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Thread: Ulrich Bretscher's SMOKELESS BLACK POWDER & HANDGONNE web page. Re-found!

  1. #1
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    Ulrich Bretscher's SMOKELESS BLACK POWDER & HANDGONNE web page. Re-found!

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the web page of this retired Swiss engineer. Interests in sewage treatment, in watches, and in blackpowder and muzzle loaders. Hey, that's engineers for you.

    Interesting is his information on handgonnes - the first handheld firearm. You can fit many into a standard safe, so why not add one to complete your collection?

    Also, Ulrich did some fascinating work on home made gunpowder, particularly on optimised charcoal and on the role of sulphur in gunpowder... and what happens when you make gunpowder without sulfur:

    - higher ignition temperature (only a problem in flintlocks, not with percussion primers)

    - slightly lower power.

    - Minimal smoke/smell and less fouling.

    Would be a useful item for someone to produce, as it is a historical recipe from the 1800s and not subject to blackpowder shipping restrictions, since it is not blackpowder as defined in the law (a triple recipe with saltpetre/sulphur/charcoal) and it is less dangerous to handle what with a higher ignition temperature.

    Sadly, Ulrich's web site has gone off line for the past year or more, and before that he did not respond to emails. But I (re)found it mirrored in perpetuity on the internet archive archive.org - here is a link for you all to enjoy:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20110520....ch/index.html

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    Ulrich Bretscher - thanks for your good work.
    Carlsen Highway, 40mm and 2post like this.
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  2. #2
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    awesome site,thankyou for sharing it....I can see a couple of "experiments" in the near future.

  3. #3
    Member 40mm's Avatar
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    Thanks Cordite.
    Use enough gun

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    I like that proving mortar
    300CALMAN likes this.
    Identify your target beyond all doubt

  5. #5
    MIA somewhere in Nam 300CALMAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
    I like that proving mortar
    a mortar with a bore of @40mm

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    Member 40mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 300CALMAN View Post
    a mortar with a bore of @40mm
    wee bit on the small side.... a pal of mine has one that fits baked bean tins and burns 600 gn each time....
    Use enough gun

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    Thanks @Cordite I’m still reading though all the links but great read.
    Remember the 7 Ps; Pryor Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

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    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40mm View Post
    wee bit on the small side.... a pal of mine has one that fits baked bean tins and burns 600 gn each time....
    Are the beans cooked when it lands??

  9. #9
    Member 40mm's Avatar
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    upon ignition they would be puree!

    I forgot to mention the bean tin is full of concrete..... and they come down with snow on em, they go so high!
    Steve123 likes this.
    Use enough gun

  10. #10
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    A shot with sulfur-free gunpowder, showing smoke. Shame no comparison shot with the sulfur BP.
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/S-aJqTRm0as/h...WSdclLUApHmXaQ

    SlowER...but not slow.
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/qzm7ZBJ0-V8/h...u3W0XTRXCDjjHQ
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  11. #11
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    Anyone else giving the home rolled stuff a go????
    I see you can buy a kg of both the salt petre and "pot" for less than $30 off trademe

  12. #12
    Member 40mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky Duck View Post
    Anyone else giving the home rolled stuff a go????
    I see you can buy a kg of both the salt petre and "pot" for less than $30 off trademe
    Ah that would be illegal without the proper paperwork. So nobody on this forum has done or ever will attempt such a childish thing.
    Tommy and 300CALMAN like this.
    Use enough gun

  13. #13
    MSL
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    Plenty of people making their own black powder

  14. #14
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSL View Post
    Plenty of people making their own black powder
    I think @40mm was referring to the possibility of buying pot rather than potassium nitrate off TM. (-:

    The smokeless gunpowder is anyway NOT black powder, as it only has two of the three ingredients of BP as defined in our transport regulations. At most it is a safer "BP substitute". What Ulrich Bretscher never tried was making sulfur free gunpowder using the more volatile brown charcoal.

    I wonder how the slower sulphur free gunpowder performs in a modern bottleneck cartridge.
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  15. #15
    Member Carlsen Highway's Avatar
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    I can feel myself moving exponentially closer to blowing myself up.
    300CALMAN, Micky Duck and Cordite like this.
    Put the keyboard down. Now kick it over here.

 

 

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