Powder deterioration

This is a discussion on Powder deterioration within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Six years ago I purchased several lbs of Vihtavuori 3N37 powder due to order mix-up, but at that time did not mind because I was ...

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Thread: Powder deterioration

  1. #1
    Member Array MN2Go's Avatar
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    Powder deterioration

    Six years ago I purchased several lbs of Vihtavuori 3N37 powder due to order mix-up, but at that time did not mind because I was still shooting some 60,000 rounds yearly. I still have 8 lbs in an unopened container left.

    My question is how fast will the powder deteriorate? Itís stored in my basement in a controlled environment. The ammo I reloaded years back for my .38 Super appears to be fine.

    Iím going to test the powder soon, but at the moment I donít have access to a range and equipment to test it.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you in advance for your replies.

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    As long as it's been stored properly, you shouldn't have any problems.
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    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    I would be surprised if it was bad, unless it was exposed to too much heat or moisture.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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    Member Array MN2Go's Avatar
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    GunnyBunny -

    tbrenke -

    Thank you for your replies. I guess I'll just have to do some reloading and testing to find out. Iíll keep you posted.

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    Member Array das38spl's Avatar
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    Unless it's been stored in - or subjected to - EXTREME heat, moisture or contamination by foreign matter......the life expectancy of MOST modern propellants can be measured in DECADES......
    Load a few rounds every so often and test them....IF you notice ANY ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR in the action/reaction of the round(s)....THEN I'd heave it....otherwise....it SHOULD remain serviceable for many years...
    Good Luck!
    Stay Safe!

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    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    If you are truly concerned about the powder send it to me post paid for proper disposal.

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    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    For me... I don't reload a huge amount but I do get supplies constantly if I get a good deal. Unopened powder get stored in a cool dry place. Opened powders are in the same place but are marked, get a desiccant pack, and sealed up in the OEM container. With these methods powder should last many many many years.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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    You're gonna find out it's good to go.
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    Still use powder from the 1960's and works as good today as it did a few decades ago. Properly stored will last for many years.
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    Member Array pollardjd's Avatar
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    Unless it has gotten wet, it's good, and will be for decades. I regularly load fifty-year-plus-old H4831 rifle powder, and it's as good as new...

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    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    I have powder purchased in the early 70's that is a good as the day it was made.

    WWII surplus powder was being sold (and may still be) as canister powder into the 90's.

    Cool and dry are the key words - temps in the 50's to the 70's and humidities under 60 percent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majorlk View Post
    I have powder purchased in the early 70's that is a good as the day it was made.

    WWII surplus powder was being sold (and may still be) as canister powder into the 90's.

    Cool and dry are the key words - temps in the 50's to the 70's and humidities under 60 percent.
    Purchased in the '70s?
    You're not reloading and shooting fast enough!
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Purchased in the '70s?
    You're not reloading and shooting fast enough!
    That is entirely too true!!!

    However, you wouldn't believe how much powder I still have from those days.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

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    Member Array MN2Go's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecup View Post
    If you are truly concerned about the powder send it to me post paid for proper disposal.
    Please provide me with you home address, phone number and other particulars.


    Again, thank you for your input gentlemen.

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MN2Go View Post
    Please provide me with you home address, phone number and other particulars.


    Again, thank you for your input gentlemen.
    Like my SS number and banking info ?

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