Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: how long will a 8lb container stay fresh

  1. #1

    Default how long will a 8lb container stay fresh

    I am thinking of going with one powder for my hunting rifles w760 it will work in the 243 the 30-06 and the 375hh so I was wondering after I open the container how quickly do I need to get it into loaded ammo to not lose the freshness? or power or does it not matter? thanks

  2. #2
    Member nrc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Portland Oregon
    Posts
    176

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blackbear View Post
    I am thinking of going with one powder for my hunting rifles w760 it will work in the 243 the 30-06 and the 375hh so I was wondering after I open the container how quickly do I need to get it into loaded ammo to not lose the freshness? or power or does it not matter? thanks

    I've used 10yr old powder that was stored properly (airtight is the main concern, temp variances perhaps 2nd) and it worked fine.

    Your results may vary, but that worked for me.

    Nate

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,805

    Default Hearsay.

    I hear tell, that if there are no storage issues, it'll last for many years. Also, if it's bad, it has a funny Steenk to it.

    And, if it's all clumped up, it's no good, and dangerous to shoot.

    I've used some VERY OLD powder, and it was fine, and same as the new stuff.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sunny SE :)
    Posts
    95

    Default

    For some practice loads I am using powders that were first opened more than 15 years ago. So far I have had no problems with any of them. I would go with fresh powders for hunting and target loads though. Storage is key as was mentioned in the last post. I have heard of powder going bad but have not experienced it myself, I keep my cans tightly capped and in a moderately cool environment. I have heard powder that develops a stink should be disposed of but so far all mine still smell fresh.

    Sometime I need to do some reloading using fresh and old of the same powder to see if there is a performance difference.

  5. #5

    Default

    Ball powders like 760 will last decades properly stored and sealed. High heat is the prime cause of powder going bad. Probably not a big problem up here. Unless you plan on storing that 8 pound can for 30+ years I wouldn't give it a second thought.

  6. #6
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default Loooong time, potentially

    My wifes grandpa gave me some DuPont Improved Military 4350 a while back, it was a "Score" he got after returning from the occupation of Japan years, 1948 (?) maybe '50 or so, something like that I guess, He had stored it in an old refrigerator in his shop, dry as a bone, and cool.....

    Smelled good, Looked Good, I've used a bit of it and it works fine compared right alongside Fresh IMR 4350

    You should see the can it is in, it's an antique in itself. Powder is Good

    He still has Jags of it, So, I'm going to try more of it

    All about storage I guess, definitely compare the smell to Fresh, you should be able to tell something by that I have read. This stuff smells Identical to the Fresh, and Looks ID also
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Off the road system,AK
    Posts
    372

    Default

    Not to hijack this thread, but would the components (powder,primers) last longer assembled as ammunition or in their respective packaging?



    Thanks,


    Mountaintrekker

  8. #8

    Default

    I just opened an 8-pound canister of 748 I bought in the late 70's. Fresh as a spring breeze. Same for an 8-pounder of IMR-4350 I opened last year, and the date I wrote on it when new was 7-19-72. I've got some cans of Unique given to me by a friend that date back into the 1960's, and they're fine as frogs hair, too.

  9. #9

    Default I bought

    two of the snapcap square metal pound containers of 2400 last year. One had been opened and the other hadn't. This stuff is over 40 years old and it is actually a little faster burning than some new 2400 I have. That is one thing to be aware of if you are using old powder in fairly hot loads. The burning rates may vary.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default Longer than you will probably live

    I've got a box of WWI - 1917 if I recall - box of .30-06 tracers that are so old the cases and bullets are cracking and falling apart. The powder - some stick stuff like 4895 - still looks as good as the day it was made. Remember this wasn't even stored in an airtight contained for years after the cracks in the case apperared. I may try to salavage some of the powder and shoot just for grins.

    The real determination for powder longivity is how well the nitrocelluose was washed the nitrating process. More washing is always better but it is apparerently difficult to determine when the process is completed. Kinda like washing the old black & white film prints from the old darkroom days of photography.
    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

  11. #11
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    two of the snapcap square metal pound containers of 2400 last year. One had been opened and the other hadn't. This stuff is over 40 years old and it is actually a little faster burning than some new 2400 I have. That is one thing to be aware of if you are using old powder in fairly hot loads. The burning rates may vary.
    This is a good point to remember. I would like to add that the same type powder, in this case 2400, from separate lot numbers can display exactly the same tendency produced only a week apart. When you change lot numbers in a particular powder it is always prudent to use caution as you approach maximum loads.

  12. #12
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kodiak, Ak
    Posts
    3,175

    Default what should I expect?

    Mauser and I Cor, do you guys have any idea what I may expect from IMR 4350 (actual Dupont Improved Military 4350) that is some 50+ yrs old as far as burning rates?
    Seems I read something in the Propellant Profiles about the old stuff as "Faster Burning" than the current.

    Or where would I go to find out? Probably to the range carefully, right?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  13. #13
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Mauser and I Cor, do you guys have any idea what I may expect from IMR 4350 (actual Dupont Improved Military 4350) that is some 50+ yrs old as far as burning rates?
    Seems I read something in the Propellant Profiles about the old stuff as "Faster Burning" than the current.
    I would expect it to be different, but how much would be only a guess. I would lean towards the conservative side. I'd begin with the minimum listed charge weight until I established the characteristics of that lot of powder regardless of its date of manufacture. This is where a chronograph will help you know what is taking place. If the older lot is producing significant differences in velocity compared to powder of more recent vintage you can adjust your loads accordingly.

    Or where would I go to find out? Probably to the range carefully, right?
    Right. Exercising caution on your range is the best route.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,805

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    Not to hijack this thread, but would the components (powder,primers) last longer assembled as ammunition or in their respective packaging?

    Thanks,

    Mountaintrekker
    I dunno which would be best, but I'd prefer having it in a powder can where you can tell if it's stuck together, (clumped up) steenks, or looks OK.

    With very old Ammo, it might be prudent to disassemble some of the rounds, and check out the powder. ????

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountaintrekker View Post
    Not to hijack this thread, but would the components (powder,primers) last longer assembled as ammunition or in their respective packaging?
    Makes no difference.

    Mike

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Veneta, OR
    Posts
    1,156

    Default

    as far as powder storage goes, if it is kept in it's original container with the cap on and not subjected to high temperatures (above 75) it should stay good and safe for a very long time - I have been doing this but storing all of my powder containers in an empty ice chest (nothing fancy needed) - Interesting though, when I open the ice chest after a prolonged time I get a good whiff of "ether like" odor every time

    ammo may be a bit different - I used to talk alot with a retired Marine amorer seargent who loaded for the rifle team on the eastern seaboard for quite a while he said - Early on he loaded some competition rounds and they didn't expend all of them so he saved them for a while and when they tried to use them the pressures spiked badly, he also said there was a "patena" fine line around the case mouths - I load and store thousands of prairie dog rounds so I am now very careful and watchful of my older ammo and how it is stored - keeping it is another ice chest and lighting a SMALL candle then closing the lid tight will ensure no air in the chest but still watch the ammo because sometimes there may be metalurgic reactions that most of us don't know or understand

  17. #17
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I'm still using some 50+/- year old H 4831 with no problems.

  18. #18
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Palmer,Alaska
    Posts
    1,737

    Default

    American made ball powders have no known shelf life, and yes 760 powder is a ball powder, I keep ball powders on hand for just this reason as I have never trusted our government. If your shop is half as cold as mine it should be good for a couple of hundred years. I keep 16 pounds of 760 and 16 pounds of 748 in my shop for just this same reason.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •