How old is too old?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by jtuck, May 27, 2008.

  1. jtuck

    jtuck G&G Evangelist

    I use to help my grandpa reload years ago before he died. Sadly, (as is usually the case with us young whippersnappers) I didn't retain as much of the knowledge as I should have. Ten years later, I am setting up some of the reloading equipment that I inheirited and would like to know if I can safely use any of the powder and primers that I have. They have all been stored in cardboard boxes in a cool, dark, dry storage facility. In going through the powder, there is no sign that any moisture has invaded the containers. The primers are all free of rust and corrosion. I'm pretty much like a brand new reloader, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, I printed off the article on the Intro to Reloading sticky, can you recommend any other "Reloading for Dummies" type of manual?
  2. RugerBob

    RugerBob G&G Newbie

    welcome back to the world of reloading. just curious, is it a single stage, turret or progressive loader? I would still use the primers myself personnely. You could always load a few without powder and bullet and fire 'em off. powder is probably still good, others on here will tell you the tell tale signs/smells better then I. only been doing this 2 years, so my old stuff is still new. Did you recieve any loading manuals? The more the better, for cross reference and what not. What are you gonna be reloading, Good luck, Bob
    Last edited: May 27, 2008

  3. I personally would err on the side of caution and ditch any powder that is more than a couple of years old; especially any that is in opened tins. It does degrade and absorb moisture no matter how well it has been stored. I might consider the primers but only for plinking loads.
  4. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Evangelist

    if the powder looks good, and smells good, it is good. as long as it was stored properly, it will last a very long time.
  5. mosquitofish

    mosquitofish Guest

    As long as the primers are corrosion free and powder is loose & clump free 10 yrs is not that old. you can do a sample run , before you run a few thousand rounds.
  6. I presume you're refering to that new fangled smokeless stuff you young "whippersnapper" I use Black powder for all my reloading except for indoor range shooting and that's mostly powder that's less than a year old.
    As for black I've finshed a can of 2 F eairler this year that I purchased in the early 1980's with nary a problem. So it's like Lefty 0 said if stored properly and it looks good and smells good (no disagreeable odor) it most likely is good.
    But the final decision to either use or discard is yours and yours alone.
  7. Ron AKA

    Ron AKA Guest

    I bought surplus WW2 machine gun powder in the late 60's and I presume it was 20 years old or so at the time. It shot fine. I may still even have some loaded rounds with the stuff in it :bigeyes:. I have some loaded 30-30 factory rounds that are probably 40 years old or so. One of these days I'm going to dust the cobwebs off the gun and try them too :).

    In short if stored properly I would use it.

  8. I took a 15 year hiatus and started again. I was surprised everything was in my basement which is cool and damp. Everything was fine except some 209 primers which got wet when a pipe broke one winter. Other than that my pistol primers, powder, and heads(lead and jacketed) were fine
  9. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    I agree the powder and primers sound fine.The only thing,I wouldn,t want them for a very expensive hunt. sam.
  10. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    Samuel...Aren't you an Expert on OLD ????:09: LOL
  11. To Cyrille . . .

    Just as a bit of info black powder can become more powerful with age assuming it is free from contaminates. I know this does not seem logical but it does and tests prove it. Sometimes you will read about 100 year old black powder exploding or just being used in shooting.
  12. jtuck

    jtuck G&G Evangelist

    Thanks for all the input. The press is a Lyman turret press with a built in priming tool. It is the one that I remeber using the most out of all his loaders. I found two .45acp dies with the stuff, and I'm pretty sure one is the depriming die and one is a sizer, but I need to look at them a little closer. I'm thinking about just buying a whole new set. I'm sure it has been answered in another forum, but are there compatibility issues when using different brand presses/dies? I will mostly be reloading .45 acp, .357mag for plinking, and hopefully some .30-06 for hunting when I get the hang of it. I'm pretty sure the primers are fine, because we used some to shoot rubber bullets not too long ago. We use the rubber bullets to shoot indoors when its nasty outside.
  13. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    Commonly the sizer die is also the deprimer.The other one with no pointy thing(been around Billy too much must be the seater die.there should be an expander die with a little deal that expands and flares.Maybe pictures would help? sam.
  14. jtuck

    jtuck G&G Evangelist

    When I get home I will try to remember to post some pictures. I am in the process of sorting everything out and trying to figure what I have and what I don't. So far I know I need a complete die set, case trimmer, and tumbler. Basically, people went through his stuff when he died and took what they wanted, and now I'm trying to sort out whatever is left. I'm also trying to figure out which tools are for reloading and which tools are specialized tools that he made. If he didn't have or couldn't find a tool for the job he usually made one. He was pretty amazing. Hopefully if I post some pictures of some of this stuff you guys can help me identify it. I also got a set of checkering tools that I'm really excited to try. Maybe one of these days I'll get as good as he was.
  15. Good luck with the reloading stuff, I know you will enjoy using the things you used years ago. Some of those things will brings lots of good memories back.
  16. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

    Sounds like you are off to a terrific start. The new Lyman manual has some great basic info in it.
  17. jtuck

    jtuck G&G Evangelist

    Here are pictures of the die and some odds and ends that I am clueless about. Sorry about the rotten picture of the press, apparently I'm still learning how to take pictures. The item in the last picture is a tool that I have absolutely no idea as to what it is. Anybody have any ideas?

  18. pic 1.Powder trickler
    pic 2. die body, should say on it cal & function
    Pic 3 ...left to right, don't know-can't see bottom clearly enough, Threading tap & collet type holder, don't know, don't know, shell holder for press or maybe lee auto prime, sizing die for sizing cast bullets-should have calibre stamped on it, die body (same-same as pic 2
    pic 4. lyman Spar-T turret press (6 station??), missing handle & primer load tube?
    Pic 5. bottom view of die body, can't see clearly eough but might be bullet seating die (if so, should have cal & "seat" stampled on it.
    pic 6. Engineering tre-panning cutter (British description) for cutting round holes in materials, joints/gaskets, etc.
  19. billy

    billy G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    that cylinder in the 3rd pic is a case gage.
    slide a finished rnd. into it.
    if it fits and doesnt poke out.
    it's good
  20. jtuck

    jtuck G&G Evangelist

    Thanks guys, I knew I could count on you. Hunglo- You are correct on the press type. The handle is on the press, you just can't see it due to the poor photography. I have the primer tube as well, just not in the pic. Will Lee dies work in a Lyman press?