old powders

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Booney, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Booney

    Booney Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    552
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Is there a problem with using old powders i have some powder that is 9 years old is that ok to use. Im very sure that it never got moisture in it.
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,307
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    The best way to tell is to smell it. If it smells like acid it is bad if it does not then chances are
    that it is ok.

    Also if there is some corrosion around the lid or seal it is probably bad and should not be used.

    I have used 30 year old powder that was stored properly and the only thing I noticed was
    that it was a little slower.

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,528
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Im glad I read this post. Thanks JE, I try to always have an extra pound of each powder on hand, but I have been leary of getting more than that for fear it may go bad. Ill stock up a bit more now. Maybe 2-3 extra pounds of each assuming its powder that I use alot. Also assuming I can find any!! I doubt it would take more than 6 months to go thru 5 pounds of IMR 4831 or RL19 at my current rate. Ive been going sparingly:D
     
  4. acloco

    acloco Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Smell is the best. Watch the color as well. If you see a lot of brown/rust in the powder, it is deteriorating as well.
     
  5. GNERGY

    GNERGY Guest

    I keep all my powder and primers in 50 cal. GI ammo cans. They are airtight and the powder smells like the day I bought it. I have 10lbs. of H 570 that I bought back in 1975 for my 7m/m 300Wby. It still looks and smells good, I plan on loading with it in the next week.
    Tarey
     
  6. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,256
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Booney,

    All very good answers here, and moisture really isn't the bugaboo that you may think it is. Powders hygroscopic, and tends to absorb and release moisture pretty readily. As odd as it sounds, much of the manufacturing process actually takes place in water, and some long term storage of archive samples are kept under water. read something a while back about such a sample of the original run of Bullseye from over 100 years ago that had been stored thuis way, and when it was dried and tested, still met the specs. Not recommending storing it in damp environment if you can help it, but it's actually heat and temperature extremes that are the things to watch for. Airtight packaging (like the ammo cans already mentioned) are good, but they'll still need to be kept somewhere that doesn't experience wide temperature variations. Had a friend who used to keep his powder in an old refrigerator (unplugged, not running), simply because the temps remained so stable due to the heavy insulation. Since he'd probably forgotten more about this stuff than I'll ever know, I listened, and now keep mine in a similarly stable environment.

    Kept this way, a powder's shelf life is almost indefinate.

    Hope that helps

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,307
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    The old refrigerator (Unplugged) Is a good Idea For powder storage.

    I will have to try this one.

    J E CUSTOM