Without properly functioning ammunition, your guns become useless. How you store ammo is just as important as how you store your guns. Improperly stored ammunition can corrode, become contaminated, or lose potency, causing misfires or other malfunctions.
8 Steps to Storing Ammo
1. Find Sturdy Storage
Metal Army Surplus/Ammo Cans
The most ideal place to store ammunition is in ammo cans which are designed to mitigate humidity and keep ammo from damaging moisture exposure. Quality ammo cans isolate the internal air (inside the can) from the outside (outside the can). The trick is to keep the rubber gaskets clean and in good shape so that when the latch is closed, it creates an airtight seal.
Russian-made “Spam Cans” are a great, high-quality ammo can. These steel cans are tightly sealed against air and water and need a special tool or screwdriver to pry them open. Some shooters swear on these cans for storing ammunition for decades.
Ammunition should be stored in plastic bags inside ammunition boxes with a rubber seal (to keep moisture out) and kept in a cold, dark place. Heat-exposed rounds are more likely to be faulty, which is what you want to avoid the most.
Most shooters take enough measures when storing ammunition. However, if your ammunition will be stored in a possibly humid area for many years, solutions are designed to reduce corrosion further
2. Identify The Type Of Ammo
Please separate and label your ammunition when storing.
This method would help you so that you can see what’s inside your containers without having to open them.
Ammunition has two types: practice ammo and serious ammo. Practice ammunition is used for punching holes in paper, ringing steel, and breaking clay.
On the other hand, serious ammo is for self-defense and hunting purposes. It is important to label the containers or boxes of your ammo for you to find what’s inside the containers easily.
More info: Ammunition Reviews
3. Use Moisture-Absorbing Packets
Consider using ammo storage where it can absorb the moisture that can go into the ammo. If you reside in a location where there’s high humidity, you’ll need to use a dehumidifier or find other means to absorb moisture to keep the gun powder from it.
One of the best cans you can use for long-term storage and keeping them from moisture is the Solid Tactical 50 Cal Ammo Can. Three desiccant packs are included with it. This great ammo can is both air and waterproof, and you can trust it because each one is individually tested until before it is released out into the market.
4. Keep Them Cool
Changes in temperature or humidity might cause the cartridge case to deteriorate in some cases. When ammunition is subjected to extreme heat, its integrity is compromised. The extreme cold could also affect your ammo. A lubricant is used in grease grooves on some lead bullet loads (and some jacketed loads).
If the ammo becomes too hot, the grease will melt out of the grooves and into the powder. Keep your ammunition cool as much as possible, as extreme temperature swings are known to attract humidity. That’s why ammo storage in garages, attics, unheated cabins, and automobiles is a bad idea.
5. Keep Them Dry
Make sure to keep your ammunition in a dry, dark place, just like you would any other long-term storage item. In most situations, you can safely keep today’s ammunition in its original containers for several years if it’s in a low humidity area. However, this does not address the difficulties of keeping ammunition for three to five years or longer.
Whether you live in a dry or humid area, it’s best to keep your ammunition indoors and in a dry area where the temperature is consistent all year. Choose to keep them in a safe location that will keep your ammo dry and prolong your ammunition’s shelf life.
6. Label The Storage With Ammo Name, Type, & Date Of Purchase
Good ammo storage also requires discipline and organization.
Label your containers based on their classification, date, and name. Label them according to their age, oldest ammo, older ammo, old ammo, and new ammo.
If you’re storing ammo with markings that aren’t the same as the originals, make sure to label each container to avoid confusion later on. Furthermore, different types of ammo should always be stored separately. Never mix shells of different sizes.
The date you bought the ammunition should be written on the cans or containers. By indicating the date of purchase, you’ll be able to consume them based on their age. When leaving for target practice, start with the oldest rounds.
7. Use A Separate Storage Room (Optional)
The shelf life of your ammunition is determined by how well you store it. When it comes to ammo storage, aim for dark, dry, and cool – not freezing. Inside a house, a closet is ideal.
To fully secure your ammo, you can store your ammo in a separate and proper storage room. Especially if you have large quantities of ammunition, you need to store them in a place where all of them are kept organized inside their original boxes or cans.
8. Store In A Safe, Dark Place
Last but not least, be careful about where you store your ammunition. When it comes to ammunition storage, the two most critical factors are moisture protection and unauthorized access. Consider the ideal location to store your ammunition that will allow you to achieve both goals. Also, never mix and keep loaded magazines and guns along with your ammo for safety.
UV light is a destructive force as well.  The sun’s damaging UV rays will break down practically everything if exposed for long periods. UV light exposure over a long time will degrade the shelf life of your ammo.
No, you cannot store wet ammo and use it in the future. Due to the bullets’ structure, minor exposure to the weather might cause moisture damage. If your ammo gets wet in the rain or gets dropped in the snow, it should never be used.
Yes, moisture can affect the accuracy of stored ammo. Cartridges that are frequently exposed to moisture and excessive humidity have a significant risk of rusting. This is true for brass-cased bullets. Your ammunition may not fit properly in your gun if they are rusted.
So, How Do You Store Ammo?
It’s fantastic to have a million rounds of ammunition, but if they are not stored properly, those potential projectiles will become a mound of brass – or, worse, an accident waiting to happen. Heat, moisture, and rust may wreak havoc on ammunition supply over time. Cartridges can weaken and crack, primers can lose their zing, and brass casing can corrode.
Always keep your ammo stored in a dark, dry, cool, and safe place. You can keep your ammo inside packets, containers, or cans. There are several ammo cans that you can find at sporting goods stores. Buying low-quality products will just cost you more money down the line.
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