Spent brass as ejection charge wells?

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TheTank

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Did a quick search and didnt see much come up on it. Building my first dual deploy rocket. I have tons of new and spent brass for reloading... was thinking of using a couple empty .45 ACP cases as charge wells on a 3” LOC Deployer.
Anyone had success with it?
 

rharshberger

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Did a quick search and didnt see much come up on it. Building my first dual deploy rocket. I have tons of new and spent brass for reloading... was thinking of using a couple empty .45 ACP cases as charge wells on a 3” LOC Deployer.
Anyone had success with it?
I have used .223 and 30-06 cases for charge wells, but as Fred said they are conductive. For ematches with the plastic covers on them just tape them in place so they dont slip and insert in the powder charge, the plastic cover will keep them from possibly shorting on the chargewell walls or bottom. I also use a lot of drilled aluminum rod as charge wells, again they are conductive, but a 3' section of aluminum rod is relatively cheap and in lots of diameters. Center drilling the rod is actually pretty easy using a bit mounted in a vise and the rod mounted in the drill chuck (like lathe drilling).
 

TheTank

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I have used .223 and 30-06 cases for charge wells, but as Fred said they are conductive. For ematches with the plastic covers on them just tape them in place so they dont slip and insert in the powder charge, the plastic cover will keep them from possibly shorting on the chargewell walls or bottom. I also use a lot of drilled aluminum rod as charge wells, again they are conductive, but a 3' section of aluminum rod is relatively cheap and in lots of diameters. Center drilling the rod is actually pretty easy using a bit mounted in a vise and the rod mounted in the drill chuck (like lathe drilling).
i had seen aluminum wells out there which is what made me think of using the brass... but completely blanked on the conductivity... leaning back towards PVC now. Thanks!
 

TheTank

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Don't do it!!!!! I tried 45-70 casings. Took big chunks out of the rocket. Rolled over the edges of the casing when they hit so hard.
Wow... I know BP burns very differently than rifle powder and accidentally reloading a modern cartridge with BP is a recipe for an explosion but I didn't think it would have that type of an effect with these small charges and light restriction we have when you cap them with dog barf and tape. Wow.
 

David Schwantz

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Not what happened, the Payload and booster sections banged together when drogue deployed.
 

FredA

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Hard to beat PVC - but things get tight for 38mm rockets, that's when I tried the brass to save space.
 

Titan II

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Scrapmaster87

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I've been using 45ACP brass for my charges. I used one as a charge well once, but I hated how long it took to prep. Right now i'm using the brass as a powder capsule wrapped in tape to seal.
 

HHaase

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Will they work? Yes, but better options out there. I used them on my first DD build, and they worked, but hated having to be careful with the sharp edges. Haven't used them since. Will they work? Yes, but better options out there.

I also have a bag of those ampules but haven't tried them yet. Capacity seems a bit small for a 3" rocket but I may use them for smaller stuff later on.
 

rharshberger

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Will they work? Yes, but better options out there. I used them on my first DD build, and they worked, but hated having to be careful with the sharp edges. Haven't used them since. Will they work? Yes, but better options out there.

I also have a bag of those ampules but haven't tried them yet. Capacity seems a bit small for a 3" rocket but I may use them for smaller stuff later on.
Centrifuge tubes come in larger sizes, I use some that are about 1.5" long by .5" diameter for the 3.5gram charges my 5.38" Cherokee D uses, for that one I also have aluminum holders for the tubes. When I use brass cases as either charhe wells or tube holders the sharp edge gets removed until the brass is fairly thick then rounded, that also mostly prevents the damage experienced by David.
 

Rocket86

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The centrifuge tubes are an excellent way to go IMO. Charges can be pre-assembled, they're non-conductive, quick and easy to install and there's no cleanup afterwards if the aluminum holder is sized to fit them. The 2 gm size works great for my 2"- 4" rockets and the .8 gm for everything smaller.
 

n27sb

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You can drill a hole in the bottom and bring your wire in that way but be sure to pack a little barf around the wire or your powder will sift out. I usually snip the cap off and install my ematch that way. I pack the top with barf and tape over it. one piece of tape over the top and a narrow piece wrapped around.
Packed tight they will give a very robust pop.
 

Steve Shannon

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I like soft plastic, such as the centrifuge containers above or pieces of pex, or even cardboard tubes for charge wells. I see no advantage to using metal and although slight, metal does have potential for increased risk.
 

heada

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I've used resin wells (PML), cardboard tubes, copper end caps, plastic vials and fingertips from gloves. The vials are my preferred solution since I can prep them ahead of time if needed and pose the least risk in my eyes.
 

TheTank

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Thanks again fellas. Regarding the centrifuge tubes, are you all mounting them in a holder or would I be ok to let them float?
 

rharshberger

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The centrifuge tubes are an excellent way to go IMO. Charges can be pre-assembled, they're non-conductive, quick and easy to install and there's no cleanup afterwards if the aluminum holder is sized to fit them. The 2 gm size works great for my 2"- 4" rockets and the .8 gm for everything smaller.
I wonder who made the ones for my L3 Cherokee...... :)


Thanks again fellas. Regarding the centrifuge tubes, are you all mounting them in a holder or would I be ok to let them float?
Depends on the rockets airframe material, cardboard I only use a holder just in case the tube is pointed the wrong way I prefer it didn't blow the side of my airframe out , fiberglass/canvas phenolic/quantum tube they can float as I have never seen a FG or other more rigid (?) airframe ruptured by a directed BP charge (centrifuge tubes still tend to blow the cap off so are some what "directed"...sort of...).
 

Handeman

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I started with xmas bulbs hot glued into rolled paper tubes, move to ematches and powder folded into a piece of duct tape. Then started using 1/2" & 3/4" copper pipe caps attached to the end of the av-bay. The 3/4" copper pipe caps will hold 6g of BP.

All of these work as well as the next. The cups on the av-bay seem to get a stronger charge with less powder. The powder and match folded into a piece of duct tape seemed to need the most powder, but not that much more than the cups. I also never had an issue with damaging the BT with the duct tape method.
 

FredA

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You can drill a hole in the bottom and bring your wire in that way but be sure to pack a little barf around the wire or your powder will sift out. I usually snip the cap off and install my ematch that way. I pack the top with barf and tape over it. one piece of tape over the top and a narrow piece wrapped around.
Packed tight they will give a very robust pop.
Placement of the match matters. I used to put them at the bottom. not the top.

Drill the hole in the bottom - the pointed tip - just large enough to clear the wire.
Insert the e-match wire from the top and fish trough the hole until the match head JUST CLEARS the inside of the lid when then lid is closed. Put a dab of epoxy at the bottom to seal the wire exit.

When the epoxy is dry, fill in the BP around & under the match-head.
Once ignited, the "easy way" out is out the snap-cover which is past the plasma ball of the e-match yielding a more-complete ignition.
 

OZRoc

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Centrifuge vials - Use hot glue to seal the ematch in place FROM THE OUTSIDE. Just make sure the seal is there.
Either use them as they are as a floating charge or place them in a brass or aluminium charge well.
Have a look at;
post #81
Easy to do and ensures any "anomalies" stay contained.
Cheers,
Mark
 

JoePfeiffer

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I've been using .38 shells for a while with success. I drill out the primer pocket and put a screw through the hole to hold it to the bulkhead. I 3D print a plug with holes to fit two e-matches, both to block the black powder from escaping and to insulate the e-matches.
 

rocketcharlie

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This thread has got me thinking. I have used several different things for charge wells including spent casings, the sharp edges make me nervous. I have thought about making my own from aluminum rod..... still conductive. What about making your own from PVC rod? Anyone tried that?
 

beeblebrox

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Simple cheap idea... Use a piece of a spent Estes casing...saw off a third, glue it and screw it to your bulkhead. Put screw thru nozzle hole...
 

Handeman

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Simple cheap idea... Use a piece of a spent Estes casing...saw off a third, glue it and screw it to your bulkhead. Put screw thru nozzle hole...
This is actually a good idea, but since I've seen several Estes motors blow the nozzle out on ignition, I would recommend just using the tube and glue a disk to it with epoxy, inside and outside fillets. Maybe a 24mm disk for a 18mm tube.

Then again if the tube breaks away, as long as recovery is good, you can just screw another on. They are cheap anyway.
 

bronicabill

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Did a quick search and didnt see much come up on it. Building my first dual deploy rocket. I have tons of new and spent brass for reloading... was thinking of using a couple empty .45 ACP cases as charge wells on a 3” LOC Deployer.
Anyone had success with it?
I used .40S&W brass as charge wells on my previous Aerotech ARCAS and had no problems. As others have already stated, just be sure to insulate the match head and wiring from the brass!
 
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