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Cheap Ammo cans - why not 5 gallon buckets?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by leadcounsel, Dec 5, 2012.

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  1. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    So, the days of cheap ammo cans seem to be over. They used to be under $5. Now I see the larger ones at $10 or more.

    I got to thinking that 5 gallon buckets and lids for under $5 may be the answer for longer term storage. The only drawback may be the handle may not be strong enough or designed for the weight full of ammo. But for a stationary storage solution, that may work well.
     
  2. rondog

    rondog Member

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    You talking about 5 gal. buckets full of loose rounds? You go right ahead, tell us how it works out. Jeeze, my back hurts just thinking about it. A .50 cal. can full of ANY kind of loose ammo is more than plenty heavy enough for me. But I shoot and reload over a dozen calibers, and have thousands upon thousands of rounds stored up. For storing cleaned & polished brass, I use new 2 gallon paint buckets from Home Depot, and one of those full of just empty cases is pretty damned heavy. I don't look forward to schlepping ANYTHING heavy up and down my basement stairs, thank you.

    Steel USGI ammo cans are God's gift to us for ammo storage. You just need to find a cheaper source, sniff around on Craigslist, surplus stores and pawn shops. Nab every one you find. The "fat .50's", or SAW cans, are my current favorite, they're just perfect.
     
  3. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    You must be related to Superman if you can even move one of those full of rounds.

    (LOL)
    Jim
     
  4. evan price

    evan price Member

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    Because the buckets break down in UV light, the handles break when I have 150# of wheel weights in them, they don't stack as efficiently as the flat sided ammo cans, they will soften in heat, they will melt if they get too hot, they will crush or break if dropped or handled roughly.

    If you want to put some boxed ammo in there and then nitrogen purge them and seal them up and put them in the basement for secure cache storage, probably would be a pretty good idea. But for actual use and work, the GI ammo can is the best all around contender.
     
  5. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

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    thats all a tad of a stretch....

    1) just about any container will break if you fill it with 150# of lead ( if you can even lift it)

    2) they stack pretty easily on top of each other....that being said, with a 5 gal capacity, you shouldnt need more than one at a time.

    3) they are rated to 240*F working temperatures, if you are in a location that hot, you have bigger problems....so they arent going to 'melt' or 'soften'

    4) anything will crush or break if dropped or roughed up enough....hell, i can most likely crush a standard Ammo can with my boot if i was determined to do so....
     
  6. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I mean it would work, but either not so mobile or tons of headspace.

    I do have a lot steel ammo cans, and a few Cabela's polymer cans (not really recommended) - but I just buy the larger MTM polymer cans whenever there is a "twofer" sale. Sturdy, perfect size. I probably should test the seal though.
     
  7. ShamboPyro

    ShamboPyro Member

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    I like to use empty tea tins for small amounts of ammo, although I do put the ammo in a plastic bag inside the tea tin. One tin fits a brick of 22lr.
     
  8. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    The large buckets with good rubber seals are best for dehydrated provisions, paper products, and anything that won't require a wheel dolly to move. They do stack well, but I get a little tired of seeing all that orange.

    In an emergency, lighter loads are smarter. One might consider a bucket with some ammo, maybe some homemade c-rat packs, bottles of water, matches. More of a Line 2 arrangement. The TEOTWAWKI lunch pail.
     
  9. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    Configuration is the key............
     
  10. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    Along with a lot of steel ammo cans I have been using those plastic buckets for many years.
    The better ones are stout enough to pick them up when loaded with Bulk Pack 22LR, brass, powder, etc.
    And the good ones have air tight seals.

    Now days I'm also using gallon and half gallon pickle jars for storage. They also have good air tight seals.


    reloadsinjars.gif
     
  11. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Yep, works for me...............
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  12. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I had a 5 gal bucket filled to the top with 9mm brass for a long time (decade+?). By the time I got towards the bottom of it reloading, brass was noticeably "out of round." Might not affect loaded ammo as much because it's supported both at the rim and the neck (by the projectile), but something to keep in mind.

    Same thing with a bucket full of 9mm cast lead bullets. The ones on the bottom were smooshed and had to be run through a sizing die again to get them back in round (cast from wheel weights, fairly hard stuff).
     
  13. Tinpig

    Tinpig Member

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    For what it's worth, my experience with the aftermarket Gamma "air-tight" screw-on lid assemblies for five-gallon buckets, is that they are not even watertight let alone airtight.

    Tinpig
     
  14. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    You might try going to your local home improvement store and getting 1 gallon paint cans - the lids stay on tight and do not leak or spill or allow moisture in, they'll be light enough to easily carry, they stack well enough; they look innocent on a shelf in the garage or shop
     
  15. Uncle Richard

    Uncle Richard Member

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    Try baby formula containers. Work great for me. With baby number 2 on the way, I'll have plenty more containers to fill up.
     
  16. fallout mike

    fallout mike Member

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    Too heavy for me.
     
  17. homatok

    homatok Member

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    Talk to the manager in your local fast food resturant and see if they have any old plastic buckets from bulk Salsa, pie filling, etc. these buckets are usually about 1 to 2 gallon sizes. I use a lot of them for all kinds of long or short term storage!
     
  18. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    At a match held at my place, JohnKSa used a used 5 gallonish-sized kitty litter plastic container for both an ammo can and range bag. It was all the rage. PM him about it. It was undoubtedly one of his prouder moments and he is happy to share with you the untold benefits of kitty litter containers!
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Go to any bakery and ask about frosting buckets & lids.

    Just are the right size ( 3 gal), & they stack nicely.

    They are usually free, or no more then a buck ea. at most.

    Shop8.jpg

    I still prefer ammo cans for loaded ammo just for the fire protection angle.
    They will retain all the flying brass & primers if your house catches on fire.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Those frosting buckets (containers) look like a good approach. They are squared off so you may be able to work with storing stuff in their original boxes. Powdered detergent containers may work also. I use one of these as my "trash can" in my vehicle.

    5-gallon buckets.... sounds like buckets of fun. But they are fairly inexpensive.
     
  21. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    oneounceload, beat me to this but to repeat paint cans would get my vote.
     
  22. Warp

    Warp Member

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    5 gallon buckets are way too big. They take up too WAY too much space for most loaded ammo uses.

    My LGS still has .30 cans for $6.99.

    What 5 gallon buckets ARE good for is empty/spent brass.
     
  23. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Those frosting containers look interesting.
    The only think I have against the 5-gallon buckets (beside the weight!) is that the round shape is a space waster. Square or rectangular objects snuggle up and sit tight together...more efficient use of space.

    I too bought a bunch of ammo cans when they were $4 each. Then some more when they were $5 each...and some more when they were $6 each. "Dollar cost averaging" for the ammo guy. :)
     
  24. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    if you know anyone who works in the asphault grinding industry the teeth for the grinders come in neat ammo can sized conainers with a handle. I got hundreds for free as they were just tossing them.
     
  25. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    2 words Gamma Sea.
    I use these and the seal is good but you get a kinda square peg round hole arrangement when storing boxed ammo.:(
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
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