Safety Issue With Loose Powder

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Provincial, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Argonaut

    Argonaut
    Weiser
    Well-Known Member

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    We have very rural roots, the great uncles on my dad’s side were central Idaho loggers and mill managers. Big equipment and industrial work were common. Explosives were in common use building roads and even “cutting” very large trees that were difficult to saw. Log jams were often blown up to clear so it wasn’t unusual to be around it. My Dad’s truck company commonly carried it, delivering it around his service area. An old buddy and busisness partner of his had a dummy stick in his desk, when feeling particularly frisky, he would put a short fuse on it and roll it yep under some unsuspecting soul with great glee if he could envoke a strong reaction. One of the sides of the company had milk tankers with large stainless steel tanks. They had a large hatch on top to access the tank for periodic cleaning. So, one of there workers was an older black guy that was down in the tank with a short wooden ladder. So, (Ellis) threw the stick with a 4” lit fuse into the hatch........my dad said the worker broke every rung of the ladder getting out. They didn’t see him for 3 days.....Dad was afraid he had a heart attack, went to his house, had to give him a raise to get him to come back to work. Not many years ago (pre 911) a scale house was blown into toothpick size debris in Montana, it seems that they had messed with a trucker earlier in the week and after everyone had left for the evening he took his revenge. The house was very rural and no one knew it was gone until they came to work the next morning.
     
  2. KKG

    KKG
    Western Washington
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    I was a GI Brat and played with Military gun powder and it's as stable as the Civilian kind, so I am just not buying this time.
     
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  3. thorborg

    thorborg
    portland oregon
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    Cotton, what the real reloaders wear.
     
  4. bbbass

    bbbass
    La Grande
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    I wear a condom and a tin hat.
     
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  5. mobil890

    mobil890
    Camas
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    I have had static from my plastic powder funnel; maybe I should find a metal one?
     
  6. Mikej

    Mikej
    Portland
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    Good lord! I though I was old. You musta be a hundred er somthin'?

    The only gun powder I played with was whut we scraped off of rolls of caps. And then later, we made our own with salt peter. :oops: We never did ant real damage though. Kid were just a bit smarter in those days.
     
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  7. KKG

    KKG
    Western Washington
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    The fabric softener sheets that are used in a Dryer do a wonderful job of reducing static. But, you should only use one that has already been through the dryer.;););)
     
  8. P7id10T

    P7id10T
    Tetrachromatic
    Dysfunction Junction Gold Supporter

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    I wipe off my bench and toss after a load session. The drop/loss is probably less than a teaspoon.
    I vacuum too, never had that sucker belch fire - at least not yet!

    Yup, late 60's to early 70's. Cool PSA, and I remember wondering, where the heck am I going to get blasting caps?
    The strongest ordnance we could get our hands on were cherry bombs and M80's.
     
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  9. ditchtiger

    ditchtiger
    In the sticks, Willamette Valley
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    I saw those also. Iowa in the late 60's. never found one.
     
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  10. ditchtiger

    ditchtiger
    In the sticks, Willamette Valley
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    You forgot flaming paper airplanes out the 2nd story window. Or was that just me?
     
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  11. GUNARCHER

    GUNARCHER Well-Known Member

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    Well, being from coal country we had different approaches---Miners carbide (from the hardware store owned by Jimmy Stewart's Dad) We would put some in a glass jar with a screw lid, add water , shake it ---throw it, usually in a pond near town and duck, until glass quit falling. Also did the black powder thing with ingrediants from the drug store---pharmaceutical grade stuff! tried making rocket fuel and also added stuff from Gilbert chem set such as magnesium!. Cool time to be a kid
     
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
    SE Portland
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    Now all they have is a prescription and a "smart" phone.
     
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  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
    SE Portland
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    Well at least there was always something cool in the bottom of the cereal box. If they did that these days all the children would choke to death and the human race would cease to exist.
     
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  14. ditchtiger

    ditchtiger
    In the sticks, Willamette Valley
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    You remember 45's on the box to cut out and play on the record player?
     
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  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki
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    Knew a kid who blew off his thumb and two fingers playing with M-80s. Stupid kid, was launching them with a wrist rocket after his buddy lit them! Kids across the street neighbor split his eye ball in half with a fragment of rock setting off .22 shells by hitting them with the rock on the primer! Darwin was proud of those neighbor hood kids!
     
  16. Tony617

    Tony617
    Washington State
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    I remember we got an Archies record on one of the cereal boxes. Also got really some inexpensive "Tony the Tiger" beach towels as well. Think we had to buy 6 boxes and you send two in per child. I loved Frosted Flakes.
     
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  17. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki
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    My relatives saved the paper airplanes from the Wheeties boxes during WW-2, and I still have most of them as they came displayed in clear plastic sleevs! :)
     
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  18. gmerkt

    gmerkt
    w. Wash.
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    I guess this coulda happened. But what's the probability? People eat bacon all the time, yet I suppose there is someone, somewhere, who's choked on a piece. Common sense caution is always advised around things that burn or explode. A long time ago, there was a guy in Penna, maybe? He was a real big time shooter and reloader. He'd been reloading in his garage or attic or some place, had carpet on the floor. Over the years, there was quite a residue of spilled powder in and on the carpet that hadn't been cleaned up. Then when a fire started somehow, it spread so fast he couldn't get out. The carpet just went up in a big whoosh.

    In some reloading manual or other, I've read that we aren't supposed to use vacuum cleaners for getting up spilled powder. The idea is, spark from the motor in the vacuum could ignite powder. I violate this advice fairly regularly; modern vacuum cleaners work on an indirect suction principle. Motor creates a vacuum in a chamber that contains the dirt receptacle; the motor is isolated on the far side of where the debris enters the receptacle. I suppose if the vacuum bag had a hole in it, kernels of powder could bypass and get into the motor. Bagless vacuum cleaners have filters that have to be bypassed, hard for holes to be created in those but I suppose anything could happen. I'm thinking it would take a serious quantity of vacuumed smokeless powder for this to be a danger. And then it wouldn't blow, it would result in something like in the paragraph below.

    Around here, quite a few people (myself included) burn wood for heat, to some extent. I've seen many vacuum cleaners that got destroyed from vacuuming up live embers around a wood stove. An ember gets sucked up into the bag chamber, and of course the vacuum created by the induction motor acts like a super bellows, just feeds that fire enormously. Next thing you know that nice plasti-vac is pretty well distorted.

    Somebody mentioned lighting a match to a trail of powder. How many times have we seen this, western movies where they pour out a trail of black powder (had to be, back in 1875 or whatever, right?), they light it and the burn slowly makes its way along the trail to the site of the planned explosion. In reality, this doesn't happen. Black powder goes off all at once in a flash. There isn't a time to light it, then take cover.

    Oh yeah, misspent youth. What used to be called "Boys will be boys" is now called "Felony."
     
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  19. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim
    Fish killer....
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    I bought a set of 3 new plastic funnels a while ago, increasing in size from small to one pint. I noticed the first time I used the small one that the powder would stick to it. My remedy was to put it in my tumbler for about an hour which took off the shiny layer, and it has worked fine ever since.;)
     
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  20. Provincial

    Provincial
    Near Salem, OR
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    An update on the incident from the poster:

    "So, for inquiring minds (sorry for taking so long to answer), when I do batches of ammo I have a powder pan on the bench (think balance beam scale pan about 4” dia) and I use it to dip a pre measured scoop from and refill the trickler. I had dosed about another ounce or so of powder into the pan finishing my charges just prior to cleaning up. Took my ground straps off, went outside with a blend type material pullover on. When I came back to start cleaning up I didn’t put the straps on and reached for the powder pan and whoosh. Which wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been so close to the plastic 1lb container of powder that the two were touching and the lid was off if I remember right. So, in all, it was just over a pound of powder that flashed. Wife saw it happen and said I was standing inside a fire ball. I’m lucky..... learn what not to do from me."

    This seems to answer some of the questions raised here.
     
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