Safe Black Powder Storage?

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

djanssen

40 Cal.
Joined
Jul 15, 2011
Messages
187
Reaction score
0
Just wondering where you all keep your black powder? (not talking what's in your horns) I used to keep mine in the gun safe but I'm running out of room. Not to keen on just leaving it sitting on a shelf in my basement workshop. Maybe in Ammo boxes?
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
14,609
Reaction score
2,475
Location
Central Minn
I pondered that question myself years back, so I thought I'd ask the experts.
Went down to the local Fire house and spoke with the Chief.
(Big City 6 station type FireChief)

His answer suprised me, he said;
"We don't care." :shocked2:

Well, I said I keep the stuff in a G.I. Ammo box on the floor in a closet, he said;
"That's a good place and ya can't beat Ole`Reliable can ya,,"

See the stuff needs to get mighty damn hot to ignite without a flame, and flame needs oxygen,, and heat rises.

So it's a good condition/seal intact metal .50cal GI ammo box for me, they actually pack in there real nice.
 

Matt85

54 Cal.
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
1,538
Reaction score
4
it sits right next to my other shooting supplies. black powder is not even close to as dangerous as people would make it out to be. when kept in a airtight container it will not hurt much unless yer place burns down... but even then BP is not really an explosive its highly flammable and will burn super hot for a very short period of time.

i like to compare black powder to gasoline (not an exact comparison of course). both can cause an explosion under the right conditions but in most cases they just burn hot and fast.

(theory) if any thing the plastic containers they come in now days are probably safer then the old metal ones. in a metal container the heat would build up untell the powder ignites inside and with no where to go it would cause the container to expode. the plastic on the other hand would melt quickly exposing the powder to the flames which would ignite and burn rather than explode.

-matt
 

Birddog6

Cannon
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
Messages
6,234
Reaction score
15
In a powder magazine out in one of the storage buildings. You can buy a magazine or make one from an old aluminum cooler. It should have 2 hasps with padlocks on it & a rubber/foam seal around the lid. The locks are just to keep curious kids out. I keep an old rug over mine so you cannot see what it is when you walk into the building.

Keith Lisle
 

Robert Egler

50 Cal.
Joined
Jul 17, 2007
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
24
My black powder is stored in a home-made fire-insulated bunker. It is in a locked commercial fire safe, inserted in a vertical hole dug in the dirt in the lowest corner of the basement, so that the entire safe is buried and surrounded by dirt for additional insulation, except the very top of the lid. It is then covered by a 1-inch thick treated plywood cover.

I am pretty confident that the house could completely burn down and the powder will not get hot enough to ignite, especially if the fire department uses water on the fire (a reasonable assumption), since all the water will run downhill into the lowest corner of the basement where the safe is.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
7,379
Reaction score
2,004
I keep mine part in an old refridgerater in the barn. And part in the chicken house. Both places are without electric so the danger of sparks is nonexistant. :hmm:
 

Loyalist Dave

Cannon
Staff member
Moderator
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
13,576
Reaction score
9,102
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
Seriously folks...

Black Powder IS an explosive. It was what caused the definition of the word "explosive"..., and it is why we have the classification of "high explosive" vs. "low explosive"..., as black powder deflagrates it "is a rapid high energy release combustion event, that propagates across the surface of the explosive material at subsonic speeds, driven by the transfer of heat". When a substance does the same thing but at supersonic speed, it's called "detonation" instead of deflagration, and the stubstance is then considered a "high explosive".

This is important to remember as many places where we live have legal restrictions on the storage of "explosive" material, and the wording of the law often does not make a distinction between "low" or "high" when using the word "explosive". So you have a fire and the fire fighters put it out, and none of your powder deflagrates, but the fire is near to where you store your powder and the fire fighters see the cans..., and the fire marshall then asks you to step over to his car as he has some paperwork for you to sign..., oh and by the way your BP is being seized as evidence... :shocked2:

If I had enough BP to exceed my local legal limit for storage in my residence, I'd make a concrete lined container in the ground in my back yard, built to naturally drain (my house is on a hill), and I'd store the BP containers inside a plastic bin with a sealing plastic lid, and cover the storage area with a plywood lid that I had painted with several coats of Rustoleum for water resistance. Then it's not in the house, and if some freakish scenario played out and fire actually reached the powder, the explosion would be directed straight up.

I'm not saying that I actually have a tiny, concrete, powder bunker in my back yard located in a flower bed with the lid concealed beneath the mulch.... only that if I needed such I would.

LD
 

David W.

70 Cal.
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
4,233
Reaction score
10
I keep mine in a black powder safe I purchased from the Maine Powder House. You have to line it yourself with plywood. Dixie Gun Works also sells one already lined, but they are MUCH more expensive.
 

plinker

40 Cal.
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Messages
111
Reaction score
1
I borrowed this from another site.

2010 NFPA allows residential storage for personal use of:

10,000 Small arms primers; however, this is increased to 150,000 if in DOT 1.4S containers. (Typically cases of 5,000 primers are in DOT 1.4S containers -- they will have a "1.4S" label on the carton.)

20-Pounds of Black Powder may be kept if in the original containers and stored in 1-inch (nominal) thick wood boxes or cabinets.

20-Pounds of Smokeless propellants may be kept if in the original containers. This may be increased to 50-pounds it the containers are stored in 1-inch (nominal) thick wood boxes or cabinets.


NFPA does not put their publications on line. However the above summarizes what is in the Fire Codes that I have looked at on line which quote the NFPA.

See if you can look at your local Fire Codes and other laws regarding the storage of powder and primers and be guided by them.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
65
Reaction score
77
Location
NW Jersey
I pondered that question myself years back, so I thought I'd ask the experts.
Went down to the local Fire house and spoke with the Chief.
(Big City 6 station type FireChief)

His answer suprised me, he said;
"We don't care." :shocked2:

Well, I said I keep the stuff in a G.I. Ammo box on the floor in a closet, he said;
"That's a good place and ya can't beat Ole`Reliable can ya,,"

See the stuff needs to get mighty damn hot to ignite without a flame, and flame needs oxygen,, and heat rises.

So it's a good condition/seal intact metal .50cal GI ammo box for me, they actually pack in there real nice.
Not good to keep in airtight ammo cans. Under pressure.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
2,388
Reaction score
4,278
Location
Surry County, North Carolina
Oh good, another thread on Black Powder Storage. There are countless already (see below for a partial usising the search function).
Hopefully it wont be followed by a Stuck Ball thread...

 
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
14,609
Reaction score
2,475
Location
Central Minn
Not good to keep in airtight ammo cans. Under pressure.
A 10yr old thread? I have always said that the archives have valuable information.
"ammo can's" are designed to express pressure under extreme heat.
The hinge and closing action have a solder that will "loosen" when extreme heat is present,
,that, and having some knowledge of BP and nitro powder composition's reaction during rapid heat expansion/acceleration with-out an ignition source,, might help you understand why Nation's across the globe have actually used "ammo can's" to store ammunition and explosives for over 100yrs.
Air Tight, Water tight, with a built-in pressure relief system,,
With the endorsement of professionals,, behold the reality;
 
Top