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Old March 13, 2013, 09:18 PM   #1
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Old powder When was this stuff made? Pictures!

An old fella gave me his powder tonight. There is one can of Unique and one can of H335.

When was this stuff made? Is there any way to tell age of powder by lot number?

Here are pictures.

It looks ok when compared to new Unique and H335. Poured a bit out next to some new stuff and they look the same.

The cans were covered in dust, so they seem to have been stored in a dry spot. Remember, Wyoming doesn't have any humidity!

Should I use them?
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Old March 13, 2013, 09:25 PM   #2
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The Unique container looks like the last one I used from the 1980's. Mine was a 1985 bottle and I used the last of it in the early 2000's and compared it to the Alliant Unique shooting it in 45ACP and velocity was nearly the same speed over the chronograph. I'd use it since you've compared and see no problems such as a rusty color or bad acidic smell.
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Old March 13, 2013, 10:10 PM   #3
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Your Unique is new than mine. Hercules moved from all metal cans around the late 70's or early 80's based on my purchases.

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Old March 13, 2013, 10:19 PM   #4
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Jepp, that's just plain cool! Not even opened yet!

Rg1, Thanks. I am going to use the Unique for sure.

Anyone have any idea about the H335?
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Old March 13, 2013, 11:32 PM   #5
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The can of unique has been opened. Unopened cans have a metal tab and ring around the cap when they are unopened. To open the can you push down on the center of the lid and the flange flares out and you can lift of the top. The H335 is from the late 70's early 80's. The Unique is from the 60"s. I'm still loading powder out of cans like that. Way back when I was shooting registered trap and as a group the teams bought quite alot for our own use. I had a friend who I shot with and he passed away 30 years ago. His wife passed away about 2 years ago and her son found all this powder that he had put away. So he gave it to me because he knew I still was reloading. Nothing wrong with it no acidic smell and no brown dust. Hercules is very stable powder.
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Old March 14, 2013, 06:13 AM   #6
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Hercules was using that kind of cardboard cannister with the plastic spout from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s, when they started going to plastic.

The H-335 would probably be the early to mid 1970s.
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Old March 14, 2013, 06:34 AM   #7
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I'm still loading from a Unique cannister like that one. Mine was from the late 80's. Still works fine, but I use old load data to go with it. Supposedly the new Unique is cleaner burning.
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Old March 14, 2013, 08:57 AM   #8
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the date of manufacture is sometimes printed on the bottom or side of the can, either in a string of numbers like..1042207 , which would be April 22,2007 or 122nov95 which is November 22,1995 ,or some other combination.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:55 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info. I did see a number on the underside of the can - lot #?- and if the code you describe is true, I should be able to tell the date from it.

I feel bunches better about using this stuff. It might be neat to compare it with new powder by shooting each over my Chrony! An idea for this weekend!

I will post results!
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Old March 14, 2013, 06:43 PM   #10
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Jepp2 thats pretty neet, I've never seen a 13 oz can before.
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Old March 14, 2013, 07:26 PM   #11
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Same here on the powders

I am back to reloading after 25 year hiatus and some of my powders date back to the 70s and early 80s.

Some of very small quantities I am not going to use I put on the lawn (well the snow and it will go to the lawn come spring!).

I have been using the Unique (cardboard can with plastic snap out stopper just like yours) and the 2400. All clean appearance and no smell.

Shortage of powder and cam across a like new metal can of 4831 in reloading stuff my brother gave me! Yippee and thats $30 if you can get it.

Also have some of the square metal cans (AL8) and PB in the rectangular metal cans. I move it into the cardboard (consolidate two Unique cans into one) or the plastic containers as I free them up (remove label and put the right one on it of course)

Some chance the metal ones will get corrosion and none on the plastic, cardboard has the metal ring....... really a precaution as I have had neither.

My other brother did find some old powder that did have discoloration and used it and got some wild results and then pitched it. I think his was in a metal can. So look carefully and smell, but if it passes those tests it should be good

Alaska is a good place to keep powder as well and it does not get nearly as hot as Wyoming in the summer!

Last edited by RC20; March 14, 2013 at 07:52 PM.
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Old March 14, 2013, 07:52 PM   #12
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I have an unopened lb of Unique in a brown paper bag, that my brother bought from a bulk sale at a gunshow in 84 I quess it was.
Thanks for coming!
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Old March 14, 2013, 08:46 PM   #13
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I still have 8lb cardboard cannisters of powder , Have thought about moisture but never had a problem
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Old March 14, 2013, 08:49 PM   #14
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I am still using unique in that can.
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Old March 14, 2013, 09:06 PM   #15
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All 3 of these powders are still good. As a matter of fact, I used the H322 to fireform 30 7x30 Water cases & used the Reloader 21 to shoot a 3/4" group with my .270 today! The price tag on the H322 says $4.46.
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Old March 15, 2013, 04:06 PM   #16
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I have 3 cans of unique that’s in the same cans as yours, I just empted one last week and will be opening one of them this weekend.
All of these were purchased in the mid 80’s that I can remember.
One thing to do before you use them, take a good whiff of what is in the can. If you get a real odd strong smell then dump it in the garden. But if it’s been sealed I would use it.
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Old March 15, 2013, 05:22 PM   #17
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The smell from both the Unique and the H335 is almost no-existant to my sniffer!
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