Does powder go bad? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Does powder go bad?

I went to the range today and the gun would not fire. Seemed to make ok spark and the touch hole was clear. Could the powder be bad. It had been sitting in my truck for about a week in the cold weather. Anything else I should check? I'm pretty new to this.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 03:51 AM
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Re: Does powder go bad?

Are you sure it's real black powder? If it's a sub powder a flinter won't ignite the pan very good.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does powder go bad?

I used goex ffg for the charge and ffffg for the priming. Its worked in three past just fine but didn't this year. The powder is about eight years old.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 11:03 AM
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Re: Does powder go bad?

It's cold out and sometimes heating up your flinter in a vehicle or in the house can create some moisture (sweat) in the barrel. Your main charge may just be a bit damp.

I know this sounds silly...make sure you loaded powder first. Anyone that shoots flinter long enough "dry loads" one eventually ( in my case 3 times at one range session).

Okay, you have powder. remove your touch hole liner and work a small amount of 4f, 3f whatever powder you use in the pan. Do not pack the flash channel full, just get some fresh powder in it. After this give it a try.

If you are using a "sub" (synthetic powder, 777, Pyro etc.) this method will still work for you.

BP is very stable and I have never heard of it going bad. There is talk here on the site that subs have a short shelf life. I have shot 777 in the flinter for about 12 years and I have not experienced this either with powder up to 3 yrs old.

Good luck and I hope ya git'r runnin!!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 11:20 AM
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Re: Does powder go bad?

If it does it would have to be very old or had gotten wet or damp at one time. I'm no expert on it, but my 4 f powder I bought back in 1995... Wrote date on the can when I bought it.... Still works fine. Just kept it in the gun safe. If you think the powder might be bad I'd sprinkle a very small amount on the ground and try lighting it.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 11:56 AM
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Re: Does powder go bad?

Blackpowder kept in a sealed container doesn't go bad.I still have my origional can of FFFFg from 30+yrs ago.
Possibly crud pushed into the breech area.Once you get the charge out,give it a good pumping of soapy water.Then use a 30cal brush to clean out the breach area.pump again and dry.
This summer I bought a Fowler that had troubles.I dropped my alluminum rod down and got a thud instead of a ring.Years ago someone cleaned it and an old cleaning patch was in the bottom.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does powder go bad?

Ok. Its not the powder. I'll try something else.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 06:21 PM
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Re: Does powder go bad?

Did ya load without powder? Had to ask
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 09:19 PM
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Re: Does powder go bad?

Your charge can draw moisture if the gun was left outside in a vehicle. Depending on how damp it got will determine how long until its dry enough to go off. Put your gun in a warm dry safe room for 24 hours, ream touch hole good with a pick. Loosen the charge so its coming out the touch hole. Give it a try, it should go boom.
Powder kept dry never goes bad. I have had a few occasions to shoot powder that is well over 100 years old, still works.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 09:21 PM
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Re: Does powder go bad?

As Jester noted, taking a gun from the warmth of a home or cabin outside can create a few problems. If you loaded the gun inside, the warm barrel can condensate as he noted and run down the barrel and be absorbed by the powder. Loading your gun outside after you walk from a warm house or cabin can do the same thing.

I usually wipe out my barrel and load my gun on the porch. I'll either leave it on the back porch or put it in the truck for the next day. I've never had a problem with condensation.

Also, I'm still shooting 2X and 3X Goex powder that I purchased in bulk back in the late '70s when it was $3.10 a pound...that's right $3.10. As long as you keep it sealed and dry, it will last a long time.

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