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  #1  
Old 06-13-2017, 07:57 AM
STBE Harris
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Powder failure



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I have a friend who called and told me a sad story about his powder stash. We were leaving the hacienda for a business trip and were going through his town so I stopped by. This is his story. He had several pound cans stashed up high and out of the way from grand kids in a wood cabinet that could easily "breathe". He has central air and lives in west central Texas. He put the powder that he had carefully shopped for over the last 5-8 years up there when he found the all too few bargains that were available during the last political reign. One of the powders was a 1 pound can of VihtaVouri n133. He was reloading and ran out of his current pound can so went up on a ladder to see if had more up in his storage cabinet. He opened the door and was nearly knocked off the ladder by an acrid and pungent smell. He instantly realized that his powder had gone bad. Very upset he started pulling the cans out and putting them in a box. The inside of the cabinet showed the effects off heavy oxidation (rust) on the interior metal furniture, hinges, screws, latches. Further examination of the cans, mostly unopened, showed rust on the metal lids and any other exposed metal. The VihtaVouri powder had been opened about 3 years ago and a tiny bit used. He asked me if he should throw away the rest of the powder after showing me where he had poured the bad powder (it had chemically burned the grass where he sprinkled it). Then he let me smell the mostly empty aberrant can. It still had a very powerful acidic smell. I told him well lets look at your other powders. We went to the box and began to examine the other powders. Most all were unopened about three had been opened but the lids were screwed down tight. We checked and examined the opened ones the powder looked normal and had no smell. We looked at them through a lens and the grains looked normal. Most these were hot pistol powders. The unopened cans still had their seals intact. However the outside labels of most of the cans showed a yellow tinting from the noxious gases that had emanated from the n133 can and again the metal lids showed some rusting. We lit a little bit of each opened powder and they all went off with a an assured robust instant flaring.
Up near the cabinet there is a shelf and many metal objects that showed no corrosion so the corrosive gas/vapor whatever was contained in the cabinet. Down at floor level he keeps a couple of cans of powder that he is using under his reloading bench one of these is a can that is many years older than anything above. None of these show any type of deterioration. The house is under A/C in the summer and dry heat in the winter. He says he checks up there about once or twice a year and hadn't noticed anything. So should he keep his powder? Moral ?
Keep your powder dry amigos....STBE Harris
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2017, 09:29 AM
landshark

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I've had the same problem with Viht 140 corroding brass when kept loaded for years in high humidity environments.

I think it's a viht issue.
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2017, 12:49 PM
Squeezer is online now
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I keep unopened pound cans of propellant on the bottom shelf of my freezer door, vacuum-sealed in FlavorSeal bags. When it's time to open one, I let it thaw for a day or two.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:06 PM
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Powder failure

Some of my powder is 30 years old.Its been kept in cool areas and hot,but never in high humidity and it's still good.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:25 AM
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lefty222
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l have powders that go back to 1979 and later they were kept in the basement workshop and now in the garage, no heat or a/c.
Winchester 748 - 760- Hodgdon H380 and IMR all still good except IMR 3031, went to use it to load some rem. 223 only to find the can had rusted inside at the side seam powder covert with rust all the other powders are fine.
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2019, 12:59 PM
accooper
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H-110 is bad about that. I keep it in the freezer and it lasts quite well. I have had several pounds of H-110 go bad on me over the years sitting in my closet.

accooper
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Old 06-05-2019, 01:33 PM
wmrike

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I have only had one can of powder go bad, that of IMR-4895. It might have been 30 years old, and it sat along side other cans of similar vintage that continued to work fine, but that batch of 4895 let off a dense red cloud when I opened it. I loaded five rounds with it, just to see, and they wouldn't light.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:13 AM
Samuel_Hoggson
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The old metal IMR cans were notorious. IMR-4831 maybe the worst. Inside walls oxidize, powder ends up with a fine red dust. Sometimes the powder is usable, sometimes not.

I still have some 1# and 8# cans, including some original surplus data H-4831, stuff O'Connor fed his .270s. Periodically examine for smell and visible signs of deterioration. Before using I make up a few relatively mild loads and shoot over a chrono. If nothing untoward, will go ahead and use up.

No matter what, acid odor mean discard.
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2019, 08:50 AM
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Spread unusable powder on garden areas as a key component in the chemicals is nitrogen, a fertilizer. The key word here is SPREAD not dump.

Rust on the outside of the lid or can means nothing, take the doors off the cabinet for air flow around the cans, if stored high enough kids won't mess with it, too much work for the current crop of rascals.

There is a reason the industry has moved to plastic containers.
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  #10  
Old 06-19-2019, 04:27 PM
so-so-shot
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Iím in Lubbock, Texas area. I just checked some 1# containers of VV 133 that are 16 years old. They are fine. I store my powder between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty222 View Post
l have powders that go back to 1979 and later they were kept in the basement workshop and now in the garage, no heat or a/c.
Winchester 748 - 760- Hodgdon H380 and IMR all still good except IMR 3031, went to use it to load some rem. 223 only to find the can had rusted inside at the side seam powder covert with rust all the other powders are fine.

The same thing here. Mine have been in a basement most of the time, and also have some really old cans of powder, and have never had an issue.
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