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Old 05-28-2009, 05:54 PM   #1
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Default Storing ammo question?

I, like many people I think, have been building up my stores of ammo over the past few months and now I want to make sure I am storing it properly to last as long as possible. Currently, I have approx 2,000 rounds of 9mm and 1,200 rounds of .380 that I'd like to store away for "just-in-case." At the moment, all of the ammo is in it's original boxes, on a shelf in my basement. The environment is cool, however, I have some water issues occasionally in my basement, so I'm guessing the humidity level is less than ideal. I am concerned that even a small amount of ambient humidity could adversely affect the ammo. So here are my questions:

1. Can I dump all of the rounds into one of those large, plastic ammo can sand add some desicant to absorb the moisture, or does the ammo do best when stored in it's individual boxes (which take up lots of room)?
2. How long can I store factory ammo for?
3. Am I right to be concerned about humidity in a sometimes-wet basement with regard to ruining ammunition?

Thanks for any help.



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Old 05-28-2009, 08:36 PM   #2
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Best storage is cool and dry. For the amount of ammo you mention, you might pick up some GI METAL ammo cans. Make certain the rubber seal is still good. Fill with ammo, drop in a small dessicant (silica gel) pack, close can, no worries.



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Old 05-28-2009, 08:44 PM   #3
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Good question, i also store downstairs & have similar concerns. Thanks for asking that question.

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Old 05-29-2009, 02:02 AM   #4
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Borrow the wife's "Seal-a-Meal"...

C3's suggestion is the answer. I've had hundreds of rounds sitting in my attic in GI ammo cans for 10 years with no ill effect. In the winter my attic gets way below freezing and in the summer over 100 degrees. Much of it is ammo I reloaded in the mid-90's, and I have shot some of it this last year with no signs of degradation. Most ammo will not admit moisture because the water molecule is much bigger than any gap between the bullet and the case or the primer and the pocket. Even fully submerged ammo has been found to be fine after decades under water. Rapid temp. changes do the most damage due to condensation.

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Old 05-29-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
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I have had no problems firing ammo (many different calibers of rifle and pistol ammo, both new factory rounds and my personal reloads) that I have had in storage since the mid-1980's. These rounds have been kept in a dry and cool environment (in ammo containers in an air conditioned room) for all of that time. The only noticable thing is that some of the exposed lead tips on some of the soft point ammo has oxidized a bit with a powdery residue on the lead surfaces - easily enough cleaned up.

I am in the process of "recycling" the older ammo at the range and reloading fresh, and I now put my recent reloads in quart sized freezer bags with the zip-lock closures (expelling excess air as I zip them up).

TXnorton

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Old 05-29-2009, 12:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input and responses. So I take it then that it's cool to just dump all of the rounds in the ammo can loose, no need to keep them in in any kind of individual cases? I realize this is probably a dumb question, but I'm still somewhat of a newbie and since some ammo comes in those nice, neat, plastic divided boxes, I didn't know if there's a need to keep it separated like that all the time. It sure would be easier to just dump a thousand rounds in an ammo can, drop in some silica gel, and seal er up...whch is what I think I'm getting out of these posts. Very helpful and thank you!

Edit...is there a difference between the GI Metal ammo cans and the plasic ones? Both have a rubber seal, but the plasitc ones, being newer, usually have a better seal. The only place I can usually find the metal ones is at an army surplus store and they're usually pretty nasty.

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Old 05-29-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CastleKing View Post
Thanks for all the input and responses. So I take it then that it's cool to just dump all of the rounds in the ammo can loose, no need to keep them in in any kind of individual cases? I realize this is probably a dumb question, but I'm still somewhat of a newbie and since some ammo comes in those nice, neat, plastic divided boxes, I didn't know if there's a need to keep it separated like that all the time. It sure would be easier to just dump a thousand rounds in an ammo can, drop in some silica gel, and seal er up...whch is what I think I'm getting out of these posts. Very helpful and thank you!

Edit...is there a difference between the GI Metal ammo cans and the plasic ones? Both have a rubber seal, but the plasitc ones, being newer, usually have a better seal. The only place I can usually find the metal ones is at an army surplus store and they're usually pretty nasty.

Any watertight container will do, plastic or metal, doesn't matter. Loose ammo is fine also as long as it is all the same in terms of bullet weight & caliber. You might want to save the original packaging in case you decide to reload someday.


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