Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by kyron4, Apr 27, 2021.
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.
Not sure about pyrodex, but whoever gave you information, as far as black powder goes, is pulling your leg.
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
"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.
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)
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.
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.
20210428_192212_resized by BigAlShooter posted Apr 28, 2021 at 7:32 PM
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.
20210428_192324_resized by BigAlShooter posted Apr 28, 2021 at 7:32 PM
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.
The powder measure may clean up by soaking in vinegar.
There's other brass cleaning suggestions on the same page, such as Lemi-shine in posts #30 & #31 --->>> https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/new-member-and-old-powder-flask-that-needs-fixing.885205/page-2#post-11856847
Also Brasso on page 1, post #15.
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