I thought you guys might be interested to know that I shot my first two home built 5" ball shells last night. Up until now I've only done 3"s.
Overall they worked fairly well for a first try. The time fuse was a little too long (thought I had duds for about half a second.) Anyone have any thoughts on how long the time fuse should be for 5"s?
One was loaded with red stars. The stars worked fine but the break was a little weak. I sort of expected that since I only used BP coated rice hulls with no burst enhancer. I might try adding a little whistle mix to the next one. The rice hulls were coated 7:1, but I had a lot of BP fines left under the drying screen when I got done, so I suspect the effective ratio was probably closer to 5:1 or 6:1. I think I might need to add more dextrin to the BP (I only used 2%) or use a little more water when coating the rice hulls (they were pretty dry by the time I got done putting the powder on.)
I used D1 glitter stars in the second shell. This was my first attempt at a glitter formula, and I was happy with the results. Nice coppery-gold color, good glitter effect, etc. The weaker break worked well with these stars. Overall it was a credable willow shell.
We also shot three 1lb BP rockets made with sugar maple charcoal from my parent's tree in Sioux Falls. I'm not sure the sugar maple was any better than the cedar charcoal we've been using, but it did work well (nice tail, no catos, etc.) I haven't been able to pound any rockets since my wrist surgery, but Robyne is getting very good at it. Her last six 1lb rockets have worked flawlessly.
Anyone else been bulding anything?