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Old August 29, 2009, 08:26 AM   #1
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Bad Powder

I have several cans of IMR 4320 that are pretty old. When I pour them into the powder charger there is a cloud of red dust. The powder does not smell acrid like it went bad. What could it be, rust from the can? Will it hurt to use it? All 4 cans are the same lot and never where opened.
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Old August 29, 2009, 08:28 AM   #2
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Red dust is not a good sign.
Even if the can rusted on the inside....that still would indicate less than desirable storage conditions.

I am thinking Fertilizer IMHO
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Old August 29, 2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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Either the powder is bad, or the red cloud you mention is rust, from the cans. Either way, the powder is contaminated. It might not be unsafe to use, but it will no longer be within specs - so any handloading data you have will not really be applicable. Best to dump it.....and not take any chances.
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Old August 29, 2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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Yep. If you have a compost pile in the garden, just sprinkle it in. It will heat the compost up. Otherwise, turn it into the garden dirt or sprinkle it around the lawn.
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Old August 29, 2009, 08:00 PM   #5
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Hi Garry,

Remove your cans from your reloading room and sprinkle the powder onto your lawn tomorrow like the other poster suggested.
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Old August 29, 2009, 08:15 PM   #6
Mike Irwin
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The rust you see in a powder can is, as far as I've seen, never a dust. It's flaky chunks.

Fine dust is without doubt powder decay.

Don't breathe the dust, it's toxic.
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Old August 30, 2009, 12:19 AM   #7
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Load a few and shoot em. They will either fire or they won't.
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Old August 30, 2009, 04:22 AM   #8
sob (sweet ole bill)
Join Date: October 13, 2008
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bad powder

as an old fart handloader of 37 years. Have found that powder will stay stable by placing a few "dryer" packets in each opened can.

To get these silica gel packs, (a) save them from your pill bottles or (b) stop at a pharmacy and ask them to save some for you. Even if you have to pay for them its cheaper than new powder.

Have powder that has been opened for 20 years and recently have loaded with it. Flawless performance, now if I could just see the targets better......

SOB........ Pitchforks ready for anything
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