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Long Term Storage of Reloads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by tabealer, Feb 18, 2010.

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  1. tabealer

    tabealer Member

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    Does anyone have any tried and true system for storing ammunition for long term? I was thinking about vacuum packing - similar to food storage.
     
  2. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill Member

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    Ammo Cans

    Airtight, waterproof, stackable, reusable......carryable!
     
  3. shootinxd

    shootinxd Member

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    The more I load,the more I shoot,problem solved.LOL
     
  4. meadmkr

    meadmkr Member

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    +1 on the ammo cans. Do yourself a favor though and stick with the smaller cans so you don't overload 'em and then have to move a 40+ lb. can I throw 1 or 2 dessicant packs in the bottom and top for extra protection since these are stored in the garage under my reloading bench for 'ballast'.

    For spent brass I've found the transparent kittly litter jugs with the wide mouth and handle to be perfect (and with 2 cats in the household) and readily available.

    C.
     
  5. faolchu.si

    faolchu.si Member

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    I use Markron Custom bullet and primer sealer. It goes on kinda like fingernail polish. It works great and is only about $7 at Cabela's. Just seal the seam where the primer was seated and the seam where the bullet was seated, and your done.
     
  6. bds

    bds Member

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    I shoot most of my reloads within the same month, but keep some for SHTF scenarios (I rotate out stock annually).

    I vacuum pack 100 rounds in Food Saver bags and cut out two notches on the bag ends to make it easy to tear open. And if the SHTF, it's easy to issue and carry in pockets of my family/friends/neighbors.

    If you need desiccant, toss some uncooked rice in the bag - although in many THR threads, it's been more than proven that unsealed rounds left in the open (rain, snow, etc.) shot fine after several months of exposure.
     
  7. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Does anyone have any tried and true system for storing ammunition for long term?

    I tried some ammo I loaded in 1978 against the same load loaded 5 years ago and just loaded last summer. Chrono gave these results:

    1978 ammo..................950 fps
    2004 ammo..................970 fps
    2009 ammo................1000 fps

    I attribute the variation in velocity due to different lots of the same powder. ES and SD were about the same in all three.

    The older ammo was put in a factory box and then an ammo can. No dessicant used. Kept dry and relatively cool. I see no need for extraordinary measures.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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  9. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    If you just keep it dry and store it reasonably, it will likely last your lifetime anyway. Why worry about it? I was looking through my stocks the other day and I found some .45ACP that I loaded in 1983 or 1984. It was just plain lead RN bullets. I've carted it all over the country, from when I loaded it in FL to where I live now in the N.W. It still works just fine....
     
  10. bds

    bds Member

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    GRIZ22, now that's long term. I am glad smokeless powders are stable. :D

     
  11. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Because it is most likely the exact same thing. Clear polish should be less expensive as well.

    Green ammo cans with an intact rubber seal are a great way to store stuff for long periods, including ammo
     
  12. tabealer

    tabealer Member

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    GRIZ22, that is some excellent info and not easily duplicated.

    bds, I like your small vacuum packs. Easy way to distribute ammo once you open a can.

    Thanks to all for your input. Any more opinions, please chime in.

    GB
     
  13. tabealer

    tabealer Member

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    oops, duplicate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    GI ammo cans with good lid seals will keep ammo perfectly for a lifetime.
    That is what they were designed to do.

    No need at all for vacuum sealing, desiccant packs, or especially, painting the primers with nail polish!! That is a waste of time!

    If you don't put water inside the ammo can with the ammo, there is no possibly way water can get in later.

    The other major benefit is, GI ammo cans were designed to contain ammo fragments in a fire.
    That makes them way safer in your home then plastic ammo cans or Tupperware containers.

    rc
     
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I have to agree with the ammo cans. I use the 50 cal type and use quart type zipLoc freezer bags filled 150 ea rifle or 250 pistol each. Date and put load info on side. Store until needed.:cool:
     
  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    During the move down here in 2005, I uncovered a couple of long-forgotten .50 caliber cans in the basement containing a couple thousand rounds of handloaded .41 Magnum ammunition that dated back to 1983. Cast bullets and Unique with Winchester primers. I'd actually forgotten that I had it, it had been so long since I loaded it. I bought a short-coupled Ruger .41 Blackhawk last year, and I've been busy burning up the stuff ever since. Nary a misfire or hangfire.
     
  17. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Ammo cans are a good idea for storage, but don't over estimate their ability to keep water out. If you are just using them to keep moisture out, they are good for that. I regularly store Silver Bear ammo in them. Silver Bear cases are known to corrode if moisture gets to them and I've never had a problem.

    I'm sure that the ammo cans can handle splashes and stuff, but they won't keep the water out if submerged. I had a dozen or so cans in my garage that I was storing stuff in when Katrina hit. Those that were light enough to float were fine. Those that were too heavy to float leaked.

    As for keeping reloaded ammo safe. I think the stuff is practically indestructable. Have you ever tried to kill ammo? I've tried soaking in water, dunking in oil, spraying with WD40 and all kinds of stuff. What can I say? I was bored and wanted to see if it could be done. What I found is that reloaded ammo can shrug off all kinds of harshness, as long as the cases don't corrode.
     
  18. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Reloaded brass compared to virgin brass might have different storage life?? When a round is fired, many different chemicals are produced. I wonder if these chemicals might attack brass after a while?? GI ammo cans for me.
     
  19. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    Ammo cans with a desicant pack stacked in a non workin fridge to stabilize temp!!

    Cleaned the brass inside & out with the soak solution then tumbled , broke into some6yr old stuff to check case , NO GREEN on the inside of the case .

    What got me to cleanin & checkin I stored some dirty-30 reloads & did`nt clean nuttin .
    went to shoot some of it & could`nt hit a 8x11" peice of paper at 50 yds , pulled a bullet or 2 & the base of the bullet was gone eaten off by the green stuff , brass looked ok but the acids attacked the copper of the bases since it was softer??? that`s my theory & I`m stikin to it!!
     
  20. Sidewinder72

    Sidewinder72 Member

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    I also store ammo in 50 cal. cans. You can pick up for about $4.00
     
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