Knowing the best way to store reloading powder can help ensure your own safety and keep your powder preserved and effective over the long term. Get the most out of your ammo reloading supplies with these helpful fundamentals.
10 Tips for Reloading Powder Storage
Here are some basic powder storage guidelines for reloaders:
- Never store containers of powder on the floor – otherwise, you risk moisture contamination or infestation from rodents or insects.
- Store the powder in the original container if at all possible – powder manufacturers use metal or plastic receptacles that are designed for long-term use.
- Give the original container an added level of protection by storing it in a plastic box or case – a portable tote protected by a watertight O-ring is a good choice for this purpose.
- Never keep powder in an outdoor storage shed or garage – these areas can become extremely hot during the summer. Remember, your powder should stay cool at all times.
- Minimize atmospheric moisture – many reloaders set up their workbench in their basement or cellar. This is fine, but keep in mind that these areas are known for being dank and moist. You may want to use a dehumidifier to keep the air as dry as possible.
- Never store combustible liquids, explosives, or pressurized sprays near your powder – keep products like gasoline, kerosene, lamp oil, fireworks, and petroleum-based lubricants away from your powder.
- Avoid storing large amounts of powder in a single container – it’s better to keep smaller amounts of powder stored in separate containers.
- Make sure your storage area is neat and tidy – clean up water or chemical spills right away, empty trash cans on a regular basis, and keep your workspace free of clutter and potential trip hazards.
- Limit access to your storage area – consider locking the door to your reloading workshop or asking family members to stay away from it when it’s not in use.
- Never have an open flame nearby when working with powder or other reloading supplies – this includes fireplaces, wood stoves, propane heaters, and similar items. Also, you should never smoke when reloading ammo.
What to Do With Powder That’s Past Its Prime
Old or contaminated powders should be disposed of as soon as possible. Here are four ways to know that they’re past their prime:
- If the powder smells like vinegar – as powder degrades, it releases a solvent called acetic acid, which is commonly found in household vinegar.
- If it looks like rust – if you notice a reddish tint to the powder, then the chemical compounds in its makeup are beginning to separate. Avoid using it.
- If it feels warm – remember, reloading powder should always be cool and dry. If it’s giving off heat, then something’s wrong.
- If the performance of your reloaded ammo begins to deteriorate – as powder ages, it becomes less effective. If you notice a reduction in range or accuracy, or an unusual number of misfires, then it’s time to inspect your powder.
As for disposing of your old powder, we urge you to contact your local hazardous waste management facility for specific instructions. Do not follow the advice commonly found on the Internet that says you can simply scatter it across your yard or garden. At the very least, you may end up poisoning your plants or even yourself.
Get Your Reloading Supplies at Powder Valley
Powder Valley is a one-stop superstore for reloading powders and all your other reloading supply needs. Here you can get the best ammo products at the lowest prices. Shoot more and pay less when you shop at Powder Valley.