Black powder pistols


September 6, 2008, 12:42 AM
Hi all, I'm new to black powder pistols. I have a quick question about storing
a black powder pistol. Will it hurt the pistol to leave it loaded for over weeks at a time?

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September 6, 2008, 12:45 AM
not at all you should check out the black powder forums.

pm sent

welcome to THR

September 6, 2008, 01:18 AM
Can a blackpowder revolver be left loaded indefinitely? - THR (

September 6, 2008, 07:26 AM
Oh, take it easy on the new guys.

ozzman, introduce yourself over in this thread ( Welcome.

September 6, 2008, 08:29 AM
Nalioth directed you to a great link about this...the short answer is "no" can store it for much longer than weeks on end with some exceptions (read the link).

September 6, 2008, 08:33 AM
Welcome to THR.

September 6, 2008, 01:01 PM
there have been black powder guns that have been found in attics and in garages and all sorts of places that have been loaded in original bp guns from the civil war. When capped they have all fired. Black powder is one of the best most stable powders there is. You can pour some black powder in a cup and put some water on it. maybe even leave it outside when its damp outside. leave it there a week. Bring it in let it dry. Load it and fire it. being wet does not do anything to black powder as once it dries its black powder again. Black powder can last hundreds of hundreds of years. About 6 months ago someone i believe in florida was cleaning up a civil war cannon ball. Well he is no longer living with us. Cannon ball exploded and set pieces as far as 1/4 mile away with almost all the powder gone from the inside of the ball. So ya you can leave it loaded for a while. i have 2 loaded as we speak. been that way for about 3 weeks now.

September 6, 2008, 09:28 PM
Common question about BP. The powder is not going to degrade any faster in your cylinder than it does in the original powder canister. Humidity will not affect it any different either (its basically sealed by the ball on one end and the cap over the nipple hole on the other). Moisture can be a problem primarily prior to loading and that would be obvious. Unless you go swimming with your gun, you should be ok. You will be ready to shoot long before your loads go bad.

Black Powder is not corrosive until it is fired. So don't worry about that until you fire the gun - then you have to clean them.

Final thought - a lot of shooters have problems because they do not clean their BP revolvers good especially the nipples, or they leave excess lubrication in the nipples after cleaning. Use a dry pipe cleaner to get out any excess and hold them up to a light and make sure you see the light shining through. If the flash channel through the nipple is blocked - the main charge will not ignite. This has caused a lot of people to blame the gun or load components when in fact the problem was not the cause of either and is an easy fix.

September 6, 2008, 09:44 PM
One more thing. i am one of those who belives in keeping my cylinders well lubricated on my revolvers. However prior to shooting when im still at home i wipe out the cylinders. Then JACK THEM. I pour a very small amount of Jack Daniels. and use a q tip and go through the cylinders top to bottom. At the range i do my normal cap fire only on all the cylinders. If you ever have a ftf fail to fire. i take out my nipple pick. Put it in the nipple until i feel powder then stir it up a bit. has helped all the time i forgot to use the Jack. I dont remember who told me about using Jack in the cylinders and nipples but it works.

September 7, 2008, 06:36 AM
Scrat - shame on you, wasting good old Jack on a gun, The stuff was made to drink LOL Buy a spray can of electrical cleaner at Pep Boys, the stuff leaves no residue, and dries up well. Just joshing you about the "Jack"

September 7, 2008, 07:44 PM
...yes, it did explode as it was being disarmed, killing one person and sending fragments quite a distance BUT it is believed by many experts that this sort of thing is not the actual powder going off but, rather, an explosion of the highly volatile gas that is created when powder is moist over the years (from being buried for years in the earth) and reacts with the iron of the shell. A spark from the drill being used to disarm the shell ignites the gas and...boom. Many shells have been safely disarmed and the person doing it will hear a "whooshing" sound of the gas escaping the cavity of the shell. CW artillery shells are usually disarmed by submerging the shell in water and drilling with a drill press - not a perfect science under the best of circumstances. North South Trader's Civil War magazine had a wonderful article about this chemical reaction/gas explosion theory early last year, if memory serves me.

Back to your question - the powder in your pistol, if stored in a reasonably dry area/conditions, should last a long, long time.

September 8, 2008, 11:03 AM
History nut thanks for your post that was some good information

September 8, 2008, 10:35 PM
Yeah, there was an article in "The Artilleryman" about that.

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