How To Make Your Own DIY Gunpowder

Did you know preppers can make their own DIY gunpowder?

Gunpowder is crucial to have in a survival situation. With this important substance, you’ll always be able to shoot a firearm. This makes it excellent for self-defense and for home-defense to help protect you from attackers.

Gunpowder is also an excellent bartering tool. When SHTF, people are going to need gunpowder to go about their daily lives. And, if you have enough of it, you can trade it for something that’s going to help you and your family survive.

How do you make sure you have enough?

Well, luckily, there’s a way you can make your own DIY gunpowder, right at your kitchen table. By following this method, you can always ensure you have gunpowder aplenty for any and all upcoming emergencies.

Now one thing to remember is this DIY project may be a bit expensive up front. However, once you have the equipment, the chemical substances you need are fairly inexpensive. And, considering the usefulness of this survival tool, the upfront cost will be well worth it in the end.

When SHTF, one of the few guarantees you’ll have is that the grocery, hardware, and department store shelves will be completely empty. Once the masses catch wind of the upcoming emergency, they’ll be flocking to their nearest shopping malls and stocking up on everything they can to survive. And that will include the precious commodity of gunpowder.

Luckily, you don’t have to risk injury from being trampled by hundreds of people in order to get what you need. By making this substance at home, you’ll be sitting pretty while the masses fight over every last scrap!

Prepare Now and Survive Later by simply learning…

How To Make Your Own DIY Gunpowder

Like I said, the initial cost of the materials for this project can be a bit expensive. However, once you have the main parts, the cost goes down tremendously (and practically pays for itself in value).

Here’s one of the best ways to make your own DIY gunpowder according to Instructables:

Step 1: Parts List

Parts List

There are three basic chemicals in gunpowder Potassium Nitrate, Charcoal powder, and Sulfur powder. Gunpowder would be a lot simpler to make if you could just mix the three chemicals together in the right ratio and have the final product, however chemistry dosent always work that way. If you look at a piece of charcoal under a microscope you can see very tiny holes called pores. Even when the charcoal is ground up into a fine powder each particle of it still contains microscopic pores. To properly make gunpowder the particles of charcoal must be ground together with the potassium nitrate and sulfur, the process of grinding them smashes the potassium nitrate and sulfur into the pores of the charcoal creating a subastance that will readily burn when ignited.

Parts list: 

1. Ball mill ( Can be bought at for 70$, if you buy it someplace else or decide to make it, make sure you also buy lead grinding media (ceramic media can also be used) as it is the only metal that wont give off sparks when ground together)
2. Scale ( I prefer the electronic ones which can be bought on e-bay fairly cheap, less then 20$, make sure it has a capacity of at least 200 grams, otherwise you will be making gunpowder in very small batches)
3. Potassium nitrate, Sulfur powder, and Charcoal powder(All obtainable on e-bay) When buying try to buy as close to 5x as much potassium nitrate as charcoal powder, and 2/3 as much sulfur as charcoal ( I will explain the ratios later)
4. Wire spaghetti strainer
5. Old newspapers
6. Tupperware container
7. Calcuator ( To measure the amount of chemical to use)

Step 2: Mixing The Chemicals

Mixing the Chemicals

As long as you always follow the 75:15:10 ratio of potassium nitrate:charcoal powder:sulfur powder you can make any amount of gunpowder necessary. First either determine the necessary amount and mix the chemicals accordingly, or you can make a large batch and save it for future use (I do it this way). A decent sized batch would be 300 grams potassium nitrate, 60 grams charcoal powder, and 40 grams sulfur powder.


1. If you are using an electric scale, place a container (I use dixie plastic cups) on it to measure the chemicals into. Then press and hold the “tare” button and it will take the added weight into account and set itself to zero (meaning the weight of the cup wont be taken into effect when you measure out the weight of the chemcials)
2. Measure the proper amount of each chemical, one chemical at a time, into the cups and then empty each cup into the ball mill.
3. When all 3 chemicals are in the ball mill grinding chamber seal it and turn it on.

Step 3: Turn It On And Wait

Turn It on and Wait

The title of this step says it all. Two hours is the standard amount of time to let it grind for, however you can leave it on for longer to get a slightly higher quality powder (I suppose you can also grind it for a shorter amount of time with diminished results if you need it fast, examples of this would be if you were in some sort of gunpowder making contest or if your hometown was invaded by aliens and you needed fast gunpowder)

Step 4: Sift Out The Powder

Sift Out the Powder

After 2 hours you will turn off and remove the gunpowder from the ball mill, and store it in a container.


1. Lay out a couple of sheets of old newspaper.
2. Hold the spaghetti strainer over the newspaper and pour the contents of the ball mill into it.
3. Gently shake the strainer until all the gunpowder has fallen through the holes to the newspaper and all the lead balls remain.
4. Put the lead balls back in the ball mill, close it up, and store it for another day.

Step 5: Store For Future Use

Store for Future Use

Pour the gunpowder from the newspaper into a tupperware container. Seal the container tightly and store for future use. Make sure the container is airtight so the gunpowder will not absorb moisture from the air.

5 Responses
  • Lee
    September 24, 2017

    Interesting! Is this black powder or does it equate to, say, Bullseye?

    • Nick
      September 28, 2017

      Black powder. Neophyte…

  • Jorge Jenkins
    September 24, 2017

    Well this method makes mill dust. To really be useful though, it still needs to be granulated into various sizes. Some useful for ammunition, some for cannon, etc.

  • Dick Wolf
    September 25, 2017

    It’s my understanding that pistols, rifles and shotguns require different forms of gunpowder. Which form did you describe?

  • Larry B
    September 25, 2017

    What results from the milling of these ingredients is black powder. The potency of the powder could vary considerably depending on the size of the granules, the completeness of the milling, and the purity of the raw ingredients. Commercial black powder is typically milled wet, to reduce accidental explosions. It is then dried into “cake” before it is ground to obtain various granule sizes for use in different bore sizes (typically, 1F, the largest granulation for cannons, to 4F, the smallest for priming flintlocks). The granules produced from the grinding are often coated with graphite to reduce the absorption of moisture, and to modify the burning characteristics.

    Luckily, the use of black powder is forgiving by limiting the speed of the pressure rise, and the maximum pressure created when it burns. The maximum projectile velocity generated is relatively slow compared to smokeless powders. Large caliber, heavy bullets are best suited to the use of black powder, although even .22 rim fire was loaded with black powder before smokeless powder was invented. Muzzle loaders and cartridges of the late 1800s, that were originally loaded with black powder, would be good choices to use this powder with. But what do you use for primers for the black powder cartridges, or percussion caps for muzzle loaders? How about a “how to” for making primers and percussion caps?