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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2012 at 17:26
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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A year or so ago I found an old box of various powders in the deepest recesses of storage that I'd lost track of at some point. That stuff had to be in it's present location for 15 years and it was much older than that... by price label on can, I'd say it was from mid- 70's. I think I even remember dragging this particular can around and beating together loads with my little Lee loader out in the field with my 1st old military rifle.
Long story short, I'd tried the Unique and it was fine and set to shootin' it all up, but I hadn't gotten around to loading any of the rifle powders until recently.

I loaded up what I thought would be low-end mild recoil 165 gr. .30-06 loads, just to get going. The IMR 4895 looked ok and it still had some of that ether smell and looked fine when I poured a little in my hand.
The first trigger pull gave me a hard whack, but being dumb, didn't look at primer, just thought I hadn't had a good grip, or something. The second hard whack kicked my brain in gear... I knew these weren't mild loads.
Looked at primer on 2nd case and it was a nice big cratered top- hat with ejector mark on the casehead- more pressure than I like.
Back home, I refilled my powder measure and checked; perfect- right where it should be.
I poured the powder back into the can and that's when I saw it... the inside of my Uniflow was orange, covered with a fine orange dust which i hadn't noticed earlier, but a clear indicator that it was way past the point of no return and dangerous.

Don't be a beaucoup cheap charley like me, use that old stuff for some kind of creative pyrotechnics with your kids and save your rifle and your face.




Edited by Alan Robertson - February/06/2012 at 17:39
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2012 at 17:32
Bitterroot Bulls View Drop Down
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Yikes!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2012 at 19:43
300S&W View Drop Down
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  x2!!
 
  Did you happen to look inside the can for rust?  Reason I ask is because yrs back I had one unopened can of powder ( IMR4831) that I had maybe 5yrs and when I opened it and poured some into the cup I use with my dippers for trickling I noticed an orange dust.  Of course I had heard of this so wasn't totally ignorant of what I was seeing.  A sign of bad powder.  I emptied the can and for some reason decided to look inside it with a flashlight.  The can was rusted.  I got out the few partial cans I had that were older and checked them.  All fine.  All my powders are kept in the same room and cabinet.  I stopped buying canned powders after that although it was the only one I'd ever had that happen with.  Never could figure why when everyone else switched to plastic containers IMR didn't. 
 
  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2012 at 21:08
jonoMT View Drop Down
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Wow! A little iron oxide added a lot of boom. Who knew?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/06/2012 at 21:47
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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Yes, hard to see at first, but there is rust under the orange dust.
I think that means that the powder had absorbed moisture, which would have hastened it's decline.
 I just poured it out onto a paper to check for rust and found that the pile of powder looked ok and wasn't orange, but left orange dust on the paper. Also, I couldn't smell the ether anymore.
Funny thing- it kept 'bridging' when I tried to pour it out and also, a number of grains were sticking to the inside of the can. It also bridged and gave me a hard time back through the funnel and into the can.

This stuff seems to be going south fast. My 16 yr. old has already spoken for it, as he's disposed of powder for me before. He and his little bonehead buddies get quite creative with it.
As long as they save the empty can for my collection and don't come whining to me if they get too stoopid with their "Jackass" movie imitations, I'll be happy.

I'm going to get rid of the various other cans in that box, as I don't trust any of it, now. Some of it might get poured across the garden, but the young rocket scientists will have plenty to keep 'em amused.
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