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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was told that if the diphenylamine percentage in a gunpowder sample drops under 50% it is no longer recomended for use. Is there any method that I can confirm diphenylamine level?
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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It's the antioxidant stuff they coat apples with to prevent brown spots (scald) during storage. It is also used as a stabilizer in smokeless powder to prevent oxygen deterioration.

So, if you store your powder properly (cool dry place) and limit it's exposure to "air" other than what's trapped in the bottle, then the diphenylamine can't deteriorate as fast. There are folks here that have powder that was probably manufactured before the addition of diphenylamine and it's still good, so unless they are adding it to control burn rate as well (which is also possible but I'm not sure) then I can't see where it's level below a certain point would be detrimental.

Only the powder manufacture(s) can tell us for sure as what I know about can be written on a matchbook cover in crayon.

RJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, I was talking about the stabilizer additive diphenylamine. I also have obtained some samples dating 40 or 50 years back and they looked and worked without issues. The diphenylamine level issue with dropping under 50% was something I think was told by the manufacturer or some legal standard or something like that, I heard. But I also know that when diphenylamine binds with oxides it produces other stabilizing agents which have the same role, so the level dropping under 50% made no sense to me.
Even if diphenylamine level dropped, there would still be stabilizer from its products. Or they meant drop in the level of dipheynlamine besides its products or along its products... That's why I needed clearing up :)
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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So you talked to the manufacturer, but rather than asking THEM to clarify what they said, you wanted us to guess what they meant:confused:
 

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Vikicaaa,

A manufacturer won't use powder with less than 50% stabilizer remaining because they have to allow that the finished ammunition may sit on some store shelves for some years. The military generally won't keep stockpiled ammunition loaded with spherical propellant beyond 20 years, nor single-base beyond 45 years (these are British numbers, but I think all the NATO countries use them). There are rounds from the 1920's and earlier that have fired fine, and rounds from just after WWII (1947 in the incident I am aware of) that have burst a Garand (very hard to do), receiver ring and all. In that later case, what has happened is that once the stabilizer was 100% gone, the deterrent coatings were attacked by the acid radicals evolved during spontaneous breakdown of the nitrocellulose and they were destroyed faster than the nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin were. The result was powder that was weaker in the sense of having less total stored total chemical energy remaining because some deterioration of the two nitro's had occurred, but with a burn rate like Bullseye, so that the smaller total energy was completely released before the bullet could move (no progressive burn at all) which gave high enough peak pressure to burst the gun. Ironically, if the same ammunition were stored enough longer, the fast charge would have weakened to the point it could no longer burst the gun. The velocity would have been air gun velocity, or maybe the bullet would have stuck in the barrel, but there would have been no burst.

For the handloader, if powder looks good (pour some on a white sheet of paper and shake it and slowly pour the powder off and look to see no sign of red dust left behind) and smells good (ethyl ether smell, but no sour or sharp acrid scent) then it is safe to work you loads up with it. Just don't count on keeping the loaded rounds for a long period. I know a lot of SHTF survivalist thinking leads people to want to know how to maximize storage of loaded rounds, but I don't recommend that. You are better off keeping the powder so you can check it. Random probability says signs of deterioration will show up in a big container of powder before it shows up in individual smaller quantities, as in loaded cartridges, but I think the better part of wisdom, if you are a SHTF preparationist, is to rotate your ammo on a FIFO bases, shooting the oldest ammo in practice and replacing it with fresh reloads at the back of the line. Keep cycling ammo through constantly. If the bulk powder goes bad in its container before you've shot all your loads made with it, pull down the rest of the ammo loaded with it and fertilize the lawn with that powder and work up a replacement charge with a new lot of powder. If you use up an 8 lb canister of powder, plan on shooting the ammo loaded with it within a reasonably short period of time (like a couple of years). In the meanwhile, work up a load with a new lot of powder and start loading to replace what you need to shoot up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
@Darkker

Of course I hadn't talked to the manifacturer, why would I research the information if that was the case :confused::rolleyes:

If you read my reply I clearly state that " ...was something I think was told by the manufacturer or some legal standard or something like that, I heard..." so I was talking about random information which I heard from people, not well informed, as well, so I am doing research on confirming what they were talking about, since it was also something that had heard and so and so on... they couldn't explain it well either -.-

And aside from actually looking for articles, I find that experience could be useful so I contacted the forum.

@unclenick

Thank you very much! That clears it up! Thank you for the information:D

Do you maybe know any ofiicial document that states this? ( you know, what you said.. that it is only important that a manufacturer won't use powder with less than 50% stabilizer in new bullets, but if you have the powder as a handloader you can use it untill it goes bad) I am nitpicking right now but it could be useful to also have official information, if you know of any :)
 

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I am a retired degreed chemical engineer with experience in ordinance manufacture, amines and all sorts of stuff. I also reload. I have to say these MSDS sheets are intended to have no practical value other than to meet regulatory requirrements. I suppose you could use them for a sleep aid. My best advice to preppers is, "The sky is not going to fall and if the SHTF it will all be a matter of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am a retired degreed chemical engineer with experience in ordinance manufacture, amines and all sorts of stuff. I also reload. I have to say these MSDS sheets are intended to have no practical value other than to meet regulatory requirrements. I suppose you could use them for a sleep aid. My best advice to preppers is, "The sky is not going to fall and if the SHTF it will all be a matter of luck.
Yes of course, but in order to use the samples in my lab I still need such sheets as a guarantee, that the powder samples can be used. So if you have any idea where I could find such (maybe some international or official standards sheets) I would be very gratefull.

The samples are from Milan Blagojevic Lucani (Serbian manufacture) but they offer no information on their web page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I read about Abel test, Methyl violet test, Heat test, NATO test... Does anyone know how any of these could be easily conducted in a simple lab, to determine whether the level of stabilizer is satisfactory?
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Yeah, it's a "preservative" but what does/doesn't it really do for combustion, and under what conditions and how long (half life) does it take to get to 50% of what it was when new . . ?

I just keep my powder stored in a cool dry place at an even temperature that doesn't vary over 10 degrees year around. I'm lucky to live in a dry climate in a house with a basement.

RJ
 
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