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Thread: Bad Powder pictures

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Bad Powder pictures

    I had a pound bottle of powder go bad once before, but nothing this dramatic. What looks to be the lid is only the paper liner under the metal lid. When I peeled the paper back there were evil looking and smelling brown fumes curling up from the powder. It was badly clumped and much of it was a dirty brown color. The fumes had a very strong acid smell which would burn the nose. All that was left of the metal from the lid was an oily feeling residue and a ring of crud on the bottle. It appears that the acid fumes are attacking other metallic objects around the powder containers. What a mess !!

    When inspecting the pictures I noticed the second bottle, both of which were surplus 4895 had also gone bad, I went and removed it and cleaned off the shelf --- And I just now noticed the red looking liquid under the 7383 bottle. Dang, I have to get some better lights in there.
    Milkman
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    Last edited by milkman; 08-13-2012 at 07:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Wow, I have heard of powder going bad, but never seen it before. It looks like it turned liquid.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    williamwaco's Avatar
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    Those evil brown fumes were Nitro Glycerine.
    The liquid is quite likely the same.


    You need to dispose of that VERY CAREFULLY.



    .
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    7X57
    The powder itself did not turn liquid, It just turned colors, stank like sulpheric acid and gave off brown fumes. I assume it was the acid fumes turned the metal lids on the powder jars to some kind of liquid and brown rust crud. The liquid, whatever it is, ate the paint off of the shelving I had stored it on.

    As a further note, the powder was surplus IMR 4895, purchased about 6 years ago and stored in my shop which is not climate controlled. We have had a couple of bad summers here in Arkansas, which I am sure did not do it any good.

    Shortly after I purchased the powder I had separated it into the 2 one pound jars with part remaining in the Plastic 8 lb jug. The powder in the jug was also bad. Both jars and the Jug going bad at the same time --- they were the same lot and stored in the same conditions, but I didn't expect that.
    milkman

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    WilliamWaco

    You mean Shaking everything to break all the clumps wasn't such a good idea ???

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I have seen that before. Coincidentally enough, also old surplus 4895. It gave off a nasty brown gas. For a year afterwards I was finding various ammo that I had loaded with it before I realized what was going on. The ammo was easy to ID as it corroded from the inside out, eating through everything. No components were salvageable, except as scrap lead and brass.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I haven't used much 4895 in the last couple of years hand what loaded ammo I have has been stored in the house in the air conditioning, but I had better pull a few boolits to check it out. Thanks for the tip, I hadn't thought of that.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by milkman View Post
    WilliamWaco

    You mean Shaking everything to break all the clumps wasn't such a good idea ???

    not so good.

    I have seen this three times in my life, every case was with military surplus powders.

    I never saw the liquid but Hogdon's told me it could form. They said to IMMEDIATELY pour it out on the ground and spread it over a very wide area. Since I lived in the country, I walked out to the middle of the dirt road and sprinkled a one pound can over about 100 feet of dirt road.


    .
    First reload: .22 Hornet. 1956.
    More at: http://reloadingtips.com/

    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have about 10 cans of IMR4831 that is slowly doing the same thing.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to separate out the brown grains.
    NRA Endowment Member

    Gun rights: because it's much harder to march armed people into an oven.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for posting this. I've never seen anything like that. I had a one pound can of IMR 4320 that I bought some years back. When I went to use it the small screw top was very badly rusted and when I got it off the entire inside of the can was also badly rusted. Fertilized the lawn with the powder and when empty the interior was covered with heavy rust. Rather be safe than sorry. Frank

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    WilliamWaco

    The liquid only formed on the bottles with the metal lids. The 8 lb. plastic jug with plastic lid, like a purex bottle, was ok other than smell and color. the powder all went to fertilize apple trees. The liquid was diluted with lots of water for clean up.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    sprinkled a one pound can over about 100 feet of dirt road.
    i.e.d.?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Rocky Raab's Avatar
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    You should send those photos to Hodgdon. If you still have the bottles, record the lot numbers; they will want those. Powder in those plastic bottles isn't old enough to have deteriorated in the usual way. Hodgdon will be VERY glad to know about his.

    If you don't have a contact there, PM me and I'll give you one.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Yeah, HEHE. I found an old metal cone top and cardboard type cannister of W296 in a corner of the garage years ago. looked like that.
    Dutch

    "The future ain't what it used to be".
    -Yogi Berra.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Rocky,
    That was surplus powder bought in an 8 lb jug that I had transferred into a couple of empty bottles. Same powder but not original to those bottles. I had only had it about 6 years, but It may have come out of WW 1 ammo for all I know.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Rocky Raab's Avatar
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    Ahhh. Never mind.

    Run, do not walk, to get that stuff out of the house.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have heard of certain lots of war time powders not being washed enough to get the nitric acid out of the cellose after the nitraction step. Hence the powder breaks down over time and we see the results above. Yes, handle carefully and get rid of it. AggieEE

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Wow, thats nasty looking! I have some surplus powder that I have had for several (10+)years. This inspored me to check all my powder stock for degradation. I did not find any problems, even though my reloading shop is not climate controlled. And we routinely have Many 100+ degree days here each summer. But I will be checking my powder more often after this!

    Thanks for the warning!
    Yes I can spell, I just can't type!

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  19. #19
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    I had the same thing happen to a 8# jug of military 4895.
    When I unscrewed the lid, a liquid droped on my brand
    new jeans. The brown fumes were sulfuric acid and very
    nasty. Guess what happened to the jeans? Big holes.
    Wife was really pi$$ed about that. Like I did it on purpose.
    **** near died when I had to dump it.
    Denny

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

    Dutchman's Avatar
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    Reloder 7 from 1984 went bad a couple years ago.





    Older metal keg of SR4759 is still good.


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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check