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Buying Powder and Powder Storage

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by etrain16, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Okay, once again, after doing my own research first, I wanted to get some current opinions on a few things.

    First, regarding powder storage - cool, dry and in the original container seems to be the general consensus. Avoid high temps and humidity. Don't store in sealed containers seems to be a common warning too. But I'd like to toss the question out again - what are your best recommendations for powder storage - particularly if it's already open? Is a garage cabinet a good idea? I've read the safe can be a bad idea as the powder can give off corrosive gases (?) that can attack the steel on the guns in the safe. Thoughts?

    Second, related to this - if you were to buy powder from someone, would you even consider buying an open container? I notice some folks specifically note 'sealed' or 'unopened' on their powder ads, some do not. I've seen some for partial containers. Would you ever consider buying an open container? Considering that you can't be certain how the powder was stored? Other than the smell (I've heard bad powder has a certain smell), would there really be any way to know if the powder was in any way compromised? Or is it best to just never buy open powder?

    Thanks again in advance for the help!
     
    Tide Change likes this.
  2. ChiefStealth

    ChiefStealth Graham, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Storage. Original container.. usually plastic jugs. Some older powder was in cardboard jugs. That's OK. Some older powder was in an air-tight metal can. Not good. If that gets in a fire, it becomes a bomb.
    Storage cabinet. Again, air-tight is not good. Sealed military ammo can... not good. A garage cabinet is OK, if not air-tight. A safe... not if its air-tight. I prefer wood boxes, close to the floor. Cooler there. If it gets in a fire, it will burn.. quickly, but it won't explode and scatter shrapnel.
    I might buy an open container from someone I reeeeeealy trusted. Never from a stranger. Actually, I'd never buy anything having to do with ammunition from a stranger. There's plenty of stuff available from trusted sources to even think about un-trusted sources.
    I've never experienced "bad" powder, so I can't comment on smell, or appearance, or other indication of bad.
     
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  3. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    Pistol powder in one cabinet, rifle powder in another.

    For now, if I were you, I'd just get powder from a retail / online store.

    .02
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  4. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    Or an old refrigerator. Not airtight, the insulation moderates the temp, and you can put in a dehumidifier if you need to.

    Of course you don't plug it in unless you're in the tropics or something so it doesn't even have to run.


    elsie
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  5. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Can I assume the reason for separation has nothing to do with any issue between the powders, but, rather to prevent accidentally grabbing a pistol powder for a rifle load and vice-versa?
     
  6. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    Precisely :)
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  7. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I was thinking about it today, I was considering using a locking metal box for storage, maybe line the outer edges with rigid insulation to help regulate temperatures? I'll probably be keeping it in the garage, which provides some insulation, but I figure the added insulation would help keep it even more even. I notice my safe doesn't get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter, I figure I could somewhat duplicate that temperature regulation.
     
  8. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good idea, I will keep that in mind in my planning. Only pistol powder on hand at the moment, I won't be getting into rifle loads for a while yet.
     
  9. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    BTW, I thought I'd share what I use for keeping humidity down in my safe - I have had one of these in my safe for over a year and it's worker really well. I may buy another one (or two) for my future powder storage cabinet/case. You simply plug them in to recharge them (it takes 10-12 hours depending on how humid it is that day). I'm really impressed with mine. Not a single problem with humidity in my safe since I bought it. They currently run $29.95 on Amazon with free shipping if you have prime.

    61wYo%2BRVNtL._SL1300_.jpg

    http://www.amazon.com/Eva-dry-E-500...pebp=1441066838405&perid=0GXR717GXM7EEGM1NAZW
     
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  10. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    Not the best idea...

    Smokeless powder is not classified as an explosive, but 'contained' it certainly can behave as one.

    Though the chances are pretty remote, I'd stick to wood cabinet or something similar.
     
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  11. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    For 30 years I kept my powder and primers on a shelf in my 24cuft safe.
    Then I got a Harbor Freight Bunker Hill Executive 59 inch safe,
    stores all my powders and such.
    Yes, the powders and primers still work fine.
     
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  12. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    When I first started I was given a half used container of N540 from a family member.

    It was dated 1999. It was given to me late 2012. It was stored in an unconditioned Oregon garage.

    It smells good, looks good, is good.

    It seems some are a bit 'sensitive' about powder storage, preaching incredible requirements for keeping it viable.

    Keep the lid on the jug, don't take it rafting - put the can in a zip lock bag if it makes you feel better... It'll be ok.
     
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  13. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well, there goes my plans for my reloading trip down the Deschutes...:( So much for my class 5 hand loads.
     
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  14. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Ive bought powder from individuals. No issues there.

    I've had people check my powder for the seal, and I've had people tell me when I'm buying "are you going to check it?" Of which I do.

    Buying an opened powder jug....

    Typically not BUT i have and of course I did inspect. Most people who do a few sales here and there ARE honest. They are good people and I've never met somebody who tried to screw me over. It's the mass buyers/sellers/traders who tend to be shady. Last large quantity of powder I bought from somebody (6lbs) was in metal tins. I knew it was older stuff, all unopened. I grabbed the worst looking tin, opened the lid, removed the seal and their was perfect looking and smelling powder inside. I used all of it already and had zero issues (except that 100 yard grouping of .250" with the .243....!)


    Storage:
    You can even store it on the shelf. Humidity will NOT effect a sealed plastic container. What moisture that is or is not inside there already is inside until opened. Storage on a cabinet just follows the same rules as combustibles inside of shops where they are required to be in a locking cabinet.

    When stores start keeping their hundreds of pounds in cabinets I'll do the same. I don't live in the South so thick humidity rarely is a problem and that would only effect the primers in the long run.
     
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  15. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    Stores sell their powder faster than I use it. Additionally they are not opening and closing it from time to time. I buy in bulk when I see a good deal on the powders I like, so I have q fair amount on hand most of the time. I follow the SAAMI/ANSI guidelines for storage. I have the pamphlet on the subject which you too can own just by going to their website and ordering it. Or if you want to be a cheapskate and not support their work you can look at it here:http://www.saami.org/PDF/SAAMI_AmmoStorage.pdf

    I use a room dehumidifier when I am not heating/drying the house with the woodstove. I also have tried the non powered when working dehumidifiers that are electrically recharged, Stack On and some Remington brand but I am not really sure they are doing much for me. It seemed like I was having to reset then too often, so I added some weather stripping around the doors of my storage (gun and powder and primer) safes and caulked all the seams and holes where they attach to the floor and wall. I did not do all my safes at the same time, so I had the opportunity to see how that worked. Both the safes that were sealed and the ones that still had air leaks had one of those dehumidifiers inside--both turned pink which means time to recharge-- in 5 days. I thought that was odd, so I tried a further experiment in which I added another DHer set on the loading bench and one out in the barn. They were all recharged and set out on the same day. They all went pink within 5 days. This seemed to indicate to me that these little DHers cannot dry and/or keep dry the volume of air in a 9 gun safe that is nearly full of jugs of powder.......

    My room dehumidifier most of the year runs nearly constantly in the gun room with the door and window closed keeping the humidity between 35 and 40%. That seems to be the best I can do without getting a ridiculously expensive dehumidifier..........I gave my l7 little DHers to my son who put them all in his one 15 gun safe and he only has to recharge them every Sunday, but he is in Montana on a mountain and it 's not so humid there. I have not used the exact Eva Dry product someone showed above, but I imagine it is the same as the ones I have tried--they all look like they are made at the same factory and only the names have been changed to protect the profit margins
     
  16. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good info - I'll have to look into that book.

    As for the dehumidifier, I posted about the Eva-Dry. I'm not exactly where you're located, but I suspect we're in the same general area, so we should have similar ranges of humidity. I've been using this model for a year, and I can go between 2-4 weeks between recharging it. If we've had a string of humid days, it will saturate more quickly. My safe isn't particularly small, and I think it's pretty well sealed. I haven't tried putting it out on an open work bench, but it's worked extremely well for my application.
     
  17. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Storing powder, question the thought... Load it....
    Wood storage unit might be best if secure.
    Having a substantial amount of powder or powders on hand could be troublesome, if someone unfamiliar with reloading was to acquire some (ie: steal them.) Having the powder secured, at least give's you some disclaimer if someone happens to get into your stash.

    Most, if not all powder today comes in plastic containers, so the off gassing or corrosion should be minimal, but keeping lids tight is a good idea.

    As for the other part of your question about buying open powder, or partial containers, if, IF, ONLY if, you know your seller,or can find someone who knows your seller, you could consider buying an opened container.

    just my .o2c
     
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  18. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    Another thought: There are small, inexpensive temperature and humidity meters that you can use to check on the effectiveness and accuracy of various devices and methods of drying a room or a safe. The one I have is about the size of a pack of cigarettes and designed to sit on any flat surface. I bought mine on Amazon some time after I ordered my room dehumidifier. I wanted to check on the accuracy of the on board meter in the machine, since it did not read the same humidity as the weather station down the road when I started it up.
    The little meter is surprisingly accurate being always within a % or two when compared to the weather station. Temperature as well. The bigger machine stars out wrong, but both devices agree pretty well once the room starts to dry out.
     
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