Powder storage

This is a discussion on Powder storage within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; This is a dumb question but here goes. I've been loading for rifles for years and always just dumped my powder back into the original ...

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Thread: Powder storage

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    Powder storage

    This is a dumb question but here goes. I've been loading for rifles for years and always just dumped my powder back into the original container when done loading for the day.

    Now I have a progressive press and I was wondering if it is OK to store powder in the powder measure hopper. The powder measure it attached to the press and kind of a pain to remove and empty. Is it OK to leave powder in there for a while? If so, how long? A day, a week, a year?
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    Not dumb question. You can leave your powder in the hopper, but you need to shield it from sunlight. What press do you have? My Dillon has a dust cover.

    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    This is a dumb question but here goes. I've been loading for rifles for years and always just dumped my powder back into the original container when done loading for the day.

    Now I have a progressive press and I was wondering if it is OK to store powder in the powder measure hopper. The powder measure it attached to the press and kind of a pain to remove and empty. Is it OK to leave powder in there for a while? If so, how long? A day, a week, a year?

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    The acid in the powder will etch the plastic. I have a RCBS measure that shows the night 8-10 years ago I was too tired or lazy to empty it.
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    I don't know that I'd leave powder outside of it's original can for a whole year. If you live somewhere with high humidity like Texas unless your reloading room has AC I know I wouldn't. Like my ammo my powder is kept in large ammo cans.
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    Yes...but...Id label it. Life has a way of throwing you a curve. For safety sake, label the powder in the hopper.

    As far as powder going bad while set up for loading/not in the keg/bottle it came in, I have had zero issues with that, regardless of length of time its been in it.

    My experience has been with shotshell reloading. Ie a shotgun set up, MEC reloading press, and leaving it in that presses bottles.

    The guy that posted about his RCBS rig might be worth listening to, lol. But at any rate, I have never had powder go bad on me because it wasnt in the factory container.
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    I always label my powder so I know what's in the hopper. Several powders are very difficult to tell apart. I wish all powders were like Red Dot, or Green dot. It's easy to identify those.

    Quote Originally Posted by StormRhydr View Post
    Yes...but...Id label it. Life has a way of throwing you a curve. For safety sake, label the powder in the hopper.

    As far as powder going bad while set up for loading/not in the keg/bottle it came in, I have had zero issues with that, regardless of length of time its been in it.

    My experience has been with shotshell reloading. Ie a shotgun set up, MEC reloading press, and leaving it in that presses bottles.

    The guy that posted about his RCBS rig might be worth listening to, lol. But at any rate, I have never had powder go bad on me because it wasnt in the factory container.

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    The nitroglycerin in the powder will cause the plastic in the hopper to discolor. It won't effect the usefulness of the powder, but the plastic in the hopper will discolor to the point you will be unable to see the powder level in the hopper.
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    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    I don't think smokeless powder has nitroglycerin unless its a double base,(think cordite). Powders do have nitric acid (used to dissolve gun cotton) in them, which is probably where the etching comes from. However, I've left powder in hoppers for extended periods with little discoloration. Like I said earlier, keep it shielded from sunlight with some type cover.

    3HNO3 + C6H10O5 → C6H7(NO2)3O5 + 3H2O
    (Nitric Acid)+(Cellulose) → (Guncotton) + (Water)

    Gun cotton is not much used anymore, they are using wood instead of cotton now.

    Quote Originally Posted by high pockets View Post
    The nitroglycerin in the powder will cause the plastic in the hopper to discolor. It won't effect the usefulness of the powder, but the plastic in the hopper will discolor to the point you will be unable to see the powder level in the hopper.

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    My suggestion would be to not leave it in the hopper. It will interfere with your TV reception. Joke aside, I wouldn't and don't. Overnight would be one thing, but then overnight becomes a week, a week becomes a two, two weeks becomes . . . finally a dud.

    FYI - http://www.saami.org/specifications_...ess_Powder.pdf
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    I had a problem with it absorbing moisture an than not burning completely.

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    Tim,
    I've never had an issue with it. I leave my MEC press loaded with 700X, my Turret with IMR 4895, my load master with Win 231 and my Perfect Powder Measure with Varget. I do label them just to curtail the possibility of brain farts but the powder does fine for extended periods even in my non climate controlled NEO shop.(I haven't noticed any etching either).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy8 View Post
    I had a problem with it absorbing moisture an than not burning completely.
    That doesn't surprise me. The most miserable time I have spent anywhere was April in Boca. The humidity was off the hook. I remember thinking it was raining, but it was just condensation on the hotel windows!
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    I would have to find some powder first but when I do and try it I will let you know
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    Thanks guys.

    @ Flintlock: I have a RCBS RC2 press with a piggyback system on top.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    One more guy here who empties the hopper at the end of the loading session. In line with the "life throws curves" comment, I just never know if I'm going to get back to the loading bench right away, AND occasionally I change powders. I just don't want to get caught in a forgetful mistake.
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