black powder disposal - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, I have a couple of pounds of black powder left over from shooting some time ago. I know it can become unstable over time. I was wondering if anyone could tell me a good way to safely dispose of it and also if it could be dangerous at this time. It may be about 20 years old and has been stored in the original containers in mostly moderate temperatures the whole time. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 05:15 AM
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Howdy pard,

Numba one, BP is VERY stable! If stored away frum heat it will remain useable for many years...I'm talkin on the order of 100+ here! BP made during the Civil war is still good today providing it hasn't been exposed to extremely high temps for long periods. If it hasn't, use it and enjoy. Irrespective, it doesn't become unstable or anything like that... it jist loses it's omph!

Disposing of old BP. Easy! Take it out in to a nice open area, pour it on the ground, lay a long fuse (toilet paper werks purdy good), and light it....powder gone!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 10:43 AM
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Default black powder disposal

It's probably OK to shoot but if you want to get rid of it, sprinkle it in the yard and liberally water the grass. It's probably good fertilizer.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default black powder disposal

Thanks for the info. Knowing that it's still safe I'll look for some local BP shooters who can use it or failing that I'll sprinkle & water.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 03:40 PM
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Default black powder disposal

I agree with the statements here - that black powder does not deteriorate just because of time.

But the thing you need to avoid with BP is moisture, not heat! BP is just a physical mixture of charcoal, potassium nitrate, and sulfur. Exposing this mixture to heat does not harm it in the least (unless it ignites!)

Smokeless is just the opposite - it does not attract moisture anywhere near as much as black, but heat can cause it to slowly break down.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 11:36 PM
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Default black powder disposal

Here's how I got rid of some (only a small amount).
Take it out onto the gravel driveway.
Squat down and lean out with a match and touch if off.
As the burn removes your fringe and eye lashes rapidly stand up whilst breathing in all the smoke and smack your elbow on the car port thus creating a 2 inch gash in the flesh.
Flail around blinded and coughing, dripping blood until you recover then go inside and tidy yourself up before your wife comes home and deny all knowledge.
Sad but true.
:shock:

Cheers

Jeff
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-23-2003, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Hee Hee! Been there, done that! Of course this was a long time ago, but that's why I'm looking for an alternative method. Of course a good length of cannon fuse would be greatly beneficial but still it might be hard to explain to the neighbors. (or the police)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-26-2003, 01:41 PM
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The only way to properly dispose of Black Powder is to load it into cases and shoot it...... Any other way would be down right criminal :shock:
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2004, 10:55 AM
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Default black powder disposal

I tried the match thing and suprisingly didn't have success. I switched to my flint and steel striker and the pile went up with the first stroke.

The following results were similar to Cast Bullet Kid's. I learned that the solid residue from BP holds a lot of heat. You wouldn't think that your hand would get severe burns in that tiny instance that it was exposed to the flash of the powder. Normally it wouldn't, except my hand was coated with a thin film of residue which was HOT.

Please don't mistake my knowlege as intelligence, instead it all comes from making stupid mistakes.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-30-2004, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
The only way to properly dispose of Black Powder is to load it into cases and shoot it...... Any other way would be down right criminal
Remember it is the Holy Grail.
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