Black Powder

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms.

black powder

[¦blak ′pau̇d·ər]
A low explosive consisting of an intimate mixture of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur.

Black Powder


an explosive propellant, which is obtained by carefully fragmenting and mixing potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur in the proportions (by percentage weight) of 75:15:10.

Black powder is easily ignited and burns rapidly without air to form gases that are able to perform considerable mechanical work. It is one of the oldest explosives. No accurate date has been established for its invention; it was known in Europe by the 13th century and in China no later than the tenth to 11th centuries. For many centuries it was the only explosive used in military affairs. Because of the relatively small heat of explosion (approximately half that of trinitrotoluene), the poor detonation capability, and other drawbacks it was gradually replaced by other explosives. It is used in small quantities to make time fuses, in the extraction of block rubble, and in articles produced by pyrotechnics.


References in periodicals archive ?
Dennis Biswell has hunted with black powder for 34 years, and currently uses a replica .
Black powder manufacture began in Europe and Asia hundreds of years ago.
Generally I have found that 25-30% of the original black powder charge is right on when shooting a ball and 20 to 25% when shooting a heavier conical.
The explosion of the black powder used to launch shells caused the smoke from the Disneyland fireworks.
One story takes place roughly 2,000 years ago in China, when a cook happened upon the recipe for black powder.
Finished in an eye catching exclusive sparkle finish, lightweight fiberglass congas boast attractive black powder coated hardware, natural bison heads, Player's Series Easy Play hoops-gentle on small hand.
6 shot and 2 ounces of black powder, the gun would typically blast 80 to 100 ducks out of the sky with a single shot.
Triple 7 is not a true equivalency powder, meaning you cannot always use the same measured charge you normally use with black powder.
This study evaluates the effectiveness of Liqui-Drox as a process for developing latent prints on the adhesive side of a variety of types of tapes and compares it to four standard processes: alternate black powder, ash gray powder, gentian violet, and sticky-side powder at two lengths of storage time.
For thousands of years, the eyelid paint most widely used by Arab women has been called ethmid; it is a fine black powder pulverized from mountain stones.