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The Best Way To Store Your Ammo



Feature | The Best Way To Store Your Ammo

Make your ammunition last for decades by knowing the best way to store your ammo! Learn about useful storage tips and the destructive factors that degrade ammunition quality.

Best Way to Store Your Ammo | Ammo Storage Tips


1. Find an Appropriate Container

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The U.S. military got it right with the standard .30 and .50 caliber ammo cans. They have been around for a long time and one of the best ammo storage containers that will work very well for you. You can pick one up at your local military surplus store for a decent price. When you are buying them be sure to inspect every can for structural integrity. You want to be sure to check the condition of the rubber seal under the top lid to be sure that they stay airtight. If you don't want the military ammo cans, be sure to choose the best ammo can that works for you.

2. Keep Your Ammo Dry

Moisture can allow the cartridge to fail so you cannot take this for granted. You want to protect your ammo from the corrosive effects of moisture. To do so, you can use regular silica gel packets or the rechargeable silica gel humidifier. The rechargeable silica gel humidifier will actually cover 3 square feet of area, but you might want to throw one in each canister to be sure.

3. Label Your Ammo

You will always want to know what you are getting so you don't accidentally grab the wrong ammo. When labeling you want to put down the purpose of the ammo (ex. Defensive, Hunting, Range), the quantity (ex. 500 rounds), the weight/characteristics (ex. 230 grain, hollow points), caliber/make (ex. .45 ACP by Speer Gold Dot) and the date it was stored (ex. March 17, 2015). You can place this info on all sides of the can so that no matter where it is you'll know what is inside.

4. Use a  Dehumidifier

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Run a dehumidifier in the room where your ammo and gear is stored. The humidifier takes moisture away from the room and the ideal humidity level can be set. Humidifiers can vary from one model to another but they all operate on the same principle.


You can also check out the full video on Ammunition Storage by AnalyticalSurvival:

 Ammunition can last for a very long time. Make sure you're using a reliable airtight ammo can and put a label on it especially if you have several ammo types. Also, note that moisture has damaging effects on ammunition so it's wise to utilize products that dehumidify the room where it's kept. If stored properly, it can last for decades and still be as functional as the day it was made.

Do you have a collection of ammo types in your gun room? How long have you been storing them? Tell us about your own ways of ammo storage in the comments section below!

Up Next: How to Choose Guns and Ammo


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Darkman

    November 3, 2017 at 7:24 PM

    I’ve got Military surplus 30 caliber carbine ammo purchased in the 1980’s stored loose in wooden ammo boxes. Been in numerous closets and store rooms in different house. Still shoots no FTF’s or corrosion issue’s. No special treatment. You sure could get it cheap back in them days.

  2. D Brach

    November 2, 2017 at 8:15 PM

    I have some stored in vacuum sealed bags with silica

  3. msgtusaf

    November 1, 2017 at 4:56 PM

    Any recommendations on “relative humidity” in storage area?

  4. Vince Randles

    November 1, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    I’ve always used this method to store my ammunition! It’s the best way to go, the US Army got it right!! V⚡


    August 5, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    My only addition to the post would be to date your ammo. That way you can rotate older ammo out out say if you’re going to the range and then rotate new ammo in to replace it.

    • Mikial

      September 5, 2016 at 5:33 PM

      Agree completely. Every so often you need to rotate the older ammo to the range and replace it with new ammo.

  6. Ernst

    July 2, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    I agree with Charles and the guy that recommended the PVC. I have had ammo cans and handled many when working the gun shows. I have seen many that were rusted beyond repair. I wouldn’t trust trust burying ammo cans for any length of time. I bought some plastic containers that were round very sturdy and had a rubber gasket to seal the lid. Before I trusted them I left one closed up tight in the back yard for about two months. When I opened it I found about a coffee cup full of water inside. Glad I store any valuable gear in it just because it looked cool. I read a very good article about a gun maker witnessing the on set of WWII. He slathered his firearms down with cosmoline. Then wrapped them in several layers of heavy canvas. Last he buried them deep at a railroad crossing so he could hopefully find them after the war. The railroad crossing got bombed to hell and no one ever recovered the firearms. Good try anyway. I remember after hurricane Andrew. Without landmarks you had a hard time finding your neighborhood let alone your property.

  7. Larry Maggard

    June 28, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    I like all the comments , along with all that is already said how about , fire starting kits and water pur, and couple flashlights too , just a thought !

  8. Trevor Straightshot

    June 24, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    I have gear stashed all over the place. For ling term storage, you can use a length of PVC pipe and two end caps. Put the gear in the pipe and glue the caps on. If you are storing ammo it is a good idea to use the silica packs , and a light coat of WD-40 will also deter rust and corrosion if you are sealing the tubes. A 6″ diameter piece of PVC can hold a lot of things. I have survival bars, knives, and emergency fishing gear in one. I also have a .44 , two extra clips and 200 rounds stashed in this manner and buried in a secret spot. PVC pipe is a great weatherproof containment method, just make sure you have a hacksaw blade in your gear for opening it later. Oxygen carries moisture… so keep it sealed until needed.
    If they come get all the guns they find , it is good to know that there are things stashed that can be retrieved after the bastards are gone. Look out for #1 – stash a gun!!

  9. Not brain dead

    June 24, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Sad state of affairs when we have to prepare. Wake up people get rid of these leaches we call leaders.

  10. Charles

    June 24, 2016 at 9:49 AM

    I think someone was just looking for something to write. The ammo cans work good for the rounds they were intended for, but, when you have multiple loads in different calibers, you get into a situation where the ammo does not fit properly and the cost of cans goes up. Main thing is to keep the ammo dry and in a moderate temperature. I am glad there is a way to post without facebook!

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