Storing ammo question? loose ammo in an ammo can?????

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by mixflip, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. mixflip

    mixflip

    Messages:
    6,825
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    How do you guys store your ammo? I usually stack all my ammo boxes in the back of my safe but I was thinking of dumping all of my 9mm ammo into a steel military style ammo can "loosely" to save space and to throw away the cardboard and foam .

    Any issues with doing it this way?

    I already have a 1000 rounds of 22lr in an ammo can this way and a bucket of 12 gauge this way too. I just never did it with centerfire handgun ammo. Mostly because I never really had large amounts of ammo on hand lol.
     
  2. american lockpicker

    american lockpicker License to Il

    Messages:
    8,219
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Wood County, West Virginia
    Unless its all from one lot and cheap ammo I wouldn't.
     

  3. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Messages:
    8,672
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Location:
    Tulsa
    three things degrade ammo in long term storage, heat, moisture/humididty, and vibration. Cool, dry, & let set, ammo shelf life >50 years. Any other combo is worse.

    I personally believe loose ammo in ammo cans is less protected than while stored in original packing, and perhaps sealed containers and dessicants make sense, but removing it from the original packaging doesn't obviously add longevity & possibly shortens it. IMO. I look at ammo as weight that must be delivered specifically to one location at one time, parameters unknown, and tend to keep it in small/medium single caliber bags, modular/portable .. ymmv, but think situational logistics. dynamic option points. plan b. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  4. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

    Messages:
    5,638
    Likes Received:
    1,679
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 1999
    Location:
    Rebel South
    I do not prefer to store ammo "loose" but I do not have any evidence that it is a bad thing.
     
  5. Faulkner

    Faulkner Patriot Millennium Member

    Messages:
    1,734
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 1999
    Location:
    Arkansas Ozarks
    I store my ammo in the cardboard & foam boxes and then neatly pack them into ammo cans.
     
  6. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Messages:
    28,181
    Likes Received:
    22,738
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    Not a problem. I've been doing this for way over 30 years. Some of my (reloaded) ammo dates back to 1993 and earlier.
    [​IMG]

    A steel ammo can is the best but I've also used glass bottles with airtight tops when I've run out of steel ammo cans. Some of the 1993 ammo I'm shooting now was stored in glass bottles.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. AltiDude

    AltiDude

    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    A steel ammo can is the best but I've also used glass bottles with airtight tops when I've run out of steel ammo cans. Some of the 1993 ammo I'm shooting now was stored in glass bottles.
    [​IMG][/quote]
    How long did you process those jars for?
     
  8. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Messages:
    28,181
    Likes Received:
    22,738
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    You just do it like other home canned vegetables.:supergrin:
     
  9. J.R. Bob Dobbs

    J.R. Bob Dobbs Nerd

    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    514
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Location:
    McGaheysville, VA
    I think loose, in an ammo can full to the brim is probably the BEST way to store ammo. There's much less air in the container that way, and it's the air that contains all moisture and corrosive elements.
     
  10. Kona2004

    Kona2004

    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    I found a nice plastic storage container at Home Depot that works well for me. Just checked their site but it's not on there. It ran around $7 and has heavier than normal walls. The lid is a folding two piece with metal hinges. I bought four of them and have them double stacked. There has to be a good 150 pounds in the top container which doesn't seem to affect the bottom one at all.

    I was originally wanting to get surplus ammo cans but the shipping prices online are outrageous for them and I couldn't find any locally.
     
  11. Caver 60

    Caver 60

    Messages:
    8,556
    Likes Received:
    8,124
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest
    A side note.

    When my brothers house burnt, he had thousands of rounds of loose ammo in military steel ammo boxes. A lot of it detonated, but some didn't. Rounds went everywhere, but nobody got hurt. He told the firemen about the ammo as soon as they arrived.

    Afterward they told him the best way to store it was just like he had it. In Steel military ammo cans. I don't know how much was loose and how much was in original boxes inside the ammo cans. But he said it could be heard detonating while the firemen were fighting the fire.
     
  12. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Messages:
    28,181
    Likes Received:
    22,738
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    It also doesn't hurt to put the ammo in quart zip lock bags, instead of having it all loose like I show in the above pictures. Especially if the ammo is kept in a place like a shed or garage where the humidity is constantly changing.
    But in any case, ammo will keep for many years even in rather poor conditions.
     
  13. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Messages:
    28,181
    Likes Received:
    22,738
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    In 1995 my gun shop burned to the ground.
    Long story but no matter what you hear some ammo can and will burst with a lot of force. I have pictures of the bullet boles to prove it.

    Yes storing ammo in the steel ammo cans is the best way, even in a fire.
     
  14. G23c

    G23c

    Messages:
    5,899
    Likes Received:
    1,514
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Location:
    houston, texas
    M2, gotta love that home cookin'. :supergrin:
     
  15. J.R. Bob Dobbs

    J.R. Bob Dobbs Nerd

    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    514
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Location:
    McGaheysville, VA
    Another side note: oxygen will permeate plastic containers.

    That's why "coke" expires much sooner in plastic bottles than it did in the glass bottles of old. I learned this while installing some equipment for a manufacturer of plastic bottles.
     
  16. hoffy

    hoffy

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Ohio
    and I have seen factory ammo compromised siting on a stores shelf for years. The portion above the foam was clear, below, verdigris, something to think about, well it might have been the top that was green, it was 20+ years ago when I worked at a gun shop and we were authorized Weatherby, and had every caliber, and some was pitted enough to be deemed unsafe, at least a lesson I learned from someone else's expense for once. I use ammo cans, and cat dirt buckets filled with ziplocs , I have dozens and dozens..... a friend has thousands of 223s I loaded for him in 1980 and they have been in ziplocs(bags have been changed several times over the years) and they are fine. He shoots some every other year or so, not big into guns other than utilitarian purposes.
     
  17. ronin.45

    ronin.45

    Messages:
    13,470
    Likes Received:
    3,439
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Location:
    NE OHIO
    I know many guys that use ammo cans. Some loose and some in boxes.
    I store mine in factory boxes because I like to know how much I have and counting loose rounds is a pain.:supergrin:
     
  18. fearnutsnotguns

    fearnutsnotguns Chem Major

    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    It's not a humidy change issue but more of a % humidity. The lower the better and completely dry is prefered.

    Plastics are extremely good at o2 barriers and moisture barriers depending on the variety. PE is good at moisture whereas PET is very good at both moisture and o2. The limited ammount of o2 and moisture you keep your ammo in whichever container, is the best method.

    There are films that are laminations of several plastics including metal lined foils (like the ones used for snacks) and there are companies that sell preformed bags in cases for sealing items. One just needs to know the construction and the ideal barrier for the purpose.

    There are also mediums that absorb moisture ala Silica Gel and there are o2 absorption medium alike. These in concert with a good PET jug inside the metal ammo can, would be the best of all worlds.

    And most important:
    Remember once oxidation starts it's irreversable and the level of moisture and o2 you seal the ammo in will predetermine the rate of oxidation or rust. So if you bag, can or otherwise in a moist o2 rich container, you're likely sealing in the bad actors with the good ammo!

    Regards,
    Fearnuts:wavey:
     
  19. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Viva Hate CLM

    Messages:
    22,367
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    Ether
    I keep my ammo in milsurp .30 cal cans.

    I tend to stick with one brand/weight per caliber, so it makes it easy. I do keep my 5.56 NATO spec in separate cans from my .223 55 grain range ammo.
     
  20. hatidua

    hatidua

    Messages:
    2,476
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    right here
    I use ammo cans for every caliber, I'd not have space if I kept them in the original packaging.

    Find a good source for the cans and buy them by the dozen, fill 'em up, label the outside, place on (sturdy) shelf.