black powder clarification

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redsox15

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I am starting into dual deploy and had a couple of questions surrounding black powder. I have heard that you need an LEUP I have heard that you dont...just wanted to clarify that up. I want to keep this safe and fun and so that no one shows up at my door asking for paperwork and I answer :confused2: what paperwork

thanks in advanced

Matt
 

shreadvector

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The federal regulations specify exactly what use the black powder can be used for when it is exempted from the LEUP requirement. That use is *not* rocketry or anything close to rocketry.

Many people will give you horrible advice and tell you to lie to the gun store folks and tell them you are buying it for the legal intended end use. That is irresponsible and can get you arrested under Federal firearms or explosives law violations. You might even get a "Big Fine".
 

quickburst

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I am starting into dual deploy and had a couple of questions surrounding black powder. I have heard that you need an LEUP I have heard that you dont...just wanted to clarify that up. I want to keep this safe and fun and so that no one shows up at my door asking for paperwork and I answer :confused2: what paperwork

thanks in advanced

Matt
A LEUP is required if the black powder is used in rocketry.

A LEUP is not required to purchase black powder. There are legal uses for black powder.
 

Buckaroo

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So how do the commercial motor manufacturers get around this when they include the BP ejection charge in the reload kits I buy? :confused2:

(I am not trying to dis anyone here, but I am a little confused, and more than a little frustrated that I can't buy a 1lb can of FFFF without a LEUP unless I'm a civil war re-enactor or an anvil shooter... :p)

EDIT: Sorry, I guess I can "buy" it, I just can't "use" it :D
 
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billspad

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I am starting into dual deploy and had a couple of questions surrounding black powder. I have heard that you need an LEUP I have heard that you dont...just wanted to clarify that up. I want to keep this safe and fun and so that no one shows up at my door asking for paperwork and I answer :confused2: what paperwork

thanks in advanced

Matt
If you can wait until you're at the launch to put your charges together and either use it or burn it before you leave, I'll give you what you need at any CMASS launch.
 

Handeman

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The actual code Title 18, sec 1102, chap 40, 845 reads as follows when talking about what is exempt:
(5) commercially manufactured black powder in quantities not to exceed fifty pounds, percussion caps, safety and pyrotechnic fuses, quills, quick and slow matches, and friction primers, intended to be used solely for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes in antique firearms as defined in section 921(a)(16) of title 18 of the United States Code, or in antique devices as exempted from the term “destructive device” in section 921(a)(4) of title 18 of the United States Code; and
I have read several places where BATFE agents were quoted as defining the exception for black powder as being for sporting or recreational or cultural purposes in antique firearms... They said the use of BP in rockets fell under recreational use, and as such was exempt.

The problem is that other agents interpret the same section as meaning (sporting, recreational, or cultural) purposes in antique firearms and state that the use in rockets is not exempt.

The BATFE has never given an official interpretation and probably never will until it is defined by a court case.

I don't know exactly what these are, safety and pyrotechnic fuses, quills, quick and slow matches, and friction primers, but I don't think they are ever used in antique firearms. Since they are listed with black powder, I would tend to go with the first definition that they are exempt for recreational purposes.


But... Yous pays your money and takes your chances!




.
 

Samuron

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I don't know exactly what these are, safety and pyrotechnic fuses, quills, quick and slow matches, and friction primers, but I don't think they are ever used in antique firearms. Since they are listed with black powder, I would tend to go with the first definition that they are exempt for recreational purposes.
Actually, all of those are used in antique firearms.

Fuses are used antique gonnes and cannon; slow match is used (usually in a linstock) to light fuses, as well as in matchlock muskets. I use all of them with my 14th century hand cannon.

Quills are fuses made, originally, out of the cut off end of a goose feather.

Friction primers are used in Civil War era cannon; sort of a metal match.
 
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powderburner

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So how do the commercial motor manufacturers get around this when they include the BP ejection charge in the reload kits I buy?
If it makes you feel any better, you're not the only one confused.

I don't have the specific law handy to identify in detail, but black powder is exempt from LEUPs and all the other nonsense when used in model rocket motors. Presumably this includes use either as propellant or as ejection charges. Some people have added a further layer by saying any such black powder must be purchased from a qualified motor manufacturer/vendor as part of a motor or motor kit; this could be from the ATF, or someone who was "burned" by arbitrary law enforcement, or I don't know, but it sounds vaguely right even if it is not spelled out very clearly in the statutes. A faintly gray area?

Products like Aerotech's black powder ejection charges (sold for use with their "Electronic Forward Closure" ejection system) seem to be legal to purchase, possess, and use without having the LEUP/permits/fees/Spanish Inquisition stuff. (Notice I said "seem"....we should direct specific questions about the legality of using these products to those vendors.) Another gray area?

It is my understanding that if you are making your own motors for your own use on your own property, and if you use the test motors on the same day you make them (no storage), it is possible that it is not necessary to get the LEUP/etcetera. Some people will tell you otherwise, and I cannot say whether they are simply using a conservative reading of the statutes or if they are merely the nervous type, but this is one more gray area.

It is my understanding that if you use one grain (as in, the unit of measure of weight; one seven-thousandth of a pound) of black powder for any rocketry application (including ejection charges) not on your property, or transported on public highways (to get to the launch), or transported across state lines, you are in deep doo-doo. Probably a pretty black area.

If you purchase some generic black powder, use it for rocketry, and claim that it was BP that came with the purchase of a motor, I don't know how they can tell the difference in the field. I do know that many items like BP are now sold over-the-counter with "tracers" mixed in. If they confiscated your BP and took it back to the lab for testing, you could probably get in trouble after-the-fact (which would still be in trouble).

This isn't an easy question. There are lots of over-lapping laws. There are lots of opinions, some educated and some not. There is a great deal of variation in interpretation of the law and enforcement of the law on "their" side of the fence, to add to the confusion. It is illogical to allow some backyard cannon enthusiast to freely possess 50 pounds and then not allow even one pound possession for other equally valid uses. Your best bet is to find a local lawyer and ask him...and while you're at it, ask if he will back you up if you get arrested.

And yes, this is a collosally stupid situation.
 

jsdemar

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According to IFC and NFPA fire codes, you can have up to 1lb of BP in its original container in a residence. You can have up to 20 lbs stored if it's in an approved magazine.

Some ATFE agents have said they don't care what you use it for, it doesn't need a permit. Others say the opposite.

As Bill offered, there's usually someone at a lunch you can borrow a few grams of BP from.

-John
 

quickburst

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So how do the commercial motor manufacturers get around this when they include the BP ejection charge in the reload kits I buy? :confused2:

(I am not trying to dis anyone here, but I am a little confused, and more than a little frustrated that I can't buy a 1lb can of FFFF without a LEUP unless I'm a civil war re-enactor or an anvil shooter... :p)

EDIT: Sorry, I guess I can "buy" it, I just can't "use" it :D


They break the law. Plain and simple. DOT allows for a small amount of black powder to be shipped with a reload and used used as an ejection charge. But DOT is only responsible for shipping laws, nothing more.

You can buy and use it, as long as you are using it legally. Using it in rockets is not legal.
 

quickburst

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The ATF doesn't know if it's legal or not. Some say yes .... some say no. This is pretty much in line with everything else the ATF says.
 

Swampworks

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If you can wait until you're at the launch to put your charges together and either use it or burn it before you leave, I'll give you what you need at any CMASS launch.

This would mean no testing of your charge size prior to launching? Pretty brave there.
 

Luv2launch

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Since I live in Ma and BP is hard to come by without a firearms permit I used pryodex for my first DD flight that I bought off the shelf at the Cabelas outfitter in CT.It functioned very well for ejection charges I used an old cardbaord tube from a coat hanger some electrical tape to wrap it in and a quest Q2G2 igniter to set it off with it worked perfectly in ground testing and in flight with the exception that either both charges blew at the top of the drogue charge shifted the main and popped the nosecone at apogee still not sure which one happened, after tresting the altimeter when I got home all the settings were still on default which was drgoue at apogee main at 500 so I am thinking it was the latter that happened.Next flight I will use pins on the nosecone and see how that goes.
 
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