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Reloading Berger Bullets


Powder shelf life?

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Unread 07-21-2013, 01:17 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 3
Powder shelf life?

I have been working on developing a accurate long range load for my .300 win mag with 190gr. Berger vlds. Do to the recent powder shortage up here in Canada I am having a hard time finding certain powders I know my gun likes. I have some opened cans of imr powder that are about 6-8years old and was wondering if they would still be good for developing a load?
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Unread 07-21-2013, 01:34 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 9,955
Re: Powder shelf life?

If they have been stored in a cool dry place @ a fairly constant temp, I wouldn't see why not...
"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger

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Unread 07-21-2013, 05:14 PM
kc kc is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Swartz creek Mi
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Re: Powder shelf life?

What may help is to stop into the local drug store and get some sillica packs aka(dessacants)
they use them in all the drugs in order to keep the pills dry. I have a can of IMR 4064 thats
in a blue can I have yet to use the stuff its over 40 years old, I just bought some new powder.
I used half of the can about 6 months ago.
Keith Sage.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 05:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4,242
Re: Powder shelf life?

99% + chance it'll be good. If it's not it'll let you know.
Instead of a mild acetone odor and a dark or silver color it will be turning rusty colored and smell like sulfur. It will usually also usually start bulging the jugs as it gasses when it deteriorates. I Have shot 60 year old h4831 that was just fine but had a keg of 5010 go bad; makes good ( expensive though) fertilizer when it goes bad so all was well there.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 06:13 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,595
Re: Powder shelf life?

"Powder shelf life? "

I don't know yet. The oldest powder I have is some of Bruce Hogdons original 4831 WW 2 surplus and it's still fine tho the acetone/ether oder is long gone. . On the other hand I had a half can of IMR 4895 go rusty-baad in a meer 35 years. ??
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Unread 07-21-2013, 07:39 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 4,120
Re: Powder shelf life?

Unlike the old days when powders shipped in lined cardboard containers, the new blow moulded, inert, light blocking containers will preserve powder indefinitely (so long as they aren't opened and left open). Resealing the lid after using some with a sheet of plastic (zip lock bag section) under the screw cap insures freshness. It will keep stink'in for years.

I've got powders I use little of that are 10 plus years old and just fine.

Load 'em up. Let your nose guide yo. If it stinks, it's good.
'It's not about me, it's about we'..........
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Unread 07-21-2013, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Carlsbad, NM
Posts: 162
Re: Powder shelf life?

There is a sample of Unique that has been stored under water, for over 100 years. Every few years they take some out, and test it, and it's still burning fine.
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