Best Practices for Long-Term Ammo Storage: How to Bury Ammo

Bury Ammo BoxImproper storage could make ammunition worthless. There are a few tricks/precautions to keep in mind for long term storage of ammo to make sure it is safe and in a working condition when it is required, even if that is several years down the road.

Storing ammunition for a long period of time becomes a challenge because of heat, moisture and chemicals.

Problems with improper storage

Heat could over time, break down both the primer compound and the powder which will make ignition unpredictable and reduce the velocity as well.

The humidity could corrode the cartridge casings thus making it unreliable and dangerous to use. They would even rupture when fired.

Some chemicals like solvents, cleaners and oils could seep through the casings causing damage to the ammo, if it has been improperly sealed.

Best practices for Ammo Storage

For a short period ammunition could be stored in the paper boxes that they come in, just don’t expose them to excess heat or moisture.  The MTM SAC Survivor Ammo Can is a great example of the best ammo box though and is just $20. One of these units holds up to 600 rounds of .45 ACP or 223 ammo or 500 rounds of handgun ammo. It also features a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI), which is a plastic storage bag that lines the ammo can, and a Dessicant Pack to control humidity. For those that do not want to create their own makeshift ammo storage containers, this is a purchase that is guaranteed to provide you everything you need to safely store your ammo.

Any ammo that needs to be stored for more than a year could be buried by placing them in ammo boxes, which could be metallic or plastic. Paper based ammo will not work on a long term basis. Metal ammo boxes can be stacked thus saving space; plastic ones are airtight but might not be sturdy as the metallic ones.

If you are burying your ammo, make sure you mark the spot, so you are able to find it even after a major natural disaster.

List of precautions for ammo storage

  1. Vacuum seal – this can protect your ammo from water and rust
  2. Rotation – Rotate your ammo and use the oldest ones first. The boxes can be labelled with all the relevant information (like date) to help you in the rotation.
  3. Humidity – this is the factor that worst affects the ammo. If the humidity is high in your location, use dehumidifying equipment in your storage area.
  4. Period checks – Conduct periodic checks to catch signs of corrosion. Conduct the periodic checks at that time of the year when the humidity levels are lower, to reduce potential moisture contamination.
  5. Silica packets – A few desiccant packets should be kept in the ammo boxes to keep the moisture at bay.
  6. Temperature buffer – The ammo boxes could also be wrapped in a cotton towel to insulate against condensation.

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