Is my powder bad??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TxWolf, Jan 18, 2021.

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  1. TxWolf

    TxWolf Member

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    Have a can of old IMR4198 I bought years ago. I was going to let a guy try it for a rifle of his and if he likes it the LGS has some 8lb jugs of it he may want. I opened it and there is a brown dust on it. I poured some out and you can see the dust it left in the plastic container. Doesn’t smell bad. In fact it doesn’t have much of a smell at all. I am assuming it’s deteriorated. Man I didn’t realize I still had some old DuPont powder left I hadn’t used. It’s close to a full pound too. :( 68E3D5A2-0812-4C97-936F-8CCF6AEE1915.jpeg E639352C-1F26-4301-B957-4BD1640BBA16.jpeg
     
  2. Texas2Gunz

    Texas2Gunz Member

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    I wouldn't think the dust would impair the burn, but might effect the grain weight. Could be totally wrong though. I'm curious as well what others have to say.
     
  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Is the can rusted on the inside
     
  4. Sneakshot92

    Sneakshot92 Member

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    Does the inside of the can appear to have a little surface rust? I've seen that on some older stuff. The powder was fine for the moderate target loads I was making.
     
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  5. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    The red dust is an indication that the powder is beginning to go bad. It will slowly accumulate and then start to smell acrid. I had old Russian 4895 equivalent powder do the same thing.
     
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  6. TxWolf

    TxWolf Member

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    There does seem to be some rust in the inside of the can. The powder still smells ok tho. Seems to be some of the brown dust on the inside of the can also.
     
  7. TxWolf

    TxWolf Member

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    Do y’all think it will be ok to load and shoot?
     
  8. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    It will work ok, but slowly loses power, from what I’ve read. I just spilled mine out and got rid of it. You DON’T want it sitting around and self combusting.
     
  9. TxWolf

    TxWolf Member

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    The guy I work with is wanting to try it in his 45-70. May let him see if he likes it then use it for fertilizer.
     
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  10. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    You can work up a load with it, and it won’t be very far off of its original potency.

    the danger is in if you loaded them, then forgot about them. I’d hate to see what that powder looks like after another decade
     
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  11. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    The powder has started breaking down. It's in the early stages. The potency may not be the same as new. I would use it up pronto. Do load and store for it will eat on the brass too. I've had several of that era go bad over the last 5 yrs that I disposed of. Makes a good fire started.
     
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  13. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I would load it. But don't let any grass grow under your feet before you shoot it. If there's rust in the can it's drawing moisture, which means it's degrading. If you won't be using it soon give your buddy the can with the needed warnings.
     
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  14. entropy

    entropy Member

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    That stuff smells bad no matter the age.
     
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  15. Mark_Mark
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    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    I love the smell of freshly crack 1# AutoComp. Especially the 2018 vintage, nice dry cheese notes and a walnut finish
     
  16. Obturation

    Obturation Member

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    I wouldn't use it, personal preference .
    - safe? I don't know, either does anyone without a laboratory.
    -Will it work? I'm sure.

    I don't take chances with things I can avoid easily, knowing if your friend who could use the powder fully understands the possibilities is another thing. I'm not an overly cautious guy but some things are just bad juju to me.
     
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  17. WeekendReloader

    WeekendReloader Member

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    Why risk it?
    It's going bad. It won't burn the same as new powder, so the results of any test loads will be irrelevant.
    Dispose of it.
     
  18. rsnell

    rsnell Member

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    It is starting to decompose. Do not use it.
     
  19. Mark_Mark
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    Mark_Mark Contributing Member

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    Pour it on your roses! best and most expensive fertilizer
     
  20. NMexJim

    NMexJim Member

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    Let's see - $12.99 vs nearly $30 today. Hmmm, must be 15 - 20 years old? Look at the inside of the can. If the can has started to oxidize enough to start flaking what looks like rust, then maybe not use. If it's minor, I'd use.
     
  21. TxWolf

    TxWolf Member

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    Have it my buddy to try in his 45-70. Have him the warnings. I think he want the old can as much as the powder. :)
     
  22. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    I know this just a touch off topic. But if the store has jugs of 4198 at a good price, I’d buy it. I don’t use IMR-4198. But I exclusively use H-4198 in my 45-70 and 444 (micro groove). And they are VERY close to the same. My 45-70 is the 350gr Hornady RN and the 444 is 300gr Sierra FP. They are both sub-MOA leverguns with those combos. I tried several powders before I found 4198.
     
  23. Encoreman

    Encoreman Member

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    Spread it on the garden or yard, don't risk an injury for a pound of cheap, old, powder.
     
  24. RockRat64

    RockRat64 Member

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  25. WeekendReloader

    WeekendReloader Member

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    How long does powder last?
    I don't know. If I haven't shot it in 10 years, why do I still have it?
    Either I bought too much, don't use it anymore or not shootin' enough!
     
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