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Thread: Primer storage life?

  1. #1
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default Primer storage life?

    I was told recently that primers have a limited storage life. How long will they last? Does being in sealed in a round differ from being in the box?

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Back during the dark days of the Klintoon administration, the suggestion of requiring primers to have a limited storage life came up, but nothing to my knowledge ever became of it as it would also affect LE and military ammo supplies.
    Now what ?

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    Non corrosive primers last several decades at least (if stored correctly), I know of at least one person who loaded ammo using a box of 20+ year old primers that all shot fine. Corrosive primers supposedly last longer than that, we see 50-60 year old surplus Soviet ammo over here all the time that shoots fine.
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    I still come across CCI primers that were bought in the late 70's to early 80's and they have all gone bang when I loaded them.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    O, ok, thanks!

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    In my shop, right now... I have some trays of CCI primers from 1975. They still work fine. I have kept them dry and in an ammo can for over 30 years.

    I also have a bunch from the mid 90s that I shot with today.
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    Default Big IF

    IF kept cool they should last for many decades. I've got ammo I loaded back in the 70s & 80s that shoots just fine. If you have any concerns keep them in an air tight container in your freezer. Ditto for your powder if you have room.

    Decomposition of primers or powder follows the old rule of thumb for chemical reactions: the speed doubles for every 10 deg C temperature rise. In practical terms powder or primers will last about 8 to 10 times as long if you keep them in your freezer rather than at room temperature.

    I don't know what the effect of temeprature cycling is but keeping them at a constant temperature is usually better than cycling.
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    I have ammo from the 50's that shoots just like the day it was made. As for Primers if stored properly they will last longer than we will

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    keep them in your freezer rather than at room temperature.
    If you do that with primers that are not in sealed in ammo you had better shrink wrap them so they don't condense water on them when you pull them out. In long term freezer storage they could also be damaged from food moisture inside the freezer over the long haul if not protected. All in all, sounds like it's not a bad plan.

    Andy

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    Default less moisture issues

    Air at cold temperatures holds much less moisture than a warmer temperatures so actually they are better off - drier - in the freezer even unwrapped.

    Best bet would be to put them in an air tight container like a ammo box. No plastic is a barrier against moisture - that is why the metalized mylar is used for moisture sensitive food containers. Shrink wrap works on food because it holds the plastic tightly against the contents and thus prevents freezer burn. I get a similar effect at much lower cost by wrapping my fish fillets tightly in saran type plastic wrap before I put them in ordinary feezer bags.


    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    If you do that with primers that are not in sealed in ammo you had better shrink wrap them so they don't condense water on them when you pull them out. In long term freezer storage they could also be damaged from food moisture inside the freezer over the long haul if not protected. All in all, sounds like it's not a bad plan.

    Andy
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    Air at cold temperatures holds much less moisture than a warmer temperatures so actually they are better off - drier - in the freezer even unwrapped.

    Best bet would be to put them in an air tight container like a ammo box. No plastic is a barrier against moisture - that is why the metalized mylar is used for moisture sensitive food containers. Shrink wrap works on food because it holds the plastic tightly against the contents and thus prevents freezer burn. I get a similar effect at much lower cost by wrapping my fish fillets tightly in saran type plastic wrap before I put them in ordinary feezer bags.
    I would NOT do this. look at what is in your freezer and look at whats on it. Frost. Take some thing out of the freezer and see what happens to it. For primer all you have to do is keep them at room temp and dry and you will not have a problem. i have primers that are 20yrs old and they work fine.

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    Default Feeezer storage

    Frost forms on the evapaorator coils of the freezer because it is the coldest part in the freezer. Part of the water comes from the outside air and part comes from the food drying out in the freezer - "freezer burn".

    I've stored camera film - it does have a finite life- and flashlight batteries for years in the freezer with no problems. Storing things in the freezer is hardly new- it has been around for a very long time. Primers are no different.


    Quote Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
    I would NOT do this. look at what is in your freezer and look at whats on it. Frost. Take some thing out of the freezer and see what happens to it. For primer all you have to do is keep them at room temp and dry and you will not have a problem. i have primers that are 20yrs old and they work fine.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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