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Ideal temperature for long term storage of powder & primers

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BSA1, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    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%.
  2. Steve H

    Steve H Well-Known Member

    Temp seems ok. Drier air might be better
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Temp is fine, humidity is a little high.

    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.

  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    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:


    Surveillance and in-service proof

    Paragraph 7.3, how temperature reduces the lifetime of ammunition.

    http://www.un.org/disarmament/conva...20-Surveillance_and_In-Service Proof(V.1).pdf
  6. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  7. JSmith

    JSmith Well-Known Member

    You know what they say: "Keep it in a cool dry place."
  8. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    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.



  9. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    I agree with BYJO4. I wouldn't worry about loads ammo drawing moisture.
  11. MK75

    MK75 Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

    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.
  13. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

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