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1942 20mm ammo cans

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Bixster_inc, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Bixster_inc

    Bixster_inc Member

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    I found these while cleaning out my uncle’s garage, pretty sure they belonged to my grandfather as it was his garage before it was my uncle’s.

    I’m thinking since they’re stamped not stenciled I’ll take them in for a sandblast and powder coat then use them to store my powders, bullets and sorted brass.

    Then I thought this might be one of those “leave ‘em like you found ‘em” situations. Any advice from collectors out there?
     

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  2. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

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    You may want to reconsider using them to store your powders...
     
  3. Bixster_inc

    Bixster_inc Member

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    May I ask why?
     
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    Powder should be stored in a container that is open to burn freely in case of fire, or in a cabinet that isn't sealed. Storing powder in a metal sealed container creates a potential bomb.
     
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  5. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Powder storage containers should be something that gives allows burning powder to vent. A ammo can made of metal will contain the pressure. If the pressure builds up enough my guess is the lid (at least) will become a high velocity projectile.
     
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  6. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    If the cans are in otherwise good shape, the condition shown in the picture is just character.
     
  7. Bixster_inc

    Bixster_inc Member

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    Seems legit. I guess I always looked at it from the view that if my reloading area went up in flames it’s going to be catastrophic anyways.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Bixster_inc

    Bixster_inc Member

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    They’ve got some minor dents I was going to “massage” out with a small hammer, other than that they’re structurally solid.
     
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I don't know the value of a WW2 era can, in fact I use one to hold my Smallbore Prone ammunition. The bottom is scuffed from sliding on concrete. If you can find "Army Green" paint, why not bead blast, prime, and repaint? (where is there cheap Army Green paint?) They will look good and the cans will have a new rust preventative coating.
     
  10. Bixster_inc

    Bixster_inc Member

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    Online they range from $30-$80.

    I’m not interested in selling them, just not sure if it’s one of those things you keep original or not. I’m not 100% sure who’s they were as the more I think about it we had quite a few men in the family on both my dad’s parents side serve during WW2 that at one time lived in that old house. Rumor has it there’s a 1911 from that era stuffed in there as well that I’m trying like hell to be the one that discovers it.
     
  11. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    Be careful when storing ammo in them. You can put way too many pounds of ammo in one. I have one that size full of 12 ga and another half as big full of 22 LR. Need a fork lift to move either.
     
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  12. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    I would leave them as is... patina is cool

    I kept my powders in a mini-fridge for wine. Kept them at 50°. I did this because they were in an un-conditioned detached garage. When the building burned down, none of the 50 lbs of powder exploded. Only the 10,000 primers went off like a firecracker factory.

    The only explosion was the oxygen tank for my torch.

    Lost all my grandpa's reloading tools, hand polished bullets, and notes, along with 1000s of bullets, cases, etc. All the jacketed bullets were just copper husks in the bottom drawer of my toolbox
     
  13. Bixster_inc

    Bixster_inc Member

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    Ouch man, I’m truly sorry to hear that.

    We just had a gnarly fire about 3 hours north of me that completely wiped out a town. Seeing all those people that lost everything including their pets was just heart breaking.
     
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