Performance Study of Civil War Vintage Black Powderious

K. L. & B. J. Kosanke* and F. Ryan

ABSTRACT: A sample of Black Powder dating to the time of the US Civil War (ca. 1863) was harvested from cannon balls uncovered during an excavation on what had previously been the grounds of the Allegheny Arsenal near Pittsburgh, PA. A portion of this powder was eventually made available for an investigation of its properties. It was found to be in excellent condition, both physically and in its performance. Physically, it is essentially indistinguishable from high quality Black Powder of current production. Its performance under conditions replicating its normal use was only slightly less than that produced by a high quality powder of current production.

Keywords: Black Powder, US Civil War, Bormann fuse, quickness test, Eprouvette

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 5, (1998-2000), pp 77-81

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