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Helping a lady with her deceased gunsmith brothers house. We are clearing the property and unpacking the house. selling off some stuff and getting ready for an estate sale.
I have made some purchases from the mountain of tools, guns, equipments, etc he had collected over a lifetime of gunsmithing. I bought this gunpowder cabinet from her for a hefty but fair price with the understanding i was paying for the cabinet and getting the contents for free.

What i need help with is figuring out what powders i do not need so im not storing useless powder unnecessarily. I plan on reloading 44 magnum, 45 acp, 9mm, 38 spl, 357 magnum. With the hope of expanding into some rifle rounds so i can reload for all the guns i have also inclluding, 30-30, 223, 5.56, 7.62, 44/40.

Heres a few pictures of the lot. almost every container fills full. atleast 3/4 of the bottles are full, and if it doesn't feel full it feels over half full. Which powders can i use for the above calibers, and which powders do i have no use for or are not ideal for the mention calibers? If there is stuff i don't need i'll take it back for her to "give" to someone buying black powder gun related stuff as he had alot of that stuff also.
477990
477992
477993
477994
 

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At a minimum of $25/pound, you got a great score..............
 
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It looks like he enjoyed skeet, or shooting clays. Thgat's a pretty good selection of powders. The best way to find out what you can use is go to the powder manufacturers websites, and look up what caliber/cartridges each is used for, then go to the bullet manufacturers website and look up the correct loads based on their bullets, and the powders you have there.
That's a pretty good selection you have there you should be able to find many of those will suit your needs well.
 
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Yes, especially with the current shortage, price hikes. I grabbed pretty much everything i needed for reloading aside from a press.

And yes, he reloaded alot of shotgun shells. Boxes and boxes of empty shotgun shells in the garage. I thought that big bottle of promo was no use till i saw people saying it's pretty much the same as red dot using red dot load data. And they don't even use red dot anymore just promo for 38 special, 40 sw, 357, 9mm, and 45 acp lol.
 

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You can learn about the powders from the manufacturer sites. You have some powders for pistol / shotgun and rifle usage. Just look them up by brand and name (or number).

Reloading manuals published by the powder manufacturer will give a variety of tested loads using that powder and specific components.

If kept in it's original container, and in a cool and dry environment, powder will last decades. If you open a container and it smells strongly of vinegar or another volatile chemical, throw it out. It's broken down.
 
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Good to know on the smell test. And yes im wading thru all the data when i can. Never hurts to ask some experienced people to get some pointers thought. :)
Life if full throttle right now on top of the current world situation. I'll be reading up on all of these. Just wasn't sure if there was anything overly obvious here. You guys are always a wealth of knowledge.
 

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I have used Unique on the 38 Special/357 mag very successfully. They do look rather old but should work fine.
 

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Where to begin... for the pistol calibers you mention, definitely the Unique, 231, 296, and 4227.

Lots of good candidates for the 30-30 and 308... 4198, 4064, 4895 are favorites
 

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Powder is like currency mate, you can always trade it

thewelshm
 
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Discussion Starter #13
There is still more bullets snd brass i might pick up. Some nice acme 45/70 bullets left, more 9mm, 22, and then black powder bullets (im not intrested in.) I also got the heated lyman 4500 bullet lube and sizer press she had to go with all those resizing die's.
 

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What a score! With the way things are now, I wouldn't get rid of anything.
The unique powder can load about any pistol cartridge there is with that. The 4064, 4895 is also very use full in a number of popular calibers, 243, 6mm 270, 7 x 57, 308, 3006 7mm 08, and the list goes on.
The 4227 is a great magnum pistol powder, and can be used for reduced loads in rifles with cast lead.
The 4198 will serve you well in the 223 you mentioned.
Just looking at the Pics, I see mostly modern powders, that are for the most part very versatile.
Look into the metal cans for signs of rust. Also, as was mentioned a strong smell. Also shake them and remove the lid, if there is any sign of redish or brown rusty dust, then dump it.
Other wise use up the stuff in the metal cans first as its older, than the plastic cans. Get to work loading and shooting!
It is a great time to come into a large quantity of powder like you did. Supplies seem to be drying up on all supplies right now. I hope you can get or have some primers to go with the powder... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
And to think, this all started because i bought a model 29, 44 magnum from her.(picture in my profile pic) Shot it, then...... decided i wanted to make lighter magnum loads to shoot out of it. HaHa

But i have been wanting to get into reloading for awhile now, all of this coming together was just the final kick in the but to get started.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
The brass i grabbed from her. Most of this is new starline brass. 44 mag, 357 mag.
Then there is an assortment of fired brass in various stages of being prepped. 357 mag, 44 mag, 38 special, 9mm, mixture of brass and nickle.
Most have spent primers in them, some don't.

What method for cleaning is generally agreed on as best method these days? From there I also grabbed a nice heated ultrasonic cleaner, and one of the many vibratory polish/cleaners (Lyman turbo pro 1200) he did not have any wet tumblers.
 

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It sounds like you are on your way to another chapter, in the gun world.. RELOADING! I have reloaded since I was in High school, and still do. My Dad was an avid shooter and reloader, and got me started.
A few of the rules my Dad always had, was to follow the manual to the letter, dont reload for others, and dont shoot other people's reloads, only one can of powder open at any time.... Probably more.... but that is the ones that come to mind..
The 44 Mag is a great gun to reload for, for many reasons, with low recoil rounds being at the top of my list.
A close 2nd is that its WAY CHEAPER than factory loads.
I have loaded 44's a Smith 29-3 and a Ruger Redhawk for many years. I used to load the Redhawk right to the top, with 4227 & a 240 gr. Keith style bullet, and blast away. However, I have never hot rodded the Model 29, that I have.
While they are plenty strong, they lack the strength the Ruger has.

I usually found something in 44 special load, to be more fun. Get your self a Lyman Cast loading book, and look at load data in the range of 800 - 900 FPS. I am not sure the mods, want us giving load data here so I will refrain.
A light load of Unique out of that manual, at or around 800 fps, will turn that gun from a cannon into a nice comfortable shooter.
The brass cleaning is highly debatable.. I have tried several methods, lyman turbo polisher, ultrasonic, and Stainless pin tumbler, and the Stainless Pin tumbler is by far the best in my opinion. Dawn dish soap and Lemi-Shine, and about an hour will make new brass out old nasty brass. You can use it in an ultra sonic of even in a bucket, just letting them soak. Its slow but works decent. Go easy on the Lemi-shine, and if your brass looks like copper you have too much.

Lots of luck!
 
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