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Bad Rifle Powder

TomD

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#1
I was rummaging though my reloading room looking for anything that may be handy for the AR 6.5 Grendel that I'm getting ready for. I found several hundred 6.5 bullets from Sierra and Norma in the right weight range though I have no clue what I originally bought them for and a couple of powders in the right range. A start anyway.

More importantly, I saw a 1 pound can of Varget that looked like the metal screw on top had rusted. There was brown rust looking stuff on the plastic container. I took the lid off with difficulty and took a look. There was a lot of the rust looking material around the opening. Varget is a "rod" powder, it looks like pencil leads cut up to about 1/16th of an inch long and they look sorta shiny. These have a dull look and there is a sorta sour smell to it rather than the sweet smell of fresh powder. I've got 4-5 cans of varget and the one can was the only bad one. I have no idea why.

I'm pretty sure this is the first bad (age degraded) powder that I've ever had. I've shot so much Varget over the years that I haven't a clue how old this can was.

It is my understanding that the powder itself doesn't degrade, the retardant coating does. Manufacturers will take a raw powder and change it's burn rate to suit any number of applications from pistol fast to magnum slow by varying the retardant coating.

I've read that a sign of the degradation of the coating is brown residue and strange smell.

If I loaded this powder, it would probably reliably ignite and then possibly blow the gun that I was shooting.

I understand that Varget powder, being rich in nitrates, makes an excellent if somewhat expensive fertilizer if spread thinly on the yard.
 

newmisty

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#2
Unca Walts Cannon
 

TAEZZAR

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#3
If I loaded this powder, it would probably reliably ignite and then possibly blow the gun that I was shooting.
I would consider making some "pipe toys", could be fun. :bombs 7: :bombs 8: :blew up::blond::blond::blond:
 

TAEZZAR

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#5
My nickname, for 40 years. has been, "pyro J---" Just don't be stupid ! :oriental:
 

TomD

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#7
A couple of the boxes of 6.5mm bullets that I found are 100 Nosler 120 gr boat tail ballistic tip and marked $11.25.
 

TomD

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#8
My nickname, for 40 years. has been, "pyro J---" Just don't be stupid ! :oriental:
Looong ago, I went through explosives training in the Marines. C4, detcord, 1/2 pound blocks of TNT, fuses, detonators. The most fun I've had in my entire life up to but not quite including my beautiful and rich professional figure skating first wife. Fire in the ------------hole for sure.
 

newmisty

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Looong ago, I went through explosives training in the Marines. C4, detcord, 1/2 pound blocks of TNT, fuses, detonators. The most fun I've had in my entire life up to but not quite including my beautiful and rich professional figure skating first wife. Fire in the ------------hole for sure.
There's nothing like explosions to bring out the giddy kid in grown men.
 

SWRichmond

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#10
Absolutely do not load ammo with that powder. It is degraded and results would be uncertain. Spread it thinly on your lawn.
 

Buck

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#11
or you could blow things up real good

:2 thumbs up:
 

Buck

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#12
i do remember a few mail boxes going :bomb 1: in the middle of the night...i made the fuses ;)

we gave up after about three...or so

back in the good old days where doorbell video cameras were but a chinese manufacturer away...oh so long ago
 

Usury

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#13
There’s a special place in hell for thugs that take pleasure in destroying others property...especially mailboxes.
 

pitw

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#14
Oh shit. Hell better be a big place with all these special plots. Hope they have a good map to hand me.
 

Someone_else

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#15
I like your quote that is close to the Firefly quote about a special place in Hell for those who speak in movie theaters.
 

Buck

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#16
There’s a special place in hell for thugs that take pleasure in destroying others property...especially mailboxes.
I know, I know, but given an opportunity, can I still play with gunpowder?

Oh shit. Hell better be a big place with all these special plots. Hope they have a good map to hand me.
LOL, they've got rivers down there, probably means they have boats too which means fishing with dynamite

 

Buck

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#17
LOL

what you'd rather have is more like this:



(i had to change that last one, it was boring, not enough kaboom)
 

Buck

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#18
or maybe this:



Usury! See What You Did...

:)
 

Goldhedge

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#19
Heck, I'd be the guy that opened it up and checked the contents with a match....
 

Buck

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#20
Heck, I'd be the guy that opened it up and checked the contents with a match....
for me, that wasn't exactly the time of the snakes in mailboxes that Synanon iirc used to do, and iirc, one of the Our Gang was in trouble for being involved with that, but, mailboxes were always targets for bats, putting stuff into, you know, jerk kinda things...

My karmas been paid back and I have one of those vault style mailboxes...an m80 should sound cool but nothing more...I've learned to chase off the spooks...LOL

my demons are my own and i mess with them all the time, lol

:piss
 

Buck

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#22
Thinking of your phrase and i nearly had it correct...blowed up, blowed up real good!

LOL
 

TomD

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#23
My Dad told me about the fun they had tossing German hand grenades into ponds in Normandy.
 

DodgebyDave

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#24
I care about your yard just enough to support the destructive testing alternative. Blow it up.


Under ground!
 

TAEZZAR

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#26
Heck, I'd be the guy that opened it up and checked the contents with a match....
Ever put a match out, in a full can of gas ? No problem ! :troll:
 

TomD

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#27
Can you do a test burn on a brick or something?
Too late, already testing the fertilizer properties. Skunked or not, it hurts to pour a what would now be $40 pound of powder on the ground. It was bad alright, the smell was awful, not at all like a gunpowder smell.
 

Rusty Shackelford

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#28
There’s a special place in hell for thugs that take pleasure in destroying others property...especially mailboxes.

Please please please....someone put my mailbox out of its misery...my wife is a tightwad and doesnt want to spend money on a new one...please give her a reason...please
 

newmisty

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<SLV>

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#31
I was rummaging though my reloading room looking for anything that may be handy for the AR 6.5 Grendel that I'm getting ready for. I found several hundred 6.5 bullets from Sierra and Norma in the right weight range though I have no clue what I originally bought them for and a couple of powders in the right range. A start anyway.

More importantly, I saw a 1 pound can of Varget that looked like the metal screw on top had rusted. There was brown rust looking stuff on the plastic container. I took the lid off with difficulty and took a look. There was a lot of the rust looking material around the opening. Varget is a "rod" powder, it looks like pencil leads cut up to about 1/16th of an inch long and they look sorta shiny. These have a dull look and there is a sorta sour smell to it rather than the sweet smell of fresh powder. I've got 4-5 cans of varget and the one can was the only bad one. I have no idea why.

I'm pretty sure this is the first bad (age degraded) powder that I've ever had. I've shot so much Varget over the years that I haven't a clue how old this can was.

It is my understanding that the powder itself doesn't degrade, the retardant coating does. Manufacturers will take a raw powder and change it's burn rate to suit any number of applications from pistol fast to magnum slow by varying the retardant coating.

I've read that a sign of the degradation of the coating is brown residue and strange smell.

If I loaded this powder, it would probably reliably ignite and then possibly blow the gun that I was shooting.

I understand that Varget powder, being rich in nitrates, makes an excellent if somewhat expensive fertilizer if spread thinly on the yard.
Broken down by age or humidity?
 

TomD

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#32
I really don't know why that one can went bad, I've got some other powders as old or older and they are still just fine despite being kept in the exact same conditions. Based on the price tag on the can ($24.95), I think it came from around 2004 or thereabouts. I've got a couple of cans of 4064 that I haven't used since the 90's that I wouldn't hesitate to use.

Bad lot probably.
 

GOLDZILLA

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#33
mix it with 2 parts sugar in a cup and put a wick in it. when it ignites it will produce enough smoke to blind a city block.