Homemade Ammonpulver

ing is made from sodium nitrate. This salt is hygroscopic, but a heavy graphite glaze produces a powder from it which is satisfactory under a variety of climatic conditions. Analyses of samples of granulated American blasting powder have shown that the compositions vary widely, sodium nitrate from 67.3 to 77.1 per cent, charcoal from 9.4 to 14.3 per cent, and sulfur from 22.9 to 8.6 per cent. Perhaps sodium nitrate 73, charcoal 11, and sulfur 16 may be taken as average values.

Pellet powders, made from sodium nitrate, are finding extensive use. These consist of cylindrical "pellets," 2 inches long, wrapped in paraffined paper cartridges, \lA, 1%, 1%, 1%, and 2 inches in diameter, which resemble cartridges of dynamite. The cartridges contain 2, 3, or 4 pellets which are perforated in the direction of their axis with a %-inch hole for the insertion of a squib or fuse for firing.


Propellent powder made from ammonium nitrate is about as powerful as smokeless powder and has long had a limited use for military purposes, particularly in Germany and Austria. The Austrian army used Ammonpulver, among others, during the first World War, and it is possible that the powder is now, or may be at any time, in use.

Gans of Hamburg in 1885 patented a powder which contained no sulfur and was made from 40 to 45 per cent potassium nitrate, 35 to 38 per cent ammonium nitrate, and 14 to 22 per cent charcoal. This soon came into use tinder the name of Amid-pulver, and was later improved by decreasing the proportion of potassium nitrate. A typical improved Amidpulver, made from potassium nitrate 14 per cent, ammonium nitrate 37 per ccnt, and charcoal 49 per cent, gives a flashless discharge when fired in a gun and only a moderate amount of smoke. Ammonpulver which contains no potassium nitrate—in a typical example ammonium nitrate 85 per ccnt and charcoal 15 per cent, or a similar mixture containing in addition a small amount of aromatic nitro compound—is flashless and gives at most only a thin bluish-gray smoke which disappears rapidly. Rusch has published data

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