Reloading - Humidity

Reloading - Humidity

Postby ShadowByte » Sun, 09 Dec 2012 01:16:15

I recently set aside a section of our basement to turn into a little reloading room and I am a bit concerned about humidity. The basement isn't finished and under normal circumstances the air is a bit damp, but generally no water or anything of that sort is seeping through the walls or floor.

I placed a 50 pint dehumidifier in there for a 250 sq ft basement and it has improved the over all feel of the basement so far pretty dramatically. It has taken the level down to about 45% - 50% and I was curious about what would be an acceptable level for reloading specifically? I imagine the powder should be fine as long as its kept in the original containers with the lids tight, however I was concerned about the primers since they are not in a sealed container of any kind. Would it be better to place the components in zip lock bags (in their original packaging) or could this cause a static electricity problem when removing them?

Thanks for any opinions and real life experience, it is very much appreciated!


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Re: Reloading - Humidity

Postby CowboyT » Sun, 09 Dec 2012 01:27:17

Real-life experience? I do a lot of revolver cartridges, both mild and wild loads. Powder and primers do last longer when the air's drier. However, I've reloaded in some very muggy air many a time. My reloads have not demonstrated any detectable issues with this. You should be fine.

The one concern I might have is possible surface rusting of your gear. Just give 'em a good periodic wipe-down with some WD-40 or similar rust protectant, and that ought to do it.
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Re: Reloading - Humidity

Postby Palladin » Sun, 09 Dec 2012 08:52:22

Consider a good coating of Thoroseal on the walls...
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Re: Reloading - Humidity

Postby ShadowByte » Sun, 09 Dec 2012 09:51:35

CowboyT, I had some things start to show a few small pin head dots of rust, which prompted the purchase of the dehumidifier. I placed most everything in sealed ziplock bags and keep the powder/primers in a proper box upstairs, but I would rather keep it all in one area now. I made sure to keep the actual classic turret press coated and it so far has no signs of issues.

Good to know that I should be ok for the reload's performance as well. No components should be outside of the finished bullet for too long prior to being used, so hopefully with 45% humidity levels it won't do too bad.

It sounds like I should be ok as long as the components are at least sealed tight when not in use (which I do anyways). I may go ahead and keep the primers in a zip lock bag as well to prevent excess moisture and put in some of the silica packs with them to take any excess moisture (unless this is unwise?).

I will most definitely be looking at the Thoroseal product. That is exactly what I have been trying find for the basement. The only recommendation that I have received so far was drylock, but I don't think it would cut it in this situation with rough brick walls. Thoroseal looks like it'll do a nice job of filling everything in. Have you used this before Palladin? I was curious about the fumes from it and the area coverage per bag/container?

Thanks for the info guys, I appreciate it!

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Re: Reloading - Humidity

Postby jdonovan » Sun, 09 Dec 2012 11:13:20

ShadowByte wrote:It has taken the level down to about 45% - 50% and I was curious about what would be an acceptable level for reloading specifically?


Thats a fine humidity level.


I imagine the powder should be fine as long as its kept in the original containers with the lids tight,


Yes. If this was 30years ago and we were still buying powder in fiber board containers... perhaps not. Today power is in moisture tight containers.

however I was concerned about the primers since they are not in a sealed container of any kind. Would it be better to place the components in zip lock bags (in their original packaging) or could this cause a static electricity problem when removing them?



I wouldn't go plastic bags, but an ammo can with a little desiccant if you feel like it needs it.

I used to have a slightly damp basement, I painted the walls with drylok and panted the floor with a water base epoxy made for basements. Made a HUGE difference in the dampness. In the winter I now have to humidify, or I'll get below 20% and then static shocks become a real problem.


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Re: Reloading - Humidity

Postby ShadowByte » Sun, 09 Dec 2012 22:08:55

Good suggestion on the ammo boxes and desiccant. My plan is to eventually build a wooden wall cabinet to put the stuff in with a box of the desiccant that I can rotate out with a fresh one. Ammo cans will probably be the best solution until I can get the wood together for the cabinet though.

I was looking at drylock, but the basement walls are rough brick and I don't know how well that would do? We did this with a house that had the smooth cement walls and it worked great, but I just have a nagging feeling the roughly done brick might provide too wild a surface area for it, though I certainly could (probably) be wrong?

I think that Thoroseal that Palladin suggested might be the best route. That seems to put a nice layer on the brick. Definitely will do some research on both of them though.

Thanks again guys for your suggestions and comments!


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Re: Reloading - Humidity

Postby jdonovan » Mon, 10 Dec 2012 06:46:19

ShadowByte wrote:I was looking at drylock, but the basement walls are rough brick and I don't know how well that would do?


Just fine. Thats what my basement is. It took us 2 coats, and the first coat was applied via a brush, and took a long time to ensure we got the product down into all the pits and used quite a bit of product. 2nd coat was rolled with a thick nap roller and went on in 1/4 the time as the brush coat.

The other plus is the white walls really reflect light, so the basement feels less 'dark' than pre-painting.


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Re: Reloading - Humidity

Postby M1A4ME » Mon, 10 Dec 2012 07:10:43

I've kept primers and powder in my attic for 25 years with no issues using them (ran across them 2 years ago while looking for something else).

My Lee dies are rusting out in the shed. My Pacific dies (35 years old) still look new. The RCBS press has some rust on it, too. Parts of the RCBS powder measure show some rust spots.


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Re: Reloading - Humidity

Postby Palladin » Mon, 10 Dec 2012 21:51:43

jdonovan wrote:
ShadowByte wrote:I was looking at drylock, but the basement walls are rough brick and I don't know how well that would do?


Just fine. Thats what my basement is. It took us 2 coats, and the first coat was applied via a brush, and took a long time to ensure we got the product down into all the pits and used quite a bit of product. 2nd coat was rolled with a thick nap roller and went on in 1/4 the time as the brush coat.

The other plus is the white walls really reflect light, so the basement feels less 'dark' than pre-painting.



I've got drylock in my basement, too, it's good stuff. :) I've used Thoroseal on commercial jobs...
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