How to Load Black Powder Blanks For Old West Re-enacting

So you want to load blanks for Old West re-enacting or for a video project? It's very easy and inexpensive to do. What you'll need are the following:
  1. Brass casings (spent or new)
  2. Black powder of your choice
  3. Primer punch 
  4. Hammer 
  5. Power drill
  6. Vice
  7. Hand priming tool
  8. Powder pourer
  9. Florist's foam
  10. Nail polish
If you are using new brass you can skip steps 1 and 2 below.


Step 1: Remove old primers from brass casings with a primer punch and a hammer.

Step 2: Drill out primer flash hole. This keeps the primer from backing out due to pressures created by there being no bullet on the case end.


Step 3: Seat new primer with a hand priming tool

Step 4: Pour black powder into case. The more powder you use, the bigger the "bang"!

(filled almost to the brim)

Step 5: Seal in the black powder with florist's foam. You can buy florist's foam at any craft or dollar store. This foam has been cut down to approximately the right depth for how much we need here.

(punching through the foam)

Step 6: This step is optional if you plan to use your blanks right away. If you are loading extras or they won't be used for a while it's a good idea to seal in the florist's foam with nail polish. This will give you a louder "bang" and help to keep the foam from disintegrating or breaking apart. We are using black here because it seems appropriate for gunfighters!

(Example showing a blank sealed with nail polish vs. a blank that has been left unsealed. The foam easily disintegrates when it hasn't been sealed.)

It's really that easy. But as always, safety comes first! Use caution when firing blanks, and NEVER shoot at a person. Here is the obligatory disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes, but anything that you may try is at your own risk.


Buy hand priming tool at Cabelas online

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