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Old Powder -- OK?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by IDriveB5, Oct 27, 2005.

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  1. IDriveB5

    IDriveB5 Member

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    my dad has some pretty old powder (231 and unique i believe) probably 20-25 years old. been stored in the basement in about 50% humidity in the original canisters.

    we both figured as long as its dry it should be ok to use, but id like to hear from the collective knowledge of THR before we go and do a couple hundred reloads. while it wouldnt be a big deal to go out and pick up a new canister, i wouldnt want to unecessarily waste good powder.

    thanks
     
  2. JA

    JA Member

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    Open the cans and smell them. If the powder has a sweet smell like either/starting fluid or a neutral smell it is ok. If it smells sour/acidic like bleach you use to do laundry with then it has gone bad. If it is bad spread it out on your lawn as it will break down and is a good source of nitrogen.
     
  3. Cherokee

    Cherokee Member

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    I'm still using powders I purchased in Oct 1983, stored in controlled conditions. Follow JA's comment. If smell is OK, use it.
     
  4. Rico567

    Rico567 Member

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    I have used 20 year old powder with no differences that I can tell. Primers, too.
     
  5. Gen. Remington

    Gen. Remington Member

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    Old 231...

    I bought some in an old metal can because its hard to get any powder here. I resisted the first time, but had to take it the next time I wanted 231. I preferred newer, of course.

    It didnt smell as sweet as new powder, but it didnt really smell bad. I noticed it was a lot dustier than new 231, in my funnel.

    Anyway I used it and it performed pretty well. I couldnt really tell much difference (from new), and now I have an old collectible type can!
     
  6. IDriveB5

    IDriveB5 Member

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    thanks for the responses, the stuff did smell ok so i guess we'll give it a shot.

    thanks
     
  7. mete

    mete Member

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    An acrid smell, asmell of ammonia, discolored to red, orange . indicate break down of the powder.
     
  8. 20cows

    20cows Member

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    I have a can of H414 that a friend gave me when he moved back to Texas after living in Alaska for 25 years (I've had the can for 10 years after that). To give you an idea how old it is, the price on the one pound can is $3.79!

    I don't know whether to use it or put it in a museum.:D
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2005
  9. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    20cows...I'll give you 4 bucks for it....;)
     
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