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Reloading Berger Bullets

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Old powder

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  #1  
Unread 04-27-2014, 08:13 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Georgia
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Old powder

Hey guys. Odd question but here it goes. I was diggin around in my grandfathers gun room yesterday and I found about ten pounds of various different pistol
And rifle powders that he didn't even know he had so he gave them to me. A lot of them are still sealed and sound like they shake loose and aren't clotted up or anything, but the kicker is that the price tags vary from $2.50 for a pound to about $12 a pound. Which got me wondering how long does powder last? And before anyone has a seizure reading this I am not going load any I'm just curious. Thanks in advance
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  •   #2  
    Unread 04-27-2014, 08:22 AM
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    Re: Old powder

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gray R View Post
    Hey guys. Odd question but here it goes. I was diggin around in my grandfathers gun room yesterday and I found about ten pounds of various different pistol
    And rifle powders that he didn't even know he had so he gave them to me. A lot of them are still sealed and sound like they shake loose and aren't clotted up or anything, but the kicker is that the price tags vary from $2.50 for a pound to about $12 a pound. Which got me wondering how long does powder last? And before anyone has a seizure reading this I am not going load any I'm just curious. Thanks in advance
    I love those prices lol. If its sealed it could be ok but personally I wouldn't trust it I was always told to look for rusty discoloration (redish brown color)
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      #3  
    Unread 04-27-2014, 08:45 AM
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    Re: Old powder

    You mean discoloration in the powder itself?
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      #4  
    Unread 04-27-2014, 08:53 AM
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    Re: Old powder

    yes, the powder will oxidize and rust I was told it has a small amount of iron or some sort of iron element I would test on a piece of white paper
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      #5  
    Unread 04-27-2014, 09:12 AM
    Edd Edd is offline
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    Re: Old powder

    DANGER: Old Gunpowder Can Kill You - Ron Spomer Outdoors

    But what do you do with a canister of old gunpowder? According to Chris Hodgdon of the Hodgdon Powder Company in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, the powder in the canister shown here is WWII surplus likely manufactured way back in the 1930s or 1940s, then packaged and sold by his company in the 1950s or early 1060s. Mr. Hodgdon went on to write that the stuff in the can is “probably good if [it was] properly stored. Check for deterioration by three factors: strong smell, rust colored kernels (or rusty dust) and warm to the touch. [If] Any of these are present GET RID IF IT. Old powder makes great fertilizer for the lawn.”
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      #6  
    Unread 04-27-2014, 09:16 AM
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    Re: Old powder

    The best way I know to determine if the powder is unsafe is to smell it. if it smells like acid then it has gone bad.

    If it is in the old paper cans it has probably gone bad and will show signs of rust on the lids.

    Being old dose not make it bad only the method of storage and the amount of air aloud to inter
    the container. (Number of times it was opened).

    Cartridges can be over 100 years old and still work well because they were sealed well.

    One of my best powders has been H4831 that was un-loaded 20mm rounds from WW2 that got Hodgdon started in the powder business.

    With age it seems to mellow a bit until it starts to break down and turn corrosive (Hence the smell
    of acid).

    So If it stills smells fresh and shows no signs of brake down It should be good to use. As always
    with any new/old batch of powder, start low and work up.

    J E CUSTOM
    __________________
    "PRESS ON"
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      #7  
    Unread 04-27-2014, 09:23 AM
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    Re: Old powder

    on Edds reference to "danger old powder can kill you" I chuckled and thought "danger new powder can also kill you" lol.
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