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Old September 16, 2002, 10:08 AM   #2
Johnny Guest
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Join Date: August 28, 1999
Location: North Texas
Posts: 4,121
Superb post, Jim - - -

- - -And some excellent advice. Your statement,
Black powder does not deteriorate with age.
may raise eyebrows with some, so it bears stressing. Yes, black powder does tend to attract moisture from the very air, and damp powder DOES sometimes just fizzle and smoke. What is largely unknown is that, when black powder dries out, it is at very nearly full strength.

And, yet another reason to empty such guns - - - In case of a fire, black powder will heat up and burn before smokeless powders would. he load down in a wall decorator gun will fire just as surely as if the arm had been cocked and capped and the trigger pulled.

And yet still one more caveat: Some old front-loaders were left loaded with powder and wad only, so that the owner had an instant choice of loads - - -bird shot, or ball, or blank, for fright value or for New Year's salutes. Even a blank charge can be lethal, and you've already mentioned kids poking miscellaneous garbage down the barrels while at play. So, if the cleaning rod doesn't get within a half inch of the nipple, one should assume there is a charge down!

For safety,
Johnny
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