Gun Powder shelf life

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So I started reloading shotgun shells for me and my pops. He dug out a bunch of his old stuff including powder. I was curious if there is a shelf life on powder. Most of it is probably about 25 years old. Should I scrap it or is it fine?
 
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Powder can last a long time if properly stored, meaning cool and dry. If you know it was stored this way, I would say it is okay.

I've never witnessed this, but I've heard bad powder has a different smell. If you have some new powder, might want to do a sniff comparison test. If in doubt, I would replace it.
 

Mark W.

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Powders vary. But as a general rule in my experiance (I've reloaded for 44 years now) using both fresh bought and at times very well aged powder. If the containers are closed tight and the over all conditions cool and dry then I have had excellent results with powders as much as 30 years old. These were mostly common IMR powders.
 
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Go by smell and looks to determine if powder is bad. If it smells sweet you're ok, but acrid is bad. If it looks rust colored and the texture is deteriorating, then it is probably going bad too. 25 years is not old for smokeless powders. Odds are it is fine.
 

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