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Old August 4, 2012, 05:25 PM   #1
rebs
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powder in the powder dump ?

If you are going to load more rounds tomorrow, does it hurt to leave powder in the powder dump ? primers in the tube and dies in the press ?

what do you guys do ?
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Old August 4, 2012, 05:31 PM   #2
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If you know what you got and what you're doing... like not switching from .45ACP to .38 Super without looking... it's not a problem. Check your first few charges of course.

Although... worst case scenario, a fire or some such could present a problem... that's assuming you normally keep stored powder and primers in a fire resistant cabinet.

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Old August 4, 2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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If I have time set aside to load the next day I'll leave it in the dispencer, assuming I'm not changing anything.
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Old August 4, 2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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I will say no as I have done this on many an occasion. However expect your powder reservoirs to darken over time.

Gunpowder outgases NOx due to nitrocellulose breakdown and there may be other gases due to the inhibitors and stabilizers in the powder. Not all plastics are immune to the stuff and Skeeter Skelton wrote of a reservoir of his cracking and failing after prolonged exposure to gunpowder. There are articles in the 60’s American Rifleman describing the Army’s experience with certain types of plastics being incompatible with gunpowders.

As for the powder itself, heat is the number one enemy of gunpowder, humidity is number two. Powder ages and heat accelerates the deterioration of gunpowder. Sunlight is not good either so keep your gunpowder in the dark. Sunlight is bad on all plastics and rubbers.

Primers are covered with a sealant, should be OK.
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Old August 4, 2012, 05:57 PM   #5
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Primers & Dies OK

Yes, Yes and Definitely No.

Primers are generally best kept in the manufacturers' packaging, but leaving them in your primer feed device for a short time is OK. If they are stacked in a tube and one goes off (how that happens, I don't know, but it sometimes does) its siblings may have a chain detonation.

Dies, no problem unless your loading area has far too much humidity. I leave my dies set up in their turrets all the time. Drop a dust cover over them would be a good idea. Old pillowcase is just about ideal unless there are objections from whoever is responsible for bedclothes.

Powder, though. That may be another story. Powder has been known to etch the plastic hoppers of some powder measures. Some people believe that exposure to air (and subsequent loss of some of the volatile elements of gunpowder) will change the characteristics of your powder. Some believe that exposure to light might deteriorate the powder.

I accept these beliefs, though I have no proof of them.

If, for any reason, you forget what powder you left in the hopper, the effects can be disastrous. I recall one thread started by a guy who shared this cautionary tale. He returned the powder from his powder measure to its original manufacturer's 8-lb jug (which was half full). Then he realized that it was the wrong powder and was now contaminated with different powder. He now had 4 lbs or so of unusable powder. Good for nothing but fertilizing potted plants or entertaining the neighborhood kids with pyrotechnics.

I NEVER leave powder in a powder measure longer than a bathroom break.

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Old August 5, 2012, 01:29 AM   #6
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I always dump powder back into its original container at the end of each loading session. Too many times what I am going to do tomorrow doesn't get done until next week. But that's just me. ymmv
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Old August 5, 2012, 01:42 AM   #7
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Primers no problem, they arent sealed in their box to begin with so it doesnt matter if you leave them out. Powder on the other hand, I wouldn't, for the reasons already outlined above....
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Old August 5, 2012, 04:46 AM   #8
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I had to replace the plastic hopper on my Uniflow powder measure because I left Power Pistol in it for two nights. It etched the entire surface everywhere powder was in contact in it. FWIW, the hoppers are very easily replaced. The new one tapped right into place using a 2X4 as a block.

Some powders are worse than others about etching. My oldest 550 that I load 45 acp on has had 231 left in it overnight quite a few times and while it did darken the plastic it is not bad enough to warrant replacement.
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Old August 5, 2012, 06:34 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies, I will keep dumping it back in the original container after every loading session.
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Old August 5, 2012, 07:16 AM   #10
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I forgof and left powder in my Lee pro disk for several months. The hopper was totally unaffected.
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Old August 5, 2012, 07:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
As for the powder itself, heat is the number one enemy of gunpowder, humidity is number two. Powder ages and heat accelerates the deterioration of gunpowder. Sunlight is not good either so keep your gunpowder in the dark. Sunlight is bad on all plastics and rubbers.
What he said,please return powder after each reloading session to the opaque container, power will degrade over time and there is no such thing as overnight which sometimes turns into weeks, plus the safety factor of using wrong powder at next reloading session.
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Old August 5, 2012, 07:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
I forgof and left powder in my Lee pro disk for several months. The hopper was totally unaffected.
Very possible Mike but I'm certain the powder degraded somewhat while it may be unnoticeable depending on cartridge and or type of shooting. I've seen it degrade big time when using exposed powder for benchrest shooting. It's just simply more safe to return it to original container after each session.
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Old August 5, 2012, 07:35 AM   #13
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One thing I do is write the load data on a small piece of paper and either stick it to the hopper, or put it in it. That way you'll always know exactly what's in it, and what charge it's supposed to be dropping. Post it notes work great.
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Old August 5, 2012, 07:51 AM   #14
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It didnt matter if it degraded or not. I could not remember what it was so it was tossed.
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Old August 5, 2012, 09:15 AM   #15
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I know some of you will scorn me, but I only load one pistol caliber and do my rifle reloading on a seperate press with a seperate powder measure - so getting powder mixed up is unlikely. I did leave some pistol powder in the measure for two nights and when I got back to loading the clear plastic had etched slightly and began to darken. Since then I will not leave any powder overnight.
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Old August 5, 2012, 09:25 AM   #16
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I never leave it in overnight only because I load so many different calibers and use so many different powders I don’t want to take a chance.
The other reason is that as we get older we tend to forget,,,
What were we talking about?

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Old August 5, 2012, 12:11 PM   #17
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There should only be one can of powder out on the bench at a time. This way you always know whats in the hopper. Don't put the can away until the powder hopper is emptied. Primers too. I have a 12 X 12 tile square that I keep on my bench, and all the componants of what I am loading gets put on the tile. Primers, powder, bullets. No confusion, no post-its to blow away or be peeled off by curious kids.
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Old August 5, 2012, 11:09 PM   #18
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Like Jimkin, I put masking tape on the outside of the powder measure, and note the caliber, bullet, powder charge, and OAL. I also have only one can of powder out at a time. I frequently load large quantities of ammo at a time over several days or weeks, and leave everything set up. I only remove double based powders from the measure mostly based on reports of others, but I've never had a problem with single based powders discoloring my measure hopper. Matter of fact, I think the ONLY powder that's ever discolored or etched any of my measures was Unique.
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Old August 6, 2012, 07:12 AM   #19
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Certainly nothing wrong with that, Yoter.

If I did that, I'd need somewhere between 25 and 30 measures.
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Old August 6, 2012, 09:13 AM   #20
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Can an etched and discolored hopper be restored by brunishing with say jeweler's rouge? Just wondering.
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Old August 6, 2012, 10:44 AM   #21
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RCBS Uniflow + Power Pistol (fresh jug) + time (less than 24 hours) = fouled up hopper; had to scrape the powder off the hopper sides.
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Old August 6, 2012, 10:49 AM   #22
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If I haven't finished a project, I'll leave powder in the dispenser. Otherwise, it always goes back into the container.
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Old August 6, 2012, 11:51 AM   #23
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I'm one of those that learned quite early, to put the tools/equipment away when you're done with them. Take care of your tools and they'll take care of you. Just good work ethic. This has carried over to my reloading; put powder back in it's container and return it to it's shelf, primers go back into their tray and back into their storage box, scale goes back into it's box and back into the cupboard, press cleaned and covered, and hand tools go back to their hanger on the wall, every time they are used, then lights out. Never have to hunt for a tool, I know where all my components are, and I know the condition of my tools/equipment/supplies...
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