Random Powder Packaging Question


September 22, 2008, 10:40 AM
I usually buy my powder in #1 packages from a local gun shop. I found a reloading shop that was a bit of a drive, but was worth it because their bulk prices were great. I picked up #4 of Titegroup and 5K WSP.

Anyway, when I got home I screwed the top off the TG and as I removed it, the "seal" pealed back a little bit with the lid, and then removed itself completely with the lid. The 4# canister is only about 2/3 full. Is this normal? I am thinking it is since the empty space probably allows for some sort of expansion as a safety measure. I never noticed this on #1 cans of TG though...


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Jim Watson
September 22, 2008, 10:45 AM

A lot of those "seals" are not gummed on very tight, common for one to separate just by unscrewing the lid.

Powders have different bulk densities and the vendors don't want to have to have custom containers for everything. So they use cannisters that hold 1, 4, or 8 lbs of their most common products. The denser grades don't fill them up, the bulkier ones do, the VERY bulky ones, you just get less. A standard pound jar only holds 14 oz of Clays and 9 oz of Trail Boss for example.

September 22, 2008, 10:50 AM
That is what I figured, but I wanted to make sure. Thanks...

September 22, 2008, 12:35 PM
Why not weigh it?

September 22, 2008, 12:41 PM
It's only been in recent years that manufacturers felt compelled to put those seals on powder containers. It all started when some nut poisoned headache medications.

Just weigh it.

Hope this helps.


The Bushmaster
September 22, 2008, 02:37 PM
Well mhillsing? Have you weighed it yet?

September 23, 2008, 11:38 AM
I didn't weight it yet, because I didn't have access to my scale. (Long story...) I should be able to confirm the weight tonight. It feels like it is every bit of #4, but I was just surprised by the amount of empty space in the container.

September 23, 2008, 01:51 PM
Due to the increased costs of plastic, etc., most manufacturers have standardized their packaging so they only have to stock a limited number of containers for all their products. It cost much less to use a large container for a small amount, than it does to have someone tool up for a smaller container, and then have to warehouse the additional size.

The other aspect is the packaging equipment. If the packaging line only has to run one size bottle, they don't have to change the whole line to handle a different size. All they do is change the volume dispenser for the new product, which only takes a few minutes, rather than hours to change the whole line.

My former son-in-law does maintenance on packaging/bottling equipment, and the set up and equipment requirements can be quite expensive, so by limiting the number of different containers they have to stock and fill, they keep costs down.

Hope this helps.


September 23, 2008, 08:44 PM
Target has a small round kitchen scale that weighs up to 11 pounds. Cheap at only 8 bucks or so. I weigh every can that I get. I did receive one that was very light. The range I got it from replaced it, and when they reviewed the security tapes, found they had an employee helping himself to small quantities and putting the containers back in new stock. Hence the peeled seal.

September 23, 2008, 10:08 PM
I always check the powder seal first.
Also check on primers. At Academy they had some large rifle so I went ahead & bought some. First thing was to let the guy know not to spill them. Then I asked him to make sure they were full. First 3 packs had been spilled & were missing a bunch. They only had Large rifle & 209s for shotguns/starter pistols/blackpower.
I do the same on a box of ammo.

I used to work on cars alot & learned to make sure the parts were right at the counter.

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