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Old 02-15-2010, 10:26 PM
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Steve_NH Steve_NH is offline
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Default DIY .50 cal ammo can lock



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How to make your own lock for a .50 cal ammo can



What's needed:

(1) .50 Cal ammo can
(1) 3/8-16 x 1" long hex head bolt
(1) 3/8-16 nylon insert locking nut
(2) #83 O-rings*
(1) 1/2" drill bit
(1) 3/8" drill bit
(1) 15/64" drill bit
(1) #2 Center drill
(1) Corded/cordless hand drill
(1) Drill press
(1) Drill press vise
(1) Dremel tool
(1) Carbide "endmill" bit for Dremel
(1) Rat-tail file
(2) 9/16" wrenches or sockets
(1) Padlock with 3/16" diameter shackle

Not absolutely necessary but make installation easier:
(1) 3/8-16 Die to deburr threads after drilling
(1) 1/2" dia. counter sink to deburr hole drilled in can


What to do:

If your ammo can is new, open and close it a few times to make sure you are comfortable with the way it closes and seals. Alignment is critical when installing the lock. If you will be adapting an existing ammo can that you are currently using, please make sure any ammo is secured and well out of the reach of any children. The following instructions are written using a "new to me" ammo can.

Since I'm posting this on this great forum, I'm taking for granted most of you already know what a drill bit is, how to use a drill, what an o-ring is, etc. In case you don't know this stuff, please read all owners manuals and safety guidelines before using any tools. As always, wear safety glasses. I'm wearing mine while I type.

Please note this lock design is intended to keep children and "honest theives" from getting into your ammo cans. Please do not expect these to provide maximum security for your ammo. A few hundred swipes with a hacksaw will disable this lock.

I begin by giving the can a rough cleaning. You will be creating some metal chips during this process, so don't get to carried away with the cleaning yet. Close and secure the lid, making sure every things lines up properly. Insert the 1/2" drill bit through the hole in the clasp and lightly create a start for the 3/8" drill bit. DO NOT DRILL THROUGH THE CAN WITH THE 1/2" DRILL BIT. I use Dewalt drill bits that have a center drill start to them. Now align the 3/8" drill bit to the start left by the 1/2" drill bit and drill through the can. Use the rat-tail file to deburr the hole. Take extra care to make sure the hole is free of sharp burrs. Set the can aside for now.

Now we need to drill a 15/64" cross-hole through the 3/8-16 x 1 hex head bolt. I clamped the bolt in my drill press vise placing the hex head against the side of the vise jaw to function as a locating surface. I was doing this for several ammo cans at once and it allowed me to "production" drill the bolts. Place the number #2 center drill in the chuck of your drill press and align it to the center of the bolt and approx 3/8" from the threaded end. Once aligned, secure the vise to the drill press table and then re-check alignment. Measure twice, cut once my Dad always said, and he was a Barber!
Carefully center drill the bolt, leaving a nice straight, centered start for the 15/64" drill. Remove the center drill from the chuck and replace it with the 15/64" drill bit. DO NOT MOVE THE BOLT or drill press vise. Drill through the bolt with the 15/64" drill bit. Drill nice and slow, let the drill do the work and it will stay centered. You can now remove the bolt from the drill press vise. If you happen to have a 3/8-16 die, you can use that to deburr the threads around the new hole. Just screw the bolt into the die and then back out.

Slide one #83 o-ring over the length of the threads and flush against the hex head of the bolt. Insert the bolt throught the 3/8" hole in the can and while holding bolt in place slide the other #83 o-ring over the threads until it is flush with the can surface. The o-rings not only seal the hole from water and air they also hold the bolt in place while you get the wrenches/sockets and nut ready. Install the 3/8-16 nylon insert lock nut and tighten. Be carefull not to over-tighten the nut. You want to make sure you get nice even compression of the o-ring's for a good seal. Making sure the 3/8" drilled hole is deburred and smooth will extend o-ring life.

Essentially you are done. Try it out. Close and seal the can and then insert the padlock shank through the 15/64" hole you drilled. I use Master Lock #131Q with a 3/16" diameter shackle. You can buy these locks in bulk and keyed alike if you are modifying several ammo cans.

I have found that with a few cans I had to open the existing 1/2" hole in the clasp up a bit for plenty of clearance. I used the dremel tool and carbide endmill to do this.

* #83 o-ring dimensions: 1/2" OD x 5/16" ID x 3/32" thick

You can also easily do this to the Fat .50 SAW cans as well as 20mm and 40mm cans.

What it cost me:

(1) Master Lock #131Q Padlock - $3.50
(2) #83 o-rings - $0.40
(1) 3/8-16 x 1 hex head bolt - $0.21
(1) 3/8-16 nylon insert locking nut - $0.18

TOTAL: $4.29/ammo can

I had seen a similar product advertised for just under $20. That $15 savings is enough for another ammo can!!! I already owned all the tools and drill bits etc., so I didn't include their cost. Nor did I figure anything in for my labor.







Have fun!
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:21 AM
mustlive_23 mustlive_23 is offline
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hahah great idea i never thought of this... i got all the stuff to do it too
Old 02-16-2010, 12:35 AM
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this is awesome keep up the great work!
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:10 AM
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Great idea, very cool and simple.
I wish I'd thought of this when I had one mounted on the back of my motorbike to hold tools and stuff.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:50 PM
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Good notion. Also EMP resistant...
Old 03-13-2011, 05:00 AM
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Sorry but the henge on ammo cans is nothing more then rods that can easy be pushed out and replaced without you ever knowing someone was in your stuff.
Old 03-14-2011, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secret squirrel View Post
Sorry but the henge on ammo cans is nothing more then rods that can easy be pushed out and replaced without you ever knowing someone was in your stuff.
Try it, let me know how that works out for you. I dont know how the imported ammo cans are but the U.S. ammo cans dont have a rod it has interlocking studs that arent removable. The only way to remove the lid is to open the can all the way then the lid slides off the studs.
Old 03-14-2011, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearfoot_25 View Post
Try it, let me know how that works out for you. I dont know how the imported ammo cans are but the U.S. ammo cans dont have a rod it has interlocking studs that arent removable. The only way to remove the lid is to open the can all the way then the lid slides off the studs.
Not anymore most use small pins(rods).
just look at the henge on these new U.S ammo cans each pin can be pushed out.
Old 03-15-2011, 05:18 AM
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I have to agree with bearfoot. Every ammo can I've seen with a hinged lid is as he describes. The one's I see in SecretSquirrel's picture look like the ammo cans I have out in the shop. Perhaps you can take a closer picture of the hinge itself to show us how 'new' ammo boxes differ from 'older' ones, and if possible, maybe a pic with the pins removed from one.
Old 03-15-2011, 08:51 AM
gopher_6_9 gopher_6_9 is offline
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excellant idea. I will be doing that as well.
Old 03-15-2011, 09:01 AM
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Great Idea! To the hinge comments above. Remember locks get honest people honest. Thats all.
Old 03-15-2011, 10:46 AM
BobKell BobKell is offline
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It doesn't matter if the pins can be taken out or not, it really only keeps the honest man out. That bolt can easily be hack sawed with no problems. Its still a great idea either way.
Old 03-15-2011, 11:49 PM
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it will keep the honest people honest but like others have said push the pin out or just take a BFH and smack the crap out of the bolt and it will break at the drilled out hole.
Old 03-16-2011, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for the tip!
Old 03-18-2011, 09:59 AM
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I use the back half of a lock hasp.... Works great with a lot less work!
Old 03-18-2011, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KFF View Post
I use the back half of a lock hasp.... Works great with a lot less work!
Have any pics?
Old 03-19-2011, 12:22 PM
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cool project great idea!
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ammo box, ammo can, ammo lock, diy, lock



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