Dumb question here:
I acquired a can of Hodgdon H4895 rifle powder. It is not that old of powder (round plastic container) and I have no other reason to suspect it's gone bad except this: it's gray.
I've used 4895, surplus and IMR (purple can) for many years, and it's black. I realize that there is a slight difference between H4895 and IMR 4895, but didn't expect it to look different. Is the dull light gray color normal?
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March 20, 2009, 06:25 PM
I have IMR 4895 in front of me. It's a graphite color with a hint of blue, not really close to black.
March 20, 2009, 06:50 PM
I shoot H4895 in my .223 loads right now, and mine is a graphite color as well, not really black.
I think Samgotit described it well!
March 20, 2009, 07:09 PM
Gray or black, it doesn't matter as long as you're sure it's 4895. That's only a very thin coating. The actual propellant is a yellowish clear material.
March 20, 2009, 10:34 PM
Call me paranoid...
I'm sure it's fine; it's just that I've never seen such pale looking 4895 before.
As long as others have seen a lighter variation like this, I'll go ahead and work up a load and use it.
March 20, 2009, 11:22 PM
Only be concerned if the powder in question has a reddish hue and it smells like ammonia. Too, when the 'old' powder is slightly shaken, you will see a fine reddish 'mist' rise from the surface of the powder. This description is of powder that has begun or is in full degradation. It is not to be used and should be discarded onto the lawn for fertilizer.
A couple of decades ago I had 50 pounds of 4831 that deteriorated and made great fertilizer.
March 21, 2009, 12:52 AM
fatelk - that's the yellowish color I was talking about. It's fine.