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H4831 power question
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My son shoots a 280 and it is hard to find ammo anyway but now it is impossible.

I have couple of pounds of H4831 from 1989 or there about. Lids have been tightly closed and sit inside on a shelf in my work room.

How can you best tell if this powder is still good as it was of if it is breaking down?

Thanks,

Jim
 
Posts: 185 | Location: Marble Falls, Texas | Registered: 08 December 2007Reply With Quote
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Open and look at it if looks good it should be fine.
 
Posts: 16216 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Up until a few years ago, folks were still hawking Mil surplus H4831 that was used during WWII. If it passes the look and smell test, then it is considered by most as safe to use.


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Posts: 22442 | Location: Occupying Little Minds Rent Free | Registered: 04 October 2012Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by p dog shooter:
Open and look at it if looks good it should be fine.


Also check the smell, ether like ok, acidic, not ok.
 
Posts: 55 | Registered: 08 September 2020Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by craig48:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by p dog shooter:
Open and look at it if looks good it should be fine.


Also smell check it. Ether like ok, acidic, not ok.
 
Posts: 55 | Registered: 08 September 2020Reply With Quote
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Powders deteriorations signs are smell, powdery residue and clumping.

Pour some out, a nd if everything looks normal, use it.

I have 40 years old powders I use.

In fact, I was given a load of 8x57 ammo, 113 years old - determined from the headstamp, as they were made in Egypt.

I have recovered some of the powder, and have been using it in several cartridges.

Works great!


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Posts: 53361 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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The acidic smell you get from gunpowder that is deteriorating is from nitric acid and typically fumes from this acid are brown. Any tinges of brown on powder or in powder containers accompanied by the rather distinctive nitric acid smell indicate it is time to fertilise the lawn with the powder.
 
Posts: 2908 | Location: Nelson, New Zealand | Registered: 03 August 2009Reply With Quote
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I shot WWII surplus powder well in to the 1990s. Worked great.


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Posts: 2236 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: 08 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Do not listen to these guys! It is unsafe!!!!

Send it to me and I will properly reload...I mean dispose of it.
 
Posts: 2103 | Location: South Texas | Registered: 01 November 2005Reply With Quote
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Twenty year old powder is pushing the limit for shelf lifetime. No one I know has a quarter million dollar gas chronograph to measure the stabilizer left in gun powder, nor do they have pressure barrels to see if the pressure curve has shifted.

So what you are left with is taste, touch, smell, and visual.

Does the powder smell like new?
Does the powder have a neutral smell? That is probably what you will smell and it means the stabilizer content has decreased. It may be fine.

Does the powder have a bitter smell? If it does, it is dangerous and not to be shot.

Then, does loaded ammunition crack case necks after months in storage, or after firing firing. Old gunpowder outgasses nitrogen dioxide and that attacks brass. It causes internal corrosion and case neck cracks. Ammunition that has internal corrosion or lots of cracked case necks should not be fired as those are evidence of gunpowder deterioration. And you don't know what the pressure curve looks like. Old gunpowder is erratic and has, and will, blow up firearms.

It is not worth getting injured using deteriorated gunpowder. And, old deteriorated gunpowder will burn the house down, so if it smells bad, dump it.


While there are those who have shot very old ammunition and gunpowder, the fact that nothing happened to them, or their guns, is due to luck. They actually have no idea of the condition of their gunpowder, nor the pressures the stuff is producing. They are like those teenagers that do dangerous things, and then conclude, that since they are still alive, it must have been safe.

And don't take advice from someone who believes that which does not kill me, makes me stronger You will run into people who have no sense of risk, and while it is fine if they get themselves killed, don't be a passenger in their plane.
 
Posts: 838 | Registered: 10 October 2005Reply With Quote
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JimTx

If you need some H4831SC I have 3 pounds, I can let you have one if it helps. Just 25 miles south of you.
 
Posts: 55 | Location: Johnson City, TX. | Registered: 25 January 2003Reply With Quote
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I appreciate the offer. I am in Spring, TX now so it may be a little father than 25 miles.

Thanks,

Jim
 
Posts: 185 | Location: Marble Falls, Texas | Registered: 08 December 2007Reply With Quote
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I saw the location as Marble Falls, so yes Spring is more than 25 miles.
 
Posts: 55 | Location: Johnson City, TX. | Registered: 25 January 2003Reply With Quote
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I have about 50 lbs of the old WW2 4831, sometimes referred to as 4350 DATA. Its probably getting close to 75 or a 100 years old...Its still good. I purchased it in a stainless steel 150 lb. bulk container braced up in a 2x4 wood frame marked US Army etc..I suspect the container is a collectors item, but today it contains oats, the top is sealed air tight and locks up solid btw. as both old and new have a acid smell, but my smelling isn't all that good anymore, not sure it ever was.

there might be a few very old timers thats seen seen one of these..I bought it from an old gunsmith about 50 years ago for $50.00 and it was full (150 lbs.)

Powder thats bad will get a reddish hue, and it should look like today H4831 in color..smell can be misleading Im told, and I suspect thats a fact..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 36786 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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I bought some surplus H4831 in 1961, used the powder until 2019 when it ran out. Never any problems.

Dave
 
Posts: 1929 | Location: Seattle Washington, USA | Registered: 19 January 2004Reply With Quote
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The original surplus 4831 was a different powder from the 1989 version. I've never seen any Surplus 4831 go bad, and in fact still have several pounds of it and it is my go-to powder in several rifles.

However, the 1989 commercial version was probably made by ICI in Scotland (which was prior to Hodgdon going to ADI in Australia for the current version). Whether the ICI powder was/is as stable as the original Surplus 4831 is anyone's guess. As others have said, appearance and smell should tell you what you need to know.

By the way, my son took a cow elk last month with a load using Surplus 4831. And if I get really serious about taking a deer this year I'll pull out my favorite deer rifle, a .270, all of the ammunition for which is loaded with Surplus 4831. As you can see, I have ample faith in the 75 year-old powder, which performs the same way it did 55 years ago when I started using it.

Oh yes, your son's .280: I have had excellent luck with IMR7828SSC substituted for Surplus 4831 in a number of cartridges. My load for my .280 uses a virtually full case of IMR7828 under a 150 grain bullet. It is fast and accurate. In a number of trials I've made I've found that IMR7828SSC provides very similar performance to Surplus 4831 when the charge is increased around 3% by weight.
 
Posts: 12607 | Location: Henly, TX, USA | Registered: 04 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Looking at the cans I have left and both say "Made in Australia".
Lots a 1118983457 and 1005003695 if the orange tags on the bottom are the lot#s.

About the only thing different are the labels carry slightly different information.
The 100 label has a web site mentioned and 6 loads down with primer and bullet and case used.

The 111 has 8 loads with just charge, bullet wt and vel and no web site mentioned but a note to write in for their basic loading manual.

Interesting that I never noticed that before.

Now I am curious when the earlier one was packaged.

Probably just need to load a few rounds up and go out to shoot over my crony to see what the numbers show. Hopefully I can get up and shoot them against some H4831 sc to see if there is any difference.
Thanks,

Jim
 
Posts: 185 | Location: Marble Falls, Texas | Registered: 08 December 2007Reply With Quote
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The best thing about old WW2 surplus 4831 is you can get 100 to a 150 FPS with a max load over anything out there today in some calibers like the 06 and 270 and at about 10,000 or more PSI..Jack O'Connor used up to 63 grs. in 270 cases and thats in print and never a problem, so did I and still based on discussions with Jack..

The downside is that stuff is grain cutting to beat hell and probably need to weigh each charge, and thats a pain..RL-19 and RL-22 come within a 100 fps of the old stuff..

Id sell or trade 10 or 15 pounds of it if anyone needed it..and guarentee it as good as new.


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 36786 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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You should have no problem with it.
I just loaded some Imr 4227 that had a price sticker that said 3.28 on it and I have no idea how long ago power sold for that but it shot well and chronographed very uniformly in my .45/70 while giving top end velocities.




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Posts: 2419 | Location: Northern Nevada & Northern Idaho | Registered: 09 April 2005Reply With Quote
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