(3) Containers should be stored so the cover can be readily inspected or removed, to allow
containers to be air tested in storage. Threaded sections of spider-lid closures should be
inspected and maintained in a serviceable condition.
(4) Solid propellant in bulk or in separate-loading charges is packed in airtight containers for
storage. It is important that such containers remain airtight until the propellant is used.
When damaged or leaking containers are discovered, an examination of the contents shall
be made for the nitrous/nitric odor of decomposing propellant. If any such conditions are
observed, the propellant shall be segregated or disposed of in accordance with current
instructions. Propellants and propelling charges in containers should be stored so that they
can be readily inspected. They shall not be exposed to the direct rays of the sun. When a
shipment is received, every container is given a visual inspection to see that it is not
damaged and that the cover is in good condition and tight.
(5) Metal containers for propelling charges are fitted with a test hole and plug in the cover so
that they can be tested for air-tightness after the containers have been opened and closed.
A pressure of 3 to 5 pounds is used. If no drop in pressure is observed in 10 seconds it may
be assumed the container is not leaking. A motor-driven air-compressor will not be taken
by a gasoline motor, the motor should be placed no closer than 50 feet to the magazine or
to any explosive material. An electrically continuous path to ground shall be maintained
between the supply tank and container being tested. The entire system shall be grounded
prior to testing.
(6) The normal odor in a solid propellant magazine is a faint odor of alcohol-ether. If this odor is
strong, it probably indicates a leaky container. Every leaking container will be repaired or
the contents transferred to an airtight container. If the contents of any container show
evidence of dampness or moisture, it should be segregated and reported. Leaks due to
covers or gaskets may be repaired without removing the charge from the container or the
container from the magazine, provided care is taken to guard against sparks. Repair of
leaks in other parts of the container will be undertaken only after the removal of the charge
from the container and the container from the magazine. Containers found unserviceable
should have the charge removed and placed into an appropriately marked serviceable
container. The empty unserviceable container must be tagged, then it may be left in the
stack until time of the shipment or restorage.
(7) Personnel engaged in air testing must become familiar with the odor and appearance of
decomposing propellant. They should examine each container opened for air test for the
characteristic odor. One of the first evidences of dangerous deterioration is the presence of
the acrid odor of nitrous/nitric fumes in place of the normally present odor of alcohol-ether.
The odor of decomposing propellant is so characteristic that it cannot be mistaken for the
normally present odor.
(8) Fiber containers of propelling charges are not usually opened unless they are damaged. If
damaged, the charge should be transferred to a serviceable container. Fiber containers are
not normally repaired.
(9) Metal containers may rust. They may be repainted but must be removed from the magazine
to do so. Care must be taken to reproduce the original markings whenever containers are
repainted or changed.
(10) Some fine-grain solid propellants that contain high percentages of nitroglycerin are almost
as sensitive as black powder-equal precautions shall be observed. The principal safety