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I have a bit of an oddball question.....no stupid answers please! I will be building my pole barn house (40x64 with 24x40 being the residence) pretty soon and I plan on heating with an inside wood stove and the garage portion with its own wood stove. I plan on reloading for my 336 in .35 rem and 1895 in 45-70 in the garage portion. I plan on keeping primers and powders in a metal container. Now the question....how far away is safe to reload away from the wood stove? This is more important for winter time reloading. I do plan on being "Off the grid" as much as possible, so wood is the heat source. Any and all recommendations/advice is appreciated as to I don't want to become a large firework display.

Again, serious thoughts and/or suggestions please! This is the plan so I have to make it work, safely!!!

Thanks, Scott.

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Hey 531,

If you can, you would like to keep them in separate steel cabinets.. sparks & primers do not mix well...

The lack of HUMIDITY can be problematical with primers. STATIC can/will set them off.

You can mitigate that by simply putting a large pot of water on the wood stove...


You do want to keep both powder & primers as far as possible from the stove.

If you get the powder warm, it will deteriorate the retardant.

Hope this helps.

Later, Mark
 

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Hey 531,

If you can, you would like to keep them in separate steel cabinets.. sparks & primers do not mix well...

The lack of HUMIDITY can be problematical with primers. STATIC can/will set them off.

You can mitigate that by simply putting a large pot of water on the wood stove...


You do want to keep both powder & primers as far as possible from the stove.

If you get the powder warm, it will deteriorate the retardant.

Hope this helps.

Later, Mark
Thank you. I know about water for humidity and separate steel containers. And the obvious of as far away from the heat, the rest I did NOT know! Thank you for that!

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Temperature and humidity are harmful to both primers and powder. Both primers and powder will keep for decades if stored under proper conditions. Basically they should be kept at temperature and humidity levels similar to comfortable human living conditions, or perhaps a bit cooler. Neither should not be stored in an attic or an unheated garage where temperatures rise into the 90s or higher, nor in uncontrolled humidity.

Will your barn maintain those conditions through summer heat, humidity, and winter cold? Neither primers nor powder should be close enough to your wood stove to be heated directly by it. Powder should be stored in a wood or sheet metal cabinet which will allow pressure to dissipate should the powder ever be ignited from an outside source. (Powder must be pressure contained for it to burn fast enough to detonate.) Do not store powder and primers together. Store primers in their original packages which are designed to minimize static charges. Do not store primers loose in a glass or plastic container which can accumulate static charges.

Stored properly, both primers and powder can last and remain active for a lifetime.
 

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Hey 531,

Ask me about mistakes..........

Made most of 'em...LOL

I'm a "high static" individual. Two steps on the carpet....can "zap" you from 10'! LOL

Later, Mark
 

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This post makes me wonder how many muskets or percussion firearms were loaded either by a campfire or next to the hearth in an Appalachian cabin.
The world has changed a lot in the past few decades, but some things have remained very similar.
Keep your powder dry and don't store it on top of the stove.
 

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This post makes me wonder how many muskets or percussion firearms were loaded either by a campfire or next to the hearth in an Appalachian cabin.
The world has changed a lot in the past few decades, but some things have remained very similar.
Keep your powder dry and don't store it on top of the stove.
I've always said I was born 100 years too late!! My girlfriend keeps calling me Grizzly Adams!


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I can relate! by at least 100 years. I have forefathers who served in the Revolution and often wished I had known or served with them.
I feel we are going through trying times, but give credit, where due, to our ancestors.
 

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531:
I've been reloading on the stump for 36 years. Before that I used the kitchen table. The powders and primers, etc, are stored in a separate room far from the woodstove. I only bring one weight bullet, one kind of primer, one powder, and one powder dipper out to the stump, then do a run of 20 - 50 rounds. Keeping it safe and simple. If the components change, there's still only one of the necessary supplies on the stump. Got coffee, rock n roll, and wood heat. Never had a problem. Store your powder and primers as far from the wood burner as possible. Safety first!.
Picture0428201037_1 - Edited (1).jpg


I prime on the press with a Lee Ram Prime. Excellent primer seating feel.
Picture0708171446_1 - Edited.jpg
 

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if you do not need a particularly large surface when powder and primers are out of their cabinets, perhaps a little dedicated table with wheels can allow you to better manage the compromise between heating the person and safe distance from the heat source.
 

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if you do not need a particularly large surface when powder and primers are out of their cabinets, perhaps a little dedicated table with wheels can allow you to better manage the compromise between heating the person and safe distance from the heat source.
I like that idea!

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Since high/low temp has been covered as well as distance and lots of other great advice I only had one tip to give that many already know.
When I battle static typically in the winter when the air is drier and furnace is running I wipe down anything that will contact powder with a dryer sheet.

This would include my scale pans, inside of powder tubes drops dies etc.
It isn't perfect but it does help prevent static cling!!!

Personally I also like a great hand prime tool when I'm not on my progressive press, Frankford Arsenal's is my favorite.
Allows me to prime anywhere and gives a great feel.
They are a little more expensive than others, but very little plastic and have everything to do large and small primers for most calibers.
Given the current shortages I am surprised that midwayusa has them as they seem to come and go for availability.
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Perfect Seat Hand Priming Tool

One other suggestion, if you are using corn media tumblers/vibratory or the like for cleaning brass I would think about where you locate them to isolate the noise and dust.
 

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My advice- Steel cabinet?!?! Absolutely not. If the stuff ever does ignite, the steel cabinet becomes a very large pipe bomb. Use a wood cabinet that won't contain pressure.

Second, if the wood stove is across the room, I don't see an issue. Just be sane about how much powder and primers you're working with at a time.
 

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I think the issue of static electricity needs to be stated again, over and over, redundantly .... then again!

Yep, wiping down every metal or plastic tool with a dryer sheet could possibly save a reloader from a lot of grief. I have a coffee can full of partially used dryer sheets on my little bench and they get used often. Another thing I learned back in the early 80's when just beginning the journey into using computers was to touch the metal leg of the desk or chair fist - before touching the computer equipment. That stuck in my head and became an instant practice when I sat down for a reloading session.

Static electricity ain't your friend!


jd
 

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View attachment 839008

Too tidy. It would never stay this way in my basement. But it's a good idea.

The presses must be mounted to a solid table like this one. However, it will take you a little while to decide the best spot for each item you need to mount. And you don't need to mount them all. Not sure why he needs 3 single stage presses. The other is a Lee turret.

My RCBS powder measure is mounted on a board with the long axis in the direction of the handle throw. It's very stable, and I can move it around on the reloading surface.

The table above has two priming tools mounted, no doubt one each for small and large primers. These can be substituted for by two hand primers RCBS, Lee, etc which many prefer, and for about the same price.

This will save space on the reloading surface and give easier access to the other things that need to be on the surface during reloading--brass, bullets, powder can (maybe), micrometer, scale, digital caliper, reloading manual, etc. If you don't fill every table edge with mounted gadgets, and you won't gouge your arms as you reach past them.

Think about whether you like to reload standing or sitting. Make your bench height suitable for the one your prefer, kitchen table height or kitchen counter height.
 

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My advice- Steel cabinet?!?! Absolutely not. If the stuff ever does ignite, the steel cabinet becomes a very large pipe bomb. Use a wood cabinet that won't contain pressure.


Thanks for the clarification, I should have been more clear.

Steel cabinet? In this case, yes. I have other stronger cabinets that I would not use for this purpose.

You don't know this cabinet. It's a junky old, rattly, thin sheet metal cabinet with two swinging doors. Just about wooden cabinet would be stronger and tighter than this one. It does not lock. It doesn't even latch. Plenty of space to vent even before doors swing open.

Another option would be a vented cabinet, with either a screen or grid.

An old media cabinet would be ideal, as the back is open. Certainly. you do not want your powder storage to be in anything that will allow any sort of pressure build up if it were ever to ignite.

And if you have black powder, don't keep it in with your smokeless powder.
 
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I would just add that large swings in temp aren't good, and if you are letting the shop drop to under 50F/10C consistently, it might be better to store the primers and powder in another location.
I don't think there is a problem reloading near something warm, as long as flammables are not permanently stored near the heat source.

As far as humidity, most powder containers are relatively air tight. Primers not so much. You can use the wife's vacuum sealer on the primers you aren't using and just keep a 1000 of each in a plastic air tight container like an ammo box.

As far as storing in a metal cabinet. The explosive power is proportional to the ability to retain the pressure. A flimsy sheet metal cabinet that is not airtight or even tightly sealed is unlikely to be able to contain pressure of significant amount to cause a major explosion significantly worse than that of the powder burning itself. A safe would be a different story.

Static? have something nearby you can touch to ground yourself or the surface and it should not be a problem.
 

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as afterthought, I would add that it may be necessary to move powders quickly from their usual cabinet or even out of the room_
while it can be slow to empty a full (or move a big) container cabinet, one or more milsurp. wooden ammo crates. generally equipped with handles, are manageable by a single person, cheap, sturdy, easy to equip with wheel to kicking them around, they can be locked, used as stool, painted, etc. _ ...another way to reinvent the wheels :)

REINVENTING THE WHELLS.jpg
 
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