Storage of smokeless powders
What is the estimated shelf life of gun powder?
The estimated shelf-life of Vihtavuori gun powders is a minimum of 10 years, if stored and sealed in its original containers at a temperature of circa 20°C/ 68°F and a relative humidity of 55-65 %.
How do I store reloading powders?
STORE GUNPOWDER IN A COOL, DRY PLACE. Be sure the reloading powder storage area selected is free from any possible sources of excess heat and is isolated from open flame, furnaces, hot water heaters, etc. Do not store smokeless powder where it will be exposed to sunrays. Avoid storage in areas where mechanical or electrical equipment is in operation. Restrict from the storage areas heat or sparks which may result from improper, defective or overloaded electrical circuits.
DO NOT STORE SMOKELESS POWDER IN THE SAME AREA WITH SOLVENTS, FLAMMABLE GASES OR HIGHLY COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS. STORE ONLY IN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION APPROVED CONTAINERS.
Do not transfer the powder from an approved container into one which is not approved.
DO NOT SMOKE IN AREAS WHERE POWDER IS STORED OR USED. Place appropriate “NO SMOKING” signs in these areas.
THE STORAGE CABINETS SHOULD BE CONSTRUCTED OF INSULATING MATERIALS AND WITH A WEAK WALL, SEAMS OR JOINTS TO PROVIDE AN EASY MEANS OF SELFVENTING.
DO NOT KEEP OLD OR SALVAGED POWDERS. Check old powders for deterioration regularly. Destroy deteriorated powders immediately.
OBEY ALL REGULATIONS REGARDING QUANTITY AND METHODS OF STORING. Do not store all your powders in one place. If you can, maintain separate storage locations. Many small containers are safer than one or more large containers.
KEEP YOUR STORAGE AND USE AREA CLEAN. Clean up spilled powder promptly. Make sure the surrounding area is free of trash or other readily combustible materials.
The above information has been provided with permission from SAAMI: SPORTING ARMS AND AMMUNITION MANUFACTURERS’ INSTITUTE, INC. P.O. Box 838, Branford, CT 06405.