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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a bottle of "alliant steel" powder the other day for hevi-shot reloading for the upcoming waterfowl season and was somewhat disappointed to see that it was manufactured in 1999.

It is sealed and I don't see any expiration date, but would really like to hear opinions from the more experienced here on the board?

I know that the shop can't move this powder nearly as fast as red dot or titewad, but still - I'm used to see at least a few months only old kegs (I reload titewad for clays).
 

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Smell it. I have been told and I have read that you can quickly tell how powder is by if it smells sour or like powder. FYI, I have used an OPENED bottle of Red Dot from more than 20 years ago, when it was still Hercules. I think that you are safe. But smell it, see if it smells like your other powders.
 

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Properly sealed and stored powder lasts almost indefinitely. Even if it has been loaded into shells, it will easily last 50 years or longer if properly stored. Proper storage basically means keeping it dry and avoiding extreme heat. I would say that there is not a thing wrong with the powder you bought. I would have no hesitation to use it whatsoever. I have loaded and shot powder that was at least 25 to 30 years old and it worked just fine. I have, on a few occasions, shot shells that were nearly 50 years old and I couldn't tell them from a box that I bought new yesterday.
 

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Old?? That is NEW powder! I'm still using WWII surplus powder with results the same as it was back when I got it in the late '60s. Fret not about the '99 manufacture date. Load it up and shoot it, you will never know the difference!

BP
 

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All of these responses are correct. There is one more method to determine if powder is old (and bad). If the powder has a rust color to it, it is usually an indication that it has deteriorated.

Regardless of how it is determined that powder is old, what is the best way to discard it?
 

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To dispose of deteriorated, "rotten" powder, either spread it lightly arround on the grass, garden, flower bed or pour it out in a safe area in small piles of no more than about a cup or so per pile with a tracer between piles and stand back with a match and light the tracer and watch it go up in smoke. It is said that it makes good fertalizer?!? I've never actually had to dispose of any powder. Don't let the rusty thing mislead you either. I've seen perfectly good powder in cans that were a bit rusty inside and that redish tint from the can rust has nothing whatever to do with the condition of the powder. There is a definte difference between bad powder and can rust. Bad powder will smell acrid! Good powder will have either no odor or smell like the solvent used in making it. Ether or acetone are two that come to mind! Could be pretty strong oder too. Just because it smells "funny" doesn't make it bad. You really know what ether or acetone smells like?? I do!

BP
 
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Thirty some years ago me and some other juvenile delinquents would dispose of perferctly good powder by pouring across the road at night and lighting it with a match when a car came.
 

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oddly enough, alliant still has a quantity of unique from 1898, every so often they drag some out, fire it up, it is dirty, but still meets specs. it was stored properly, in a cool dry place (actually in water!) if stored properly, some powder lasts a century, some "only" 50 or 60 years.
 

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I have heard numerous times by handloaders, about some powder or another, that was the best they ever used. The big disapointment comes when it is discontinued. :? This holds especially true for centerfire handloaders it seems, but has happened to shotshell handloaders too.

What's a fellow to do? Do you buy a huge quantity of your favorite powder while you can get it, or continue to develop, and test loads as new powders come out, hoping you'll find the "magic" again?

Personally I have about 5 different powders on hand, and am developing and testing them with different components, hulls primers, etc. I find it quite interesting. :lol:
 
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