Author Topic: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded  (Read 863 times)

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« on: August 29, 2020, 04:55:04 PM »
I generally like to have ammo on hand for all of my guns (even those I don't shoot as often) in case the whim hits me or a visitor wants to shoot one.  A couple of my guns sometimes go a year or more without being fired.  What are the detrimental effects of leaving BP cartridges loaded for a longer time like that?

Thanks.

Griff
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Offline Abilene

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2020, 05:17:43 PM »
I think they will be good for a really long time as long as there is no lubed wad or grease cookie to contaminate the powder.

Offline Dave T

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2020, 06:03:34 PM »
The old admonition for storage of primers and powder would also apply. Keep them cool and dry. Try not to expose them to wild fluctuations in temperature.

Dave

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2020, 07:14:23 PM »
Thanks, gents!

CC Griff
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Offline Ranch 13

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2020, 07:44:42 PM »
As long as you don't have lube grooves exposed and the lube dries out , they'll be just fine for several years.
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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #5 on: Today at 01:34:37 PM »

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2020, 12:42:50 AM »
Again, thank you. That's what I was hoping to hear.

Griff
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Offline greyhawk

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2020, 04:22:55 AM »
Again, thank you. That's what I was hoping to hear.

Griff

Griff
I shot my 38/55 at the club two weeks back,  ammo box read "loaded 2011" , everything went fine (even got a first place 100yards offhand) - the brass is a bit stubborn to clean inside - I think my boolit lube caused that - but that gun shot good just like always - the main message here is---- I dont shoot enough!!!! 

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2020, 10:12:24 AM »

 :)  PLUS ONE too Abilene   ;)

The keys here are exposed grease grooves, grease cookies and or grease wads.  Back powder ammunition from those halcyon days of yesteryear are just as lethal and powerful today as they were when originally manufactured.  So long as the powder doesn't become contaminated in the cartridge, the "Shelf Life" is pretty much "forever."  Cannon and other weapons have been recovered centuries later, and having been found to be loaded with muzzle and touch hole plugged, FIRED!!

If, on the other hand, you had with grease cookies or grease wads, use as soon after loading as possible.

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Offline Drydock

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Offline DJ

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2020, 07:24:44 PM »
My only problem with long-term black powder loads involved a bunch of .43 Spanish cartridges (ancient Remington, Berdan-primed brass) that ended up a little greasy (50-50 olive oil and beeswax) on the outside.  I must've spilled a few crumbs of black powder in the plastic box I stored them in and they got moved around from time to time, apparently causing grains of black powder to stick to the cases at the shoulder.  Fast forward 15 years and they ended up with tiny pinholes of corrosion that ate completely through the extremely thin brass and acted like a perforation--you could pull some of the cases in two by hand.  I feel that the lube and black powder in an admittedly humid and essentially free-air environment led to the corrosion--haven't experienced the same problem with lube or black powder alone in contact with brass.

The scary thing is, after I dismantled and wet-tumbled them, you could barely see the damage.  Regretfully, I tossed them all out--no sense knowingly setting up for case separations, either in the sizing die or in the chamber.

I have stored a lot of black powder cartridges in other calibers (and even some similar .43 Spanish cases) for even longer using the same lube with no problems or indications of corrosion.  I don't know if the composition of the brass was a factor.

--DJ

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #10 on: Today at 01:34:37 PM »

Offline Coal Creek Griff

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2020, 07:34:27 PM »
That all sounds good, gents. The ones that I'm considering right now have SPG lubed grooved bullets where the grooves are all covered by the brass. They don't have lube wads/cookies. It sounds like they'll be fine for longer-term storage; it will likely not be much longer than one year.

Again, I appreciate the input.

CC Griff
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Offline Rattlesnake Slim

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2020, 08:48:49 PM »
I've been shooting .38 spl and 12 ga rounds that I loaded with APP for Winter Range 2018. No problems at all, and they have been stored in my garage in Phoenix.

Offline Yakima Red

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2020, 12:01:45 AM »
I had the privilege to shoot some .45 Colt rounds of 1885 manufacture. Just like they were loaded yesterday. Storage is the key.
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2020, 10:08:17 AM »

I am always reminded of the Treasure/Salvage divers who recovered an ancient Cannon from the sea floor after several hundred years.  When the touch hole was opened (dumb), inspected, some clown wondered (Stupid) was it loaded.  Struck a match (Bic lighter) and the thing fired.  Cannon Ball thru the Bulwarks on one side of the boat and the Cannon recoiled thru the Bulwarks on the other side.

New meaning to "Keep yer Powder Dry" eh?? 

Offline Crow Choker

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Re: Leaving BP Cartridges Loaded
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2020, 09:06:13 PM »
Plus One, Two, Three.........to all that has been said about storage, grease wads, cookies, etc. Prior to getting one of Dick the Dastardly's Mav Dutchman molds for loading 44 Colt, I used a Lee 200 grain flatnose cast bullet lubed with SPG. This spring I found three 50 round boxes of 44 Colt's loaded with the Lee's and 3FFF, marked 2008. They've been stored in my basement that is climate controlled, not to warm in the winter (no more than 60*), cool and dry in hotter months. Two of the three boxes shot without a hitch and the bullets hit where I was aiming. Third box still unshot. I do store all of my cast, lubed ammo bullet down just to prevent any lube from leaching down (if it would have an itch to do so). Do this with black and smokeless, handgun and rifle ammo. Even bottleneck rifle ammo I cast and load. 
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