Powder Identification

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I recently picked up several, lets say vintage, cans of DuPont Powder. It occurs to me that it’s not impossible someone could have replaced the powder with something else over the years so it might be wise to not to assume the contents match label. I don’t reload with smokeless powder so I don’t know if there are any visual differences. I’m curious if anyone has suggestions for how to test out the powder, mainly from a blackpowder vs smokeless standpoint though any tips are appreciated. Thanks!

Jake
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Yes, unsmokeful powder will burn, the true gunpowder will flash. Trickle a small amount on a cinder block or something that will not burn, strike a match and throw it in then evaluate the results...flash good, slower burn like match heads, who knows?
 
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Thanks all! I’ll burn a bit and see how it behaves. I have some “new” blackpowder, so I can burn a bit of that and compare results. I’ll peruse some images online as well.
Throwdown58, I agree! I don’t think storing smokeless in there is likely, I expect it is what it says, but then again I’ve seen people do crazier things so I thought a little caution made sense. Thanks again!
 

VADSLRAM

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Those are definitely vintage. I still have a metal Dupont can that I bought in '78.
It hasn't degraded even though it was military moved (boxed before the movers came) 6 times.
Look closely at the grains. If it wasn't tightly sealed and moisture got to it it will have a decidedly grey flush to it. It isn't dangerous but won't burn as quickly or ignite as fast. I would use it for target and fun. Save hunting for fresh powder that will be more consistent and dependable.
 
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dip about a measuring 1/4 teaspoon for your burn test and you can light it with a long butane lighter. i test my new made BP this way about 5 times while making it. i have a couple cans of ffffg like yours that has been sitting in a shed here for 30 years. still lights my Mortimer.:ghostly:
 

OhioHawkeye

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..... it’s not impossible someone could have replaced the powder ....

You are absolutely correct in being cautious. I re-use powder cans all the time since I buy bulk. But only black powder goes into my cans.
Now, I have often received gifts of powder. I have put some on a stone and lit off to see if it looks, acts, and smells the same. Non scientific, but it worked for me. Just like the powder received at events for supply, that powder does not get shot behind ball. It just gets rolled to use for blanks for reenacting.

PS,,, if burning test.. use a long match, a match in one of those old extenders, or light the end of an uncooked piece of spaghetti. It burns almost as well as a reed....... keep your hands free. BP flashes.
 
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Black powder is a crumbly grey. Smokeless is very distinctive as formed flakes, or sticks, or even little donuts. Just use google images and you'll see. And I strongly doubt that someone would put smokeless powder into a bp can.
It does happen. That's why I don't buy used powder unless still sealed in cans. People have blown up guns because they thought they were saving a few bucks. There is a cardinal rule for reloaders. One can of powder on the bench at a time. Some people have had a brain fart moment and when they put the remainder of powder back into the can, they obviously put back into wrong can. A well known gun writer (I don't remember his name) wrote an article on how he destroyed $4,000 worth of guns because he bought used powder that ended up being mixed and he didn't know it.

Not trying to scare anyone but evaluate the powder with extreme caution.
 
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It does happen. That's why I don't buy used powder unless still sealed in cans. People have blown up guns because they thought they were saving a few bucks. There is a cardinal rule for reloaders. One can of powder on the bench at a time. Some people have had a brain fart moment and when they put the remainder of powder back into the can, they obviously put back into wrong can. A well known gun writer (I don't remember his name) wrote an article on how he destroyed $4,000 worth of guns because he bought used powder that ended up being mixed and he didn't know it.

Not trying to scare anyone but evaluate the powder with extreme caution.
Could you maybe link a story where that happened, ever. Because is the internet and people talk out of their alternate openings all the time about things that may sound good theoretically, but never actually happen,.
 
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