Pyrodex RS - how long can it be left in cylinders??

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Popeye007, Jan 15, 2020.

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  1. Jan 15, 2020 #1

    Popeye007

    Popeye007

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    Hi there guys and gals! Being relatively new to muzzleloaders I have a question that may seem dumb and may also have been addressed/answered before BUT I would appreciate knowing HOW LONG can a BP pistol be left fully loaded when using Pyrodex RS BP substitute?? I have a new, never fired LeMat and a new, never fired Howdau, and a new, never fired Colt Walker and I was wondering if I could load them and then leave them loaded for a few weeks before firing and then cleaning?? I apologize IF this is a stupid/dumb thing to ask but I don't want to damage these pistols because they were relatively expensive AND I was thinking about carrying one around my new wooded property for protection. THANKS for the assist!!
     
  2. Jan 15, 2020 #2

    Phil Coffins

    Phil Coffins

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    If kepted clean and dry you can leave them loaded a very long time. As soon as you fire one shot the clock starts ticking on corrosion. Over night is too long befor a good cleaning with water as the primary solvent.
     
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  3. Jan 15, 2020 #3

    Kansas Jake

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    I don't have direct experience with leaving a muzzleloader loaded longer term with Pyrodex. I've shot a bunch of it over the years including some that is pretty old(years). I suspect a firearm loaded for weeks or longer with Pyrodex might experience some reduced power if the load degrades. I know a nipple is small, but it still allows air to move in and out. I've kept rifles and revolvers loaded with black powder for several months without a noticeable loss of power.
     
  4. Jan 15, 2020 #4

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    If it's a revolver, you got six chances of it firing.
     
  5. Jan 15, 2020 #5

    Zonie

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    Black powder or Pyrodex loaded into a clean gun shouldn't cause any harm if it is left that way.
    Black powder won't deteriorate but Pyrodex can if it is in a humid environment. If it does deteriorate it will loose quite a bit of its power.
    If all we are speaking of is leaving the gun loaded for a few weeks I don't think any difference in power will be noticed.
     
  6. Jan 15, 2020 #6

    freedom475

    freedom475

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    EMF company test fired this brand new gun with Pyrodex and sent it back to the owner via UPS Ground which took 4 days.
    He called EMF and sent them several photos of the gun.
    The person in charge contacted the gunsmith and he insisted he cleaned the gun and it was in brand new condition.
    Returned the gun, and EMF sent a new gun.

    [​IMG]

    I have a few guns that had been left uncleaned for months in the dry Montana air with ZERO corrosion or rust after being fired with REAL black powder.

    Just last night I cleaned a rifle that had been fired one shot, last November. I brushed out the ash from the rifle, a few patches later, her bore is as "smooth-as-glass"

    Forgot about a Walker for several years under the seat of an abandoned car, totally exposed to the elements, with the window broken out. Two of the chambers had been fired, and there was zero rust. The 4 remaining cylinders still fired.
    The orange Uberti lacquer had given up the fight, but the metal was just fine. A little sanding and tung oil had the weathered wooden grips looking better than they ever did.

    I'm not just a traditionalist ranting...my first Pyrodex was in a cardboard can in the late 70's and I still buy a can from time to time and have a couple lbs on hand. But the perchlorate used in Pyro is a real concern, and not just internet "lore"...

    If you choose to use Pyrodex, then more power to you my friend. But if you live on a road with an address, then you can shoot Real blackpowder, period!!
     
  7. Jan 16, 2020 #7

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    Yep, both black powder and pyrodex contain sulfur, but pyrodex also contains chlorate. and chlorates are very corrosive to steel.
     
  8. Jan 16, 2020 #8

    F.G. Ford

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    One of the advantages of Pyrodex in a cap and ball revolver is that you can load it and shoot it all day without your revolver seizing up, black powder, you are lucky to get three cylinder fired without fowling seizing the cylinder and pin.
    Also the difficulty to rotate the cylinder by cocking the hammer really puts a lot of stress on the internal workings of the revolver.
    If you pull the cylinder and flush the cylinder pin hole and putting and a little bit of oil on the cylinder pin, puts you back in the race.
    Neither Pyrodex or traditional black powder can be fired, reloaded and put away.
    I neglected to clean a stainless steel ( three days ) Ruger revolver with Pyrodex, and to my horror pits and staining were left behind.
    My experience with Pyrodex in a humid location renders the powder almost useless.
    Unless well sealed it clumps up badly, won't pour worth a darn, and degenerates in power terribly.
    If you load a fresh and clean cylinder, cap it, and seal the caps with a light coat of wax. it might shoot with full force after a week or two. I would not risk my life on it though.
    Black powder.......well that is another story. If you load it into a clean chamber, a wax felt wad on top of the powder, and a ball coated with a wax or grease, it will shoot with full force weeks later.
    I am not biased with this thread, but have been around the block a few times.
    Fred
     
  9. Jan 16, 2020 #9

    JimCunn

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    I've got a .44 Centaure cylinder that has been loaded with Pyrodex for a bit over fifty years since it was last fired. I'm curious about its internal condition. Should I pull the rounds, or fire them?
     
  10. Jan 16, 2020 #10

    freedom475

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    Fire it!!!! and let us know if it still works... Might want to use a string though. haha.

    Except I don't know if Pyro has been around 50 years???
     
  11. Jan 16, 2020 #11

    JimCunn

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    I may be off on the date. It was last fired and loaded about 1965-1966, and if I remember correctly, all I was using at the time was Pyrodex. I've blinked my eyes several times since then, so could be wrong.

    Edit - You're right, Hodgden developed Pyrodex in 1975, so I guess it's loaded with black powder.

    Also right about the string. This pistol did a 5-round chain fire when nearly new. I installed a replacement cylinder and on first outing, it did a 6-round chainfire, blowing the barrel and loading lever off. I haven't fired it since.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  12. Jan 16, 2020 #12

    Goose

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    Please at least use Pyrodex P in your pistolas, not RS. P is for pistols, RS is for rifles/shotguns.
     
  13. Jan 16, 2020 #13

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    Almost under that name, but the basic formula goes back to around 1809
     
  14. Jan 16, 2020 #14

    Woodnbow

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    Many people will tell you that the Centaure revolver is the best since the original but I’m not one of them... IMO, they were dimensionally close to the original but the fitting and timing could be spotty. I’ve had three good ones and two that weren’t as well made or finished as a comparable vintage Italian replica.
    Be that as it may, I’d pull the loads and examine the revolver. Chainfire is rare in my experience. I’ve actually never experienced any. I believe there’s a reason you’re two for two with two different cylinders and I suspect it’s not the revolvers fault.
    WRT Pyrodex, if Swiss, Triple 7, or Olde Einsford is available, I’d use one of them, and if you intend to leave it loaded for any length of time, I would use only Swiss or Olde Einsford. Real Black powder, properly loaded and stored will remain at full strength virtually forever.
     
  15. Jan 16, 2020 #15

    rodwha

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    I loaded up my NMA with Triple7 and then moved to a place where the outdoor range was over an hours drive each way. It took me about 6 years to fire it and all 6 sure did seem just as potent as they’ve been.
     
  16. Jan 16, 2020 #16

    Woodnbow

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    Well there’s a positive report. I’ve had no experience with T7 in that respect. I don’t use much of the stuff, come to think of it I have a few cans that have been opened several years ago. I shot a bunch of it but I suppose a current test of the same powder and compare it to the results when it was new, might be useful. It’s been stored in a magazine but surely it’s containers are about as airtight as a property loaded chamber.
     
  17. Jan 17, 2020 #17

    JimCunn

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    When I bought my Centaure in 1963, it was probably the best percussion revolver available. I don't recall the Italian reproductions being available back in 1963, though I could be wrong about that. Its action and timing were and are, superb. It does have deliberate dimensional differences from the original Colts so that it can't be used to produce a fake. However, at the time, it was almost impossible to get good fitting caps - most were too large and had to be squeezed to fit. That was probably the source of my chainfires. I retired that revolver after the second chainfire, and my later black powder revolvers have been Uberti. I think now is the time to resuscitate the Centaure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  18. Jan 17, 2020 #18

    Blogman

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    You. Did. What?!?! :confused:
     
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  19. Jan 23, 2020 #19

    nhmoose

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    Pyrodex came in 1976 so 43 years is a good test. close enough for me.
     

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