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Thread: An observation on powder "shelf" life

  1. #1
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    An observation on powder "shelf" life

    Last week I pulled the projectiles on some ammo I reloaded 20-24 years ago. It was 308, 30-30 and 223 ammo loaded with AR2206 or AR2208. Interestingly, all the rounds loaded with 2206 had the powder stuck inside them, clumped together, and had to be scraped out. The 2208 just poured straight out, except for a couple of rounds.
    I still have some of each powder in the original tins, and both seemed to be in reasonable condition last time I looked. Not that I'm likely to try using it....

  2. #2
    Member 40mm's Avatar
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    From a scientific perspective, it is obvious that your stock rotation has been slack.
    I suggest you shoot the hell out of something three times daily for two weeks, If symptoms persist please consult your firearms dealer.
    Use enough gun

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cigar View Post
    Last week I pulled the projectiles on some ammo I reloaded 20-24 years ago. It was 308, 30-30 and 223 ammo loaded with AR2206 or AR2208. Interestingly, all the rounds loaded with 2206 had the powder stuck inside them, clumped together, and had to be scraped out. The 2208 just poured straight out, except for a couple of rounds.
    I still have some of each powder in the original tins, and both seemed to be in reasonable condition last time I looked. Not that I'm likely to try using it....
    Why wouldn't you try to use it?
    Settings - My Account - Edit Ignore List - Add a Member to Your List - User Name - Okay.

  4. #4
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Plenty of mil surp ammo still gets used, thats over 70 years old so I cant see the issue with such "young" stuff. If you like send me the ammunition and ill empty it for you and send the cases back.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40mm View Post
    From a scientific perspective, it is obvious that your stock rotation has been slack.
    I suggest you shoot the hell out of something three times daily for two weeks, If symptoms persist please consult your firearms dealer.
    +1 unless you brought your powder in 44gal drums 20yrs ago

  6. #6
    Member Tommy's Avatar
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    Possibly the ones loaded with 2206 had some trace lube in there? Or maybe the 2206 is just prone to caking. Either way just shoot em
    PERRISCICABA, 40mm and rewa like this.
    Identify your target beyond all doubt

  7. #7
    Member Puffin's Avatar
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    Something has caused the 2206 to deteriorate. I have a feeling that nitrocellulose will release some water as well as nitric acid when it does, though I haven't given any thought to the reaction pathway. I have also found the interior of cases corroded and the powder clumped, green on the base of the bullets - this from powder that seemed dry on loading the ammunition at the time. In this case it was recycled IMR4740 so was already very old when I re-used it. The initial sign of problems showed up as rust on the inside of the metal storage tins, even when the powder still had a clean ether smell. Two problems I see here: cases could become weakened from the corrosion towards the head lowering the pressure that can safely be contained, and possibly more seriously the burn rate could be altered in a non-advantageous way. I dumped all the remaining powder, affected brass, bullets.... the lot.

  8. #8
    Member 40mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puffin View Post
    Something has caused the 2206 to deteriorate. I have a feeling that nitrocellulose will release some water as well as nitric acid when it does, though I haven't given any thought to the reaction pathway. I have also found the interior of cases corroded and the powder clumped, green on the base of the bullets - this from powder that seemed dry on loading the ammunition at the time. In this case it was recycled IMR4740 so was already very old when I re-used it. The initial sign of problems showed up as rust on the inside of the metal storage tins, even when the powder still had a clean ether smell. Two problems I see here: cases could become weakened from the corrosion towards the head lowering the pressure that can safely be contained, and possibly more seriously the burn rate could be altered in a non-advantageous way. I dumped all the remaining powder, affected brass, bullets.... the lot.
    Ill take the old powder if it is not yet gone? dont worry it will be used safely.....
    Use enough gun

  9. #9
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40mm View Post
    Ill take the old powder if it is not yet gone? dont worry it will be used safely.....
    chainsaw likes this.
    Werawhakaui?

    Rule 4. Identify your target beyond all doubt.

  10. #10
    Member Dead is better's Avatar
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    Just curious, back then were you in the habit of using some kind of lube in the neck? could this be what caused the clumping

 

 

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