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Old January 29, 2013, 05:12 PM   #1
bamiller
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Powder Storage in Gun Safe

I have a good sized fire rated gun safe that my wife bought me for Christmas and was wondering if it would be OK/safe to store my reloading powder in their original containers in there. I currently have one of those dehumidifying rods in the safe along with my rifles, shotguns, handguns, and loaded ammunition. Thanks before hand for the input.
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Old January 29, 2013, 05:22 PM   #2
Jimro
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I wouldn't.

If there were a fire I wouldn't want something as flamable as gunpowder inside the safe, even if the safe was fire rated.

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Old January 29, 2013, 05:24 PM   #3
LE-28
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No,

You would be making a very large bomb it if a fire exceeded the fire rating of the safe.
There are no gun safes that are UL listed for fire ratings. You have no idea if the mfg is lying about theirs.

My gun safe is supposed to be rated at 1800 degrees for 2 hrs. I will never believe it.

Keep you powder in a cabinet that the doors will blow out easily so there can't be compression of the gasses if you are unfortunate enough to have a house fire and it ignites.

I keep some loaded ammo in my gun safe but no bulk containers of powder.

My bulk powder is on open shelves in my loading room. If a fire, it can burn but not blow.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:11 PM   #4
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It's not recommended.

For a good discussing and cussing of powder storage see:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=470255
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:17 PM   #5
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As others have said, I would not.
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Old January 29, 2013, 06:23 PM   #6
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If you don't mind a huge frag bomb in your house then its not a problem. Seems like to big of a risk to me.
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Old January 29, 2013, 09:39 PM   #7
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Sounds like the general concensus is "no". Thanks for the help.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:33 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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An old refrigerator with a magnetic, NOT mechanical, door seal can make a good powder storage locker. It's insulative, you can control humidity, and if there is a problem, the door will simply pop open.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:38 PM   #9
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An old refrigerator is a great idea, for all the reasons you mentioned. Plus, who hasn't accumulated an old non-working fridge at some point in their lives? Probably less hassle to turn it into a powder locker than it would be to have the refrigerant recovered from it so that you can legally dispose of it.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:40 PM   #10
johnwilliamson062
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Quote:
There are no gun safes that are UL listed for fire ratings. You have no idea if the mfg is lying about theirs.
I do. They are.
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:00 PM   #11
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Safe heats and the seals expand. Powder hit critical temp and KABOOM!!!!
I dont think its safe in any way. Although 8-10lbs of powder would be very impressive from 300-400 yards away.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYKxwWZ-aRM
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:48 PM   #12
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Don't keep ammo in the safe, either. Unload the magazines, everything.
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Old January 30, 2013, 01:23 AM   #13
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I don't think your safe would blow up, but if the powder caught fire your guns would be ruined where otherwise the safe may have saved them.


I store powders in their factory bottles/cans and would build a box out of plywood or an old SKS crate and put it in that. If there's little children around a lock won't hurt either so they dont open and mix all the pretty powders together. An old unplugged refrigerator also makes a great powder magazine.
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Old January 30, 2013, 01:17 PM   #14
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Powder, except black powder, is a flammable solid, not an explosive; HOWEVER, if that solid ignites in a sealed container, there is no where for the pressure to go, thus it becomes a bomb - just like your loaded ammo. The weak spot is the bullet sitting in the case with the barrel - the forces move everything in that direction. Drop that same round in a campfire and it will sizzle and pop
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:13 PM   #15
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If you go to the Alliant web site they a write up on how to store smokeless powder.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:25 PM   #16
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It is suggested to store powder in a wooden cabinet with a simple hinge, and hasps. Smokelss powder in the can is flamable. If compressed into a tight space with nowhere for the gas to escape it makes an explosion.
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Old January 30, 2013, 09:01 PM   #17
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I used to have a salesman try to sell me fireproof file drawers for Personnel files. The fire wouldn't get inside, but the contents would be charred and useless. Same process on fire rated gun safes. In a fire, your wood and plastic stocks would be scarred at best, ruined at worst. There is also a reason the powder manufacturers put the product in loosely sealed containers. No pressure, no boom. Locked safe = pressure. KABOOM.
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Old February 4, 2013, 12:15 AM   #18
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Nub to the board but also a firefighter with a small amount of knowledge on the subject.

The fire rating is based on the safe being impacted by external temperatures for a certain amount of time with the internal temp not exceeding 350 degrees. Smokeless powders can auto ignite (that’s igniting without and open flame ignition source) in the 320 degree range (Accurate double-base MSDS), I would imagine black powder and maybe even some other smokeless powders could be less.

That being said, unless you are packing a significant amount of powder into your safe (in my mind that's >5lbs in a 40 cubic safe) I doubt that you would have a catastrophic failure of the safe. There just isn't enough gas produced in the combustion to cause the safe to go boom. However, in the event of a fire there would certainly be an increased potential for the loss of everything combustible inside with internal temperature never meeting the rating of the safe (at least prior to the powder lighting off). Sorry to be so thorough, it’s just how my brain is wired.

http://www.saami.org/specifications_...ess_Powder.pdf

Saami's recommendations for powder storage, based off National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

Last edited by Burly; February 4, 2013 at 12:36 AM.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:11 AM   #19
Mike Irwin
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I THINK auto ignition temperature of black powder is in the 450 deg. F range, but I'm not sure about that anymore.

OK, found links to a thread with MSDS information.

It's higher than I thought.

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/ind...?topic=27921.0
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Old February 4, 2013, 12:40 PM   #20
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All the dreamed up worst case scenarios about giant explosions aside, what is so valuable about a few pounds of powder? Or is it to keep less mature people, or clueless minds away from it?

A locked cabinet, or other storage place in a locked room is another alternative. My powder is sitting on various shelves in my house. I live alone, my dog shows no interest in messing with it, and any visitors know not to mess with it.

A little common sense and a lot less paranoia is required. Ignorance breeds fear, so getting smarter=less fear.
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Old February 4, 2013, 12:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
what is so valuable about a few pounds of powder????
+1. Mine is sitting in wooden cabinets and on shelves in my basement. Same with the primers and bullets. No biggie. Guns are one thing, components something else. Common sense goes a loooong way .
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Old February 4, 2013, 01:17 PM   #22
Mike Irwin
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"Or is it to keep less mature people, or clueless minds away from it?"

Largely that, and the fact that it really should be treated like any other quantity of a flammable chemical mixture.
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