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#1 Cpstanman

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:35 PM

How does everyone store their ammunition? I put mine in a Plano ammunition box. Does anyone else store it in a safe?

#2 DomG

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:35 PM

How does everyone store their ammunition? I put mine in a Plano ammunition box. Does anyone else store it in a safe?


On safe shelves or in Plano boxes in my safe too. Keep dehumidifier in the safe and throw desiccant bags in the Plano boxes. Safe is about 40% humidity. Can't take humidity too low or wood will dry out and crack on my shotguns.
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#3 OldMarineVet

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 06:40 PM

deleted


Edited by OldMarineVet, 16 July 2017 - 06:44 PM.


#4 Cpstanman

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:58 PM

How does everyone store their ammunition? I put mine in a Plano ammunition box. Does anyone else store it in a safe?


On safe shelves or in Plano boxes in my safe too. Keep dehumidifier in the safe and throw desiccant bags in the Plano boxes. Safe is about 40% humidity. Can't take humidity too low or wood will dry out and crack on my shotguns.

Thanks! I just ordered some desiccant off of Amazon.

#5 DD123

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:02 PM

It depends on how long I'm storing for. For stuff I won't shoot for a while, I vacuum seal 100-200 rounds with a desiccant pack, and then toss it into an ammo can. For the stuff I shoot regularly, I just toss them loose into an ammo can.

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#6 TRJ

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:23 PM

I've got a little 9mm I bought about 9 years ago in ammo cans with a desiccant pack. Sits in the basement. As I use the old stuff I find it still goes bang just fine.

#7 mic6010

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:26 PM

For long term storage, store your ammo in USGI ammo cans with good seals. Pack a few desiccants in each can. Do not store the ammo in the original cardboard boxes as cardboard will attract and hold moisture. Do not open the ammo cans. If you do open the ammo cans then replace the desiccants with fresh ones. Store the ammo cans in a location that preferably stays around 60 degrees with low humidify year round. If stored like this ammo will outlast you and your children too.

Truth be told if you just left your ammo sitting in your safe in the box it would last you an entire lifetime as well. But going the extra mile insures it wont be negatively affected by any environmental factors should they happen to arise. If its range ammo I wouldn't bother worrying about it unless its gonna sit around for a decade before you shoot it.


Edited by mic6010, 16 July 2017 - 10:27 PM.

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#8 rebel49

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:56 PM

I use plastic ammo boxes/50 count and store them in USGI 50 cal cans.
By the way Palmeto State Armory has a case of 12 50 cal. boxes on sale for $89.99, no shipping charge.
I got some in and they look nice with very good seals, Blackhawk Mfg.

#9 solareclipse2

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:48 AM

I stack the cases on top of my safe and individual/partial boxes in the safe. Loaded mags in the safe too. 


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#10 OldMarineVet

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:17 AM

For long term storage, store your ammo in USGI ammo cans with good seals. Pack a few desiccants in each can. Do not store the ammo in the original cardboard boxes as cardboard will attract and hold moisture. Do not open the ammo cans. If you do open the ammo cans then replace the desiccants with fresh ones. Store the ammo cans in a location that preferably stays around 60 degrees with low humidify year round. If stored like this ammo will outlast you and your children too.
Truth be told if you just left your ammo sitting in your safe in the box it would last you an entire lifetime as well. But going the extra mile insures it wont be negatively affected by any environmental factors should they happen to arise. If its range ammo I wouldn't bother worrying about it unless its gonna sit around for a decade before you shoot it.

You said "Do not store the ammo in the original cardboard boxes as cardboard will attract and hold moisture."

Ever wonder how long that bulk ammo you bought sat in a warehouse in those same original cardboard boxes? That cardboard seems to be different than other cardboard I've seen... might be good for personal ammo storage also...(except I would not store any ammo in a basement)

#11 DD123

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:25 AM

 

For long term storage, store your ammo in USGI ammo cans with good seals. Pack a few desiccants in each can. Do not store the ammo in the original cardboard boxes as cardboard will attract and hold moisture. Do not open the ammo cans. If you do open the ammo cans then replace the desiccants with fresh ones. Store the ammo cans in a location that preferably stays around 60 degrees with low humidify year round. If stored like this ammo will outlast you and your children too.
Truth be told if you just left your ammo sitting in your safe in the box it would last you an entire lifetime as well. But going the extra mile insures it wont be negatively affected by any environmental factors should they happen to arise. If its range ammo I wouldn't bother worrying about it unless its gonna sit around for a decade before you shoot it.

You said "Do not store the ammo in the original cardboard boxes as cardboard will attract and hold moisture."

Ever wonder how long that bulk ammo you bought sat in a warehouse in those same original cardboard boxes? That cardboard seems to be different than other cardboard I've seen... might be good for personal ammo storage also...(except I would not store any ammo in a basement)

 

 

Cardboard does tend to hold onto any humidity, but if the humidity dissipates, then the boxes dry out.  

 

People store ammo in all sorts of ways, and I've had ammo sitting 15 years, in the boxes, and without any desiccant packs...mainly just sitting in a cabinet.  The ammo all worked fine.  I actually still have a bunch of old stuff.  Whenever I take some out it all fires.  

 

I do like the vacuum sealing method a lot.  I did an experiment a while ago on how well vacuum sealing works as opposed to ziplock baggie with a desiccant, storing loose in an ammo can, and sitting out.  

 

The problem I was having was any brass that I wet tumbled, a few months later it would start to tarnish.  It came out of the tumbler looking brand new, but then would look crappy after a few months.  

 

I took a few batches of wet tumbled brass, and wanted to test if any of the above methods were the same, different, worse...

 

I took all of the brass and separated them into lots of 100 cases.  One batch was just vacuum sealed, one vacuum sealed with a desiccant pack, one in a ziplock bag with desiccant pack, one in just a ziplock bag, one loose in an ammo can, and one completely exposed to air.  

 

From worst to best, as far as tarnishing, these were the results:

 

- Completely exposed to air - tarnished like crazy

 

- Ziplock bag alone - tarnished like crazy, barely better than above.  

 

- Ziplock bag with desiccant - tarnished a bit

 

- Loose in ammo can - tarnished about the same as above

 

- Vacuum sealed, and vacuum sealed with a desiccant pack, almost no tarnish on the cases for both, but the vacuum sealed with desiccant seemed to look like the day I tossed it into the bag and vacuum sealed them.  

 

I later came to find out that wet tumbling cleans the brass so well, that there isn't a protective finish on them any longer so they're almost guaranteed to tarnish.  What I do now is after wet tumbling and drying, I toss them in my walnut media with some polish, and it protects the brass extremely well.  

 

I basically started that off as an "experiment", and then forgot about it for a couple of months, and then learned about the effects of wet tumbling.  

 

From that, I basically just told myself to vacuum seal ammo with a desiccant pack, and then throw it into an ammo can for long term storage.  You can open the ammo can as many times as you want and not have to worry about air getting into the bags since they're vacuum sealed.  

 

Some of the ammo I've had for a long time stored in the cardboard boxes they came in, the brass is showing some significant tarnishing, but the ammo still works perfectly.....it just looks ugly.  

 

ETA:  any ammo that I plan on shooting within a year just gets tossed into plastic reloading ammo boxes, and anything I don't intend on shooting within a year, or am not sure I will, gets vacuum sealed with a desiccant pack, and tossed into an ammo can.  


Edited by DD123, 17 July 2017 - 09:29 AM.

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#12 Hazborgufen

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:02 AM

My ammo is kept in surplus metal ammo cans. I write the contents of the can onto a strip of painter's tape and stick it to the latch. Each can has a few desiccant packs in it. I'm less worried about the ammo going "bad" (which seems like some kind of myth) so much as I want to keep things organized. Last I checked I have about 20,000 rounds of various calibers and I wanted something to keep track. I actually created a spreadsheet a while back to keep track of it all, with batch numbers and everything. Didn't maintain it though and I've shot a bunch and bought a bunch more since. 

 

Probably should inventory my ammo again...



#13 lockman

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:24 AM

I just shot a box of 357 magnum I reloaded 33 years ago. Other than always between 40 - 90 degrees and humidity not over 70%.  All shot just fine. Lead on the hollow points was oxidized heavily.


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#14 Draal

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:56 AM

To be honest, I load all available mags and shelf the rest.  They may or may not be be strategically placed in key spots of the house/car/grab n go bags, etc.  



#15 Xwing

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:04 PM

I bought some ammo about 10 years ago that was 1970 milsurp from Argentina.  No idea how it was stored.  I just keep the loose rounds my safe in a ammo box.  But so far, only one "failure to fire" in the lot.  And I got a really good price!

 

I kinda think that for range ammo, it doesn't matter how you store it.  Even if you store it poorly, you'll only have a few duds.  So not worth the trouble.  Of course, self defense ammo is different, as a bad round can be the difference between life and death.


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#16 OldMarineVet

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:23 PM

For long term storage, store your ammo in USGI ammo cans with good seals. Pack a few desiccants in each can. Do not store the ammo in the original cardboard boxes as cardboard will attract and hold moisture. Do not open the ammo cans. If you do open the ammo cans then replace the desiccants with fresh ones. Store the ammo cans in a location that preferably stays around 60 degrees with low humidify year round. If stored like this ammo will outlast you and your children too.
Truth be told if you just left your ammo sitting in your safe in the box it would last you an entire lifetime as well. But going the extra mile insures it wont be negatively affected by any environmental factors should they happen to arise. If its range ammo I wouldn't bother worrying about it unless its gonna sit around for a decade before you shoot it.

You said "Do not store the ammo in the original cardboard boxes as cardboard will attract and hold moisture."

Ever wonder how long that bulk ammo you bought sat in a warehouse in those same original cardboard boxes? That cardboard seems to be different than other cardboard I've seen... might be good for personal ammo storage also...(except I would not store any ammo in a basement)

 
Cardboard does tend to hold onto any humidity, but if the humidity dissipates, then the boxes dry out.  
 
People store ammo in all sorts of ways, and I've had ammo sitting 15 years, in the boxes, and without any desiccant packs...mainly just sitting in a cabinet.  The ammo all worked fine.  I actually still have a bunch of old stuff.  Whenever I take some out it all fires.  
 
I do like the vacuum sealing method a lot.  I did an experiment a while ago on how well vacuum sealing works as opposed to ziplock baggie with a desiccant, storing loose in an ammo can, and sitting out.  
 
The problem I was having was any brass that I wet tumbled, a few months later it would start to tarnish.  It came out of the tumbler looking brand new, but then would look crappy after a few months.  
 
I took a few batches of wet tumbled brass, and wanted to test if any of the above methods were the same, different, worse...
 
I took all of the brass and separated them into lots of 100 cases.  One batch was just vacuum sealed, one vacuum sealed with a desiccant pack, one in a ziplock bag with desiccant pack, one in just a ziplock bag, one loose in an ammo can, and one completely exposed to air.  
 
From worst to best, as far as tarnishing, these were the results:
 
- Completely exposed to air - tarnished like crazy
 
- Ziplock bag alone - tarnished like crazy, barely better than above.  
 
- Ziplock bag with desiccant - tarnished a bit
 
- Loose in ammo can - tarnished about the same as above
 
- Vacuum sealed, and vacuum sealed with a desiccant pack, almost no tarnish on the cases for both, but the vacuum sealed with desiccant seemed to look like the day I tossed it into the bag and vacuum sealed them.  
 
I later came to find out that wet tumbling cleans the brass so well, that there isn't a protective finish on them any longer so they're almost guaranteed to tarnish.  What I do now is after wet tumbling and drying, I toss them in my walnut media with some polish, and it protects the brass extremely well.  
 
I basically started that off as an "experiment", and then forgot about it for a couple of months, and then learned about the effects of wet tumbling.  
 
From that, I basically just told myself to vacuum seal ammo with a desiccant pack, and then throw it into an ammo can for long term storage.  You can open the ammo can as many times as you want and not have to worry about air getting into the bags since they're vacuum sealed.  
 
Some of the ammo I've had for a long time stored in the cardboard boxes they came in, the brass is showing some significant tarnishing, but the ammo still works perfectly.....it just looks ugly.  
 
ETA:  any ammo that I plan on shooting within a year just gets tossed into plastic reloading ammo boxes, and anything I don't intend on shooting within a year, or am not sure I will, gets vacuum sealed with a desiccant pack, and tossed into an ammo can.

You said "Some of the ammo I've had for a long time stored in the cardboard boxes they came in, the brass is showing some significant tarnishing, but the ammo still works perfectly.....it just looks ugly."

Agreed. I've seen that tarnishing but also have had no problems. Mostly on .556 ammo even upon delivery sometimes! I'm guessing those manufacturers, like Federal, are making/storing large batches of .556 for the military. Saw lots of tarnished brass in the military so it doesn't bother me.

But as you know, those original cardboard on boxes from the manufacturer is much thicker than typical cardboard boxes. You've probably seen that thick cardboard has other cardboard layers inside. One layer actually has multiple tent folds across the layer which provides air buffering.

Some of the ammo storage methods you mentioned above probably would keep ammo longer than the manufacturer packaging. I was just rebutting another member saying not to store ammo in the manufacturer boxes. Based on my experience, if you don't mind "ugly" brass tarnishing, that packaging is a definitely a viable option. It's the only way I've stored bulk ammo for many years. I just take some out of the manufacturer box and re-tape it. I'd just repeat not to store ammo in damp environments like a basement.

Edited by OldMarineVet, 17 July 2017 - 03:31 PM.


#17 apmonte

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 06:46 AM

I don't have any ammo, because guns are icky.  But if I did... I would keep it in USGI ammo cans, or original bulk boxes, inside a Ridgid job box.



#18 Cpstanman

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:05 AM

Thanks for all of the great ideas. I purchased some Plano ammunition boxes. I also bought some silicon packets that I place in each ammunition box and in my safe.

#19 Hazborgufen

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 09:24 AM

Thanks for all of the great ideas. I purchased some Plano ammunition boxes. I also bought some silicon packets that I place in each ammunition box and in my safe.

 

You would be amazed how quickly the packets in your safe will become saturated. They won't feel wet or anything, but they won't absorb any more water vapor.

 

I have an EVA-Dry dehumidifier in my safe and the beads in it are the color changing kind to indicate when the beads are saturated. I have to plug it to dry it every 2 to 3 weeks.

 

What I'm saying is that packets won't last very long and once they're saturated they won't do anything more for you until you dry them out. 



#20 TRJ

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 06:55 PM

Thanks for all of the great ideas. I purchased some Plano ammunition boxes. I also bought some silicon packets that I place in each ammunition box and in my safe.

 
You would be amazed how quickly the packets in your safe will become saturated. They won't feel wet or anything, but they won't absorb any more water vapor.
 
I have an EVA-Dry dehumidifier in my safe and the beads in it are the color changing kind to indicate when the beads are saturated. I have to plug it to dry it every 2 to 3 weeks.
 
What I'm saying is that packets won't last very long and once they're saturated they won't do anything more for you until you dry them out.
Good point of clarification. Going a step further, dessicant in an ammo can with a good seal should only be expected to dry the internal volume of atmosphere in the can. If you open the can you need fresh dessicant before you reseal.

Edited by TRJ, 28 July 2017 - 06:57 PM.


#21 SiliconSorcerer

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 09:08 AM

Sealed military cans in safe, I've shoot ammo that I had purchased well over 20 years ago and never an issue, all still looks and acts like new. 

All bulk packed to the rim and no desiccant. 


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#22 Hazborgufen

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 11:29 AM

 

 

Thanks for all of the great ideas. I purchased some Plano ammunition boxes. I also bought some silicon packets that I place in each ammunition box and in my safe.

 
You would be amazed how quickly the packets in your safe will become saturated. They won't feel wet or anything, but they won't absorb any more water vapor.
 
I have an EVA-Dry dehumidifier in my safe and the beads in it are the color changing kind to indicate when the beads are saturated. I have to plug it to dry it every 2 to 3 weeks.
 
What I'm saying is that packets won't last very long and once they're saturated they won't do anything more for you until you dry them out.
Good point of clarification. Going a step further, dessicant in an ammo can with a good seal should only be expected to dry the internal volume of atmosphere in the can. If you open the can you need fresh dessicant before you reseal.

 

 

Not necessarily. The most common ammo can sizes are the Fat 50 (.46 cu ft), the 50 cal (.25 cu ft) and the 30 cal (.14 cu ft). A half ounce of desiccant (~14 grams) is recommended for .42 cu ft. Unless I'm mistaken it means that a 30 cal can could be opened 2 times before replacing, a 50 cal once before replacing and a Fat 50 should be replaced if opened.

 

That's of course if the cans are empty. Put a bunch of ammo in the can and you have less dead air in there. Buy some bulk 10 gram desiccant packets and toss 3 or 4 packets in each can. Load it up with ammo so there isn't much dead space and you won't really need to worry too much. If you want to be super OCD, just get the color indicating kind so you know exactly when it's saturated.

 

All of this is probably totally unnecessary anyway, but desiccant packs are cheap and can be recharged by heating in an oven at low temperature if you want.



#23 quackersmacker

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 04:33 PM

Most folks seem to think they can just toss in one desiccant pack for long term storage and then forget about it.  Haz, TRJ, and Cpstan are describing things correctly.  Unless your ammo box is absolutely airtight the packets, unless "managed,"  will eventually absorb moisture and then be internal moisture storage devices!  I too use the color coded devices that you heat up when needed. 

 

BTW, I have a bunch of .45 rounds from the 1927 national matches.  They were stored in a friend's basement in an open box for decades, and they shoot just fine.  Have probably shot 100 rounds, no duds.


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