Ammo Storage In Attic


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razorback2003
March 10, 2012, 12:41 AM
Should my ammo that is kept in o ring dry boxes keep fine in my attic? Or should I have it all kept in the A/C and heated part of my house. What about my firearms that are kept in gun socks and sealed egg crate inside hard plastic gun cases? I lay the cases long ways instead of upright to keep the oil from going into the stock. The attic gets hot in the summer but not very cold in the winter.

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spoogie
March 10, 2012, 12:50 AM
It doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. If there's more than a 10 degree rapid swing, I wouldn't do it for long term storage. I am envisioning an unfinished attic, though. If you have insulation, foil, sheetrock, etc. that'd be different. Humidity is a bigger killer.

JMHO, for whatever it's worth, I have no data to back it up as far as the magic temperature.

Try this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=491546) on THR or this one for other knowledge (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f51/long-term-firearm-storage-10300/).


-S

razorback2003
March 10, 2012, 12:57 AM
I have insulation in the attic. The attic is walk in and can be finished into a room. Just need to sheet rock it. I have my reloading bench up there. In the fall, winter, and spring it is pretty comfortable, just the summer it gets hot and I can't reload.

knockonit
March 10, 2012, 09:54 AM
Horsefeathers on the temps issue, I live in AZ the temps run from 35 degree to 120 and store the stuff in a conX box, never an issue. I';ve never had issues with either older milsurp. or new manufacture ammo. Also store all my reloading materials, when not in use, IE powder primers etc. hmmm, old wives tale
imo.

fallout mike
March 10, 2012, 10:05 AM
If its 100 outside it could be as high 140 in an unfinished attic.

BaltimoreBoy
March 10, 2012, 10:26 AM
FWIW: I inherited assorted ammo from my father. He lived in Florida and kept it in ordinary boxes in the unheated and uncooled garage for up to 15 years. Never had a problem with any of it.

Hocka Louis
March 10, 2012, 10:30 AM
Heat is the enemy of ammo. There is no arguing a fact. Can you say "entropy"?

razorback2003
March 10, 2012, 01:28 PM
I do oil up my guns and put them in the gun socks before putting them in the hard sided egg crate cases. I don't use the soft sided cases because they don't seem to protect guns.

flyskater
March 10, 2012, 02:00 PM
My attic temperatures during the summer is a toasty 160F.
I wouldn't put them ammo to such extremes.

General Geoff
March 10, 2012, 02:06 PM
Heat is the enemy of ammo. There is no arguing a fact. Can you say "entropy"?

External entropy in the form of heat has no specific logical bearing on being an enemy of ammunition, unless the heat exceeds the flashpoint of said ammunition (160F is not nearly high enough).

I would argue that arid heat is preferable to humid cold.


edit; if the OP's attic is anything like mine, it's always arid, even when cooler. Temperature differentials are not an enemy of stored ammunition; condensation caused by temperature differentials is. If it's never humid enough for condensation to form, then there's no problem.

jcwit
March 10, 2012, 02:11 PM
Wonder how hot it got in those containers and ammo bunkers in Iraq when the outside ambient temp is 130/140 degrees?

razorback2003
March 10, 2012, 02:23 PM
This is more of an unfinished upstairs room that I use as an attic instead of a crawl space attic. I have a door to it and in the winter when it gets cold and i'm reloading i'll just open the door to get heat from the house. In the summer it gets over 100 in the room, so I don't spend a lot of time in there. I would like to get it finished in some ways just to reload year round.

I did store some guns in a relative's crawl space over a year's time without any problems. The guns were stored in gun socks and in the plastic hard sided egg crate cases. They were of course oiled. It wasn't ideal but better than storing all my guns in an apartment.

BIGGBAY90
March 10, 2012, 03:04 PM
Thats easy----inside your house

oneounceload
March 10, 2012, 06:36 PM
My attic temperatures during the summer is a toasty 160F.
I wouldn't put them ammo to such extremes.

The military in the ME seems to have no issue with ammo in the same heat environment; that being said, I would keep it in the house if possible. a few ammo cans in a closet next to the shoes doesn't take up much space

fallout mike
March 10, 2012, 06:45 PM
Razorback, check out those portable ac units on wheels. It would keep you cool enough to load in the summer until you are able to get the attic finished out.

MutinousDoug
March 11, 2012, 11:28 AM
This subject comes up periodically so I'm re-posting this observation:

I worked for 20 some years in engineering for an aerospace ordnance company that specialized in pyrotechnic devices for military aircraft and space vehicles. Some of these used common reloading powders such as Bullseye or Unique as gas generants for piston driven, single use devices, for instance; pin pullers and latch operators in escape or ordnance arming systems.
Commonly these devices had a 5 year operational (on aircraft) or 10 year shelf life after which these would be returned to us for refurbishment or disposal. To refurbish these, the original lot of propellant was used if possible as a replacement. Using the original propellant lot allowed us to use a smaller acceptance test group and abbreviated test regimen-PROVIDED: no statistically significant difference in performance was exhibited in any of our test samples; original, return or refurbished.
I know of no case where we witnessed a change in performance due to propellant degradation. Our replacement propellant was stored in its original containers in un-insulated steel magazines about the size of a conex box or semi trailer, painted dark red. These were placed on the back of the company property here on the Colorado prairie. Not an extreme environment but -10o f to -20o f in the winter and 90o f to 100o f in the summer. Entering one of these magazines in the summer was stifling. The propellants cycled through these extremes for 10-20 years with no measured ill effect. I inherited a NASA project that used a small charge of Bullseye as an igniter. I used the same one lb can of it my predecessor used throughout my career- over 25 years total. There was no recorded change in performance over that period.
Commercial propellants don't significantly degrade until they are subjected to temperatures in the neighborhood of 230-240f. They are however quickly degraded by exposure to sunlight so storage in clear vessels or in your powder measure for weeks at a time is not recommended.

nathan
March 11, 2012, 11:40 AM
Mines in the garage and they go bang every time i pull the trigger.

Gtimothy
March 11, 2012, 12:10 PM
Horsefeathers on the temps issue, I live in AZ the temps run from 35 degree to 120 and store the stuff in a conX box, never an issue. I';ve never had issues with either older milsurp. or new manufacture ammo. Also store all my reloading materials, when not in use, IE powder primers etc. hmmm, old wives tale
imo.
I guess all of the measures the military goes through to monitor magazine temps are unnecessary then too. Every morning and evening having to record the temps High and low, for nothing...I call horse feathers! Even though I've been out of the Navy for 16 years, I remember that temperature plays a very important role in the way a bullet behaves. While it may not cause an explosion, it still isn't wise to store ammo/powder in a manner that the manufacturer warns against. Most warnings come about because of accidents. Extremes in temps do funny things to those "O" ring sealed ammo boxes too! Try keeping one in the garage on a hot day then bring it into the AC and try and open it! Great physics lesson there on how to create a vacuum!

SlowFuse
March 11, 2012, 08:49 PM
The "eggshell foam" cases are know to hold moisture and could cause a rust problem. I don't see a problem with the heat on ammo, but if I have a choice it would go in a cool dry place.

The War Wagon
March 11, 2012, 09:09 PM
I have an office off my living room - main room of a three story house with full basement. Keep all my ammo in there. Very consistent temperature year-round, which - if your basement is cool, but MOIST - is the best place to store. Cool is good, but if your basement tends towards 'wet,' that TOO will ruin your ammo! :o

Sport45
March 11, 2012, 10:01 PM
Wonder how hot it got in those containers and ammo bunkers in Iraq when the outside ambient temp is 130/140 degrees?


Pretty hot. But then, they're not planning to keep the stuff for decades...

No4Mk1*
March 11, 2012, 10:10 PM
Somehow Pakistan found a way to poorly store ammo as my .303 from POF '67 is click...bang ammo. No attic storage for long term ammo would be my advice.

Owen Sparks
March 11, 2012, 10:15 PM
Any rapid change in temprature will cause metal to "sweat" and draw moisture.
Ammo should be kept in a climate controled enviroment.

spoogie
March 12, 2012, 09:16 AM
Maybe the ammo will tolerate it, but I was more worried about the guns in my initial response.

-S

ObsidianOne
March 12, 2012, 09:17 AM
Cool dry places for both, if not, expect less life.

Carl N. Brown
March 12, 2012, 09:58 AM
Unique seems to have an extraordinarily long shelf life; the successful commercial powders do have remarkably stable formulas. You still have to watch for deterioration: when nitrocellulose powder breaks down, the acids released accelerate the break down.

British cordite (smokeless powder made of guncotton, nitroglycerin, vaseline, acetone solvent) does not hold up well after decades of storage. Which is why cordite has been abandoned (except for writers who rhapsodize about the smell of cordite in a mystery novel).

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