Drilling black powder cartridges

I’ve been deactivating cartridges for our frozen European friends for a while, their rules require a hole drilled in a cartridge body to take powder out. Up to now it was simple and easy, then I decided to deactivate a wooden shotshell with bb load in the hollow of the wood 45-70 centrefire type. No problem but very little of powder came out, shaking it produces no extra powder. Is it because the powder got compacted since 1893?

almost certainly.

Vlad–Many (most) black powder rounds were factory loaded with a compressed charge. This is because of the way black powder burns. There is no easy way to deactivate a black powder cartridge without pulling the bullet. In the case of the Wood Sabot shot cartridges, the sabot will almost always split in the process.