Project - a DIY ammo locker


March 27, 2004, 03:03 AM
Hello, all. I've been having some fun making a second ammo locker for myself (having run out of space in the first one! :D ). I thought you might be interested in a quick, easy and relatively low-cost way to make a very secure ammo storage facility.

I started by buying an ordinary office cupboard - the steel 36"x18"x72" sort that you can get at Office Depot or Officemax any day. I took out the steel shelves that came with it, and put them aside (I can always find a use for them later).

(Edited to correct the cupboard measurements.)

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March 27, 2004, 03:05 AM
Very nice. Why remove the shelves?

March 27, 2004, 03:06 AM
I then bought a set of utility shelves from Wal-Mart. You can get these in various sizes and weight gradings. Typically, something that can carry 900 pounds will do just fine, although you can go up to a ton capacity if you want to.

It's important when buying these shelves to first measure (carefully! :D ) the inside dimensions of your cupboard. Sometimes the doors are set a bit in from the edge, which takes up some of the depth measurement. If the shelves are the same depth as the outside of the cupboard, they won't fit - they have to fit the usable inside depth. Of course, height and width also have to match.

March 27, 2004, 03:08 AM
pssst...It's empty...boy was I dissapointed! :D

Okay I gotta agree what a great idea. So what now - a magnetic firearm dealie to keep the guns straight and in order [ gee Steve thanks- your welcome Preacherman]. :p

Edit: my smart aleckness was geared to first the boy is gonna show innards...still waiting on the guns tho'...;)

March 27, 2004, 03:09 AM
Then, I began assembling the shelves inside the cupboard. Notice that I haven't done as the illustration on the shelf package suggests, and put a shelf right at the bottom or the top. This isn't necessary when the shelves are assembled in a cupboard, because the sides of the cupboard provide additional stiffening. This also means that the bottom of the cupboard can serve as an extra shelf.

One word of warning: because the shelf dimensions are identical to the cupboard dimensions, often it's very difficult to get the crossbars slotted in. You have to bend and fiddle, bang and bash them to get it right (a rubber hammer is an indispensable aid, as is a plentiful supply of profanity! :D ). It also helps if you don't have two cats who are intensely curious as to what Daddy is doing in that strange metal box, and want to help... :rolleyes:

PS - Guys, wait up! One more post to come - then you can comment! :D

March 27, 2004, 03:12 AM
And here's the finished product. Six usable shelves, with a capacity of up to half-a-ton of ammo (I don't think I'm likely to exceed that - at least, not in one cupboard! :D ). All I have to do is put the handles on the doors, add a padlock hasp, and it's safe and secure from prying eyes and fingers. Sure, a burglar could break in if he wanted to - but how's he going to move half a ton of ammo? :D

Path - I removed the original shelves because they can only carry a load of 70-80 pounds each. A couple of ammo boxes, filled the way I fill them, will soon break those shelves! :D It's better to use the heavy-duty stuff.

March 27, 2004, 03:13 AM
tap...tap...tap fingers
Okay so I flunked Patience 101...get on with it :)

Is that carpet or cork on the shelves?

You done good Preacherman, all ribbing aside a very nice job indeed. So...What's it look like filled up? * snicker*

March 27, 2004, 03:14 AM
The final product is very nice. I am going to give some thought to an arrangement like that. I don't have half of a half of a ton of ammo though!

March 27, 2004, 03:27 AM
Steve, those aren't carpet or cork shelves - they're fiberboard. If you look at the box the shelves came in, it's clear from the illustration. You've been at the medicinal alcohol again, haven't you? :neener:

March 27, 2004, 03:33 AM
Very nice - I remember you mentioning it before and have been thinking doing it myself. Now I AM gonna have to do it. I don't have much patience for the shelving part, though. :fire:

March 27, 2004, 03:36 AM
Nope, today is the 27th of March - correct? I took my last drink on this date in 1984. Twenty years...who'd a thunk it -huh?

My sinuses are giving me fits, and what a headache I have. Oh - yea I was quick to be a smart aleck earlier. I apologize.

Great, I go to earlier illustration and can't read the fiberboard part...sigh...maybe I do need to get my 'script changed on the bifocals...

Well beats the direction I was headed in '84...

Still think you "done good" , very good job and appreciate the sharing.

March 27, 2004, 03:40 AM
Waaaiiiit a are you putting 36" wide shelves in a 30" wide cabinet? I take it the dimensions on the shelving box are not the ones you actually used here?

March 27, 2004, 03:49 AM
Hey as a kid I was sent next door for the "shelf stretcher". You know that dealie all the businesses loan to each other when the kid is sent to get it back...yeah that one.

When I became older I too sent the "new employee" looking for the "shelf stretcher".

Damn I almost 49 and this is the first I ever of a "shelf shrinker"...gotta be a copyright infringement - gotta be. :D

March 27, 2004, 03:49 AM
Valkman, good eyes! You're right - the box in the photograph is not the box for the shelves I put in the cupboard. However, I gave the wrong dimensions for the cupboard, so I've fixed that in that post. The box shown above contains a shelf set rated for 2,400 pounds - rather more than I need in one ammo cupboard... :D The shelves I used were from the same manufacturer, part of the Space Solutions Designer Series, which is available at Wal-Mart, and is as close to a perfect fit for a standard office cupboard as you can get. They measure 36"x16"x72", and are rated for 900 pounds total capacity. Don't get the bigger shelves with 18" depth - that's too wide to fit into the cupboard, due to the doors taking up an inch or so of the depth.

This cupboard can also serve as a cheap alternative to a gun cabinet. It's nowhere near as secure as a Homak or Sentry cabinet, but it's better than nothing, and has the advantage of looking innocent. If you put it in a back room somewhere, next to a desk or something, it's unlikely a casual burglar would think to try to force it open - he'd be looking for TV's, VCR's, DVD's, jewellery, etc. in the main room and master bedroom.

12 Volt Man
March 27, 2004, 04:15 AM
Great project!!!

March 27, 2004, 08:48 AM
Did a closet clean up Thursday and after removing several cases of ammo from behind the door, a telephone stand and some stackable bookcases also filled with ammo, I decided it was time to consolidate. I bought a locking 2-door cabinet with adjustable shelves. I separated the ammo into calibers and guages. When I was through my husband asked if he could store some too. He had a milk crate full plus cases and boxes under the bed and computer. Now it's all in one place, neatly arranged in a cedar cabinet with locking doors. I guess women just like the furniture look. The one fact we discovered, however is the need to shoot up some of this ammo. Last year we had a hard time keeping it stocked, but this winter was a long cold winter and we didn't get out much.

March 27, 2004, 09:02 AM
What was the total cost and time consumed on the project?

March 27, 2004, 01:27 PM

1 used office cupboard from a local used furniture dealer - $50.
1 set of shelves from Wal-Mart - about $30 for the heavy-duty shelves I bought.

Time: About an hour and a half (including profanity breaks! :D ), pllus another hour or so removing interested cats (repeatedly :rolleyes: ) from the scene...)

I'm busy filling it up at the moment, and I'll post a photo of the filled cupboard in due course.

March 27, 2004, 01:32 PM
Hey PM, great idea!

March 27, 2004, 01:58 PM
I was looking closely and it appears that the inner metal shelfs only have very small four "L" feet. I also think that the bottom of the shelf is elevated folded metal. I think that if I stood in it, the metal might bend / buckle (definitely on the hairy edge).

If someone put Half a ton of stuff on those four little "L" feet, that would be about 1000lbs/sq. inch. I would have thought that would have peirced the sheet metal, even at the strong points around the side.

I can't wait to see, hope I am wrong, all kinds of interesting things I could do if that is the case.

BTW looks great.

March 27, 2004, 02:12 PM
DW, those "feet" are rated for a half-ton of weight on the shelving - and you can get others (see the second photo in the thread, of the shelf box) that are similar in construction, and rated for over a ton! I've put up several sets of this stuff, and never yet had a problem with anything bending or falling over. For use outside a cupboard, of course, one puts a shelf at the top and bottom, which helps to keep the uprights together. However, in a cupboard, the sides of the cupboard provide plenty of additional stiffening, so that one can put the shelves closer to the center, and thus create more usable space. As for pressure on the bottom of the uprights, this is really not a problem - and if you put the shelves on a more sensitive floor, that you don't want marked, you can buy some of the plastic "feet", about 1" square, that will fit under the legs and protect the floor. Wal-Mart has those too.

BTW, in my other ammo locker (made the same way as this one) I have shelves rated for 1,600 pounds, with the same kind of uprights, resting on the bottom of an office cupboard. That's been overloaded for some time now (at least a couple of dozen bulk cases of ammo, twenty or more ammo cans segregated by caliber, well over a thousand shotgun rounds, etc.), and has never shown any sign of difficulty. I think these setups are pretty durable.

March 27, 2004, 02:30 PM
we use such shelves at work for storage. they are quite strong. and they dont bend under weight. giving them 3 walls to rest upagainst would definatly aid in their weight holding.

dang it...i could use that idea to ad some storage here in this tiny apartment. not only for ammo but computer parts...

March 27, 2004, 03:15 PM
I wonder if DRMO has any used metal cabinets like that for sale.

March 27, 2004, 03:31 PM
Nice job.
Now post a photo of those pesky cats.
They have to be cute.

March 27, 2004, 03:34 PM
Sorry P'man, but I think you're waaaaaay overengineered on this'un. I have an el-cheapo (Staples, or OfficeMax, I forget) office cupboard like yours that I use as an ammo locker, and the shelves, while p'raps rated 80 or 90 lbs, seem to be holding up well with heavier loads. Can't even detect any deflection on the shelf hold 2 cases of Radway Green .308 plus another case or two of 9mm. I think if you put the mondo-heavy cases (.45 ACP is brutal) on the shelves as close as possible to the sides, and put any really crazy stuff on the bottom shelf, you're good-to-go as is. I don't think conventionally packaged ammo requires any special practices at all. Not trying to be jerk or anything...

March 27, 2004, 03:58 PM
Excellent project, P-man. I'll soon be moving into a new home and am very interested in trying to duplicate your "design" in my new digs. That ammo stuff (like the contents of the gun safe) sure tends to grow and expand over time doesn't it?

Hutch may be right - this may be over engineered a bit... but I'm a big fan of over engineering. Much preferred to running the risk of a major !@#$%^&*

March 27, 2004, 04:34 PM
Hutch, I go by the weight ratings assigned by the furniture manufacturer. If they tell me not to put more than 70-80 pounds on a standard steel shelf, I take their word for it. I'm sure they have a built-in margin of safety on that, but the little metal brackets that slot into the sides of the cupboard are pretty flimsy, and the metal of the cupboard itself is very thin - so, given the amount of ammo I store, I simply don't want to take the chance. Another thing - these cupboards typically come with three or four shelves. I now have six - much easier to spread things out that way, as each shelf can support up to 150-200 pounds, but the weight can be distributed more evenly.

So - over-engineered? I respectfully don't think so...

(BTW, if anyone has one of these steel cupboards and needs a couple of extra conventional shelves and brackets, do I have a deal for you! :D )

March 27, 2004, 04:57 PM
Elegant Simplicity Preacherman!

It's threads like this that make it worth the price of admission here.

March 27, 2004, 05:08 PM
BB, I'm not sure how to take that, since admission is free... :D

March 27, 2004, 06:32 PM
since admission is free

I consider the "price of admission" here to be having to wade through all of the 9mm-.40/10mm-.45-slow/heavy vs light/fast-photos of your pocket lint filled hollowpoints-do you think a .50calAR-15 or a .17calAK-47is best for alien mutant zombie wolfbears when the SHTF and TEOTWAWKI-I only use FMJ so I can hit the spinal column from 50 feet while running backwards during an adrenaline dump-all politicians suck-plastic is better than metal because it's new/metal is better than plastic just because it is-all cops are angelic heros/spawn of satan-why the 1911 is the most dependable piece of crap every invented and everyone should own either 20 or none-all gun shop employees are imbeciles-RBCD/MagSafe/Glaser ammo is the greatest too bad it doesn't work-it's spelled Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious you dimwit-I was there when they shot the goats but FotoMat lost my film-auto vs revolver, threads.

After my daily dose of the above mentioned it is really refreshing to see an idea we all can actually use. Whether it's a good way to store ammo or how to field strip an unusual gun or how to identify the gun my great-grandfather brought back from the Crusades.

I guess the older I get the more I just want to "keep it real".

Thanks to Preacherman and the others who strive to make and keep THR real.

March 27, 2004, 11:47 PM
Well now you've inspired me - but instead of doing what you did it'll be a little different. In my den is a 6' closet with 2 sliding doors, just like a bedroom closet. I'll buy shelving to fit in there and have tons of room! I've been worried about keeping all my ammo out in the garage during a Vegas summer but this will be much better. It won't be lockable but I don't really need that - and it will just look like a closet from the outside. :)

March 27, 2004, 11:49 PM
Does this mean that when identifying yourself as a shooter, you'll be coming out of the closet?

:what: :neener: :p :D

March 27, 2004, 11:58 PM
So - over-engineered?I used to be an engineering student, and as a member of a professional engineering fraternity, I can safely say that there is no such thing as "Over-Engineered." You never know when your "over-engineering" could prove to be just "adequate."

I personally built a bed that will hold more than 1000lbs out of 4x4 posts, 2x4's, and 2x6's, because in a fraternity house, you never know how many sorority girls will stay over...:D ;)

None so far...:( :o

March 28, 2004, 12:29 AM
P.M. , I wish that I had thought about that before I did this:
I would have saved some bucks.

March 28, 2004, 01:19 AM
Does this mean that when identifying yourself as a shooter, you'll be coming out of the closet?

AARRRGGGHHHHH!!!! (Runs away screaming)

:D :p :D :p

SiG Lady
March 28, 2004, 12:47 PM
EXCELLENT job on the shelving project!! I don't think it was the least bit overdone. (Just look at the response on this thread, for one thing.) Jolly good job!! Carry on!

March 28, 2004, 12:52 PM
I think I have a next saturday cleaning up project...

March 28, 2004, 01:27 PM
After looking at your project I started looking at my available room.
Darn, I have room. Now I have to go to the store and buy stuff...
Thanks for the ideas PM:D

March 28, 2004, 02:03 PM
Now I'm off to Wal-Mart to find those shelving units. And a cabinet. I'm tired of looking at all the ammo on the floor. Good one, PreacherMan!

SiG Lady
March 28, 2004, 02:06 PM
(You might want to reduce that photo. You've got at least a 30% screen spread........)

March 28, 2004, 02:14 PM
am going to run out and get a set of shelves to put in matter how neatly or evenly i pack mine the shelves always figure a 1000 rds of 308 weighs 74 lbs...then add others on to that shelve and you have a disaster waiting to happen...thanks preacherman.............

March 28, 2004, 02:27 PM
Nice project! When I gather a bit of money together, that'll be on the to build list.

March 28, 2004, 03:00 PM
Nice locker Preacherman, you still owe us a picture of it fully loaded. I think the legs of the inner shelves vs the thin sheet metal floor is the weakest part.

BluesBear: That post was hilarious, especially the "why the 1911 is the most dependable piece of crap every invented." I enjoy all the stuff you seem not to, all the more THR for me I guess.

March 28, 2004, 03:34 PM

Personally I like your "floor plan".
Gotta admit more organized than 5 cases of shotgun ammo I once had...on the floor...out of the original case boxes.

I bought the 'world's ugliest chest of drawers" from a neighbor 10 years ago for $7. Heavy wood with dovetail joints and all. I mean ugly. So I drill a hole in right rear corner, insert a steel rod that goes thru all 4 drawers. Top of rod is flat / flush with top. Bottom has a cut out on back side with a plate a padlock attaches to . Easy to unlock and remove rod...otherwise ain't no way them drawers gonna open. Put a decorative runner on top of chest, stick a oil lamp on top...ta da...ecletic bachelor decorates a ammo chest again. Eat you heart M. Stewart...Tim the tool man ain't got nuttin' on me. :p

So damn ugly it grows on ya...

Movers dolly "bent" once , had to get the appliance duty one. "Just what the hell is in here" he asked. I replied " Just some old textbooks and Junk".
He said , " I've moved ammo boxes that didn't weigh this much".

< dumb look> "Ammo?" " Yeah like in guns and stuff" he said. "Guns?"...."Nevermind you don't seem like the type". :D

March 28, 2004, 05:42 PM
I think the legs of the inner shelves vs the thin sheet metal floor is the weakest part.
Dustind, not at all. My first ammo locker is like this one, but with even heavier-duty shelves, using the same type of upright, and that's held more than half-a-ton of ammo for over three years now. No problems with the legs penetrating the bottom of the cupboard, or bending, or anything like that. Don't forget that the bottoms of the uprights aren't sharpened to a point, or anything like that! :D

March 28, 2004, 05:48 PM
.... from my usual tendancy of over-engineering a self built unit.

The example, along with the source for at least one of the components, is very good neighborly of you, PM.

Two thumbs up:p !!!

March 28, 2004, 10:14 PM
I bought the 'world's ugliest chest of drawers" from a neighbor 10 years ago for $7. Heavy wood with dovetail joints and all. I mean ugly. So I drill a hole in right rear corner, insert a steel rod that goes thru all 4 drawers. Top of rod is flat / flush with top. Bottom has a cut out on back side with a plate a padlock attaches to . Easy to unlock and remove rod...otherwise ain't no way them drawers gonna open. Put a decorative runner on top of chest, stick a oil lamp on top...ta da...ecletic bachelor decorates a ammo chest again. Eat you heart M. Stewart...Tim the tool man ain't got nuttin' on me. Martha Stewart and Tim the Tool Man are so 90's. You sound like you might be due a visit from those Queer Eye for the Straight Guy guys.

March 29, 2004, 12:09 AM
Nice locker job!

If I actually had that much ammo to fill it, I would do it. If I had one as empty as it would be, I would have to fill it up... so the side expenses just don't work for me. :) Maybe later though!

March 29, 2004, 12:22 AM
<after a Tecoma search for QEFSG...don't watch much TV here>

One look at this straight hetro male, they'd give up. Any attempt to have me give up blue&wood guns, leather holsters, pick up trucks...longish hair and moustache...and leave the cast iron skillets alone...

...toss me another mag...them fellas gettin right good at a new version of the two step...keep dancing ya'll...:)

March 29, 2004, 08:23 AM
A few points, based on comments in this thread and some PM's/e-mails received from others interested in building their own ammo lockers.

First, I really don't think that this is "too much" space for ammo. Allow me to present Preacherman's Postulate For Ammunition Storage: "Ammunition Expands To Fill The Space Available"! :D I started out with one half-height office cupboard (36"x18"x36"), with three heavy-duty shelves. Within a year, I had to move it over to a full-size cupboard, as illustrated here. The one I've just built is my second! :D

Also, it's amazing how your firearm "accessories" accumulate... holsters, cleaning gear, ammo, tools, bags, boxes, etc., etc... I'm building this second ammo locker because once I've moved ammo over to it, neatly arranged by caliber (often in milsurp .50-caliber ammo boxes), I'll be moving the rest of my firearm odds-and-sods into the old ammo cabinet. For the purpose, I've bought a number of the small Rubbermaid plastic storage containers, in various sizes, like this:

(Walmart again!). I'm going to sort my gun goodies into categories, and box them up separately, and store these boxes in the other cupboard, so that everything is in one place, neatly arranged, and accessible whenever I need it. How many times have you looked for a particular cleaning jag, or gunsmithing tool, or whatever, and had to hunt all over for it? This ammo closet helps organize all of them too, so I don't think space will be wasted.

Finally, a couple of folks who are already building similar lockers complained that they found it very difficult to get the front cross-members in place, because the uprights were being forced into the small gaps between the door hinges and the sides of the cupboard. Agreed, that can be a problem - the solution is, assemble the front uprights and cross-members outside the cupboard, and put them in place as a unit. Then, put the rear uprights in place, and attach the front-to-back cross-members; and finally, attach the rear cross-members. This ensures that the front uprights are held in place by the cross-members, and can't be pushed out to funny angles.

Hope this helps... I think I'll have to start a photo thread for ammo storage when this is all done! :D

March 29, 2004, 08:54 AM
while not quite as large, a stack-on security cabinet $79 works very well and is more secure. I used 8" x 3/4" board for shelves. The cabinet is bolted to two studs in 4 places.

March 29, 2004, 09:23 AM

Just funnin' ya, man. :D

I'm pretty much with you. See no need to ever drive anything but a truck, the entire essence of my hair-care product line consists of a $.79 comb and some cheap shampoo, we've been married 20 years, and I still have a coffee table from my first marriage (which I regularly put my feet on).

I've told my family that they could make a very watchable TV show with the opposite premise...Take some very fashion-wise, hip young guy and teach him some manly arts.

Have those American Chopper guys teach some girly-man how to arc weld.

Get Ted Nugent to teach him how to take a deer with nothing but a longbow and a loincloth.

Have Jesse James give him a lesson on the art of tatooing.

March 29, 2004, 10:56 AM
I like the look of your ammo storage locker. I have been thinking over what to do with all of my ammo that is starting to stack up.

March 29, 2004, 02:07 PM
I hace noticed from several threads that many of y'all are using the blue Dillon AkroBins for storage.

I have found a source for AkroBins in twelve sizes and ELEVEN colours (
(Green is available in several sizes but isn't shown on the colour chart.)

On the chart if you click on the item number on he left it will show pricing information.

This company also has dividers and lids for the AkroBins. Just do a search on "bins" and you see a lot of oprions and accessories.

March 29, 2004, 04:11 PM
I have a Gorilla Rack with big blue bins for storage. Works great but it's not enough for alot of heavy items, and it doesn't seem to be available anymore. It is great for primers, brass, stuff like that.

March 29, 2004, 07:33 PM
I did not realize the fit would be so perfect, I sort of figured I would have to make some wood spacers to keep things tight. Great idea and the assembly hints help a lot as I was sort of wondering about that.

I can easily use 2 of these right now since I need to empty the closet out that I currently have all the ammo in right now. One cabinet for ammo and the other one will organize the assorted leftovers that guns create.

Another idea I used on one of the big sets of shelves was to make plywood sides and a back for it. I did not need doors, but I was then able to drill the plywood and hang things off it, I had access to all sides and it made a lot of "wall" space.

One thing I often thought about doing with the cabinet doors with the 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch lip was to glue in some plywood or something and make hanging space. This of course depends on depth of shelves as well as how sturdy the door hinges are.

Thanks for sharing everyone.

March 29, 2004, 08:03 PM
God forbid any of yall should have to move!:eek:

March 29, 2004, 08:15 PM
I like the idea of semi-clear bins - you can see what's in them without having to peer around.

March 29, 2004, 08:21 PM
Eyz, good point about securing the cabinet to studs. Of course, it's easy to do that with this setup, too: drill holes in the floor and/or back, and secure it with screws and washers to the floorboards and/or wall studs. Personally, I don't bother, as trying to move one of these when fully loaded, even with two or three people, is likely to produce several hernias! :D

March 30, 2004, 01:37 AM
And here it is - all filled up and noplace to go! :D I reckon there are somewhere between 19,000 and 20,000 rounds of ammo in there, in three shotgun gauges, ten rifle calibers, and eleven handgun calibers (plus a few odds and ends of calibers for which I only keep a few rounds). In case that sounds like a lot, don't worry - I bulk-buy ammo at the beginning of each year, as I can get a 40% discount by buying more than 10,000 rounds from a single supplier. This lot will get shot up over the course of 2004. Nice to have it all organized at last.

March 30, 2004, 10:28 AM
I know its a sin, but this tight-budgeted college student is envious of your ammo dump.:)

Are those shelves bowing?:eek:

March 30, 2004, 11:09 AM
I haven't seen any dealers who offer more than case discounts. What supplier do you buy from, and what does the ammo cost with 40% off?

March 30, 2004, 12:08 PM
What happens if there is a fire?

March 30, 2004, 12:16 PM
Halon.:D :rolleyes:

March 30, 2004, 02:09 PM
Moparmike - no, they're curtsying... I mean, no, they're not bowing at all! :D

Carpetbaggerr - it's a special deal organized by a local LE office. Being an LEO (as a Federal prison chaplain) I was able to get in on the deal.

Deleteall - if there's a fire, I simply inform the fire department to stand back and enjoy the show. That's what insurance is for! :D Seriously, though, it's in a part of the house where fire is rather less likely: and in a fire, ammunition doesn't explode - it simply "pops" (try it yourself sometime - put a couple of pistol rounds into a fire (at a safe distance) and you'll see that no bullets go zooming off, although bits of cartridge case might bounce around a little). The cupboard is of fairly flimsy construction, as these things go, so any excess gases will easily be vented. There's no danger of an explosion (although it might get noisy for a while!).

March 30, 2004, 03:17 PM

I really like your setup. It looks like you have some kind of spacers or something between your bins on the shelving. What kind are they?


March 30, 2004, 03:27 PM
Gewehr! What is that big piece of electronic equipment on your workbench (if you don't mind me asking)? It kind of reminds me of the old Hallicrafters and Hammerlund shortwave radios. I've longed for a couple of those old tube shortwave radios for years. I'm assuming it's not a radio, since it's over a large oscilliscope.

Great thread, here.


March 30, 2004, 10:01 PM
It's a military Hammarlund wideband radio receiver. There used to be Department of Defense and CIA listening posts all over the world, tuning in to the airwaves for anything of value. (I'll neither confirm nor deny that those listening posts still exist) That radio was one of the survivors when the listening posts went to quartz-locked semiconductor equipment. I was ordered to "dispose of it" some years ago. So I did. :D

I'm a sucker for vacuum tube electronics, my dad brought me up building radios and amplifiers, and he continues to this day to restore and repair old radio sets and audio equipment, from Victrolas and Atwater-Kents to Grundigs and Fisher amplifiers. That old Hickok oscilloscope and aforementioned Hammarlund military receiver are a couple that he helped me restore to perfect working condition, in his two-story inventor's workshop converted from an old barn. Upstairs in that workshop, he's got one of the biggest collections of NOS vacuum tubes this side of the Mississippi river. The Hammarlund has no less than 28 tubes, trust me, I've handled them all, and replaced a bunch of them.

They're now part of the Gewehr98 evil laboratory, combining a computer lab, reloading room, radio shack, weather station, ammo dump, and esoteric gun collection. As soon as I get a smidgen more organized, and get all those ammo cans up off the floor, the Hammarlund, it's speaker panel (seen on the floor), one of the oscilloscopes, large UPS, laser printer, and one of my file servers are going into an industrial rack mount. Then it'll be time to tackle the mess that is my reloading bench!

Preacherman, if you haven't said so already, do you have the SKU number from the box on that WalMart shelf unit? It would make my search go a little easier. ;)

March 30, 2004, 10:12 PM
Gewehr, the shelves are made by Hirsh Industries of 1500 Delaware Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50317. It's their Model 13036, with 5 shelves, measuring 16" deep by 36" wide by 72" high, and rated for 900 pounds weight, "evenly distributed". The bar-code numeric value is 29404 13036, and the price was $27.88 at Wal-Mart.

The Hirsh Industries Web site (which isn't very helpful, I'm afraid!) is here ( I'd suggest contacting them directly if you can't find the product locally - they can tell you who would stock it in your area. The shelves look like this:

March 30, 2004, 10:32 PM
I really like your setup. It looks like you have some kind of spacers or something between your bins on the shelving. What kind are they?

They have a fiberboard covering, and then a plastic sheet that makes the bins slide and keeps them separated. I love those bins, but it's not nearly enough room, and I don't have anywhere near the ammo Preacherman does! I have this 6' closet in my den we don't use as a closet so I'm still working on finding shelves to fit in there. That will be alot of storage, and I can get the powder out of the garage for the Vegas summer. :)

March 31, 2004, 12:45 AM
Gewehr - *Gasp* That radio looks to be in outstanding condition. I'll PM you with some questions.

(There's a house for sale on my street, if you want to move to GA... Or if you just want to move your evil laboratory... Wow.)


March 31, 2004, 02:11 AM
ammunition doesn't explode - it simply "pops"

I remember reading something about .22 LR ammo being quite dangerous since the brass is thin it could become shrapnel like. Was that one of those "rare" internet rumors you hear about? :confused:

March 31, 2004, 02:54 AM
Any bits of brass cartridge case could be dangerous if the velocity is high enough: however, you'd have to be standing within a few feet to sustain anything serious. They're so light and aerodynamically inefficient that they can't fly far or fast.

March 31, 2004, 03:16 AM
Filled up looks great!
I was checking for cats behind the ammo...The Cask of Amontillado
You did a really great job...and I don't even see the cats...;)

March 31, 2004, 12:24 PM
When shooting my .22LR Neos I usually end up with tiny brass flakes imbedding in the outermost layer of my skin. It stings a tiny bit, but no big deal.

Oscar Orum
March 31, 2004, 08:25 PM
Preacherman you have done yourself proud.
A+ for construction, engineering and sharing.
I think a lot of people have been helped and the
component manufactures blessed.

March 31, 2004, 09:39 PM
I have thrown some dud .22's in a burning barrel, and they go "pop" and then "tht-twang", hitting the barrel. If I am not mistaken, I have heard one pop and two "tht-twangs" leading me to belive that the bullet went flying as well. however, no extra holes.:confused:

March 31, 2004, 09:46 PM
The bottom shelf of the cabinet, is it hollow under nether it or is it sitting flat on the floor? I know you said that you were not worried about it being damaged, however if it is hollow, I would of placed solid blocks in the corners under the cabinet. Just one more over engineered step. I like it, good job. When are you starting the second one?

Glad you were myth bust'n the ammo in the fire. Hollywood always shows rounds going off and able to severely wound a person a mile away. What I believe is worse is a Spray can.

March 31, 2004, 10:17 PM
The bottom of the cupboard is flush with the floor. You're right: if it was raised from the floor, one would need to put some sort of reinforcing under it to take the weight, but fortunately that's not necessary with this cupboard.

As for the second one, that's already complete - I built it up two or three years ago. It has only four shelves, wider spaced than the six shelves in the new one. I've moved all the ammo over to the new one, and will use the old one to store other components, shooting equipment, and related stuff (as well as ammo overflow, if any! :D ).

April 1, 2004, 05:06 AM
JennYe, I bet you thought I'd forgotten your request, eh? Well, here are my two helpers... CJ is the ginger cat, and Calico is - well, the calico cat! :D

They're "helping" again in this picture (taken just after midnight today). I had just changed my bed, and put a clean comforter, sheets, etc. on it. I think they were both determined to make me feel more comfortable in it by putting a few cat hairs on it - they both jumped up as soon as I'd finished, and stayed there all night, to the detriment of my sleeping position! Every time I turned over, I'd get these dirty looks about how inconsiderate I was being in making them readjust their positions... :D

For more about their firearms-related predilections, see this thread... (

April 1, 2004, 10:27 PM
I think they were both determined to make me feel more comfortable in it by putting a few cat hairs on it - they both jumped up as soon as I'd finished, and stayed there all night, to the detriment of my sleeping position! Every time I turned over, I'd get these dirty looks about how inconsiderate I was being in making them readjust their positions...Funny, my beagle does the same thing. She keeps shedding on people. I think that she thinks that we will all freeze to death with so little "fur" on us...;)

4v50 Gary
April 4, 2004, 11:42 AM
When a Sears Roebuck closed down, I bought some employee purse lockers (about 6" tall, 12" across & 18" deep). There are 10 lockers per unit and I bought two of them. Got the combinations from MasterLock and now it holds a lot (but not all) of my ammo.

May 26, 2005, 12:15 AM
hey preacher man, he is asking for the bottom number on your ammo closet. Well, need any help lifting that 2,000 pounds of ammunition? ;)

i bet it is pretty hard to get under there!

Sir Aardvark
May 26, 2005, 02:29 AM

Couldn't somebody puchase a slightly oversized steel cabinet and then line the inside wall with 3/4" or 1" fire-rated drywall and get a modicum of fire resistance?

This is pretty much what my American Security safe has for its fire protection - of course, it also has 1/4" thick steel walls. But still... I think it wouldn't hurt.

May 27, 2005, 01:09 AM
Gypsum board when used as a fire retardant inside a Residential Security Container depends on the release of moisture to help keep the inside temperature lower than the outside.

The locker as shown isn't even close to being airtight so there'd be only minimal protection.

November 16, 2005, 10:59 PM
{Doing what i do best...searching the archives (keyword: archives}, reviving an 'older thread'. Any updates are welcomed and encouraged.}

Ah, th' P'man shines through once again. And pleased to walk in the footsteps of the B'Bear.

Did a search on "ammo storage", thinking ahead to a near-future time when i want to store a few K rounds of 9mm, 12 ga, .22LR, maybe some .30 for larger game, & perhaps some .357 rnds...

Mostly concerned about temp and humidity issues, more so than security or fire.

I find this thread (along with a dozen others).


1) I'm likely to have less rnds to store for quite some time than P'man, but am still considering this idea...i can put academic papers on the shelves unused for ammo.

2) After reading about 5 or 6 threads, I have far less concerns about temp and humidity than I did earlier. (Keep the extremes low, all is good.)

Life is good. Guns are ...


November 17, 2005, 07:52 AM
Have those American Chopper guys teach some girly-man how to arc weld.

Heh, heh... I remember my art classes... Some of the "girly men" were artists (doh...) with a torch...

You know you hang out on TFL too much when you NEED this sorta dealie for your ammo...

November 17, 2005, 07:53 AM
I hace noticed from several threads that many of y'all are using the blue Dillon AkroBins for storage.

I have found a source for AkroBins in twelve sizes and ELEVEN colours (
(Green is available in several sizes but isn't shown on the colour chart.)

Aha! And here we have a designer...

Never, ever, watch Trading Spaces or Monster House while drinking.

November 17, 2005, 08:00 AM
Most of my "spare stuff" that isn't packed in various "go bags" is in ammo cans in The Bunker, where it serves as part of the decor.

I was _going to_ look for some ammo crates what would be nice paneling (when cut up...) at this Fall's Knob Creek, but I had to work...

November 17, 2005, 09:25 AM

Your ammo locker looks real similar to the one I did. I just used a little different locker for mine.

I scavanged an old Allen Bradley electrical cabinet from a job site, (it was being discarded). The thing weighs a lot even empty. It took several hours and an angle grinder to remove some of the interior structure that was in the way. I bolted on some angle iron and layed in some 3/4 plywood for the shelves. It works pretty good for what we need it for.

As to the contents, the top three shelves are mainly reloads for our centerfire stuff, the middle of the locker is generally pistol stuff, (reloads and new). There is also some surplus 30 06, 303, and 223 as well as the blackpowder supplies. The pink bucket and the crack spackle bucket were handy containers when I ran out of places to store some 45 reloads. The bottom part of the locker is case lots of 7.62*39, 223, 12 gauge and yet more pistol ammo. The very bottom is our SHTF bug out ammo, 7.62*39, 223, 12 gauge, and 22LR.

Semper Fi

November 17, 2005, 01:27 PM
Nope I am a pi$$poor interior designer. But I know that some folk just don't want all of their bins in Dillon Blue.

Anyway they have moved their website and here's the new, correct link. (

April 27, 2011, 10:11 PM
Where are the pics now. I am looking for a fairly cheap diy ammo locker but cant find any pics.

April 27, 2011, 10:16 PM
Eaglessj - the pics are gone because this thread is six years old. Preacherman hasn't been here in quite awhile, and the pics have likely been moved to another location.

If you're looking to start a similar project, you're better off starting your own thread and asking for help rather than ressurecting ancient threads. :)

Larry Ashcraft
April 27, 2011, 10:28 PM
Dragging an old thread up, you are guaranteed to get some red Xs.


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