Powder shelf life?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Carbondeath, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Carbondeath

    Carbondeath New Member

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    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?
     
  2. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    If they have been stored in a cool dry place @ a fairly constant temp, I wouldn't see why not...
     

  3. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "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. ??
     
  6. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    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.:D
     
  7. Catfur

    Catfur Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. Edd

    Edd Well-Known Member

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    I have about a dozen metal cans of IMR7828 that is about as old as 7828 can be. I've had it for about 25 years and it is still good.
     
  9. Carbondeath

    Carbondeath New Member

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    Thanks guys that is kinda what I thought but I didn't want to take a chance and add another variable when trying to determine my best load for my rifle.
     
  10. Carbondeath

    Carbondeath New Member

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    Thanks guys that is kinda what I thought but I didn't want to take a chance and add another variable when trying to determine my best load for my rifle.
     
  11. FAL Shot

    FAL Shot Well-Known Member

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    I recently reworked nearly 200 rounds of reloaded M855 ammo I bought at a Dallas gun show 20 years. ago. Each round had numerous problems, at least 3 problems each and a few rounds as many as 5 problems. Several of them had wet clumped gunpowder in them where the reloader did not properly dry his cases thoroughly. I blended all the powder together and let it sit for a while. I backed off the loads by .3 grains and reloaded. It was some of the most accurate M855 that I have tested so far. Now, if you haven't let the powder sit in a wet case for the past 20 years, it should be no worse for wear than mine was.

    Guys have thrown smokeless powder in water overnight, dried it out and reloaded it and it shot just fine. Don't try this with blackpowder. Smokeless powder is supposed to have a 30-50% moisture content. Drying it completely out with dessicant would be a mistake, and that's probably one reason that rounds that have set around in the hot sun for a long time develop dangerous pressures.
     
  12. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    A sign of the times, if one good thing comes out of this supply vs demand maybe us shooting up all the powder in cans we loaded a dozen rounds from and got lured away to something different. I was in the basement looking at suitable powders for my .223. I figured which ones and how much, and then discovered I can't find my 223 die? I guess I can't blame that on the knuckle head storing his golf clubs at 1600 Pennsylvania.