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Gunpowder age

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Post by MkFiji 1/1/2024, 12:58 pm

I bought a hair under 8lbs of Bullseye last night.  Today I realize it’s from 2009

Doesn’t look rusty nor have strong of a scent that I can tell

So my question is: Does gunpowder lose its effectiveness as it ages?

For a given weight, will I get better FPS with new powder vs my 15 year old powder?



I plan on buying a 1lb bottle and testing it but would love to hear your guys experiences 


Thanks

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Post by troystaten 1/1/2024, 1:10 pm

If it was stored in a reasonably cool and of course dry space I am sure it is fine.  I would test some first.

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Post by MkFiji 1/1/2024, 3:25 pm

troystaten wrote:If it was stored in a reasonably cool and of course dry space I am sure it is fine.  I would test some first.

What’re some signs and symptoms I should be looking for?

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Post by troystaten 1/1/2024, 3:51 pm

Rusty cans, I think Bullseye was in plastic bottles by 2009.  Also  clumps of powder sticking together.  Back in the early 2010's a friend of mine gave me a bottle of Bullseye that was in the old cardboard containers and it was at least 20 years old, I used it and it was fine.  If I was in your situation I would load a dozen rounds and try it out.

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Post by cdrt 1/1/2024, 4:05 pm

I would just check to see what charge your press is throwing and adjust accordingly.  I've used Bullseye that was ancient, with no problems.
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Post by retus223 1/1/2024, 7:38 pm

I’ve used bullseye powder that’s nearly as old as I am and it’s worked just fine. Test 10-20 rounds to check it out and the go shoot some x’s

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Post by John Dervis 1/1/2024, 9:02 pm

The powder might smell funny if it’s gotten moisture in it so that’s something you can check. If it looks good do as others have suggested and load up a small batch and see how it does. As long as the powder was stored OK (cap on tight and not in a super hot environment) it should be fine. Right now I am finishing up an 8 lb jug from 2012 and it’s been fine. I don’t recall when I opened it for the first time but there’s a good chance it sat for 5 or more years before I started using it.

Good luck
John

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Post by BE Mike 1/2/2024, 7:35 am

If it looks good and smells ok, then I wouldn't be concerned. Like others have said, load up a few rounds with your normal load just to make sure, but to me anything made in the 2000's is new!
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Post by Cmysix 1/4/2024, 5:40 am

I inherited primers and powder from the 60's. just opened a 15 pound ROUND CAN of Hercules Bullseye, shoots just fine!
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Post by Al 1/4/2024, 6:13 am

I'm still using H450 in a cardboard pound container from the early 70's. However that is dwarfed by the original pulldown 4831 surplus from the 40's I still use in my 300WM. Still working just fine, 3 shot groups under .4 (sporter bbl hunting rifle).

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Post by Jeff Porter 1/4/2024, 11:01 am

If it is free flowing with a mild solvent odor - should be good to go. 

If it is clumpy, has dis-colored specs in it or smells like acetic acid ( strong vinegar)  ... may not be so good.

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Post by Eindecker 1/4/2024, 11:33 am

not all powder smells the same. 

new production Unique has its own smell, new production hp-38 has its own smell.  Very different from my containers of 2400, bullseye, red dot, greed dot that i bought 3 years ago.

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Post by BE Mike 1/5/2024, 9:08 am

I traded with a buddy for this powder. He said that he opened it a while back, but never used any of it. There's no telling how old it is (ancient). It looked and smelled fine. I loaded up a few rounds of .44 Mag. with it the day before yesterday and fired 12 rounds yesterday at the indoor range. The load is a moderate magnum load. The recoil felt the same as with newer powder. There was a complete powder burn out of my S&W model 629 and the accuracy from a standing, unsupported position at 25 yards was very good for my limited abilities. Gunpowder age CejypWd
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Post by Cmysix 1/5/2024, 8:33 pm

if you all are gonna show old powders, make sure there old.  and for the genius who was giving me grief about WHY I would need to buy plastic powder bottles, because he just leaves his in the plastic bottles he bought, THIS IS WHY.Gunpowder age Dupont10
Gunpowder age Bullse10
Gunpowder age Herco10Gunpowder age Dupont10
Gunpowder age Bullse10
Gunpowder age Herco10Gunpowder age Dupont10
Gunpowder age Bullse10
Gunpowder age Herco10


Last edited by Cmysix on 1/5/2024, 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Cmysix 1/5/2024, 8:34 pm

Gunpowder age 240010
Gunpowder age Unique10
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Post by Foundryratjim 1/5/2024, 8:57 pm

Have 3 lbs. So far the 1st pound shot great.
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powder.jpeg You don't have permission to download attachments.(45 Kb) Downloaded 5 times

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Post by TXTad 1/6/2024, 11:31 am

Eindecker wrote:not all powder smells the same. 

new production Unique has its own smell, new production hp-38 has its own smell.  Very different from my containers of 2400, bullseye, red dot, greed dot that i bought 3 years ago.
Different, but all recognizable as "powder smell". And it's all good. Every time I reload, I spend a moment huffing that smell. It makes me happy. Almost as happy as it does when I smell it burning 2.7 to 60 grains at a time.

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Post by 8eightring 1/6/2024, 1:01 pm

Not my first rodeo with one of these old boys.
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Post by Slamfire 2/17/2024, 5:57 pm

dissertation deleted at request of forum members.

Besides, a lot of format problems occurred in the posting and I did not want to spend hours fixing problems created by user unfriendly software.


Last edited by Slamfire on 2/17/2024, 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BE Mike 2/17/2024, 6:02 pm

Sorry. I didn't think the OP wanted a Master's Thesis, just a short answer! Laughing
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Post by Jack H 2/17/2024, 9:30 pm

Dad and I were using surplus 4831 in our 270 and magnum rifles.  Dad bought two 100 pound kegs about 1960.  I used the last of it about 2000.  Dad had a 378 Wby that took a lot of powder, but mostly he shot 270
We shot a lot of rifle before I took up BE.
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Post by TXTad 2/17/2024, 9:41 pm

I kinda hate that I now have "old" powder that I bought new. 1990 was just 20 years ago, right?

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Post by MkFiji 2/17/2024, 9:47 pm

Slamfire, I found that interesting! Wish it wasn’t deleted

Notably was the powder that increased pressure with age.  Makes me want to get a chrono and test newer BE vs my 10 year old BE at same OAL and charge

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Post by Slamfire 2/18/2024, 12:13 pm

Jack H wrote:Dad and I were using surplus 4831 in our 270 and magnum rifles.  Dad bought two 100 pound kegs about 1960.  I used the last of it about 2000.  Dad had a 378 Wby that took a lot of powder, but mostly he shot 270
We shot a lot of rifle before I took up BE.


I purchased a 300 Win Mag from the ex Gun Club President and he gave me some loaded brass. It was loaded with that WW2 era 4831, he purchased it in the 1950's. It was so cheap, that one of those in on the buy, used it to light his charcoal briquets!



Gunpowder age YCPKlf6

The green is corrosion. Nitrogen dioxide was escaping from the powder, venting between the bullet and case neck, and lingering inside the box. When nitrogen dioxide runs into a water molecule (call it humidity) it turns into nitric acid gas. Both chemicals are incredible oxidizers.


Gunpowder age Sg1sAHZ


Pulled some bullets

Gunpowder age USnkV2S



It is actually hard to show corrosion down a hole, but you can see.



Gunpowder age GNTfHWN
Sectioned one case, just a little corrosion, right?



powder did not look bad at all. Except for the green copper oxide on the grains.

Gunpowder age NOarAmS
Funny thing, ten years before I was given a can of that powder and loaded it up in 270 Win



Gunpowder age 80TsJID
Did not see any weird velocities, nor any particular signs of high pressure, but was only shooting five rounds groups.

I am sure some would discount the corrosion, pass it off as not relevant and inconsequential,  unrelated to age, and use the stuff. Heck, we all know gunpowder lasts forever, it never goes bad. Right?

I am not going to load up any more cartridges with the stuff. And every round I was given that was loaded with this powder had corrosion inside. I also am not going to use cases that are corroded, because of the risk of pin hole corrosion, and case weakening.

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Post by Slamfire 2/18/2024, 12:37 pm

TXTad wrote:I kinda hate that I now have "old" powder that I bought new. 1990 was just 20 years ago, right?


Yep, 1990 was just 20 years ago. Gunpowder age 2309170423  Time sure flies.


This picture was taken by a gun Club member. A bud of his, who he had help get into reloading in 1972, gave these cans to him, and you can guess as to the reasons by the picture.

Gunpowder age SONQaMa
The lifetime of powder is unpredictable. That is, it can't be predicted, the manufacturer typically tries for a 20 year life, but they don't always make it.

No one, and I mean no one, remembers these warnings. And no one, and no one I have talked to remembered them, nor would have understood that these powders were being recalled because they had deteriorated so quickly. Just read about the red fumes.

Gunpowder age ErtTu5N


Gunpowder age JLxypne



Gunpowder age 1TwgGSB



Gunpowder age ZBWTrXO

An example of red fumes. The red is nitrogen dioxide, the colorless gas you don't see is nitric acid gas. I promise you, one sniff and it will knock your socks off!



Gunpowder age P3BUwl9




Back in 1936, Hercules is bragging about Bullseye lasting 25 years. Since we know that gunpowder is immortal, why would 25 years be important? And why are they testing for chemical stability on something that never changes? Must be Russian disinformation.

Gunpowder age GD1NQq7


On old ammunition, I pull bullets, to see what is inside. Now how long was 1988 from today?


Gunpowder age Aez1i91

This was a year younger. Except for the pin hole corrosion, perfectly safe to shoot, right? 


Gunpowder age Uv5MGSv

Gunpowder age CFSGfXA
It is not good practice to load ammunition and have it sit around 20 years. Sometimes things go bad in 10.

Gunpowder age JJsh6Tk



This is from a 1969 or 1970 presentation. Now lets see,  1970-1943, is that period of time greater than 2023-1990?

Gunpowder age 056KrAU


This is all crap anyway. We all know gunpowder, and thus ammunition lasts forever. Right?

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