Ammunition - Propellant

Common Propellants

Black Powder


Double Base Powder

Double-base powder, in a nutshell, is mostly nitrocellulose and a little nitroglycerin. My understanding is that modern powders are usually double-base.

Chemical Precursors

All the common propellants are nitrate-based. Black-powder uses potassium nitrate (KNO3) as a component. Nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin are created via nitration reaction in a bath containing nitric and sulfuric acids.

Nitric Acid

Sulfuric Acid