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I am getting into reloading and my dad gave me his old press and supplies from when he used to reload 20-25 years ago. In the box with his stuff he had a can and a half of Hercules 2400 powder and about 500 large pistol primers. I want to make some loads for my .44 magnum but im not sure if the powder and primers are any good because they have been stored in an attic for atleast 12 years and likely long before that. In South Carolina where i live it can easily get over 100 outside and very humid. I read a similar thread on the same topic but i have had different results than the other person. I primed and shot about 10 empty cases to test the functionality of the primers and they all fired but all of them slightly came out of the primer pockets to the point that i could barely get the cylinder to turn on my Blackhawk. Has anyone had this problem before? Should i try to make a load and test it or just start from scratch with new materials?
 

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I've loaded and shot powder and primers as old as you posted, but they were kept in an air conditioned house, and they all went bang. I would use caution, but they might just be fine. I don't see any harm in testing a few, just be ready for a slow burn and delayed fire. If you don't get a better answer, try asking at the site below.

The Handloaders Bench
 

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Virtually any primed-only case that is fired will experience primer setback. Sometimes, a very light charge in a load will result in primer setback when the case's flash hole is standard size.
 

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I'm using large rifle primers I bought 20 years ago. And I have just about used up a can of 231 with a $6 price tag. That must be 25 years old. No problems
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all of the responses. Like i said i am new to this and i have a great deal to learn. I was not as concerned with the primers and the powder working as i was with the primer setback. I didn't want to mess up the gun. Thanks again for the responses. Its nice to know that there are people out there that can help in these kind of situations
 

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Yup - primer setback happens upon every firing, but a powder charged case will thrust and reseat the primer. Without powder and s bullet, that reseating doesn't happen.
 

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I lived in Charleston for over 9 years in the Navy & know how hot/humid it gets & I would not use the powder. It was definitely subjected to high humidity/temps & you can sprinkle it in the lawn to dispose of it. In my opinion, it is just not worth the hassle of wondering if it's stable or not.
 

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My father in law passed a few years ago. I got all his reloading stuff.

His primers were marked $6. His powder was just as old.

This topic isn't new and the answer keeps coming out: As long as it's been kept dry this stuff seems to last a very long time.

Check the primers for visual corrosion (I doubt you'll see any). The spec for primers hasn't changed so Large Pistol from 20 years go is the same as Large Pistol today.

Check the powder for a really bad smell. If it does smell bad - that means it's rotten.

If I was loading for self-defense, I use only new and the best I could buy, but for simple range stuff you should be just fine.
 

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My take ... people reload to save a buck but using old primers and powder with a questionable history is a bit beyond cheap. Go buy some new powder and primers and you will still save 50% or more from store bought ammo.
 

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I vote with lowegan. It seem most of the other respondents had these older components in their possession, a much safer situation as they know the history.

Your father while no doubt was carefull, may not have payed attention to the components while in the attic and some one else may have accessed them with no malice but may have changed something. Just a thought!

Good luck have fun and Be SAFE !
 
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