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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
An older timer than me wants to give me some IMR 4350 and IMR 4320 powder marked $12.98 on each tin can. But how would I know if its any good?
T:hmmmm: NY
PS. or should I pass on it?
 

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Tony,
Several ways to determine if smokeless powder is still good.

1. If the smell is acidic and hurts your nose while smelling it, it's probably bad.
2. A brown dust when you pour it from the can is another indication it going bad.
3. If the powder has clumps or lumps stuck together it's probably going bad.

As a side note, the powders you mentioned are single base powders and do not have nitroglycerin in them so the shelf life is limited. However, in 1978 I bought sixteen pounds of surplus AAC 3100(a single base powder). I'm down to my last pound and a half and it still smells great, and that's 36 years ago.

358 Win
 

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I would grab it and ask him how he kept his powder.
:dito:


This... Ask him if it was stored at reasonably uniform temperatures, or if it was kept in a shed that saw temps from -15* on up to 110*... Ask him if the lids were kept snug the whole time. Do the interiors of the cans look uniform and shiny or is it pitted with rust and corrosion?
 

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I just finished a can of unique with the claw type press in the middle to release style lid. I have been reloading for fifty years and this powder predates me.
powder can go bad, but I have never seen it. grab it. can always fertilize the petunias if its bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tony,
Several ways to determine if smokeless powder is still good.

1. If the smell is acidic and hurts your nose while smelling it, it's probably bad.
2. A brown dust when you pour it from the can is another indication it going bad.
3. If the powder has clumps or lumps stuck together it's probably going bad.

As a side note, the powders you mentioned are single base powders and do not have nitroglycerin in them so the shelf life is limited. However, in 1978 I bought sixteen pounds of surplus AAC 3100(a single base powder). I'm down to my last pound and a half and it still smells great, and that's 36 years ago.

358 Win
Well it hasn't any of these bad points you mention I believe. The first thing I did was smell it and it smelt like good gun powder to me will have to dump some of it out to see more. I have come across bad powder with one or all three bad indication you mentioned.
Thanks T:biggrin: NY
 

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Then the powder should be fine. I have noticed it seems to be slightly less powerful over time. 30-100 year old powder starts to loose a bit of oomph so to speak. Maybe a 5% drop or so. Just don't expect full published velocities from your reloading book and you will be fine.
 

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A guy gave me about 5 pounds of IMR powder in the tin cans you are referring to, I was worried they weren't any good because the price written on the can was $7.99. These cans had never been opened and stored in a cool dry place. I get almost identical results with that powder compared to new powder. Worked for me and the price was right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Then the powder should be fine. I have noticed it seems to be slightly less powerful over time. 30-100 year old powder starts to loose a bit of oomph so to speak. Maybe a 5% drop or so. Just don't expect full published velocities from your reloading book and you will be fine.
I won't use this powder for hunting loads but it could be used for plinking or sighting in just to get on paper.

The reason why I was even concern of these powders is a member of my gun club and he is a good friend asked if I had any 25 06 Rem. for his son inlaw. It seems the LGS in their reach don't have 25/06 ammo. I don't have a 25/06 but another buddy has the dies 117 gr. projectiles and cases but no powder or primers. I have Varget and WLR./CCI 250 mag. primers. So we are teaming together and putting a box of 20 rounds together so he can use his rifle this hunting season. I will use the hohghon data below.
T:hmmmm: NY
PS will use the start charge because I don't know his rifle.
Hodgdon website data.
Varget; Rem. 9 1/2 LR.; COL.:3.165" Starting charge: 37.0 gr. MV. 2,637 fps.; Cup 44,500
 

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Tony,
As you know, IMR3031 in the cans from Dupont & IMR were sold in red/white cans. About a year ago somebody gave me Dupont IMR3031 in blue can unopened and sealed tight. The blue can of IMR3031 predates my loading days (doing it 46 years now) so I opened a fresh red can of IMR3031 and did a side by side test of both powders in my Remington 673 guide gun in .350 Remington Magnum. I loaded up the 200 grain Remington pointed core-lokt bullet and 55.0 grains from each can, five shots each for my test. The difference in velocity was plus 38 fps with the OLD blue can IMR3031 and accuracy was stellar with both old and new IMR3031. That 38 fps difference is about what one could expect from different lots of the same powder. The point of impact was identical with the two test loads also. So I won't hesitate to use the old blue can of IMR3031 for hunting loads.

A chronograph is one instrument I will never be with out as it can really tell you a lot about your loads, not just speed. Had the blue can of IMR3031 given me substantial lower velocity I would have relegated it to cast bullet loads or fertilized the flower bed containing my "mint" I use to make mint iced tea. Presently I have two chronographs and at one time had three of them but gave one to my best friend and bullet casting buddy.

Good luck with your testing!

358 Win
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
358 win I'm sure these old powders (IMR 4350 n IMR 4320) would work to kill a deer. But hunting trips for me in my location are few and many miles to get there and home. I just would feel confident with fresh powder to practice with then hunt with knowing where my bullet should impact from muzzle to 100 yards. 100 yards is more than I would expect in NYS woods.

But I will chronograph load ammo using these powders. PS. The IMR 4320 in a green and white tin can and the 4350 tin can is burgundyish and white. Both are marked $12.98 for a 1 pound can over the counter. Got to be 25 to 30 Y/O, the last pound of Varget I bought over the counter was $32. plus tax.
T:hmmmm: NY
 
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If he is giving it away for free, the worst case scenario...you have two collectable IMR Tins...
Mark
 

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Is it "IMR"? or "DUPONT" powder?, I have a tin can of DUPONT IMR 4064 that's just as good as ever!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mail it to me, I will do a thorough testing
Send the price of the shipping and Haz-mat for these two open and maybe a 1/3 pound left in each tin cans and i'll send them to you. shipping should be about $15. up and haz-mat is $30. .... I think you can buy a fresh pound of powder in a LGS for around $25. up.:flute:
T :hmmmm: NY
 

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i have been handloading 45 years and i have only seen one can that was bad, i bought it in a pile of used stuff. i have a can of 4350 i am working on now that is priced at 3.50 i think it it 60s or early 70s it still shoots small groups and kills deer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
i have been handloading 45 years and i have only seen one can that was bad, i bought it in a pile of used stuff. i have a can of 4350 i am working on now that is priced at 3.50 i think it it 60s or early 70s it still shoots small groups and kills deer.
A price tag of $3.50 would have to be from the 50s to early 60s i think by early 70s it was about $10. up and late 70s $20. up over the counter.
T:hmmmm: NY
 
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i have cans around 12-15 bucks i bought in the 80s but you might be correct about the 3.50 price from the 50s i am just guessing? i remember buying primers for around 80 cents for 100 man times change. i have had so many 99 savages in take down models i can't remember them all, i was paying 150.00 to 200.00 bucks for them, try buying one now in nice shape for that price. i wish i had some of them back.......
 
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