Powder gone bad?

elk wallow

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I’ve been using Ramshot Magnum in my 6.5 prc for break in. The velocities I was getting were quite slow for the charges compared to any other data I saw. This powder is around 10 years old and wasn’t really stored properly in my garage ( really cold in the winter and really hot in the summer). So I bought a new pound of Magnum to compare the two. The new powder is 150 FPS faster. I assume the old powder is shot and it’s not a lot to lot change. What do you guys think.

Thanks, Kevin
 

elk wallow

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Does it smell really acidic or have any red discoloration to the kernels?
If you smell both jugs any difference?
It does make good fertilizer as a backup plan...
Different lots of powder have some variation but that one is way off.

So I smelled both containers and they smelled similar but the old powder was definitely “stronger” smelling. It smelled like rubbing alcohol. This sucks because it’s about 5 pounds from an 8 pound container.

Kevin
 

elk wallow

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So I smelled both containers and they smelled similar but the old powder was definitely “stronger” smelling. It smelled like rubbing alcohol. This sucks because it’s about 5 pounds from an 8 pound container.

Kevin
 

Bob Wright

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Pour some out of each into a couple of paper plates if that is convenient. Compare color. Look for any slight red color in the old stuff.
Maybe call the manufacturer too. Give them the lot number and tell them what you found.
Normally, properly preserved/stored stuff will be good for 2 decades. Tough call. But physically, you have a degradation in velocity.
Let them know lot and velocity and be careful. It sucks to lose powder in these times but just be safe.
 

crystalgayleguy

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I had a pound and a half of vittavore go bad it seapthrough the bottom of the can I threw it on the yard and two weeks later I could see exactly where I threw it it was wet
 

smokey3

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Pour some out of each into a couple of paper plates if that is convenient. Compare color. Look for any slight red color in the old stuff.
Maybe call the manufacturer too. Give them the lot number and tell them what you found.
Normally, properly preserved/stored stuff will be good for 2 decades. Tough call. But physically, you have a degradation in velocity.
Let them know lot and velocity and be careful. It sucks to lose powder in these times but just be safe.
I recently loaded some 300 WM 180 gr ballistic tips with IMR 4350 from the early eighties, I have about four pounds of this old powder in the original Dupont metal cans. I must have gotten lucky because had great velocities and less than a half MOA groups. I always kept it stored in a cool, dry area though. Some powders are probably more stable in storage than others I'm guessing. Oh, the primers were from the same time frame. I had a new Kreiger barrel I was breaking in and didn't feel the need to burn up my 8#'s of H1000 for this break in period, although I was quite happy to see the gun grouping so well with old stock. If in doubt, I would destroy it.
 

six pack

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Magnum is great powder but it sounds like you have some ready for your lawn. I’m loading Magnum now that is over 10 years old and still loading H4831 that is over 20 years old with no degradation whatsoever. Just for some trigger time recently, I shot a few groups with rounds loaded about1980 and they worked just fine. Store it properly and it will last a long time.
 

elk wallow

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Thanks for the info guys. I think I’m going to chuck it. No reason to keep it I guess. I’ll have to pick some more up.

Kevin
 

elk wallow

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So what is the optimal temperature and humidity to store powder. For future purchases would it be wise to get multiple 1 pound containers from the same lot instead of an 8 pounder?

Kevin
 

MagnumManiac

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Powder gets drier over time as the solvents escape and are replaced by moisture from the air, this causes a lesser release of energy and gas.
You can keep using that powder by increasing charge levels to get back what you were previously getting speed wise quite safely.

If it’s not smelly or has red dust, it’s fine to use.
The larger the amount, the LESS susceptible to outside influence of temps and humidity.

Cheers.
 

RYEWSKY25284

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I’ve been using Ramshot Magnum in my 6.5 prc for break in. The velocities I was getting were quite slow for the charges compared to any other data I saw. This powder is around 10 years old and wasn’t really stored properly in my garage ( really cold in the winter and really hot in the summer). So I bought a new pound of Magnum to compare the two. The new powder is 150 FPS faster. I assume the old powder is shot and it’s not a lot to lot change. What do you guys think.

Thanks, Kevin
How does it smell...Compare the two. Bad powder will have a somewhat rancid sell.
 

243winxb

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Sep 9, 2016
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Simple lot variation is my guess. When different lots of the same powder are compared by volume, new lots are heavier. See post #12.
 

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