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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came into an estate sale on reloading components, MEC 9000G, 2300 Win. primers,3500 clay buster wads, 5 bags of lead and 12 lbs. metal keg of 700-X. My question is does powder go bad with age? The container was full and the seal was broken, there is no evidence that the keg ever got wet. I know 700-X doesn't come in 12 lbs. metal containers anymore, so I don't know how old this powder is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I also came into 1500 old once fired red AA hulls that are for sale.
.05 cents a piece plus shipping if anybody is interested. Mike
 

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I have reloaded 700X for 30 years and right now I have three kegs. Two have been open for a long time as I got away from reloading for two years and now back reloading and the powder works great. They always said keep the powder dry and it will last for years.
 

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If the seal WAS broken it may or may not be 700X.-- 700X normally has yellow identifying flake, if you are familiar with 700X & know it's appearance (flake size etc.) or have some to use as a comparison to identify for certain it should be just fine. I have IMR powders that I'm still using that are probably older than what you have as they used those 12# metal kegs up till about 15 years ago when federal regulations cut them back to 8#ers. Ross Puls
 

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I'm still using a 12 lb keg from 1988 and everything goes bang. Meters well and still has the old familiar smell as if I just opened it. As Ross mentioned, look for the yellow flakes. Let us know how it goes.
 

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NO, I have had old powder and it worked just fine. If you have a question about it just put some in a piece of paper or paper towel and light one end and watch it burn till it hits the powder. That will answer your question. Also keep the metal keg. It will be worth something in the future.
 

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Have been told powder has no shelf life. If, as previously
said, doesn't smell like vinegar probably OK. Loaded a drum
that had been stored in an attic for years and it worked OK.

Doyal
 

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I have some 700-X that I bought back in the late 60's or early 70's. Works just fine. If the keg was capped, it's probably ok as long as it smells right. If it was kept in a cool dry place, it would last a long time. Just be sure that it IS 700-X.
 

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I have always been told by veteran shooters that reload shells that the only thing that affects gun powder is light. Years ago, one of the gun powder companies use to mention that they had gun powder from the 1800's that was stored underwater. They would dry it, and then try it and said it was still good. Numerous veterans keep a shell bag over the powder bottle of their reloading machine when not in use.
Steve Balistreri
 

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I was always told if it smelled of ammonia then it may be bad but I did load some old powder that smelled like that and it worked fine . Like what was said above , if kept out of sunlight and dry , it should be fine to use .
 

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My X Wife sold a 12# keg of it for 50 bucks, along with about 5 grand worth of reloading stuff, Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.


I would shoot it.


Rick
 

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17145:

Pretty much everything stated above is accurate. However, to elaborate just a tad...

Age isn't the issue. Properly stored smokeless powder will last for decades. Properly stored means it was kept relatively cool in a tightly sealed container. Manufacturers warn excessive heat will cause powder deterioration. The typical 'hotter than heck attic' for example, would not be a good place to store power.

Good powder should have the noticable odor of volatile solvents. Those VOCs are lost if a container isn't sealed. Chemical deterioration in bad powder will result in a noticable sour smell - not unlike vinegar.

No matter how it smells, if you aren't absolutely sure it's really 700X, spread it in the garden.

sissy

PS to Steve:

Hercules Powder was spun off from Du Pont Chemical in (I think) 1912. The old powder you mentioned was late 1800's Red Dot. Some of Hercules' 1970's loaders guides included a page about the under water storage complete with a photo of the vessel.
 

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If the powder is still in the 12 lb. keg and old as you expect, it was probably made by either Dupont or IMR. Look at the serial number on the keg. It should look something like E02NO11. If you can find this sequence, it will tell you the age of the powder. In the example, the powder was packaged on November 11, 2002. H54DE17 would translate to December 17, 1954.
 

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I came across a couple of cardboard kegs of Unique and CCI primers. The powder was fine but about 20% of the primers were weak. Surprised me, the primer boxes looked like new. RM
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all for your feedback, the powder has the yellow flakes in it, so I feel it is 700-X and safe to shoot.
 
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