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How long does powder keep? A friend of mine is getting out of reloading and gave me all his old powder. Its all still in the original bottles, but he had all of his stuff stored in his moms attic, which was really damp. Do you think its any good?
 

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Generally, and attic gets too hot in summer... but if the powder LOOKS right and SMELLS right, I'll try it.
Usually the best place to store powder is under the same conditions you'd let a family dog live in... not too hot, not too cold, not out in the elements.

LOOKs right: really need some of the current version of the same powder to tell, but i it's too light colored, lumpy, or otherwise discolored, it's degraded. If you shape the open can and dust comes out like a light fog..it's degraded.
SMELL: new powder has that solvent smell, but that wears off a bit with no ill effects. BAd powder smells bitter/acidic.

Will tell a tale of a square "pop-top" can of Bullseye. Friend lost a can of Bullseye when he moved into his new house. 10 years later, we found it in on the garage window sill, having been sitting there being exposed to full summer's sunlight for a decade.
When we opened the can I was holding it. I swear, i felt the can get real warm as soon as the top popped open, a kind fo fog of fine powder "wiffed" out of the open can, and i ran fot the door and tossed the can.

Nothing bad happened. the powder had a strong acidic smell, and by shaking the can could see that some had degraded into a fine powder/

Made a hole in a fire ant next, dumped in the powder, and stood 20 feet back tossing kitchen matches at the hole.

20 feet wasn't far enough...angry ant-rain.
 

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I think it was noted writer John Wooters who went out to his garage reloading bench once and picked up a can of powder. The can was more than a bit warm. Like ribbonstone, he ran, did not walk to get that thing outside. He believes it was probably within hours of self-igniting.

Good powder smells like ether, bad powder smells like vinegar. That fine red dust is absolute proof if your nose is in doubt. I've had one can go bad in all my years, and it both smelled vinegar-ish and belched red dust. It went to the compost pile immediately.
 

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How long does powder keep? A friend of mine is getting out of reloading and gave me all his old powder. Its all still in the original bottles, but he had all of his stuff stored in his moms attic, which was really damp. Do you think its any good?
Well, the sniff test tells all, but properly stored, there's stories from lots of guys that suggest that even powders from the WWII era still work fine.
 

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The military limits itself to 20 years to turn over old ammo. That's a minimum, and they will surplus that out if it isn't restricted in some way. But their storage is in bunkers, so it's ground temperature.

Alliant has a sample of the first run of Unique that's been kept under water for about a century. They periodically remove and dry and test a sample's properties for deterioration. It's still good.
 

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like already said.if it smells like vineager or has the redish cloar put it in the yard.the grass will thank ya.but do not load it at all.its your life we are talking about.and what have you lost it was free from the start.
 
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