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Discussion Starter #1
How long can powder last? i bought some H4895 from a guy and when I got home I seen a date 1973 Do you think it is still good.It was in a bag tied with rope in the original box.It looks dry and seems to have been kept well.I hope it will still be good.
 

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If it was well kept I would think it would be fine. The problem is that you don't know how well it's been kept for 37 years.
If you decide to use it, I would use it for target shooting and not for hunting. You don't want to take any chances on the powder when you may be looking at the animal of a lifetime.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If it was well kept I would think it would be fine. The problem is that you don't know how well it's been kept for 37 years.
If you decide to use it, I would use it for target shooting and not for hunting. You don't want to take any chances on the powder when you may be looking at the animal of a lifetime.
Oh I agree .I plan on only using this for my 223 for varmints /squirrels and coyotes.

Another question this guy I bought it from told me I should put it in plastic containers since a 8 pounds of it can be dangerous stored all at once in a bag.Is this a common practice.He also told me to use recycle number 2 plastic containers to keep static from building.
thanks for the replies
John
 

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Powder will last a long time if stored properly. I am still using a batch of WWII surplus H4831 that I bought in 1968...I bought 5 gallons of it and still have two gallons left. And I do still use it for my hunting loads. The chronograph shows it has not lost any of its pep.

If the powder still looks good and smells sweet like acetone solvent, it is good. If it smells acrid or looks bad, or gets reddish or dusty, it is only good for fertilizer.

My H4831 cost me almost a dollar a pound...so I guess I still have about ten dollars worth in those 2 gallons I have left.
 

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The factory canisters now in use have been designed to split at the seams (or have the lid blow off) if pressure in the can rises too much. This way, you don't have a potential bomb in your house.
 

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How much dust is too much? Any?

A friend gave me a can of Green Dot a few years ago. He had kept it in the garage. Noticed as I was pouring it in the measure, a very small amount of dust came up.

Didn't see any red, or smell anything funny. I've noticed very old powder may not have any smell at all (still have some WWII surplus 4831 around here, somewhere).

Curious about what the powder-ologists may have to say. I have not yet fired any of the Green Dot loads. They are reduced loads for my .338 Win Mag with cast bullets, if that matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am wrong it said 1873 was a lot number.I think it is still 10 years old it came in a bag inside a box.Doesn't the new powder come in a plastic can in 8#? It does not smell but the color looks like new powder.I am going to shoot some today and see.
 

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How much dust is too much? Any?

A friend gave me a can of Green Dot a few years ago. He had kept it in the garage. Noticed as I was pouring it in the measure, a very small amount of dust came up.

Didn't see any red, or smell anything funny. I've noticed very old powder may not have any smell at all (still have some WWII surplus 4831 around here, somewhere).

Curious about what the powder-ologists may have to say. I have not yet fired any of the Green Dot loads. They are reduced loads for my .338 Win Mag with cast bullets, if that matters.
Well I am not a certified powder-ologist, but can tel you this, when I opened the cans which I had found that were bad, there was no doubt about the orange smoke colored cloud that came out of it. Didn't have to smell it, didn't have to ask anyone, and didn't have to be told to get rid of it. It was VERY definitive, orange smoke rising from a bottle of powder just ain't right, no matter who's brand it is.
 

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I agree with 41 Mag baout what bad powder is like. I put mine in my compost pile, it is nitrogen, so it breaks down and helps my compost.

On the other hand, I have some powder that is 20 years old, that I recently opened and it was fine, but it was still factory sealed.

Jerry
 

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No cloud. Just noticed a little dust when pouring it in the measure. No smell either.

I'll pour out some on a sunny day, on a white piece of paper, and see if anything else is amiss.
 

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I have various IMR powders at least from the mid-70s and I was also given maybe 20 cannisters of assorted powder in open original cans from two estates. These powders are close to 25 years old. In all the years I'm reloading, I've only discarded one half can of IMR powder as it displayed a distinctive reddish dust on pouring. Everything else works just fine. Considering the cost of gunpowder, It's foolish to discard any unless there are signs of deteriation.
 

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I have some old powder, and it still works fine, I remember reading an article about a handgunner, I remember it said he was a friend of Elmer Keith, he was using powder that was left in his powder measure, for how long I dont know, but it seemed to degrade it to the extent that it wouldn't ignite.
 

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MikeG, I have also noticed a small amount of black "dust" when pouring some flake powders. It's never shown itself to be a problem.

It is primarily single-base powders that go bad, seldom double-base and virtually never sphericals. It has to do with the additional washes and solvents used to make double-base powders; they get rid of almost all residual acids.

An ether smell is good. A vinegar smell with red dust is bad.

Powder left in a measure will dissolve the plastic in the tube. That's not good for either the powder or the tube! Bullseye is one of the worst offenders for measure dissolving.
 

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I poured some out on a while piece of paper. No dust. Probably was just some off the top of the can, which itself was quite dusty on the outside.

Anyway - Green Dot made some very interesting and accurate cast bullet loads in the .338 Win Mag. Unfortunately about a foot or so low at 100 yards, but hey.... we can't have it all.
 

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suplus powder go bad??

I had some 4831 I bought in the 1970's for $1/lb.....a 20lb paper keg. I had opened the plastic liner some years back but never used much of the powder. Well, a couple years ago all my metal stuff in the basement reloading area was getting corrosion.....checked the dehumidifer and it was working but the problem persisted. FINALLY, by dumb luck I happened to check inside that paper powder keg.....yup it was going bad and all those nitrates were leaking out into the basement. Got rid of that bad powder and also the problem in the basement with stuff corroding. So, in my case that 30+years old powder I had stored went bad on me. Or maybe it was just that I didn't have a good seal on the plastic bag in the paper keg. Anyway it and my problem is gone. Don' know if that is any kind of answer to your question.
 
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