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Jim
04-18-2010, 14:35
My loader is a Dillon 650. Several years ago I got busy on other stuff and left the measure full of powder for over a year. The clear plastic in the measure got somewhat darker, and I threw out the powder before doing any more loading.

Now I've done it again, but only for about 5 months. I think the powder will still be good to use, but what do you guys think?

Powder is Win Super Field
WSF

kimberguy2004
04-18-2010, 14:45
I left a hopper loaded longer than you did. When I sat down to start loading again, I gave it a tap, threw a couple of test charges and started cranking out ammo. If it was sitting in a cool dry place, you're good to go..

das9mm26
04-18-2010, 14:50
A primary concern, I think, is under what climate conditions was the powder stored? Was it in a cool, dry place...or in a damp basement...or hot attic?
If you're planing to use this powder for target rounds....I'd try loading a FEW (to MINIMUM ratings!!) and test-fire them. If you plan to load SD rounds....if it were me.....I'd cut my losses and dump it! Defense rounds NEED to go "BANG!" when they're supposed to...IMO, "old" powder isn't worth the risk!
If you DO elect to "try" the powder in "test" loads....LOAD LIGHTLY...and only test one or two.....If you DO NOT feel comfortable "testing"....DON"T!!!!!!!!!
JUST SAY "NO!"....and DUMP IT!!! There's always more - and fresh! - powder out there......YOU only have ONE LIFE!!
STAY SAFE!!!:supergrin:

EDIT: kimberguy beat my post by 5 minutes......He said in 10 words....what took me 100 to say!!!

GioaJack
04-18-2010, 15:12
Many years ago surplus powder was actually sold by the pound in paper bags... you paid your money, wrote what powder it was on the bag and carried it home. I had different kinds of powder sitting around in bags for several years, (in south Florida at the time), and never experienced any problems.

Up until 3 or 4 years ago Chinese black powder was being sold by the bag full at the national matches in Friendship, Indiana. Due to the considerably lower price of Goex, Swiss or even Elephant brand I bought many, many pounds of it... again, no problems. Black powder is considerably more hydroscopic than smokeless powder so you'd think if anything was going to have a problem it would have. (I wouldn't do it with 4 through 7 F powder though, a little bit of moisture content will have an adverse effect on flintlock pan ignition.)

I never empty my powder measures unless I'm actually changing powders. Since I have most of my machines set up to be caliber specific I simply add more powder when needed. I have a Dillon SDB that hasn't had the powder dumped out of its measure in at least ten years... the powder gets rotated obviously but just by adding more.

Not suggesting this method to others but it's worked for me for a long time. I'm not trying to watch tv through the plastic so I don't care if it gets discolored.

Jack

dudel
04-18-2010, 15:15
Certain powders (double base types IIRC) should not be left in the plastic dump towers. They do attack the material. I'll have to check back and find out the type though. It was covered in the Propellant Profiles book.

Colorado4Wheel
04-18-2010, 15:23
Solo 1000 leaves no trace of any issues if you leave it in the hopper. Titegroup will discolor it pretty good.

kubura
04-18-2010, 15:51
Solo 1000 leaves no trace of any issues if you leave it in the hopper. Titegroup will discolor it pretty good.


Yes, C4W. This is exactly what happened to me.

If I use Titegroup, as soon as I am done with reloading, I empty the hopper.

n2extrm
04-18-2010, 16:21
I leave it as long as I am going back to that caliber. I dump it if I pull the tool head. One of mine has been discolored for years, the newer ones are still clear. Like Jack said I don't really care as long as I can see what is still in it so I know it's time to fill it up.

unclebob
04-18-2010, 16:51
Smell the powder if it smells okay use it, if it smells rancid pour it on your grass. Itís a good fertilizer.
As easy as it too take off the failsafe rod pull two pins and dump the powder. Why leave the powder in the measure?

Colorado4Wheel
04-18-2010, 17:16
It's one less thing to do when I start loading again. Powder is already settled. I throw a couple charges and I am back to loading ammo. I never leave TG in my hopper. My hopper is still like new.

D. Manley
04-18-2010, 17:21
I'm fairly sure that a reasonable length of time (whatever that is) left in the hopper is harmless to the powder but, I just can't bring myself to do it. Lot's of folks leave it with no ill effects other than discoloration of the cannister but mine gets emptied as soon as loading session is over.

DocCasualty
04-18-2010, 17:27
I have a Dillon SDB that hasn't had the powder dumped out of its measure in at least ten years... the powder gets rotated obviously but just by adding more.

Jack

Same here. No problems. It's in a cool room with low humidity.

dudel
04-18-2010, 18:59
My loader is a Dillon 650. Several years ago I got busy on other stuff and left the measure full of powder for over a year. The clear plastic in the measure got somewhat darker, and I threw out the powder before doing any more loading.

Now I've done it again, but only for about 5 months. I think the powder will still be good to use, but what do you guys think?

Powder is Win Super Field
WSF

Found the reference on page 65 of Propellant Profiles. The powder under discussion is Bullseye.

"No powder should be left in the plastic hopper of a powder measure for long periods of time, but this is especially true with Bullseye, which will "migrate" or chemically attack the plastic of the reservoir in a short time."

MoNsTeR
04-18-2010, 19:27
IIRC, it's the nitroglycerin in double-base powders that discolors the plastic. That would explain why Solo 1000 doesn't do it since it's single-base, and why Titegroup does it like crazy as it has one of the highest proportions of nitroglycerin.

Jim
04-18-2010, 20:39
FWIW, my loading room is in the main part of our house, temp stays pretty constant and humidity is typical for indoors in winter/spring.

vtducrider
04-18-2010, 21:49
No problem with leaving the powder in the hopper for me. I am in the Northeast. We have very dry winters, and humid summers. I have a dehumidifier in the basement, next to my reloading bench. It's set to 50%. It's almost time to run on the machine now. I use Winchester 231 and Power Pistol, no discoloring issue.

ilgunguygt
04-18-2010, 23:06
You should read a Skeeter Skelton article tited "Skeeters Cow Killer loads." Its in his book Good Friends, Good Guns, Good Whiskey. He tells a story of when he was working for a Sheriffs dept and was in charge of loading ammo for deputies. He hadnt used the progresive press in a while and it had a hopper of Unique. He loaded up some rounds for a few deputies and handed them out. One of the deputies was then called to an accident that involved putting down a cow. He pointed the gun at the cows head and pulled the trigger. The 44 magnum barely made a pop and the bullet and half the powder hit the cow in the head. Twice. A farmer eventually provided a firearm and they shot it. When Skeeter found out he checked the powder and said that the flakes had kind of eroded the plastic measure, and there were little scallops in the shape of the powder on the inside, and it was discolored. He came to the conclusion that long term storage in the plastic hopper was at fault, because as mentioned above, people used to buy it in paper bags. According to the story they were forever known as Skeeters Cow Killing Loads.

Jim
04-19-2010, 13:16
You should read a Skeeter Skelton article tited "Skeeters Cow Killer loads." Its in his book Good Friends, Good Guns, Good Whiskey. He tells a story of when he was working for a Sheriffs dept and was in charge of loading ammo for deputies. He hadnt used the progresive press in a while and it had a hopper of Unique. He loaded up some rounds for a few deputies and handed them out. One of the deputies was then called to an accident that involved putting down a cow. He pointed the gun at the cows head and pulled the trigger. The 44 magnum barely made a pop and the bullet and half the powder hit the cow in the head. Twice. A farmer eventually provided a firearm and they shot it. When Skeeter found out he checked the powder and said that the flakes had kind of eroded the plastic measure, and there were little scallops in the shape of the powder on the inside, and it was discolored. He came to the conclusion that long term storage in the plastic hopper was at fault, because as mentioned above, people used to buy it in paper bags. According to the story they were forever known as Skeeters Cow Killing Loads.

I'm old enough to remember when that story was first published!
And that's why I posted the question here.
I'll try giving Dillon a call.

GLShooter
04-19-2010, 16:19
I've left BE in my hopper (RCBS Uniflo) and it did eat up the plastic. I've left AA #7 in a Star hopper and it discolored it slightly. I have not had a Dillon measure (I have six or seven) that has ever discolored from powder being left in it a long time. I now will dump the measures Chan I finish but I won't feel panicky if I don't get to it in a week or two.

Greg

ilgunguygt
04-19-2010, 17:35
I'm old enough to remember when that story was first published!
And that's why I posted the question here.
I'll try giving Dillon a call.
I dont remember what year that one was from, but Skeeter left this world when I was around 10 years old. I love his work and have actually learned a lot from him. I went from a plastic freak to a single action revolver guy.

dudel
04-19-2010, 17:47
IIRC, it's the nitroglycerin in double-base powders that discolors the plastic. That would explain why Solo 1000 doesn't do it since it's single-base, and why Titegroup does it like crazy as it has one of the highest proportions of nitroglycerin.

Correct. Double base powders with nitroglycerin should not be left in the powder dump. I know the plastic in the dump deteriorates; I suspect the something happens with the powder as well. Has nothing to do with humidity or temperature.

sarge
04-19-2010, 21:26
I won't even leave powder in my measures overnight. It takes about 2 minutes to pull the 2 pins, pull the tool head and dump it back in the powder jug. No mistaking what powder it is then.

jmorris
04-20-2010, 07:42
I'm old enough to remember when that story was first published!
And that's why I posted the question here.
I'll try giving Dillon a call.

They will tell you not to do it. Then again the owners manual for your rifle or pistol will tell you not to use reloads either...

dudel
04-20-2010, 18:42
They will tell you not to do it. Then again the owners manual for your rifle or pistol will tell you not to use reloads either...

But when you can see a reaction ocurring (plastic hopper deteriorating), why ignore the vendors advice?

byf43
04-20-2010, 19:13
Certain powders (double base types IIRC) should not be left in the plastic dump towers. They do attack the material. I'll have to check back and find out the type though. It was covered in the Propellant Profiles book.

Found the reference on page 65 of Propellant Profiles. The powder under discussion is Bullseye.

"No powder should be left in the plastic hopper of a powder measure for long periods of time, but this is especially true with Bullseye, which will "migrate" or chemically attack the plastic of the reservoir in a short time."

Absolutely!!!!!

I was loading some .38 wadcutters for my wife's manager on my RockChucker, and using the RCBS Uniflow measure, and Bullseye powder.

My wife called me upstairs, for dinner.
One thing led to another, and I didn't get back downstairs until the next night.
The powder attacked the plastic powder hopper and actually started imbedding itself into the plastic.
I dumped that 2/3rds filled hopper and rinsed with soap and water.
I wound up using a scotchbrite pad, a slit dowel and a cordless drill to 'hone out' that hopper.
It was a mess.

Now, I get done with powder. . . it goes back into it's container.

GioaJack
04-20-2010, 19:52
Yes, I know, they're crummy pictures but it's the best I can do. I'm headed south this summer to take lessons from PCJim.

Dillon SDB powder measure. Has never had any powder but Bullseye in it... haven't taken the measure off to empty it in at least 10 years... probably much longer, don't really remember it not having powder in it. Discolored but no pitting or other visible ill-effects.
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/GioaJack/IMG_4282.jpg?t=1271813466


Powder measure on 550B. Power Pistol in it right now, Unique before that. Too lazy to empty this one also. Never had Bullseye in it but except for changing powder it's never been emptied. Not really any discoloration, certainly less than the one with bullseye.
http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss114/GioaJack/IMG_4283.jpg?t=1271813892


Have only had one LNL for a year, it's only had Bullseye, Unique and Clays in it so far. Except for changing powders it's never left empty. No discoloration yet.

The second LNL is a couple months newer than the first one. HP-38, Clays, Power Pistol, whole bunch of stuff... no Bullseye... always has some type of powder in it... no discoloration.

This is certainly not a recommendation to do anything contrary to manufacturers directions or to alter your loading routine... it is simply my experience. I doubt that there is another loader out there that is as lazy as me.

Jack

DocCasualty
04-20-2010, 20:06
Dillon SDB powder measure.
Jack

Wonder if this issue might be related to the type of plastic Dillon and others use for their hoppers? Maybe we should ask Dillon what they think about the subject?

Jim
04-20-2010, 20:36
Today I called Dillon, the tech guy said that the plastic on the measure will discolor but the powder will still be ok, especially after only 5 months.

He also said that if I'm paranoid about it and still have the original can of powder, pour the powder from the measure back into the can and gently shake it around for a while to disperse any powder that might have been effected. He pointed out that only the small amount of powder that's actually in contact with the plastic could be effected, not the much larger quantity that's not touching the plastic.

dla
04-22-2010, 09:54
Certain powders (double base types IIRC) should not be left in the plastic dump towers. They do attack the material. I'll have to check back and find out the type though. It was covered in the Propellant Profiles book.

Bingo! And that is the reason not to leave it in the hopper. Unless Dillon has changed the hopper material, the Nitro will break down the hopper walls.