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 Post subject: Found some powder in my shed.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:59 pm 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:03 pm
Posts: 167
Hi everyone,
I found an 8lb container of Unique that was about half full that I forgot was there.
The lid was on tight, but it has been there for about 6 years and the shed is just that... an old shed.... no Air Conditioning, no humidity control etc., and because I live in Canada it's gone through years of FREEZING COLD temperatures and some very high humidity and high temperatures.
So my question is this, is it garbage?, or is it totally fine? - would you guys load it up and use it or just chuck it and forget you found it?

Thanks everyone!!




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 Post subject: Re: Found some powder in my shed.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:06 pm 
*Proud to be a*
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Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:21 pm
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Location: Oregon
I would try loading some, not a lot, and see if it goes bang. I'm guessing it will.

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 Post subject: Re: Found some powder in my shed.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:36 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:20 pm
Posts: 18617
What does it smell like?
What does it look like?

They have Unique stored under water at the plant and every year dry a little out and it goes bang - this is original stuff from way back. If yours looks and smells OK, load up a box

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 Post subject: Re: Found some powder in my shed.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:52 pm 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:11 pm
Posts: 3182
Location: Afton, VA
Bad powder is easy to tell with your nose. Good (and fresh) powder will have an acetone kind of smell. Bad powder, that has started to deteriorate, will have an acrid smell that is VERY irritating to the nose. You might even see some brown emission from the can. If you have that, use it as fertilizer. If it does not have that, the worst case is low performance. In 50 years of reloading I have had only one can of powder really go bad, and that can had an unknown history.

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 Post subject: Re: Found some powder in my shed.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:05 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 4:28 am
Posts: 933
Should be fine. I have some Unique from Hercules back in 90 or something, been stored in my 120 F garage in Phoenix for hmm... well 28 years I guess. It's perfect. Powder is degraded by HEAT, not by cold, so you should be fine. Comments on smell etc. above are all correct, but I'd bet it's fine. I loaded up some 28ga shells with the same recipe I used in 1990 and that old Unique, and chronographed them recently, within 10fps of the same speeds averaging 5 shots.

I just had some newer Unique so had tended to use it...now I guess I'll just keep the old stuff and retest every few years just for fun, and I like having old Hercules powder still ;) BTW their GreenDot, Herco, and BlueDot are all in perfect shape too. Full disclosure, I did move it inside under airco this Xmas, but 27 years or so of a Phx garage hasn't hurt any of it for me at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Found some powder in my shed.....
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:50 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:09 pm
Posts: 6394
Location: Eastern Nebraska
I can give you some pretty specific info. I had 2-3 pounds of powder that was stored in a metal coffee can with a snap on plastic lid. It was stored in my unheated un-air conditioned garage for 20+ years. It actually was Unique. A coupke years ago I loaded it all up. I have sense fired all the ammo with zero problems. I live in Nebraska. I doubt there are any temperatures high or low that you have seen and I have not.




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