Black Powder - Meal


Name: Meal


percent parts component
75.00% 15 Potassium Nitrate
15.00% 3 Charcoal (airfloat)
10.00% 2 Sulfur

Required Mass


Mill all three components together to integrate well.

The actual milling time depends on the efficiency of the particular mill. 2-3 hours should be considered the minimum with typical amateur ball mills.

Some choose to ball mill the Sulfur and Charcoal together separately from the Potassium Nitrate for a large part of the mill time. It is critical however that all three components are milled together for proper integration and best performance. A typical figure for "live" three-component milling is about 30% of the total mill time.

Others choose to precipitate the Potassium Nitrate into the pre-milled Sulfur and Charcoal mixture using a "wet method". This is considered the optimum from a safety and performance compromise point of view, but typically results in a lower performance product, and one which isn't really considered "meal".

Wheel mills may also be used, but they don't scale down as well as ball mills to amateur scales. Some consider the pressing/churning action of the wheel mill a superior method, producing better integrated black powder and capable of making faster burning BP from the same charcoal feedstock than other methods. Wheel mills require damp-processing and their output is a higher density meal than the relatively fluffy output of a ball mill.


Meal is just ball milled Greenmix.

Many people call meal "mill dust" to differentiate from "Meal D" which is a fine particle fraction of corned blackpowder commonly used in pyrotechnics.

Like all forms of BP there are *many* names used for it, but its preparation is the key, it is milled but not pressed or corned black powder.

Pyrotechnists use meal in much the same way as Bakers use flour. It is used to prevent sticking while cutting stars, as a basic ingredient for many recipes, as a dusting/priming material, etc. It has hundreds of uses and is a must to have around the shop.