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Old May 30, 2014, 04:02 PM   #1
OrangePwrx9
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Pyrodex, does it have a shelf-life?

Have a several un-opened lbs. of RS and P set aside for the future. Thinking of adding to my supply. May not shoot it up for 10 or 12 years.

Will it retain its strength over that period if it stays sealed up?
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Old May 30, 2014, 05:08 PM   #2
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Yes! I don't know what it is but in my case it was less than 15 years. I had to throw it out. It would just fizzzz when ignited.
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Old May 30, 2014, 05:11 PM   #3
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I use Pyrodex to fire a small cannon on holidays. My bottle that is 5 years old is fine. I keep the lid tight and inside the house. My central heat and air system keeping the humidity down may help in that regard. Mine isn't crusty or discoloered. It looks the same as when the bottle was opened.
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Old May 30, 2014, 05:12 PM   #4
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last friday i went through a bunch of RS that was god only knows how old came with my CVA hawken i got in 2012, was bought from a guy who had the rifle since the 80's never could get into shooting itů id hazard a guess that it was years old just dont know how many. Every shot went bang all 82 of them
so i had no problem other than i didnt care for the fouling that i had to clean off my '60
good luck
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Old May 30, 2014, 05:39 PM   #5
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My storage area is cool and dry. Sounds like it might be OK.
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Old May 30, 2014, 05:53 PM   #6
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I've had good experience with old Pyrodex.
A buddy of mine buys new every year because he had a bad experience once and determined that it went bad. I'm thinking it got wet or something, but you can't tell him anything.

That same year he told me that, I made sure to look at the can we had. The date was on the price tag on it from the store. It was 11 years old. I shot a doe with it that year at about 75 yds. Bang/flop. I told my buddy I'd take all of his old powder.
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Old May 30, 2014, 07:21 PM   #7
mec
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This can of pyrodex came to this area a year or two after it was developed. Thats how long it takes the distributors to move new products here. Bates, the owner opened the can, shot some of it, didn't like it (because it wasn't real black powder). and left it in his garage until 2005. It was subjected to extreme temperature swings the whole time. The script on the picture is confusing but the top r figures are what we got with this powder while the higher velocity below was with pyrodex p from 2005.

Whether from age-related changes or original formulation, the old stuff is more like goex fffg while the more recent batches perform a lot like swiss fffg.

No idea if this single can is representative of all old pyrodex performance or not.
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Old May 30, 2014, 09:26 PM   #8
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Dont setup a gun with old powder.

If your going to setup a gun use new fresh powder then set it up. Then play around with the old stuff IMO it all has a shelf life.

I shot and shot some old stuff then i bought a new can and it felt like i went from 20 grains to 30 (well maybe not that extreme but i did have to check and make sure i was still using the same F grade i had been it was so different)

I guess if you keep it dry and never open it, where i live its super humid. Once i found out that old powder doesnt shoot like the new stuff i started shooting what i had been saving (the swiss)

Last edited by BowerR64; May 31, 2014 at 12:33 AM.
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Old May 31, 2014, 12:14 AM   #9
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yep i noticed an extreme loss of power when left in a flask for an extended period of time but if kept sealed well it should keep long term
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Old May 31, 2014, 12:31 AM   #10
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i noticed it with pyrodex but also with T7

I havnt played enough with the real black powder to know how it does but Phil told me something that i never thought of.

Always shake the powder, just moving and pouring it can seperate the powder. Like say even though 2F is larger little bits still get in there and break up like 3F those can worm their way down and the big stuff can float up. Keep it mixed so those little pieces stay mixed with everything else.

Its hard to get things out of some of these older guys that have been doing it for years. Its like nascar no one wants to give out to many speed secrets and get beat but every once in a while they let little good bits slip out.
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Old May 31, 2014, 01:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowerR64 View Post
i noticed it with pyrodex but also with T7

I havnt played enough with the real black powder to know how it does but Phil told me something that i never thought of.

Always shake the powder, just moving and pouring it can seperate the powder. Like say even though 2F is larger little bits still get in there and break up like 3F those can worm their way down and the big stuff can float up. Keep it mixed so those little pieces stay mixed with everything else.

Its hard to get things out of some of these older guys that have been doing it for years. Its like nascar no one wants to give out to many speed secrets and get beat but every once in a while they let little good bits slip out.
I think the consensus on real BP is that it keeps forever it can be "ruined" with moisture
but can just be redried and recombined to bring it back to life unless it gets that much moisture that it becomes leached out.

BTW I think modern comercial BP has a coating to keep out atmospheric moisture
but OLD SCHOOL and home brew BP suck up the moisture from the air badly.

Is this correct?
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Old May 31, 2014, 01:48 AM   #12
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I dont know about the old school moisture but believe it has been treated pretty muchthe same for a long time. We've chronographed .44 special loads that are about a century old replacing the primers with fresh ones since the old primers had gone dead. The velocity was only a bit slower than modern goex and actually higher when we used some in a percussion gun. There was quite a bit of what appeared to be charcoal dust separate from the distinct grains.


We also had a bit left over in a can of dupong that must have been well over 50 years old
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Old May 31, 2014, 12:36 PM   #13
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I bought some Pyrodex CTG from a fellow the other day. Some of you know how long that has been out of production. I crushed some of it to a size similar to RS and P. I tested it in my ROA 27 grains with grits filler. They fired the same as the Goex 3F, no delayed ignition. I also tried it in the 50 cal percussion rifle. I had a couple of delayed ignition with the CTG but other that they fire fine and accurate. I was impressed.
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Old May 31, 2014, 04:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangePwrx9 View Post
Have a several un-opened lbs. of RS and P set aside for the future. Thinking of adding to my supply. May not shoot it up for 10 or 12 years.

Will it retain its strength over that period if it stays sealed up?
Yes!
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Old May 31, 2014, 04:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Patocazador Yes! I don't know what it is but in my case it was less than 15 years. I had to throw it out. It would just fizzzz when ignited
When you said it "fizzzzz" when ignited, did you mean when it was loaded in your weapon or when it was lit in the open? Pyrodex will burn slow like smokeless powder not like blackpowder.
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Old May 31, 2014, 04:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BowerR64 View Post
Dont setup a gun with old powder.

If your going to setup a gun use new fresh powder then set it up. Then play around with the old stuff IMO it all has a shelf life.

I shot and shot some old stuff then i bought a new can and it felt like i went from 20 grains to 30 (well maybe not that extreme but i did have to check and make sure i was still using the same F grade i had been it was so different)

I guess if you keep it dry and never open it, where i live its super humid. Once i found out that old powder doesnt shoot like the new stuff i started shooting what i had been saving (the swiss)
Yeah... but that shelflife will outlive your grandkids.
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Old May 31, 2014, 05:02 PM   #17
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Apparently the mileage varies. Some people have it got "fizzzzzzz....gbroompppp." while others seem to find it ok. Our sample was as old as pyrodex itself when we chronographed it in 2005 and it had been open for several decades an stored in very hot to cold conditions. So, who Knows?
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Old May 31, 2014, 05:15 PM   #18
Rattus58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mec View Post
Apparently the mileage varies. Some people have it got "fizzzzzzz....gbroompppp." while others seem to find it ok. Our sample was as old as pyrodex itself when we chronographed it in 2005 and it had been open for several decades an stored in very hot to cold conditions. So, who Knows?
It is probable that very hot and very cold are the best elements to store pyrodex (on the outside that is) as humidity is probably at its lowest in such environment. Hawaii isn't the best place but my powders, some of them over 20 years and having been opened, still ignite reliably.... albeit they chronograph sometimes at less than what I'd expect..... and with a gas oven... well the missuse is an obstacle to drying....
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Old June 2, 2014, 07:03 PM   #19
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I am always on the prowl for half cans of powder I get at shooting gear sales for a song. I've shot up a lot of old Pyrodex, APP, Black Canyon and BP. Moisture is the baddie. Black Canyon will become a solid brick of black uselessness. APP less so but is moisture sensitive and gets clumpy. Both of the latter powders seem to go bad in the sealed bottle. So far, I have not run across a "bad" can of Pyro whether the bottle had been opened or not. Same for BP. It seems to work fine for my purposes which is loading into shotshells for Cowboy Action Shoots where precise loads are not needed to just knock over steel targets. If I were a BP silhouette shooter I probably would pass on the old/used powders and stick to the fresh stuff. For casual shooting, old Pyro seems to hold up well as long as it is kept dry.
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Old November 27, 2014, 02:48 PM   #20
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I throw a desiccant pack or two in my open cans to suck up any moisture. So far so good.
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Old November 27, 2014, 11:25 PM   #21
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I have some old pyroxex in the old cardboard cans that were open. Bought them at a gunshow. Shoots fine.
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Old November 28, 2014, 10:55 AM   #22
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Didn't there used to be concerns about Pyrodex stored in copper containers like powder flasks?

-kBob
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Old November 29, 2014, 03:07 AM   #23
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I bought can of Pyrodex when I bought a Hawkins in '95. I rediscovered the can recently during a move and found it seems to work as well as it ever has. The lid was on tight, so I'm sure that helped.
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