Old powder density

Ammunition, reloading, shooting, etc
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Old powder density

Post by RicKrager » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:57 pm

Loading 180 grain PSP’s over 38 grains of old IMR-4064 using the powder measure I finished off the can. It may have been a late 1970’s purchase. All my old powder and primers have given satisfying results as I worked my way back into shooting my ‘98 Krag. Now I was going to load all the brass and bullets I had. I get antsey when I don’t have a lot of basic shootin’ ammo. Opening a new, just purchased can of 4064 with the the powder measure, still set as it had been for the old powder, I tossed the first load in the scale pan and was amazed that the weight was more than I wanted to see. It was heavier than the same volume with the old - vintage can. That can had been used way back so it was not a pristine sealed can. The new stuff was. So the conclusion seems to be the old stuff was less dense. I reset the powder measure and all was well.

Has anyone else noticed such behavior from old powder? I mention this as I have seen many other posts questioning the use of old components and ammo. Perhaps this is old news to some but it may be a topic that will help others new to the wonderful Krag. I will say, as the decades fly by there may be less old ammo and powders making their way to the market.

Reloading interest seems to be ratcheting up. In my town, primers are particularly scarce. Large rifle primers are no longer on the shelves. Some powders are not in stock and bullets are being bought in quantity. Oddly enough, .45ACP-HP aren’t selling but the .45 ACP-RN are not available. Naturally, when you ask for 220grain RN the clerks/shop owners just sadly shake their heads.

What can it all mean?

Best regards to all, thanks for keeping the information stream alive - shoot when you can.


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Re: Old powder density

Post by butlersrangers » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:56 pm

Rick - In my humble opinion, it is a great time for going to the Range and experimenting & testing small sample batches of ammo made with new components or new combinations of 'ingredients'.

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