Storing BP in a brass flask ?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by kyron4, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. kyron4

    kyron4 Member

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    Is safe to keep black powder or pyrodex in the brass flask for extended an period ? I was told it will corrode the brass and should be dumped back in the original can after a day at the range. -Thanks
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I've had pyrodex for about five years in a colt copy flask, I top it up a few times a year. The inside looks brand new, the outside not so much. Should be the same for bp, only burnt powder would cause corrosion.
     
  3. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    It might not be a bad idea to store a flask containing powder in a plastic bag.
    I don't leave powder in a Traditions flask but I've never noticed the remaining dust causing corrosion.
    Being more concerned about the remaining powder absorbing moisture, I return it to the original container or put it in a pill bottle.
    But it's easier to dump the powder and clean a cylindrical flask than a Colt flask.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  4. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

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    I have 2 of those type of flasks and have kept real black powder in them years at a time. The only thing is from handling them they got oxidation from my hands on the outside, the inside is like new after 50 years.
     
  5. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I keep my 4f in the flask for the pan. No harm done to the flask. And the powder still ignites.
     
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  6. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    I don't believe black powder is hydroscopic, so I leave it in my flasks. The 4fg in my priming horn has been there for years. Priming uses so little that I just top it off once a year. The 4fg I have comes from a can that says: "$9.99". Sometimes I pour the flasks back in the can, lest I forget what flask has what type (g) of powder in it. It's never corroded anything in my life, or absorbed moisture. I have many loads loaded in paper-bag paper/cartridges, and they stay perfectly dry for years.

    Not sure about pyrodex, but whoever gave you information, as far as black powder goes, is pulling your leg.
     
  7. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Some folks refer to powder clumping in a flask or horn as "caking".
    On TFL, Pahoo mentioned that he's seen it happen with an almost full flask of powder. --->>> https://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=561189
    He posted:
    "I got a flask in the mail, that was almost full. That cake was fairly firm. Broke it up with a screw driver and later shot it, in one of my cannons."
    And it was also noted that powder can sometimes cake or form clumps inside of a container.

    There's anecdotal posts about powders losing power after long term storage in a flask, perhaps its due to being home made black powder or a sub?
    damoc posted about this,
    "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" --->>> https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/pyrodex-does-it-have-a-shelf-life.753446/

    And some guess that it may involve moisture since it's well known that black powder is hygroscopic.

    "Black gunpowder is extremely hygroscopic.
    That's a five-dollar word scientists use to mean stuff that gets wet real easy.
    In fact, black gunpowder will absorb enough moisture from very humid air to make it unusable.
    ‘Keepin’ yer powder dry’ was of the utmost importance in the early West." --->>> http://www.texasescapes.com/CFEckhardt/Keep-yer-powder-dry.htm#:~:text=Black gunpowder is extremely hygroscopic,air to make it unusable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
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  8. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    BP -- after being burned -- leaves salts which readily absorb moisture/turn corrosive.

    Unburned BP is only slightly prone to humidity absorption. When dry, it is compatible
    with most metals. When wet, it will attacks all common metals except stainless (MSDS)
     
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  9. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    That appears to be true, that it usually doesn't absorb a whole lot of moisture.
    However 2 posters mentioned that Swiss Null B can cake and clump, both in the original bottle and enough to clog a primer horn. --->>> https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=56206.0

    Stoner creek posted about Swiss Null B
    "Yeah I like it too. I’ve already used up a pound of it. My only qualm with it beyond the cost is that it tends to clump up a bit. Even in the original plastic bottle it clumped up. Nothing a little stir with a wood dowel wouldn’t cure quickly."

    Bob McBride posted:
    "Will clump and stop up a small hole in a priming horn on occasion. Nothing a good shake or vent pick won’t fix."

    I Googled the question:
    Is Charcoal hygroscopic?
    "One of the inherent properties of charcoal is its high moisture absorption capacity, as a hygroscopic material. ... According to Luengo and Emmerich (1997), during the first hours after its production, charcoal can absorb from 4% to 16% of its weight in water, decreasing with time." --->>> https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&q=is+charcoal+hygroscopic&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    Some folks think that powders can absorb enough moisture to cause corrosion in the breech of guns where the powder was left loaded.
    There was a test published in Muzzle Blasts where a ML loaded with a PRB was stored in a damp cellar for a year and then examined for corrosion.
    And the barrel ended up rusting from where the patched ball was seated and below it.
    Zonie on the MLF attributes this to the openings in the barrel not being completely closed off. --->>> https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/leaving-guns-loaded.16766/page-2

    For the most part, powder flask interiors are closed off from humid air by a gate.
    As long as the gate closes then the powder would seem to be fairly well protected.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2021
  10. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I have had 2F and 3F stored in a couple of brass flask for at least 20 years and neither one of them has ever clumped or ate a hole through the flask. I have never had any BP clump in the cans. But all my BP is stored in the original metal cans inside of 50 cal ammo cans inside a metal shelf. My BP shooting box is a 50 cal ammo can that the flask are stored in so my storage habits may be the reason I have never had any clumping issues.

    As a side note I had my shooting bag hung on a nail up in my attic for close to 15 years and attached to it was my inline capper full of #11 caps. I live in Tx so in the summer the attic gets pretty hot. When I started shooting BP again I thought the caps would be dead from the heat. Nope. Every one of them went off just like brand new caps from a new can of caps. Lots of rumors out there that aren't always based in facts.
     
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  11. BigAlShooter

    BigAlShooter Member

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    I've kept 3f black powder for 10+ years in brass flask, no problems. It is black inside, but that may be normal. No clumping or corrosion.

    I also kept the same powder in a ziploc bag with a powder measure, which I thought was brass, and it corroded and turned black with clumped powder in and around it. I guess it got moisture in the bag. I think the bag is not really sealed and I live in GA, which is pretty humid.
     
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  12. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on the humidity in your area. Horns are better sealed (with the proper plug) against moisture. As some mentioned, metal flasks are not and thus the clumping.
     
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  13. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I mentioned earlier that I had powder in a couple of metal flask for at least 20 years and one thing I had forgot about was that I did make a little roll of paper towel and stuffed it in the cone on the flask. Maybe that helped keep them sealed.
     
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  14. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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