"Old Powder"


Billy Jack
December 3, 2012, 10:09 PM
I am about to start reloading again after a 10 year layoff. I still have some 2400, unique, bullseye, 4895, and H-380. It has been stored in a storage room in my garage inside a small firesafe. It has been plenty dry, but subject to temps from low 20's to low 100's.
Should I just toss it all and start fresh, use it and see how it does, or just assume it's fine and use it all as best I can?

If you enjoyed reading about ""Old Powder"" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 3, 2012, 10:18 PM
If it smells like acid, toss it. If it smells like thinner or lacquer it good. I'll bet it smells like lacquer. I've got some IMR 4320 powder thats labled Dupont, I'm still using it, bought it back in the 70's.

40 rod
December 3, 2012, 10:51 PM
Any powder made since about 1930 is good for just about 4ever. I am still using 4831 from ww2 that my dad bought in 1964. Primers not so much.

Billy Jack
December 4, 2012, 07:28 AM
Thanks. That makes me feel a lot more confident giving it a try.

December 4, 2012, 07:37 AM
Much of my powder is over 10 years old. I have only had on jug go bad.

December 4, 2012, 07:56 AM
Still using 2400, Unique and Bullseye from the 70's. My IMR4895 is surplus made eons ago. All is good.


December 4, 2012, 10:26 AM
It will be ok to use it. A buddys dad gave me 2 pounds of h380 that he used to reload in the 1970's and it was stored in his garage, so it went below 20's and humid summer heat. Every round i loaded went off when i loaded with the powder.

December 4, 2012, 11:26 AM
I agree with the above.
But also look for 'ash' or for the lack of a better name 'mold' on the powder, in clumps. The stink and clumpy 'mold' makes it good for fertilizer.

I still have, but use very seldom, some IMR4350, bought in 1963. Good stuff, just found something I like better for that use.

December 4, 2012, 11:28 AM
I'm using a 30 year old stash of Red Dot with no problems at all.

December 4, 2012, 11:42 AM
Brown or red dust is a bad sign, as is a smell that isn't "normal" for smokeless powder. If you don't have either of those you're probably good to go.

December 4, 2012, 06:38 PM
Like people, "old" powders may not be worth much but at ten, most are still pre-teenaged.

The few WWII small pistol primers (and the last few pounds of 4831) I still have work fine.

December 4, 2012, 07:19 PM
It should be OK. When I got back into shooting a few years ago, I used up powder that had been on my shelf for 20 years with no problems.

Billy Jack
December 4, 2012, 09:02 PM
All is good! I took a whiff of each can and they do smell like lacquer and look just like they did the day I bought them. Some were bought in the late '70's.
Now as soon as my buddy picks up the Redhawk I bought from a man in Dallas for me, I'll be back in the 44 mag business.

Ky Larry
December 4, 2012, 11:27 PM
A couple of years ago I found some .357 ammo I loaded in 1980. The powder was old Flaming Dirt, AKA Unique. It shot fine. If it smells ok, then try loading some.

If you enjoyed reading about ""Old Powder"" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!