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Old 07-07-2022, 05:44 PM   #1
thebowhunters
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Default Gun Power question?

My Champ of a Dad ( 88 years Young ) used to reload a lot. Since moving him and my mom to Kingsland to keep up with them in 2017 I came across this in my shop. My son and I reloaded with dad back in like 1999-2000, not sure if he did after that. Question do I have bombs in my hot shop and or is this power good at all? Will try to post pics of one pound of powder for $2.89
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Old 07-07-2022, 05:49 PM   #2
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Old 07-07-2022, 05:50 PM   #3
Mike D
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Bombs, no but the powder will degrade very quickly in the heat. There is a very real fire hazard chance too.

I would store it in a conditioned area if at all possible.


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Old 07-07-2022, 06:01 PM   #4
Artos
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Sniff it...if it smells anything of ammonia it's gone bad & you can then sprinkle it in the yard for fertilizer.
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Old 07-07-2022, 09:58 PM   #5
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What I found works for testing the stuff, is to pour a small amount out, then check to see if the powder sticks together, to any degree. If the powder is very dry, meaning it does not stick together at all, flows freely. It is probably good. The second test, if you are unsure, is after pouring some out, touch it with a match. If the powder basically burns up almost instantly, with a large very hot fire. It's probably good. But if you touch the powder with a match and you can watch the flame travel across the top of the powder as the flame gets larger. Also the flame gets larger as it burns for a half second or so, then after getting as large at the flame gets, it starts to burn down to a smaller flame that tapers and eventually goes out. That powder is bad.

Good dry powder will come vey close to all of it lighting off, almost instantly and the flame will get to maximum size, almost instantly. Then burn for a second to maybe two, then once the powder is gone, the flame goes out.

The oldest of the powders you have may be from the 70s, with that price tag. When I first started loading, in the mid 80s, I think powder was $8 something to $13 a can for 1 lb. of IMR powder. Most of that powder I would say is from the 80s or 90s. The Unique, is the newest stuff there, it's probably less than 20 years old.

I have some IMR powder from probably the 1950s, it's still mostly good, but does smoke a lot more than normal, when I load ammo with the stuff and shoot those rounds. That powder is very dry and burns fast, when I put a match to it. But it definitely smokes a lot more than any other IMR 3031, I have ever shot.
I have had a bunch of powders go bad on me. If you know what typical powder is like when good, as far as how it flows, that's usually all the test you need.
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:13 PM   #6
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Powder can keep indefinitely if stored correctly. Alliant did some tests a few years ago of some Bullseye pistol powder that was over 100 years old, a sample of one of the first batches ever produced. It worked fine. I have some powder that was made in the early '60's and I still use it.
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RifleBowPistol View Post
What I found works for testing the stuff, is to pour a small amount out, then check to see if the powder sticks together, to any degree. If the powder is very dry, meaning it does not stick together at all, flows freely. It is probably good. The second test, if you are unsure, is after pouring some out, touch it with a match. If the powder basically burns up almost instantly, with a large very hot fire. It's probably good. But if you touch the powder with a match and you can watch the flame travel across the top of the powder as the flame gets larger. Also the flame gets larger as it burns for a half second or so, then after getting as large at the flame gets, it starts to burn down to a smaller flame that tapers and eventually goes out. That powder is bad.

Good dry powder will come vey close to all of it lighting off, almost instantly and the flame will get to maximum size, almost instantly. Then burn for a second to maybe two, then once the powder is gone, the flame goes out.

The oldest of the powders you have may be from the 70s, with that price tag. When I first started loading, in the mid 80s, I think powder was $8 something to $13 a can for 1 lb. of IMR powder. Most of that powder I would say is from the 80s or 90s. The Unique, is the newest stuff there, it's probably less than 20 years old.

I have some IMR powder from probably the 1950s, it's still mostly good, but does smoke a lot more than normal, when I load ammo with the stuff and shoot those rounds. That powder is very dry and burns fast, when I put a match to it. But it definitely smokes a lot more than any other IMR 3031, I have ever shot.
I have had a bunch of powders go bad on me. If you know what typical powder is like when good, as far as how it flows, that's usually all the test you need.
Good info RBP ,
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:37 PM   #8
Draco
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They are bombs I tell you. You should let me take those to a safe storage facility. I happen to have one.
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Old 07-08-2022, 09:06 AM   #9
tdwinklr
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are you saying they WERE for a lengthy time and are still in a hot shop? If so, I'd say the powder was questionable. The specific instructions on the containers are, store in a cool, dry place.
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Old 07-08-2022, 12:25 PM   #10
thebowhunters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdwinklr View Post
are you saying they WERE for a lengthy time and are still in a hot shop? If so, I'd say the powder was questionable. The specific instructions on the containers are, store in a cool, dry place.

Yes they have been in my shop for at lease 5 years and more than likely his garage in Midland before that.
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Old 07-08-2022, 02:32 PM   #11
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Powder is hard to come by right now but no reason to take chances with old powder that may have been improperly stored. Sealed, unopened containers may be ok. If a container has been opened then it is possible that what’s in it may not be the original contents. I wouldn’t trust it.
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Old 07-08-2022, 05:18 PM   #12
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I'm still shooting powder that i purchased during the first Clinton administration. But it hasn't been stored in a garage.
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Old 07-08-2022, 05:27 PM   #13
SmTx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beleg View Post
Powder is hard to come by right now but no reason to take chances with old powder that may have been improperly stored. Sealed, unopened containers may be ok. If a container has been opened then it is possible that what’s in it may not be the original contents. I wouldn’t trust it.
Good point about may not be original contents. Likely is, but maybe not!

I have some old powder in metal cans like the OP and I use it on occasion to show folks that smokeless gun powder ain't all scary like folks think. Pour some out and light up!
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Old 07-09-2022, 09:53 AM   #14
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Pretty sure there is a lot of gun powder out there that has been stored for months/years in unconditioned warehouses and storage facilities all over the world and as long as it's sealed airtight it will still work. And how about loaded ammo? There is still WWII ammo around that was properly stored so moisture didn't corrode it and shoots just fine.
You can smell soured gun powder pretty easy. If your old powder smells exactly like a new can then it's still good.
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