Ok to store loose in ammo can?


April 27, 2010, 11:50 PM
Do people store their lead bullet reloads loose in ammo cans, or is this not a great idea due to the lead bullets softness (compared to FMJ rounds)? Has anyone ever noticed changes in OAL, degradation of accuracy, or other problems related to storing them all jumbled together in an ammo can, as opposed to neatly lined up in boxes?

I could imagine that theoretically, the weight of a couple hundred (or more) rounds pressing on top of a loaded round could deform the bullet slightly or cause other mischief, but I bet it isn't seen practically.

I suppose you wouldn't want do to this with critical match ammo, but for general practice/plinking rounds, is it ok to "fill 'er up" with an ammo can and not worry about labelling lots of little MTM plastic boxes?

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Grandpa Shooter
April 27, 2010, 11:56 PM
I have carried ammo around in military cans since I have been reloading and shooting without any problems. I even buy reloads in ammo cans at gun shows and haven't had any problems with them either. When I go out shooting I drive a lot of dirt roads, so the ammo gets hammered, but still no trouble.

April 28, 2010, 12:19 AM
I think you will be alarmed at how heavy a fully-loaded ".50 caliber" ammo can is when filled to the top with pistol ammo.

It won't hurt the ammo, but it might hurt you if you have to carry it very far.

I generally bag ammo in zip-lock bags in 50-round or 100-round quantities within the can.
That way I can extract a sufficient quantity for a range trip without having to paw through the can every time I want to go shooting.

I used to do the MTM boxes, but I eventually discovered that they take up way too much room when you start accumulating real quantities of ammo.

evan price
April 28, 2010, 04:07 AM
Whenever I go to the range I look in the trash cans and salvage the factory ammo boxes and plastic/foam carriers. I repack my reloads into factory boxes. In the beginning I used to turn the boxes inside out (so they would be plain cardboard I could label) now I just use a strip of wide masking tape to label date, batch, and load info on the boxes. LOTS cheaper than even buying MTM cases and much better than big piles of loose ammo in cans.

I found that loading 500 rounds dumped in an ammo can led to dinged up projectiles and just was a pain in the rear end in terms of organization.

Let's say you discover that a certain lot of powder was a bad load- how do you know which of that jumbled mass of reloads was the ones that you need to pull down? Been there, done that, and never doing it again.

April 28, 2010, 08:40 AM
I used to do that. But now every time I do an order with Midway, or whoever, I just add one of the boxes with the separations. I have lots of them now. It's neater and easier to see how much ammo I actually have.

April 28, 2010, 08:45 AM
as opposed to neatly lined up in boxes?

My lead reloads don't get lined up neatly anywhere except in magazines.

April 28, 2010, 09:18 AM
For bulk practice ammo, I have been using those round plastic quart soup containers that you get a Chinesse take out or that you can buy cheaply at the Dollar Store. Lids fit tightly and you have a container for your empties. :)

April 28, 2010, 01:45 PM
I just buy the white cardboard boxes from Midway with the styrofoam inserts. They come in many sizes for all calibers. Each size will fit several calibers, same box for .45, .40, 10mm, for example. Then I make labels on my computer for the boxes. Works well for me. I'm much too anal to just dump 'em loose into a can. I can get 6 boxes or 300 rounds of .40 or .45 in a .30 cal. can, that's heavy enough to suit me. I get 12 of them in 9mm or .380 in a .50 can.


June 13, 2010, 11:11 PM
I got past the fear of the RATTLE. I have learned that you usually can fit more when neat into say a 50 cal ammo can vs. dumping them in. People that i saw compete this past spring would put their ammo into coffee cans and old plastic jars (mayo). I prefer the flip-top lids or reusing old trays from various manufacturers.

June 14, 2010, 06:26 PM
the ammo will be fine.

June 14, 2010, 07:37 PM
The 30 caliber cans are smaller than the 50 and hold a LOT of pistol ammo which gets real heavy. Been doing that for 30 years - no issues......load them up, helps keep the ammo dry

June 14, 2010, 09:08 PM
think you will be alarmed at how heavy a fully-loaded ".50 caliber" ammo can is when filled to the top with pistol ammo.

Sixty-odd pounds, if memory serves. I switched to .30 cans like Oneounce.

June 14, 2010, 09:26 PM
Yup, I use the .30 cans too. Once you get a few thousand rounds on hand for 5-6 different calibers, those handy plastic boxes aren't so handy any more. :(


Maj Dad
June 14, 2010, 09:56 PM
I think I have something around 20-25, 50-cal and 10-15, 30-cal cans. They're all full of all kinds of ammo, and 5 or 6 with wheel weights. I also use the Zip-Loc/Glad plastic containers that are very cheap, and the ones that lunch meats come in - 100 rds of 38/357/9mm/45 acp fits easily, and they stack well and carry easily in ammo cans or range bags.

June 19, 2010, 09:12 AM
I have used old 1 lb. coffee cans if I run out of ammo boxes. But I prefer the boxes.

Deus Machina
June 19, 2010, 06:55 PM
I make my own boxes out of heavy posterboard. Easy to make and use, easy to label.

I'm partial to S&B boxes for my cans. My homemade ones are the same size, makes it easy to grab a few for a range trip.

June 19, 2010, 10:32 PM
I store 9mm in Tupperware containers.
45 ACP in original boxes & Midway 50 ct. boxes.
One Midway box takes 30 car,-.223 Rem. & 7.62 X 39-50ct. boxes.
357 mag. & 38 Spl.stored in original containers & 50 ct. midway boxes.
12 ga. shotshells stored in Midway 25 rd. boxes.
.380 in Midway 50ct. boxes or original boxes.
Wolf in Wolf boxes.
1600 rds. of old Chinese 7.62 x 39 in 30 cal. ammo can.
25 acp in original containers.
8 MM Mauser in tupper containers.
7.62 x 54 russian in original paper wrappers.................
7.35 Italian Terni in original clips (Kennedy Special )
Enuf for now......................

June 20, 2010, 01:50 AM
berrys has awsome plastic ammo containers, ive used ammo cans a lot for bullets but i prefer to keep my ammo very organized and my relaoding bench so disorganized i cant even find my rockchucker press, thats bolted on my bench somewhere.......... reminds me i think i have a 1 pound container of black powder in there somewhere....... need to clean my room up.........OH LOOK!!! I found my 357 mag python!! didnt even know i had this old blackpowder pistol, i guess i got a new toy ;)

June 20, 2010, 09:32 AM
Now if you can just find your black powder. :D

June 21, 2010, 04:08 AM
I've bought commercial reman ammo loose packed in a can, if that's any help.

Since I got started loading myself, I've used MTM cases from Midway, empty factory trays in the cans, zip lock baggies...

Like a few others said, 30cal cans are much lighter than the 50 cal cans when full of pistol ammo!
(For true back abuse, load up a South African 7.62 can full of your choice in ammo. Ouch. ~15"x20"x8" with handles on either end.)

June 21, 2010, 09:08 PM
I know this is not the "for sale" section, but I do have for sale a limited number of paper ammo boxes that I had made for my own use. I have 9mm, 45 ACP, 38 Special, 223, and 308 boxes. I'm not a commercial operation but have extra boxes that were required as a minimum order to get what I wanted for my own use. If anyone has any interest in these boxes, pm or email me for information. They are smaller then the Midway boxes, a lot less expensive, and don't use any styrofoam trays.

June 23, 2010, 11:00 PM
I use the blue plastic (maxwell house??) coffee cans w/ handle for finished 9mm and 45. 500 45 is 3/4 full and all I care to carry. Use red Folgers for brass prep and collections, helps to keep the process organized.
Never a concern of damage yet. Rifle deserves a mtm style box.
3 gallon buckets hold all of the 12g I care to move and more than I have used in one outing

A and O
June 24, 2010, 12:05 AM
All of the above except hold the Mayo. My preference for my reloaded plinking ammo is 30 & 50 cal cans. To avoid conflict any ammo that goes into a can is all from the same lots of powders, bullets and primers.

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