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Powder/primer storage... Do's and Dont's

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Keeperfaith, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Keeperfaith

    Keeperfaith Member

    Dec 30, 2010
    I live in San Antonio, Texas. You can wear shorts and flip flops 9-10 months outta the year. It's usually hot and humid.

    My work bench is in the garage.

    I keep my powder/primers stored inside the house in a dark closet and I keep my AC cool 70-75.

    Does anyone else live in a hot/ humid location and store thier powder/primers in the garage (w/o the climate/temperature adversely affecting your P/P's?).

  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Senior Elder

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    Wide temperature swings and humidity are the enemies of primers and powder. hot weather and cold weather is just fine as long as the swings are not great. Humidity is a NO-NO!!!
  3. Safetychain

    Safetychain Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    Charleston, SC
    I had my bench in the garage on the coast of SC where we reach dew point nearly every night. Keeping your powders in their original containers with the lids on tight will keep out the moisture. The primers can be vac packed with a pack of silica gel which will make them last forever. I kept mine in surplus ammo cases for several years in the garage with no problems. Hey, they are made to store live ammo, which is primers and powder. I eventually convinced my wife that the bench had to come inside conditioned space after everything kept rusting up if it sat in the garage more than a month without reoiling every thing. You cannot oil scales and powder measures. Store your components and reload in the garage but when finished, bring your presses and all the other paraphernalia inside. Better yet, keep the bench inside.
  4. 1SOW

    1SOW Senior Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    South Texas
    I live within 40 miles of you.
    I keep my bulk stock of primers in their original packaging on a closet shelf. I made a wooden powder cabinet following osha and other powder storage information I found (small pita). This is in my unheated-uncooled attached garage. So far, so good. No apparent problems for a number of years.

    I have a single stage cheapy press on the covered patio that gets a plastic cover when not in use. The main press is in the garage, in an alcove meant for a freezer. No problems there either.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Mentor

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    When I lived in New Orleans, my garage, aka shop, was air conditioned and heated. I was just getting into reloading at the time and I kept my supplies out there.

    We moved to South Carolina. Our house had a bonus room over the garage that had its own heat/ac unit. The bonus room was my domain. I would only run the unit when I was up there. So, powder and primers were stored in the main part of the house that was climate controlled 24/7.

    Since then, each house purchased/built has included space for my activities within the climate controlled portion of the house. The trade off has been that my wife has her space in the house as well.
  6. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Gulf coast of Florida. I have a powder locker in my shop. I run A/C only when I'm working so I use a dehumidifier 24/7.

    Somehow, I always loose out in those "trades." :(
  7. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Hot and Humid FL
    I just made it easy enough and keep the primers and powder indoors until I am ready to and reload - it's way too humid here in central FL
  8. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Active Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Skaneateles,NY Summer/Port St.Lucie,FL Winter
    Powder/primer storage

    I keep powder (in it's original container), primers (in their original container),brass, and bullets all in seperete, air/moisture tight Military ammo cans...
  9. natgas

    natgas New Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    Magnolia, TX
    I'm fortunate that my reloading room is a spare bedroom so everything is kept cool and dry in a dark closet! Can't imagine having to load in the garage during the hot humid Houston summer!
  10. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Participating Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    Keep powder and primers in a cool, dry enviroment and they will last almost forever.
  11. jjjitters

    jjjitters Member

    Sep 7, 2012
    I have my reloading setup in my second living room,so everything is climate stabilized.
  12. Trent
    • Contributing Member

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Dec 6, 2010
    I had my reloading stuff set up in the garage for exactly ONE winter.

    That spring when I found everything rusted... I built the sturdiest indoor work bench you could possibly assemble out of a pickup truck full of 2x4's. :)

    Powder and primers I keep in the basement, in their original containers, away from sunlight. It stays 68 degrees year round in their little corner.

    Primers I keep in a flimsy metal cabinet on the other side of the room.

    Neither are near my reloading bench; I only bring the components I'm going to use in that session, and no more.
  13. Nanook

    Nanook Active Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    NOT far enough from Chicago
    I'm in IL, and we have pretty humid summers. Winters are usually dry, though. Too dry, sometimes.

    My stuff is in the garage, and has been since the late '90's. No problems with the powder or primers so far. The garage is insulated and heated during the winter, and the heater is on a thermostat so I can tailor the climate to my liking. I keep it around 45 to 50 degrees when I'm not out there.

    In the summer, I have a one ton AC I use when I'm out there. My gun safe is there as well, with all of the usual Goldenrod and desiccants. No problems there either. I keep the guns oiled down just in case, and wipe with an oily rag after handling them. Lightly oiled.

    I looked carefully in the beginning, fully expecting rust issues. I still look, but not as "anally" as I did years ago.

    Now, if I had a basement, all of that stuff would be down there. But I don't, maybe in our next house I can find a nice basement. And in a different state than this one. :D

    I've always been skittish about storing powder and primers in my living quarters. I know there is little reason to be, but it just bothers me. The garage doesn't for some reason. The chemicals under most kitchen sinks are far more dangerous than powder and primers. Or in most garages for that matter.
  14. bluetopper

    bluetopper Senior Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Northeast TX
    My powder, primers, press, everything is in an uninsulated room adjacent to my garage. It's only heated and A/C when I'm going to be in there. Been that way for years.....no problems.
  15. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Mentor

    Sep 6, 2009
    Manitowoc, WI
    The reason powder is shipped in plastic bottles is to help control humidity.

    As long as the powder is kept in the original container, it will last for quite a while.

    The issue is - how often is it subjected to oppressive humidity?
    If you leave the bottle open, in summer, in Mississippi, well then it's not gonna last.

    You could probably keep it for 20 yrs or more if you leave it closed.
  16. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Mentor

    Jun 18, 2011
    Everything in a climate controlled room inside the house, primers and powder in separate storage places not within about three feet of each other. All in original containers, of course.
  17. medalguy
    • Contributing Member

    medalguy Senior Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    I do my reloading in a nice room attached to my detached garage which is built into the side of a hill. The workshop is well insulated and doesn't ever get above 80 even on the hottest summer day. I have a wall mounted AC I use on hot days for my own comfort, I don't worry about winter temperatures.

    I too built a wooden powder cabinet, in fact two of them. I was surprised when I started putting a thermometer inside the box. It seems to keep the interior temperature about 5 degrees below the room ambient temperature which was a nice plus. Primers I keep in the original shipping containers until I need them, then open 5K cartons go inside plastic containers on the grounded metal shelf unit.

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