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I started thinking about this and realized I don't know the answer. I'm talking about powder stored under different conditions such as: Unheated garage with temp swings from -30 to 100. Or, In home with temp variable from maybe 60-80 degrees. or maybe a garage in Arizona which may get up to 120 degrees. Or anything else you might think of. Assume all powder is stored in original cans.;
 
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I don;t know.....never had a reason to ask any other company.

I don't use Bullseye or Unique so I gave them to my nephew and he used them up with no issues at all.
 

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I have lately used powder from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and later. All perfectly good.

I tossed a spoiled can of IMR 4064 2-3 years ago. It had turned, and I believe it was made in 1970.

Powder lasts a long time.
 

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I try to use up old powder. I was recently given some from the 70’s, & possibly as new as the 80’s. I’ll load it up next time I’m near that application. I have loaded some already, shot fine.

If in doubt, load some up for testing, if any problems, dispose. Some of the powder I was gifted is IMR-4064, 4227, 4198 & possibly some others. None are common with what I normally use, but I can improvise & find a use.

When you have free powder, & free brass, the reloading cost really comes down.
 

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I started thinking about this and realized I don't know the answer. I'm talking about powder stored under different conditions such as: Unheated garage with temp swings from -30 to 100. Or, In home with temp variable from maybe 60-80 degrees. or maybe a garage in Arizona which may get up to 120 degrees. Or anything else you might think of. Assume all powder is stored in original cans.;
Jim Carmichael, in the 2017 Hodgdon Reloading Manual, wrote about the canister of 70 year old 4831 powder that he had. It was still good and had the groups to prove that claim. On of my customers has a keg of 700X that is at least 40 years old, maybe more, and it is still good.

Of course the powders in question were stored under optimum conditions. In regard to your question, maybe a few years less. From what I have noticed the only real enemies powder has is moisture and air.
 

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If not subject to harsh conditions, like excessive heat, moisture, etc and the container is kept tightly closed, powder will last (be useable) for many YEARS.

Put it this way.
In the past I have shot a lot of ammo from WW2 and even World War 1.
The stuff from about 1917 was a little weak but still fired just fine.

Gun powder in your house, in the original container will probably "outlast" you.
 

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I wouldnt store it in my 120deg garage, but cool & dry, it last longer than you will. If my only option were a 120deg garage, get an old cooler & keep it in that with a desic pack.
 
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Sniff test. If it smells like Simple Green its ok.

If it smells rotten throw it.

Ive never had powder go bad, even opened jugs I’ve had for 10 years
 

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Well I've shot M1 Carbine ammo made in '43. Worked perfect.

I suspect powder, and primers, will last a very long time if kept stored in a dry cool climate.
 

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It will last a very long time. Keep the lid tight and it will outlast you.

I just bought 16 lbs of W231 to stash away. I have some 4064 and BLC2 stashed away as well.

Just need primers.
 

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Sniff test. If it smells like Simple Green its ok.

If it smells rotten throw it.

Ive never had powder go bad, even opened jugs I’ve had for 10 years
The smell is like ammonia & the powder may look "rusty".
 
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Like Carmichel have few cans of original 4831, the stuff Jack used. It's fine. Some of Dad's IMR (different grades) cans developed rust, fine red dust. You can see that it arises from the interior lining of the cans. Been using it up. Just finished last of his '60s 4320. You can remove the dust with a magnet, suppose. Consistently chronograph and have not noticed either unexpected change in apparent burn rate or ES.

So red dust alone does not bother me. Loss of expected ether smell, and/or development of a noxious smell (NH3+) - dump it. Clumping/discoloration - dump it.

Shouldn't have to say this, but if there's even the slightest detectable temperature increase - can feels warm - dump it, and PDQ.
 

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I have shot powders that are older than I am, stored in brass cases with a bullet on top, that still do the job. I have others that I have stored for more than 3 decades myself in their original containers that still work fine.
 

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I found three rounds of .45 acp yesterday in my mancave.... dated 1918. I wonder if they will fire..... of course corrosive primers but... will they fire. Maybe I'll find out this week.
 
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The smell is like ammonia & the powder may look "rusty".
I also noticed on a can of 4064 that had spoiled that when removing the lid, I could see rusty looking fine dust that escaped into the air. Visible in the right light. Almost as if it was a touch pressurized in the container.
 

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The smell is like ammonia & the powder may look "rusty".
I have some Blue Dot that's probably 30 years old. I smelled it and it really has no smell. What do I do now? LOL
 
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