You can’t defend yourself with a gun if you don’t have bullets, and you can’t make bullets if you don’t have gunpowder. That’s why knowing how to make your own gunpowder could be the difference between life and death, should there every come a day where the foundation of our country is ripped out from underneath us.
There are three ingredients needed to produce gunpowder – 75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal and 10% sulfur, in terms of weight ratio. While the actual mixing process is fairly simplistic, actually acquiring each of these ingredients can be a bit tricky. Charcoal, the easiest of the three ingredients to obtain, can be made from willow, soft pine, western cedar and cottonwood trees. Obtaining sulfur can be a bit more difficult, especially in a post-societal scenario. If you are unable to get your hands on it, you have one of two options: you can either substitute it with iron-oxide (rust) or you can exclude it altogether by mixing the potassium nitrate and charcoal together at an 80:20 ratio.
The most challenging of the ingredients to find is potassium nitrate because the only natural source is found inside of bat guano. If you are unable to obtain that, there are other ways to produce it yourself, but that takes months. One such way involves using a metal drum with a drainage valve near the bottom. A screen mesh is placed inside, where manure, water and urine are dumped, mixed, and then sealed for ten months. When you drain the water almost one year later, it will dry and form potassium nitrate crystals.
Regardless of how you acquire each of these ingredients, let’s assume that you are able to get them and you are ready to start the actual production.
Unless you want to see your fingers blown off in an explosion, it is advised that you grind up each of these ingredients separately before mixing them together. Also, don’t let any sparks or open flames anywhere near the ingredients. It may be common sense to most, but it’s important to note anyway.
Next, in order to minimize the risk of an explosion, mix each of the ingredients with a bit of water so that a dough-like material is produced. Once they are in this state, it is safe to grind them together using a mortar and pestle. Press the material into one solid mass and grind it up again into small pellets, then voila! You have homemade gunpowder. (RELATED: Learn how to make all-natural acorn flour for self-reliance).
No one said it would be easy, but if you are in a real survival situation living off the grid, you need to do what you need to do. Having your own stash of gunpowder in such a scenario would put you at a significant advantage, and give you the edge needed to defend yourself and your loved ones.