Questions about old powder

Questions about old powder

This is a discussion on Questions about old powder within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I found that I have 2 one pound cans of Unique powder ~12 yrs old. One is open. Date stamps on the bottoms look to ...

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Thread: Questions about old powder

  1. #1
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Questions about old powder

    I found that I have 2 one pound cans of Unique powder ~12 yrs old. One is open. Date stamps on the bottoms look to be 1995 on the 'new' one and 1993 on the open one. They have been stored in correct cool and dry places and don't smell funny or acidic. Are they safe to use? I called Alliant, since they bought Hercules powders, and they have yet to get back to me. Any ideas?
    "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775

    Vegetarian: Indian for inept hunter.


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    I would have little qalums about useing the closed one. The open one I would load a dozen test rounds in whatever caliber I have that would be easiest for me to remove a squib from.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Member Array geneinnc's Avatar
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    if it was kept in a cool storage area, you should be fine. Dry is the key word. Basements are hostile with their tendencacy to hold moisture.

    Excellent advice on trying test lots.

    If you pass all of the above, you should be fine.

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    i know plenty of people that have used opened cases of powder from who knows when, and it worked just fine.
    just be careful, watch for squibs, etc
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I would buy a new can of Unique and make some identical loads from all three cans - shoot them all through a chronograph. If velocities are similar, go ahead. If they're slower or faster than the new stuff, be more cautious - maybe plinking loads only. JMO

    Austin

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Gunpowder makes excellent fertilizer. If you can't use it.

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    I have and have used, even an open powder jug from over 20 years ago!!!

    If it has not gone ''off'' and you are prepared to load up a few test rounds then IMO (cheapskate that I am) - I'll use it just for range practice ammo.

    I still have some ''Vectan" powder that has to be 23 years old and I ain't yet pitched it LOL (or used it).
    Chris - P95
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    I have two cans of powder that are from late 60's early 70's best I can tell. Price is still on them and it's less than $3 a pound to give you an idea how old they are. When I need that type of rifle powder I use them without any doubts about how it will function. Last time I loaded 22-250's I used the 4320 and still would shoot nice less than 1" hundred yard groups. As long as it's stored properly the shelf life of powder is nearly indefinite.
    "Those who would give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety" -Benjamin Franklin-
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    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I'm a cheapskate so I don't want to waste money, but I don't want to a buck to destroy a gun or blow off a hand.
    Last edited by Ghuqu2; January 18th, 2008 at 11:05 PM. Reason: spelling
    "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775

    Vegetarian: Indian for inept hunter.

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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    i have used some that i got in 1981. it worked like it was new. i keep mine in the factory can contained inside a army 40mm ammo can.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

    Red State State of Mind

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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    I just recently polished off a 2# can that was over 30 years old, then I went out and bought a 8# can. As long as it was kept in a cool dry place and the flakes look whole it is good to go. Just remember the stuff is coated with graphite and will always be dirty looking.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Should be fine. I ran a half pound of 2400 dated 1971.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  13. #13
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    It'll be fine if kept dry and cool. I've used old lots of powder with perfect results.

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    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Back in the dark ages of the mid 50's I bought 100 lbs of 4831(military surplus) from Hodgdons for something like .75 a pound. I still have maybe 10lbs of it and the stuff works just like it did when first manufactured. FWIIW--Alliant keeps powder manufactured over 100 years ago stored in water--every now and then they dry out a sample and test it. No problems to date.

  15. #15
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    I've heard that somewhere there's a batch of ancient Unique and Bullseye that's stored in water that is dried out and used for control. Can't recall where I heard/read this.

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