Ideal temperature for long term storage of powder & primers


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BSA1
April 19, 2013, 01:27 PM
Is there a ideal temperature for long term storage of powder and primers? I have a basement storage room that averages from 54 - 58 degrees in the winter and in the 60's in the summer with normal humdity 60 - 70%.

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Steve H
April 19, 2013, 01:31 PM
Temp seems ok. Drier air might be better

rcmodel
April 19, 2013, 01:34 PM
Agree.
Temp is fine, humidity is a little high.
But.

The powder is sealed in air tight containers, and would be fine if stored under water.

The primers could be too if you have some Tupperware containers.

rc

ArchAngelCD
April 19, 2013, 02:52 PM
I agree, powder will probably be fine with that high a humidity in a sealed container but the primers might suffer unless you put them in something air tight.

SlamFire1
April 19, 2013, 05:48 PM
Cold and dry. I don't know how dry in % humidity. The best storage conditions are artric, unchanging cold and bone dry.

Gunpowder deteriorates faster the higher temperature goes up. The lifetime of the stuff at 100 F could be months, 150 F weeks to days. You can look at the table 1 in this document for an idea:


INTERNATIONAL AMMUNITION TECHNICAL GUIDELINE IATG 07.20

Surveillance and in-service proof


Paragraph 7.3, how temperature reduces the lifetime of ammunition.

During prolonged periods of storage, the rate of chemical deterioration of propellant is approximately doubled for every 10C rise in temperature above 30C. Most propellants, dependent on design, have a shelf-life of at least 15 to 40 years when stored at a constant 30C, and will last much longer in temperate climates. In high heat environments the stabilizer is depleted far quicker and the probability of spontaneous combustion due to autocatalytic ignition becomes much higher. There is evidence that suggests that the reduction in shelf life versus temperature is as shown in Table 1.

http://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/Ammunition/IATG/docs/IATG07.20-Surveillance_and_In-Service%20Proof(V.1).pdf

BSA1
April 19, 2013, 06:44 PM
Most of the primers are stored in their original pakage then inside either in the cardboard sleeve that holds 5,000 for Winchester or in a second cardboard box for CCI's.

I have been having a lot of misfires requiring second strikes on a batch of ammo I reloaded several years ago I am puzzled about.

JSmith
April 19, 2013, 07:24 PM
You know what they say: "Keep it in a cool dry place."

bds
April 19, 2013, 08:39 PM
As to primers, I got to look at them closely when I was posting for another thread to determine why a lot # of Tula SP primers weren't igniting consistently - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=630512&page=2

The priming compounds are sealed with caps/cups/sealants and make them resistant to moisture and solvents - that's why they are so hard to deactivate as you have to work past the sealants and caps/cups to get to the priming compounds. The color you see is not the color of the priming compound but rather the caps/cups/sealants used.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154597&stc=1&d=1323680311

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154678&stc=1&d=1323749923

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=154677&stc=1&d=1323749923

BYJO4
April 19, 2013, 11:02 PM
Your temperature range is fine but I keep humidity level at 45 in my loading area. The misfires you are experiencing are probably from improperly seated primers or an issue with the firearm.

kingmt
April 20, 2013, 06:21 AM
I agree with BYJO4. I wouldn't worry about loads ammo drawing moisture.

MK75
April 20, 2013, 10:58 AM
I keep mine in ammo cans, in the house. If the temp is comfortable for me it should be comfortable for them. Ammo cans, in good shape, are pretty well sealed too.

bigdaa
April 20, 2013, 11:14 AM
My ammo, powder and primer storage cabinet contains a consumable desiccant that requires me to pour off the collected water. I have primers more than 20 years old and have no qualms about using them. In 33 years of reloading I have never had a primer fail. I have had one sqwib load without powder in a .223. That's it.

I live 1 mile from the Pacific Ocean in Southern California and the Marine Layer is prevalent (mucky low lying clouds a bit too high to call fog). As far as the temperature goes, I have no control, but here, it's pretty mild with occasional highs and lows of note.

Moisture is a killer to propellants. We have got to "keep our powder dry" above all.

BSA1
April 20, 2013, 04:49 PM
Your temperature range is fine but I keep humidity level at 45 in my loading area. The misfires you are experiencing are probably from improperly seated primers or an issue with the firearm.

As a experienced reloader I tend to agree. First time I have ran into this problem. I have been having misfires out of two different guns, one brand one. I noticed that in one box I had a high primer or two so I reseated all the primers but still got some misfires.

Obivously I goofed when seating the primers (hard to tell what I was thinking back then) but continuing to have misfires is a bit of a puzzler. Anyway I still have about 250 - 300 of them to shoot up then I reload a fresh batch with different primers.

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