1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

powder and die ?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 45Frank, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. 45Frank

    45Frank Well-Known Member

    Just a few questions to start, One I had a friend over today and we were discussing some dates on my powders. Some are 10 years old or older he says powders and primers go bad is this true. I reload all different loads with different powders so sometimes I have powders sitting for a time.

    Second I use RCBS, lee, lyman dies, I have bought different ones over the years, but lately I have some lee dies that seem do rust very quickly. If don't use them for a month or so and don't oil the H___ out of them I'm steelwooling for an hour or more. These are carbide isn't it true they shouldn't rust. I have non carbide for my rifles and they don't rust at all.
    Some opinions. Thanks
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  2. LHB1

    LHB1 Well-Known Member

    Have never known modern primers to go bad. Powders maybe. Some last nearly forever and some begin breaking down and developing strange odor. In the '60's-'70's we were reloading with 4831 powder that supposedly was salvaged from WWII ammo. But several years ago I did have a can of powder go bad and disposed of it by burning in the yard. This slow burning rifle powder flashed instantly upon ignition, singed my hair, ruined/frosted my glasses which saved my eyesight, and caused all the skin on my face to peel. I got a free "facial peel" and never want another! DON'T use any old powder IF you think it has deteriorated and broken down. Such change could alter the burn rate and thus yield dangerous overloads of what might have become a fast burn rate powder. Use discretion. Regarding rust on reloading equipment, wipe/spray with a good gun rust preventive.

    Good shooting and be safe.
  3. antarti

    antarti Well-Known Member

    If I toss a die a few feet out the back door, it lands in the ocean. Everything rusts here even in a drawer in the closed garage. If it isn't inside the house and AC, it's toast.

    I had the same issue until I got some large pill bottles to put each die in. Normal clean/lube, some rice in the bottom of the bottle, drop die in, screw on cap, and store. Replace rice each month or two.

    If you leave your dies sitting out, then take them apart and use a good marine or automotive "wax" (a no-wax cleaning/polishing paste) containing teflon on both inside and out. It'll keep air away from the metal for a while and cases will size easier.
  4. LHB1

    LHB1 Well-Known Member

    Typically ONLY the sizing die is carbide and then there is usually ONLY a ring of carbide inside the die body. It is right at the bottom (open end of sizing die) and is very obvious on my dies. Remainder of the die body and other dies (expander, seater, crimper) are some steel alloy and will rust unless wiped/sprayed regularly.

    Good shooting and be safe.
  5. Rico567

    Rico567 Well-Known Member

    Lee dies will rust, RCBS dies will rust, Dillon dies will rust. I have them all, and if I don't take steps to prevent it, they will rust. The only brand of dies I have that won't rust (at least the die body & etc.) are some older Lyman chrome-plated dies. I don't know whether Lyman even makes chromed dies any more, but from my experience any normal die steel is going to rust.

    I have loaded powder and primers that were over 15 years old, and I can tell no difference from the fresh stuff. From all that's made of it, I think, however, that storage conditions probably DO matter. My components are stored in a basement where there are pretty constant, cool conditions all year round.
  6. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Well-Known Member

    I think part of the rusting problem is that since they are carbide dies, no lube is being used which does lube the die as well as the case.

    If the powder still has that nice solvent smell it is most likely still good. Pour a bit out in your hand, if it looks normal it probably is still good. If you are storing it in a high heat place or with the lids loose or even with out the lids on it probably has been compromised.
  7. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member

    as I understand it powder going bad takes on a sweet smell? I have never personally experenced it but that is how I have had it discribed to me.

    If it goes bad you can take it and sprinkle it on the lawn, flower beds, garden, etc. Great source of nitrogen and in the open like that will break down quickly.
  8. P-32

    P-32 Well-Known Member

    Bad powder will smell bad, and if there is a brown dust it's gone bad. I'm using powder that is well over 20 years old in some cases. If stored right, it will last for a long time.

Share This Page