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Old 12-28-2008, 04:54 AM
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Default Storing large amounts of ammo - best way?



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Hi, if I wanted to store a large amount of ammunition what would be the best way? Leave them in their respective boxes, or is there a better alternative?
Old 12-28-2008, 05:14 AM
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I just leave it in its original packaging. My impression is that ammunition stored in dry conditions at room temperature will keep for decades.

I don't have a bachelor's in munitions storage, but here's what I do with my pistol ammo, most of which fits in an ammo can:

-Buy a not-too-beat-up ammo can (can find them almost anywhere guns are sold)
-Buy reusable packs of desiccant like this one: http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/catalo...Name/desiccant
-Pack ammo into can and put dessicant on top
-If it starts to get humid or you've opened the can a bunch, microwave the desiccant pack in 10-20 second increments to get the moisture out (wrapping it in a paper towel when microwaving helps)

It isn't hermetically sealed, but it will allow you to keep your ammo extra-dry and let you get to it easily. I'm more concerned about preserving my defense ammo, as it is less likely to be cycled out and more likely to be banned or regulated in the future.

You could probably get fancier and more airtight with this method, using sealed mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and dessicant packs (like people do when packing food) if you wanted to store the ammo in pristine condition for extra-long.

I'm more concerned with stocking food right now than I am with having ammo packed for 50-100 year storage.
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:48 AM
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Concur with d3athp3nguin. Ammo cans are the way to go. At the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, we were still using ammo and explosives from the sixties. It will keep. You just need to keep it from getting wet.

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Old 12-28-2008, 11:06 AM
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In addition to what D3.. wrote:
1) buy sealed primers and cases when possible--usually red lacquer around the bullet and primer is what you'll see.
2) keep it in an air conditioned room for longer storage--from what I've read, the expansion and contraction in conjunction with the additional moisture from garage storage can shorten shelf life considerably (e.g., five+ years versus fifty+ years).
3) You can buy calibers used for military service in "spam cans" which are already pre-sealed in a big tin can.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:01 PM
LuniticFringeInc LuniticFringeInc is offline
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The previous replys are dead on as I am a retired Weapons Tech. Some other things to consider...

-Ammo cans often found on the surplus market are there becuase the military could no longer use them or they werent worth reconditioning with a new gasket. Make sure your gasket is good. Smear vasiline on the gasket or something simular. Chalk the rim of the can and close the lid. It the chalk didnt come off on the gasket then it needs to be replaced if there are any gaps.

-Cool and dry is best for ammo storage. Climate controlled spaces beat a garage that will see wide swings in temmps. The cooler the better with in reason. Most of our magazines at ammo depots range from about 70-55 degrees year round and are very dry!

- If your going to be buying ammo by the case or in large quantities, store your ammo in the oringinal crates by lot number oldest to the front where its easier to get to and expend it first. Stack the crates with the lot numbers visable as this will tell you what lots you have and the date of manufacture. This way if there is a recall on the ammo you can easily locate it and dispose of it as required. Depending on how much ammo you have this may or may not be feasable. If you have a bunch of small lots combine them into one crate and edge it in orange paint and list the qty and lot on the front of the crate so you know what you got. This will also make occasioanl inventories a breeze taken just minutes to complete and accurate.

When stored as mentioned above ammo can easily last 20-30 years and remain quiet reliable.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:36 PM
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I store mine in my bedroom, no real swings in temp. I've shot Turkish 8mm from the '30s with no problem so I imagine my ammo will be around for awhile.
Old 12-28-2008, 01:37 PM
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Thanks everyone for the thorough responses.
Old 12-28-2008, 01:40 PM
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we keep in buckets with diff markings on the buckets with gamma typle lids ..there is a reason that i do not store my ammo in surplus ammo cans for what ..luniticfringeinc.. said above about the old surplus ammo cans that they sale on the open market out there
keep the ammo in cool dry place and it will last forever ..

we just open a bag of ammo for the 1988 that stored in the ammo bucket system that we use on the cabin ..and run it though the pistol for training and it worked just fine no stoppages or other problems with the ammo ..

this is how we did do the bucket stowage system..first try to find the right typle of plastic bucket with a gamma typle screw lid system to keep the ammo in ..then find the cal bucket size ..for rifle ammo will use 5.gallon sized buckets..for pistol ammo will use 4.gallon sized buckets..for 22.lr will use sqaured rubbermaid stowage bins with lids ..

1st step-wear thin typle cotton gloves to keep the body oils and grease off the round ..
2nd step -lay out all ammo to be sealed in a heavy duty grade plastic bag
3rd step -put all ammo in the bag in the amounts that you need for each bag-
4th step -lay a bag on top of the ammo
5th step-put ammo into the bag and put in a reuseable typle desissant pack into the bag
6th step ammo and pack goes to the heat sealer unit the edges are sealed and leaving a space to reseal the bag as need for further use as need
7th step-put ammo in the round color coded plastic bucket intill filled with ammo that need intill the bucket is full of ammo bags ,.,,
then put about 6-desissant packs on top of the ammo plastic bag to keep ammo dry as need

the 22lr ammo is the only one kept in orignals package for use ..it is sealed as a unit
we seal the bag with a couple of inchs left open for to cut open the bag just below the seal to check the ammo as need ..then reseal the ammo agian as need we just turn the flap over and store that way in the bucket for use as need

we design this system after a problem with a meth dealers where shooting at the house where we staying out in the county in northern az at the time...they would drive by the house and fire a couple of shots at the house when they where cooking that crap up there and they would try to get to leave the area so they had a free regin in the area when comeing up and down the road there..

side note the reason we had started with the buckets was cuase of a problem one time with one person trying to get at the time

so after that i can up with the bucket system that was color coded for the diff rifle and pistol ammo that we had in the stowage area of the house...

plus at the cabin there is not a lot space for extras items so we had to make a system that stored a lot of ammo in a little shelf space

there is diff ways to store the ammo ..just use a little common sense and you should be fine for storeing ammo..
like i have said in other posts that been on the subect here there is a lot of diff ways to store ammo for use as need
Old 12-28-2008, 01:49 PM
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the number one reason for me to store ammo in plastic bucket instread of ammo can is ..
metal can rust ,,with plastic bucket they are waterproof- rust proof -and mice proof and many other things to list that one reason to use a bucket

try to keep the one cal of ammo per bucket ..inless it what we call at the cabin the reload bucket for pistol and rifle mag..so have a ready supply of ammo for qiuck reloads of all the rifles and pistol mags as need
Old 12-28-2008, 02:23 PM
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I use food grade plastic buckets with lids myself. Works well for my needs.

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Old 12-28-2008, 02:32 PM
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I am shooting czech surplus ammo from the 70's and I haven't had a single problem 3 crates later. It came in weather sealed tin crates.

So, what I am saying is that you'd have to go out of your way to get your ammo wet in order for it to go bad.
Old 12-28-2008, 02:51 PM
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I keep mine in the tins that it came in, ammo cans ,and in a construction site type gang-box that's lockable.As was stated in earlier posts,keep the temp. at a decent constant temp.High temps, moisture, and humidity are not your friend when it comes to storing ammunition.

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Old 12-28-2008, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuniticFringeInc View Post
The previous replys are dead on as I am a retired Weapons Tech. Some other things to consider...

-Ammo cans often found on the surplus market are there becuase the military could no longer use them or they werent worth reconditioning with a new gasket. Make sure your gasket is good. Smear vasiline on the gasket or something simular. Chalk the rim of the can and close the lid. It the chalk didnt come off on the gasket then it needs to be replaced if there are any gaps.
The military never reuses/repacks or reconditions its ammo cans for storing ammo. Once they are emptied they find their way back to the Property Disposal Office where they are all banded up on a pallet and auctioned off at Property Disposal Auctions. They are usually bought up in this condition by such places as Cheaper than Dirt or Surplus wholesalers.

Since the cans are only used once for ammo packing most are in like-new shape once they hit the surplus market.

Of course this is no guarantee of being in perfect condition. I usually open the can and look to see if the lip of the bottom portion has left an impression in the center of the rubber seal on the lid. If so, it's good to go.

Since Vaseline is a petroleum based product it might be a good idea to avoid using it on rubber gaskets. There has been some controversy over this as with many things but a silicon grease might be a better alternative to PJ.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_jelly
Old 12-28-2008, 03:02 PM
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how about storing ammo in a refridgerator with self defrost. they can be secured also they would not draw moisture.
Old 12-28-2008, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnrick55 View Post
how about storing ammo in a refridgerator with self defrost. they can be secured also they would not draw moisture.
I would, but I would have a hard time fitting all my food in ammo cans.
Old 12-29-2008, 01:38 PM
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Hey guys... would this work for long term storage...(20 years)...

Ammo stored inside a large PVC pipe with both ends sealed. Ammo is placed in a sealed ziplock bag with all the air pushed out. Decassent pack placed inside the PVC pipe. Pipe is then sealed with plumber's PVC glue.

If this "package" was placed inside the garage (which of course is not temperature controlled) would it last? I am assuming that with the PVC pipe sealed the moisture and temperature factor in the garage would not really matter. Am I right???
Old 12-29-2008, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetskrtal View Post
I keep mine in the tins that it came in, ammo cans ,and in a construction site type gang-box that's lockable.As was stated in earlier posts,keep the temp. at a decent constant temp.High temps, moisture, and humidity are not your friend when it comes to storing ammunition.


all i have to say is wow......
Old 12-29-2008, 09:26 PM
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yeah i agree with neo rex.....that is amaizing.
Old 12-29-2008, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetskrtal View Post
I keep mine in the tins that it came in, ammo cans ,and in a construction site type gang-box that's lockable.As was stated in earlier posts,keep the temp. at a decent constant temp.High temps, moisture, and humidity are not your friend when it comes to storing ammunition.

That's sweet but I don't think I would be showing that to everyone, you never know who is lurking around here.
Old 12-30-2008, 02:01 AM
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Thats why I dont include pics...Why advertise? But the pic does indeed provide a pretty good example of ammo storage. What really stands out in this picture though is the 1.4S sticker on a couple of the cans. Not a bad idea. Most people dont know what that means but the Fire Department responding to a fire at your home sure will! I kept a 1.4 sticker on my window in the reloading room, that way if a fire occurs near by my house and they show up, my house gets the water first!!! The last thing they will want is my neighbors burning house catching mine on fire! I can talk to the Fire Cheif later after its all over about why there is a 1.4 sticker on my window. At least my house will still be standing and the contents none the less for wear. Since I am in complience with all applicable storage Regs I aint worried about having to tap dance over it.

Quote:
If this "package" was placed inside the garage (which of course is not temperature controlled) would it last? I am assuming that with the PVC pipe sealed the moisture and temperature factor in the garage would not really matter. Am I right???
What, the ammo inside the PVC pipe in a 100 degree garage is going to be immune to the high temps just cause its sealed? That would be a waste of time and money and your ammo will still have about the same shelf life it would have if it was in a card board box on the shelf. So why go to the trouble?

Put it in the bottom of the closet inside the house or something and it should last for a long time and not be degraded by the extreme temp swings. Otherwise make sure you expend it on a regular basis every 5-8 years, that way you know what you have is good to go and will work as advertised everytime you pull the trigger. Gun powder thats allowed to be come degraded due to poor storage can make for one hell of a 4th of July when you have a lot of it in one place! Leave stupidity to the all sheep out there.

Last edited by LuniticFringeInc; 12-30-2008 at 02:09 AM..
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