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long term ammo storage
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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dan1dad
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:05 am    Post subject: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

Hi, I'm new here and wanted to post something that others might find useful. Or , maybe silly, but here goes. A while back when reloading I wanted a way to store ammo long term, but cheaply and hopefully a little clandestinely so grubby hands or prying eyes wouldn't get to it. So here is what I decided to try, and so far its working great.

I have one of the can openers that roll the edge of the can lid off to open it. Its undoing what the manufactures did. You can then put the lid back on the can. So, say, after a eat a can of beans that I opened with my smooth touch can opener, this is the one I have [http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-76606Z-Smooth-Opener/dp/B000R4J8PC ]

I use the contents for my meal. Then I wash the can out with a little soap and water. Easy to do, I just put a drop of dawn and fill the can 3/4 with water, hold the lid on with my finger and shake a little. Then dump and rinse and let it air dry.

After a couple days of drying, I spray a light mist of Wd40 inside the can and wipe it around with a paper towel. Not sure if needed, but I still do it. I also make very sure I dont get any oil on the lid for when I put it back on. The glue wont stick.

For example, I can get around 110, 38 specials into a single 15.5 oz can. I put a piece of cardboard with a little oil on the bottom of the can, and one on the top with the load data on it. Also, probably not really necessary but thats what I do. I also mark the load data on the can lid and put the bullet size [eg: 38sp ] and a big X on the label with a Sharpe so I can find the right can since I leave the original food label on the cans and put them on the shelve in my basement stored with canned goods.

Then I will take an old Popsicle stick and a dab of Gorilla Urethane glue, run a small bead around the lip on the can lid, and set it on top of the can. I weight it down with books or some other heavy object and let it sit over night. And I mean use a little dab of glue cause the Urethane glue expands, so only a little goes a long way. When done I have a water tight , totally sealed 3.5 pound can of 38 specials that looks like a can of beans. But I put them all in one area to keep them separated from the food. Dont want to dump in chili beans only to find out its 44 mag reloads! though the weight of the can alone will be a give away. So far, it has served as a great way to hide ammo away and keep it dry and clean and ready for use with only a can opener for years now.

I also store gun parts and strip clips, other things in the cans as well. Hope this helps someone, or at least gets a laugh for someone having a bad day.
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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:30 am    Post subject: Re: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

Or you could store them inside Mylar bags with a few satchels of oxygen absorbers to reduce the oxygen contents in the air enclosed.

If they are good enough to store food for 20+ years, they should be good enough to store other oxygen reactable items such as brass and steel.

Mylar bags up to 30 inch long is commonly availalbe on eBay.
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fnuser
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:39 pm    Post subject: Re: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

how long have you tested this for? I would theorize that the primers would become contaminated, but i could be wrong.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

I agree Fnuser. I think I'd rather not do the WD-40 routine and the drop of oil in the can at the end. Keep things dry and use some of those oxygen absorbers (why not a mylar bag) too. My opinion is, that the oily stuff can seep into the primers by vapor alone, in long term storage. If you ever noticed some of the surplus ammo packaging, even in cans, they wrap everything in paper. That's to ensure dryness. The paper absorbs any moisture there might be in the air when they seal the cans. It's old-school, but some of those surplus ammo cans are 40 years old or more and there's no rust or corrosion on the contents.

Suz

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dan1dad
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

Suzanne wrote:
I agree Fnuser. I think I'd rather not do the WD-40 routine and the drop of oil in the can at the end. Keep things dry and use some of those oxygen absorbers (why not a mylar bag) too. My opinion is, that the oily stuff can seep into the primers by vapor alone, in long term storage. If you ever noticed some of the surplus ammo packaging, even in cans, they wrap everything in paper. That's to ensure dryness. The paper absorbs any moisture there might be in the air when they seal the cans. It's old-school, but some of those surplus ammo cans are 40 years old or more and there's no rust or corrosion on the contents.

Suz

Longest Ive had one in is about 2 years so far, and they were fine. Never thought about the oil seep, that could be a problem. I think I agree and will skip the oil. I did kind of think the oil was over kill anyway since most cans have a thin plastic coating on the inside anyway. Once seals they should be pretty air tight, and if they are sealed in Mylar as suggested, they would be double secure. I like the suggestions.
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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Re: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

I kinda like your food storage can idea too. I have one of those can openers and I'm always trying to think of some way to utilize the cans. A lot of them have a nice coating on the inside and look like they'll last quite a while. Another type of can you can use is a gallon paint can. You can buy brand new with lids and real cheaply at a home improvement store. Anyway cheaper than a surplus ammo can and lighter weight too. You can bang the lid down and re-use it with careful handling of the lid. I made a nice wood-gas stove out of one.

Suz

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Joe Boleo
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Long term ammo storage Reply with quote

I use G.I. ammo cans and empty large plastic coffee containers. The coffee containers hold a lot of ammo either loose or in boxes and they are free. Take care...
Joe
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dan1dad
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

Suzanne wrote:
I kinda like your food storage can idea too. I have one of those can openers and I'm always trying to think of some way to utilize the cans. A lot of them have a nice coating on the inside and look like they'll last quite a while. Another type of can you can use is a gallon paint can. You can buy brand new with lids and real cheaply at a home improvement store. Anyway cheaper than a surplus ammo can and lighter weight too. You can bang the lid down and re-use it with careful handling of the lid. I made a nice wood-gas stove out of one.

Suz


I like the paint can for large quantities of ammo. A mylar bag inside one of those and you have great long term storage, with a carry handle if you should need to grab a couple hundred rounds and head for the hills someday Smile
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dan1dad
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Long term ammo storage Reply with quote

Joe Boleo wrote:
I use G.I. ammo cans and empty large plastic coffee containers. The coffee containers hold a lot of ammo either loose or in boxes and they are free. Take care...
Joe

Gi ammo cans have really gone up in price. My dad has a couple dozen of them he bought back in the late 70's. They are market 65 cents. I looked into getting some at a local outdoors store that stocks the used GI cans, and they want $15 each!! Shows the value of the dollar these days. Also, I dont think GI cans are water tight, are they? I know Ive used a few of my dads on camping trips when I was a youngin, and tip the canoe and the contents get wet inside. then again, with a mylar bag, they are great, but, they are not clandestine like a can marked "Beans" or " Creamed Corn" filled with ammo on a shelf with other like cans. I would think a thief might grab ammo cans as to can of beans. Unless he/she is really hungry that is.

Coffee cans are as expensive as the coffee that comes in them, and I dont think the lids seal well. I dont think the plastic foldgers ones I have would hold up to a couple pounds of ammo if it tipped over and off the shelve.
However, you do make me wonder about the all metal cans. Using my can opener like I do with the veggie cans, and then gluing the lids on it might be another good large container for ammo. Like Suz's paint can suggestion. And I buy more coffee than paint, thats for sure Laughing
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Elvis
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

find someone who is bottle feeding kids, the cans are about 3ltr capacity and come with a plastic lid.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: long term ammo storage Reply with quote

I did some testing years ago with 22LR, 357 Mag and 3006 rounds.
I sealed 50 22LRs, 25 357 Mags, and ten 3006 per unit in non-corrosive RTV. I had four of each and then stored another matching group of ammo in factory and aftermarket boxes. They were stored in my basement, cool dark and dry. After 4 years I fired one unit of each from all the different packages. They all worked the same; the velocity and extreme spreads were consistent. I did the same test for the next three years and never had a problem with any degredation or loss of consitency.
I decided it was easier to just load them and box them up than it was to clean that RTV off. The cases stored in RTV did stay brighter (no air getting to the cases) but that was the only difference. After cleaning they all looked the same again.

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