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Recently, I attended a local auction and there for sale were two older cans of Red Dot (?). The metal cans did not appear to be opened so I felt confident that the powder within is or was Red Dot. When I opened the can, the powder did not contain RED flakes. What did I buy and what can I do with 5 pounds of unknown powder? Fellow reloaders upon inspection of the powder shared that the powder "looks" like a pistol powder or 700X or PB. The powder appears as real small flakes. If I decide to use the powder, how many grains would be a safe starting point? What would you do? Helpful comments only.

True Blue and Diamond Hard,
Harry in PA
Never let the flag touch the ground
 

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Unknown powder should be disposed of!!! It would be extremely dangerous to load any powder that is unknown!!

Again, get rid of it.

Allen
 

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Old unopened cans of Red Dot?


Send them to me for proper disposal! :)

Old Red Dot may not have any red flakes because the tend to fade to grey!
 

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As much as you may want to, I wouldn't use a powder unless I knew what it was. It may be Red Dot,but, might be Alcan or something else! Unless the Powder is CLEARLY marked it is a RISK!
 

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I had 40 year old Red Dot from an Air Force skeet shooting team. The red flakes had faded to grey, and the flakes themselves seem a little smaller. I loaded it up and shot it with no problem. JMO I would try 16 or 17 grains in a 12 gauge.

Wayne
 

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I am with wayne. Try a light load. Why would these cans be filled with something else than red dot? Not likely it's anything dangerous. 17 gr 1 and1/8 shot wil get you 1200 fps. Bill
 

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If the container was sealed and unopened I would not be afraid of it.

I have shot LOTS of very old Green Dot and Red Dot with great results.
 

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The old metal cans had a ring around the snap-on lid with an integral piece across the top. This piece was supposed to be broken and the ring removed before the snap-on lid was removed. It was possible to remove and reuse the whole ring, but I doubt very many people did it. Was this ring over the snap-on lid? If it was, the powder is probably Red Dot - if the can was painted pink or red. But, even all of that does not make it a given. Also the lable should have been intact. Lacking these things, I'd say for sure the powder should be used as fertilizer.

Johnpe
 

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I acquired a pink can with no lable other than shipping info, loaded a couple shells with 15 grains and ran them over the Chrony. Results were slow, no pressure signs on the primer. They were 1220 at 16.5 grains, and I used up the whole keg.

The fastest powder around is Bullseye, and you can load that in 12 gauge one ounce. so as in rifle loading you can work up to your desired result.

I do not advise doing this without a chronograph.

HM
 

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Confidence in using would be first and foremost that the seal was truly factory and someone didn't rig it back on. Old red dot don't look like new with pretty red flakes. There are a couple ways to further varify but Iam not posting. If your unfamiliar with the numerous powders and feel unconfident in what you have, obviously you shouldn't use.
 

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Old Red Dot does indeed have very faint red flakes. Age does not help. Your slow chrono readings with light loads tells me you are good to go.

I have bought numerous old metal cans of RD. No issues, went back to it. Started using it over 50 years ago. Hard to beat.
 

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This is a joke right? Are you seriously thinking about using powder that you can not identify? You think some joker on the internet is going to be able to look at your powder in a picture and tell you what it is?

Look.. You took a gamble and you lost. Put it on your garden or pour it in a line and burn it. Don't take a bad idea and turn it into a worse idea.Jeff
 

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Probably is Red Dot and everything would be just fine if you used it.

But ...... I don't know that to be a fact and you seem to have some doubts so why mess with it? Its not like your going to be out a whole lot of money if you just use the stuff for fertilizer.
 

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If it was me, here is what I would do. Red Dot is also a pistol powder. I would load up some 38 Special 148 grain wad cutter shells. That load calls for 2.3 grains of powder and develops 14,800 psi. I would shoot them in my 357 magnum revolver which can handle over 35,000 psi. 2.3 grains of powder is not going to put anyone at risk. After shooting that load I would be able to make a decision as to it being Red Dot or not. HMB
 

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I would load 17 grains & from recoil & sound you will know where you are at. Your barrel will be dirty if the charge is too light.
Clyde
 
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