Devcon Shelf Life ???

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by JDinFbg, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. JDinFbg

    JDinFbg Member

    Dec 15, 2018
    Fredericksburg, TX
    I bought a 1 lb. kit of Devcon A epoxy steel putty in Jan. 2019 to bed some rifles, and I'm currently finishing up my second one. However, I don't know that I'll be bedding any more very soon, so I'm wondering what the real shelf life of the Devcon is. The carton says "use before 12/4/2023". This seems like a pretty precise date, so I'm guessing the stuff was manufactured on 12/4/2018, which would make it a 5-year shelf life. I know manufactures are conservative on their shelf life estimation as they wouldn't want someone with a critical industrial application coming back on them if the stuff failed to perform. Thus, I'm wondering if any of y'all have first-hand, real-life experience as to the usable shelf life of Devcon for bedding rifles? At $40 for a 1 lb. kit, I don't want to prematurely throw the stuff away just based on the date on the carton.
  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    SE GA
    The shelf life date assumes the item was never opened usually. Nearly always once a seal is broken shelf life’s starts going down fast.

    That said, I have some West System epoxy products that are going on 3 years now since I opened them. I actually used some a week ago. The resin and hardener are noticably “different” than when fresh but it still worked as it does new. I know this is not apples to apples as this is boat building epoxy that is a different formulation and mixed in different ratios. I use it primarily for woodworking and putting “bar top” finishes on things.
  3. LoneGoose

    LoneGoose Member

    Jul 14, 2015
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    In my experience, epoxy degrades beyond reliability after only six months. I've had unopened Devcon products go bad sitting in my home. For the best workability and results, go with new every time.
  4. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    May 25, 2011
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    The West System epoxy is some of the best in the industry. Was originally developed for building wooded boats. It's not the normal off the shelf epoxy you buy at the local store. I've had some the Devcon go bad and some last a long time. I think it all has to do on how it was stored and sealed up.
  5. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

    Nov 21, 2011
    Seymour, CT
    Firstly, shelf life of epoxies depends a great deal on its working time. A "five-minute epoxy" is not really epoxy at all, but another formulation which cures after two parts are combined. But it's not what most in industry consider "normal" epoxy. It is true that West System is the best consumer-available epoxy on the market. I have some which is more than 15 years old and still cures as strong as when new, in spite of its darkened colors. The other brands of conventional epoxy also have long shelf lives, whether or not they are opened. I think five years for a non-West epoxy is easily expected, whether it is Devcon or some other, as long as it is NOT so-called five-minute "epoxy". To store some opened Devcon, simply seal it in an airtight bag, and keep it cool.
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