It is impossible for me to squeeze every detail about the subject into the confines of my allotted space, so I strongly urge all handloaders to do a web search for “storing smokeless powders.” If you still have questions, call the technical service guys at Alliant Powder at (800) 276-9337, and while doing so ask for the free Reloader’s Guide . In addition to containing the rules and regulations that apply to the storage of powder, it has about 70 pages of load data for shotguns, rifles and handguns. A similar booklet on IMR powders is available from Hodgdon at (913) 362-9455.
Real-Time Stability Tests In real-time stability tests, a product is stored at recommended storage conditions and monitored for a period of time (t test ). Product will degrade below its specification, at some time, denoted t s , and we must also assure that t s is less than or equal to t test . The estimated value of t s can be obtained by modeling the degradation pattern. Good experimental design and practices are needed to minimize the risk of biases and reduce the amount of random error during data collection. Testing should be performed at time intervals that encompass the target shelf life and must be continued for a period after the product degrades below specification. It is also required that at least three lots of material be used in stability testing to capture lot-to-lot variation, an important source of product variability. 1,2