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Thread: Requesting help inspecting open powder for 480 Ruger

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub Rug480's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Requesting help inspecting open powder for 480 Ruger

    Couldn’t pass up the deal, paid $50 and traded a $50 knife for the following:

    Unopened 5lb Hercules 2400

    Opened jug of WST 3lb or so
    Opened jug of Universal 1lb or a little more

    Opened 5lb can of 296.

    But I’m still pretty new to reloading, did some google fu and gave the sniff test but still not 100% sure about the opened containers

    The Hercules is still sealed so worse case I got it for $100

    WST smells like sour fruit?
    Universal lightly of bleach

    I’ve never played with either of those two so have no frame of reference, the powders looks fine, any input is appreciated. First two pics

    The 296 I’m leaning towards no.
    The gent I bought it from said all of powders were from an estate sale of a locally well known reloader who was very meticulous. Guy is shooting reloads from said reloader and claimed he wouldn’t hesitate with using these powders. Nice guy, I believe him but I’m checking with you all. So having said that, the 5lb 296 can is filled up so the reloader must have topped it off with another can of 296.

    There’s some rusting on the inside of the can, found a clump of powder so I assume moisture got in. Some granules look pale and faded. Smells stronger but my can of 296 is almost empty so... 296 fertilizer?

    The pic of two piles of powder is my 296 up top and the 296 in question on the bottom.
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    Last edited by Rug480; 06-20-2018 at 08:32 AM.
    A cigar makes a bad day good, a good day great.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Phenix City, Alabama
    I'm using some Bullseye that is probably 25 years old. From the pictures you posted that powder looks good. I see no "rusty" looking flakes, and you'll know when the fragrance is telling you that the stuff is bad. The ammonia smell will knock you over. I also have a cardboard bottle of Green Dot that is close to 20 years old. I'd use it if it were mine.
    μολὼν λαβέ

    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    I have several cans sitting on my bench that someone else opened. Does it look the same as others that you know? How does it smell? Powders, if stored reasonably will last for many years. I have some that I know are at least 35 years old. They have been in my possession for that long, and were opened when I got them. Just loaded up 2 pounds of Unique last couple of weeks that were part of that bunch.
    Look closely to see if someone might have mixed two different powders together. That is an absolute no-no.
    I just disassembled a hundred or so of someone else's handloads. That powder went as fertilizer. Some of it was clumped up in the brass. Don't know what it was, but know where it is now.

    You say that it came from a reputable loader, so is probably all right. Reloaders who know what they are doing don't do things like mixing powder. Open cans? Show me a handloader who doesn't have them. Those cans have to be opened or hte powder will never get where it's supposed to be.
    It is true that you take a chance when using it. If you are reasonably sure that it came from a reputable person, AND it doesn't have rust or smell bad, It should burn just as well as a fresh can.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    therealhitman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Loading out of a 28 yr old can of H380 right now. Dad stopped loading .243 about 1990 so I confiscated all three cans from his shelf last month.

    Pic #2 looks like WST...but how can you be sure? Plus they say the middleman never tells a straight story to either end of the deal. If it were me I'd use the 2400 for light loads and dump the rest. I never would buy someone else's open powder or reloads unless I was disassembling for primed brass and pulled J words. Just my personal rule.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    merlin101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Rochester NY heading to Gaults Gulch
    You've already looked them over and if it was me I'd use them, I would start a bit on the low side and work up but that's common sense anyway. Enjoy your great deal!
    It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years (Abe Lincoln)

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government. George Washington

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub Rug480's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    None smell "bad" to make me gag, compared to some trailboss, H110 and the bit of 296 I have they all smell fine after a second, closer inspection last night. no rusty plumes or discoloration.
    the WST and Universal look good, uniform throughout. ended up being 3lbs of WST and 2lbs of Universal, 5.9lbs of 296, and the 5lb keg of Herc 2400.
    I'll try some mild loads of the 296 but the more searching online and comparing to what I already have the more convinced I am all three of the opened jugs look usable. The 296 will last me a very very long time, the Herc 2400 will be a nice jic back up. the WST and Universal, I'll have to do some research, only reload for 480 Ruger.

    thanks to all for your input, much appreciated.
    A cigar makes a bad day good, a good day great.

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