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Powder shelf life

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  • #16
    As you can see from the above posts, powder will last a looooooooooooooooong time. I just make sure the caps on my powder jugs are on snug and the oldest powder I have is still fresh (some WC820 I bought in '86.). I read somewhere there is a container of Bullseye that was manufactured around 1900 and is stored safely. A bit of the powder is removed annually and tested, no degrading and tests fine...
    I\'ve learned to stand on my own two knees...

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    • #17
      quite a number of the original before it was herculese powders [lafflin and rand] are stored from batch number-1.
      they are tested against current lots of powder.

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      • #18
        A friend of mine who has passed about 15 years back, he bought a keg of IMR-4350 back some where in the 60's. I don't remember how many pounds were in the keg, but I believe it was in the hundreds of pounds, maybe it wasn't that many pounds, but it was a lot, far more than I'd ever seen in a single container. Long story short, I started loading with it in the late 80's and into the mid 90's, not a single indication that it was beginning to break down. But I do know he was very adamant about how he stored his powders, which in this case it was stored in a dry cold atmosphere in the 40 degree range. Powder will safely last for decades if stored properly, but can break down in less than a year if stored improperly. Heat and humidity are it's.

        HBC

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        • #19
          I just finished using 4 one pound cans of H4831 WW II powder. The powder was stored in relabeled cardboard "cans". The cans were stored in a paper drum from Bruce Hodgdon along with about 10 cans of various other powders in their 1960s vintage cans. It was a gift to me from a neighbor's estate. I used it in my .270 and 6.5 Gibbs. At some point soon I will be out of loaded ammo and will have to begin my load development all over again. RD
          Every once in a while in life we need a policeman, a lawyer, a doctor and a preacher. We need a farmer three times a day, every day.

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          • #20
            That's a great example of powder shelf life RD. It's not always about how old it is, but more so how it was stored and of course knowing how to determine if it hasn't expired, there ain't no expiration dates on powder canisters.

            HBC

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            • #21
              I used to own a German Mauser from WWII. It came with loaded ammo in cardboard boxes from 1938. It all fired without exception in the mid '80's when I shot the rifle.
              I have no idea about how it was stored for those 50 or so years, but it all went bang.

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              • #22
                I'm still using powders like Smith & Wesson's Alcan AL-5 , Unique and H4895 purchased during the late 60's and early 70's . Stored inside the house on a closet shelf, they still pass the smell test and show no red dust from oxidation. I've been using them with excellent results, no accuracy problems .
                In the recent "Powder Shortage" days of Obama , I wasn't about to get rid of any powder that could be used.
                If you want to stock up , keep it inside the house, cool place (some put it in a spare refrigerator ) and it will last at least 50 years...maybe longer.

                I just noticed the price tag on the side of the can of AL-5.....8 ounce can , $2.00 !!!! Two dollars , when's the last time you bought half a pound of smoke less powder for two bucks.....WOW !
                Gary
                Last edited by gwpercle; 07-05-2018, 19:54.

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                • #23
                  Heck, I've HEARD of Alcan powders, never actually laid eyes on a can for retail sale LOL.

                  Gone long before I started loading in the late 70's.

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