only partially related, the United States Cartridge Company used to have a storage facility in Lowell Mass, near where I live. One day it blew up, leveling an entire neighborhood.

 

Another source to find out if making powder in your state is legal is your local fire department. They often have regulations about powder storage. I'm sure they would not look kindly on somebody making his own powder, particularly in a residential neighborhood.

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2 hours ago, Ohartless1 said:

I do like the approach of  calling it an explosive,

 

Black Powder is an explosive. Look it up at the ATF. It is a low grade explosive, unlike TNT or other high powered explosives, but it is still an explosive.

 

Period.

 

Modern Smokeless powders are not explosives according to the ATF, they are Progressively Burning Propellants.  That is why the storage regulations are different for Black Powder than for Smokeless Powders.

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Low grade, High grade doesn't matter to me.  It's an explosive.  For me the issue is dead.  Thank you everyone for your time and attention.  Hopefully I'll get the chance to meet some of you in the future.

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Ah yes the reckless abandon of youth. Sounds like you will have to let him learn by consequence. His SASS name can always be changed to the,Some fingers left kid!

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In general high explosives propagate faster than the speed of sound, and the detonation is due to shock waves.

Low explosives deflagrate, which means the combustion propagates thermally.

Popellants are generally very low explosives because their combustion is much easier to control.

 

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I doubt that anyone in the old west made their own powder! I agree with every one else, too dangerous!!!

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Howdy,

When I was in high school we wanted to build and shoot rockets.

We tried making several fuels. One was black powder.

I got a pretty good formula for bp and managed to accidentally light it.

In a second the entire basement was full of black smoke.

It all burned without exactly exploding because it was not confined.

I never tried that again. 

I wouldn't make bp if you paid me $5000 a pound.

I quit when Im ahead.

Best

CR

ps If you do go ahead be sure your insurance is good for it.

 

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4 hours ago, Ohartless1 said:

Thank you to everyone for the information.  I'm going to go with "just because it's legal doesn't make it safe".

 

Sedalia, 

I would disagree about your estimates for reloading only being 1.5.  There's still a lot that can go wrong which is why our insurance company asked about it when we were getting our homeowners policy.  I do like the approach of  calling it an explosive, that'll be my search and ultimately putting a stop to the idea.  We live near Winchester in Alton, IL and over the years have heard stories about the dangers but as you know we only have so many years to train and teach our children.  I want to stress to him and to anyone else researching this topic that it may be legal but here are a 1000 reasons it's a really bad idea. 

I don't want anyone to be afraid of firearms or gunpowder but I want to make sure they are given the respect and safety they deserve  I'm looking for enough information to make sure that when my son is living on his own he doesn't decide to give it a try because he's older and wiser.

The gasoline in your cars tank, is a far more dangerous explosive.

I have never-ever had a insurance company ask if I reload.......

Like gasoline-I buy my powder and will never attempt to make it.

OLG

 

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I started to make my own BP with a mortar & pestle as a kid - not knowing it has to be wet when mixing.  When the smoke cleared in my bed room and I looked in the mirror showing no eye brows & eye lid hair and the hair at my fore head was gray... that was my one and only  - Last time making my own BP  

Oheartless - just pick up the phone and order BP already made

PS: I am a BPCR & C&B shooter and have emptied my cases of store bought powder

https://powderinc.com/

 

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Just out of curiosity, is your son a Trekker?  You don't just mix three powders together and wind up with workable gunpowder.

 

As was mentioned, the ingredients were mixed wet.   I don't know how accurate this is, but I have a vague recollection of being told by someone that back in the day, at least for making small amounts, instead of plain water, urine was the fluid of choice.  IF that is true, the process is far too icky for me to want to attempt, on top of being dangerous.

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The most successful gunpowder manufacturer in the US had approximately 288 explosions between 1802 & 1921, taking 228 lives.  [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleutherian_Mills]Eleutherian Mills[/url].  Have your son do some more research.

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Just because it is not illegal to jump off of  a bridge doesnt make it a good idea. (I know attempting suicide is illegal)

 

Imis 

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Southern Illinois......

 

camel rock.jpg

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