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I had some old rifle powder (stick shaped) that went bad in the original tin container from the manufacturer. I had 1 1/3 pounds. About 1/3 of it turned rusty color while stored in my reloading room on a shelf. It looked unstable to me so I took it out into the garage and poured it into a plastic tub, that was about 1 month ago. Then I filled the tub with water to neutralize the powder. It fell to the bottom of the tub under water. I left it to soak for a week or so and the water all evaporated. I checked the powder and it looked almost new again and still in it's original shape and it was DRY. So I filled the tub with water again to soak again for another week. I checked it today and it had evaporated all the water out again and it was dry and powdery, not stuck together either. I wanted to get rid of it and was curious to see if it was deactivated and not dangerous anymore. So I decided to burn it off and be 100% sure it was gone. I poured about 1 cup out on my gravel driveway and threw a match on it. WOW, it flared up about 3 foot high and I could feel the heat, but that cup full burned completely. I still had about 1 lb left and spread it out in a 2 foot strip about 6" wide and lit it. Talk about fire and heat, it flared up about 6 foot and burned hot for about 20 or 30 seconds.

Conclusion: Water didn't deactivate the powder if the powder was allowed to dry again.

I thought some of you reloaders might be interested in this information. I had visions of that powder catching fire inside my reloading room and from the heat generated, I am sure it would burn the whole house down.
 

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Since powder is formed in a wet, clay like condition, when it dries out it has all its properties. Most powder has a lot of nitroglycerine in it, so one must be careful with such a process as you did with several soakings, as to not leave some residue of the nitro in some container, though normally you would have to use some solvent other than water to do so.
 

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Video or it didn't happen :D
 

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That's exactly how they keep the sample of Bullseye from the original lot. Occasionally, they remove a small quantity, let it dry out and load it. Alliant/Hercules and their predecessors claim it works just as it did when new.

Can't do much fertilizing with what I discard, which hasn't been often, but yeah, it is supposed to be a very good fertilizer. ;)
 
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