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

Old Powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by boatmanschneider, Jan 25, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. boatmanschneider

    boatmanschneider Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    MICHIGAN
    My wife just picked up her fathers reloading equipment.

    A couple of old presses and a bunch oh misc. stuff. 8mm,38-55,.222,44mag, .357mag,30-30......

    And a whole lot of shot gun reloading stuff. Looks like he reloaded old shotgun shells. I didn't know they were reused.

    Anyway, the powder and primers is likely from the late '60's. Does it degrade with time?
     
  2. 02bigdogs17

    02bigdogs17 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    I have always read that as long as the powder and primers have been kept away from moisture they will last forever. The powder should have a sulfer like smell to it if it is good.
     
  3. 40 rod

    40 rod Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    89
    I still use components from the 60s no problems. but if I was loading for SD or LE I would want new primers.
     
  4. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    6,949
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Depends on the storage, you may want to give this a read with a focus on this part:

    Personally I have no problem loading old powder that has been unopened and well stored. The basic sniff test works well so give it a whiff.

    Ron
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    My god man!
    Have you ever in your life even smelled any kind powder??

    If it smells like sulfur, it is either very low grade black powder?
    Or it is smokeless powder about 50 years past when it first started going South!

    Good smokeless powder should smell like either / acetone solvent, with no rust or red dust in the can.

    If it doesn't?
    Pour it on the yard, or down the stool if you don't have a yard.

    rc
     
  6. boatmanschneider

    boatmanschneider Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    106
    Location:
    MICHIGAN
    I'll open them later today. I am cleaning everything today.
     
  7. TRX

    TRX Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,010
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    You can dispose of bad gunpowder by various means. I generally just pour it in a long thin line and light one end. It goes "fizzle...foof" turns into grayish smoke.

    There's no explosion and very little flame. However, it does generate large volumes of hot gas, so light one end at arm's reach. Otherwise, you might frizzle your eyebrows.


    I had a couple of pounds of black powder that had gotten wet. It didn't worth worth a hoot after it dried out. My wife reasoned that charcoal and potassium nitrate would be good for her flowers, so she put it in her flowerbed. Didn't hurt anything as far as I could see, but it ended my plan to bury the can in the ground and set it off with a model rocket igniter...
     
  8. au_prospector

    au_prospector Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    731
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Pay attention to what RC says!

    He knows what he is talking about.
    Good powder has no odor or a solvent like odor and is not brown or rust colored. If it smells pungent acidic or sour, then it is degrading.

    If in doubt, pour it out! Dont take any chances with lodging bullets in your barrel. Lightly spread it on your lawn, it will fertilize your grass or flush it...

    You shouldnt be using any components that you are not 100% sure of. You need to trust the source.
     
  9. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Messages:
    983
    Color and smell are your friends when determining if powder has gone bad. If it does not smell like new powder. Usable powder should smell like acetone or cheap nail polish remover. Color should look like black pencil shavings with no red or orange traces.
     
  10. hueyville

    hueyville Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    If stored temp controlled probably good. If not caked up or looks like mud and your still unsure I will pay shipping if you don't want to risk it. Haha.
     
  11. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Northeast TX
    If the powder smells like a burnt out muffler bearing, shoot it. If it's not clumped up I would relegate it out to plinking ammo. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  12. hueyville

    hueyville Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    If you load a couple with minimum load, if it has gone bad the worst case is a pop from the primer, stuck bullet and dirty gun. Odds of looking like Wiley Coyote are pretty slim.
     
  13. rogn

    rogn Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2006
    Messages:
    287
    My greatest concern would be whether any of it had been repackaged or mixed. If that factor is OK, then just listen to all thats been said, its good info(except the sulphur part).
     
  14. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,154
    Location:
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    My oldest powder is currently some stuff from 1971. My oldest loaded ammo is from the 1930s. they all work just fine.

    I have had some bad powder in the past and I have obtained mystery powder in the past as well. I just mark it as such and save it in a different place for making load noises on New Years eve....
     
  15. 02bigdogs17

    02bigdogs17 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    I quoted that wrong thanks RCmodel... I went back to the books and read that again and it is like RCmodel said. I am new to reloading still learnig... According to the book as long as it stays in a cool,dry,dark place it will stay good forever. It also says that the granules will break down a lot of times if going bad.. It will be more powdery than granulated.
     
  16. GaryL

    GaryL Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,179
    Location:
    MN
    Some years back I picked up some old powder at a couple small out-of-the-way shows. Other than seeming just a little light on power - like it needs an extra 2-3 tenths, it's been fine. I worked it up like anything else, assuming the worst and eventually finding loads in the upper middle ranges that work well for plinking.
     
  17. jcwit

    jcwit Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,011
    Location:
    Great state of Indiana
    I hope not everyone follows the advice on a majority of the replys here.

    With that said do as rcmodel says, he is the man with experience here, and his knowledge seems boundless.
     
  18. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,941
    Have any of you guys ever used Varget?
     
  19. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,572
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    ive dealt with varget, h335 and win748 for rifle. all have a very strong and distinct solvent smell. with these, ive found that if they arent sealed, the smell wears off pretty quickly. opening a can full of loose 223 ammo has a pretty strong smell as well. win231/hp38 on the other hand has very little if no smell at all.
     
  20. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    5,941
    I've used all 3 of those powders. I've cracked open 8 cans of H335. I have found the odor of my H335 (and one can of W748) to be mild and unremarkable. Solventy, I guess. Same as for Unique, H110, HP38, Autocomp. I don't notice any smell when I'm loading it. But my one can of Varget is really pungent. I smell it while loading. I smell it while firing, even. Outdoors. Maybe it's off? I suppose it may just vary, batch to batch.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page