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Thread: Does powder loose it's "potency"?

  1. #1

    Default Does powder loose it's "potency"?

    I had a couple of questions and I was wondering if anyone was willing to share their knowledge. If you keep gun powder in dry area with it's lid tightly closed does gun powder degrade over time? Also, my local store doesn't have any powder right now and midway doesn't ship to Alaska. Any ideas? Thanks for your help.


  2. #2
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I am currently using powders that I bought 26 years ago. They are working fine and chrono speeds are on par with the new equivalents. Buying gunpowder and primers from the lower 48 requires them to be shipped by common carrier over the water as they are hazmat and cannot fly. There are a myriad of hazmat regulations that need to be followed and the shippers charge a fee to deal with it. Most companies like Midway don't want to deal with it at all. Where do you live?
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  3. #3
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Missing Palmer AK in Phonix AZ.


    You can buy powder from Midway or whoever and have it shipped to a freight forwarder in Washington, they will thin bring it to Alaska and you pick it up there. I havenít done it for a couple years but if you get the max aloud for the hazmat charge your end price will be about what shops here charge. We did a bunch of group buys on AOD here last time the shelves were empty and it works well.
    Powder does normally get less potent in time if properly stored. The old keg powders from 50 years ago are something like 5% less potent than when new, no matter, it still works just fine but may need 5% more to do it. You want a constant cool temp for storage, no hot sheds that then freeze in winter, no big swings in temp. It lasts 10-15 years even in poor conditions properly stored it will last longer a very long time.
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  4. #4


    Thanks for the advice. I live in Juneau and we have a few stores that sell powder but they are out and aren't sure when they are going to get any. I'm just a little nervous about not having any by August 1st for hunting. Maybe I will have to break out my sling shot this years.


  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    I finished a lb of Hodgdon 4831 last year. I think I inherited it from my old neighbor who probably purchased it in the '70s. On the end of the can it says, "This is World War II Surplus Powder. Storage Life is Not Guaranteed.". My 7mm Rem. Mag. sure liked that powder so if properly stored I don't think you have to worry too much about age.


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