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Good way to keep Ammo fresh, long term?

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Old September 29th, 2011, 05:33 AM   #1
 
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Good way to keep Ammo fresh, long term?

Good way to keep Ammo fresh, long term?

By that I mean whats a good way to store your ammo stash long term, to insure that they don't corrode or get ruined over time?

Thanks in advance, guys!



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Old September 29th, 2011, 05:44 AM   #2
 
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An ammo can with a good seal, in a dry location should keep your ammo in good condition.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 06:05 AM   #3
 
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I vacuum pack mine then store it in an ammo can...

Probably overkill...
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Old September 29th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #4
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“Long term” is a subjective phrase. How long is long term?

They key to metals and gunpowder, which is hygroscopic in nature, is cool and arid (dry). Remove moisture and things last longer. Remove oxygen and you stretch that much further. I don’t anticipate more than about two years storage (I rotate my ammo so that I use the oldest first). I keep mine in a desiccated cabinet in a closet. The cabinet is just to keep it all together and allow me to lock it up. The desiccant is overkill for where I live but is cheap so I use it. The cabinet is not hard sealed so it doesn’t keep moisture out, the desiccant just keeps the levels low.

Metal to metal contact is what you need to avoid because that is where corrosion is worst over long periods even with low moisture. Brass, Nickel and copper are very compatible so no problem. Lead is okay with those metals. So keep your cartridges and loading components away from direct contact with aluminum, zinc, galvanized and low alloy steels (not including stainless varieties) and iron and you should be fine for many years and I do mean many!

Ammo intended for long storage (10 plus years) and/or in potentially harsh environments is usually placed in sealed packets or hermetic ammo cans and often purged of air before being sealed. You can purge air using argon or nitrogen which both can be obtained on a consumer basis. Put the ammo in a sealable container and spray the inert gas into it just prior to closing the lid. That may not eliminate oxygen but it will make the concentrations very low and almost negligible!

If you’re looking to store ammo for less than 5 or so years, keep it in its original container in a cool dry place and you should be just fine! I have family members that have successfully used ammo that was much older than that and was stored just cool and dry.

Try this link for more info:

Long Term Ammunition Storage Made Easy | Aggressive Defensive Solutions

Hope that helps!
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Old September 29th, 2011, 06:51 AM   #5
 
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Good to know
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Old September 29th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #6
 
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I have fired military rounds made prior toww2 and many have shot off fine.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 08:22 AM   #7
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Just put it in a Yuban coffee can and bury it the back yard. Dig it up when you need it, you'll be fine.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 02:33 PM   #8
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When my father died in 2005 I inherited his S&W Model 10 and a partial box of .38 Special. He stored this revolver & ammo in a basement. A humid basement that I had to get a dehumidifer for. The place was way too wet -- mildew on walls, rust on almost everything steel.

This box of Remington ammo sure looked old, and lacked a UPC which would seem to date it to the 1970s. The serial number of the gun dates it to 1967 production. Seeing how I don't recall him ever firing any guns ever, it's a safe bet it had been sitting there since the 1970s.

He also had some rounds in a leather gun belt (did he think he was John Wayne?) Those were covered with decades of dust & grime. I wiped that heavy coating of filth off and in 2009 tried to fire that gun with that ammo that's likely as old as me. Every round fired, working the same as factory fresh.

Shockingly, that blued revolver also had no rust on it, except for very minor surface rust on just one tiny spot under the grips.

I told this story to someone and he wasn't surprised, telling me how he's shot ammo dating back to WWII that still worked fine a half century later.

It appears that it's pretty hard to ruin ammo (or rust guns). Obviously, I'd never abuse stuff with such horrific storage conditions. I just keep ammo in the box it came in a living area (meaning the temp & humidity will surely be at a level I find comfortable). That seems good enough since I intend to fire ammo and don't buy with the intent to keep for decades.
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Old September 29th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #9
 
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If you really, really, really want to keep it "fresh", here is how:
buy appropriate sheets of lead, solder into an airtight box, solder an airvalve in place. Place dessicant bags into box. Air-up box to 8-15lbs. check every month or so for a while to make sure you do not have any leaks. I "opened up" enough lead-sheath telephone cables in my career to know the lead will still be shiney new inside 60 yrs. later. It WILL be heavy. Displacing the air with hydrogen would be even better.(oh yeah, you will have to use rosin core solder for lead)
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Old September 29th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #10
 
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I just keep it in sealed ammo boxes with a sock full of rice in each box. The rice sucks out the moisture and all is good. The ammo will probably outlast me.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:52 PM   #11
 
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Smile Ammo Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by BronxBoy View Post
“Long term” is a subjective phrase. How long is long term?

They key to metals and gunpowder, which is hygroscopic in nature, is cool and arid (dry). Remove moisture and things last longer. Remove oxygen and you stretch that much further. I don’t anticipate more than about two years storage (I rotate my ammo so that I use the oldest first). I keep mine in a desiccated cabinet in a closet. The cabinet is just to keep it all together and allow me to lock it up. The desiccant is overkill for where I live but is cheap so I use it. The cabinet is not hard sealed so it doesn’t keep moisture out, the desiccant just keeps the levels low.

Metal to metal contact is what you need to avoid because that is where corrosion is worst over long periods even with low moisture. Brass, Nickel and copper are very compatible so no problem. Lead is okay with those metals. So keep your cartridges and loading components away from direct contact with aluminum, zinc, galvanized and low alloy steels (not including stainless varieties) and iron and you should be fine for many years and I do mean many!

Ammo intended for long storage (10 plus years) and/or in potentially harsh environments is usually placed in sealed packets or hermetic ammo cans and often purged of air before being sealed. You can purge air using argon or nitrogen which both can be obtained on a consumer basis. Put the ammo in a sealable container and spray the inert gas into it just prior to closing the lid. That may not eliminate oxygen but it will make the concentrations very low and almost negligible!

If you’re looking to store ammo for less than 5 or so years, keep it in its original container in a cool dry place and you should be just fine! I have family members that have successfully used ammo that was much older than that and was stored just cool and dry.

Try this link for more info:

Long Term Ammunition Storage Made Easy | Aggressive Defensive Solutions

Hope that helps!
I recently bought bulk ammo from Cabelas, and it came sealed in plastic inside very nice plastic ammo boxes with good seals and provisions for locking. I've also rec'd bulk orders of foreign military ammo in sealed boxes, already packaged for long term storage. You need a "can opener" to get into some of these, but you can just stack them in your ammo storage area until you need them. U.S. made commercial ammo typically comes in cardboard boxes, with bulk orders available in military ammo cans. Be sure to check the seals on the cans before retiring them to long-term storage. Otherwise, the above procedures are worth following, and especially so if you're loading your own. Rotating ammo is an excellent practice even if it's well sealed and protected.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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I leave mine in the original boxes. Some of those are actually sprayed with a rust inhibitor, and it also keeps them with their lot number, which can be handy sometimes.

The original boxes are put in 50 cal GI ammo cans, and stored indoors. My oldest is only 4 1/2 years old, but still shiny as new.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 09:56 AM   #13
 
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Another thing to keep in mind, today's metals are generally (not always) not made with the same metal quality as they were 30+ years ago. Lot's of metal comes from China but even in China, they don't make it as well as they did in the 1950's and such.

So yes, lot's of "ammo" available to us in the states is made in the USA or Europe but it does not mean that the raw material is of great quality, for long term shelf life on a civilian market. So do take the extra time to store it properly if long term goal is expected.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 11:42 AM   #14
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Buy ammo cans....real ones, they hold up forever and you can stack them high and not worry about any busting. Make sure they have no rust inside and the seals are in good condition "not dried out or any cracks" don't use anything on the seals either to keep them moist. Get desiccant packs and stick some in the can with the ammo...and LEAVE IT SEALED! Also keep the ammo in the boxes it came it.....You'll be good to go for a life time!
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Old January 31st, 2013, 02:31 PM   #15
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Over the recent holiday season, my best friend and shooting buddy made a discovery. He now lives in the same house that he grew up in. His dad brought a 1911 home from WWII and to keep things safe with the kids, he hid the loaded magazines. While looking in the attic for something else, my friend found the two magazines ... both loaded with 7 rounds of GI ammo, headstamped RA 41 (Redfield Arsenal, made in 1941). The ammo was corroded but cleaned up OK. Curiosity got the best of us so we dashed to the farm and shot two of them in my 1911. Both fired just fine!

Keep in mind ... an attic in Nebraska will see at least a 120 degree temperature swing ... humidity will range from very low to 95% ... probably the worst possible conditions for storing ammo yet more than 70 years after it was made, it still fired.

Use a sealed ammo can as noted above and store it in a climate controlled area. Ammo will live longer than the owner.
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