Tuesday, July 8, 2008 Long Term Ammunition Storage
Having a ready to use source of ammunition, is important insurance against the day of need. We can own the best weapons and gear, but without a source of usable ammunition, all we have is an expensive club. Insuring our supplies will be ready to use tomorrow or fifty plus years from now should be a top priority for the survival minded person.
I store all of my ammo in military ammo cans that I get from the local surplus store. I look over each can, choosing only the ones that are not dented or warped and in overall good condition. I take the cans home clean them and apply several coats of black paint to each one, letting it dry for several days before putting it into storage.
Emptying each box of ammunition into a Ziploc bag, I seal the top 95% of the way closed while placing a straw into the opening and sucking out any remaining air then quickly sealing the bag all the way closed. After filling the can as full as possible, to avoid wasted space or air pockets, I put in one of my homemade silica-gel cat litter Desiccants, which I make from Tidy Cats Crystals. I place a tablespoon full onto a four inch cut squire of womens stockings, tying tightly at the top to form a cheap and functional silica gel packet.
Being silicate, they have the potential for re-use by oven drying. If you use ammo from your cache, be sure to reconstitute the desiccants by oven drying for one hour at 100 degrees, before placing back into storage.
Location: St.Peter Port.or St Malo France.or Portsmouth UK,Guernsey .. located in English Channel
I guess ive been lucky with my storage,Im coming to the end of my ww2 1941 issue 9mm,packed in thin cardboard boxes of 16 rds,& its been stored in a metal filing cabinet,& still in exc condition.Its laughable when collectors tell you that the empty box is worth more than the ammo itself.If anyone would like to see pics of these boxes & contents please send an email as Ive never been able to send pics to the forum,getting to old to figure all this P/c stuff.regards Kestral.firstname.lastname@example.org
The sucking the air out with a straw thing will not work for very long (Ziploc bags are porous believe it or not)-- I use a "food-saver" (http://www.foodsaver.com/) and their bags. It works most of the time, but sometimes I go back to check on them and find that the seal gave out though. Not a big deal if you store the ammo in a air tight container or ammo box. Doing so traps the air in the box, and as long as the container was clean and dry, and stored in a constant dry temperature, you shouldn't have any trouble with corrosion for a very long time (look at surplus stuff. There are people shooting 80 year old stuff with no problems.).
Once again the straw in the zip lock bag is a waste of time. A good military ammo box is all that is needed.
"Trust in God, but keep your powder dry."
You need to keep the ammo in a cool dry environment for long term storage. (Even if its in Seal ammo cans). I rent a storage unit that is A/C'd and kept at 79 degrees. Because here in the desert, it could be really hot or pretty cool.