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Powder shelf life

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dwo357, Jan 12, 2013.

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  1. dwo357

    dwo357 Member

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    Hey all. Anyone know for sure what the shelf life of powder might be ? I have a couple of metal cans of IMR 4227 that are making me wonder. All my more recent powder cans are plastic. Any info will help. Thanks.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    There is no exact shelf life.
    It is much more dependent on storage conditions then anything else.

    Stored at constant cool temperature and low humidity, it could last for generations.
    Stored out back in the lawn shed in Alabama, it might last 10 or less.

    If you open the can and smell the powder you can tell if it is good or not.

    If it smells fresh and like ether solvent, it is good.

    If it smells sour like acid fumes, it is bad and should be dumped on the lawn as fertilizer.

    Another indication it is breaking down is rust inside the metal cans.
    That is a positive indication the powder is bad.

    And that is a real good indicator the new plastic bottles can't give you any longer.

    rc
     
  3. bds

    bds Member

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    I agree. When I started reloading, I shot a lot of Bullseye, W231 and WSF so I bought 8 lb jugs of them. Out of curiosity, I left some powder in the original plastic containers. Over the past 18 years, these factory containers were stored in the garage where temperature ranged from 40F to 105F+.

    From time to time, I smell the powder and load some to test and they still have a clean solvent smell and work well without any signs of powder breakdown.

    YMMV depending on powder and storage conditions.
     
  4. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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  5. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    If unopened it will last almost forever. A buddies dad used to reload before his son was born(over 26 yers ago) he gave me powder that was opened 26 years ago or longer. I loaded and it fired. Keep it cool (no drastic changes in temps) don't leave the bottle open to long. If using powder measures like little dandys or similar, when your done loading dump your powder back into your jug, don't leave it in the powder measure.
     
  6. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    as long as it smells like solvent instead of smelling like someone slayed a fudge dragon, you're good.
     
  7. col.lemat

    col.lemat Member

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    100 years in unopened container, 50 years once it has been opened
     
  8. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

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    I'm still using IMR4227 and 2400 that I bought back in the mid 1960s.
     
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