How long will powder keep?

Pilgrims Pride

NES Member
Dec 26, 2005
America's Hometown
Feedback: 1 / 0 / 0
I've had some powder stored in my cellar for near to 10 years.
It does get humid down there. (never wet)
The powder was kept in a wooden cabinet.
Primers too.
Should I use them?

Seems every post I've made here says "before kids"
Same with reloading. It's time to get back into it.
My boy is old enough and seems eager to learn.
My powder is >25 years old and is stored in a dry, non-humid location. I expect that it will be just fine when I start reloading again. Primers are kept in a sealed ammo can, so they should be fine too.

Humidity would concern me. Perhaps someone with more knowledge than I have (I claim very little on this topic) can help answer your question.

How much powder do you have? It is isn't a ton I would just buy new powder and be good. Most powder isn't all the expensive. The only concern I would have is the powder from 10 years ago prob. isn't the same as the same powder of today. That being said if you load even to 10% less than what the max the manufacturer recomends that could be too much because the powder may be different today? I could be totally wrong here also as I've been wrong many times before. [lol]

I guess a lot would depend on how it was stored as well. If it was stored in dark containers where light couldn't get in that would be better. You also said that the area is dry so that is another plus. Maybe you should try loading some with REALLY light loads and chrono them to see where they are at. I personally would start VERY light and work my way up.

Good luck,
Pete is right.

I still have my reloading manuals and powder company reloading data from the era that I bought the powder.

I would NEVER load to today's manuals with "yesterday's" powder . . . that is just looking for trouble.

I'll use up my old powder with the reloading data from that era. When I buy new powder, I'll use current manuals as my guide.
Actually, the first thing to avoid when storing powder is excessive heat, which will cause some of the constituents to break down or leach away from the primary constituent, and thus change the burn rate.

However, if powder is stored in sealed containers, out of the sun and in quarters where it usually sees only room temperature, it should easily store for 10 years.

Ask yourself how long ammo stores for? People thing nothing of shooting ammo that is 10 years old or more. By definition, the powder in the cartridges has been "stored" for the same length of time.
Pilgrim's Pride,

I wouldn't worry about your powder and primers. Heat and light have a MUCH bigger effect on them than the humidity of a celler. Actually, I think your celler will provide the least amount of seasonal temperature variation than anyplace in your house.

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