how to measure black powder without a measuring device

Measuring black powder without a proper measuring device can be challenging and potentially dangerous, as accuracy is essential when working with explosive materials. However, in emergencies or survival situations, you may need to improvise. Here’s a method that can be used as a last resort:

Warning: Be extremely cautious when handling black powder or any explosive materials. This method is not recommended for regular use, and it should only be used in exceptional circumstances. Always prioritize safety and seek proper measuring tools when available.

Materials Needed:

  • A flat, clean surface
  • A clean, flat-edged tool (such as a knife or a piece of metal)
  • A small, shallow container (like a cup or a spoon)
  • A reference measurement (if available)


  1. Create a Level Surface:
    • Find a clean, flat surface where you can work. Ensure that the surface is level and free from any debris or irregularities.
  2. Use a Reference Measurement (if available):
    • If you have access to a known reference measurement, such as a pre-measured charge or a scale, use it as a guide to estimate the amount of black powder you need. This is more accurate than estimating by eye.
  3. Prepare the Container:
    • Use a small, shallow container to hold the black powder. This can be a cup, spoon, or any suitable item with a flat bottom.
  4. Create a Level Line:
    • If you have a reference measurement, use the flat-edged tool to create a level line in the black powder container. For example, if you have a reference measurement that’s half an inch high, mark the container at the halfway point.
  5. Estimate the Amount:
    • Without a proper measuring device, you’ll need to estimate the amount of black powder. Carefully pour or scoop the powder into the container, ensuring it stays level with the marked line. This estimation can be challenging and may not be precise.
  6. Use Caution:
    • Be extremely cautious during this process. Do not overfill the container, as too much black powder can be dangerous. Always handle black powder with care to avoid accidents or ignition.
  7. Test Carefully:
    • If you’re using the estimated black powder for a specific application, such as reloading ammunition, testing is crucial. Start with a smaller charge than you think you need, and gradually increase it while monitoring the results for safety and effectiveness.

Remember that this method is not recommended for regular use, and it should only be used as a last resort when no proper measuring tools are available. Accuracy and safety are paramount when dealing with explosive materials like black powder, so always prioritize these factors and seek out appropriate measuring devices whenever possible.

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