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storing ammo

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hak, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. hak

    hak Well-Known Member


    this isn't a handloading question, but not sure where to post this.

    i've been buying my ammo stocking up - and i've hit a point where, i cannot fit all of my ammo in my safe. the latest purchase of 200 rds of 3" 12ga buckshot and 500k rounds of 5.56 green tip have got me in a pickle.

    the greentip fits and is going in the safe, so at this point i'm trying to figure what is the 'safest' type of ammo to not have in the safe (thinking fire - for my family and the first responders). choices:

    * the buckshot, in standard 5rd boxes, 40 of them in a cardboard double shipping box.
    * 9mm bulk ball ammo - from GA arms, in a mil-type ammo can, only about 1/2 full.

    the other stuff seems like it would be worse (7.62x51 of all types, .40 cal of all types, the greentip above and blackhills also in 5.56)

    the buckshot package and the 9mm ammo can take up about the same amount of space - which would you place in the safe and which would you leave out?

    do you keep all of your ammo in a safe or other armored enclosure?
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    I'd rather have the ammo stored out in the open to pop off in a fire instead of a steel box like a safe that is only gonna turn into an oven. I'd image a safe stuffed to the gills with ammo could have the potential to turn into a bomb in a fire.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Buy some GI surplus steel .50 cal ammo cans and put them in a closet or basement.

    The ammo would be better off & better sealed against humidity then setting loose in your safe!

    GI ammo cans were designed to store and protect ammo for years on end, under less then ideal storage conditions.

    They are also a first line of defense in the event of a house fire, as they will contain the blown out primers and case shrapenel and keep it from flying around.

    They are designed so the seals will melt & the latch will spring and release pressure before the can blows up.
    Your safe isn't!

  4. The Sarge

    The Sarge Well-Known Member

    I have stored lots of ammo for years in ammo cans I buy at various places. I check the rubber gasket and make sure it is good.....throw a pack of desiccant in and lock her up....
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    A GI ammo can with a good seal & latch doesn't need a desiccant pack.

    The military sure doesn't think so anyway.

    If there isn't moisture in the can when you seal it, there won't be moisture in it years later either.

  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    500,000! Wow, that's a big safe. :D

    Follow rcmodels advice. Can't beat ammo cans.
  7. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    The safest way to store it is the same as storing smokeless powder, build a box out of 1 inch thick wood (hardwood would be better than plywood) (i think it is fire rated for 1 hour) with swinging doors on hinges. Do not keep it in metal containers that could become scrapmel bombs if heated enough in a fire. Put a hasp and lock on it to keep kids out of the live ammo. And store it in a non-living area like the garage.

    Just a suggestion.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I got to disagree with you a little.
    As I said above, that is what GI steel ammo cans are designed to not do.
    The are designed for long term storage & transportation of ammo.
    And to safely contain shrapnel & vent the pressure in a fire without blowing up.

    If they were shrapnel bombs, they wouldn't be of much use in combat.

  9. The Sarge

    The Sarge Well-Known Member

    And it sure doesnt hurt anything either does it.
  10. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    I keep my loaded ammo as well as powder, primers, and bullets in a store room adjacent to my garage.......my reloading room/man cave.
  11. VP

    VP Well-Known Member

    Surplus ammo cans are the way to go. It's what I use. They work great and a lot of different caliber boxes fit in the perfectly. Not to beat a dead horse, but I stress the importance of looking them over thoroughly when you purchase them and pick the best ones out. At $10-$15 each you can afford to have extras on hand for good buys on ammo and to use around the house. I store mine in my basement, hidden away. No ammo in my safe.
  12. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Well-Known Member

    Another vote for USGI ammo cans. I keep all my reloading supplys except powder in them. Primers, bullets and cases loaded ammo also. If I could find one big enough to hold powder jugs I might even try that.

    Wild Bill
  13. amlevin

    amlevin Well-Known Member

    3 feet of large diameter plastic sewer pipe with a glue on cap on one end and a screw plug in the other. Fill it with your ammo, add a large bag of desiccant, and bury it in the back yard under a rose bush. Use silicone grease on the threads of the plug to make them watertight.

    Just don't forget it's there if you sell the house.
  14. VP

    VP Well-Known Member

    Or forget it's there if I buy your house!!!!
  15. spclpatrolgroup

    spclpatrolgroup Well-Known Member

    Ammo cans, or zip lock bags inside of plastic ice cream buckets work for me, I dont think the buckets are needed, other than you cant really stack zip locks bags on top of each other.
  16. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    If you're storing it in your house, don't worry about it. If wars were fought in climate controlled environments, ammo cans wouldn't exist. When you go to the LGS and buy ammo, they don't have it stored in ammo cans.
  17. popper

    popper Well-Known Member

    Ammo can are for carrying ammo, not protecting it. Someone here posted a pic of an ammo can with 9mm in it, after a fire. NOT pretty. PVC pipe large enough to hold ammo cans underground in the back yard? Good idea. Avoids grass and house fires. Just have to keep the water and fire ants out. A PITA, but safe. See those pics of Arab tanks with the turret blown off - that's powder, not HE. I've heard that the FD won't put out house fires if they hear ammo cooking off. jugged powder isn't a problem.
  18. Afy

    Afy Well-Known Member

    500K rounds of 5.56? You barrel will be toast a lot before that. Are you planning to invade some place? ;)
  19. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's a keen observation. The sheer size of that stash didn't hit me until you put it that way. The average .223 barrel lasts around 5k round, or so I've read. If that's the case, OP has enough ammo to feed 100 rifles for a lifetime!

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