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basement reloading benches and dampness

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hershey, Dec 25, 2008.

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  1. hershey

    hershey Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    for much the same reason that i don't store my guns in the basement, i don't load either.

    i see allot of guys w/ there benches in the basement, i don't have any noticable moisture issue's but chose not to store powder/primers down there either, just in case, can anyone speak up yes or no on long term experiences w/ basement storage?
  2. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    Smyrna Tennessee
    If you are worried about moisture, store the primers in gallon ziplocks with dessicant in them and you should be fine. You could do it with the powder as well, but if you have no signs of moisture, I think it might be a non-issue. You could always store the powder upstairs in a closet or turn on a de-humidifier the day before you plan to load in the basement.
  3. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

    Nov 14, 2008
    Cornelia, GA

    If there are no signs of moisture, but only a general concern, then it's simple enough to take some positive steps.

    • Don't guess. A relative humidity gauge is not that expensive. You can place it in the basement with a log book. Every time you go downstairs, log the reading. That will let you see if it's got wide swings or fairly steady. I bet it's more stable and much lower than you think.

    • All the new powder comes in plastic cans with good caps. Gone are all the old leaky, steel cans. So for powder it may not be that big of a deal... just don't leave the powder hopper full for a week.

    • It's easy and cheap enough to wall off a 10x12 section of the basement. Place the room under one of the existing heating ducts and tap into it. Insulate and add a door. Carpet with scraps from the dumpster of any carpet store. Adding a deadbolt will child-proof your new reloading center, and even be an extra layer of security in case you move your gun safe there. In a well insulated room, simply letting a 75W bulb burn continuously will stabilize the temperature and humidity.

  4. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    dehumidifer are fr this. mine gets run 7 months of the year and sucks out 2 gal a day. i turn it off for the year when the coils freez over. on in the late spring. bsmt temp stays 58 winter to 65 summer.
  5. snuffy

    snuffy Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Oshkosh Wi
    I loaded in a damp---right up to standing water, basement for 10 years. No harm came to the powder or the primers. The tools, well that's an entirely different subject!:eek: It was a constant battle to keep rust off the dies, presses, anything steel.

    As far as carpeting a loading room, don't do it! Spilled powder is darn near impossible to sweep off a carpet. It takes a vacuum cleaner to get it up.

    Actually the two things that kill powder are absent in a basement, heat and light. They are generally cooler, and have no or very small windows.

    There's been studies done on the effect of high humidity being present during loading. It has no effect! Smokeless powder just does NOT absorb humidity from the air! The tiny amount of atmosphere that's trapped inside a shell does nothing to the powder.
  6. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Basements can vary quite a bit basement to basement... I reload in mine and haven't had any problems at all. However, I have been in some basements that I wouldn't even want to eat a sandwich in, much less load ammunition!

    A little bit of humidity really wont hurt things, it will greatly decrease the likelihood of a static discharge initiating a primer and it well prevent static buildup in your powder measure.

    As far as storage goes, just keep a lid on things and Im sure they will be fine...
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Never a problem in the 38 years in this house & basement.

    Humidity control?
    A/C runs all summer, and the furnace runs all winter. I use a humidifier to put more mosture in the air with the furnace running.

    Powder is kept in sealed factory containers in a loose-seam steel cabinet.

    Primers are kept in GI .50 cal ammo cans.

    Unless your basement has water standing on the floor, you shouldn't have a problem.

    IMO: Ammo cans are the safest storage you can conviently get your hands on. That's what they were designed for.

  8. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Ava, Missouri
    Have you ever seen any mildew on anything or rust on any metal parts in your basement? If you haven't. The you don't have an issue with mildew. I wouldn't worry about it...
  9. TAB

    TAB Member

    Dec 18, 2007
    A really easy way to check to see if you do have a moisture prob.

    dry off a section of wall really, realy good. Duct tape a peace of tinfoil to it tightly making sure to seal up all 4 sides. Wait over night, remove the foil. If water is on the outside you have moisture in the room, if its on the inside its coming thru the wall.

    If there is none your golden.
  10. 45ACPUSER

    45ACPUSER Member

    May 17, 2007
    Not the brightest idea......
  11. MAGNUM44

    MAGNUM44 Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    dampness & reloading

    When I lived in NYC for years our house had a damp basement & I reloaded down there for 20 yrs no problems with dampness effecting my powder or primers and never any mis fires when testing & shooting that ammo, not saying it can't happen but did not happn to me etc :)
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