The ammunition is not supposed to click, but to explode! Therefore, considering your best options for ammo storage is the best thing you can do. There are multiple factors that contribute to the storage of ammunition in suitable conditions and some of them are expensive, while others are easy to do for yourself. What is really important is to establish your priorities and think what ammunition you need, why and for how long.
Among the reasons why people want to store their ammunition are the possibility of price increases and the likelihood that supplies will become scarce. Below, you will find some options for storing ammunition, as well as some guidelines that will help you keep your ammunition in optimum condition for decades.
Why would you want to store ammunition?
Ammunition is not exactly among the cheap things you can buy right now, but nobody can really say that they have trouble buying it. The question is: what happens if the price goes up to the rockets overnight or if something happens that will make you need ammunition? There are situations in which the ammunition can be used for its original purposes and some less likely cases when the ammunition can be used as a barter element.
The truth is that you never know what might happen and it is better to be prepared even if it is a simple high volume shooter. If you are not sure whether to store ammunition or not, read more to know what it is for.
- Price. Buying weapons, ammunition and all the necessary accessories is not a cheap hobby. The majority of survivors or hunters who possess weapons seek the best offers of ammunition, ammunition cans, ammunition storage cabinets and any other ammunition storage container, etc. Unless you are immensely rich and can afford all the ammunition you want, it would be better to buy and store some extra boxes of cartridges from time to time.
- Low supplies. Regardless of your choice of caliber and how much you think about the future, you should consider the possibility that supplies will be increasingly scarce. You never know what might happen or whether the ammunition will be banned or not. When you have a lot of ammunition stored safely in your home, none of the changes will affect you.
- Barter Article. Another less probable situation includes the ammunition becoming a barter item. When money has no value, basic things like coffee, food, clean water, ammunition and maybe gas will count. Exchanging a few rounds of chocolate may sound better when you fancy a chocolate and you do not have any.
- Hunting. When hunting becomes your hobby full time and you’re in your cabin all summer, you’ll need more ammunition than you can carry. Therefore, you can be prepared to follow your passion if you have a cache of ammunition nearby. Especially if you keep your ammunition in a cabin in the mountains, you will need to keep it away from environmental damage.
- Defending. Home and self-defense are one of the reasons that determine that most people stock up on ammunition. As the saying goes, it is better to be sure that I am sorry. Extra ammunition is not a waste of resources unless it is maintained in adequate conditions and ends up deteriorating. Corrosion is the number one enemy of the ammunition.
What happens in case of inadequate storage?
Before delving into the details of ammunition storage, you must know what actually happens when you store it incorrectly for a longer period of time. Among the bad things that ammunition can experience is the loss of sensitivity in the primers, the deterioration of the charges over time, the weakened cartridges that can even break when fired and corrosion.
The latter is very dangerous because it can alter the characteristics of the ammunition, as well as its size, which leads to unpleasant surprises in case of fire. In other words, it can become useless, give up when you need it most, and cause problems when you are fired.
The appearance of rust or corrosion in bullets with full metal cover is a sign of deterioration. In addition, you must monitor the casings of the casing, as they can also discolor and rust. The primer bag or the primer itself are also prone to corrosion, so remember to check them also before deciding to use the ammunition.
In general, ammunition has a lifespan of 50 to 60 years if stored in adequate conditions and are not exposed to any factor that could alter it in any way. You will see that humidity and high temperatures are risky when they come into contact with ammunition.
How to properly store the ammunition?
Fortunately, there are many people who know a lot about ammunition and its composition. They share their knowledge, helping anyone who thinks about storing ammunition in the long term. The principles of ammunition storage are not difficult, but attention must be paid to all the factors that contribute to the deterioration of ammunition. In addition, there is a wide variety of ammunition storage cabinets and ammunition storage containers that keep your ammunition away from anything that may cause corrosion or alter the chemical composition of the powder.
- Keep the ammunition away from any source of moisture. This is step number one that anyone who wants to store ammunition should take. The environment in which you actually place the ammunition in boxes to store them must also be free of moisture. In this sense, you can use a dehumidifier if you live in a very humid area. In addition to all other precautionary methods, this is also important because it can increase the humidity in the ammunition cans before sealing them.
The storage area of your ammunition may or may not be equipped with a dehumidifying device, but when it comes to real ammunition, this step is not optional. To keep moisture away from bullets, you can use silica gel desiccants that are designed to absorb moisture from the can, cabinet and any other container you can use. These are small packages that can absorb 40 percent of their weight in moisture. Every 12 to 24 months, you should perform a moisture check on the ammo cans and replace the packs with silica gel.
- Silica gel desiccants come in shoe boxes and other items alike, but you should know that you can not reuse all of those. They can prevent condensation, as well as rust, mildew, corrosion and deterioration, but not after they’ve been doing that for an indeterminate period of time before they find them. Then, the solution for this would be to buy intact silica gel desiccants or, if you have one that is reusable, use the kiln method.
- The kiln method for silica gel desiccants. consists of placing the packages inside the oven for 4 hours at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The objective of this action is to evaporate the water contained in the packages. Keep in mind that not all silica gel desiccant packs are reusable, so be sure to check before use. If you throw away some packages and wait for the moisture to recede, you may have a rather unpleasant reaction when you open the can for a check-up.
- Sand and kitty stockings It is an alternative used by gun enthusiasts. They believe that cat litter can act in the same way as silica gel desiccants do, so replace them with them. The point of using stockings or other nylon socks for women is because they have multiple small holes that allow moisture to enter. This method is also effective, but it is not among those recommended by professionals.
- Keep your ammunition away from the heat. Now that humidity and humidity should no longer be a problem, you should concentrate on the temperatures. The heat is the enemy of the ammunition and it is much worse than the cold. Decomposition begins around 150 degrees Fahrenheit in the case of normal ammunition and may seem extreme, but when you think about it, this kind of exposure is not really impossible.
Putting ammunition in the back of a trunk and driving all day on a hot, sunny day will definitely have an undesirable result. The average shooter must be aware that the chemical composition of a bullet can be affected by high temperatures and other weather conditions. We are talking about chemistry here, so there is no way that the case of the bullet shows any signs. The only way to know that there has been a bad chemical reaction is when you shoot a bullet and it comes out weak and ineffective.
When it comes to cold temperatures, you should not worry too much about the impact on your ammunition. What might involve cold and affect the ammunition would be temperature fluctuations. Ammo storage for 50 to 60 years can be difficult if you have to move it or keep it in a room where the temperature rises and falls each season. Just as you control the humidity around your ammunition, you must also control the temperature.
This factor is highly inconvenient in terms of money, since you may have to control the temperature of your storage room with an air conditioner during the summer and a radiator during the winter. Again, this is not something that affects all average shooters.
- Rotate your ammunition periodically. This step is reliable and effective only if you are an organized person. To rotate your ammunition periodically, you must label each can of ammunition with the number of bullets, their caliber and date of manufacture or date of purchase. It goes without saying that you must first use the oldest ammunition.
Labeling your ammunition containers is crucial because, otherwise, you will have to open them again and again, allowing moisture to enter and breaking the seal without a good reason. Treat your ammunition as if it were food. Always eat the food that expires soon, not the food that is still good for 2 more years.
- Use the vacuum sealer to protect your bullets. The vacuum sealer extracts air from a special bag to store things. Therefore, it keeps its bullets away from any water source and possible corrosion. This method of depositing ammunition allows you to bury it underground without using any other container.
However, it is considered a bit too extreme by many people who have a passion for firearms. This is because it restricts your access to the ammunition, so you can not perform periodic checks; use some without using all and so on. In addition, vacuum sealant is not exactly the most economical device for storing ammunition.
- Perform regular checks of ammunition. As already mentioned in the silica gel desiccant section, it would be great to carry out periodic ammunition checks and replace the dehumidifier packages. Besides doing that, you can also shoot one or two bullets from each box and make sure they still work.
If you do not want to waste bullets, you can use a device that measures the moisture levels of the ammunition storage cabinet. Check them for signs of deterioration. This process requires patience, dedication and being willing to spend money and time in storing ammunition properly for a few decades.
What do I need to store ammunition?
You can store ammunition in the original box, in special ammunition cans, cabinets and other types of containers. Some think that storing ammunition in cardboard boxes is not a good idea because the cardboard retains moisture. However, if you take into account all the other instructions without a guide, a little cardboard will not do any harm. Before placing the bullets in the special containers of your choice, you can store them in bags with airtight seal. They can make counting difficult, but not if it is organized enough and everything is labeled.
Below, you will see some examples of cans and cabinets that are excellent for storing ammunition.
- 50mm MTM Forest Green Ammunition Storage Can: Made in the USA UU., This plastic can keep your ammunition dry and away from water. It is comfortable to carry and has a capacity of 30 pounds. It is ideal to keep the ammunition safe and move it when necessary because it is made of plastic and properly sealed. It is not expensive at all and it also comes in different colors.
- MTM survivor dry box with O-ring seal: this ammo box is made for those of you who want to store a lot of ammo in one place. Available in red and green forest, it has a capacity of 9.75 inches x 7.75 inches x 4.75 inches. Ideal for extreme situations, it has a built-in compass and a signaling mirror. Not for storage in the home, but more to transport it for various reasons, this can is also waterproof. It offers an excellent quality-price ratio.
- MTM Tactical Mag Can for 223 / 5.56 Storage Warehouse: this item weighs only 1 pound and is provided with fluted foam padding to prevent bumps, slides and scratches. Its exterior dimensions are 8.75 inches x 15.5 inches x 9 inches, which makes it comfortable to carry. Made in the USA UU., This can is water resistant and has a high resistance closure system. According to one of the users of this can, it can contain 15 magazines, three rows and five spaces.
- .Caliber 50 caliber steel ammunition M2A1 – Among the features of this storage box are hermetic, hermetic and lockable. It comes with 11 inches x 5.5 inches x 6.75 inches of airtight storage space. According to a user, you can safely submerge this box in the water without risk of leaking. Canes are used, but they come in very good condition.
- Silica gel desiccants: In case you want to keep your ammunition dry, you should consider buying intact silica gel desiccants like these. They provide all the moisture protection you need. These are the most basic packages you can find out there. In case you want the most luxurious, consider the following.
- Aluminum silica gel desiccant canister by Dry-Packs: these are basically silica gel desiccants, but with additional characteristics. Reusable and non-toxic, these packages also come with a humidity indicator. Basically, you’ll see a color indicator that goes from orange to green. If it is orange, then it is free of moisture. When it turns green, it’s time to change it.
- Gun of steel / ammunition cabinet GCB-900 Stack-On: moving to more serious storage options, this cabinet can be locked and has two interior shelves. According to the manufacturer, its dimensions are 21 inches x 10 inches x 18 inches. You can fix it to the wall or floor thanks to its pre-drilled mounting holes. Made of steel, comes with a 1 year warranty for safe use.
- American Furniture Classics 906 Five-gun metal storage cabinet with separate gun compartment: this cabinet is specially designed to store long guns, pistols and ammunition. It is approved by the California Department of Justice and complies with all safety regulations. Its weight is 68 pounds and its dimensions are 59 inches x 10 inches x 14.5 inches. Compartmentalization is one of the favorite features of the users of this cabinet.
- Double-door Steel Security Cabinet Stack-On GCDB-924 10-Gun: This item comes with a valuables cabinet section that features 4 removable large foam padded steel shelves. These are perfect for storing ammunition, as well as pistols. Not only is it a simple storage option, this cabinet is safe thanks to its 3-point locking system. According to the manufacturer, it weighs 117 pounds and its dimensions are 55.12 inches x 13.5 inches x 32.01 inches.
- Stack-On E-4-MB-E-S Shooter Gun and Ammunition Safe: This safe is fire resistant and also comes with an electronic lock. With 5.7 cubic feet of indoor storage space, it can be exposed to fire for 30 minutes at not less than 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. A little on the heavy side, it weighs 265 pounds. Although it can store weapons as a main feature, it is also large enough to store ammunition. It is considered not too big, but neither too small.
As you can see, there are several ways to store ammunition. It really depends on your needs and your willingness to spend more or less.
Some high-volume shooters like to carry lots of ammunition when they are hunting and for that, there are cans of ammunition to meet their needs.
Others, who may be survivors, want to keep their ammunition safe in the comfort of their home and take them when they need them. If you are pretentious and want to keep your firearms separate from your ammunition, you can do so by buying separate containers or concentrating on building the perfect cabinet.
Up there is a really cool video of a guy who makes sources of boxes of ammunition boxes. Who says that the space where you keep your equipment can only be seen as smooth, black or dark green?
Ammunition storage may not be the simplest thing you have done, but it can be made easier over time. As soon as you become familiar with all the principles of storing ammunition, you can begin to accumulate a lot of bullets that may serve you in the future.
As we have seen, the reasons why someone wants to store ammunition are multiple and all have perfect meaning. Saving ammunition for later use is not something you can do overnight, but it’s definitely a purpose that you can achieve relatively quickly.
You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of money needed to start this project. However, you can take it step by step and ensure all the comfort necessary for your ammunition. Last but not least, you will definitely have fun doing what you like and spending your time with this serious hobby that is entertaining at the same time.
WEAPONS AND ARMS