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Old August 28, 2011, 07:26 PM   #1
catzor
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powder identification

I gained a large quantity of powder which I'd like to identify. The previous owner (was given to me in a bulk reloading deal) says what it is, but I want to double check first. I won't tell what he said as that might taint the results. It's a flake type with yellow dots in it. Does that narrow it down? It came with shotshell loading stuff, so it's a reasonable safe assumption that it is of the shotshell type if further evidence is needed.
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Old August 28, 2011, 07:33 PM   #2
bugs1961
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I hate to tell you this but dump it all in the front lawn as it works well as fertilizer. You are taking a huge risk trying to guess (or take the original owner's memory) as to what it is. You risk not only your firearms but your body and bystanders as well.

Only use powder from the original container and keep it in the original container.

Good luck.
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Old August 28, 2011, 07:40 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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Sure sounds like the 700X that I load 12 ga and some pistols with.
But I cannot say if it is the ONLY powder with scattered yellow flakes.
A prudent person would discard it.

Maybe the seller has some shells loaded with it he could demonstrate in HIS gun.
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Old August 28, 2011, 07:52 PM   #4
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I figured that would be the response. I'm not going to use it unless I'm 100% sure of what it is. Even then, when I have a very solid idea, I plan to contact the manufacturer for verification. It's a large quantity, so I don't want to through it away if it can be empirically proven to be powder x.
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Old August 28, 2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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Its not worth trying. Fertilize something!
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Old August 28, 2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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put it in your moms or girlfriends/wifes flowers without telling them.then when they say what have you been feeding my flowers you can say its magic and if I tell ya I'll have to kill ya.just make sure that its a little and not alot.
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Old August 28, 2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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The Firing Line: A place where rough and tough gun folk come to exchange gardening tips.



Thanks guys. I'm not giving it up yet, as I think the previous poster is right with 700-x, but it'll probably just end up using it to help grow some tasty stuff for the girlfriend next year!
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Old August 29, 2011, 11:38 AM   #8
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I'd get a very, very long fuse and a very heavy anvil. Just a suggestion.
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Old August 30, 2011, 07:44 AM   #9
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There is another powder, I seem to remember it is Pearl Scott, that has distinctive yellow flakes in it. I will not be able to get to it for a couple days, but I have some that I can post a pic of if you need it.
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Old August 30, 2011, 08:02 AM   #10
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I'm gonna vary from most of the responses.

It's a shame to waste powder.

I'd see if I could find some "known" 700X, and visually compare a handful of both.

If it looks like 700X, I'd try a load, at the VERY low end of the load data for 700X to see what happens.

Since 700X is at the "fast" end of powder burn rates, it's unlikely that you will load anything dangerous, if you stay at the low end to start out. Once you establish that it does respond like 700X, you can start load work-up.
This is similar to what the folks do that shoot the pulled down "surplus" powders. It's not like you will be using an unknown really fast burning powder in a rifle load that needs a slow burning powder. Keep it to light pistol load data for fast burning powders, and see what happens.

Or, box it all up, send it to me, and I'll "dispose" of it...
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Old August 30, 2011, 08:15 AM   #11
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There are no 'safe assumptions' when loading with an unidentified propellant. Nobody with any sense is going to try to identify it by looking at it, much less from a description.
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Old August 30, 2011, 09:31 AM   #12
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I prefer to use stuff like that to light pretty campfires..............

I have Miracle Grow for the garden
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Old August 30, 2011, 10:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
There are no 'safe assumptions' when loading with an unidentified propellant. Nobody with any sense is going to try to identify it by looking at it, much less from a description.
Just goes to show that we all have OPINIONS.

There are a limited number of powders that fit that description, and he had the information from the guy that BOUGHT it. If it looks exactly like what the guy said it was, and if he follows good beginning load techniques, using data for that powder.. CONSIDERING THAT THIS PARTICULAR POWDER IS ONE OF THE FASTEST BURNING TYPES THAT FIT THAT DESCRIPTION then there is little risk involved.
I've got no problem with people being TOO cautious. But to imply that ANY kind of careful, prudent testing and experimenting with this powder is going to lead to disaster is just wrong.
If the OP is not comfortable with his abilities to do that kind of testing/experimenting, then by all means, he should not. That's why I offered to take it off his hands...
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Old September 28, 2011, 01:08 PM   #14
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Bumping an old thread since I finally got around to remembering to take a photo.

The powder on the left is Pearl Scott and on the right is 700 X. My 700 X is pretty old (metal can) so I don't know if they changed it at some point, but I don't see any yellow flakes in it.

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Old September 28, 2011, 08:28 PM   #15
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My 700-X is in a metal can too. No yellow flakes in mine either.
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Old September 28, 2011, 10:20 PM   #16
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Here's what my 700X looks like. Definitely has yellow flakes. Mine isn't very old, less than 5 years.

By the way, I hate this powder. It doesn't feed worth a darn through my powder measurer unless I get up to around 7 or 8 grains or so.



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Old September 28, 2011, 10:48 PM   #17
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I have a great recipe for sticky buns and raisin swirl bread too. My homemade Italian sausage and lasagna are a big surprise to some folks but this big tough-looking guy rolls out some pretty tasty baked goods as well.....gotta problem wid dat?
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Old September 28, 2011, 11:20 PM   #18
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How much?

In the spirit of caution, I would not fertilize anything I was going to eat, either..

How many pounds are we talking about here? If just a couple, my approach would be different than if it were a dozen 8# jugs.

A lab's fees to analyze it might be worthwhile if it is a lot of powder. I have no idea what it might cost to definitively identify it, but finding out might be prudent.

I have a similar situation with two pounds of Winchester Ball Powder, Super Target AA WST-1 that I am reluctant to use because the name does not match exactly anything I have found in any loading manual and it looks just like tiny flakes, not tiny balls. My point is that $40 worth of powder is not worth the risk of blowing up my hand. So I am still trying to determine what it is for 100% sure.

I recommend that degree of caution to anyone.

Testing it for performance in your strongest gun, if done carefully seems nearly as cautious. Shoot your tests over a chronograph and compare the velocities with a sample known to be 700X (or other candidate powders). Proceed from there.

Good luck. Shoot from behind a blast shield if you can.

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Old September 28, 2011, 11:36 PM   #19
Jim Watson
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Sheep, show a picture of the powder label.
I think you have Winchester Super Target, commonly abbreviated WST.
The -1 means it is a one pound container.
Just because it is Ball powder does not mean that the granules will be ball shaped. A lot of the different grades have the balls flattened into flakes to adjust burn rate.

I had some of the defunct AA Plus (AA+) powder that did not suit me in shotgun shells, its only listed application. I loaded some .38 Special with it at Bullseye levels and worked up til I had the velocity I wanted, only a 158 at 800 fps for IDPA SSR and shot only in .357 magnum guns. That let me burn it up instead of using it for fertilizer.

I would not fear doing that with the OP's hypothetical 700x.
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Old September 29, 2011, 09:23 AM   #20
Don P
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Quote:
I gained a large quantity of powder which I'd like to identify.
I have to ask. WHAT type of container is the powder in? Zip lock bags, glass jars, tupper ware?????
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Old September 29, 2011, 02:06 PM   #21
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How much powder was also my first question? Enough to dose a couple of plants or an acre?
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