Primer and powder storage question

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by buzznrose, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. All, I'm thinking about getting back into reloading, something I did many years ago, but my dilemma is with space. I plan on setting up and storing all reloading supplies and equipment in my garage, which can get over 100 degrees in the summer and pretty much stays over 85 from June to September. I'd keep the stuff in a flammable locker, but my question is will I have any storage issues with either powder or primers?

    Humidity isn't much of an an issue. Thanks!
  2. chuckds

    chuckds Certified Glock Armorer

    If you are buying your powder and primers local just buy small amounts. However, 8 pounds of powder and 5K to 10K of primers isn't going to take up a lot of space in your house. If you have room for a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread you have enough room for powder and primers. If it's a safety issue the gun powder is not going to "blow up" in your house. It will burn and make a LOT of smoke, but it's fairly safe to have around.

  3. Do you keep your powder in any type of locker, or just on a shelf?
  4. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    One thing I've done is to buy a junk chest-type freezer, and use that to store my reloading components in. Does not run, I just use it for the insulation.

    It regularly goes over 100*F in the summer here (Northern Nevada), but my garage is 50% insulated, so the temp inside never reaches that high, and it is dry up here so I have no real issue with humidity, even in the winter. I also keep the my reloading scale (both the balance scale and the electronic scales) in there, together with the electronic calipers, because temperature does affect the expansion of metals and can affect the accuracy of the measuring gear.

    Just a thought!

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2012
  5. zipper046

    zipper046 Member Supporter

    Small amounts of powder on a lead pipe that is sealed (capped at both ends) is a pipe bomb.

    Larger amounts of powder and primers stored in a sealed container is an even BIGGER version of a pipe bomb.

    Powder burns quickly, in an open air area it will just burn. In a tight enclosed area it burns so fast it causes a small explosion due to compression into that small space (think powder burning in a brass case in your guns chamber...goes boom)

    Store in open, cool, dry area and you will be fine.
  6. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    Thanks for the insight.

    The seal is not tight on the chest-type freezer, so I am not concerned at all with an ignition.
  7. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    Similarly, i wonder what the views are on placing a sealed cannister of gunpowder (new and unopened) anyplace in the house would be... that's a big bang waiting to happen right there, regardless of where it is placed or stored....
  8. dogwalk

    dogwalk New Member

    Powder & Primer storage

    For years I've stored my powder and primers in my Fort Knox gun safe, but
    now I'm having second thoughts. The safe is rated fire safe but one never knows. Maybe plastic totes could be used? Any advice? Dogwalk
  9. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    Just as a side note on powder, primers and ammo....

    I have had gunpowder in 8lb and 1lb cannisters in the trunk of my car parked all day (several days, actually) in direct sunlight with ambient air temps over 105*F (so it is actually hotter in the trunk), with no issues of ignition or detonation.

    Gunpowder is not like gasoline in that the fumes from gas are flammable, but there are no fumes from gunpowder.

    I will store my gas cans in the work shed out back, with the spare propane tanks, but my reloading materials stay in a nonfunctional chest-type freezer in my garage.

    It'll take direct flame contact to ignite them, or incredibly high ambient air temperatures to ignite them, and if that was the case, my house would already be on fire and I got bigger problems than to worry about my store of reloading materials in the garage, like getting the kids and vital paperwork outta the house.

    My $0.02....
  10. Thanks for the info. Makes me feel better about storing powder options when I get back into reloading.
  11. zipper046

    zipper046 Member Supporter

    Regular containers are fine. Ambient heat (ie: high air temps) won't cause problems. Even in a fire, the plastic jug will just melt amd the powder will just burn (flash and burn actually).

    The issue really comes about when
    Its stored in a sealed metal container and flames come in contact with powder setting it off.

    I was going to store my powder and primers in a gun safe until it was pointed out to me.

    Have had my stuff on shelves in a walk-up attic (which can get hot) with no issues.

    FYI, on separate but related note...if/when you get back into loading something to remember is that humidity combines with air temps may affect the flow of powder throwing your charges off. Always check them periodically when there are temp/humidity swings.
  12. Good point on humidity. Thanks!