Emergency Preparedness

How to Store Your Ammo the Right Way

Can your stack of ammo packs in stock still rock?


Who else just bought a truck of 100,000 rounds of ammo? (I trust your rationale and Einstein-ish math, my friend)


Okay, maybe you’re a sharpshooter so just a few rounds.


Perhaps due to social unrest and impending gun restrictions, you reckon things might soon get ugly. Well, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, right?


Perhaps you’re a licensed hunter who’s prepping for the next hunting season. That grilled marinated venison savored with red wine is just too good to miss, isn’t it?


Or someone in between. You stockpile ammo for defense purposes and to feed your family with fresh meat. Preparing for both four-legged and two-legged creatures… why not!


But here’s the question: With countless ammo sitting in your house, now what?


How and where will you store your ammo to ensure every cartridge stays intact? You don’t wanna end up with metal junk years down the line or violate ammo storage laws, do you?


No worries because that’s exactly what we’ll discuss. We’ll make sure you don’t ruin (or about to) your hard-earned ammo stockpile. On top of that, you’ll discover ammo storage no-nos along with expert tips and recommendations.


So, stay with me and let’s fire away!


How NOT to store your ammo

First off, let’s address some ammo storage mistakes to avoid.


Now, technically speaking, ammo doesn’t “expire” gunpowder just loses potency over time. And that can be easily mitigated by storing your ammo the right way, therefore extending the shelf life indefinitely.


But if you do the following mistakes, expect the shelf life to last no longer than most celebrity marriages.

1. Haphazardly storing ammo in drawers

Ammo contains toxic and explosive gunpowder. Thus, when mixed with random stuff and within everyone’s reach (kids especially), it’s a disaster in the making.

2. Storing ammo in your car in a hot weather

I know you wanna stay ready to rock n roll whether at home or on the road, but ammo hates the heat. Prolonged heat exposure accelerates the deterioration of the propellant in ammo. Not to mention heat causes condensation.


Can’t live without firepower when traversing the scorching Mexican desert?


Then keep your ammo cool with the NorChill can voyager insulated cooler. And once you’ve made it safe and sound, you can crack a cold one thanks to the cooler keeping your Budweiser frosty.

3. Storing ammo in their cardboard factory boxes only

Cardboard boxes are not waterproof nor fireproof. Also, they’re not sturdy hence, can’t protect your ammo from pressure and impact.


While the manufacturer’s box is necessary to remind you of the specs, use additional containers on top of it for safekeeping.


And if you wonder where a badass green beret would store his ammo, a bombproof container like the Plano mil-spec waterproof ammo can is your answer.

4. Falling for the aesthetic of vintage boxes

Although storing ammo in your grandpa’s antique wooden box from the French Revolution looks cool, it offers little to no security. Furthermore, it only attracts unnecessary attention.


Remember… function over fashion. Be smart and opt for ammo safes instead. Not only will they protect your ammo from the elements and criminals but also protect you from possible criminal charges.


What you don’t need? Incrimination due to noncompliance.


What you need? SentrySafe fireproof waterproof safe with digital keypad.

5. Mixing different ammo calibers altogether

Let me ask you: How would you like to be frantically digging for the right caliber in an emergency or while the zombie horde is closing in fast?


And if like me your writing is no calligraphy and know that permanent markers aren’t really permanent, weatherproof and long-lasting vinyl stickers are your best bet to label which contains what.

6. Storing guns and ammo in the same container

This is a big no-no your firearm instructor and lawyer will agree.


When not in use, guns and ammo should be stored separately on different planets. This prevents unauthorized and accidental gun discharge. And did I mention it’s also mandated by certain state laws like the Texas Penal Code? Yes, it’s that serious.

7. Putting all your eggs in one basket

Store them together, lose them together. That said, after separating your guns and ammo, strategically place the ammo containers in various locations.


For instance, 100 rounds of 9mm in your closet and another 50 rounds in your garage. The goal is to stash them all over the place where it’s easy to remember but hard to guess (for enemies and thieves).


How to store your ammo the right way

SAAMI recommends storing your ammo in a cool, dry location away from solvents and other chemicals. Let’s elaborate.

Store ammo somewhere cool


“Cool”, not “cold”. Avoid ammo exposure to extreme temperatures. That means keeping away from heat sources like sunlight, motor exhaust, and open fire. On the other hand, away from chills like snow and freezing gust.


Above all, keep a constant room temperature. Notice I used the word “constant”.


It’s because temperature fluctuations create humidity. Ask any chemist and they’ll tell you that water beats metal in the long run. And that’s where the importance of dryness comes in.

Store ammo somewhere dry


As mentioned, metal’s kryptonite is water. When your ammo is left wet, bad things ensue ⸺ rust, corrosion, mold, powder breakdown, what have you.


So, store your ammo away from water sources like pipes and windows and where the temperature fluctuates.


Wanna know another effective trick? Use silica gel.


It’s a desiccant that absorbs moisture keeping everything inside the container dry. The best part? It’s non-toxic and inexpensive. I mean, how about getting 45 pieces of 5-gram Silica Gel for less than the price of a pizza? Take my money!

Store ammo away from strong chemicals


Ammo, like any metal, succumbs to corrosive substances such as acid and ammonia. That’s why you should store ammo in various layers of protection.


And speaking of which, here’s how you do it:


First, keep your ammo in its original packaging. Second, seal in a Ziplock bag (for water protection). And lastly, secure in a lockable metal container or better yet, in certified ammo safe.


Expert tips:

  • Inspect every cartridge before use. Check for signs of physical damage (corrosion, dents, scratches). Discard anything that feels different or odd. Believe it or not, negligence kills!


  • Buy ammo in bulk to save on cost. Consider it as an investment and a barter item in the apocalyptic world.


  • Label containers with the storage date to keep your stockpile fresh (first in first out). Unless you’re the Rain Man with x-ray vision.


Protect the ammo that will protect you

Guns are useless without working ammo. But you see, having more ammo doesn’t translate to better chances of survival.


Look, if you need 10 rounds of 12 gauge to take down a single pheasant, you don’t need more ammo but rather more marksmanship training. That said, a few but surefire rounds of ammo are way better than a million rounds in dubious condition due to improper storage.


And get this… ammo is like a woman it’s all about how you take care of her.

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