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Thread: Open powder containers

  1. #1
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    Pressman's Avatar
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    Open powder containers

    I am speaking executor of a friend's estate. He was an avid reloader so there's a lot of powder. I need to inventory but it looks like 40 containers. Most are opened, some not. These are the newer plastic jugs, the metal cans will go into the collection.
    I don't want to fertilize roses with the open containers.
    Any thoughts on the best way to sell them.? I am thinking about a gun show but this is not nearly the end of season.
    Ideas?

    Note: this Not an offer to sell, seeking information only.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    How about at your local gun range? You wouldn't have to pay a fee for a selling spot like at a gun show, and you would have a good chance of finding reloaders. You would probably have to sell at bargain prices since you can't guarantee the open containers (how old they might be).
    Hick: Iron sights!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master zymguy's Avatar
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    I dont know where in the gopher state you are but there is a good show coming up in ashland wi on the 28th of april. Im probably not alone in hopping youll atleast offer it here first =)

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Not sure where in MN ya live, but I imagine there are folks like me who would be interested in some of the powders, if only knew about them being for sale.

    Just last year, right before Christmas I had the chance to buy some of the same, as well as dies, bullets/boolits, etc. from a fella who was doing the same thing. The timing of the information being right before Christmas limited the funds of my son & I for such items, as well as others to whom I mentioned those items.

    I have not contacted him again about the items, nor has he contacted me, so I do not know if they are still available or not. But, I may contact him again in a month or so to see.

    I would think that if you let folks know thru LGS, ranges, and maybe even craigslist or facebook ( I know of several "Buy/Sell" FB pages I am a member of, that might be a help), that you might be able to sell much of the powder, particularly if they are fairly common types.

    After saying that, I live just 30 miles S. of the TCs & I have traded/bought/sold with members here that are in the TCs & not too far North of the TCs that might be interested as well. So, there are folks in the state that might be interested if they knew more about what was available. All depending on your location, their locations & how far one needed to travel to meet up for a deal.

    Just something to consider.

    Anyway, G'Luck!


    P.S. - Your name is not Jack S., is it? That is the fella I was talking to about reloading stuff... No need to answer, I just thought it would be quite funny if you just happened to be the same guy. LOL
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master PaulG67's Avatar
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    I would think your local range would be a good place, perhaps they have a bulletin board to post adds on.
    Paul G


    I am Retired, I was tired yesterday and I am tired today!!!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    As for open containers....it would have to be someone I know and explicitly trust. I have to imagine you would open yourself up to some liability if any of it were to be mislabeled, potentially leading to an accident.
    "Do not follow where the path might lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
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    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    A notice at the local range would give you longer exposure and perhaps a larger proportion of handloaders. But lots of people sell partial containers of powder at Gun Shows.

    The realists sell them cheap, and empty their tables relatively quickly. The optimists look at the new prices, gauge how much is left in their containers and try to match the new price per pound. They seem to take a lot of those containers back home when the Show is over.

    Remember that no established gun writer has ever recommended the practice of buying partial cans of powder that unknown people have used. The majority of powder buyers will follow this (good) advice, and the few willing to manage the risk want a fiscal incentive to do so.

    As an inveterate bargain hunter for partial (or unused) containers of old powders, I am generally much more likely to buy an original container than one which has been filled with something else and relabeled with a Sharpie on masking tape. I insist on a visual and a sniff test on everything I buy, unless the seal under (or over) the cap is intact, or that Hercules ring-seal on the square-face cans is still there. So if you’re at a Gun Show, expect a lot of handling and gourmandizing of the contents by the connoisseurs.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by trails4u View Post
    As for open containers....it would have to be someone I know and explicitly trust. I have to imagine you would open yourself up to some liability if any of it were to be mislabeled, potentially leading to an accident.
    I had an incident with some powder I purchased from an older gentleman who was getting rid of a lot of stuff. Luckily, the loads were underpowered (looks like a slower powder got mixed into some 700X) so no damage done but I have 100's of sub-par shotgun shells to deal with. I will never buy an open container of powder again.

    Imagine if that 700X had been mixed into some rifle powder? People make honest mistakes but it happens.

    BTW, I know of a guy who would go to guns shows and buy part bottles of powder and them mix them up to make a mystery powder. It is hard to believe someone could be that stupid but they are out there. I would not shoot on the line with him.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by trails4u View Post
    As for open containers....it would have to be someone I know and explicitly trust. I have to imagine you would open yourself up to some liability if any of it were to be mislabeled, potentially leading to an accident.
    I have to agree with this. I wouldn't sell it for fear of the liability. I'd either use it or give it to the roses.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    I have bought dead guy/garage sale powder. For the risk I won't pay more than a couple of dollars a pound for open cans. Before using they will get side by side visual comparison with identical powder from a known can of powder. Then load one or two LIGHT test loads. Have even considered get out the Lee scoops, scoop and weigh, then compare the weight to what Lee says the powder in question with that scoop SHOULD weigh.

    Got hooked on an eight pounder of Red Dot. Didn't check it close enough when I bought it at a garage sale. Guy assured me that it was Red Dot in the factory Red Dot can. Lied straight faced to me. Got it home and went to use it, Red Dot with a generous portion of some thing else. Fertilizer.

    Luckily the price on the press, shot, primers, wads and a second sealed can of Red Dot covered the fertilizer cost.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    You do need a study of how the various powders look. Propellant Profiles, Sharpe’s book and some of the earlier Ideal and Lyman Handbooks have pictures that should be committed to memory before going on the scrounge for powder.

    By all means, pour the powder out and inspect it when you get it home. I once bought a nearly-full paper canister of Unique that somebody had dumped a powder measure of Bullseye into. (This was not visible when I looked into the can, and, oddly, none of my loading manuals had charge data for this interesting ballistic combination.) However, I was able to separate the two components by screening, and then, as 15meter advises, treated each component as a new powder, working up loads and keeping both batches separate from my legitimate cans of Unique and Bullseye until they were used up.

    I don’t recommend this, but what can I say? I got it for five bucks!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Seen a few idiots selling powder in quart mason jars with labels for the powder. Wouldn't even think about buying any. Frank

  13. #13
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    I would shoot it only if I were buying the lot and my offer would be 20 cents on the dollar. Many or most will be fine but the chances of one not being so are not worth it. As casters powder is the most expensive component in most cases but it is still pretty cheap to take chances with. I believe when you resell it you take on a liability rather than if the estate sells it.
    I have also traded powder for primers back in the day and gotten sealed cans with the IMR red rust inside. Sometimes we relearn the lesson that new is good.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I need to inventory but it looks like 40 containers. Most are opened, some not. These are the newer plastic jugs, the metal cans will go into the collection.
    I would guess that any reloader with this amount of powder, had friends & acquaintances that are reloaders and shooters too. Get a copy of the names on the sign in book at the funeral parlor and those that sent condolences .., let them know if they want to buy the powder
    Regards
    John

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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