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Old March 26, 2005, 09:06 AM   #1
pearson1662
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Old Powder

I have some old Hercules 2400 given to me by an older gentleman at the club who was retiring from reloading. Does this powder "age" in any particular manner? I don't know even remotely how old it is but it doesn't smell bad. On the can it has printed"HER. 21072 REV. 2-84" Thanks, Jay
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Old March 26, 2005, 09:24 AM   #2
MADISON
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Old 2400 safe to use?

You should be able to tell by the smell...
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Old March 26, 2005, 09:28 AM   #3
Russ5924
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IF it was me I would just get rid of the stuff.It's not the idea of it being old it's if the can is what it should be,if not been opened ok but if open?????????
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Old March 26, 2005, 09:29 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Smell is the first indication of bad powder. If it smells acrid or harsh, instead of having the normal powder smell, it's going bad.

A second test is to pour some out on a piece of white paper. Look for any reddish dust, but be careful not to breath any if it's there, it's poisonous.

If there's a red dust there, take the whole can outside and sprinkle it in a grassy area or in a flower bed. It will decompose and add nitrogen to the soil.
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Old March 26, 2005, 02:14 PM   #5
steveno
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which version of container is it and what condition is it in? if it is the old short and square can with the rounded corners it could have some collectors value if it is in good condition. the powder could be ok if it was stored in the cool and dry place otherwise I would throw it away

if it is the paper and metal version with the plastic spout it depends up on how well the powder was stored. if it wasn't stored in the cool and dry place I would probably throw it away if there is any doubt at all.

if it is the all plastic container I would think that it would be ok to use
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Old March 26, 2005, 07:14 PM   #6
deerhunter17
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I also have some old powder that is Hercules. My dad reloaded a couple of shells from it and never used it again. Now he bought a 10 gauge reloader and wants to use the powder. It was opened up about 25 years ago. Do you think that is any good?
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Old March 26, 2005, 11:20 PM   #7
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Smell it, if it smells of ammonia use it for fertilizer, if it smells OK start low and work up. Powder stored right will last 25 years +.
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Old March 26, 2005, 11:52 PM   #8
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Mike and HSMITH give correct advice. I've got some powder sitting around that might be more the 25+ years old and it's still good.
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Old March 27, 2005, 12:02 AM   #9
BillCA
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Properly stored powder will last quite a long time. But if that can of 21 year old powder was previously opened you have no way of knowing if that is 2400 or some other flake powder.

If you sprinkle it onto the lawn or flower beds, water the same day to help dissolve the power. The plants will thank you for the nitrogen.

Mike's suggestion of looking for a reddish tinge or dust is a good one too. Even if it doesn't smell bad, that discoloration means it should be disposed of.
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Old March 27, 2005, 12:45 PM   #10
klw
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Aging Powder

Assuming that the powder wasn't stored someplace HOT it should be fine.

When last I knew the makers of Unique still had some from their very first lot. Every few years they would test a sample. Hasn't deteriorated yet and I think that they started making that stuff decades and decades ago.

I've had quite a bit of powder that was given to me new in the 70's. The last couple of years I've been shooting it up. Works just fine. Of course it was properly stored all those years but, still, age alone doesn't cause a problem.
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Old April 3, 2005, 11:40 AM   #11
Ruger4570
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All of the above suggestions are valid and worth thinking about. I had a can of bullseye that had to be 30 -35 years old, The old round metal can type. It was given to me in the 60's by a friend. I used a little now and then, but found other powders I liked better so it just sat on my shelf for years. Last year I was going to dump it because of the age, I poped the can open and it smelled ok. I finally used it up for some skeet loads and it worked just fine..I saw an ad for Unique(I think), where the factory has kept it in a container of water for almost a 100 years and when tested it still worked fine.
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Old April 3, 2005, 12:33 PM   #12
Mike Irwin
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"I saw an ad for Unique(I think), where the factory has kept it in a container of water for almost a 100 years and when tested it still worked fine."

Probably Bullseye.

Bullseye has been in production since the very late 1800s, IIRC. It was one of the first non-bulk smokeless powders suitable for use in a wide range of handgun cartridges.

Unique has been with us since just after WW I.
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Old April 3, 2005, 06:28 PM   #13
klw
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Unique

"Unique has been with us since just after WW I."

You sure about that? I thought that it dated from the 1890's.
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Old April 3, 2005, 07:36 PM   #14
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One of you (us) must be right, I just don't remember if it was Bullseye or Unique, I guess the point is that gunpowder will stay effective for a long time,especially if you keep it in water LOL.. Maybe we can start a new thread as a quiz and find out for sure what powder it was..Take care
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