Safe Rooms for Reloading Ammunition
Everybody knows that reloading ammunition can be dangerous.
When you reload in your home the dangers are present not
only to you but every member of your household. You can
minimize these dangers by having a dedicated safe room. Here
are some ideas and suggestions (not a guarantee of safety)
for creating a safe reloading room at home.
READ THESE FIRST
Dangers of Reloading Ammunition
Storage & Handling of Smokeless Powder
Which Room Do I Use
Pick a room that is farthest away from most household
activity and distractions.
Pick a room that is not between you and an emergency
exit should you have to evacuate the house due to a fire
Pick an air conditioned room with good ventilation
Do not have distractions such as a television in or
near where you plan to reload.
Keep your room neat, organized and clean.
Should I Keep In The Reloading Room?
items are suggested
equipment for your room.
Keep only "clean" materials and equipment
in the room (Read about
tumbler and contaminated tumbler media outside
primers must be stored separately.
Akro bins for bullets and small parts
Lights, lights and more lights
For more info about lights for reloading ammo see below.
Zip lock freezer bags or Tupperware
for small parts storage
Make sure your
reloading bench top and other work areas has a very
smooth surface (such as Formica) with no cracks or
crevices that powder cannot collect in. Also add a
raised lip on the outside edges of the bench top to
prevent primers and other small parts from rolling off.
Caulk the edge so powder cannot get under it.
Install a backstop to your
bench. Items that fall off the back of your reloading
table are often hard to retrieve and make cleaning
Use a dust cover for your press when
not in use.
Have a box of hand wipes on hand.
Storage bins are essential.
Reloading operations cause vibrations
and may effect the operation of powder measuring scales.
Isolate the scale by placing it on a separate table.
A rubber mat on the floor improves
Try placing a rubber mat beneath your
tumbler or vibratory case cleaner for some noise
No pets allowed in the reloading room
(or under close supervision)
Air conditioned Room
Magnifying glass or
jeweler's loupe with light for close up examination
of small parts and components.
Place a small lamp or light source next to your
press or powder measure such that it's beam is
directed to allow easy visibility into each case as it
is filled with powder (to ensure no double charges).
For more information about lights for reloading ammo see
You need a cabinet or two for storage
Comfortable loading chair. A good adjustable stool.
If you make shelves, make them strong. Bullets
and other supplies are heavy.
Make sure you have smoke detectors and fire
Make sure you have a lockable door at the entrance to
your reloading room.
Store the tumbler outside. Keeps the dust low.
Avoid carpets in your reloading room. If that is not
possible, place a plastic mat over the carpet in case of
Fire proof your room as much a possible.
Remove all combustible materials.
Invest in a good set of heavy duty freestanding
children have access to any of the components or equipment
Instruct them of the dangers
Lock the components and equipment
Supervise them at all times
Keep Your Reloading
Room and Components Secure
last thing you need is somebody messing with your equipment.
Bad things can happen if someone turns a powder measure
adjustment knob or knocks something out of whack and you
don't know about it.
Lights for Reloading Ammo
Proper lighting in a room
is one of the most important considerations for safety. With
good lighting you are able to see the powder within each
case that you reload. You will be able to tell whether the
powder is undercharged which may lead to squibs or
overcharged which may result in an exploding gun.
Lights should be stand-alone,
adjustable lighting fixtures. You may need more than one
light depending upon how well the room is illuminated. The
light or lamp should not be connected to the bench
to avoid "shaking" the light when operating the press arm.
The light should be adjustable so that you may direct its
beam for best viewing.
The intensity of lights for will
vary with room conditions. Lights that are too bright will
allow you to see the powder in the case well enough but may
temporarily effect your vision as you change your gaze
elsewhere. Too little light provides insufficient
illumination. Trial and error for the positioning of your
lights will achieve the best lighting conditions. Just don't
let the light bulb get too near the smokeless powder!
Note - You may have to make some
sort of light shield to eliminate or reduce glare from the
light bulbs. You will know if you need this or not after you
reload a few dozen rounds.
Feedback & Comments
Good Reloading Area?
March 22, 2012
Is it safe for the reload area to be part of the bedroom? I am wondering how
unhealthy it is to reload in the same room where adults and children sleep.
As well as storing all powders and lead in the same room. Thanks
Response - Traci,
The bedroom doesn't sound like the ideal room, but I can't really tell you
unhealthy it would be.
A lot would depend on:
- the cleanliness and work habits of the re-loader.
- the size of the room, location of the bench and supplies and the
circulation of the air.
- where and how all the components are stored and secured.
- how clean you keep the reloading area.
- whether you reload lead bullets or full metal jacket bullets.
- where you clean your brass or if you buy new brass.
- and other factors
I would never let unsupervised children into my reloading room, or where I
keep my guns, components or supplies. A room should be a secure
room with proper air circulation and have all of the appropriate safety
In my case:
- my room is a converted bedroom adjacent to my bedroom. My bench is
probably about 20 feet away from where I sleep. I am not concerned about
breathing in anything because I keep everything clean and stored in sealed
- I store my primers in my bedroom but the powder, bullets and casings in my
- I sort my dirty brass on my kitchen table (but I scrub it well
afterwards). BUT - I clean up after every reloading session, keep all
components in sealed containers, wash my hands after I mess with my
reloading stuff and I keep everything spotless. I don't have children or
other household members to worry about.
If you are concerned about someone breathing in or touching something that
will lead to some type of poisoning, I would suggest you research and look
at each component, liquid and powder that will be kept there. I would think
that the greater danger would be associated with the presence of children
and other household members.
I know that's not a clean cut answer to your question but that's the best I
can do for now.
November 13, 2011
On your page
you correctly state that the reloading room should have a fire extinguisher.
However, you don't say what kind. The choice of the correct kind of fire
extinguisher for a reloading room is quite critical. Most people don't know
that gunpowder supplies it's own oxygen, so the only effective strategy to
extinguish it is to cool it down rapidly, which is difficult, or to scatter
it, so that the individual granules burn separately, which will die out very
quickly. The A-Square reloading manual recommends a CO2 extinguisher for
that reason. CO2 will scatter the gunpowder, and will also extinguish any
secondary flame that might be caused by the burning powder. I'm not sure
this reasoning is entirely bulletproof, but the choice of extinguisher is quite important, is affected by circumstances that don't
apply to normal rooms, and is therefore something that you might well want
to research and address specifically on this page.
Ask A Question/Tell Your Experience
Click Here -
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO
Consultant. Hobbies include shooting
zombies & reloading
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK