Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Formula For Making Nitrocellulose (Gun Cotton)

[I posted this as a comment at SayUncle but since blogging abhors a day without a post ....]
This formula may be useful some day when only Flobert CB caps are legal.
How to make smokeless gunpowder base (gun cotton):
90% concentrated nitric acid, 10% concentrated sulfuric acid
(the sulfuric acid is there to “drink” any moisture and further concentrate the nitric acid)
Cotton
Dip the cotton in the solution and saturate for a few seconds
Take out and wash well in running water
Let dry
Finished
Test: Put a match to VERY SMALL quantity. If you did it right, it should disappear with a puff and no residue or lingering smoke cloud of any size.
ACID IS DANGEROUS STUFF. WEAR GOGGLES, RUBBER GLOVES AND USE TONGS TO PUT IN AND TAKE OUT THE COTTON FROM THE ACID.
Source: Junior year high school chemistry class. Mine was perfect.
(And you'll have to go somewhere else to learn how to stabilize it with nitroglycerin. Now that's really dangerous stuff.)

2 Comments:

Blogger BigLeeH said...

The same recipe, more or less, is used to make flash paper -- a paper used by chemists, magicians and criminals that burns quickly and leaves no residue. When a magician throws an object in the air that disappears in a puff of smokeless flame he is using flash paper. Numbers racket bag men like it for their business documents because a cigarette laid on top of a pile of flash-paper betting slips causes them to disappear without a trace, destroying the evidence.

In general, higher quality paper (with a high rag content) makes better flash paper.

Fri Mar 09, 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger nk said...

Hmm. I won't disagree with you if you say that it leaves no traces and the paper still looks like paper. I use a different formula for paper cartridges for black powder muzzleloaders. It involves soaking the paper in a solution of potassium nitrate or potassium chlorate and NOT rinsing it. It is similar to black gunpowder in that it provides an oxygenator to the fuel -- the oxygen in the KNO3 or KClO3 to the paper -- making the paper burn more completely and quickly.

Fri Mar 09, 12:30:00 PM  

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