Listings for Lee Lead Smelter

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Mystery Powder

Fr*zen Snake said: A friend has 5lbs of smokeless gunpowder looks like shotgun in an unmarked container. Can this be used to reload for pistol? reminds me of 700x but I am not sure. can one use the lowest average charge from other powders and go from there?. I did not have the answer I figuerd someone here would have a better idea.:confused: Thanks for the help.

C*rdan said: The old-timers will probably give you some tips on how to go ahead, whereas the younger reloaders will emphatically tell you to dispose of it forthwith for the love of God!!

*rmorman said: Got any pics of it? BTW, what's it doing in an unmarked container? And let me get this straight....he wants to use this stuff in a pistol? Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

*agleye said: If it is unmarked, you are in trouble, since there is really no possible way to determine by looks what powder it is. I would be extremely sceptical about trying to find out what it is by any trial & error method [I have reloaded for 45years] I think the safest thing to do would be to fertilize your lawn with it or burn it off in a gravel pit. Regards, Eagleye.

B*gUglyMan said: Agreed. Set it on fire in the back yard.

p*terdobson said: In no way consider using it for other than a bonfire or fertilizer!

757F*xer said: In no way consider using it for other than a bonfire or fertilizer! You could also sprinkle it on your corn flakes thus gaining increased warrior powers.

M*pleSugar said: I support the fertilizer or bonfire option. Do not try to load it!:eek:

*ndy said: There are ways to determine if it's good (e.g. appearance, smell, condition of the container, storage history, etc.) and for unknown powders, their approximate Burn Rate (is done for surplus powders all the time). I'm not afraid to explore (see my Avatar) and I've done exactly that with success for myself, but would not advise someone else to try the same - too many variables that can lead to too much risk.

t*riaq said: I agree with Andy. But anyone wanting to develop information about unknown powder better be prepared to take responsibility for the consequences.

C*nAm said: There are ways to determine if it's good (e.g. appearance, smell, condition of the container, storage history, etc.) and for unknown powders, their approximate Burn Rate (is done for surplus powders all the time). I'm not afraid to explore (see my Avatar) and I've done exactly that with success for myself, but would not advise someone else to try the same - too many variables that can lead to too much risk. Seconded

pc9 said: OK if i here a big kaabaang i will know its just you experimenting:)

s*nray said: "...There are ways to determine if it's good..." Yep, but not what powder it is. Spread it on your lawn or in a garden. DO NOT load with it though.

B*omer said: Personally I think its best use is as fertilizer. If you are going to use for a handgun application, regardless of the advise given here, use the minimum load for Bullseye data, shoot over a chronograph, then work out the burning rate of the powder based on your observations. For $100 worth of powder I would think about it long and hard.

m*gicchip said: Question is, is it really wort your hand or your eyes? Just use it for fertilizer.

r*dagra said: "...There are ways to determine if it's good..." Yep, but not what powder it is. Spread it on your lawn or in a garden. DO NOT load with it though. I agree wholeheartedly! Send it to me and I'll happily dispose of it.:D

s*llymike said: When in doubt... DON'T !

s*nray said: "...DO NOT load with it..." Let me re-phrase that. Loading with an unknown powder is not just unsafe, it's stupid too.

B*ARMAN said: Personally I think its best use is as fertilizer. If you are going to use for a handgun application, regardless of the advise given here, use the minimum load for Bullseye data, shoot over a chronograph, then work out the burning rate of the powder based on your observations. For $100 worth of powder I would think about it long and hard. I would dispose of it. Even using the Bullseye method could get you injured because it may be a BLANK GUN POWDER WHICH IS A FASTER POWDER THAN BULLSEYE. Make a nice big pile of it ,use a long fuse and light it up on October 31.

J*hn Y Cannuck said: I've been reloading for a long time too. I did experiment with an unknown powder for a while a few years back. When you don't even know where to start, it's a long road. After a number of less than satisfactory attempts, I ended up spreading it thinly on the lawn. Remember, there are a lot of powders out there now days, many look very much alike, and appearance is absolutely no guarantee of burning rate.

k*mbayotch said: Don't listen to the people telling to you put in in a pile and burn it! . . . Make a firework with it... its much more satisfying.:D

H4831 said: With this subject, as with most things in life, just use common sense. Treating it as the fastest of pistol powders and loading it accordingly, would, in my opinion, present no danger to anything. If it happened to be rifle powder, it would likely stick the bullet in the barrel and have half burned powder. So, now you go to the rifle and put in a light load, treating it as a very fast rifle powder for the first load.

R*bSmith said: I don't reload, but as a newb if I was faced with such a challenge, I'd go for the minimum charge of the fastest powder you can find data for, over a chrony, and work from there according to the results .... Oh, and check the brass after every round .... Or I'd make one hellovabig firecracker with it, bring it to the local sand pit, and have fun trying to blow my eardrums out .... But that's just me ....

j*e-nwt said: Get a 6 foot piece of 3" sched. 80 steel pipe and a bag of potatoes. Then........

ykj*mr said: Get a 6 foot piece of 3" sched. 80 steel pipe and a bag of potatoes. Then........ I like this idea. I'd help. Or watch. :D

G*nderite said: I would assume it was 700X and go from there. I would do the load work up in a strong pistol, like a 357, just in case. By the way, when I was doing some work at the IMR labs once, I asked the cehif R & D guy about disposition the lawn. He said it takes powder about 20 years to break down. Talk about slow release fertalizer!!