ADvertise hereRepackboxInline FabricationMidSouth Shooters Supply
WidenersTitan ReloadingRotoMetals2Lee Precision

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 54

Thread: How old is too old for powder?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    rockrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    3,859

    How old is too old for powder?

    LGS got some reloading stuff in and part of it was a half empty container of red dot and almost full keg of 2400. These things are cardboard and the whole top comes off to get at the powder. The RD is a 15 lb container, so maybe 8 lbs left and maybe 7 lbs of 2400. Leery of opened powder , plus I don't know how it was stored. Probably from the 60's

    On the plus side, I picked up an old red colored metal keg that was for 5 lbs of 2400 (maybe 1.5lbs in it still) and an unopened square metal can of Bullseye (early 70's). Also got some 45-70 brass and Hornady 300gr bullets and an old RCBS EZ Melt I

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Southeast Louisiana
    Posts
    743
    I am using powder (H110) from the mid 90's, of course when I got it unopened. They say if it doesn't have a brown tint to it or smell like "vinegar" it's still usable, otherwise it's fertilizer. I poured a little out on a cinder block and lit mine, it burned so I loaded some bullets and shot fine!
    The unexamined life is not worth living----Socrates
    Pain, is just weakness leaving the body...
    It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not (ask DJT).

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Snow ninja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    237
    I've had zero problems reloading with powders from the 60's and 70's. Can't tell any differences. Like said above, if it smells weird, it's probably bad.
    Do the best you can, with what you've got, where you're at. -Theodore Roosevelt

  4. #4
    Moderator


    ShooterAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Posts
    6,703
    I still have most of an 8 lb keg of pull down IMR4895 from WWII, still works just fine. I bought several kegs of it, and I'm down to my last one now. As long as it's been properly stored and isn't turning orange or brown, or smell bad it should still be good. I bought mine from a reputable source, but I'd be a bit leery of opened powder too. Red Dot is easily identifiable, 2400 should be too. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    980
    I've used powder up to 40 years old with no problems(think Alcan).

    Check appearance against a known sample, then load a couple of the lightest listed load you can find and try them.
    I bought two steel kegs of Red Dot at a garage sale once, was assured they were both Red Dot, got home and poured some out of one keg--it was clearly a mix of two different powders, that went for fertilizer. The other keg was factory sealed--no problem with that one. Luckily I paid next to nothing for the powder so I didn't get "burnt".

    I'm currently working through a keg of Blue Dot that is from the Hercules days, well before Alliant and it is shooting fine.
    Last edited by 15meter; 07-26-2019 at 11:18 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Central IL
    Posts
    2,805
    I'm working at finishing off a partial jug of AA#5 from the mid-90s, discovered last winter sitting behind some boxes of shotgun hulls. Smelled and looked okay when (re)opened so I loaded up a few test rounds of .45 ACP and touched 'em off. No problems: they all went BANG and shot to the same POI as ammo loaded from more recent lots. Only thing I did notice was the older powder seemed 'dirtier'...more powder fouling...than more current AA#5.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    940
    When it smells like acetone. Then fertilize the Roses.
    QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master dh2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ft.Bragg,NC
    Posts
    574
    I still have a keg of AA3100 from 1990 and is still my go to powder for 30-06 and 270 Win

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



    cwlongshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central Connecticut
    Posts
    1,662
    If ya find out. LMK!!

    Im still using cardboard kegs of Red Green and Blue dot I bought as “OLD” about 1985.... I still have a few tin CUBES of 2400 too.
    PROPERLY STORED, should out last us.

    Smell it. If nothing out of normal its probably just fine. If arid or “spicy” might be “going” or gone. Its GREAT LAWN fertilizer!

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Southernmost State of the Union
    Posts
    4,241
    Another thing to look for is a very dusty appearance when powder deteriorates.

    I just loaded up some Hornet loads last night using PB powder from the 60's.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  11. #11
    Moderator Emeritus


    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SW Montana
    Posts
    10,507
    I still have some Bullseye in a steel 3 lb drum. It works fine. I have some much newer 4198 that doesn't. It all depends on storage. Really though, canister powders are a cheap as they ever have been.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    hot
    Posts
    5,131
    Storage... how warm is too warm?

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master


    richhodg66's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    5,224
    I just loaded and shot some Alcan 7 today, worked fine and had been in a non-climate controlled barn in Texas for quite a while. Stuff still looks good and shot well.

    I shot up the last of a can of Alcan 5 a while back and before that, used up a four pound keg of Alcan 120. None of these have been made for more than 40 years.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    980
    Remember a Hercules/alliant ad that claimed they had some of the original bullseye (stored under water!!!!)
    That they took out, dried out and loaded test loads that worked. 1900 kind of vintage? But I've got geezer memory.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    west central Illinois
    Posts
    5,932
    Yesterday, at a family get together, Some family members and I burned through about 300 shotgun shell I had loaded around 1985. No misfires. All performed exactly as they should.
    They were stored in military ammo cans this whole time.
    The powder used was Red Dot.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Outside Rolla, Missouri
    Posts
    970
    To me, powder from the mid-90's IS new!!! I still have a few partial cans from the 70's which are still good and when called for I use them. My half keg of IMR-4831 is from the early to mid-80's and I just loaded and fired some 7 X 64 Brenneke's with it....still good and still accurate.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

    The common virtue of capitalism is the sharing of equal opportunity. The common vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery

    NRA Benefactor 2008

  17. #17
    Moderator Emeritus


    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SW Montana
    Posts
    10,507
    Quote Originally Posted by 6bg6ga View Post
    Storage... how warm is too warm?
    IMO, prolonged exposure to 80+ temps starts the process. Over that is like a steady climb with temps and time of exposure.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Phenix City, Alabama
    Posts
    3,809
    I still have about a half pound of BE that I got in the late 80's. I don't know how old it is, but it belonged to a friend's grandfather who passed away in the late 70's. It was in a big yellow can lot #463. I still use it for my 9mm.....
    Tom
    μολὼν λαβέ


    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Dutchman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Siskiyou County, Calif
    Posts
    1,853





  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    Posts
    7,376
    Quote Originally Posted by jdfoxinc View Post
    When it smells like acetone. Then fertilize the Roses.
    Acetone odor is OK.

    VINEGAR odor is when the powder is BAD!
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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