History of Smokeless Gunpowder
Smokeless gunpowder was developed because of the deficiencies of black powder. Black powder after shot from a rifle would make a black cloud that obscured the vison of soldier and was very volitile to handle and corrosive to materials which makes cleaning everything it touches a must. in 1884 Paul Vieille invented a early type of todays modern smokeless gunpowder. Since his invention it has got ridden of the smoke cloud problem and is 3x more powerful than black powder. Black powder was also extremely corrosive so it ate away at the delicate parts of the gun. This made the operator constantly clean and maintain the gun and made it so you would have to clean it every single time after you use it.Smokeless gunpowder made it so that you could go and shoot more rounds and not worry about your gun getting damaged. It could also be burned while wet so it was all portable. The problem with using this though was that it would degrade over time and become acidic. Stabilizers were then added to slow this down. A important thing to note is that you cannot use smokeless gun powder inside a Black Powder gun because the smokeless powder creates a lot more energy and will ruin the gun.

Desipite the name "Smokeless Powder" it is actually not smokeless, it just makes less smoke than black powder because black powder ends up with 55% solids at the end of the reaction. It is also not a powder technically because it is classified as granulated substance.



Modern Usage
The new smokeless gunpowder is composed of nitroglycerin to dissolve the nitrocellulose for a more powerful burst and are more stable which is called double base powder. The original smokeless gunpowder is called single-base powder. There is also a third type called triple-base powder which adds some nitroguandine to suppress the flash or burning gas coming from burning the powder
Today smokeless gunpowder is used mostly in guns by putting the Gunpowder directly into the a casing with a bullet instead of hand loading the powder and then the bullet like black powder. In the early 20th century it was also used for tools which required a lot of power but was replaced with air pressure and hydraulics. It is also used in fireworks and firecrackers in small amounts.


Chemical Makeup

It was made originally from gelatin Guncotton(Nitrocellulose), Alchohol(Ethanol), and Ether( diethyl ether).

Molecular Formula for Smokeless Powder:
C2H5OH + (C2H5)2O + C6H7(NO2)3O5
(Alcohol) + (Ether) + (Guncotton)


You can also make it from Nitric acid and Cellulose which make Guncotton and water

Molecular Formula to make Smokeless Powder:
3HNO3 + C6H10O5 → C6H7(NO2)3O5 + 3H2O
(Nitric Acid)+(Cellulose) → (Guncotton) + (Water)

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(Some Smokeless Gunpowder)

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Nitrocellulose

a demonstration and overview of pure "Gun cotton"( Nitrocellulose)