How To Store Ammo For Long Term Protection

How To Store Ammo For Long Term Protection
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How To Store Ammo Long Term

I have been asked this question from time to time, so here’s what I do.  Never store ammo loosely (unless you receive it that way).  I usually buy in cases so that I have consistency in my ammo performance.  If the ammo case fits, I store the whole case in my ammo can to provide maximum impact protection.  If your ammo can is not big enough to fit the whole case, toss the case box, but keep the ammo in the small 20, 25 or 50 round ammo boxes and put those in your ammo can.  Here's why:

1) The use of military grade steel ammo cans are a must, as they are the best means of providing really good protection for your ammo.  They provide airtight and water tight storage, they are more fire resistant, and the nice steel handle makes your ammo easy to transport.  When empty, ammo cans have a good secondary use as faraday cages.  Plastic ammo cans suck...they melt. break and have no EMP/CME protection.  I get plastic ammo cans with my practice ammo from on vendor all the time.  The plastic cans often arrive broken.  Military ammo cans won't do this.

2) Keeping the ammo in the case box or individual boxes takes more space, but it protects your ammo better than dumping ammo in the cans loosely.  If you have quality ammo, you want the protection provided by the manufacturer’s cardboard box, particularly for rifle rounds where damage to a round's tip can really affect accuracy.  This is important when transporting ammo in a vehicle where things can get bounced around…even more so if off road.  If you are a person who thinks they may need to bug out if something bad happens, you'll definitely want your bulk ammo protected this way.  Manufactures pack ammo in boxes partly because the box provides protection from damage.  The cardboard won't attract moisture if there's little moisture in your ammo can to begin with.  I pack in winter when humidity is really low, and add a good quality desiccant pack to every can, seal it, then date the handle with a black grease pencil (if I use the can for something else later, the grease pencil marking can be rubbed off).

3) If you keep you ammo in the original 20 or 50 round boxes, you'll be able to sell it a lot easier should you decide to do so some day.  Sure, some people think they'll never sell ammo.  But, you may decide to switch to a different grain, bullet, or caliber.  Years ago, Hydra-shock rounds were considered one the best defensive rounds on the market.  They’ve since been eclipsed by HST and Gold Dot ammo, so I sold all of mine...still in the original boxes. 

4) Fire protection: while this advantage is very slight, ammo stored in the manufacturer boxes inside ammo cans also helps increase the time before cook off in the event of a fire.  The box provides an insulation layer from the hot sides of the can.  While the cardboard is flammable, it resists combustion because there's little oxygen available in a fully loaded can.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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