Disposing of old powder

jlorensen

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Dec 9, 2020
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Kansas City
Good morning All,

While cleaning up the basement yesterday, I came across 2 cans of fff black powder and about a 1\4 can of IMR4350....no idea how old. What's a proper way to dispose of these?

Thanks!
 
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Skookum

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  • May 6, 2017
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    Good morning All,

    While cleaning up the basement yesterday, I came across 2 cans of fff black powder and about a 1\4 can of IMR4350....no idea how old. What's a proper way to dispose of these?

    Thanks!
    I had 5lbs to dispose of once. I put it in an old ammo can and backed off 100 yards and shot it with a 308Win....

    I should have backed off 200 yards. The mushroom cloud was impressive! :LOL:

    That is also when I realized just how much I loved Arizona. I literally set off a bomb, and nobody even came to find out what had happened.
     

    Downtown

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  • Mar 1, 2013
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    Unless you want to have fun with it, just spreading it on the lawn is easiest. That's what I do with old powder now that I'm older and my children are grown.
     

    TxWelder35

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  • Oct 17, 2018
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    Spread it on your lawn not in a big pile or have some fun with it from a couple hundred yards out
     
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    Roscoe_M4

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    Aug 4, 2003
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    I'm disposing of some old H4350 at the rate of 43.2 grains a time in my .260 Rem. Smokeless powder lasts a long time, and if it doesn't smell bad, it's probably still good. Mine (about 15 years old) is still giving single digit ESs, although the faded out $15.95 LGS stickers on top make me a little misty eyed for the good old days. I've got a couple of 8-lb. jugs of WC-844 that are still good with the same loads I developed back in 2003 for my .308.
     

    Baron23

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  • Mar 19, 2020
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    I agree with those who said spread it on plants/lawn.

    Please, do NOT try to burn it. Wayne Mayes, the greatest American skeet shooter ever, died from burns received when trying to burn powder in his grill. Wind picked some up and blew it on him and his polyester shorts/shirt and that was that. This was old smokeless shotgun powder.

    His death was shocking to many but it seemed particularly tragic as it was so avoidable.

    Please, do NOT burn it. Please do not try to burn black powder, in particular.
     

    brianf

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    Apr 8, 2010
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    What’s the reason for several people saying not to burn black powder.

    does it act that much different than smokeless when burned?
     

    TicTacTex

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    Jun 14, 2020
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    What’s the reason for several people saying not to burn black powder.

    does it act that much different than smokeless when burned?

    Yes, much much faster.

    I would do a test round or two with the 4350 and see if it goes bang before putting it in your flower garden..
     

    sirhrmechanic

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    What’s the reason for several people saying not to burn black powder.

    does it act that much different than smokeless when burned?
    It goes poof. Smokeless needs pressure to go poof. Black powder burns at the same rate whether confined or in the open. Lighting black powder will get you blowed up.

    This video shows difference.


    Sirhr
     

    camocorvette

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    If you have calibers that could use it. I'd just load some low charge test rounds and use it up.
    If not. Throw it in your garden or lawn.
     

    uffduh

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    Even those who aren’t poor shouldn’t be wasting it in the garden if there’s a chance it still causes a bang !
     

    davsco

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    f the garden/yard stuff. blow that stuff up! bonfire (of course at a safe distance...)!
     

    Gunnn

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    Aug 18, 2020
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    Good morning All,

    While cleaning up the basement yesterday, I came across 2 cans of fff black powder and about a 1\4 can of IMR4350....no idea how old. What's a proper way to dispose of these?

    Thanks!
    I've got some imr4064 I've had for at least 30 years that I found in the back of my powder cabinet I loaded some 308 it shot just fine
     

    6mmRemM600

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    Apr 21, 2014
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    Black Powder is essentially blasting powder like they used in mines or to blast Railroad tunnels in the 1860's.

    Cleaning out my Dad's garage I came across the can of DuPont FFG Black powder that we used to make pipe (actually shotgun shell) bombs with 50+ years ago when we were kids. It works just fine in my 45 Colt.

    One of the very common powders, it should be pretty easy to use up IMR 4350 40+ gr at a time. I'll bet you have or know someone with a 30-06 or 30-40 Krag, 243 Win, etc. Check the Hodgdon reloading center at: https://www.hodgdonreloading.com/
     
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    billt

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    Oct 23, 2007
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    Good morning All,

    While cleaning up the basement yesterday, I came across 2 cans of fff black powder and about a 1\4 can of IMR4350....no idea how old. What's a proper way to dispose of these?

    Thanks!
    Why do you want to get rid of it? Unless it got wet, or else was exposed to very high humidity for a long period of time, it's most likely still good. I've loaded and shot powder that's over 50 years old, and it shot just fine. I know guys who are still shooting military surplus 4831, that their fathers acquired after the Second World War. Powder properly stored will outlive most of the people who shoot it. With the cost of powder today, I'd shoot that stuff, not toss it.
     
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    gatguy

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    Feb 25, 2014
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    I collect old powder cans, have a Hivel (no number) can dated 1918, loaded a 30 06 cartridge with 45 grains of it behind a Sierra 150gr bullet---it shot just like it was 4895.
     

    jlorensen

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    Dec 9, 2020
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    Kansas City
    Sounds like the shelf life is a little longer than I figured.......I'm guessing this powder is somewhere between 20 and 30 yrs old, so it looks like I probably have at least another 20 yrs to load it.

    Thanks All!
     
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