How And Where To Store Ammo

Claude Nelson
By Claude Nelson November 7, 2016 09:57

How And Where To Store Ammo

If and when the SHTF you won’t have time to buy ammunition. In 2012 in the face of pending gun control ammunition dried up for over a year. Imagine if there was a real long term survival situation? Even if it was a gradual shift into a bad situation the ammunition supply would be one of the first things to go. Factor in that no one would be producing ammunition anytime soon and ammunition would be gone, completely and totally.

Like food, and water, ammunition should be something that is prepared for beforehand. People should store and purchase ammunition in advance just in case of a bad situation. Purchasing ammunition is easy, storing it for long term might be a little more difficult. So how, and where do you store your bulk ammunition?

Where To Store

This is the million dollar question. Where do we store ammunition for it to be both secure, and safe? A lot of this will have to do with the amount of ammunition you plan to store, but in general there is a simple set of guidelines you can follow.


First and foremost safety is always a priority. Regardless of where you decide to store your ammunition it needs to be in a safe location. For some this means out of the reach of children. Ammunition is certainly a choking hazard, and its flammable, and of course toxic in many cases. So young kids and ammo never mix.

There is also some minor concerns if you have a dog that likes to chew. If you expect to use plastic containers or cardboard be aware that if your pup is a chewer he may enjoy the wrong snack.

In general ammunition should be stored away from from anywhere that has an open flame, but that is just common sense.

Related: Awesome Places to Hide Your Guns


Ammunition is a great investment, it rarely loses value, and when ammo crisis hit hit they hit hard and fast. Ammo prices skyrocket, and in a seriously SHTF situation ammo will be more valuable than gold. Security is key to protecting your preparations. Security in ammo goes a few different ways.

First and foremost I suggest keeping a combat load ready in magazines at all times. This is just in case things happen faster than you can predict. A combat load is at least 6 magazines for a rifle and 3 magazines for a handgun. These should be locked away in a safe preferably. This ammunition should also be cycled out and shot at the first sign of deterioration.

When storing ammunition it may get to the point where you have too much to effectively hide in one location. So do not be afraid to store ammunition in multiple locations. I also recommend keeping it under lock and key if possible.

What to Watch when Buying Ammo For Long Term Storage

First and foremost when buying ammo to store long term be prepared to replace the box it comes in. Cardboard boxes suck at keeping moisture out so they should not be the primary storage option.

ammo-storage-containersLoose ammo is also a no go. Unless you are planning to store it primarily short term I suggest finding an alternative. The reason being is that you never know how long that ammo has been loose and rattling around it may not be reliable, or may have already be exposed to moisture.

Some ammunition comes pre packaged in waterproof, moisture proof containers. Ammunition coming out of Russia and the Eastern Bloc in general is often stored in metal tin canisters that are completely moisture resistant as long as they are sealed. Same goes for ammunition in NATO battle packages. A common theme among ammunition made for the military is often made waterproof.


Humidity is a killer of ammunition. It can rust the case, deteriorate the primer, and ruin the powder. Preventing humidity is the most important step in preserving ammo for the long term. While the tactic of hiding ammunition in multiple locations is a good one, it is usually best to find the room with the lowest possible humidity and store your ammo there, you can focus on hiding after the ball drops.

Monitoring humidity isn’t too difficult. You can purchase test strips for about a buck apiece to give you an idea of the humidity in the area you store your ammunition. I would advise putting them in your actual ammo boxes. You can find these commonly in stores that sell wooden instruments.

If humidity is a problem, consider a room sized dehumidifier. This can solve quite a few problems if you live in a humid environment, and hey, it is good for the air in your house.

Proper Containers

ammo-contProper containers are a must have for storing ammunition. The box ammunition comes in is rarely suitable for long term storage. Proper containers include waterproof, sealed ammo boxes. Military surplus cans are an excellent start. In my time in the Marine Corps I saw those basic ammo cans sit through torrential downpours for weeks at a time and never spring a leak. They can’t be submersed but they can resist moisture at almost any other level. Alternatively, plastic ammo cans with rubber seals are also excellent to store ammunition, and incredibly cheap. Lastly there is always tupperware, it’s waterproof and works wonderfully.

Invest in Silica

Silica gel packs are these tiny little packets that absorb moisture and prevent it from gathering in your ammo can. These packets are quite affordable, easy to find, and work wonders. If you’ve ever bought a new pair of shoes they’ve probably had these packets in them. Silica is a desiccant, that means it absorbs water.

Long Term

Long term ammo storage isn’t difficult. All it takes is an ounce of preparation to prevent a pound of pain. Being prepared is critical to survival and success, but sometimes looking after your preps is just as important as prepping. Long term ammunition storage is one of those preparations for your preparations.

Update: One of our subscribers, Randy, suggested that is not a good idea to keep your ammo alongside your gun within a gun safe. He learned it the hard way as he lost 24 guns in a Cannon Gun Safe. The ammo stored exploded, broke the firewall and allowed the safe to overheat.

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Claude Nelson
By Claude Nelson November 7, 2016 09:57
Write a comment


  1. Tom November 7, 17:21

    Double Lock Job Boxes, the kind you see on construction sites also provide safe and secure storage for ammunition. I have my ammunition stored in military and plastic ammo cans in side a job box with anti-tamper dual locks. It can be bolted to the floor for extra security.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Kent November 7, 17:42

    I have a vacuum food saver…what do you think about storing ammo by vacuum sealing then placing i ammo cans, etc?

    Reply to this comment
    • R in MO November 7, 19:24

      I was thinking the same thought.

      Reply to this comment
    • Frank November 8, 04:59

      I researched this some. there is info on line. I decided against it.

      Reply to this comment
      • Ray White November 8, 12:50

        Vacuum sealing ammo is fine. The only problem comes when sharp pointy tips pierce your sealing bags while the air is being sucked out. I vacuum seal mine in the boxes they come in. Loose ammo can be placed in canning jars and vac sealed with the appropriate attachment.

        Reply to this comment
        • Andie June 28, 21:28

          Shouldn’t at least some of your ammo be on stripper clips, perhaps in bandoleers ready for action? Those should vac seal just fine, no sharp points to breach the seal bag.

          Reply to this comment
    • JD January 15, 06:11

      I tried that in multiple occasions. Every time the bag would leak. My best guess is anytime you move the sealed bag the rigid metal of the cases cause small tears. Food saver bags were never made for angled metal of cases.
      Perhaps if you sealed them and carefully placed them in storage and never moved them it may work. But I could never get it to stay sealed.

      Reply to this comment
      • MDV October 24, 10:03

        Maybe you were using the wrong bags. The correct bags have to be heat sealed, & the material is heavier than the ziplock variety. Just a thought.

        Reply to this comment
    • Max April 3, 01:43

      Could it draw the air out of the ammo so when you go to shoot it it may not fire off? No air for the powder to burn after being stored in a vacuum?

      Reply to this comment
  3. GB November 7, 18:11

    One thing the on one seems to do when LT storage of ammo is vac seal. You can seal full bricks of .22lr, 50rd. boxes of pistol 2 or more at a time and, loose rifle as much as you can get into a ammo can.

    Reply to this comment
  4. karen November 8, 03:57

    unsubscribe me from all of your email

    Reply to this comment
  5. Fifth_Disciple November 8, 05:05

    I reload my own ammo so I don’t load it until I need it. It’s easier to store the components than the loaded ammo.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Mark November 8, 05:41

    Safety, safety, safety!!
    I’ve been on scene for house fires involving ammo, and the rounds don’t have to be chambered to cause injury. Nothing like the occasional jacketed lead hornet whizzing by to keep you on your toes.
    The mil-spec steel ammo cans are great for storing ammo, but please remember that you have flammable materials in a confined space.
    Mix ammo in a sealed metal container with intense heat, and you have a situation that can level a house (depending on the type and amount of ammo/powder stored in the ammo can).
    Snap the latch down to seal the can, then undog the latch. The can will stay sealed but should vent any serious detonation before it becomes catastrophic/deadly.

    Reply to this comment
    • SSG Mike November 8, 13:07

      First of all, rifle and handgun ammo is designed to be fired while seated in a chamber. The brass is not designed to endure the pressure created by the firing of the round without being chambered. Take from someone that has destroyed many rounds of ammo by burning, although there is a lot of popping and weird noises due to the bullets tumbling through the air, 99.99999% of the time they don’t have the velocity to do serious harm unless they hit you in the eye. The brass will fail first.

      Secondly, if it’s hot enough to set off the ammo, the ammo can’s seal would have already melted. the rounds won’t go off at the same time, so the ammo can exploding in a huge shrapnel producing fireball is not going to happen.

      I had a private cook off five 7.62 rounds in a sealed ammo can and we could hardly see the dents in the side of the can.

      Reply to this comment
    • Terri November 9, 00:32

      I have stored ammo outside my house in a c
      oncrte old well cistern because of the threat of fire. If stored in my house I am afraid of it exploding. I am in a fire hazard area and have survived 2 really hugh fires. I am afraid the moisture of the old well water about 25 feet down has damaged the ammo. but don’t know where to store it any more safely. where can I store ammo in a fire area? Teri

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck November 9, 03:00

        Terri: MTM and some other vendors sell water tight cans that you can store ammo in. They are designed to be buried and to be water tight. If you wrap the ammo in plastic as I have outlined below, put it in one of the water tight cans that MTM sells, you should be able to store it in the cistern as long as it isn’t actually sitting in the water. Actually, if the MTM storage can is actually water tight, storing it in the water may actually be better for the ammo. It will be stored at moderate to cool temperatures and not subject to extreme temperature fluctuations. When you pull the ammo out to repack it, examine it. If the brass is still bright, chances are very good that the ammo didn’t leak. While the military does seal it primers and the neck of its small arms ammo, they expect it to be subjected to more weather exposure than the normal civilian ammo.
        Most modern commercially loaded civilian ammo is fairly weatherproof. While no manufacturer recommends submerging their ammunition, most ammo can stand a short dunking in water and still function. If the brass is all groady and green or if there is a really strong oder about it, when you open the container, then you may have a problem. The best way to check to to take some, clean it up if it needs it and try to fire it. It won’t explode, it just won’t go off, or if it does fire it will make a weak sound. If, when you pull the trigger the round doesn’t go off and you can recock the firearm without opening the chamber, strike the ammo again. If you can’t cock the firearm without opening the chamber, then wait a full minute after pulling the trigger on the dud before opening the chamber and extracting the round. See if the firing pin has made a regular dent in the primer. If it has, then that round is a dud. If you have more of them, that ammo is truly bad. Don’t throw it away. You can pull the bullets and reuse them and you can remove the primer and reuse the brass. If you don’t reload, sell the duds as duds for the components. You can find out how much components are worth by looking at the prices various vendors charge for brass and for bullets. Remember there is some work for the purchaser to remove the bullets and the primers, so adjust your prices accordingly.

        If the ammo makes a weak sound, you need to check the bore of the firearm you are using to make sure that the bullet has not stuck in the bore. Unload your firearm, make absolutely sure that it is clear of all ammo. If you can remove the bolt if it is a rifle, take the bolt out and look down the bore. If you can’t see daylight, you will have to poke the round out with a ramrod. Revolvers are easy to check. Automatics require that you look from the muzzle end. You should be able to see through the barrel to the chamber or from the back of the receiver all the way to the muzzle. If you shoot several rounds and have to poke the bullets out of the bore, I would sell that lot for components or pull the bullets of the unfired ammo and use the component for reloading if you do reloading.

        If the ammo is bright and clean and fires there is no problem. You can repackage it in the water tight cans and drop it down into the cistern with a clear conscience.

        Reply to this comment
      • Fireman 620 June 7, 22:24

        This is BS. I am a fire fighter and have been around homes with ammo going off. If it’s chambered in a fire arm the projectile can be cooked off and send a round flying. Otherwise the case splits and burns. Know what your talking about before you spread conjecture. There is an excellent YouTube article about ammo and fire. Get some facts!!!!!

        Reply to this comment
    • Graywolf12 April 24, 15:28

      Myth Busters did a segment on heating 22 up to 50 cal. ammo. It is the brass that is dangerous, not the bullet. You can probably find that segment on the web.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 28, 17:41

        The National Rifle Association actually did a test to see what happens when ammunition is burned. It was reported in their magazine. They put a variety of shells into a fire. The surrounded the fire with sheetrock (the stuff your walls are made of) When the shells detonated, the bullet itself didn’t move very much but the case is what did the traveling. In some but not every case the case actually reached the sheetrock. I forget the distance the sheetrock was located from the fire. The case in some instances had enough velocity to dent the sheetrock but in no instance did it penetrate the sheetrock.

        Fire departments don’t want their firemen to get hurt. If it is a question of your house burning to the ground or perhaps a fireman suffering an injury, guess which choice the fire official in charge of the operation is going to choose.

        When fire responders hear stuff going boom in a fire they don’t know what it is. It could be paint cans. It could be chemicals the you are using to prepare various perception altering substances. It could be propane tanks. Or it could be your ammo stash. So when the battalion chief hears something go boom in a fire, he pulls his mean back so that they don’t suffer an industrial injury which will wind up costing the department money. Your house is more than likely insured, so they control the fire so it doesn’t spread and let your house burn until it doesn’t go boom any more.

        If you want to verify the results of the test the NRA did, go to American Rifleman and type in “ammo exploding in fire” and see what comes up. You might also do a Google search, but be sure to review the qualifications of the individual reporting the results. Some folks on the internet have more credibility than others.

        Reply to this comment
  7. Ray White November 8, 12:57

    It is also best to keep ammo in a cool, dry place. Claude mentioned how humidity or water can ruin ammo but I’ve been told that extreme heat can degrade the shelf life of ammunition or gunpowder if you are a reloader. I’m not sure how our troops in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm coped with this problem–or even if it IS a problem, but it’s something to think about if you live in the desert SW or any other hot, dry place.

    Reply to this comment
    • SSG Mike November 8, 13:22

      Military ammo is sealed at the primer and the neck, so it is basically airtight and watertight. The Military also uses propellant, not gunpowder. ( I know that you knew this already, I was just informing the readers who may not have known.) This propellant is less sensitive to environmental conditions and storage conditions.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck November 9, 02:42

        Well, SSGT Mike, we are splitting hairs. Smokeless powder is a propellant. Black powder is an explosive. Each of them, when ignited in a closed space will propel an object at varying velocities, depending upon many factors. Military 5.56×43 rounds use basically the same “propellant” as civilian .223. The same applies to 7,62×51.

        The National Rifle Association on more than one occasion has conducted controlled tests to ascertain just how much velocity is obtained by modern ammunition that is set off by fire. In each of their tests, none of the components that were set off by fire were able to do more than dent wallboard which was within 36 inches of the ammunition if I recall the parameters of the test correctly. It might have been closer than 36 inches.

        Fire departments back away from fires when there are sounds of explosion for several reasons. First, even if the occupant informs them that it is ammunition cooking off, due to a lack of knowledge the fire department thinks there is more danger than actually exists. Another reason is that while the occupant of the dwelling may think it is ammunition cooking off, it may well be spray cans of paint which can explode and throw flaming material in all directions. It could be a can of paint thinner or a propane cylinder that the occupant forgot he stored in his garage next to the water heater.

        Someone else suggested a job site box which can be locked. I think that is a good suggestion. The job site box is heavy duty steel and has a protected double padlock. You can buy a wheel set for it that will allow you to move it out of danger if there is a fire. The wheels can be locked so that the can only move a couple of inches. If you store ammo in metal ammo cans inside a job site box, on the shady side of your house and cover it with plastic tarps, you will have protection from moisture, moderate temperatures and protection against theft.

        Obviously, this only applies in locales where there are not extremes of temperature. If you live in Mississippi where the humidity is in the 90s most of the time, you will need to add additional protection. If you live in the Tucson area, you will need to consider additional steps to protect against extreme heat. If you live in Bismark, ND, you may have to consider winter extremes, although I suspect that other than when firing the ammo, extreme cold probably has the least effect on ammo of any of the climate conditions I have touched upon.

        When I purchase bulk ammo I always break it down into 100 round lots. For several reasons. The first is that I have found that Federal bulk 5.56 was significantly short on two purchases I made. The dealer made up the difference, but it made me check loose bulk ammo purchases after that. Also, by breaking it down into 100 round lots, it is a lot easier to keep track of inventory. It is tedious to count the same ammo three or four times to ascertain inventory count. When I break it down, I use a plastic sealing machine to seal the ammo into plastic bags. It isn’t a vacuum sealer, it just heat seals the edges. I always double bag the ammo in order to avoid the problem that another poster touched on, the ends of the bullets puncturing the plastic. I use a heavy gauge plastic and by double bagging it, I avoid that problem. I put the bagged rounds in a reinforced cardboard box and then wrap the cardboard box two times in the same heavy gauge plastic and that box goes into storage. The extra cardboard inside the box modulates temperature swings and all the plastic insures that moisture is not a problem.

        You can seal plastic with a warm to hot iron. You want it warm enough to melt the plastic but not so warm that it causes the plastic to melt and stick to the iron. Heavier plastic is better for that purpose than flimsy plastic. You can buy an impulse sealer from U-line Supply for about $100 if you want to go the same route I use. IT provides a thin line of instant heat in a pulse form that seals the plastic or cuts it and seals it depending upon dwell time. A warmish to hot iron will do the same but it requires more skilled technique. The impulse sealer is really idiot proof. I am living example that anyone can use it.

        Reply to this comment
      • PP777 November 24, 12:16

        Thanks SSG Mike.The bottom line is people are always using assumptions. I thought I was the only one who did what you did and your correct, they would have to hit you in the eye. You might get burnet though as i did.

        Reply to this comment
      • Rogue Blackheart April 3, 17:51

        If you are a reloader, Brownells and other places that sell reloading products sell a sealant that can be painted over primers seated in the primer pockets, and around the neck of the brass cartridge.

        Reply to this comment
    • Mike July 26, 22:28

      They shot excess up before leaving if it hadn’t been shot up in actual action. Mike

      Reply to this comment
    • Mike March 18, 22:07

      They dealt with it by shooting the heck out of it. Mike

      Reply to this comment
  8. Glennon November 21, 01:20

    I have created several hundred “battle packs” with my food storage sealer and have not had one problem. I write the caliber and date on the “handle” of the sealed bags. I have never had one problem with any of the ammo to date after long term storage. My thought doing it this way was that if it can keep food, matches, and other survival items high and dry why not ammo.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Ron December 23, 01:40

    I am using an old refriderator with a 25 watt bulb,The temp in summer is around 110 and winter is 100. Works well with weldind rods also. Have had no problems in 2 years.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck December 25, 03:40

      I thought 110 was high so I went on line and Googled storing ammo. They had an article buy Guns and Ammo magazine wherein the managing dirctor of SAMMI, the folks who set standards for ammunition in the U.S. stated that normal room temperatures are best and the lower the humidity the better. He is quoted as saying that SAMMI feels that 150°F is the breaking point temperature wise for ammo. SAMMI definitely advises against storing your ammo in the trunk of your car — or even inside your car on a hot summer day if it can be avoided.

      Ron: I would try my refrigerator without the light bulb and see how the temperature holds. Obviously the light bulb will keep the humidity down. You might try putting a slice of bread in the reefer and see how quickly it molds up. If it is moldy in just a couple of days then you might want to consider some silica gel or some other form of dehumidifier. If it sits in there until it is hard as a rock and doesn’t get moldy, you are good to go with regard to humidity. I would see if the temperature would stay around the 65° mark without the light bulb as that would be much closer to what SAMMI recommends for ammo storage.

      Reply to this comment
  10. dpm December 24, 03:53

    Not sure of the absolute best long, long term storage but I have regularly used the steel ammo cans with loose 9 mm and 45 rounds for years with no issues. But I have recently switched to plastic , availability and price and no chance of rust. And just a sidebar comment on how long ammo can reliably be stored , I bought some bulk 45 ammo in the early 90,s that was marked 1944-45 and it did look as though the brass on some shell,s had started to tarnish every round fired ! and not just a few over a thousand !

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck December 25, 03:25

      I have some .30 carbine ammo that is head stamped 1943. It was in cardboard boxes. At 25 yards it cycles the action and is quite accurate. At 100 yards it appears to be not quite as accurate as newer ammo but the difference is hard to quantify, it is more a subjective feeling than something I have actually sat down and done bench rest testing with a holding device to make a sure determination. It is accurate enough that at 100 yards, I don’t feel underarmed in engaging someone with a pistol.

      Reply to this comment
    • Mike March 18, 22:19

      I buy 1000 rounds at a time. Was storing them in 50 cal. metal cans which were heavy. Walmart has smaller plastic cans with gaskets for $4.88 which hold 500 rounds of 5.56 or 9mm. They are much lighter and very stackable. Mike

      Reply to this comment
  11. Graywolf12 April 24, 15:40

    4-5 years ago I found a box of 300 Sav. ammo I bought in 1965. It was lost due to Due to 9 moves that box was packed separate from all other ammo some how. I was going to a friends ranch to help thin out the Mouflon sheep herd, so I took it and shot 5 sheep. All shells functioned properly, accuracy was fine, and all were one shot kills. I have a box of 8mm that I will use next time. They were purchased in about 1955. I inherited the gun and ammo.

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  12. Donna April 24, 17:53

    Advise me on a storage system that is ‘quick’ to get into if SHTF, please. It seems these aforementioned systems are tighter than a tick, requiring a tool if not two to get into; keys, cutters…..

    It seems to me that using a system that requires one or more tools to access the ammo is going to slow a person down when SHTF. Slicing into a plastic storage pack requires a sharp knife/cutting tool.

    In this house, those who grab a tool for use never return it to the place they obtained it. Irritating and, trust me, we’ve got things needing safe storage.

    How about a ‘tear here’ system or even a slider zip bag then wrap in old cloths…..?

    How about storing ammo using food stuffs, such as rice?

    If I had to dig my ammo out of a cistern yards, I assume, from the house this would slow me down, too and the older we get, the slower we will be. We do have one, tho adjacent to the house…..some water in it. Another one about 150′ feet from the house.

    Just thinkin’. I’m one of those ‘just thinkin’ types. I’d rather get to the ammo…

    Also, I’d probably stuff an old t-shirt or parts of one into an ammo box rather than buy silica paks.

    So, advise me using these parameters, please.

    Reply to this comment
    • left cost chuck April 25, 02:52

      Donna: I think most of us think in terms of needing large quantities of ammo as a developing situation rather than a sudden horde zombies descending on your bug out location. 100 rounds of ammo for your favorite gun should enable you to get to your securely stored supply. I don’t think a situation will arise where it will be necessary to immediately start hauling thousands of rounds to fend off large groups. In any event, you would want to keep only enough close at hand for a couple of firefights. You might have to leave your location temporarily. If you have all of your ammo out in plain sight, it will be gone when you can come back. If some of it is in plain sight and the rest is hidden in a cistern or buried some place, there is a good chance it will be there when you can come back. Best to have stuff divided up even if it means having to go fetch it on occasion. Remember your grandmother telling you not to put all your eggs in one basket?

      Reply to this comment
    • Mike July 26, 22:45

      Donna, left coast chuck has some good info below. Get yourself a small pocket knife (should have one anyway) that you get used to keeping on your person at all times except when in the shower or… Keep at least six loaded mags at hand and the rest can be stored. You should be good to go. Mike

      Reply to this comment
  13. thesouthernnationalist May 1, 21:25

    White rice works in pinch as a moisture controller, pour a thin layer about a 1/4″ in the bottom of the ammo can and place a piece of cardboard on top, put the ammo inside the can then place cardboard on top of it followed by more rice.

    Reply to this comment
  14. GunRunner May 19, 14:04

    Another storage possibility that I didn’t see (may have missed it) is an old refrigerator. I use one with a large single door, along with a dehumidifier to store my ammunition. The seals are fine (though I do clean and lubricate them every six months, so things stay properly closed. The only caveat to this is watching the interior of the fridge itself. They are normally plastic and enough weight can crack the liner.

    Reply to this comment
    • Mike July 26, 22:48

      Add a piece of 5/8 plywood to the bottom to distribute the weight. Mike

      Reply to this comment
    • Mike March 18, 22:28

      A 3/4″ piece of plywood with the corners rounded off should help redistribute the weigh. You can get a 4′ piece from Home Depot or Lowes and if you bring measurements they will cut it to size. Mike

      Reply to this comment
  15. FREEDIXIE May 28, 06:31

    Some good information here. One big critique though – “A combat load is at least 6 magazines for a rifle and 3 magazines for a handgun. These should be locked away in a safe preferably.” – Locking them away defeats the whole purpose of having combat loads. Yes, bulk ammo should be securely locked away if possible. In contrast, those combat loads are designed for immediate use. Regardless if its a gang of thugs coming down your driveway or a unit of Feds, don’t count on them gracing you with “let me go and unlock my safe” time. What if the safe wont open? Bad timing. Safes are for family heirlooms, jewelry, gold, silver, etc. Not your battle rifle. This is the difference between a mommy hobby prepper and a true survivalist.

    Reply to this comment
    • Deb July 24, 17:20

      Keep all but 4 guns in my fire res gun safe and those 4 are locked in bedroom when I go to work Yes I am a mommy prepper and I dont know if the grandkids will show up to see grandpa Also my safe is 1 1/2 – 2 hr fire res my doublewide would probably be gone in under a hr in a fire🇺🇸

      Reply to this comment
  16. Heather October 3, 19:41

    Great guide! Proper storage of ammo should be first priority upon purchase, and making sure there’s no deterioration will ensure your ammo will be available at a moment’s notice. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply to this comment
  17. Spence May 23, 01:20

    Hey Guys, at what temperature is ammo going to go bad in terms of heat? Let’s say I have it store inside a car while in transport. Is it ok to stay in the car?

    Reply to this comment
  18. Doug4500 July 2, 04:07

    Hi folks, I came to this page looking at the pro’s and cons & wisdom of vac-sealing ammo for longer term storage.

    I would imagine that vac-sealing of factory ammo plastic/cardboard packets, along with appropriately-sized packs of silica gel, depending on the number of boxes you have vac’d, and then placing the finished products into a watertight container of your choice would be a pretty good “belts-and-braces” approach.

    This would mean you can keep them at home, or transport or bury them with minimal messing about a second time.

    Ammo boxes are great, have their own lid-seals, stack well and have their own handles, but I’d be wary of relying on that seal and rust prevention in long-term burial situations, especially in ground that becomes sodden for extended periods or is subject to permafrost, as this may even distort the boxes if it is severe, so I would double-up on the water-sealing if using them in poor conditions.

    Remember that ammo is heavy so large containers may require more than one person to lift – a potential point of weakness in a storage/retrieval plan.

    IMO, each item buried should be enclosed in several layers of new cling-wrap – depending on your choice of “to vac or not to vac” – and then placed into a well-tied bin-liner pre-located inside a plastic waterproof container (it makes it easier to load your container with the bag already inside it) with a good o-ring seal on the lid lubricated with rubber grease so the lid screws down nicely without dragging and plucking the seal rubber.

    Then the entire sealed container should be placed inside another twisted and zip-tied plastic heavy duty garden or garbage bag before being carefully buried at least 250mm depth, preferably in sandy soil so that it drains well.

    Stony ground will likely pierce your exterior plastic which is there for two reasons; to further protect your lid-seal from moisture and also to keep your main container clean and make it easier to slide out of the ground if you need to pull it up.

    I recommend placing a decent sized flat floor tile directly on the plastic right over the top of the buried container, so you get some hard object that makes a distinctive sound to strike with your shovel when you go to dig it up again, thus saving you from damaging the plastic exterior bag or the container itself.

    I’d avoid using a metal plate in case some detector enthusiast jags it on a casual search, unless you want to rely on a detector yourself to relocate your stash.

    But remember that a 20 litre drum full of lots of lovely brass or steel-cased ammo will set off a detector like crazy unless you have it buried deep – a tile over the top may dull the signal a bit but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    I’d prefer to rely on a good GPS AND multiple distance measures and compass bearings using a 100m poly-tape from a good number of solid fixed points. Keep a detailed record, with location photos of all key points.

    Hide that record but make sure you remember where you put that info! Don’t rely on a computer, although a portable drive may be OK, but I’d still have a coded written backup. Computers may die, be stolen or grabbed by the anti-preppers, gun-grabbers or “zombies” to find out exactly what you have been up to.

    Don’t use plastic flagging as markers to the site. Firstly, they draw attention, secondly, animals eat them and thirdly, they will degrade in the sun and be pretty useless after about 5 years!

    That exterior plastic bag not only assists with water-proofing but also gives you a “safety collar” around the neck of the container itself which helps prevent soil from falling inside the container when you go to open it again.

    This is helpful if you are accessing your “cache” for only a few items and don’t want to pull it right out of the ground, but just get what you want and reseal the container and exterior “moisture seal” bag and fill in the hole again with minimal hassle and contamination..

    These are just my thoughts on the matter after being on a journey of remote area exploration and wanting to cache an excess of food. But pretty much the same principles apply.

    Hope it is food for thought.

    Comments welcome.


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    • Mike July 26, 22:56

      Wal-Mart sells small plastic ammo cans with rubber seals for about $5.00. They will hold 500 rounds, in 20 round boxes which though increase the number of cans make them manageable weight wise.
      When younger, 50 cal. cans weren’t a problem, they are now. Mike

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  19. RogueBlackheart July 6, 03:16

    Sorry VCI means Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor

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  20. Junkmansj August 17, 21:56

    Buy all my suplus 223 /556 ammo in stripper clips,also buy stripper clips by the 100 lot of Ebay, each ebay order comes with a couple “Spoons” that attach to your mags for loading stripper clips. Also bought the cardboard sleeves to hold 3 clips

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  21. best iptv September 13, 16:51

    great share.
    In my opinion the most stable iptv lists are those from Fishbone IPTV cloud
    I would like to see more posts like this

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  22. , Fixer September 23, 04:50

    I have good luck storing ammo in plastic 6x4x4 candy nut containers ( actually any containers with a screw on lid will work), I put some silica gel in and use press and seal going over the threads on the container, I have even stored latex paint this way for years with no problems

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  23. Shavano October 24, 02:26

    How do you determine the amount of silica gel. Is it by volume, weight or “other” .Many sizes available.

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  24. Johnny January 24, 22:00

    I have a question. I have been a shooter for years, al different type of guns, but I have never left ammo in a magazine for an extended period of time. I empty and let a mag sit a while, while I put a new one in the pistol. I have a conceal carry so always have a weapon. If I was to store mags long term, will it weaken the spring? Might sound dumb, but I don’t want to jam up my mags.

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  25. Kettle Krik May 28, 16:18

    I have been at this for nearly half a century. The method we developed in the late 60’s,(Remember the Cold War?) has proven to still work. Simple 3″ or 4″ PVC pipe with a cap glued on 1 end and a threaded coupler on the other end with a screw in cap, with thread tape, like the access cap for your sewage clean out. In 2017 we retrieved some 357 ammo that had been “placed” in 1970 and all performed flawlessly despite being underground all that time.This same method can be used for firearms that will break down and fit into 6″ PVC. I do include the extra precaution of installing a stainless steel automotive Air conditioning valve in the end cap. You can then hook up an automotive vacum pump and vacate the interior. A Ruger ranch rifle came out of the ground ready to go after not seeing daylight for almost 30 years. I did replace the original wooden handle on our trench shovels with a steel pipe handle and then formed the end of the handle to a square to fit the plugs for their removal. In addition to a shovel in every vehicle we own there is also one stored closely enroute to each location. This scenario keeps the ammo in our geographical location somewhere between 28 and 54 degrees year round. This is our plan in a bug-out location, though I am sure it would work equally well in the back yard. Maybe even in a cistern or in plain sight at the bottom of your back yard Coy pond.

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  26. Bill September 6, 17:29


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  27. May 2, 12:39

    I relish, lead to I found just what I used to be having a look for.
    You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you
    man. Have a great day. Bye

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