Vacuum packing ammo. Anybody ever try that ?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rfwobbly, Sep 19, 2019.

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  1. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Gotta a pal who's a borderline survivalist. He's using my equipment to load some 9mm for "long term storage". I thought of waxing the ammo and putting it in a sealed Army ammo can, but then I saw the wife vacuum packing fruits and veggies for the freezer.

    This is all JHP and FMJ. No bare lead.

    Anybody ever try that ?
     
  2. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I've done it but I did not pull a real hard vacuum before I sealed it. The powder has solvents/moisture that is part of it composition so you don't want to remove it. Not sure weather it could be remove or not, buy why chance it. Not needed in this case, you just want to seal it to keep water out.
     
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  3. CMV

    CMV Member

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    I did some with a foodsaver and their brand bags. Made nice little bricks of ammo.....for a while. But all lost vacuum within probably a year or so. Still sealed in bags, just not the tight brick. This just sat in bottom of a cabinet undisturbed, so my trial of 3 different times makes me think just use a 30cal can with a few desiccant packs & call it good to go.

    #1 .223 on stripper clips, 200 per pack. Failed really fast. The corners of the stripper clips tear up the foodsaver bag fast.
    #2 .223 loose, 150 per pack. Failed fairly fast - maybe a month or two. The FMJ bullet too pointy/sharp and poked thru foodsaver bag.
    #3 9mm loose, 200 per pack. Failed in about 6 months (not sure but wasn't immediate, wasn't longer than a year). Unsure why this failed with FMJ RN bullets. Pretty smooth and sealed up making a nice brick.

    SO anyway, basic foodsaver bags are just a waste of time & $.......A heavier material & commercial vacuum sealer might be fun to try
     
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  4. mdi

    mdi Member

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    For me, yes, it can be done and may be of some advantage, but I have some 30 year old handloads (some w/cast bullets) and IIRC, some 1953 30-06 military ammo. Military is in original packaging, and my handloads are in plastic bags and plastic ammo boxes in GI ammo cans. I also have some 22 rimfire ammo in original packing and I have kept them in a 5 gal bucket with some being 25+ years old. None shows any corrosion or reason to not load and fire. Sorta an "If you wanna, OK, do it" situation.
     
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have components that were given to me vacuum sealed. I’ve never done it but I also keep my stuff climate controlled so wide temp changes or lots of humidity are not an issue.
     
  6. 748

    748 member

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    When I moved from sea level to 4,400 feet above sea level I had ammo cans I packed before I left, some of them sat for over 2 years and still opened with a nice pop.
    I figure that's air tight enough.
     
  7. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    I've got a bunch of primers that I sealed in regular Foodsaver bags 15+ years ago and they still seem to have a full vacuum seal.

    I just store my ammo in sealed .50 cal cans, but I don't think encasing bulk primers in a steel can is a good idea.

    I doubt that a vacuum seal would affect the chemical composition or burn rate of the powder, but I think it might be detrimental to the weatherproofing of individually sealed rounds like M855.
     
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  8. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    Not me, but several friends have. Seemed to work fine with no issues. Nice if packing space is an issue, want to keep lots separated (e.g. precision rifle) etc. If the seal doesn't hold, it is a bag or sealer process issue. Good bags and practice they will stay vacuum packed forever.

    Also, battlepacks exist. Plenty of mil issue ammo comes in sealed plastic bricks, with some vacuum pulled. They are delightful. Very reliable stuff.

    If you have the room, as said by others, USGI ammo cans are reliable. Clean the seal, then re-lube with silicone grease to make sure it works right. Dry seals pinch, bind, gap, crack, etc.
     
  9. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    I've seen a lot of sealed plastic battle packs from several different countries, but I've never seen one that had a vacuum drawn before it was sealed.

    What country does that?
     
  10. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Never saw a need
     
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  11. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I slso tried it once with a seal a meal and they lost their vacume also. Then I wondered it the vacume sucked the air out of the cases over time so I didnt try it again.
     
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  12. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Back filling the ammo cans with an inert gas like argon?
     
  13. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I never saw a need to do that.

    Most of my ammo is stored in GI cans or if a factory case I just wrap the entire case in shrink wrap. My ammo stays fine for 20+ years like that.

    I did find a box of 357 LSWC loaded in 1978. It was moved to 6 states and for nearly 20 years sitting at ambient temperature in unheated garage. No signs of external damage and performance was like 1978.
     
  14. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    This seems affirmatively dumb to me. Lots of compounds that are pretty stable at normal atmospheric pressures become volatile in a vacuum, and lots of things that are only mildly/slowly volatile in normal atmosphere become far more so in a vacuum.

    Vacuum-sealing things is helpful for reducing oxidization from the atmosphere. I don't think atmospheric oxygen is where trouble with ammo usually starts. You'd be solving a non-problem, and quite possibly creating new problems along the way.
     
  15. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    This is a case where a search would've probably turned up a multitude of hits. This is another one of those topics that has been touched on quite regularly on these types of forums. As replies have shown, can be done, doesn't have to be done, but if done, should be done mindfully.
     
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  16. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    I vacuum seal then put them into ammo cans with dissicant, purchased rifle ammo I leave in the boxes, reloads I put in quantities that match the magazine capacities. At our hunting camp I've seen someone show up with wet ammo he left in his truck when it rained. I haven't looked at mine to see if the plastic is still intact. I purchased some M2 ball 400rnds boxed in a 50cal can and there is no room for vacuum sealed bags and it seams fine. I have 22 ammo that is marked at 77 cents per 100 that still went bang and 2 dollar 12ga that still shoots that have never seen dissicant or vacuum bags.
    I am doing a ladder in 30-06 for 7 different guns to test a new bullet and have put the first and 2nd run in vacuum bags until I get 7 50rnd ammo boxes to keep them separated. I have our old sealer in the garage and have hundreds of bags from an estate sale that I use for ammo and anything that will fit that I want to keep dry like first aid, seasoning for camp, extra batteries etc.
    When I was doing 5 and 6 thousand mile 2 or 3 week trips on motorcycles I used vacuum storage bags and a small 12v vacuum/airpump to compress and keep dry my clothes dry so I think the same principle could be used with ammo if going on a trip.
     

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  17. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Word to the Wise:

    A friend of mine thought that would be a great idea for to protect his ammo he was transporting to Africa for a hunt he won. It never made it to Africa. Can you imagine what ammo for his big gun costs from the Africa outfitter? ;)

    His fancy vacupacked ammo never made it because the baggage inspector found it and confiscated it in New York.......seems there's a rule that ammo has to be in factory cartons to fly the friendly skies. :)
     
  18. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Perhaps if I were packing ammo got my great grand child (yet to be born) I'd go to these extremes. I've read of many members shooting WWII and Korea era ammo, with no problems. But, the main thing is if it makes you feel better, then do it...
     
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  19. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Yes I do it with bulk 22LR. Not gonna be short ever again. This is an effective and easy process; don't over-think it. :cool:
     
  20. fguffey

    fguffey member

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    Yes I have, I have also packed ammo for long time storage with heat and Nitrogen using different methods and or techniques, the last time I made suggestions I was told it would not work and the post disappeared.

    F. Guffey
     
  21. fguffey

    fguffey member

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    And then the reloaders should know if the container/case is sealed, that requires another method and or technique.

    F. Guffey
     
  22. Down Range

    Down Range Member

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    I've purchased a bullet and primer sealer from Brownells. It is supposed to totally seal the round.
     
  23. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Well I am a cheap SOB so I put my finished ammo in Zip Loc freezer bags and remove as much air as Possible. Then into USGI ammo cans with a dessicant packet. If this does not protect my ammo from damage and moisture I have bigger problems than that to worry about.;)
     
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  24. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Thanks, guys.

    I did do a search before asking, and most of the existing responses were about lead bullets which did not apply.
     
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