Making Gunpowder From Urine, Natural Materials

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

So, one day you’re working on your ranch in Utah, and you think “you know, when the zombie elk apocalypse comes, I had better be prepared. I’ve got a rifle, and some ammo, but what happens when I run out?”

Well, obviously you make your own gunpowder, and to do that you need to watch the following videos from YouTuber Cody of the channel Cody’sLab.

Cody, who is a college student and Mars One mission finalist, had a similar thought one day, and decided to create blackpowder and document his process. The YouTube videos he created as a result, especially the second one, are two of the most exciting and fun Internet gun videos I have ever seen. I watched Part 2 (which covers his success firing a blackpowder cannon with the homemade powder) first, and then Part 1 (which more closely covers his KNO3 production), and in my opinion you could watch them in either order. For the more technically-minded, watch them in order, but if you’re someone who can’t wait to see the stuff in action, watch Part 2 first. Both are embedded in order below:

From a historical perspective, Cody’s gunpowder is very well-made and refined; most of the gunpowder made until the late 18th Century was considerably cruder, and accidents were common. I am sure Cody would agree that there is room for improvement with his product, which is in its infancy, but on the other hand his process benefits from modern glassware and other tools.

Cody is a prolific YouTuber, and his videos, like the two above, are well worth your time to watch. If you feel the same way I do, go ahead and give him your subscription, too, as YouTube is his full time job over the summer when he is not in school.

Nathaniel F
Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at

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  • Roger V. Tranfaglia Roger V. Tranfaglia on Sep 27, 2015

    Okkaaayyyy......Is it CERTIFIED organic???

  • JCitizen JCitizen on Sep 30, 2015

    Reminds me of an improvised munitions hand book that came from the Army - needless to say my book got stolen! Just a little too handy. No worries, it is free online now, although I bet the formulas are purposely dumbed down. Just search for TM 31-210 - you can't miss.

    However, any good prepper knows you got to get ready for the Zombie Apocalypse by collecting the best air rifles you can find. The larger the caliber the better if you have a survivable way to pressure them, and repair them - that is.