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If I Go The Route Of Reloading... How Can I Safely Store The Flamables?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ATTHECROSS, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. ATTHECROSS

    ATTHECROSS Member

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    Hello Everyone-

    I am trying to get all my "ducks in a row" before I start reloading. I wanted to ask how I can safely store all of the flamables that are a part of the reloading process? This is especially important because my garage is attached to my house so obviously I don't want any issues/fires

    As always, thanks for the help!
     
  2. GT1

    GT1 Member

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  3. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    In their factory containers.
    In a cabinet, to avoid physical, damage would be nice as well. I believe larger amounts would need a fire resistant cabinet, a magazine, by law. If one is just starting one could forego the magazine for awhile...
     
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  4. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Cool, Dry, away from sparks & flames .... In their original containers ...

    Your local laws may require other methods of storage ...
     
  5. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    When I first stated I lived in a tiny apt, and I didn't have a lot of choices, my stuff was there with me. My options were in the apt, or car. I am sure I had more than the law would want, I mean, if one is going to load you don't buy flats of 100 primers or even boxes of 1000, typically. You buy them by the 5k case and more than one, same with 8lb bottles of powder.

    I am sure if we peruse the loading bench thread we would see many things firefighters likely hate seeing. ha...
     
  6. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    The propane tank for your grill, and gas for your mower, are more hazardous than a few pounds of powder and a few thousand primers.

    Once you've got 50+ pounds/50k primers, we'll have something interesting to talk about!

    Edit: my powder doesn't scare me, but my Christmas tree does!
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  7. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Powder and primers (some of them) ... have been shipped from far away lands .... by ship and hauled over pot holed roads in trucks ... all over the country ... Original containers ... All the way ...
     
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  8. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    Truck on down to your local gun shop, the one that sells smokeless gun powder, and ask them for a copy of the Hodgdon Basic Handloading manual. It is free and will answer all of your questions regarding safe storage of their products.

    For your reading pleasure....

    https://www.hodgdon.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/website-warnings-general.pdf
    http://www.alliantpowder.com/getting_started/safety/storage_handling.aspx
    http://www.westernpowders.com/image/pdf/Double-Base-gunpowder-SDS-Ver.-120115.pdf
     
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  9. frankmako

    frankmako Member

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    Use common sense. Look at all the primers/powders stored in the open not package in anything special at the stores. I keep my primers/powders in ammo cans in the reloading room (basement). Since 1973 my reloading room as been in just about every room of/ garage/basement/out building of the many houses I have lived throughout the world. At first I just put primers/powder on a shelf then later move to ammo cans for ease of storage. So you don't have to do anything special just keep them dry. I know a garage in El Paso will not get to hot in the summer to hurt anything. I know a garage in miami will not get to damp/hot to hurt anything. Keep it simple and don't worry about the small stuff.
     
  10. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    The main concern is securing them. You don’t want kids and others who shouldn’t have access to them.
    Next you don’t want extreme temps to affect them. So while you’re garage is probably ok, if it gets really hot or cold consider a cool dry place such as a cabinet in the basement.

    Finally and most important, you need them away from flame and spark. Garages typically have those if you work on cars, mowers, and landscaping equipment. So you need to decide if storing them in a garage is wise. That said, fumes from a gas can are much more explosive than your powder and primers. So be wise.

    I use ammo crates to store my primers and powders. As others said, they’re in the original containers and packages. I like ammo crates as they’re fairly inexpensive at Rural King, they’re (mostly) waterproof and they have a place for locks. Others get file or locking shelf cabinets.
     
  11. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Since we're getting into containers, let's talk general principles of Flammable Solids storage magazines:

    1) Don't confine the Gas: any container you store powder in should open under low pressure. Burning powder produces LOTS of hot gas; if you confine that in a high burst pressure vessel you've made a bomb. Recall that portable truck magazines have frangible roofs for this reason; you want a fwoosh that opens the box early in gas generation, not a boom that sends shrapnel everywhere.

    2) Protect: as much as possible, without violating #1, delay the start of the fire by insulating the powder from the structure fire. Thick walls are good.

    3) Separate: More, smaller magazines leads to smaller fwooshes.

    The ideal homemade magazine is several, thick-walled, plywood boxes, with a frangible side or two. SAAMI distributes a handy guide with details.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  12. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Primers are safe as other note in their original containers--they have to be in order to be shipped. Since I prime off of the press, I only get out the primers that I am going to use in brass that session. Make sure to clean your press and dies every now and then (especially depriming tools and dies) and primer loading components as primer dust is flammable.

    One issue not addressed of above is to check unopened swelled smokeless powder containers and also from your used containers and dispose of any powder that develops a peculiar acrid smell. Smokeless powder deteriorates faster in higher temperatures so keep your powder cool.

    Using these for fertilizer (avoid using on any food plants though) by spreading them outside and wetting usually works. Some burn it via small layers of powder on a hard surface (see below for instructions at the ADI website) BTW, don't leave powder in your powder measure but return to the container each session.

    ADI has some good safety tips in one place.
    http://adi-limited.com/handloaders/warnings.asp
     
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  13. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    For what it's worth I have my primers in a knee hole desk that I converted for the use of reloading. I have 8 or 9 pounds of powder, each in their one pound container, on a top shelf in my closet where its dry and cool. As it's been said in other replies, don't sweat the details just use some common sense about it.
     
  14. 200Apples
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    200Apples Member

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    What is an "ammo crate"?

    I'm familiar with ammo "cans" and have many.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Keep them in the original containers and store them is a cool dry place away from sparks, flames, heat. Wooden boxes with a weak side are good. Chester drawers are good. Stacked in the back corner of the closet is good.

    I have brass, bullets, primers, ammo, and assorted junk in this old ATS cabinet I gutted and put shelves in.
    Cat 1.JPG
    Cat II.JPG

    Wooden boxes with a weak side are good for powder. (Old toy chest I made for the kids.)
    DSC04468.JPG
    DSC04474.JPG
     
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  16. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    MTM makes a product called an Ammo Crate.

    see http://www.mtmcase-gard.com/mtm-ammo-crate.php

    They come in different sizes and good for keeping things that don't easily fit in traditional ammo cans.
     
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  17. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    For the benefit of any non-(USA)Southrons reading this Thread,

    Chester Drawers = Chest of Drawers. :)
     
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  18. lightman

    lightman Member

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    This!!! Just keep your primers and powder away from any heat source or open flame. Store them in their original containers and don't seal them up in a strong confined space like a gun safe. For long life, a stable temp and out of direct sunlight will add to their shelf life.
     
  19. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    My little reloading room is in my attic. It can get a little warm up there in summer time so I want my powders insulated. I also want a double layer of protection from any ignition source or feline fiddling. So since I'm limited on space, I do this.

    I will likely replace the large cooler with one that's lockable for when there are kids around but this way the lid would pop off in the event of a fire. The house would burn down for sure but at least no metal shrapnel flying through the neighborhood. There's about 13 lbs in there right now. I may add another pound or two if I can jam them in there.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
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  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Yeah but nobody gives them a 2nd thought.

    I guess someone had been talking to my wife years ago and she asked me what would happen if there was a fire, intending to ask about the gun powder. I told her it would be hard to tell, once the oxygen and acetylene tanks in the garage exploded.
     
  21. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    This is the last thing in the world I’m worried about. Keep it in the plastic jug and put them on the shelf. I keep all my primers in the reloading bench drawer.
     
  22. TheDomFather

    TheDomFather Member

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    If you've ever watched a christmas tree catch fire you would relate to this comment. they ignite like someone dipped them in gasoline!
     
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  23. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have a metal cabinet for my powder.
    I think an old metal filing cabinet from a garage sale or eBay would be good.
    Most are lockable if you're so inclined.
     
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  24. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Store powder and primers in their original containers. The containers are designed for safe handling of the contents and by keeping them in original containers, you minimize the likelihood of using the wrong item.

    The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has published Standard 495 regarding the manufacture, transportation and storage of explosive materials. You can download a copy here:
    https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-stan...s/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=495. Unless you live some place like New York or Chicago, your municipal fire regulations - if your municipality has any regulations applicable to residences - are likely based on the NFPA standards.

    Powder is a propellant, not an explosive. It simply burns quickly producing a large volume of gas. So long as the gas is not contained, the gas will just dissipate. This is why you want to store powder in containers that will readily vent the gas should the powder be ignited. Section 10-3 of NPFA Standard 495 specifies the use of wood containers of 1 inch nominal thickness (most wooden kitchen cabinets meet this). Such boxes will come apart before the pressure inside reaches dangerous levels. In no case should a sealed metal container be used; you are simply building a bomb.

    The active ingredient in primers is an explosive, but the manufacturer's packaging is designed to keep the accidental ignition of one primer from starting a chain reaction (known as "sympathetic detonation"). As the key to minimizing danger from any explosion is dissipation rather than concentration, I suggest primers be stored apart from powder in a wooden container of 1 inch nominal thickness.

    I have been reloading for 40+ years. I was given a copy of NFPA Standard 495, Section 10-3 after I had been reloading for about two years. I have followed it closely ever since. During that time, I have had:
    • Four gas spills
    • Three burning electrolytic capacitors,
    • Two grease fires
    But not a single incident with powder or primers.
     
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  25. mdi

    mdi Member

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    FWIW; you have many more dangerous, toxic, flammable items in your garage and under your kitchen sink than smokeless gunpowder and primers...
     
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