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Powder Quantity

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by DootyBeet, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. DootyBeet

    DootyBeet Salem Member

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    Here's another basic question. I had a visitor over yesterday that I showed my reloading setup to and while looking at the powder storage, he said that he believes there's a limitation to 20 lbs of powder in a home shop. He thought it was some sort of fire regulation. Is there any truth to that? If so, I need to use some up and not replenish. Yes, I'm storing it appropriately and safely.
    The stuff wouldn't explode it a fire, it would just burn hot and fast.
    Now primers are a different story...........

    Any insight to this 'rule'?
    Thanks
     
  2. Grizzly_A

    Grizzly_A Portland Metro Area Member

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    I found this in reference to the comments in your post. There are more restrictions on black powder than smokeless, but it never hurts to know what the law is, and whether it was trumped by federal law.


    Below is listed the synopsis of the National Fire Protection Association powder storage and transportation guidelines. These guidelines are self-explanatory, and should be followed closely, not only for compliance with the law, but to enhance the safety we enjoy pursuing our sport.

    13-3 SMOKELESS PROPELLANTS

    13-3.1 Quantities of smokeless propellants not exceeding 25 lb (11.3 kg), in shipping containers approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, shall be permitted to be transported in a private vehicle.

    13-3.2 Quantities of smokeless propellants exceeding 25 lb (11.3 kg) but not exceeding 50 lb (22.7 kg), transported in a private vehicle, shall be transported in a portable magazine having wood walls of at least 1 in. (25.4 mm) nominal thickness.

    13-3.3 Transportation of more than 50 lb (22.7 kg) of smokeless propellants in a private vehicle shall be prohibited.

    13-3.4 Commercial shipments of smokeless powder for small arms which has been classed in Division 1.3 shall be permitted to be reclassed as Division 4.1 Flammable Solid for transportation purposes for shipment by motor vehicle, rail car, vessel, or cargo-only aircraft, subject to the conditions stated in the U.S. Department of Transportation "Hazardous Materials Regulations," 49 CFR 173.171.

    13-3.5 Commercial shipments of smokeless propellants exceeding 100 lb (45.4 kg) or not packaged in accordance with the regulations cited in 13-3.4 shall be transported in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations for Class B propellant explosives.

    13-3.6 Smokeless propellants shall be stored in shipping containers specified by U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations.

    13-3.7 Smokeless propellants intended for personal use in quantities not exceeding 20 lb (9.1 kg) shall be permitted to be stored in original containers in residences. Quantities exceeding 20 lb (9.1 kg), but not exceeding 50 lb (22.7 kg), shall be permitted to be stored in residences where kept in a wooden box or cabinet having walls of at least 1 in. (25.4 mm) nominal thickness.

    13-3.8 Not more than 50 lb (22.7 kg) of smokeless propellants, in containers of 1 lb (0.45 kg) maximum capacity, shall be displayed in commercial establishments.

    13-3.9 Commercial stocks of smokeless propellants shall be stored as follows:

    (1) Quantities exceeding 50 lb (22.7 kg), but not exceeding 100 lb (45.4 kg), shall be stored in portable wooden boxes having walls of at least 1 in. (25.4 mm) thickness.

    (2) Quantities exceeding 100 lb (45.4 kg), but not exceeding 800 lb (363 kg), shall be stored in nonportable storage cabinets having walls of at least 1 in (25.4 mm) thickness. Not more than 400 lb (181 kg) shall be permitted to be stored in any one cabinet, and cabinets shall be separated by a distance of at least 25 ft (7.63 m) or by a fire partition having a fire resistance of at least 1 hour.

    (3) Quantities exceeding 800 lb (363 kg), but not exceeding 5,000 lb (2268 kg), shall be permitted to be stored in a building, provided the following requirements are met:

    (a). The warehouse or storage room shall not be accessible to unauthorized personnel.

    (b). Smokeless propellant shall be stored in nonportable storage cabinets having wood walls at least 1 in. (25.4 mm) thickness and having shelves with no more than 3 ft. (0.92 m) of separation between shelves.

    (c). No more than 400 lb. (181 kg) shall be stored in any one cabinet..

    (d). Cabinets shall be located against the walls of the storage room or warehouse with at least 40 ft (12.2 m) between cabinets.

    (e). The separation between cabinets shall be permitted to be reduced to 20 ft (6.1 m) where barricades twice the height of the cabinets are attached to the wall, midway between each cabinet. The barricades shall extend at least 10 ft. (3 m) outward, shall be firmly attached to the wall, and shall be constructed of 1/4 in. (6.4 mm) boiler plate, 2 in. (51 mm) thick wood, brick, or concrete block.

    (f). Smokeless propellant shall be separated from materials classified by the U.S. Department of Transportation as flammable liquids, flammable solids, and oxidizing materials by a distance of 25 ft. (7.63 m) or by a fire partition having a fire resistance of at least 1 hour.

    (g). The building shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.

    (4) Smokeless propellants not stored in accordance with 13.3.9 (1), (2), and (3) shall be stored in a Type 4 magazine constructed and located in accordance with Chapter 8.

    Reprinted from NFPA495-85, Standard for the Manufacture, Transportation, Storage and Use of Explosive Materials, © 2001, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy , MA 02269 . This reprinted material is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented by the Standard in its entirety.

    Along with the responsibilities of proper storage and handling of smokeless propellants, comes an equal consideration, and that is the storage and handling of modern sporting ammunition primers. While these guidelines are available several places on the web, we have chosen to include them here as well for your reference, and your safety.
     
  3. DootyBeet

    DootyBeet Salem Member

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    Wow, seems like I need to build a cabinet with 1" thick wood surrounds.
    I don't know if anyone remembers, but there was a guy in Silverton, about 1 year ago, who reportibly made fireworks or sold, via internet, fireworks making supplies. His house was raided and he was arrrested for having a large quanitity of powder in big containers. I remember they brought in HazMat to remove the powder. I think they over-dramatized the situation a bit.
    Thanks for the above info. It appears the restrictions are on transportation relating to quantities and otherwise methods for containment.
    No need to hoard powder anyway as it's getting easier to acquire.
    Thanks again Grizzly
     
  4. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    If you don't feel the urge to blab to everyone about how much you have, you'll be fine

    Having said that my reloading components are stored in a 1340 lb Diebold USPS surplus safe out at the corner of my garage.. it's rated for fire for over 1 hour, so I'm pretty sure the contents would survive a house fire
     
  5. Grizzly_A

    Grizzly_A Portland Metro Area Member

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    Wow, where'd you get a USPS safe?
     
  6. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Bought it at a Postal auction at a closed USPS location for $125 back in the late 80s ;)

    I have a special way to move it with a trailer and a winch, no way to actually hand truck it anywhere, or to get it far into a building