Old can of Pyrodex

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11th corps

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This opened can of pyrodex has been sitting on my shelf for many years. In a controlled environment. It is about 2/3 full. How can you tell if its safe to shoot or not. Odor? Color? It has been sealed up with the original Plastic lid on the opening.
 

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EC121

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I had 2lbs. of it about 20yrs. old that someone gave me. It will burn, but I don't know about the power. I don't use it. So I poured it in a small circle in the yard and lit it. Made a really neat mushroom cloud in the still air.
 

11th corps

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I used up my open can of 777 (I save the real stuff for my flintlocks). I have two more cans of 777 unopened, but they are 2F.
I am planning to hit the range tomorrow, will take the Pyrodex and see how it works with one of my cap guns. Just wondered if anyone had insight on old synthetic powder. Thanks for the responses.
 

bubba.50

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I found an old cardboard can of pyrodex hidden among the junk on the back of my old pickup that rolled around back there for a couple years. Beat and shook the clumps out and it shot fine. Without a chronograph l couldn’t tell any difference in performance.
 

dragnetbill

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This opened can of pyrodex has been sitting on my shelf for many years. In a controlled environment. It is about 2/3 full. How can you tell if its safe to shoot or not. Odor? Color? It has been sealed up with the original Plastic lid on the opening.
I was the range a few years back and heard an unusual muzzle blast. I heard the shooter mutter something like, "What was that?" He was using Pyrodex and said he hadn't shot in quite a few years. An inspection of that Pyrodex showed that about half of the particles or more had turned a brownish color.
I don't recall if we discussed how he had stored it, or if we noticed an odor change. It obviously did not produce the energy it was designed too. I also don't recall if it was in the old cardboard can; I think it was newer and in the plastic jug.
 

Musketeer

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I have a couple plastic jugs of Pyro (1 RS and 1 P) that I opened 20 years ago but never finished off. I haven't tried them in a gun, but the powders in both look the same as they did when new and burn in open air the same way. Yours is obviously a good bit older, but who knows? Pour some out on the ground and light it. If it ignites well and seems to burn okay, try some out in a gun. There nothing dangerous in doing so, though as stated above it may give less performance than a newly-opened can.
 

russellshaffer

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If it has clumps just break them up. If, by chance, the power is low just add a little more. I shot some Pyrodex from a cardboard can in a model cannon and it made lots of noise and smoke.
 

wojciste

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I have BP that was more than 30 years old. Followed me from PA to IA, back to PA then to CA and finally back to PA and had no issues.
 

Treestalker

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What's the collector value on those old cardboard Pyrodex cans now? I have one that has about half of the powder left in mostly one big clump. Call my agent, lol!
 

11th corps

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I shot some of it yesterday after I shot this month's member contest. It worked fine, I couldn't tell any difference between it and the 777. I didn't remember to take my chronograph, but the recoil seemed the same.
It did have some clumps. But most of it was still fine powder. I will shoot it up but keep the can as a memory of Dad-it was his and he has been gone 25 years today, April 15 1996.
 

Kenn

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I shot some of it yesterday after I shot this month's member contest. It worked fine, I couldn't tell any difference between it and the 777. I didn't remember to take my chronograph, but the recoil seemed the same.
It did have some clumps. But most of it was still fine powder. I will shoot it up but keep the can as a memory of Dad-it was his and he has been gone 25 years today, April 15 1996.
My dad died on 14 February 1996, & it doesn't seem possible that a quarter century has gone by! Like you, I have a number of his items that I cherish. Same with items belonging to my great-grandparents (didn't have grandparents).
 
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