I'm sitting here reading all these arguments on the 'net about real black powder vs subs. So I went and looked at the actual ingredients, and here's what I found:
Black powder is charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate (but we knew that).
Pyrodex is charcoal, sulfur, sodium nitrate, and potassium nitrate, with potassium perchlorate added.
Triple Se7en is charcoal, potassium nitrate, and potassium perchlorate (Pyrodex without the sulfur).
So it's basically the same stuff. Pyrodex contains an additional oxidizer, as does Triple Se7en, and the latter doesn't have sulfur. All contain a bit of graphite, likely to help flow, as most smokeless powders meant for reloading have it also.
Can't find the MSDS on Shockey's Gold. I wonder if they're embarrassed to put it out there? It is extremely inconsistent and pretty good at making noise, but that's about it. Regardless, we know it's based on ascorbic acid, and probably has an oxidizer and binder in there too. But we'll leave it out of this because it's just not much good.
So why the arguments? The Big 3 - Black, Pyrodex, and Triple Se7en powders - all share most of the same ingredients. Additionally, "real" black powder has historically contained less than the optimum amount of oxidizer at times (early pioneers would often urinate on it and let it dry as a chemical in urine is an oxidizer - they didn't know why it worked, but it did). Too, substitutions were made, for example, sodium nitrate would be used in place of potassium nitrate at times when the latter was scarce.
True black has been more than one thing with more than one mixture - and in my mind, Pyrodex, if not Triple Se7en, would be close enough to the various mixtures to qualify as "true black" at one point or another in history.
And I do have one related question as well: Potassium chlorate is a salt. IIRC, it's the same stuff given off by "corrosive" primers when they're fired. It's the salts which attract moisture and induce oxidization in barrels.
How are these barrels safe? Doesn't seem they would be... unless the charcoal absorbs the moisture and holds it there.
So the two questions are these:
Why the arguments
how does a charged barrel not rust?