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Need advice on storing ammo

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Need advice on storing ammo

Postby angie_nrs » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:42 am

Do I need to buy ammo cans for proper ammo storage or can I use food buckets? There are cheap plastic plano ammo cans at WM for around $5, but I can get food grade buckets free. Right now I store ammo in the house where it is dry, but I want to expand where I store ammo. The temperature may not be as steady in my secondary spot, possibly causing condensation issues.

I know I couldn't fill the buckets b/c they would be way too heavy, even with the smaller 2 gallon buckets, but at least they would be hidden from plain sight. I'm thinking it would make sense to put the silica packs in with the buckets?

I didn't see a thread specifically addressing ammo storage so I thought this would be a good discussion to have. Let's discuss......
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby NJMike » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:33 pm

A lot of ammunition sits in small cardboard boxes on shelves for a long time before being sold. Just saying.

Beyond that, if you have a humid environment, your ideas sound good to me. I'm sure you'll get plenty of other input on this topic. I'd say you can also use a Food Saver to bag small boxes to prevent potential for humidity issues. This is a homemade version of the battle packs (don't know if that's the technical term) of 7.62 I've seen at shows.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby handyman777 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:47 pm

Like NJMike said: ammo sits on shelves in "cardboard Boxes". and dose not go bad.

I have used 5 gal buckets w/gamma lids, painted the buckets and lids flat black (just to help hide them) this may have helped to seal the buckets, with silica bags in them.
They sat under a work bench on a shelf in the MICHIGAN garage with 4 season of hot to cold for over :::15 years::: . This spring I did an overhaul (cleaning) of the garage and decided to change out the buckets to ammo cans, a lot easier to move, and I believe much safer, If I had a fire the buckets would melt but the ammo cans should hold up a little longer.

After my long winded story, I tried some of the ammo out, before I sealed it in the ammo cans and it worked just fine.

:offtopic: I have some head stamped "1942" 8MM ammo that are in clothe bandolier's and a wood ammo crate, and it works just fine.

If you do store ammo in a bucket like this, don't store it on the cement or ground put some 2x4's under them so they don't leach moister in. "Remember your other topic" on basement moister.

I did leave all the ammo in the original cardboard box's when stored.

This worked for me, I'm sure others will have thier own opinion.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby Photon Guy » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:39 pm

angie_nrs wrote:Do I need to buy ammo cans for proper ammo storage or can I use food buckets? There are cheap plastic plano ammo cans at WM for around $5, but I can get food grade buckets free. Right now I store ammo in the house where it is dry, but I want to expand where I store ammo. The temperature may not be as steady in my secondary spot, possibly causing condensation issues.

I know I couldn't fill the buckets b/c they would be way too heavy, even with the smaller 2 gallon buckets, but at least they would be hidden from plain sight. I'm thinking it would make sense to put the silica packs in with the buckets?

I didn't see a thread specifically addressing ammo storage so I thought this would be a good discussion to have. Let's discuss......


I wouldn't use the buckets or the plastic cans. I would use metal ammo cans. With the metal ammo boxes that they use in the Army you can store ammo and keep it in good condition for a long long time, possibly for a lifetime or longer. There is unused ammo from WWII that's been stored in such ammo cans and today you can take it out and still shoot it. With the metal ammo boxes you can store ammo in just about any environment. Also, they're convenient, they come with good carrying handles, and they're easy to store, out of sight or otherwise. The only thing I use the plastic ammo boxes for is to temporarily hold ammo that I will be shooting and the only thing I use buckets for in terms of ammo is for storing used brass for reloading. This is just me but for long term storage I would use the metal ammo cans.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby ReadyMom » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:17 pm

I store my ammo in the pretty floral photo storage boxes you buy in the craft store! I figure no one is going to think that's what I've got in there :ninja: .
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby 3ADScout » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:04 pm

ReadyMom wrote:I store my ammo in the pretty floral photo storage boxes you buy in the craft store! I figure no one is going to think that's what I've got in there :ninja: .


That is funny!!
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby 3ADScout » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:12 pm

Personally I have always used military ammo cans, that is until Geo-caching jump the price from $5-$8 to $10-$15 If you can even find them. Did buy a few of the plastic Plano cans for shotgun shells. I also think a variable to consider is what was in the buckets if used. I would be concerned with any acidic residue from anything in a vinegar solution or residue from petroleum products.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby daaswampman » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:59 pm

Ever wonder what happens to ammo in paper or plastic boxes, if subjected to a flood or home fire? Just like guns, ammo should be stored in a cool, dry, dark, and secure location!

You might also consider your liability if kids decide to play with it! I have seen injuries from taking it apart and wanting to hear it pop in the fireplace!

While most ammo is very sturdy, that is not always the case with rim-fire and shot-shells. Swamp
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby rickdun » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:37 pm

Angie, here's a good article on ammunition storage, hope it helps:

http://www.ammo.org/ammo-storage/
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby Photon Guy » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:09 pm

ReadyMom wrote:I store my ammo in the pretty floral photo storage boxes you buy in the craft store! I figure no one is going to think that's what I've got in there :ninja: .


A burglar might not think you've got ammo there but they might suspect jewelry or other valuables so there's a good chance they will look and find your ammo. The best thing for me to do would be to get one of those very secure ammo storage vaults and lock my ammo in there in the green metal cans which I've already got and to have it preferably in a secret safe room. Unfortunately that is beyond my means right now.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby Photon Guy » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:11 pm

3ADScout wrote:Personally I have always used military ammo cans, that is until Geo-caching jump the price from $5-$8 to $10-$15 If you can even find them. Did buy a few of the plastic Plano cans for shotgun shells. I also think a variable to consider is what was in the buckets if used. I would be concerned with any acidic residue from anything in a vinegar solution or residue from petroleum products.


You can find the ammo cans at Cabela's and I've even seen them for sale at Harbor Freight. As for the bucket that I use to store brass I bought it brand new so it wouldn't have any residue or anything in it.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby DR1VENbyKNOWLEDGE » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:58 am

I buy A LOT of ammo.....But I SHOOT a lot of ammo. I don't worry about it in the least...honestly.

Thousands of rounds, bulk storage of loose rounds in a plastic, unsealed bag, in a large cardboard box, in a humid garage and attic, temp swings from about 40 degrees to 105 degrees and stored(I think) the longest I have had for 7 years before its rotated out typically....And who knows how long before that it was manufactured and how it was stored......NO ISSUES.

Keep in mind I'm in SoCal so we don't really freeze here....

Now, with that being said, did I mention I shoot A LOT?....lol. I don't worry about it as I'm always buying new and rotating it out with somewhere about 5,000-10,000 rounds in rotation(whole bunch of different calibers) at any time for SHTF.....Ammo short of being cooked in a fire, frozen, or getting flooded is fine for years in almost any storage.

BUT , for LONG TERM storage without any rotation(Think Legacy inheritance here,decades to centuries) you ABSOLUTLY should control those conditions..... If that's the case or you buy in bulk and are not sure you're going to get a chance to shoot all those rounds within 5 or so years(Like 1000+ rounds of say 30.06) stick to controlled environments as best as possible....

Here's a great "Break-it-down-for-you" storage article for legacy type storage....http://www.skilledsurvival.com/ammo-storage/

Now ammo isn't cheap so if you're worried about it, protect it......But me thinks short of just flat out hoarding or not really being a shooter and having some sort of rotation in the mix, with even just a general mindset of basic preservation you'll be just fine. ;)


~D



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Postby rebnavy1862 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:00 pm
Driven, are you sure you are from Kalifornia? You make a lot of sense.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby Fullmoon » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:30 am

Ammunition stored in cardboard boxes has given me trouble, where the cardboard touched the brass cases it turned to a dark color but was still shootable. Pieces of cardboard had stuck to the brass so I cleaned each piece with Break Free. This was military surplus 7.62 mm in 20 rd brown cardboard boxes as well as some M-118 173 grain MATCH ammo in the white box. It had been packed in a metal ammo can then placed in a 55 gallon plastic Greek pepper shipping barrel and buried on its side in the side of a hill. This was a long storage period of 30 plus years. Its good if you can store your ammo in the house but what if you are forced to leave the house in a hurry from some unforeseen event? You can't drag much ammo with you so its a good tactic to have some stashed on your property on an escape route as well as in your vehicle. Those plastic/vinyl battle packs will keep your ammo bright and shiny and pristine for decades. They were sold at local gun shows and were real inexpensive but have become rare. Cabello's sells them in 308 and 223.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby Justice Is Free » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:17 pm

Using ANY type of penetrating oil on ANY ammo is a definite nono as it can penetrate the primer and render it useless. I wouldnt trust my life to any ammo thats been cleaned with oil.
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Re: Need advice on storing ammo

Postby Fullmoon » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:26 pm

Most NATO spec ammunition has a waterproofing agent on the primers. Break free CLP was applied to the case neck/shoulder area to remove crud and then set in the sun to dry. Every round went bang.
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