“I do not recommend removing powder from the original packing cans but storing these cans in a wooden cabinet where the temperature and humidity are regulated will guarantee usable and reliable powder for long periods of time.”
We’ve seen prices on ammo and components rise, supply shrink, and the ever-present threat of some type of government clamp-down on firearms-related products; serious shooters, hunters and ordinary gun-owning citizens need to protect their stocks of these items. With the current political situation in mind, here are a few tips for keeping your handloads and other ammunition safe and reliable.
I am not an alarmist nor do I consider myself paranoid but with all the political insanity that is coming out of Washington I can’t see the liberals holding off on the gun issue much longer, certainly they are mad after the recent court decision on the Chicago gun ban. Actually I’m surprised, given the government-sponsored multi-faceted attack on individual and states’ rights, that some form of attack on firearms ownership has not taken place already. With the administration holding the door open in the Southwest for illegal immigration and given the number of weapons caches uncovered in the Arizona desert, I think it might be a good idea to get the house in order.
Modern primers and gun powder, if properly stored, have a nearly infinite shelf life. Indeed, even the older smokeless powders and black powder can last centuries and still be perfectly usable if they have been stored with care. I have some DuPont black powder made in 1920 that is still as potent and reliable as it was the day it was packaged and some factory ammunition from the very first days of smokeless powder that will still perform. These items have been stored with the three watchwords of care; cool, dry and dark.
By cool we mean stable temperature in the 50 to 80 degree range. Extreme high temperature can cause the deterioration of gun powders over long exposure; we’ve seen it time and again, ammo left on the dashboard and heated to extreme temperatures or frozen and re-heated. The gun won’t work without ammunition; find a place in the home where the temperature is stabilized and you have a good start on proper storage.
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About the Author: Walt Hampton is a professional gunsmith and writer from Virginia. He and his son Wade operate Buck Mountain Rifle Works, manufacturing semi-finished gun stocks and building custom rifles on order. Visit his website at www.buckmountainrifleworks.com or write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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