My attempt at ammo storage on a budget.

My attempt at ammo storage on a budget.

This is a discussion on My attempt at ammo storage on a budget. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Ive been buying and shooting for a little over a year now. I always try to buy more than I shoot, and while what I ...

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Thread: My attempt at ammo storage on a budget.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    My attempt at ammo storage on a budget.

    Ive been buying and shooting for a little over a year now. I always try to buy more than I shoot, and while what I have is not even beginning to scratch the surface at the amount of ammo that Id like to have, its a start. I generally buy a box here and a box there, whenever I see a good price. Recently, I lost my job, and until I have a new job, I will be trying to save a few bucks when buying it.

    What I do have, Id like to put most of it away for storage... Just in case. When I go shooting, I can always buy new ammo to shoot. This stuff will just be a temporary store until I find a new job and the money starts to flow once again. When that happens, Ill do a few bulk purchases throughout the year of each caliber and keep all the same make/model of a given caliber.

    But for now, with the price of the .50 cal ammo cans being quite expensive here (surplus shops Ive seen are asking $25-$30 each) and the cheaper plastic ammo cans like the pair of Fiocchis I have arent airtight, or even close. With that type of price, Id rather just buy more ammo. No way Id spend $110 on 4 ammo cans. Out of the question for my current budger.

    I decided to go to Walmart and look around for what could do the job cheaply. In the food storage section, next to all the Rubbermaid and Ziploc containers are these. Just some cheapo 1 gallon plastic container designed to hold stuff like cereal, flour, sugar, or salt. With a lid that screws down pretty tight, and a price of $2.97 each, I figured it would be worth a shot. They arent the best shape, and its kind of hard to fit ammo in it neatly, but I think if I had all of the same type (all of it being Winchester White Box, all of it Federal, all of it Tula, all of it Wolf, etc) of each caliber, Id just toss the containers and load them up with just bullets. I think once I find some of those oxygen absorbers and maybe even put some petroleum jelly around mouth before I tighten the lid down, it would make a pretty good storage system. We will see.

    Heres a pic of the type of containers I bought. Im sorting through my ammo and trying to load them up accordingly. Ill post pics of what I come up with.



  2. #2
    Member Array Todd_Ohio's Avatar
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    I think you'd be fine if you just keep it in an indoor cabinet somewhere where the humidity and temp are relatively stable. I see you're in Florida. If you don't have air conditioning, I guess you should be concerned. If you do, then stack the ammo boxes in a closet somewhere. I think you might be overthinking this.

    BTW-- If you do use these, white rice and baking soda absorb moisture really well (and cheaply!).
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    Member Array brownandgold's Avatar
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    just thinking off of the top of my head, but how important is the waterproof issue? i guess either way having water/air tight ammo containers aren't a bad idea... i wonder how old jugs jugs/gallons of milk would work.

    also, how much luck are you having finding ammo of the same brand? finding ammo for myself hasn't been terrible, but i have rarely consistently found the same kind- but this also depends on where i buy it too.

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    Senior Member Array Chad0724's Avatar
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    I've had the metal jackets change colors on me before I'm not exactly sure why. They shot fine though I think I may have been storing them in my closet with high humidity. Just keep them in a cool dry place and I think you will be fine


    Chad
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    Just keep it cool and dry and it will last for years, ammo box or not.
    Rocky5000100 likes this.
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    Senior Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    It is really humid here. Some days in the summer it can be 100%, and my automatic wipers actually come on because they sense the moisture in the air. The house definitely has AC. I dont think there are any modern buildings/houses down here that dont, and Id say that 99.9% of all old buildings and houses have at least a window unit or two. Im 25 years old, have been born and raised here in the Tampa Bay area, and Ive never seen a building without air conditioning in my whole life. People say its common up North, but I havent been to the North.

    Either way, a friend called and asked me to go help him with something, and we ended up going to another Walmart. Bought another one of these cans, so now I have 6. It may be overkill, but if this ammo is going to be packed away for 10 years, I dont see it being a bad thing.

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    Senior Member Array Chuck808's Avatar
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    After about 2 hours of consolidating ammo and re-organizing from my last trip to the range, this is the end result. I could use more of these containers. Might go grab some next week. I have one for 9mm, one for 45acp and .380, one for one for some #7-#8 birdshot that I packed loosely (have about 250 more rounds of birdshot still in boxes), some 7.62x39 that Im packing loosely (will eventually try to fill one of these completely up), and some other various .40, .308, .223, 5.56mm, .38spc, and other random stuff spread in other containers.

    When its all said and done, Id like a container each full of loose calibers of 9mm, .45acp, 7.62x39mm, 5.56mm, 12ga 00 buckshot, and .22lr. But for now, this is what I have. I saved some to put off to the side for my next range day (small amounts of 9mm, .45acp, .380, some 12ga loads), but I plan on buying new stuff to shoot each time I shoot. These are going back in the closet to be forgotten about as soon as I buy some oxygen absorbers.

    So again, not fancy, glamorous, super space efficient, or even a very impressive stockpile. But hey, its better than nothing, right?

    How the containers look.


    Where it was all stacked up before. Now its organized. The ammo I left out is off to the right.
    Pukindog12 likes this.

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    Member Array john.shewchuk's Avatar
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet...

    Many types of plastics (if not all plastics), especially cheaper polymers, are not completely impermeable to oxygen. They may be water tight, but they most certainly are not completely airtight.

    It true longterm storage is your goal, you will want to keep your ammo in a reduced oxygen environment (especially that steel-cased Tula), to prevent oxidation. Oxidation is what caused your cases to change color in the past. It is also what causes steel to rust, among other things...

    Think about MREs (meals ready to eat)... they come in a plastic outer container, but all food items are packed in individual foil wrappers to prevent damage due to oxygen exposure. That is the only way to store things for extreme lengths of time.
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    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    This is what I use

    Plano® ''Ammo Can'' | Bass Pro Shops
    $12.99 each at Bass Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.shewchuk View Post
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet...

    Many types of plastics (if not all plastics), especially cheaper polymers, are not completely impermeable to oxygen. They may be water tight, but they most certainly are not completely airtight.

    It true longterm storage is your goal, you will want to keep your ammo in a reduced oxygen environment (especially that steel-cased Tula), to prevent oxidation. Oxidation is what caused your cases to change color in the past. It is also what causes steel to rust, among other things...

    Think about MREs (meals ready to eat)... they come in a plastic outer container, but all food items are packed in individual foil wrappers to prevent damage due to oxygen exposure. That is the only way to store things for extreme lengths of time.

    Think about MREs (meals ready to eat)... they come in a plastic outer container, but all food items are packed in individual foil wrappers to prevent damage due to oxygen exposure. That is the only way to store things for extreme lengths of time.[/QUOTE]

    Good Catch!

    I posted earlier saying just keep your ammo cool and dry but I should have also added to keep all ammo away from ANY corrosives.

    Some polymer plastics do oxidize and off gas with age so most are not ideal storage containers.

    The steel Tula casings will indeed corrode very quickly if it gets wet or if exposed to any condensate.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    I would put a moisture absorbing substance in each container to battle the condensation that might form.
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    I'm not worried about air/water tight containers. I use Rubbermaid storage containers to store my ammo in. If your worried about moisture pick up some desiccant crystals to put in them.
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    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    I have the tendency to stop in any thrift shop I see and one day while driving through North Carolina, it paid off. In the far back I found 10 of the .50cal ammo cans for only $8/each and I grabbed them all up! Any ammo I have that can't fit in the cans, is stacked up inside of cardboard boxes and stored in a stable climate. This has worked for quite a few years without problem.
    Brady likes this.
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    Member Array Todd_Ohio's Avatar
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    You might also consider storing these containers or whatever you end up with OUT OF SIGHT. I don't think it's such a good idea to advertise to people visiting your home that you have this collection.

    I bought a locking metal cabinet with heavy duty 200 lb shelves at Sams. I'm going to put an extra hasp and padlock on it and mount it in a closet and bolt it into studs. It is going to hold all my ammo, be out of sight, and inaccessible to wandering hands of younger family members and drunk friends.
    Life is about service.

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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck808 View Post
    ...What I do have, I'd like to put most of it away for storage... Just in case. When I go shooting, I can always buy new ammo to shoot. This stuff will just be a temporary store until I find a new job and the money starts to flow once again. When that happens, Ill do a few bulk purchases throughout the year of each caliber and keep all the same make/model of a given caliber.

    But for now, with the price of the .50 cal ammo cans being quite expensive here (surplus shops Ive seen are asking $25-$30 each) and the cheaper plastic ammo cans like the pair of Fiocchis I have arent airtight, or even close. With that type of price, Id rather just buy more ammo. No way Id spend $110 on 4 ammo cans. Out of the question for my current budget.

    I decided to go to Walmart and look around for what could do the job cheaply...
    While you're in WalMart, check out the Hardware section & have a look at their toolboxes. I don't recall the brand (Stack-On?), but they have a couple of plastic tool boxes that I find nearly ideal for ammo storage. There are (at least) two sizes, priced at about $6 and $8 respectively. They have a removable tray that I take out and give to my wife to use for gardening or something. The boxes have a recessed handle that lets them stack neatly on top of each other.

    The boxes are not airtight, but the top makes a pretty good seal. I don't think that's much of an issue - I live in probably the most humid climate in the U.S., and I've had no problem with ammo that's sat on a shelf in the original box for 25 years, just so it's in a conditioned space rather than just out in a shed or garage or something. I don't generally buy steel-cased ammo, though, so that might make a difference.

    Anyway, you might want to have a look at those tool boxes.
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    Jim
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