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Discussion Starter #1
Thanks in advace for the help. Just getting into handloading and I was concerned about safe handling of someless powders in the workshop:

1) What is the best storage practices for smokeless powders (other than an undeground vault!)? Can it be stored outside in the unheated gardenshed?

2) I know you don't use a vacuum cleaner around the bench or floor. I gather carpeting is out. Should reloading be done in the house?

3) What is the limit for powder age before it should be disposed of?

savageT
 

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safe smokeless

1) Store in cool dry place, in the original container. Do not leave it in the powder measure, there is ether and alcohol in the powder that will evaporate, and also damage the plastic powder hopper.
2)Most people reload in the house, in a room devoted to reloading or hobbies, or in the garage.
3) If stored properly, (read the label), powder will last for many years. If it turns green and smells funny, flush it. I have powder that's over 20 years old, it works fine.
 

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handling powder

Flint pretty much covered the powder storage issue.

Like Flint I have a few cans of powders that are getting pretty long in the tooth but they’re still good.

The biggest concern to me when handling powder is keeping it identified. Knowing what you are working with at all times during the reloading session. I will make test loads for a particular round and bullet using 2 or 3 powders but I never have more than 1 type of powder on the bench at a time. I will make up whatever number of rounds with that powder than I seat the bullets, bag or box those rounds making sure to identify the powder, charge, primer, and bullet used. After those rounds have been put away I clean the bench, throwing away any powder spilt on the surface, zero the scale, and put any unused powder back in its can, seal it up tight and put it away. Than I get out the next powder and proceed again.

If you practice using only one type of component at a time you can eliminate most (not all) of the dangerous errors a person can make when reloading. That will go a long ways in keeping your gun in one piece, your fingers on hands, and not shaking the confidence of your fellow shooters setting next to you at the range.
:)
 

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As to "2)" I use a vacuum on the bench and the floor and all the shelves in between. Carpeting is great for protecting falling bullets and dropped rounds from damage, and the dog prefers carpet to concrete. Block or fill all nooks and crannies where components can hide.
cukrus
 

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Fool-proof Method

Here's the method I use to avoid screw-ups:

1. Remove sized cases from tumbler and place base-up in loading tray.
Inspect primer pockets.

2. Flare case mouths and replace in loading tray mouth-up. Inspect.

3. Prime and replace in loading tray primer-up. Inspect.

4. Charge with powder and replace in loading tray mouth-up. Inspect.

5. Seat and crimp bullet. Inspect.

As you can see, the case is "flipped" after each operation. Now, if I have my powder measure and scales set correctly I've got a good reload. Good habits mean good loads.


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