any replacements for black powder?

Question by Ben: any replacements for black powder?
me and my cousin are designing an American version of the Karyusha (yes, like the one from Sons of Guns) which is a Russian World War II Anti-Aircraft that can shoot multiple rockets out of pipes at once. my cousin wants the rockets to blow up in the sky, which I am against because then it would be considered as fireworks and we dont have a permit and fines are hefty for that. oh yeah, forgot to mention that it’s purpose is for airsoft and paintball war simulations, and this if it were for sale would be one-and-only and worth easily 5000$ in the ever-expanding airsoft market. it might cost 500$ to make. im not selling it though because of how it can be used for other purposes then I intend if it is even slightly modified. please dont give me a lecture of how this is stupid. i just want to know if theres a (legal) replacement for black powder that can be lit at ignition and propel the projectiles out of the 4 foot long PCB pipes. we were going to use 1 ounce of black powder at the bottom of the pipe if there is no substitution. if we were to explode the projectiles, which hopefully we’ll find another way that bbs can fall out of the sky and rain down on opponents (such as model rockets blow the caps off so if bbs were installed in the cap they would fly out, however model rockets arent reusable and expensive and use different launch system) if we were to explode the projectiles, I would use merely 1/8 of an ounce of bp. oh yeah and any ideas on what the projectiles should be? bottle rockets? foam rockets with bbs inside? plastic model rocket cases? firework cases (no explosives)? any ideas? just dont be obvious and say model rockets because of engine costs.
Co2 has gone into consideration, but my ignition system uses electricity to cause a spark remotely from a safe distance. Co2 is an area im more unfamiliar with although it would be less costly it would take away from the realism, and basically how badass it’ll be. if we do figure out a way to manipulate CO2 power or N2 with a paintball triggering system so that all can be released in one pull of the trigger we will definitely use that but were still figuring out our options and air pressure is the last in our list to check into. thanks for your help though!
Model, Im just checking my options here. could you offer me a suggestion or two? i have looked into spud guns and air cannons but they are too costly to have 8 of them but I’d be willing to pay if not for the fact that you have to spend an hour reloading them and cant do it mobile as you need an air pump. I want to be able to prepare everything but be able to reload it all in 20 minutes on the field. PVC can withstand 1 ounce of black powder. I’m not worried about that. the BBs are plastic and the worst they will do is make people bleed a little, paintballs will be more lethal though so thats out of consideration. I really need to figure out what the projectiles should be so can you help me there and I still need a different ignition source then black powder. Please? but thanks for taking the time to write me back.

Best answer:

Answer by ripcordrider31
Have you considered pressurizing the tubes with C02?

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One comment on “any replacements for black powder?
  1. Model Pilot says:

    1. The Katyusha rocket system was not anti-aircraft…it was rocket artillery. The current US system is the MLRS and has quite a punch…visuals of it in action from the 1991 and 2003 attacks in the Gulf are spectacular.

    2. Using black powder as a charge in PVC piping is very dangerous. The piping is not designed for the pressures, and it will at some size of charge blow out the “chamber” and perhaps harm you. You are counting on the venting down the barrel while expelling your “rocket” preventing this, but it is a very tricky proposition since you want the power behind the “rocket.” Check out the “blow back” from an RPG or LAW/bazooka and you will see a bit of what you will be dealing with.

    3. The BBs you write of won’t rain down on anyone, they will fulfill the physics of the situation and plunge on an arch with considerable force…in effect being small bullets, with the same damaging potential. In effect, you want to be “bad” like in putting a piece of ice into a snow ball and then hitting someone with it. In effect, you want to be shooting people with your own equivalent of “bird shot” from your own home-made shotgun, but they should think of it as a “toy.” I’d get your potential victims to sign off on a waiver about that first, if you can.

    4. Try googling “potato gun” or “pumpkin gun” and see what others have come up with before you qualify yourself for the “Darwin Awards.” Compressed air is the first thing you should be looking at, not the last.

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