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old powder help please

toad67toad67 Member Posts: 12,218 ✭✭✭✭
A friend of mine was given a bulk container of powder that was hand labeled 450 LS. What I can find out about it is that it was mainly used for reduced shotgun loads and pistol loads, and discontinued in the early 70's. What concerns me is that he says it is a flake powder by looking at it, but I can only find one source that says it is a ball powder. Can anyone verify whether its a flake or ball powder? I told him to go spread it in his flower beds, but he has other ideas about it. TIA...



  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,325 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It is a Ball Powder. That describes the manufacturing process, not the final shape of the granules. Lots of Ball powders are rolled flat to control burn rate.

    Hand labeled. 40 years old. I would be leery.
    I wouldn't put it on my flower bed, either. Smokeless powder contains 11-13% nitrogen bound up in nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine. First there would have to be soil chemistry to break those down into soluble form. Then there is the matter of plant toxicity.
    I would just follow SAAMI procedure for disposal; make a powder trail about an inch wide and however long, ignite one end and stand back.
  • toad67toad67 Member Posts: 12,218 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Hawk Carse
    It is a Ball Powder. That describes the manufacturing process, not the final shape of the granules. Lots of Ball powders are rolled flat to control burn rate.

    Learn something new every day, thanks Hawk[^] So there's really no way to tell what it is for sure then? I told him to forget about it, but he wants to try it.
  • iceracerxiceracerx Member Posts: 8,872 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It will make great plant food for a rose garden.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,345 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes it was Winchester 450 LS and listed as ball powder. I'm thinking it shaped and more like rounded edge disk or flat on two side ball.

    If you don't have much it's not worth the effort or if it smells bad you can burn it or throw it out. On the other hand if you have many pounds and it smells "sweet" I would shoot it away.

    I ran RedDot so old (+50 years) it was pink dot that dad had bought when I was a kid. Storage conditions are everything

    These are my version of a ferro rod and where I put my waste gunpowder these days. 30-06 necked to 6mm. 1/4" x 2.5" rod press fit with epoxy. Case head drilled and tapped. Grade 5 bolt lathe cut to be an emergency scraper. Red rubber gasket completes the water proof seal. Holds enough power for 10 emergency fire starts - almost nothing takes a spark better than gun powder. 50 BMG has a 1/2" x 5 rod with a carbide knife sharpener as a scraper.

    If you right click on the image and select open in a new tab the pic will appear. guess I need to re-learn how to post pic's from flickr with its new changes.

  • XXCrossXXCross Member Posts: 1,380 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    450 LS was Winchesters Powder for loading their paper shells. Comparable to red dot. I think I might still have loading data if you're really interested. (15 gr would be safe in anything 12 ga.)
    It was replaced by WW 452 and has a similar burn rate...
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