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SOURCE: Various

COMMENTS: Two method of preparation exist; the precipitation (or CIA) method, and the ball-milling method. The latter produces slightly superior results. Special attention should be given to the charcoal used. Charcoal is best obtained by pyrolysis of soft wood. Preferred types of wood are willow, grapevine, and laurel. In general, all young, thin soft woods without hard knots can be used. Although several different compositions are used for several purposes, the following composition is used most often.

PREPARATION (parts by weight):

Potassium nitrate0.750

Merely mixing these ingredients by hand does not make black powder. The potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal must really be incorporated into each other. This can be done by ball-milling or by the salting out (CIA) method. A detailed description of the process can be found in many books.