Black Powder Blanks?

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I'm thinking about loading some blanks with black powder for my .44 Blackhawk. (Goex FFFg) Seems like it should be a pretty simple process but what do I plug the end with? Does BP need to develop pressure like modern powders do to go "boom", or will a simple case full of powder blow your ears out? 8)


Nov 27, 2005
New Hampshire, USA
I did a bit of tinkering with BP blanks, .44 Special and Mag cases. They work great and produce some nice noise and smoke! Measured the charge using a dipper, case is within a quarter inch of full but you don't need much precision in powder measuring for blanks. Plug the end with canning wax. Just press the case into the wax. Wax is available at any grocery store I think, except mabe in NYC. Don't forget to clean the gun after shooting this stuff. Also, be careful what you shoot at, the wax pellet is fairly potent up close. Have fun. Gerry

J Miller

Sep 30, 2000
Not in IL anymore ... :)
I did pretty much the same thing as gerryb except I used a wad made from a thick Styrofoam meat tray over the powder, covered that with elmers glue then put nice roll crimp on it.

LOTS of fire and a BIG boom! Very satisfying.


Driftwood Johnson

Sep 25, 2007
Land of the Pilgrims

The answer to you question is that no, unlike Smokeless powder, Black Powder does not need to be confined to build up enough pressure to propel a projectile. Black Powder explodes when ignited, regardless of whether it has been confined or not. Light a match to a small pile of it and you will see. In this situation a small charge of BP will go up with a puff of smoke and a 'fooom'. That is why the storage and sale regulations for Black Powder are stricter than Smokeless powder. BP is classified by the ATF as an explosive, and requires more stringent storage conditions. Smokeless powder is classified as a progressively burning propellant.

All that being said, you will achieve a bit more boom the more you confine Black Powder. That's why revolutionary war re-enactors only get a 'foomph' out of their muskets, they are not using a patch and a ball to confine the powder. Once a patch and ball are used you get a boom.