Primer Storage and Inventory


November 21, 2010, 01:23 PM
On the assumption (right or wrong) that many on the forum have a large inventory of primers (> 10,000), what is your method/recommendation of storgage. In other words, not the usual keep them dry... etc. but how many are you comfortably with in one location, like a drawer or box?

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November 21, 2010, 01:28 PM
The companies who manufacture primers have put a lot of research into the storage trays to reduce the danger of primers. Modern primer trays prevent "chain fire" of the primers as long as they're left in their original shipping containers.

With that said, I store them on a shelf, the same way retailers do. As for the number of primers I have, that's private information.

Hope this helps.


November 21, 2010, 01:35 PM
Yes, I am not interested in how many primers a person has, just their opinion on, in my case, how many could be stored in a drawer.

November 21, 2010, 01:56 PM
Supposedly, the national fire code currently prohibits storage of over 10,000 primers in a private residence. Which is to say if your home ever caught fire, your insurance company could deny parts of your claim. I guess it all hinges on past claims, your insurer, and how much the local fire department complains when they all go off.

You might conceivably consider storing excess inventory in an outbuilding if the temperature and humidity don't get excessive. This might be a good year to buy the little lady a vacuum food wrapper for Christmas.

November 21, 2010, 05:35 PM
I bought a Craftsman Tool box (the bottom portion to a moving tool chest) with five drawers. I use to store my primers, ammo, and powder. It's dry, lockable, and easy to organize.

I keep the Small Pistol / Large Pistol in the top drawer and the Large Rifle / Small Rifle in the bottom drawer. I probably have as much as 3,000 in one spot.

November 21, 2010, 05:41 PM
Like Fred said, the packaging keeps them pretty safe. Mine are on a shelf inside a large heavy duty metal cabinet. (About 3' X 5" X 20" deep - Old switchgear enclosure))

November 21, 2010, 07:06 PM
Gosh I would have to buy 4 of those rolling tool boxes.:what: Too much money!!!! I have some rugged shelves that are anchored to floor and wall. Lead and brass on the floor/bottom shelves, primers in middle 3 deep X 3 high, and propellant on top. I have installed a short lip (1l2") on all edges of shelves to prevent the contents from falling off short of a major earthquake.:D

November 21, 2010, 07:41 PM
Since I buy them 5,000 at a time, I leave them in their original packaging

Jesse Heywood
November 21, 2010, 07:44 PM
I have about 9,000 primers in a 223 ammo can. That's enough primers for me until the prices drop again.

November 21, 2010, 07:49 PM
I too buy in multiples of 5,000 and keep them in the original cartons until I need them. I keep one carton of each open in the outside loading room until I need more. The excess I store in a wooden cabinet in the outside loading room where they are secure and dry. I have had over 75,000 at one time stored there. All powder is also stored in a proper magazine with excess stored in a separate outside magazine. Since it's separate from the house I'm not too concerned with any fire/explosion hazard.

Hondo 60
November 21, 2010, 11:41 PM
I leave them in their original packaging until they go into the tray for use.
I store the boxes in a cabinet in my reloading bench.

If I had a fire, it wouldn't be good.
My reloading bench is wood, so it'd go up in flames.
It'd be like several hundred packs of fire crackers going up all at once.

November 21, 2010, 11:44 PM
Supposedly, the national fire code currently prohibits storage of over..

The first rule of Primer Club is: You don't talk about Primer Club!

November 22, 2010, 08:36 AM
Strange post. What is "The Primer Club"?:barf:

November 22, 2010, 10:05 AM
Strange post. What is "The Primer Club"?

I think that was a joke in reference to the movie "Fight Club"....the first rule is not to talk about it.....

November 22, 2010, 10:15 AM
Yep, strange movie.

November 22, 2010, 02:34 PM
If you have a lot of primers I would leave them in their original containers and away from the sleeping areas of the house. My main concern would be fire and a concentration of >10000 primers would explode. If I had a large concentration of primers they would be in the basement (if I had one) in a wooden box or boxes which would insulate the primers from fire to buy time for escape. Humidity or dampness is not that big of a deal as primers are manufactured wet.
Metal containers IMO are not a good idea as they would transfer heat immediately in the event of a fire.
I have a friend who was a commercial reloader and had a fire in his shop. Where the primer cases were stacked there was a crater in the concrete floor. They will be a bomb in a fire.

November 22, 2010, 06:03 PM
I built a small shed this summer, away from the house, after I learned of the 10K limit on primers inside the residence and confirmed that my municipality had adopted the International Fire Code. I've got the excess primers stored in a Pelican case with a desiccant container inside. The case is supposed to be air tight, and the desiccant should soak up any excess humidity that may sneak in.

November 22, 2010, 06:17 PM
Can anyone quote any hard evidence (NFPA Code number) about the 10,000 limit on primers? I am a member of the NFPA and I have never found any reference to residental users. I have found details on how a retailer or commercial user is supposed to store them.


November 22, 2010, 06:32 PM
The Code is not available on line for free, as far as I've been able to determine. I managed to find a copy on line under some municipality's web site (Seattle, IIRC) but apparently failed to bookmark it. Primers are listed under the section dealing with explosives, and there is indeed a part of the Code that applies to residences.

A quick Google search turned up this link that quotes chapter and verse from the 2003 Fire Code, but the link to the Code itself doesn't work.

November 22, 2010, 07:22 PM
Thanks Wrangler,

I guess it gets down to what your local area has adopted as far a fire codes go. I am going to look further in the NFPA Codes.


November 22, 2010, 09:00 PM
I just stack them on the shelf in their 1000 count boxes.

November 22, 2010, 10:14 PM
what is your method/recommendation of storage?
Unintentionally, I have stored a case of 5000 Winchester LP primers in factory case packaging that was taped for about 10 years in the garage. When I took them out, they were like factory new and performed as such.

FYI, PMC/Wolf/TulAmmo case primers come packed inside plastic bags and then in cardboard boxes - these should be good for centuries of storage if left in their original packaging.

As many posted, I leave them in the case packaging until I use them.

November 22, 2010, 10:32 PM
I wish I had to worry about storing a lot of primers.:(

November 22, 2010, 10:41 PM
Chrysler made millions of rounds of .45 ACP and .30 carbine ammunition during WW II and this is discussed in their advertising book "Bullets by the Billions" given out to the public following the war, and in one section the manufacture of primers is discussed. The mention is made of the humidity and its effect on the safe handling of primers.

To quote from the book "Most explosives can be handled with impunity if wet enough. The .30 primer mixture looked like granulated mud as the chargers rolled and worked it into a series of little holes in a steel plate looking something like a cribbage board. The much less flighty .45 mixture, paradoxically, gave more trouble. The reason was that 19% of moisture content is permissable in the .30 primer on the charging tables. The specifications call for the .45 primer to be worked at 10% of moisture; at 8% it will spark, and there were a number of flashes from it, none serious. It burns, fortunately, when not confined, where the .30 primer detonates."

From this reading, it would appear that a little moisture is not at all a hazard to primers, and in fact might make them more stable. They should probably be dried when loaded, but here in the Houston area I'll wager they are at a considerably higher moisture content just sitting on the shelf.

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