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Storing loaded musket/black powder rifle

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Liam38, Mar 26, 2013.

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  1. Liam38

    Liam38 Member

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    I just got my first black powder rifle it's a traditions .50 kentucky rifle and I love it. However I was curious what would happen if someone let a rifle like this sit with either black powder or pyrodex at the breech and a ball on top. Would it corrode or would it be fine. I do not plan on doing this as have a glock 23 for home defense and I was just curious. Posts are apreciated and thank you.
     
  2. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    With real BP you could leave it loaded for a generation or two or more and it would still be fine. Pyrodex is highly corrosive.
     
  3. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    It depends on humidity with the black powder (I don't know nuthin bout Pyrodex except I hate it). If you store it in a humid environment, the black powder will absorb water and your gun will corrode. How much depends on time and amount of absorbed water. The main spot where water vapor can enter is through the nipple/primer area.

    When I first got a BP rifle, I loaded it and left it throughout the hunting season. When a deer showed up 2 mos. later, it wouldn't fire. I had to pull the bullet and clean it out.
     
  4. ThorinNNY

    ThorinNNY Member

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    I wouldn`t recommend leaving your Kentucky rifle loaded. A lot of people I know unly use their muzzleloaders during the special muzzloading hunting season(s).
    A fellow I know decided ,at the end of muzzleloading season, to remove the cap but leave the charge in until next year`s season.Over the course of the year, he`d forgotten he left powder & ball in it.Come muzzleloading season, he capped it and squeezed the trigger. Well, the ball discharged and hit someone in the leg.
    He apparently didn`t know enough about muzzle loaders( or gun safety in general) to have put the ram rod down the bore(,before capping it) to check if a charge had been left in it.
    Messy situation that cost him big time. The fella that was shot didn`t have a very good time either.
    Unless your`e thinking of leaving it loaded for self defense, it`s not a good idea. Even at that, there are better choices for self defense.
    Some people,if they leave a muzzleloader loaded for an extended time, will attatch a red tag to their trigger guard,as a reminder to themselves.Whether a kid or somone else will understand what that red tag means is anyone`s guess.:(
     
  5. damoc

    damoc Member

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    I agree

    hard to know if you have a loaded gun or not easy for an accident to happen
    or a double load.

    i leave my muzzel loader unloaded and will still always do some quick tests
    and a carefully aimed test cap just to be sure.

    but real BP could still be in the barrel and fireable after 100 years or more
    providing it is kept dry.
    I have heard that pyrodex does not last as long
     
  6. woodnbow

    woodnbow Member

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    Agree with Patocazador... Although I leave bp firearms loaded as a matter of course, sometimes a year or more. I do live in a very dry climate. If I lived in Central Florida I might cover the muzzle with a condom and make certain the cap fits tightly if I knew it was going to stand for some time without firing.



    But to Thorin's comment. All guns are always loaded. That's absolute and should be the very first thing you verify when you pick up a firearm. No ifs ands or buts. Anyone who disregards this first rule is a fool and not to be trusted with sharp objects...
     
  7. 303tom

    303tom member

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    I always keep a loaded .50 cal. in the rack, with black powder, less corrosive..............
     
  8. BADUNAME30

    BADUNAME30 Member

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    Muzzle loaders weren't hung over the fireplace for decoration.
    They were hung there to utilize the warm air to help keep the powder dry.Those rifles were left loaded because powder and ball were too vauable to be wasted during unloading. Also, that loaded rifle was thier main means of self defense.
    As swathdiver posted...blackpowder rifles have been found to have been loaded for generations and would still fire just fine.
    Black powder is not corrosive. The moisture it can collects is
    Leaving it loaded is up to you.
    Will it be safe where it's at ?
     
  9. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    :banghead: "I forgot it was loaded" :banghead:

    At least we know it works...
     
  10. BADUNAME30

    BADUNAME30 Member

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    That's why you should always mark your ramrod(s) and check your rifle with it any time you handle it.
     
  11. woodnbow

    woodnbow Member

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    If I ever hear that phrase uttered in my presence the speaker will be on his ass in about a half second... "Didn't think it was loaded? What kind of moron picks up a weapon and assumes its NOT loaded?" :fire:
     
  12. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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  13. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    Longest I've kept one loaded was 3 years, discharged just fine and hit the mark.

    I've always felt the safest firearm is a loaded firearm, most people pay a bit more attention where they point them that way.

    There have been an awful lot of so called "accidents" where people have been shot by thought to be "unloaded" firearms. "I didn't know it was loaded" is a poor excuse for negligence.
     
  14. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Loaded with black powder it can last for a century plus. I wouldn't try it with substitutes. Remember though, you want to restrict access to a loaded gun. Don't want an accident, do we?
     
  15. slumlord44

    slumlord44 Member

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    I hunt with my front loader from September to January. Use Triple Seven and keep it loaded. Put an orange tag in the triger guard with LOADED in big red letters. Never had a problem yet.
     
  16. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I strongly recommend against leaving any firearm loaded unless it is intended for home defense. I know of several people who have been killed or injured when a muzzle loader thought to be unloaded fired.

    Sure, you know the gun is loaded. But does everyone in your family know that? And what if something happens that you can't pass the word along.

    The trouble or slight cost of reloading next year does not outweigh the danger of leaving it loaded.

    Jim
     
  17. Will5A1

    Will5A1 Member

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    Sometime in the early 90's I delibrately left my T-C New Englander loaded with BP under a PRB from one deer season to the next, the cap was off the nipple but I put a chunk of rubber under the hammer on the nipple to seal it. Fired fine the next season, no evidence of any corrosion in the bore, the rifle was stored indoors. At that time I used bore butter as a patch and bore lube.

    However, I have a foggy memory of an article by the Bevel Brothers in Muzzleblasts, can't find it in any of my old copies, wherein they ran a test, using multiple sections of barrels that they installed a plug on one end of each, and left a PRB (I don't recall if lubed or not) loaded over a charge of BP, in a damp basement. They would then, over time, pull the charges, and at some point they did get rust in the barrel where the patch ccontact was, I think within a year.

    I also know that 4F (Goex only, never tried Swiss or other brands), in a flintlock's pan, when exposed to high humidity (foggy or misty day) starts to clump up and absorbs moisture fairly quickly, sometimes it seems to get that way in an hour.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
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