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Thread: Moving and Temporary Storage of Reloading Supplies and Equipment

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy


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    Moving and Temporary Storage of Reloading Supplies and Equipment

    I hope this is the right place for this thread, if not I apologize.

    My wife and I are thinking pretty hard about selling our house and moving in the next couple of months. I have a lot of reloading supplies (powder/primers ect) and equipment (Walnut Hill Press,Dillon 650, Hornady LNL among others) that I need out of the house before I put it on the market. I need to clear up space and have no desire for strangers to know what I have or do (gun safe will be relocated to my parents house hopefully). I am thinking most stuff will be in storage at least a month reality probably 3 or 4 while we sell the old and settle the new, I am not anticipating a ton of time free to reload so not worried about access to it until its unpacked and the new reloading area set up.

    So on to the actual issue... I live in WI and plan to get a unheated uninsulated storage unit to hold our other bulky stuff that I can live without for a bit.I am concerned up potential temp swings or humidity changes rusting my presses or affecting primers/powder. It is in the low 40s now but could easily be sub zero in a month or two. Would it make sense to rent a seperate smaller climate controlled unit for the reloading equipment (and a few power tools I'd guess)? It'd be nice to save a few bucks but not at the expense of my reloading gear.

    Thanks for the help...I forgot how much of a pain moving was.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I had the same issue. I bought cosmoline.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    I was in the same boat as you about 16 years ago along with lots of reloading equipment I also had machine tools. Order desiccant packs/bags for the primers and store them and any ammo in an airtight container with a desiccant bag. I used 50cal ammo cans, but plastic snap top containers would work also. The powder containers should be fine if they're plastic or metal just by themselves, but if you have some of the older cardboard containers I'd treat them like the primers. That was the easy part. The exposed steel parts on my reloading presses got coated in honey colored wheel bearing grease as did any bare steel tools, vises, machining tools, mill tables, lathe ways, chucks, backplates ect until I ran out of it and used some red mobile 1 grease if it wasn't likely to stain any paint. All chromed tools were sprayed off with some LPS spray oil. Good thing I'd done that as the 1-2 months turned into almost 5 when our builder got behind. They spent the entire winter and part of the fall/spring in an unheated storage unit. When I finally got to unpack everything only the couple things that didn't get treated were rusty. So when we moved again about 8 years ago everything got the same treatment and came out of it unscathed but greasy. That time they spent part of the spring and all of the summer in a storage unit. Not as bad of conditions but I'd rather have to wipe some grease off than remove rust. Here's a pic of a few lathe chucks and back plates that were covered in grease from the last move. Also try to keep any metal items off of the concrete floor as with the temperature changes the concrete can become damp.
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  4. #4
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what the cost per month is, of a "separate smaller climate controlled unit", but that sounds like the best idea.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    How bout M&D's for the reloading gear?

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy


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    Quote Originally Posted by Grmps View Post
    How bout M&D's for the reloading gear?
    Thanks for the resoponses I was kind of thinking the climate controlled would be the best idea. I think it was $50/month for a 5x5 spot. My lathe is a 8x12 so it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to put that in there too. Try to watch the "little" costs because they add up quick.

  7. #7
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    fiberoptik's Avatar
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    Get some crystal cat litter & put some in old holy socks. Instant dessicant bags. Much cheaper!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I think you're right to be concerned about moisture. A friend gave me some reloading equipment that he had in a storage building and some of it was rusty. Some of the ammo showed signs of corrosion. He had it stored in plastic boxes.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
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    If itís only three to four months, which would be over the winter, I wouldnít worry. The problems come in the spring through summer. W/ the worse being in the shoulder seasons when the space, and concrete, are cold but the ambient temp rises quickly. This leads to everything condensing. I have this issue in my garage ever year. Itís what causes the bulk of the rusting. Thereís no issues in the winter. For longer periods do as advised above.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    There are two ways to protect ferrous metal.
    You can try to control the water vapor present in the area (climate controlled environment, air tight containers with desiccant, etc)
    OR
    You can prevent the water vapor from reaching the surface of the metal (cosmoline, grease, wax, oil, etc.)

    The third way is to do both.

    The climate controlled space is the easiest, you just put the stuff in there. However it is more expensive in terms of space and you are depending on the climate control to work (no power failures, equipment failures, etc.)

    Protecting the individual item requires more effort but is cheaper and not reliant on someone else's system.

    If you don't have a lot of items and you have the time to coat them with grease, that's the less expensive route.

    I would vote for taking a day and protecting everything with grease. I am a big fan of RIG for long term storage of ferrous metals.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy


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    Well I think I will end up with the climate controlled unit its $50/month for 5'x5' and then to double protect I will at least oil my presses good. Hopefully I have time to make some crates and then I could moved them at the last minute...Save on the unit cost and minimize the time they are out of my control. Hopefully the 5x5 will be enough for the presses, powder, primers, and loaded ammo. I think it will be big boy tetris lol.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I had similar situation - in MI where temperature/humidity can change. We rented an unheated storage unit to hold stuff until we could get things sorted/thinned out. I just sprayed my reloading presses down with spray oil and put them in plastic tote boxes. My powder supply - they went in to several large "plastic coolers" so the space could be utilized and I just taped the covers down with tape. My primers went in to the plastic ammo boxes that Harbor Freight sells - air tight - as did much of my loaded ammo. The ammo boxes are fairly cheap and I can always find a use for them. My die sets were sprayed with oil and put in to a large plastic tote boxes. They ended up being in storage a year - then sat several months in the garage of the condo we moved in to before I got a bench made, etc. They were just fine. My mold block I keep mostly in divided plastic boxes - like organizer boxes. If I am not going to use them - they get sprayed with oil. The boxes were put in a couple of different totes - no issues with the storage and no rust on anything.

  13. #13
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    A friend gave me several thousand Winchester primers that had been stored in a garage in Gulf Coastal Texas for about 20 years. His dad bought them and the son didnít want to continue reloading. The winters there are hard on things that rust or corrode with normally mild humid conditions interrupted by cold fronts. Metal gets cold soaked for 2-3 days and then the warm damp Gulf air fills back in. Everything starts condensing water to the point of dripping. Out of nearly 10,000 primers none failed to fire. Bare steel definitely needs protection though.

    Iím facing the same situation right now. Moving to a new home about 6 miles off of Galveston Bay after 8 years in the desert. Thereís no shop yet so Iíll be figuring out how to keep rust away from my machine tools and presses. The lathe and mill were purchased from another friend also near Galveston Bay so in the 40 years he owned them they had already developed a patina. The oxidation holds oil very well so I may spray them with Boeshield or LPS.

    I also donít want realtors taking pictures or showing the house with the reloading equipment in place. Iím not as concerned about the machine tools since it looks to others like they support my model airplane habit.

    If items can be stored in old ice chests that will slow the temperature swings and help prevent rust.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Don't trust others equipment or promises to keep rust at bay. Neither will give anything but a false piece of mind. Use whatever rust preventative freely and make sure they are secure. You can even chain everything together. Don't even trust the container not to leak. Rust is eventual and theft is a possibility. Insuring against both is your responsibility. Extra insurance is a good idea.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    Theft from storage places is rampant and flammables/propellants likely violate their storage rules.
    Do consider the possible repercussions.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    All of my reloading stuff....presses , sizer lubricators, dies, moulds etc...are in an uninsulated, unheated not air conditioned out building. I have no issues with rust by simply spraying things with a little dry lube before putting something away. I used to spray with lubricants or oils but discovered the dry lubes work just as well and they are ...dry !
    The primers might be okay ...but if possible the powders (and primers) might be safer in a climate controlled environment ... I do keep my powder and primers inside the house.
    Gary
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check