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Powder Life?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by 82nd Infidel, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. 82nd Infidel

    82nd Infidel Gladstone,Or. Member

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    I have a Metal container with ten or twelve unopened plastic one pound bottles of various powders.
    The person I got them from says they have been in a storage space for about three years.
    Is this powder worth trying?
    I know the storage space was not climate controlled.
    It was hot and cold depending on the weather.
    Does anyone have any definite experience with this situation?
    Thanks for your input.
  2. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man rural Washington County, Oregon Active Member

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    It's no good anymore. PM me your address and I'll be happy to take it off your hands for proper disposal :)
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have just finished the last of some rifle powder my dad bought in the late 1960's. I got the same speeds and groups as I got with brand new powder. So if stored in a house maintained at normal people live here temps and hymdity you should be safe for 40+ years. If it was sealed and unopened I would have no problems loading up some and seeing how it behaved. No storage is going to make regular reloading powders MORE explosive. Especially since they aren't anyway. All bad storage could do is effect the rate of burn to a slower rate. And loading up a dozen test rounds would tell you the powders condition. Just don't rapid fire it.
  4. Rammit

    Rammit Bothel Member

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    Ive used herco pwder must be over 20 years old, never an issue, think about all the surplus ammo thats 40+ years old and that stuff has probably been more abused then most powder cans
  5. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Powder appearance is the key to it's condition. Smokeless powder turns into brown particles if it has broken down. Do not use it if it appears so. It takes severe conditions and or a long time.
  6. Sheldon

    Sheldon California Member

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    Bad powder will show a rust color and you may see a breakdown in the texture. It will also have an acrid smell versus the sweet solvent smell of good powder. 3 years is not at all old and should be fine.
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    If the powder has been stored in a reasonable environment, not too hot, it's just fine. Since you indicated the containers are sealed moisture wouldn't be an issue.

    Like others, I have used powder that was old with no issues at all. In fact a few years ago I used some that was made in the year I was born which was during WWII.

    If the powder has a "rusty" look or smells like a cat box just spread it in the flower bed or on the lawn.