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Thread: How old is too old for modern powder

  1. #1
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    Default How old is too old for modern powder

    I have several powders from several years old to unknown ,
    I've even discovered some pyrodex I've had a long time ,
    any suggestions ?

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    Smell it and check it for a rust looking light powder on it. If it smells and looks normal use it. I don't think there is an age limit on it if stored properly. But if your nervous about it, I'll be glad to dispose of it for you.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arleigh View Post
    How OLD is to Old for modern powder......????

    I would hope that I'll never be too OLD for modern Powder..........

  4. #4

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    I spent a half a day last week shooting the old smokepoles. The Pyrodex RS that I was using was at least 10 years old and it seemed fine. It had been stored on the shelf in its original container.

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    Default thank you

    I don't get to shoot or even load as often as I'd like, but when ever I visit my gear I turn over the cans just so things don't settle. you know the stories of black powder.
    Thank you for your in put .

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    Ihave some that was goverment surplus that was mad in 1973 still works fine.

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    There are 3 major types of powder, ball, stick, and flake. They say ball has the best shelf life and the military says 50 years. Stick is not quite as long lived at 30 years according to the military. And they only give flake 15 years so they don't use much flake powder in the military. Of course this is for properly stored powder, kept dry and at a more or less constant temp. I don't know for sure but I would bet they did some study million dollar and then applied a safety margin of dividing by 3 or 4 to get their numbers. In other words well stored powder lasts a long time and like was said before it looks and smells different when its gone south.

    In the 70s and 80s there were huge barrels of surplus powder the military had aged out and sold. That was very good stuff and I bet would be fine for another 75 years or more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    There are 3 major types of powder, ball, stick, and flake. They say ball has the best shelf life and the military says 50 years. Stick is not quite as long lived at 30 years according to the military. And they only give flake 15 years so they don't use much flake powder in the military. Of course this is for properly stored powder, kept dry and at a more or less constant temp. I don't know for sure but I would bet they did some study million dollar and then applied a safety margin of dividing by 3 or 4 to get their numbers. In other words well stored powder lasts a long time and like was said before it looks and smells different when its gone south.

    In the 70s and 80s there were huge barrels of surplus powder the military had aged out and sold. That was very good stuff and I bet would be fine for another 75 years or more.
    What he said.

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    Default More than a life time

    I've got some FA .30-06 tracer ammo from 1917 marked "For Aircraft use Only". The cases are breaking up and crumbling and even the bullets have swelled and split but the stick powder still looks fine. I'm going to collect some of it and try it just for grins - it should be about like 4895 or similar - I'll make a light load.

    Ammo from WWII is generally O.K. to shoot; I've found the primers usually go before the powder goes bad.

    The big step in powder manufacturing is washing all of the nitric and sulfuric acid out of the nitrocelluose after the nitrating process. Properly manufactured nitrocelluose is a pretty stable plastic - remember that movie film was originally made of the stuff. If it isn't washed enough the stuff will start to deteriorate at an earller age as is a lot of the early movies. Even so the films are quite old - I believe from the teens, 20s and 30s or so.

    Adding the nitrogylcine for double based powder doesn't seem to affect the lifespan too adversely; I've got some powders 50 yrs or so old that still work fine.

    I know unexploded ordinance from the War between the States is ocassinally being dug up that still has black powder in it capable of being ignited and is still treated with caution. Likewise ordinace from WWI and WWII is still considered dangerous.
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  10. #10

    Default I recently bought

    2 of the old one pounds square metalcans of powder, 2400, with the "snap on" round covers. They are at least 40 years old, but were still sealed. The powder is fine, BUT, be aware that even if the old powder is still made, there may well be a difference in burning rate, so always start at safe load levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    it should be about like 4895 or similar -
    When did 4895 come out? It may well be 4895 since it's been around for a very long time. The 4895 from the 70s was hotter than what we have now I believe and the copper contamination may also affect it.
    Andy
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    Default Not for maz loads

    I don't use any very old powders for max loads or working up very accurate loads - just practice and plinking loads etc. Unless you have a very large quantity of the stuff it is not worth the effort to develop a load and then then run out of the powder.

    Safety as you recommend is always the most important consideration.


    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    2 of the old one pounds square metalcans of powder, 2400, with the "snap on" round covers. They are at least 40 years old, but were still sealed. The powder is fine, BUT, be aware that even if the old powder is still made, there may well be a difference in burning rate, so always start at safe load levels.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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