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roundball 03-30-2006 12:46 PM

RE: Fire Hazard of Black Powder Storage?


Our local fire chief is also an avid shooter. I was at his house over the weekend, and noticed that he had maybe 50 pounds of powder sitting on the shelf in his reloading room. Some of it was black powder substitute - like T7 and Pyrodex. He said the only powder he is worried about, in terms of a fire hazard, is real black powder. He said he stores that in a fireproof box along with some important personal documents. He didn't think the black powder substitutes were anywhere near the hazard of real (Goex) black powder. Anyone out there want to comment on this? I thought the substitutes were still fairly explosive - at least compared to smokeless. Thanks. Roskoe.
The biggest difference between real blackpowder and BP subs is the ignition temperature...BP subs requiremuch higher ignition temperatures uparound 700-800 degrees, which is way there's been such an evolution of hotter and hotter means of priming devices for the modern muzzleloaders to get the ignition 100% reliable...and it's also why BP subs can be stored & sold by places like Walmart with itsitting out in the open on store shelves.

Real black ignites down around 300-400 degreesand as such falls into that 'explosives' class because it ignites at lower temps and is why it's required to operate Flintlocks...the small flare from the pan flash is not hot enough to reliably ignite the BP subs.

Having said that, we don't have to swing the pendulum all the way to the other side and be overly cautious with real's not nitro or dynamite or anything like than...whenI order a case to have deliveredto my front porch, it travels hundreds of miles cross country, isloaded/unloaded from truck to truck, sits in hot warehouses andhot trucksover the course of days...and that all happens with 25 canslined up inside a simple cardboard the time a cartonreaches my porch,it looks like it's been through a war zone, but the cans are perfect.

I just store the case of cans on the floor of aclosetin a roomI use for a hobby room...have a partial case of Goex 2F and a partial case of Goex 3F right now...there are no kids to get into it, no traffic passes by it what-so-ever, no ignition sources around it...the only way that BP is going to ignite is if the house burns down to the ground around it...even then, each can has a built in safety pressure burst point where the cans will burst, then flare vigorously making a lot of white smoke.

But they don't 'explode' like simply burns fast and produces gas/pressure...and as the other poster said,is why it should never be stored/contained in a strong, tightly sealed container or the container then becomes a bomb of sorts ifit should burst violently from the pressure buildup inside...I'dthink there isfar more dangerfroman outdoor grillpropane tank cooking off in a house fire than cans of loose powder.

My two cents...:D

Underclocked 03-30-2006 02:34 PM

RE: Fire Hazard of Black Powder Storage?
If we were still in that bedroom during a serious fire, we would have already been dead or next to it. It was all subs anyway, plastic jugs inside a plastic storage box. We were at no added risk, IMHO.

Roskoe 03-30-2006 08:37 PM

RE: Fire Hazard of Black Powder Storage?
Agreed - I took a fire class a few years back where they described a "B.L.E.V.E" explosion from a propane cylinder. One of those 20 lb. backyard BBQ size cylinders could level your house -if the pressure relief valve failed.

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