HC Deb 24 March 1884 vol 286 c589

asked the Surveyor General of the Ordnance, Whether he will direct the authorities to make such experiments as may be possible, with a view of endeavouring to adapt to the Military rifle some of the smokeless kinds of gunpowder now so generally used for other purposes?


Sir, experiments have been made with the principal smokeless powders known to the trade. These powders are chemical compounds, and their safety therefore depends, as does that of guncotton, upon chemical causes demanding the same precautions which are necessary in the case of dry guncotton. It is evident, therefore, that more risk would attend the general use of such materials for military purposes than attaches to the use of the present ordinary gunpowder.