Guns come with ammunition. If you invest highly in your guns and their storage, it is also important to consider the best ammo storage ideas you can have for your ammunition stockpile.
As a prepper, you need to be prepared for everything. Who knows what might happen?
When deciding on the best ammo storage, you have to take into consideration certain criteria like safety, storage location, and types of ammo storage. To learn more, read on.
Guns and ammunition are not toys to play around with. These are designed with a destructive component in mind. With this, it is crucial to consider not just the safest storage places for your ammos but everything and everyone around you as well.
Keep Away From Children and Pets
Children and pets are both curious by nature. That’s why ammo containers should always be away from children and pets. Several situations could cause safety issues regarding ammunition organization and storage.
Small ammunitions, such as those of pistols, can be choking hazards for small kids. They usually explore their surroundings by putting stuff inside their mouths.
Also, think about this:
Young children and pets often play with anything they see in their surroundings. So, when ammunition is not stored and is left lying around, young kids or pets may leave it near an oven or any appliance that produces extreme heat. Unwanted explosions may occur and this could be very catastrophic.
Additionally, components used in making ammunition are toxic. For example, there’s lead which is commonly used in the powder and primer of most ammunition.
Proper ammo storage is important to make sure children and pets don’t end up consuming such toxic components.
Plus, when you leave your ammunition and firearms lying around without proper storage, you could be charged with a criminal offense in your state. It is a must to properly store your firearms and ammo to avoid unwanted disasters.
Keep It Organized
One way to keep your ammo storage organized is to provide proper labeling for each container. It helps you to easily identify the contents of the container.
It is advisable to label all sides of the ammunition storage container. It makes it easier to access the ammunition regardless of whatever side the storage container sits on.
Here are some recommendations on how to best label your ammo containers:
- You should store your ammunition according to their calibers and the size of the bullets. Storing multiple calibers will only make it confusing and inaccessible during emergencies.
- You should label your storage containers if the ammo is factory ammo or reloaded ammo. You can include the manufacturer’s details for factory ammunition.
- Label the container with the date of purchase for factory ammunition and the date of reloading for reloaded ammo.
- Indicate the quantity of ammunition inside the container.
Labeling your ammo storage containers with the date is important for it tells you which ones to use first. This helps you make a rotation plan for your ammo. Old ammunition in your inventory should be used first.
Factors to Consider When Storing Your Ammo
Where you store your ammo is equally important as your storage container itself. When choosing the best place to store your ammo, it is best to keep them in an organized and accessible place.
The location of your ammo is critical during an emergency.
It is important to look for suitable storage space for your ammunition. Aside from storing them in secure locations, your ammunition storage should also have double padlock tabs.
Here are the reasons why your ammo storage container needs to be locked:
- It discourages young children from opening the storage container.
- It serves as another layer of protection for your valued possessions.
- The state where you live may require that ammunition be stored in locked containers.
Ammunitions are also sensitive to extreme temperatures. When choosing the ideal storage location for your ammunition, it is best to consider the temperature changes all year round.
Aside from temperature changes, you also have to place valuable consideration for humidity changes since they can cause damage to your ammunition. You may end up with corroded and unusable ammunition.
If you are living in coastal areas where it is very humid, here are some suggestions to help you lessen the damages to your ammo:
- Place your ammo in sealable plastic containers before storing them in big containers. Don’t forget to add oxygen and moisture absorbers before sealing the plastic.
- Seal your ammo containers with sealing tape or aluminized duct tape for durability.
- It is best to store your ammo in environmentally controlled areas in your home. As much as possible, avoid storing your ammo containers in unheated or cooled garages, attics, and even unfinished basements.
7 Great Ammo Storage Ideas
When organizing your ammunition supply, it is best to use the Keep it Simple (KISS) principle. This means you are organizing your firearms and ammunition in an uncomplicated manner.
Listed below are the common ammo storage ideas that you can choose from to safely store your ammo.
1. Military-Style Metal Storage Containers
Military-style metal storage containers are sturdy and reliable for ammo storage. These are waterproof containers and nearly airtight perfect for temperature and humidity control.
If you are on a tight budget, you can opt for surplus military-style metal storage containers.
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a military-style metal storage container.
First, you have to check that you are buying a container that is of the correct size. The container should be an inch longer than the longest item to be stored.
Here are other factors to consider:
- Design of the container
- Weight of the container
- Can the container float during flooding
- Storage capacity of the container
2. Original Containers
You may choose to store your factory ammunition in its original box. It may help prevent ammo scratches and dents. Storing in original containers can also protect your ammo from extreme heat, humidity, and moisture.
Original containers are already labeled for easy identification. The label includes the number of rounds as well as the date of purchase.
3. Wooden Ammo Storage Boxes
Wooden ammo storage boxes are durable, for they are made from high-quality wood. Wooden ammo boxes are environmentally friendly and can keep your ammo safe and dry.
If you have small caliber ammo, it is a great idea to store them in wooden ammo boxes.
Wooden ammo storage boxes come in two types: open and closed boxes. You have the option to choose which type you prefer to use.
Also, when using wooden ammo boxes make sure to consider the weight of the ammo you are going to store. The box purchased should be strong enough to carry the weight of the ammo.
4. Airtight and Watertight Ammo Cans
Using airtight and watertight ammo cans is a popular storage idea. Excessive moisture may damage your brass casing like corrosion.
To avoid this, you can put desiccant packets or dehumidifiers inside the ammo cans.
When you decide to use ammo cans, you should lock them all the time. Before shelving your ammo cans, put labels on them by indicating the type of ammo stored.
Lastly, you should regularly check your ammo to make sure that they are still in good condition.
5. Gun Safe
You can store your ammo in a gun safe the same way you store your guns. You have to separately store your ammo by having a separate compartment for them.
The special compartment for your ammo should be airtight and temperature-controlled. If your gun safe doesn’t have a compartment, you can seal your ammo in plastic containers before storing them inside the gun safe.
6. Vacuum Sealed Bags
Storing your ammo in vacuum-sealed bags will ensure that your ammo is not exposed to moisture. Vacuum sealed bags have adhesives that serve as protection during flooding.
Vacuum sealed bags don’t react with most chemicals and are non-porous. These bags do not conduct electricity.
7. Plastic Storage Boxes
As much as possible, avoid using plastic storage boxes for your ammo. Ammunitions are heavy and plastic containers may not withstand the weight.
You may end up damaging your ammunition if you use a plastic storage box. Plastic storage boxes are not ideal for long-term use.
How Much Ammo Do You Need to Store at Home?
The quantity of ammunition that you may store in your home is a personal decision. When deciding how much ammo to bring inside your home, you have to consider the main purpose of it.
Here are some guide questions to help your decision:
- Will you be storing ammunition for personal or professional use? Will you use them for law enforcement or to be used in a shooting range?
- Will you be storing ammunition in case of emergencies, crises, or survival?
Usage: Personal or Professional
If you are shooting for personal reasons, it may be hard to decide on how much ammo you will need to store in your home. You may look at how much ammo you have used during the past months.
This can give you an estimate of how much you may need to store at home without the need to frequently purchase ammo.
If you are part of a law enforcement agency, the quantity of ammo you may need to store at your home is different from those doing leisure shooting.
As a professional in handling firearms and ammunition, you have an idea of how much you may need to keep on hand. The quantity of ammo will depend on your training requirements.
If you are the type of person who thinks about emergencies and long-term use, you may need to store a considerable amount.
You will need enough ammo as a way of being prepared for any emergency or unforeseen circumstance.
Handguns are common firearms in most households. In cases of emergencies and unforeseen scenarios where survival is a must, a handgun is your source of self-defense. It is recommended to store at least 500 rounds of ammo per handgun.
The Don’ts Regarding Ammunition Storage
There are three common misconceptions about long-term ammo storage. Here are the three misconceptions and how you can avoid them:
- Burying your ammunition. Burying your ammunition on the ground is a bad idea. Even with a great storage container, it is likely that you can damage your ammunition by burying them. Soil moisture and pH can damage the metal. PVC containers are also prone to cracks and brittle.
- Keep them in your garage, attic, or basement. It was mentioned that extreme changes in temperature and humidity levels can greatly damage your ammunition. You should avoid storing your ammunition in the unfinished basement, attic, garage, or even storage buildings.
- Shelving. A simple household shelf is not the best choice for storing your ammunition containers. Ammo containers are heavy. You have to consider the weight of your ammo when purchasing shelves. It is best to invest in heavy-duty shelves for your ammo container.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a Safe Suitable and Secure for Ammo Storage?
Using a fireproof safe is greatly recommended for ammunition storage. You have to keep your ammo in containers to avoid moisture, dirt, and corrosion build-up.
How Long Is the Shelf Life of Stored Ammo?
Ideally, ammunition can last for decades without going bad. However, some environmental factors may shorten the shelf life of ammunition.
These factors include drastic changes in temperature and humidity levels. It is important to practice proper ammo handling and storage.
What Is the Ideal Temperature for Ammo Storage?
55° to 85° Fahrenheit is the ideal storage temperature range for ammunition. Extreme temperature changes should be avoided according to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) that could cause condensation.
Never store your ammo in hot places. A hot place is often accompanied by humidity. Humidity can cause corrosion and can shorten the lifespan of your ammunition.
Can Guns and Ammo Be Stored Together?
You may store your guns and ammo together in one safe or container. The most important thing to remember is to always keep it locked. Your goal is to maintain safety in storing your firearms and ammunition.
In storing firearms, make sure that the gun is unloaded. Your ammunition should also be given a specific compartment in the safe or container.
Can Old Bullets Cause an Explosion?
Old bullets may not be performing as well as the new ones especially if they are not stored properly. Old bullets may not necessarily be dangerous.
An explosion may happen if the old bullet is exposed to high pressure and temperature due to poor storage conditions.
Can Ammo Be Loosely Stored?
Loosely and randomly storing your ammo is not recommended. This will cause difficulty in the identification of ammo when you need them.
Do Ammunitions Get Old or Expire?
Technically, ammunition doesn’t expire. But, over time, the gun powder inside the ammunition may lose its potency.
That is why it is important to label your ammo boxes with the date of purchase. You need to use the old ones first before using the new ones.
When ammunition is no longer in good condition, they run the risk of not having enough momentum to get out of the barrel.
If you are unaware of this scenario, you may fire another shot and cause damage to your barrel or physically hurt yourself because of a stuck bullet.
Technology has improved present-day ammunition. With the help of technology and proper ammo storage solutions, ammunition now has a longer shelf life. You can even pass them on to the next generation.
Even with the innovation of modern science, there is still a possibility that your ammo can be compromised and develop damages.
Thus, proper storage practices and using the best ammo storage containers can help your ammo last longer.
The best ammo storage container is the one that best suits your personal preferences and budget. Storage containers can greatly help lengthen the life of your ammo.
But, your discipline, time, and effort in maintaining your ammo will go a long way.