It does not matter how much ammo you’ve stockpiled for an SHTF event when they’ll be useless in time of need. If you’re not shooting it all in one range trip and are probably just saving it for the apocalypse or your next hunting trip, you need to know how to keep it to make sure it will fire reliably in the next few years or decades.
It’s always fulfilling to have a stash of anything, but storing ammo can either be function or failure. Try our tips on how you can properly store your rounds!
Keep out of children and pets’ reach
Safety should be your top priority when it comes to ammunition storage. It is a choking hazard, and it is flammable and toxic. Dogs who like to chew and kids who like to put anything in their mouth should be kept away from where you store it.
In general, ammunition should be stored away from anywhere that has an open flame, but that is just common sense.
Keep Your Powder Dry
This is one of the most critical components of a good munition storage plan. Moisture and heat are an ammunition’s worst enemy. Moisture can foul up primers and render powders useless. Corrosion of the casings and bullets are also avoidable headaches if you properly store your ammo in a dry location.
Avoid damp basements, sheds, and attics, and just let them stay in a climate-controlled area. Stay away from the ground as well since direct contact with it can result in moisture absorption.
A shelf or a pallet is a great place to store your rounds to give them space to breathe and for them to be monitored. You can use a hygrometer or other humidity measuring device to help you determine if your storage location is a good fit for your stash.
Avoid Extreme Heat
Modern, factory-loaded rounds can function in the cold and warm weather and can last up to ten years. However, if exposed to extreme heat, high humidity, and temperature fluctuations, your ammunition may not last this long. As long as you store it in normal room temperatures with low humidity, it can function reliably.
Remember that the breakdown begins around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. There are very few environments where stored ammo can reach those extremes, but the trunk of a vehicle is one of them.
Keeping your ammunition in a cool place helps increase the life of your stored rounds. A general rule of thumb for ideal storage temperatures is between 55°F and 85°F.
Silica gel packs are tiny little packets that absorb moisture and will help prevent it from gathering in your ammo can. They are desiccant, meaning they absorb water. cheap, easy to find, and very much functional.
Use Proper Container
The box ammunition comes with is not the best container for long-term storage. Proper containers include waterproof, sealed ammo boxes. Military surplus cans are an excellent start. They can’t be submersed but they can resist moisture at almost any other level
You can also try plastic ammo cans with rubber seals for a cheaper alternative. Tupperware is also a great choice because it is waterproof and durable.
Store Your Ammo the Right Way!
Storing your ammo is not that hard! As long as you adhere to these basic rules, you can get a decade of use out of every box of shells. All it takes is the right temperature, moisture-less environment, high-quality containers, and the use of silica gel packs to prevent a pound of pain!
Having enough ammo is critical to survival, so look after your important tactical gear and make sure you know how to maintain all of them. Long term storage of ammunition is one of those preparations!