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OK, so I admit that I can be a bit naive about things, but I'd like some help getting a definition of the term or usage of "Black Powder".

My understanding was that this substance was basically gunpowder and was used back in the Old West for mining and blasting purposes.

But I've heard it thrown around rocketry circles to refer to the Estes motor cartridges that we insert into our lower power rockets.

But someone has made reference to "doping" their rocket by "adding some black powder" to it, presumably to make it go higher or faster.

How is Black Powder used in today's rocketry?  Or is it verboten?  Or is it somehow used in higher power rockets and can be used to violate regulations on lower power motors?
Kirk, BP is classically defined as FFFF. It's hard to come by, at least in NY state!
You can get FFFG, and other powders with larger sized particles, much more easily.
I use FFFF is my deployment charges for DD rockets.
Greg
Black powder from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder

The Estes motors are pressed black powder, so it's solid and not really powder.

As Greg said BP is used in high power rockets for ejection charges which are ignited by an altimeter and electric match. Also, high power motors from Cesaroni come with a black powder pellet to augment the igniter, and provide quick ignition.
Black powder ignites more quickly and more easily than APCP. Thus, a simple e-match is enough to light BP motors. BP motors are more subject to temperature cycling, whereas you can leave APCP motors out in the cold and then sit them next to the fire place and still get excellent performance.

Many gun stores sell BP. It is used as a primer for muzzle-loading rifles. Costs about $40 for a pound. A pound lasts a long time if you are using it for ejection charges.

Black powder is classified as a low explosive by the BATFE. You will need to know all of these facts if you ever want to take the Level 2 cert test.
Is there a study primer for taking these tests? Where do you find the study materials?