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Loaded ammunition giving off solvent fumes?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 119er, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. 119er

    119er Well-Known Member

    I tried a search but did'nt find anything so,

    I have loaded about 1000 .308 with H4895 and stored them in a steel ammo can and upon opening it, the smell of the solvent from the powder is very strong. The ammo cans are stored in a safe, inside. I have noticed this with Russian 7.62x39, both with and without bullet/primer sealer as well. I am not as much concerned as I am curious as to why this happens.

    Any ideas why the solvent vapors leave the cases?:confused:
  2. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    Its spreading the awesomeness as far as it can get :)

    Simply, ammo isn't air tight.

    Gasses are constantly in motion, and will diffuse from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower concentration.

    Specifically; brass, primers, and bullets are not total osmotic barriers.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  3. 119er

    119er Well-Known Member

    Awesome response and sig line too, blarby!

    One further, aren't the solvents there for a reason? And would this cause degraded performance of the ammunition over time? For instance, the gases reach equilibrium and the can is opened and more gases leave the cases every time this occurs, assuming of course enough time has elapsed for equilibrium. Wouldn't this be the same as leaving your powder stored in open containers in a sealed locker that you open every time you load? That is surely not a recommended practice!

    Perhaps I have a long term experiment to conduct with a chronagraph!
  4. hueyville

    hueyville Well-Known Member

    It's a non issue. Smelled it for 30 years and all rounds go POP when I pull the trigger.
  5. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    No, the ammo will not degrade. It will be fine.
  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    Smell an empty can. I've had some that started to smell weird and I traced it to the rubber seal around the top.
  7. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    The reason for the solvent is that is what the powder is washed with. Doubt that is what you are smelling tho.
  8. 9w1911

    9w1911 Well-Known Member

    I have had rounds that smell like the 231 thats in them. Such a great smell.
  9. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Well-Known Member

    ^really? I can hardly smell a scent on 231/hp-38. ive probably seen 12 pounds of it since I started loading last april. Now, varget, win748 and h335... those are yummy smells I will never forget :)

    every can of 231/hp38 ive had has had a very very faint solvent smell. the rifle powders ive played with have 20x the scent.
  10. 9w1911

    9w1911 Well-Known Member

    yep 231 is one of the strongest to me.
  11. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

    That H4895 smell in the morning ?

    Thats ........victory.

    That particular smell is I think one of the larger reasons I like H4895- besides its unbelievably wide use envelope, temperature non-senstitivty, ease of metering, and regular availablity.

    Eventually, all powders will degrade- but that odor isn't what you will notice.

    Unless you adhere to armory standards of testing, and plan on storing your ammo on the long side of a couple of decades- I wouldn't pay it much mind.
    In short, listen to Ken.

    Enjoy the air freshener.

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