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Storing Powder and Primers

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BE Mike
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Post by SonOfSwede 9/8/2020, 9:40 am

I am new to reloading.  I purchased my first press and set it up yesterday.  

I now have a question about how people store powder and primers.  I am limited to storing in the basement or garage in that we do not have an out building.

I am wondering if other people store in a safe, open on a shelf or something else.  I am thinking about the powder/primers starting a fire.  Or what happens if we do have a house fire.  It would seem to me that if these are stored in a safe and the house was to have a fire, the safe would become a very large pipe bomb.

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Post by James Hensler 9/8/2020, 9:45 am

Open shelf here! 
Only thing I do is when I buy 4 to 8 lbs I use an empty 1lb bottle and refill it from the bigger one. That way the bigger one says airtight linger and fresher
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Post by USSR 9/8/2020, 9:52 am

It would seem to me that if these are stored in a safe and the house was to have a fire, the safe would become a very large pipe bomb.

Right you are, so store on an open shelf.   Also, store your primers and powders separately.

Don
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Post by lablover 9/8/2020, 9:53 am

Storing powder and primers in a safe is a bad idea.  Big bomb!  Unless it’s designed for powder then I’d say no.

I store my primers in a wooden cabinet that can breath and powder has its own closet in the house.
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Post by BE Mike 9/8/2020, 10:13 am

Powder should be stored in a cool, dry environment away from any heat source. Primers should be stored in a separate location and NOT in a military type metal sealed ammo can (container). Here's the authority:

https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Info-Doc-Primers.pdf

https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Info-Doc-Smokeless-Powder.pdf
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Post by Steve in MI 9/9/2020, 7:02 pm

I also do what James does and transfer some powder from a large (4-8lb) container to a smaller one pound container.  If you do that make sure the smaller container is correctly labeled for the powder in it. Also keep the lot # just in case of a recall.  Only keep one container of powder at a time on your reloading bench.  Reduces the chance of loading with the wrong powder.

The two saami links BE Mike posted are great information.   When propellant burns it produces a LOT of gas (ie pipe bomb).  So wherever you store the propellant it should be something that is open or will "fail" and vent the gas.  Thus the wood box recommendation.  I know some guys that store propellant in an old ice chest (no locking lid) so they can store it under the bench on the floor.  Easy to slide in and out. 

I don't think I ever saved any money reloading but it sure did let me shoot a lot more.

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Post by mikemyers 9/9/2020, 9:22 pm

Where do black powder guys store the gunpowder that they use?  A friend of mine who taught me black powder shooting gives me a small amount every so often, good for maybe 100 rounds, and I store that in the brass "keg" that black powder guys use.  I've been keeping that in an air conditioned apartment closet.  

I only buy powder in the one pound jars.  I used to use Unique, but now have WST.  For the amount of reloading I'm doing, that has been working fine, but when I went looking for more WST a week or two ago, it seemed like I'd never find any.


The original post mentioned a basement or garage.  If it's an outdoor garage, that gets very hot in the summer, wouldn't that be bad for the powder?
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Post by DA/SA 9/9/2020, 9:52 pm

mikemyers wrote:  For the amount of reloading I'm doing, that has been working fine, but when I went looking for more WST a week or two ago, it seemed like I'd never find any.
Surprisingly, I got some from Midway last week. You might check there.
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Post by mikemyers 9/9/2020, 11:49 pm

Maybe I missed it - I just looked, and it's there, only $24 per pound, but then I'd have shipping and Hazmat.
Thanks - but for having already bought it, I'd be placing the order at Midway right now.
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Post by USSR 9/10/2020, 8:14 am

Yep, outdoors garages with their temperature and humidity swings are not good for powder.   That's what basements were made for.

Don
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Post by rkittine 9/10/2020, 9:52 am

Most local appliance stores take away old refrigerators when their customer's buy new ones. Many are just old looking and still work well. My garage is detached and that is where I want my primers and powder, but I do want it dry and in a cool place. So I picked up one of those used refrigerators for free and modified the door so it opens with only minor pressure inside the insulated refrigerator. Set to he least amount of cooling, it takes out the humidity and keeps everything cool. I have done his in all 9 or the homes that I have owned since I started reloading in the 60s.

Bob
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