Author Topic: Ammo long term storage  (Read 28389 times)

Offline bburg

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Ammo long term storage
« on: March 16, 2009, 01:56:17 PM »
Can you use a "FoodSaver" to vacuum pack ammunition for long term storage?  Will this type of storage have any effect on the reliability of the ammunition?

Thanks,
bburg

Offline Patriot:Ex Machina

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 02:00:56 PM »
I would say it would depend on where you plan to put the ammo after you've sealed them in the Saver bags.
Do you mean for burial or in a container in your home or basement?

Offline bburg

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2009, 02:04:54 PM »
Yes the purpose of vacuum sealing them would be to protect them from moisture if they were is a less than idea place, but then I wondered if the act of vacuum sealing the cartridges would effect the reliability in anyway... would the vacuum packing pull the air from the cartridge and effect combustion?


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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 11:01:40 PM »
No problem pulling the air out. If you are creating negative pressure inside the casing, it will go back to atmospheric as soon as you open the bag. The casing should be a hermetic seal to begin with just by the nature of the loading process (non air tight ammo wouldn't be much good for wet environments, would it). I've sealed boxed and loose ammo at different times and had no trouble using it later - as much as 10 years later in some situations. Apparently some folks have had trouble when vac sealing loose ammo due to the projectile slightly coming out of the case or the primer jumping the pocket. I've never seen that or experienced it, but apparently it is possibile. I think the wise choice is to seal the ammo in a box, and to test whatever ammo you intend to store long term by sealing a few rounds as a test, leaving them in the bag for a couple of days, and then taking them out and measuring them for damage or checking to make sure they will still work in your firearm.

That said, it's a lot easier just to pack the ammo in a waterproof and airtight container and throw in some dessicate packs.


Offline bburg

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 08:24:35 PM »
Thank you both for your replies.  I am glad to find someone who has actually sealed ammo in this fashion.  Thanks again!

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 01:08:11 AM »
I use a foodsaver to store my ammo, either 50-100 rounds per pack. It has some advantages for me.

Makes counting easier for bulk ammo, how many are in here, 300, 400, 500, I can tell by counting the packs.

I like to shoot, so I open my storage containers to get ammo out. I open some more frequently than others, and each one lets air in with moisture. No problem with the vac sealed ammo.

Grab a bag and head to the range. Give a bag to a friend, sell a bag (ammo people)

Makes it convienient for me, you do what works for you.

Offline 96Charlie

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2009, 07:30:05 PM »
The storage space vs. ammunition to store situation is reaching critical mass.  I've been thinking about storing a couple of boxes of my "best" ammo in the trunk of my car (no legal issues in Idaho).  Figured this would not only free up some space in la casa but would provide a small reserve in case something unfortunate happened to the main stash.  Any input on how this violation of the "cool" storage (local summers run 80-100 deg) might degrade the ammo are appreciated.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2009, 07:41:30 PM »
What about a small rental storage space?  Or a friend's house?

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2009, 07:47:46 PM »
HG might have a point.  Anything in your car is at risk for theft or damage in an accident.  Additionally, it may cause a hazard to responders if the accident is a particularly fiery one.  EMTs have been killed and seriously injured by exploding airbags and hydraulic type hood/back hatch arms.  Personally I'd look into a 24hr access storage facility or store at family/friends house if possible. 

Berserker Prime

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2009, 07:52:57 PM »
The storage space vs. ammunition to store situation is reaching critical mass.  I've been thinking about storing a couple of boxes of my "best" ammo in the trunk of my car (no legal issues in Idaho).  Figured this would not only free up some space in la casa but would provide a small reserve in case something unfortunate happened to the main stash.  Any input on how this violation of the "cool" storage (local summers run 80-100 deg) might degrade the ammo are appreciated.

Sigh...I wish I had your ammunition "problem".

Offline 96Charlie

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2009, 09:09:03 PM »
Thanks all.  Didn't think it would sell (sigh!).

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2009, 09:35:45 PM »
Not too mention the worst thing for your ammo, is the fluctuation of heat and cold it would get in your car. It might take years for it to get to the point of nonfunctioning, but degradation is degradation.


RipT

Offline scrappy

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2009, 09:15:13 AM »
cohutt posted a picture of his ammo, just to gloat about his stock in the "Ammo shortage is over" thread.  But the picture brings up a question about which I've seen various intimations, but never any explicit discussion.  How do you store your ammo?  Do you just keep it in the boxes in which it was purchased?  Do you dump it all into a dry box like cohutt apparently does (or are those hand loads?).  If you do dump it into a dry box, do you mix various brands together in one box, or do you make sure to keep every brand and type separate?

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2009, 10:58:02 AM »
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3998.0 is one thread thats started about this. and http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=5084.0 is another. I toss mine in ammo cans with some large desiccant packs and lube the ammo can seal with o-ring lube and lock it up. Thats what my grandfather did with his from the '60s and '70s and the ammo looks and shoots fine.

Offline Craig67

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2009, 11:02:58 AM »
I don't have 10k + rounds but I do have a "few".

I keep my ammo in military ammo cans. 12 ga slugs and buck in one (Almost ready to split that into 2 cans) , .22 in another, 7.62X39 on clips in another, 7.62X39 in boxes in a wooden crate (Plastic sealed sleeves though) , 12 ga #7 1/2 in a can.

Smaller odd lots share a can, I leave all ammo in original boxes so I don't get identification issues.

Reloads have their own, clearly marked, MTM plastic boxes, stored in cans.

HTH,

Craig

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2009, 11:05:41 AM »
I separate mine by caliber and label each ammo box (.22, 9mm, .30-30 and so on). I dont worry about separating it by brand because its still in the boxes (I can look at the labels for any recalls also). Reloads are done when I have enough to fill a can then the info is put on a card and dropped in (same procedure as above) .

as a side note, I feel a thread merge coming on  ;D
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 11:12:43 AM by Roknrandy »

Offline Sid

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2009, 09:20:06 AM »
I have most of my extra supply of ammo stored in the original boxes, but I put these boxes in coolers.  That way, I have some coolers to use if I ever need to use up some of the ammo.  I figure that the coolers keep the temperature inside from fluctuating rapidly, plus they stack fairly easily, three high.  The only problem is that they are very heavy and in order to move them, I need to take out half of the ammo first.

I use the coolers for everything except for the bulk 7.62X54R that is in spam cans, and those I just left in the cardboard boxes that they were in when shipped to me.

All of this is stored in an upstairs closet.

Of course I keep some ammo around my house, ready for immediate use, either in spare magazines, ammo belts, or actually loaded into my home defense weapons.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2009, 10:31:24 AM »
I use .50 ammo cans.  I put one caliber in each.  I mark the side and face of each can with a piece of blue painters tape with the caliber on it.  I put in anti-rust chips (identified on other posts on this topic).  I have cleaned and lubricated the sealant ring in each can. When I open one up, I can hear the fresh air rushing in because it seems like the air pressure is slightly different in the weather I'm in when I open than when I closed the can.  One exception to this rule is .22LR, which I have so much of I just keep it in the boxes (bricks) they come in and put them in a rubbermaid tub.  I go through lots of .22LR so it doesn't stay in the tub too long. 

I have stash at home and one at another location.  I have at least one ammo can of each kind of ammo I have a gun for at home.  In my home stash, I keep a variety of loads when that applies like for 12 gauge with buck, bird shot, and slugs.  The ammo cans at the other location sometimes have a mix of calibers if there's only a partial can load of each (like 9mm and 12 gauge) but that is clearly marked.

The ammo at home, where I have kids, is up too high for anyone to get at it without a ladder. 

Offline otowner98

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Ammo Storage Question
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2009, 09:22:37 PM »
With ammunition starting to come back into stock in my area at reasonable prices, I've been able to start replenishing some of my stock.  I'm just starting to wonder if I should be storing it differently.  Up until now, I've always just kept the ammo in the packaging it came in, inside of larger cardboard boxes on a metal shelf in my basement.  A recent order of 9mm from Cabela's came with a free ammo box, so I'm just wondering if I should be storing  more of it in it those, perhaps with some dessicant.  How do you all store your ammo?

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Ammo Storage Question
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2009, 02:51:49 AM »
Good question.

I just put a couple of these aside and was wondering the same thing.


Offline madcap1one

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Re: Ammo Storage Question
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2009, 08:18:56 AM »
I use surplus .50 cal cans from either gun shows or even some sporting goods stores that carry them. Prior to purchasing these cans, I always check to make sure that the rubber gasket inside the lid is in good (not perfect) condition. I dont necessarily insist that its water/air tight, but that it will seal fairly well. I have seen these on "sale" for 12 or so each - but by careful shopping, I pay about 8 or so each. I am willing pay for these as opposed to rubbermaid or tupperware, due to their metal construction which is durable, their notches top/bottom for stacking in my storage room, and their carry handles for ease of use. You may choose to go with a cheaper albeit less utilitarian route.

I take them home, and give them a cleaning (not worried about exterior rust spots or bubbled paint/epoxy) with a moist paper towel and to shake out whatever gunk accumulates in the bottom (of recent getting a good amount of sand in them.)

Once clean and dry, I load the can with one caliber of round, and with the ammo I put in a container of homemade desiccant. Then I label the can with a piece of masking tape and a Sharpie listing caliber, quantity, and date - all which make it easier to grab the proper can for range trips or emergency bug outs.

Desiccant - I take a pair of my better halfs old nylons (she uses them as part of her work uniform, or she wouldnt spend the money on them) I cut about six inches of the leg (unstretched) and place a knot as close to one end as possible. I then stuff the open end with the kitty litter that has the crystals (not the clay compound) until it is packed the size of a 12" softball (paying 8 a large box of kitty litter at Target near me,) stretch the remaining nylon and put another knot in the open end to seal it. Into the can with the ammunition it goes - and gets replaced in six months or so-ish...

My storage room is inside our main home, so I dont have wild swings in temperature and humidity. If you keep your ammo in a place that does experience disparate environmental conditions, you may decide to invest in a dehumidifier or a temperature control unit. Really up to you to assess your conditions.

Of note, I keep under 10k rounds on hand. If I had a major investment in large bulk quantity ammo, I might put more expense into maintaining my cache for longer term. Right now, I cycle my inventory about every 24 months, so I am less concerned about it.

Offline lzhome

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Re: Ammo Storage Question
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2009, 08:10:08 PM »
Keep it dry and cool. So if you are storing ammo in you living space where the climiate is controlled you're okay. It wouldn't hurt to use the Cabela's dry box or surplus ammo cans but even without special boxes the ammo will probably out last you.

Offline Cacinok

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Re: Ammo Storage Question
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2009, 08:37:03 AM »
like madcap, i store my ammo in ammo cans, except i generally use .30 cal cans.  i leave the ammo in the box it came it and just stack it in the ammo can.  i pick up .30 cal ammo cans for btwn $4 and $6.  no dessicant since i store the cans in the house.

Offline madcap1one

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Re: Ammo Storage Question
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2009, 08:46:03 AM »
like madcap, i store my ammo in ammo cans, except i generally use .30 cal cans.  i leave the ammo in the box it came it and just stack it in the ammo can.  i pick up .30 cal ammo cans for btwn $4 and $6.  no dessicant since i store the cans in the house.

I should add, that I am not at all dogmatic about the can nor the size in the original! Whatever you find close by and at a reasonable price. I am however, now that I have several dozen, committed to the 50 cal cans - only so that they stack and store in harmony with each other.

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2009, 01:59:29 AM »
I use a foodsaver but I do not pull a full vacuum on the bag. I pull a partial vacuum and then use the manual seal option. I also use 30 and 50 cal ammo cans. The 30 cal cans hold single calibers and the 50 cal cans hold a mixed assortment. I also use the plastic sport dry boxes by MTM.

Regards,
Shadowalker

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2009, 10:23:22 AM »

I use a foodsaver but I do not pull a full vacuum on the bag.


I have my ammo in the original boxes and in ammo cans with some rust-inhibiting chips.

But I will, time permitting, seal the boxes in a vacuum seal too.  Can't hurt.  It's not like ammo needs to "breathe."

Offline Kagetsu

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2009, 09:00:53 AM »
Yea, I started asking these questions back when I laid up a stock of hollowpoints after the black talons I wanted were outlawed. I've still not fired them, but everything I've heard, smokeless powder being far less corrosive than black powder, the modern cartridges being tightly sealed,,, normal climate controlled houses can keep ammo indefinitely.   

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2009, 10:06:20 AM »
Aaah, but blackpowder in and of itself, unfired, is not corrosive, if its real black powder. If it was corrosive, it wouldnt be loaded in metal cans.

The subs like Pyrodex, American Pioneer, 777, and the like, are hygroscopic, so they tend to attract moisture, much like an open can of brake fluid. This is the main culprit.

Now after blackpowder is fired, the results are somewhat corrosive, but its not near as bad as what Pyrodex is.

I have a lot of blackpowder ammo loaded up, and some of it is several years old. Wouldnt hesitate to use it at all. 

Offline donald150

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2009, 01:18:22 PM »

I have used the foodsaver bags but decided that they are not needed in most cases. A simple ammo can will do just fine.
However I have two points that I'm not sure were mentioned here.

The casing should be a hermetic seal to begin with just by the nature of the loading process (non air tight ammo wouldn't be much good for wet environments, would it).


1) yes, cartridges should be air tight  but that is not the case for most .22 rimfire. You can take most .22lr bulk ammo and spin or twist  the bullet in the casing. That tells me the seal can't be too tight.
At this point I only seal my 500 round packs of .22lr in foodsaver bags.

2) Just a thought, When you buy 50 cal ammo cans at the gun show or where ever you get them, check the rubber seal on the can and you might need to add some oil to it. Just my opinion


Offline Duc1

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Re: Ammo long term storage
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2009, 01:59:30 PM »
HG might have a point.  Anything in your car is at risk for theft or damage in an accident.  Additionally, it may cause a hazard to responders if the accident is a particularly fiery one.  EMTs have been killed and seriously injured by exploding airbags and hydraulic type hood/back hatch arms.  Personally I'd look into a 24hr access storage facility or store at family/friends house if possible. 

Berserker Prime

Ammo that is in a fire is not threat of shooting someone and I don't think a few hundred rounds would pose a large explosion problem.  The gasoline is the bigger problem.  The NRA has some good literature of ammo and fires, they put my fears to rest.  It's a non-issue.  Keep in mind, I'm not talking about a large ammo chase getting hit by a mortar or something where millions of rounds etc.. are stored.  I personally would not want to be around that.