How long will powder and primers last on the shelf?

Discussion in '7mm STW' started by bigbass, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. bigbass

    bigbass Active Member

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    Hey again guys, like I mentioned before, getting back into reloading and specifically long range for my STW. Cleaning out my reloading stuff and I have a lot of power and primers on the shelf but they are old--some maybe 20 years. My gut tells me to throw it all away ( bury it ) but wanted to check with you guys, how long will it last? Thanks, Mike
     
  2. JackinSD

    JackinSD Well-Known Member

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    I used some that was almost that old this year, just hated to see it go to waste. If the powder has had a good seal, I see no problem. I've used primers that are that old with no problem. Hopefully, there are others that will chime in also.
     

  3. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    From what I've been told, as long as it's been kept at a fairly constant temperature, and stored inside and away from moisture and other elements, then you should be good to go...But if it was stored outside in a shed with weather changing and moisture and all that stuff, I'm sure you could test it first.
     
  4. joeycoates

    joeycoates Well-Known Member

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    I know that what has been said above is true in regards to primers. I used some primers that my father had from the early 70's last year when they were hard to come by. They had always been stored inside and they worked just like they should have. No miss-fires or delays.
     
  5. Creedmoor shooter

    Creedmoor shooter Well-Known Member

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    I used powder that was all of that old probably even older and it worked fine. As long as the seal is good id say use it.
     
  6. bigbass

    bigbass Active Member

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    That sounds great guys, like you I hated to waste it. I'm sure it has been sealed well and not opened in forever so going by what ya'll think I'll try it out first before getting rid of it, Thanks, Mike
     
  7. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I have experienced much the same with powder and primers. The only issue I have seen is with less than half filled bottles of powder with a lot of airspace, having clumped up , off color, and a strong acid type odor. I discard these. Full and well sealed bottles have worked fine. Mine have been stored in a cool/dry condition. I have used primers from the 70's that have worked fine.
     
  8. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I've used powder up to 50 years old before and it was fine. It was war surp 4831 and that was 10-15 years ago. I have had some powder go bad though (I5010), but as greyfox said, it'll clump and smell funky. Acetone odor = good.... funky odor = bad
     
  9. gamehawker

    gamehawker Well-Known Member

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    Ditto, what left said.

    I have used powder and primers from 20 years ago and iy was fine. I kept it in a safe, dry & cool space.
     
  10. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    Had some old metal can IMR 3031 that I bought from a store closing +30 years ago. Different price tags on 2 of the 7 cans. Opened one up last year and noticed a reddish dust when pouring it into the hopper. Those two with the different tags were deteriorating- God knows how long they sat on a storage shelf in the back room before I bought them.

    Deteriorated powder can detonate in otherwise safe loads. To make short work of the inspection process find a sheet of new white paper. Fresh out of the ream if you can. Pour some of the powder, 4 -5 tablespoons at least, onto the center of the sheet. Pick up the corners and roll the powder around the sheet of paper a little then cup the paper and pour the powder through a funnel back into the same can. If the powder is bad you will see a rusty red dusting on the clean sheet of paper. This works very well and trace amounts of reddish dust shows up better than you might imagine.

    Nothing in new powder is red colored. If there's red - its dead. Actually it's fertilizer and your vegetables will prosper.

    There is no truth to the rumor that Serrano peppers turn out hotter when fertilized with gun powder.... just trust me on that one!

    KB
     
  11. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

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    I have several brands of powders in cans and primers made who know when. As someone already mentioned. Open the can and smell. Sweet kind of damp smells good. My stuff is in a wooden cabinet, on an insulated north wall 20 feet away from the nearest heat source. I store my rifles the same way.