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Old November 30, 2011, 07:12 PM   #1
boostedtt91
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Gun Powder & Primer Storage

Im getting into reloading, as ive been reloading, but using someone else's tools and storing my stuff at his place. Now that im getting all my own equipment and storing powders and primers at my place, i want to know what the best and safest ways to store gun powder and primers. I have been storing in a bigger ammo can, originally used for grenade launcher ammo so its big enough to fit powder containers in.

I would like something that is kinda made for storing these type of hazardous materials, where i don't have to worry to much about how hot it might be in there or what not. I can't really find any good information on this topic online on whats recommended or anyone selling containers for this. As of right now i only have primers at my house,as im waiting to pick up the powder till i have something safe to store it in. Can anyone help me out or point me in the right direction.
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Old November 30, 2011, 07:47 PM   #2
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I store my powder and primers in the original containers, which I keep in a wooden cabinet. Really not a problem so long as no open flame, excessive heat or children. I would not want to store powder in a sealed metal container, as that would be same as a bomb.
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Old November 30, 2011, 07:51 PM   #3
chris in va
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Maybe I'm nor doing it correctly, but a couple pounds of powder and a box of primers are kept in a cabinet.
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Old November 30, 2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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Store so it is away from extreme heat and damp conditions..especia;y the primers
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Old November 30, 2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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First of all , cool and dry are the best storage conditions for powder and primers.

Heat accelerates the decomposition of powders. Keep powders cool and dry and they should last a minimum of 20 years for double based, 45 years for single based. Powder tests are run at 65 C, if the powder fumes at the end of 30 days it is checked for stabilizer content. If the stabilizer content is low, the powder is scrapped. That little factoid is to let you know that heat is bad for powder.

You want to store powders in containers that will burst easy if the powder catches on fire, self ignites, whatever. Store it in a safe, or some thick walled thing, if the powder goes the container will amplify the pressures and when it finally bursts, ka boom!


It is good practice to keep powders in their original containers, for bursting and material compatibility issues.

Primers should always be kept in their original containers. Greatly reduces the chance of them all going off at the same time.

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Old November 30, 2011, 08:18 PM   #6
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Also remember : don't store it in some place where gas can't escape. Sealed anything is a bad idea. Instead of a fire, you get a bomb. Same reason bullets go bang but a pile of powder goes fwoosh.

Always give any sort of explosive situation somewhere to go - don't bottle it up.
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Old November 30, 2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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i always keep all my powders and primers in there original containers. I just don't have any special cabinets or any place to really store it and i don't want to just sit it on the shelf. What about one of those flame proof storage boxes you can get at walmart? Would something like that be safer than just leaving them sit out in the open or in a big wooden cabinet that really isn't protecting much
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Old November 30, 2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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Mine stays in original containers on the shelf or floor of closets in the house. The "original containers" for some of my powder appears to be recycled bleach jugs...
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Old November 30, 2011, 08:33 PM   #9
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original containers and under heat and air so the temperature and humidity remains somewhat constant
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Old November 30, 2011, 10:42 PM   #10
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One thing to think about is insurance coverage if you have a fire. I don't know what the limits are but there are limits as to how much powder you can store in a home. You might have a fire and have to insurance?
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Old December 1, 2011, 12:41 AM   #11
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Here's the SAAMI recommendation:

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STORAGE OF SMOKELESS
POWDER

Store in a cool, dry place. Be sure the storage area selected is free
from any possible sources of excess heat and is isolated from open
flame, furnaces, hot water heaters, etc. Do not store smokeless powder
where it will be exposed to the sun’s rays. Avoid storage in areas
where mechanical or electrical equipment is in operation. Restrict
from the storage areas heat or sparks which may result from
improper, defective or overloaded electrical circuits.

Do not store smokeless powder in the same area with solvents,
flammable gasses or highly combustible materials.

Store only in Department of Transportation approved containers.
Do not transfer the smokeless powder from an approved container
into one which is not approved.

Do not smoke in areas where smokeless powder is stored or used.
Place appropriate “no smoking” signs in these areas
.
Do not subject the storage cabinets to close confinement.

Storage cabinets should be constructed of insulating materials and
with a weak wall, seams or joints to provide an easy means of selfventing.

Do not keep old or salvaged powders. Check old powders for deterioration
regularly. Destroy deteriorated powders immediately.

Obey all regulations regarding quantity and methods of storing. Do
not store all your smokeless powders in one place. If you can,
maintain separate storage locations. Many small containers are
safer than one large container.

Keep your storage and use area clean. Clean up spilled smokeless
powder promptly. Make sure the surrounding area is free of trash
or other readily combustible materials.

You can find the whole thing here if you want to read more:

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

Personally I keep my powder in a wooden cabinet made from 3/4 inch plywood, nailed sides but not glued, with a hinged top which does not lock, so it will burst open in case of a fire. Also, residential storage cannot exceed 20 pounds, in original containers. You may store not more than 50 pounds IF it is in a wooden storage cabinet as I have. This is all in accordance with National Fire Protection Association rules which are usually used by localities as their fire code. Note some jurisdictions may have more stringent rules. If in doubt, check with your local fire marshal.
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Old December 1, 2011, 06:52 AM   #12
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It wasn't until just now it dawned on me why a major powder manufacturer went from the easily stored rectangular metal cans to the pain in the arse cylindrical plastic containers (takes more room on the shelf). Less chance of "a bomb" if exposed to a fire.

My powders are stored on a open upper shelf behind my bench in the basement, a place where the temperature remains much more constant and is out of pretty much all light. I also put a small packet of silica-gel in each container which I "recharge" in the oven on a low temp once a year. I hate to admit it, but, I have several metal/rectangular containers with the name Dupont on them yet and the powders look/smell brand new and still perform as new. A packet of silica-gel also is home to a large glass jar containing my primers.

Have had zero concerns for a long time. And yes....I am a bit anal.
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Old December 1, 2011, 06:57 AM   #13
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"It wasn't until just now it dawned on me why a major powder manufacturer went from the easily stored rectangular metal cans to the pain in the arse cylindrical plastic containers (takes more room on the shelf). Less chance of "a bomb" if exposed to a fire."

Actually, it was more cost savings than anything.

Those old metal cans were designed so that if the powder ignited they would zipper open at the seams with very little resistance at all, releasing any pressure that had built up before it got to bomb levels.
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Old December 1, 2011, 07:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug B.
A packet of silica-gel also is home to a large glass jar containing my primers.
Storing primers loose in glass jars has been a known no-no for decades. Do yourself a favor and at least move them to plastic mayo jars if you can't bring yourself to keep them in their original packaging. If the primers are in their original boxes in the glass jar I'd consider it safer, but still wouldn't do it.
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Old December 1, 2011, 09:17 AM   #15
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I store mine in the basement between the furnace and the water heaters. I hate handling cold primers. :-)
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Old December 1, 2011, 10:02 AM   #16
tom 1
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...a large glass jar containing my primers.

You have the fixin's for a perfect bomb complete with shrapnel!!
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Old December 1, 2011, 11:00 AM   #17
serf 'rett
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Quote:
large glass jar containing my primers
Please say it ain't so!

I see a bad boom arising!
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Old December 1, 2011, 11:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
A packet of silica-gel also is home to a large glass jar containing my primers.

EEK!

EEK, EEK!!
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Old December 1, 2011, 12:13 PM   #19
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My problem isn't storing, it's a matter of not running afoul of State Law governing the storage of powder and primers.

Am limited to 10k primers and 25# of powder in a residence. Can store up to 50# of powder if it's in a "strong box" or cabinet with a minumum of 3/4" plywood bottom, top, and sides or equivalent. I suppose I'll have to designate part of the garden shed a "Magazine" to store the rest of my powder and primers.
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Old December 1, 2011, 12:48 PM   #20
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"I store mine in the basement between the furnace and the water heaters. I hate handling cold primers. :-) "

I simply throw mine on a hot plate in an old cast iron frying pan for a few minutes.


"I see a bad boom arising!"

Oh BOOOOOOOOOO!
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Old December 2, 2011, 12:21 PM   #21
serf 'rett
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To Boss Mike: "I see a bad boom arising
I see trouble on the plate..." Creedence Clearwater Revisal

National Fire Protection Association sets personal use (home) storage limits at 10K primers and 20 pounds powder without a storage container; however, 20 to 50 pounds of powder is to be stored in wood box or cabinet with minimum 1" thick walls. The previously quoted 25 pounds is the amount which can be transported in a private vehicle without a container.

Your local code may vary.

Now the thing that's a little funky to me is I think the 10K primer storage limit can be circumvented by simply putting the overage (extra) primers into empty cartridge cases.
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Last edited by serf 'rett; December 2, 2011 at 12:38 PM.
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Old December 2, 2011, 06:57 PM   #22
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That's correct. The limit of 10K is for bulk primers in the original packaging.

The other option is to not store them in a residence. Any kind of separate building, garage, workshed, etc. should allow storage of up to 200,000 primers in each storage cabinet, up to a maximum of 750,000 total. That is defined as "commercial stocks" but I suppose the same quantities for personal use would come under the same limitations. That would even cover me!!
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Old December 5, 2011, 08:49 PM   #23
boostedtt91
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so pretty much as long as powders and primers are in the original packaging, they are safe sitting on a shelf or in a cabinet as long as its not air tight, not by electronics or heat
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Old December 5, 2011, 09:21 PM   #24
medalguy
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That's pretty good storage. Powder should always be kept in its original container, period, regardless of where and how stored. Primers should also be kept in their original container as well. The key here is never to store them "in bulk", such as in a mayonnaise jar or old coffee can. When stored in bulk, if one detonates for any reason, they absolutely will all detonate. If in their original packaging, there is much less chance of a mass detonation. Remember after all, they ARE explosives and are designed to be used exactly that way.

The key to WHERE they are stored is the quantity. Sitting on a shelf is fine for small quantities of either. Primers and powder are recommended to be stored separate from each other to prevent involving primers in the event of a fire consuming smokeless powder. It is recommended that primers always be stored in cabinets constructed of nominal 1 inch lumber, be away from any source of heat or flames, and away from any electrical equipment which could generate static sparks. Storage of primers in a residence is limited to 10,000 which I know everyone on this forum strictly adheres to but if you store more than that, that is considered commercial stocks and there are a number of restrictions on that storage which are detailed in the NFPA 495 pamphlet.

Smokeless powder quantities of up to 25 pounds can be stored in the original containers in a private residence and should be kept in a cool place, away from heat or flame and static electricity. Quantities of more than 25 pounds, but less than 50 pounds, can be stored in a private residence provided they are placed in a wooden box or cabinet with walls of at least 1 inch nominal thickness.

Most of this is more common sense, but the quantities and storage conditions really should be closely followed by all involved. The last thing you want to discover after a fire in which your whole house has been involved is that because the investigators found too many powder cans your insurance is not valid any longer. Be safe, be smart, always.
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Old December 7, 2011, 07:24 PM   #25
boostedtt91
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sounds good guys, thanks for the info. I was just trying to decide wheither to buy a special container to put all my powder containers in or just to put them on the shelf. I guess if storing 50-100 bottles of powder together on a shelf is safe for all gun shops, then having a couple bottles together is just as safe.
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