Originally Posted by woolleyworm
Welcome to TFF and a great question to ask before starting out. As long as they were stored properly, they'll be just fine.
Did he happen to pass along and reloading manuals too? When you start your load work-ups, you should always load only a few and test them. You do not want to load up 100 or more and then find out that they're not suitable for what you're after. Your thought process of load up a half dozen and test is a wise one!
If the powder has turned greenish or smells bad, then use it for fertilizer. You can always prime a few cases and then just try them to see if they go bang. Not sure if you can pop off a couple primers outside where you live, but certainly don't do it indoors if you happen to be married.
My buddy is still looking all over his house and finding things his wife hid for him... No reloading manuals yet, but he seems to think he has them there somewhere.
Yep, I plan on working is small batches starting out, and I can test fire some primed shells in the back yard to see if they sound strong, my wife enjoys shooting so she won't mind. So, maybe I'll use some of it after all, at least to work through my early mistakes.
Thank you both for your fast replies.