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Black Powder Manufacturing, Testing & Optimizing by Ian von Maltitz

This is an excellent down to earth book that covers the manufacture of Black Powder. It covers all aspects of manufacture, from the sourcing of chemicals, grinding and mixing, through to testing and use.

Extract from the preface:

It was probably during my meeting with Ken Kosanke in what I affectionately called his "secret mountain laboratory" that I decided to revise what I had written in Black Powder Manufacture, Methods and Techniques. When I told Ken that I had grown unhappy with what I had written, in that the material in it was dated and needed correction in parts, he encouraged me with the statement "That's what second editions are for".

Well Ken's laboratory isn't in the mountains. It's not a secret either. And this book is not a second edition of Black Powder Manufacture, Methods and Techniques. It is a completely new book, written from a somewhat different perspective. The previous book was written towards the end of the last millennium, and largely reflected the state of amateur pyrotechnic art of the time. This book was written at the beginning of this millennium, and reflects some marked changes in approaches to making Black Powder.

..... This book discusses Pyro Golf in detail, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses. It also assures the reader that one can make good Black Powder using different kinds of ball mills, or perhaps even without a ball mill. Along the way this book dispels myths, kills sacred cows, and takes some rather irreverent swipes at the self-appointed amateur Black Powder theocracy. For all these sins its author is unrepentant and unapologetic.

Good Black Powder needs good charcoal, so I have dedicated three chapters of this book to making charcoal - good charcoal - the type best suited for making Black Powder. And one doesn't know if one's powder is good until one has tested it; three chapters are dedicated to testing. ....

Code No. 010184, 208 pages, ISBN 0929931211, $40.00

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