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250 years and they still can go off. Ask any antique gun colloctor. Many old guns were always kept loaded and handed down from gereration to generation without anybody realizing it. Very dangerous. Black powder, as long as it stays dry will never go bad. Even wet and dried out it will still go off. How long you can leave it loaded without damaging the barrel depends alot on the patch lube. You will get a ring of rust right where the ball is seated.
 

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My memory was once great but now I figure why remember or try to remember when a piece of paper can do it for me.
 

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I only unload on a damp day.Don't bring them in from the cold as that produces condensation.Keep them in a unheated area.(Shed,garage,etc)If it is loaded an my rack,I keep a ball starter in the barrel so I know ITS LOADED.
 

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Ever wonder why the restoration crews are so very careful when they work on a revovered cannon from an old sailing ship that went down at sea?
 

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When we moved to our new museum building we had to move two Civil War confederate cannons that we had on the front porch for 40 years. We decided to get them conserved at the same time. The one was loaded and had not one, but seven 6lb cannon balls down its tube. That was fun


GBJ
 

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arffguy said:
Easy fix scribe a mark on your ram rod when its loaded - makes it easy to check
A couple years ago my nephew asked me to help him get going with his grandfather's flintlock he loaned him. I showed him how to load it and something didn't seem right. I put my thumbnail on the rod when it was down the barrel, pulled it out and layed it beside the barrel on the outside and sure enough I just double stacked it. The grandfather had left it loaded from whatever year it was he last used it. I pulled the ball and load I just put in and loaded the pan and it went right off. Not sure what would have happened if I had fired it with both loads but really glad I didn't have to find out. You are right. Mark your ramrods.
 
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