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Thread: Tubal 3000 gone BAD!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    northeast tn
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    40

    Tubal 3000 gone BAD!

    Almost 5 years ago I asked about Tubal 3000 as i bought an 8# jug cheap. I shot some in my 223 and 6 BR and it shot well. A few mentioned there were reports of this powder going bad, even accused of a house fire. I haven't shot any in 2-3 years. Today I got the jug out and noted a slightly sticky liquid running down the jug. Cautiously, I opened the jug and reddish fumes came out...very acrid! I shone a light into the jug and noted the powder was reddish in color. I poured some into a plastic bowl and it had a red tint, but in just a very few seconds, the color faded to the grayish color of normal powder. I had 1/2# in an old Vhitavouri 1# container and it was the same as the Noble jug. I will not trust this propellent as a chemical /physical reaction has taken place and who knows what burn characteristics have changed. Has Noble been aware of this powder's behavior? Has there been a recall or warning? I did a search re Tubal 3000 and there were stories similar to mine! I have some N 135 that is 17 years old and it smells great and shoots likewise. All my powders are in the same room and none have gone bad, till now. Observation/comments appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    222
    What material is the container and lid ?

    Newer plastic jugs with plastic lids...seldom see bad powder.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    northeast tn
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    40
    Original jug and lid. The 1/2# was in a more recent Vhitavouri container. I smell checked other powders adjacent to the Tubal 3000 and they are good. I will iventory/ smell all containers soon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
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    300
    Recently I had a couple pounds of IMR 7828 go bad. 2 or 3 rounds shot with it were ok, but I ended up sprinkling it on the lawn for fertilizer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Angelo, Texas (West Texas)
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    1,538
    I have never had a problem with powder going bad but if a powder looks or smells bad I would not use it. I would quickly destroy it. There is no use taking chances with gun powder.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    northeast tn
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    40
    I had some 20 TAC and 223 AI rounds loaded with this powder. I pulled all. The powder kernals were stuck to the inside of cases and was difficult to remove. The case was greenish but bullet base was not corroded. Dumped powder did not smell like jug powder. Don't think I'll buy any current Tubal powders...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Carrollton Mo.
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    318

    powder

    I remember when I was a kid my dad had some IMR powder, don't remember the number, that had a red dust in it. He called it rusted. Metal can and lid. Don't remember how it shot but he probably tried it. You didn't throw nothing away. It was shot at coyotes so if it was an inch at a 100 that was good. Doug

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    roanoke,va.
    Posts
    240
    I had a can of IMR4895 go bad years ago. RED DUST

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    300
    Quote Originally Posted by glynn angle View Post
    I had a can of IMR4895 go bad years ago. RED DUST
    That's usually what happens. You pour some out and poof. Almost like that orange cloud that they warn you about when approaching the Thunder Basin coal mine between Newcastle and Wright in Wyoming.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Carrollton Mo.
    Posts
    318

    Imr 4895

    4895 was probably what dad had rust because that's what he shot in his swift. Doug

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    23

    Still works for me . . . with a caveat

    I have 7+lbs. of this powder from many years ago. I just started using it again, and have not noticed a change in smell or color. I have, however, experienced much higher pressures than expected. I used Vectan load data for both 22BR and .223 in a 22BR with 52-55 gr. moly bullets, and 55 gr. moly bullets in a .223 Wylde. I blew CCI400 primers in the .223 Wylde at well below listed max loads for the .223 and had to disassemble both .223 and 22BR loaded rounds. The good news is that it seems to be a good powder for the 22BR with light bullets.

    I wonder if it still works for the 6PPC?

    Given the occurrence of problems reported here, I'm moving the large jug out of the house and into the tool shed . . .

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    430

    Red dust in the morning, shooter take warning

    All smokeless propellants that I know of contain nitric acid in their manufacture. That red dust and acid smell is the nitrates breaking down and releasing nitric acid. Once this happens the powder is going bad. It should be discarded due to the possibility of spontaneous combustion. Having this happen in your powder magazine could be disastrous. Tim

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lower Dakota Territory
    Posts
    1,599
    Dr. Tim: I read it as "...spontaneous human combustion".

    A little coffee came out my nose.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Arlington, Virgina
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    947
    Tim is correct. The red residue is nitric acid. Some powder companies use short nitrocellulose wash and prep intervals (common with many of the bulk powders we now buy as 'surplus'). Shortened nitrocellulose prep often leads to premature decay. As propellants deteriorate, they emit nitrogen oxide. In the presence of water, or just plain humidity, the by-product is nitric acid. Nitric acid is bitter smelling and causes the rust and browning. When you see this, it's time to discard the stuff.

    -Lee
    www.singleactions.com

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