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Powder storage advice.

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by kbbailey, May 8, 2013.

  1. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    Many of us have 'stocked up' on some of our favorite shooting supplies. As a volunteer fireman in our little community, I was just thinking how embarrassing it would be if my little shop/reloading cave would catch on fire with all the powder/primers/ammo that I am storing in there. There would be a rather large mushroom cloud. (I get to joke about this since I am on the fire dept.....it's one of the few perks)

    Seriously, what is your long-term storage container?? I have mine in a locked steel cabinet, but it's not fireproof.
  2. davepool

    davepool Well-Known Member

    Powders are in an old jewelers safe i picked up from a general contractor friend who does commercial remodels.

    Primers are kept separate in an old cedar chest, both in an air conditioned room

    Loaded ammo on shelves in a big walk-in closet in my sons old bedroom.
  3. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Well-Known Member

    Is the door loose fitting? As long as the powders are not contained they would just burn, not blow if exposed to fire.
  4. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Well-Known Member

    I don't store much at all, under a pound in the can plus what's in my horn. One of the local clubs stores about 25 lbs. at a time in the one pound containers, by placing them in plastic garbage bags, then into a sealed lid Rubbermaid bin that is in the ground and covered.

  5. AABEN

    AABEN Well-Known Member

    You need to read the law on storage of gun powder!
  6. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

  7. Lunie

    Lunie Well-Known Member

    I am not offering legal advice.

    Just sharing some info relating to the link posted by BlackNet.

    The ATF page contains information from 27 CFR Part 555 Subpart K.

    However, Subpart H is Titled "Exemptions" and includes:

    "§ 555.141 Exemptions.
    (a) General. Except for the provisions of §§ 555.180 and 555.181, this part does not apply to:


    (4) Small arms ammunition and components of small arms ammunition.


    (b) Black powder. Except for the provisions applicable to persons required to be licensed under subpart D, this part does not apply with respect to commercially manufactured black powder in quantities not to exceed 50 pounds, percussion caps, safety and pyrotechnic fuses, quills, quick and slow matches, and friction primers, if the black powder is intended to be used solely for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes in antique firearms, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(16) or antique devices, as exempted from the term “destructive devices” in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(4)."

    For the sake of discussion, my understanding is that quantities of less than 50 pounds of BP for the above uses are not subject to ATF storage requirements if you are not a dealer, but I am not pretending to be an expert.

    You want an expert opinion, you hire yourself a lawyer. Otherwise, you are left to read and interpret to the best of your own ability.

    Reference links:

    27 CFR Part 555 http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title27/27cfr555_main_02.tpl

    Subpart D http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=f194c4bf1b91955bc2b3aa9f511f8e9a&rgn=div6&view=text&node=27:

    Subpart H http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=f194c4bf1b91955bc2b3aa9f511f8e9a&rgn=div6&view=text&node=27:

    Subpart K http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=f194c4bf1b91955bc2b3aa9f511f8e9a&rgn=div6&view=text&node=27:
  8. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

  9. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Well-Known Member

  10. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Don't be so sure on that. It seems like even a leaky but still somewhat restrictive container can produce pressure that leads to a more sudden burn.

    Let me tell you a story about a "buddy". They were sitting around a campfire and one has the last of a can of Goex. We all took turns pouring a little in our palms and throwing it on the fire and enjoying the "Magician like" flaring. Near the end of the evening when all the sensible sorts had gone to bed my buddy was going to tip out the last dregs (probably 20 to 30 gns worth. The can's owner said "Nah... just toss the whole works in....

    Fortunetly they had the sense to toss it and pull well back. Even without the cap on the tin there was a MIGHTY WHOOMP! that scattered many cinders hither and yon and woke up the whole camp area at the CAS event.

    My "buddy's" friend isn't allowed to bring powder to the camp fires any more....... Me? I'm totally innocent. Yep, didn't have a thing to do with it.... That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    As for storying my BP supply I'm stuck with my country's storage regs. Needless to say it wants the primers and caps separate from the powders. No issues there. But it specifically wants to see the BP separate from the other smokelss propellants. AND the container for the BP must be wood. Not a big deal. I'm just going to store it in a separate cupboard in my new shop area.
  11. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    I am well within legal limits, not even close actually.

    My ammo/powder is stored in their original containers(of course), inside a steel locker with a padlock on it. The locker has three vented doors(school lockers).

    I like the idea of those clear Tupperware bins. That would add another layer of protection from sparks and moisture.

    My biggest concern is that I have added a woodstove to my mancave/reloading room, and the ammo locker is about 10' away. ....gonna have to move it across the building.
  12. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    After reading the responses to my question about use of plastic containers I have concluded that use of plastic significantly reduces the chances of a explosion. Likewise I think storage in a locker or any type of container that will allow pressure to build is unwise (post #17).

    As a result as with my smokeless powder my latest shipment of BP is being kept on a open shelf. I do have primers and caps stored in another part of the room.

    Of course it is in a room where unauthorized/curious eyes can't get to them.

  13. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

    This is what I am doing.



    Here is one in production, not finished with it yet.


    It need be nothing fancy and I chose 5 pound lots to make it more segmented, also I could easily load up a box for range use.
  14. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Blacknet, those look great other than the use of the STEEL brackets inside the box. Instead of using the angle brackets like that I'd suggest you build your basic box as shown then drill in from outside and fill the holes with dowel rods glued up and tapped into place to act like both nails and dovetails at the same time. The only thing is that commercial dowel is typically a little smaller than the stated diameter on the label. So 3/8 dowel would want to fit snugly into a 23/64 or maybe even 11/32 hole. But that's something you can test for on some scrap.
  15. BlackNet

    BlackNet Well-Known Member

    You mean like the dovetail joints that I am remaking the box into? :)
  16. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Well-Known Member


    Your box looks beautiful, Ideally your box will come apart at the seams in the unfortunate event of an explosion. If you glue those joints up nice and strong I think you will be going the wrong direction as far as powder storage goes. Too solid of a box and you may have a bomb. Think house of straw, not house of bricks.
  17. joecil

    joecil Well-Known Member

    I'm using a pair of Old Ebenezer box I got from DIXIE Gun Works, Inc.
    delivered for $60 per box. Each box holds about 20 1 Lb jugs and will also hold a number of 8 lb jugs though not 20 since you can't stack them. They are made from Cyprus in Tennessee.
  18. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    "You mean like the dovetail joints that I am remaking the box into?"

    That would work too.... :D

    Hand cutting them or are you "cheating" with a router jig?

    Call me odd if you want but the times I've done stuff like this I found it very theraputic and satisfying to hand saw and chisel the dovetails.
  19. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Well-Known Member

    BC, woodworking is VERY therapeutic. It requires the minute, exclusive focus of target shooting, but it's creative in nature.
  20. mykeal

    mykeal Well-Known Member

    A tightly constructed wooden box becomes a cloud of high velocity splinters.

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