If you can afford to stock up on ammo, you should also be able to afford to store it properly. Otherwise, it won’t make sense to hoard these rounds for critical survival situations. Not maintaining your ammunition will make its useful shelf life be cut short.
So what is the best and proper way to store ammo? Is it true that ammunition should not be stored for longer than ten years? Continue reading to find out the answer!
What Type of Ammo are You Storing?
In the following parts, we will talk about how ammo is best stored in a box or storage can. But it really depends on what type of ammo you are storing. If you have different types of firearms, you might be hoarding different types of rounds as well. Remember that the purpose of stockpiling is to have a good supply for practice, hunting, and personal defense.
Some types are more subject to damage from handling and elements than the others, such as 9mms, so storing them in a can might not be the best way to do so.
Does Ammunition Have Shelf Life?
Ammunition, in fact, has a shelf life, but it’s very different from food and other products. Food has a shelf life that can be measured in days or months. Meanwhile, ammo has a shelf life that is measured in years and decades.
It is also worth noting that the shelf life of ammo depends on how you store it. If you store it right, ammo will easily outlive you, probably outlive your kids, and possibly even your grandkids. Modern ammo even has the possibility to last centuries.
But if you store ammo improperly, degradation will start on day one. You’re lucky if it still fires in a few years, but the accuracy will surely be jeopardized. Soon enough, your ammo will be useless.
Use a Military-Style Storage Can or The Original Box
One of the best tips when storing ammo is to use the original container. These boxes are going to be more than adequate when storing ammo in your house. With them, you will know exactly what type of ammunition is in the box and how many there are in the container. You can write the date on the box as well, so you’ll be able to know which box is the oldest so you’ll use it first. Another reason to use original boxes is that, there is less chance of the cartridges becoming banged up by dumping them into another container.
Military-style storage cans are also ideal for other types of ammo. These are designed for warzones, extreme heat, and other conditions that your ammo might not encounter at home. However, if you use cans, then make sure to inspect the rubber gaskets on the lids. They keep the moisture out, so if they are cracked, then they need to be replaced.
Store Somewhere Dry and Cool
When you are choosing an ammo storage location, always choose a dry and cool (not cold!) place. It’s also great that the spot is dark, so the closet is ideal. Normal fluctuations in household temperatures are acceptable since heat isn’t that destructive. However, too much can cause humidity and condensation. The gun powder will attract moisture just as your glasses fog when going from an air-conditioned home to a hot backyard.
If you subject your ammo to extreme temperatures, the integrity will be compromised, but not right away. If left in these locations for decades, that’s when the ammo will be taking a significant toll on your ammunition’s shelf life.