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Thread: Safe storage for powders, primers and loaded ammunition

  1. #1
    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Safe storage for powders, primers and loaded ammunition

    As I am now gaining more and more powders, primers and loaded ammunition I find myself wondering how to store these growing quantities safely and securely. I am now a father of two and remembering my childhood I really need these things secure. Don't worry the firearms are secured in a Champion safe in the bedroom. I have thought of an inexpensive but secure Costco/Winchester safe for the garage/reloading room for all of these things. My worry is if in the case of a fire would this type of safe with fire seals etc. possibly cause a very large explosion? My main concern is keeping these these locked away from my kids and their friends. But I also don't want to level the entire neighborhood if there was an accident. Most of the cheap Homedepot type locking cabnets just don't seem secure enough. This is a MAJOR concern for me right now and would really like some real world input, sugestions and advise. Thanks J-Rod


  2. #2
    Administrator 1911's Avatar
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    If your remembering our childhood day's, you should be concerned!

    I wouldnt be concerned with any "explosion" factor, smokeless powder, primers and ammo, unless in a very tightly sealed container, shouldn't cause anymore than a noisy, an entertaining show in a fire. If worried about theft and worried a locker wouldn't suffice, just get an inexpensive safe to keep it locked up in. I would avoid storing in a garage if at all possible, you have extreme temp spreads there, can be very hot or cold. Ammo is pretty stable, but I dont know what prolonged exposure to extreme hi/lo temps will do for it, plus both can lead to condensation which is never good for components.


  3. #3
    Super Moderator handcaster's Avatar
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    Yeah... the danger from explosion is in spreading bits of shrapnel. Just as in a chamber, it takes containment to allow pressure to build so if your locking cabinet comes apart easily, that's a GOOD thing. It vents the gas.
    Powder and primers want DRY first, cool/dry second. The danger of temperature spreads is in condensate... warm air holds more moisture, cool surfaces causes
    the moisture to coalesce into droplets (the kind that run down your toilet tank on hot humid afternoons). This takes place on a microscopic scale inside your locked cabinet but powder in a sealed container, even an opened one tightly resealed - or primers stored in their original containers, are pretty well proofed against that tiny amount of condensate. If you live in a HUMID area, you can store your components in their original containers, in Zip-Lock bags that you can vacuum flat by adapting the suction side of your shop vac to a needle valve (think basketball inflation). Less air, less moisture.

    Locking cabinets are not secure from prying. If your kids are old enough to pry at a door but not old enough to know better, you might further secure the cabinets by bolting a chain so it's suspended on either side, smooth head outside - nut and lock-washer inside, and padlock it. (See YouTube vids for how easily even expensive padlocks can be defeated, however.)
    If that isn't sufficient deterrent, you have identified a problem that can't be solved inexpensively and might consider storage off-property for the time being.

    The most likely source of ignition is not your components. They're designed to function WITH each other and NOT to function very well otherwise. But if the fire gets started some other way, they present accelerators that can be disastrous, like stored gasoline. As pressures increase to disarm Americans, we tend to store more components. When one of us has a disaster it will be reported loudly and for a long time by an antagonistic press. I hope this thread develops some ingenious solutions.


  4. #4
    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    I'm kind of stuck in the garage for now. Humidity is not a concern where I live but seasonal temperature swings are. Although the garage is insulated and I have heat for the winter months it is not temperature controlled like the house would be. Trying to educate my own children as much as possible but with kids you know how it goes. I can make a cheap cabnet a little more secure or buy another safe for the garage or possibly a larger for the house. I know my wifes thoughts on another/larger safe in the house. Probably not going to happen. Just want to be a safe as possible and prolong the life of my components.


  5. #5
    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Well cleaned out the safe in the house and moved the powders and primers inside. If my powder and primer supply gets any bigger I may have a problem,or an excuse to buy a bigger safe!


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