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Gun Powder shelf life

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Blan Dam, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Blan Dam

    Blan Dam Ridgfield, WA New Member

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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?
     
  2. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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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.
     
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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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.
     
  4. Sheldon

    Sheldon California Member

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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.
     
  5. Blan Dam

    Blan Dam Ridgfield, WA New Member

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    Cool good to know. I couldn't tell the difference between the new and old in texture and smell. Plus it's been stored in the garage. Should be fine, Thanks.
     
  6. BigBull 301

    BigBull 301 PDX almost Well-Known Member

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    I'm still handloading some H4831 from WW II. It's a lot older than I am, and works harder! LOL!
     
  7. Blan Dam

    Blan Dam Ridgfield, WA New Member

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    So almost sure the powder I'm using is worthless. Follow the recipe it barely has enough power to shoot the shot out.