Safe powder

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Kestral, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Kestral

    Kestral Member

    Have been given a sealed unopened tin of powder approx 16 yrs old,very well stored. Eley Shotgun 80.very small disc type powder.On pouring it out,I noted the powder at the end of the pouring had turned to dust,is this still safe to use,or does the volume of dust raise the pressures,Thanks for any advise.
  2. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    I would discard the dust and dusty tailings. If it does not look degraded or have an acrid smell it is likely OK to use. Nitrocellulose (and low nitroglycerin content, nitrocellulose based) pistol and shotgun propellants are relatively stable materials if not subjected to environmental extremes.

    If grains are sticking together or sweating a clear liquid (nitroglycerin) or you observed a reddish-brown gas when you opened the can; I would destroy it.

    Alliant (formerly Hercules) still has some 100+ year old "Unique" that still meets specs. I have used powders (including Laflin & Rand and Dupont Bullseye) that were over 60 years old when I loaded it.

    Of course, I can not actually see your powder; and advise "better safe than sorry".

  3. Kestral

    Kestral Member

    Many thanks Hammerslagger for your reply,the powder is in exc.cond apart from the dust; not having encounted this before I was wondering if it effected the pressures by a larger or smaller amount,I will now seperate it from the main powder,then load a few rounds as a tester before using it all.Thanks again, much appreciated.
  4. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    S Tx near San Antonio
    Just the opinion of a layman (dumbass in this field of expertise) but for its value, what $ 20.00 or so, is it worth risking damaging your shotgun, or your eyesight and face? I doubt the dust you were asking about was included from the factory, to me that makes it contaminated powder.

    I’ve never had an incident, even a misfire since I have been handloading. Im also a private pilot, and have always applied the ‘zero error’ mentality of piloting to handloading. Im sure this is the reason I havent any problems.

    Sorry if I’m sticking my nose in where I don’t belong, but I’d either put it on the nick-nac shelf, or feed it to the recycle beast.

  5. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    olehippy gives good advice.

    Most powders are nitrocellulose based compounds that have additives like graphite to improve metering and give color. Vibration during transport can cause some abrading of any product. With a propellant such can increase burning speed and pressures.

    As previously mentioned, I can not physically examine the powder. It would probably be wisest not to use it at all if you are seeing what appears abnormal to you.

    I am not familiar with the Eley line of products.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    +1 more on destroying it. Hell if you have fire ants use it as fire ant killer. Or just pour it out in the street and light it on fire just to watch it burn. Better safe than sorry
  7. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    16 years old is not old for powder. I think I would use it.
  8. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    im curious to see what alpo will have to say about this one
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