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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking about this ever since the post about the house fire... do any of you split up your powder and primer storage locations? I have thought of taking 1/2 of each to a separate residence. My though is that God forbid there is a fire, I wouldn't lose it all. I guess technically I would increase my chances of being caught in an event by spreading it out to 2 homes but guaranteeing at least half of it survives.

Most of the powder I use- I have doubles or triples of, so this would be like having "back stock" stored in another building. Same for primers, I don't need more than a few thousand in the reloading room at any given time, even if I'm batch loading a big run.

Just curious if this was common or what you guys do.
 

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I ran out of room on the powder shelf a long time ago. So I moved some into the pole building.
Probably would be a good idea to split up the primer stash. But I like keeping primers in a climate controlled environment. We will see. Certainly a good idea to not keep all your eggs in one basket.
 

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I ran out of room on the powder shelf a long time ago. So I moved some into the pole building.
Probably would be a good idea to split up the primer stash. But I like keeping primers in a climate controlled environment. We will see. Certainly a good idea to not keep all your eggs in one basket.
I'd be more concerned about keeping the powder temp controlled than the primers
 

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I'd be more concerned about keeping the powder temp controlled than the primers
Temperature control is not my concern, moisture control is my concern, at least as far as primers are concerned. You see temperature as an issue for storage of sealed powder containers?
 

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Having had my previous house burn, the overall loss was much greater than my powder supply... most of which was in a separate shop building out of the fire. Even what was in a kitchen cabinet had the label scorched without setting the (black) powder afire.

Storage temperature is a factor in shelf life of powder, just as with, say food or Covid vaccine. Just that the degradation is a lot slower, but it is not as slow in heat.
 

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Having had my previous house burn, the overall loss was much greater than my powder supply... most of which was in a separate shop building out of the fire. Even what was in a kitchen cabinet had the label scorched without setting the (black) powder afire.

Storage temperature is a factor in shelf life of powder, just as with, say food or Covid vaccine. Just that the degradation is a lot slower, but it is not as slow in heat.
Good to know. I will take this under advisement going forward.
 

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I have heard of people buying an old freezer with a real good lock to keep powder in. It is very fire resistant and pretty well insulated. (not plugged in of course.)
 

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According to the NFPA, it is only permissible to store up to 49 pounds of smokeless powder in one area of a residence. The walls and bottom are to be made of 1” thick wood with the top being weaker. I have found it necessary to store my inventory in several places. The insurance company would have a Hey day with that one. It’s an interesting question though. What do you value the most in your home?
An alternative may be a small temperature controlled storage unit. Those things never burn, they are all concrete and steel. Rent, build or buy......safer for the fire dept too!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What do you value the most in your home?
I thought through that as well, considering ease of replacement and value. Most of the portable items of value are in a safe, but powder and primers can't be confined like that. Also, most of my valuables can be easily replaced with money... a check won't easily replace powder and primes these days, so I am treating them a little different.

I have a proper powder storage cabinet in the closet but it's made to burn slowly and then vent as it burns. Safer for us in a fire, but no safer for the powder!

An alternative may be a small temperature controlled storage unit. Those things never burn, they are all concrete and steel.
Part of the reason I asked this was that the 2nd residence I referenced is built much like that. It's what they call a barndominium around here. A steel building with stained concrete floors, and very little flamable material. The only wood in it, is the studs between 3 interior walls and kitchen cabinets. And since we use it as a 2nd office, climate is controlled as the house is. It seemed ideal.
 

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Following NFPA guidelines, I built lockers for primers and a separate one for powder. The floor and walls are double layered 1/2" plywood with the top just set in place not secured with nails or screws. Reaching inside the locker I can push the top up with minimal effort. The idea is wood provides limited protection from radiated heat and the movable top provides a pressure release, something an old refrigerator or freezer wouldn't. As we all know, smokeless powder will burn if not confined. I feel if my locker is exposed to enough heat to cause the powder or primers inside to ignite my house will be a total loss regardless. I'm more worried about a meteor, an asteroid, zombies, or Sleepy Joe causing global destruction than I am a fire. Of course, that's just me.

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According to the NFPA, it is only permissible to store up to 49 pounds of smokeless powder in one area of a residence. The walls and bottom are to be made of 1” thick wood with the top being weaker. I have found it necessary to store my inventory in several places. The insurance company would have a Hey day with that one. It’s an interesting question though. What do you value the most in your home?
An alternative may be a small temperature controlled storage unit. Those things never burn, they are all concrete and steel. Rent, build or buy......safer for the fire dept too!
I had never given that a thought, I probably should.
 

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Having had my previous house burn, the overall loss was much greater than my powder supply... most of which was in a separate shop building out of the fire. Even what was in a kitchen cabinet had the label scorched without setting the (black) powder afire.

Storage temperature is a factor in shelf life of powder, just as with, say food or Covid vaccine. Just that the degradation is a lot slower, but it is not as slow in heat.
But seriously Jim, how much degradation over what kind of a time period are we looking at? Earlier this year I bought a few cases of Korean M-1 carbine ammo from the seventies. Obviously I do not know what conditions it was stored under. But I am guessing that it was not in a climate controlled environment. And Korea sees a pretty severe temperature swing throughout the year.
Additionally I purchased a bunch of 7.62X51 that came from Indonesia that dates to the eighties. Again I do not know how it was stored, but Indonesia is generally pretty hot year round except in the highest elevations which are generally not developed or even accessible.
I have since tested both of these and it is pretty high quality ammunition, Berdan priming notwithstanding.
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Temperature control is not my concern, moisture control is my concern, at least as far as primers are concerned. You see temperature as an issue for storage of sealed powder containers?
It should be. The military has spent millions on research over the years on how to store ammunition in bunkers both for long term storage and short term battlefield situations. They store tons of bombs, artillery shells, and small arms ammo in temp and humidity controlled bunkers to limit deterioration as much as possible. It has been known for a long time that wide swings in temperature cause deterioration in powder (as in changes in chemistry) that changes burn rates, etc. Moisture control is relatively easy, and if you are really worried you can seal your ammo to make it waterproof just like the military does. Primers are sealed at the factory when they're made with a waterproof layer over the priming compound. I've seen primers fire that sat in a jar of water for over a week. As long as that waterproof layer remains intact, they're good to go.
 

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It should be. The military has spent millions on research over the years on how to store ammunition in bunkers both for long term storage and short term battlefield situations. They store tons of bombs, artillery shells, and small arms ammo in temp and humidity controlled bunkers to limit deterioration as much as possible. It has been known for a long time that wide swings in temperature cause deterioration in powder (as in changes in chemistry) that changes burn rates, etc. Moisture control is relatively easy, and if you are really worried you can seal your ammo to make it waterproof just like the military does. Primers are sealed at the factory when they're made with a waterproof layer over the priming compound. I've seen primers fire that sat in a jar of water for over a week. As long as that waterproof layer remains intact, they're good to go.
I am not overly concerned about it. The balance of my loaded ammunition as well as components are stored in a climate controlled environment. As I mentioned earlier I did put some extra stock of powder in a metal pole building that I have, which is not climate controlled. However here in the Blue ridge mountains of Virginia while it does get quite cold, It seldom gets very hot. And when it does I open up the building. Moisture is a problem for that particular building. But sealed plastic jugs likely are not all that affected by that. I have been doing this for years and never had an issue.
 

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Also have to wonder how the stuff is treated even before it gets to us. After leaving the plant (in normal demand years) the stuff may end up in a supply warehouse in MN at -20, then transported in the Spring to somewhere in AZ where it cooks at 120. Sealed is the deal. I do see Rifters point about long term storage though. It’s all about the chemistry.
 

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Well Jim and Rifter have made me sufficiently paranoid to reconsider my storage options. Subsequently I have found a way to store the portion of my powder reserves in a climate controlled environment. That which I have stored in other conditions. I had to get a bit creative to do so. But I did manage to come up with a solution.
 

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Torpedo heater and ice blocks right??
Ahhh, the good ole days!
That was actually my first choice. In reality I have been pretty happy for many years with my storage methods. With no ill effects to date. However Jim Watson and Rifter generally know what they are talking about. So on reflection I have determined to relocate my overflow powder to an unused stove in the climate controlled shop. The oven should work well.

And yes some might cringe at the idea of storing powder inside of an oven. But while this oven is actually hooked up to the gas we have not used it in more than a decade. And have no likelihood of doing so anytime in the foreseeable future. It should work well.
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