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Old Powder


redfisher

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I had some imr4895 rifle powder from the early 90's. It shot fine, but was very hot compared to new stuff. I started close to a starting load and was showing flattened primers. I guess that even though it was sealed it might have dried out a bit causing there to be more actual powder per grain than before.

I would try it...but I would start low and work up slowly.

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You guys with the old powder stories.... Are you storing the powder in a cool dry room or in a hot garage? I have about 15 lbs of various powders and am struggling with a place to stash it in the house. I live in south Texas so the garage gets close to 100 degrees some days.

I have stored shotgun shells out there for 10 years and they still shoot just like fresh ones. Storing powder in the hot garage makes me nervous even if it is in sealed containers in air tight ammo boxes.

Appreciate your opinions.

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It is best to store powders and primers in an cool and dry area. From a chemistry standpoint high heat deteriorates powders faster, but if the life span of a powder is 100 years and you only get 50 years before the powder goes sour does it really matter? I store mine in an area that is under air, but know several who don't (Florida garages can get stifling in the summer) and have never heard them complain about powders going bad.

BTW - storing powder or primers in the typical metal ammo boxes is not a great idea. You are potentially making a bomb if there is a fire. If you want to double seal the powder from getting wet or away from humidity it would be best to put it heavy garbage bag with desiccant and twist tie it or maybe use big ziplock bags or even rubbermaid type tub plastic containers.

Redfisher - I bet those WSR are nickle plated, too! I had some 20+ year old WSR primers I finished off a couple years ago and they worked good. I still have some old WLP and Fed primers from the '90s. Seem to work fine.

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I've got some 540 I use on a regular basis - smells good and works per the various recipes for shotgun loads.

Also have some IMR4895 but haven't used it for anything yet.

My personal favorite is the keg of 700X I found in my dads garage helping him clean up:

photo_zpsf900c8cf.jpg

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I'm still using 30 year old Unique, Herco, and Red Dot--no deterioration has been noted.

If you open up a container and brown dust comes out or you get an acrid smell, the powder has gone bad.

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I've had 2 old cans of 4198 go bad on me, and one old can of 4350. I have lots of old 540 that dates from about 1980, and no problem. I have lots of old powder, the oldest being WWII 4831, which is just fine.

If it smells like Acetone and you see no red dust when pouring it, no problem. If you smell an acid smell and or see a red dust when pouring it, it's bad.

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just finished a 30 + year old can of bullseye and chrono'd some of the last rounds made. Opened the new one and poured it in the hopper and loader a 100 and went and chrono'd those. They were basically the same

Same with an old jug of unique and the new one, the new one doesn't smoke as much but thats do to the slight change in formula

Like was said above if it smells OK use it

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have some 30 year olf Bulls eye, it works just fine

Same here! My 30+ year old Bulls Eye, and Unique, are just as good as ever.

I store in a metal cabinet, in the basement, where I run a dehumidifier all summer . . . 55% ~ 60% humidity. During the winter I use a wood stove at 55 ~ 65 degrees, and humidity between 45% ~ 55%.

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