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  #1  
Old 11-14-2011, 11:46 PM
Abel 138 Abel 138 is offline
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Default does gun powder expire

Im new to reloading and got some old winchester 748 maybe 10yrs old. The powder looks in good shape. It was passed down from my father. Any input does powder expire?
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:55 PM
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I remember reading that you'll start seeing some weird red "dust" when you shake it around if it is too old. If it still looks like gunpowder, then I'd use it.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:42 AM
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I think as long as the powder is stored properly it last a lifetime. I could be wrong thought
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Old 11-15-2011, 5:34 AM
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Chances are its fine. If it smells really bad then don't use it.
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Old 11-15-2011, 7:00 AM
Abel 138 Abel 138 is offline
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Is the recipe of the powder the same as of new 748?
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:20 AM
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Yes same. Yes still good unless it smells bad(not like fresh powder). I am using powder from the 1940's-60's-70's-80's-90's for most my loading now. It was much cheaper to buy then. I have some marked $1.67 for a pound.

If you are worried you can send it to me. I will "test" it for you for free and let you know the results.
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Old 11-15-2011, 1:47 PM
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I believe bad powder has a sour smell, almost like vinegar.

Assuming the powder was kept tightly sealed, and in a cool dark location, you should be fine. Start with the min charge for a few rounds first though.
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Old 11-15-2011, 2:31 PM
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I'm still using 748 I bought 11 years ago at the Cow Palace... Works great!
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Old 11-15-2011, 3:00 PM
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It depends on how the powder was stored. I have a buddy who purchased a pound of Unique that was manufactured back in the 50's and he gave me a sample to load and it went bang. So I take it that the said powder was stored correctly. Extreme heat and humidity eventually makes a powder go bad. I've also been told that if you detect an "acidic" smell that indicates that the powder has gone bad besides it's physical appearance that have changed.
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Old 11-15-2011, 3:20 PM
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My neighbor gave me 20lb can of IMR4198 I plan on using it on 8mm Mauser I'm new at this stuff. Just got my Lyman manual still reading, also have the lee 50th anniversary set up and a couple of dies.
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Old 11-15-2011, 4:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abel 138 View Post
Is the recipe of the powder the same as of new 748?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Divernhunter View Post
Yes same. Yes still good unless it smells bad(not like fresh powder). I am using powder from the 1940's-60's-70's-80's-90's for most my loading now. It was much cheaper to buy then. I have some marked $1.67 for a pound.

If you are worried you can send it to me. I will "test" it for you for free and let you know the results.
Although it is the same formula number, I would caution one to work up to any loads as older powder sometimes has a different burn rate than newer powder. Be it from degradation or simply because powder does just vary. Ball powder can vary from lot to lot and age may be a factor. Your powder should be fine, but, as always, be cautious when working up loads.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:08 PM
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its pretty hard to blow up a .223 with 748 as long as there is room for a bullet to seat it should be ok but thats just my insane rablings

as to degredation 10 years is not too long ago if its still lose inside not clumps pour it all into a white mug and check the bottom of the container for stuck clumps
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Old 11-16-2011, 1:41 PM
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Only powder I ever threw out was a bottle that had been chewed on by rats, crapped on by rats, and pissed on by rats, stored in a damp place. I just chucked it.......
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Old 11-16-2011, 2:19 PM
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I had the hopper on my Dillon 550B filled half way with Universal Clays that did not get touched for 6 1/2 years.

Shot just fine. That and 12 year old WSP primers

-178S
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Old 11-19-2011, 4:53 PM
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the red mist is the breaking down of powder, it is highly suggested not to use any powder with any red mist, the mist is acidic and has an oily feel to them, it will stick to anything and will corrode anything it touches, if you load it, you have to shoot it right away or the mist will bond the bullet to the brass case. also weakening the case. Unfortunately, the red mist develops whether it's seal or not, if you pour the powder out and see the mist, then you know it's excellent for fertilizer
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