Unexpected Surprise
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Thread: Unexpected Surprise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    NW Indiana
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    302

    Default Unexpected Surprise

    Good friend called on Friday and asked if I could use reloading powder, bullets, primers and other assorted items. He had three boxes of "stuff" given to him by a friend who said "all this stuff has to go." Apparently the father had passed 20-25 years ago and the family is now at the point of removing items from the home as they are getting ready to put it on the market. My friend was given 4 shotguns and a .22 rifle. It was that or they were headed to the saw for destruction and into the trash. One of those "everything must go moments." No one in the family has any interest in firearms. It appears that "dad" was a gunsmith/collector and had a basement workshop full of items.

    Came home with over a 1000 bullets, mostly 6.5, over 1000 primers and assorted reloading powder. A few images for your review. Note the prices on the old tins of powder.


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,992

    Default

    Great deal. Glad it was saved from the dump.
    I would be cautious about the powder, especially the remarked cans.
    Perhaps compare to some know powder.
    Gary

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,214

    Default

    Yeah, but the cans are cool.
    I'd sure keep them
    Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono
    " The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness "
    (King Kamehameha III)

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    NW Indiana
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    302

    Default

    The IMR 4064 and the IMR 4320 match what I already had on the shelf. Will have to do a bit of research on the others to verify correct labeling.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    13,522

    Default

    Those p[rices were typical discount store prices from the 1970s.
    I they did not come from a discount store then they were from the 1960s.
    Notice the IMR cans still say Dupont and Hercules was not yet Alliant.
    The primer boxes were typical of that time period too.
    70 years ago, 18 to 20 year olds stormed the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima. Today they get play-dough and therapy dogs cause their candidate lost an election.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Primers are probably ok as are bullets but as already mentioned, I’d be suspect of powder that appears to be 40-50 years old. May be nothing more than cool plant fertilizer.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    South east by-God Arizona
    Posts
    97

    Default

    Back in the mid 60s, as a newly discharged GI, got a Lee Loader in .270. IMR 4320. Left it (powder) in TN--fifty years later found it and had a friend load some ammo for me--powder looked/smelled good (no odor, smoke, etc). Ammo shot just fine. This was in the original metal one pound can--

    Not saying all powder would do as well, but worked well for me.
    "I have never seen a situation so desperate the arrival of a policeman did not make worse"
    Brendan Behan, Irish poet

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    373

    Default

    I was given an old can of Dupont #6 pistol powder. Smelled OK so I loaded a bunch of 45ACP and had no problems. Also used up a vintage 8lb tin of Dupont sr 4759 powder. As long as it was stored in stable conditions, it should be fine.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Southern New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,960

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VMIGuns View Post
    Primers are probably ok as are bullets but as already mentioned, I’d be suspect of powder that appears to be 40-50 years old. May be nothing more than cool plant fertilizer.
    Plus 1

    As far as the powder, well, that's a crap shoot.
    My rule of thumb is that if it is open it's fertilizer as I have no way to determine what is actually in that can.
    I can make educated guesses but that is all they are "guesses".
    The "relabeled" can is fertilizer, for sure, for the same reason.
    Sealed cans will get the smell test, visual inspection and then a "burn test" (not conclusive, I know, but better than nothing), then a mild reload in a suitable caliber for the strongest action I have (if I don't have a strong action then I don't use it).

    Sorry, but body parts and eyes are worth more to me than any given can of powder.
    YMMV

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,228

    Default

    +1 on Bob. I was given three cans of IMR4831 which all smelled "sweet" - no sharp or acidic odour and no strong ether smell. Powder shot really well for accuracy in a top condition military .303 rifle using a lighter bullet than the military round.

    This powder was from the early 1970's and stored in a dry climate which was frosty in winter but easily well above 100 oF (40 oC) in summer, so you may well have expected temperature induced breakdown.

    If you are not seeing corrosion inside the can or lid and it smells OK it is well worth a test in a modern strong action.

    Any hint of nitro sweating is a no go. I have seen powder sweating so badly in loaded WW2 ammo that using a collet puller caused the first round to flash off as soon as the powder was exposed to the air. This might seem a strange thing to try but it is hard to get the correct bullet for the 6.5 Carcano.

    Powder costs here in Australia may be considerably higher than where you are of course! If new stuff is cheap then old nitro powder is great fertiliser for orchids.
    The El Alamein Trophy shoot - Lang Lang, Victoria 24 October 2020

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