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Thread: Ammo storage and cache-ing

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    Hooligan upgrayedd's Avatar
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    Default Ammo storage and cache-ing

    -sorry for the confusion, but this appeared under a different thread somehow?????

    We all know that when it comes to stocking up on ammo and supplies, you are most likely and probably relying on defending your home and staying put there(because it would be impossible to haul around a ton of ammo food and water)
    What is the best way to cache or store ammo? Where to stash it from prying eyes? Same with water and food?
    Someone earlier made a suggestion that these supplies be "buried" or kept in "sectional incrememnts" for easier access. I would also think that if someone found one of the stashes, your whole supply would not be lost?

    I dont have a basement( a true basement) but I do have an attic and a newer poly shed in the woods behind my home.
    How well do ammo cans work? How much moisture will they repel? How long will they keep their seal for? Will dessicant gel packs work well as "insurance" in ammo cans to keep the moisture away?
    Can ammo cans safely be buried? for how long?

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    THE 9mm ADDICT MUSIBIKE's Avatar
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    It will do NO GOOD to run away when the SHTF. Dig in and fight with your neighbors to hold onto your homestead. Getting it in your own home is better than out somewhere on a highway.

    I believe you can take a lot more of them with you fighting from your own place.

    Plus, I would have a harder time thinking about who is taking the majority of my fire power and ammo left behind. It would be a very unusual circumstance for which I would elect to run for it.

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    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    Ammo cans with a good seal will last indefinitely, the military keeps their ammo in there for a reason. Rust through is the biggest worry, otherwise unless you're sinking them to the bottom of a lake or something they will keep water out. I wouldn't bury them unless you are making a long term off-site cache, just as easy/effective to hide them in your home in most cases. Put them inside something like a vacuum seal bag or sealed storage tub to prevent rust if you do bury. Dessicant is always a good idea.

    Burial caches usually use sealed 6-8 inch PVC drain pipes. They last forever underground, have enough internal volume to hold a lot of stuff, and can be buried vertically. This allows you to use something like a post hole auger to make your hole instead of digging a huge pit. You can also leave it in the ground when retrieving your stuff, you just have to dig down far enough to expose the top cap.

    For protection against casual thieves, a reinforced storage closet would be all you need. Solid steel clad exterior door, good lock, lined with thick plywood. Or make it look like something else that no one would mess with. Piles of boxes in the corner marked "christmas decorations" over your ammo boxes for instance. I would not use the attic, high heat will degrade smokeless powder.

    If "The Man" comes looking, good luck! They will rip your house apart if they suspect you of having contraban items. That's where the off site cache comes in handy.

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upgrayedd View Post
    How well do ammo cans work? How much moisture will they repel? How long will they keep their seal for? Will dessicant gel packs work well as "insurance" in ammo cans to keep the moisture away?
    Can ammo cans safely be buried? for how long?
    Ammo cans work well enough for the military! They will be all you need for as long as you need it. I can't honestly say you would want to bury an ammo can, but as long as the paint isn't chipped it would last a LONG time. Longer than you would need it to last.

    Bury ammo? Keep it from prying eyes? Like WHO? Aliens? Seriously, Hollywood aside, I can't imagine a realistic scenario in the CONUS that you would need to worry about it. Seriously.

    Now if you just want to stock up for zombie/alien invasions, I suppose you could simply paint the cans a "neutral" color like navy blue or something like that so they aren't all army green. That would keep stupid neighbors from freaking out from all your "army stuff" you have.

    Really the only thing to worry about with ammo cans is possible heavy rust or a crimped gasket. Both are readily identified and corrected. The bent-up ammo cans can be easily bent out with channel locks to put the top back in contact with the gasket. Dessicant packs would be irrelevant if bullets are properly handled. If you fondled all your ammo enough, you could get goop from your hands to rub off and lead to long-term corrosion, I suppose. But we're talking a LONG time for that to happen. Police have carried ammo exposed to the elements on leather - LEATHER! - ammo belts for years. Only once every blue moon does the cartridge interact with the ingredients in the leather (or atmosphere) and corrode. The vast majority of people on the reloading forums agree that waterproofing ammunition is not necessary in all but the ost extreme of situations, like shotgun ammo in a wet climate like Alaska. Most areas further South just don't have enough moisture to cause ammo to spoil.

    Me, I live in an area prone to hurricanes. One directly hit this area 5 years ago, so I know for a fact there won't be any katrina-style mandatory evacuations. If ever that happens again, my ammo boxes will still be here taking up space in my garage.

    Oh BTW, g2busmc has a BUNCH of ammo boxes for sale in the classifieds. Some may need a spot of paint, but you can't have too many



    I have an ample supply of food on shelving in my garage. Get some airtight, food-grade 5 gallon buckets from a restaraunt and you're all set.


    Water? A 55 gallon drum in the back yard, right beside the rain water collection barrel. Looks like just another rain barrel. Found a good deal on them at a surplus store that was selling them as paintball barriers. A slight smell of peppers, but they will do the trick in a pinch.

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    Hooligan upgrayedd's Avatar
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    thanks, hc.
    i dont plan on burying them, but wanted to see exactly what abuse they could endure while protecting the ammo inside.
    I am more concerned about long term moiisture damage(if i can resist not shooting it for that long) as well as weather damage or uncontrolled climate storage.
    thanks and i'll look up g2b for those cans

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    One thing I didn't think of until just now, and that is along the same lines as the case lube you use when you reload. I wonder if the silicone spray, the stuff you use to apply the water-resistant coating to camping stuff, would work to repel moisture? Seems like it would. It would be like a thin coating. HRM. The only thing is would it stick in the chamber? I think not, since silicone is "slick" by nature. HRM....

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    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    "Slick" ammo can be a problem. When the cartridge is fired the case expands against the chamber walls, the pressure and friction makes the case stick to the chamber walls. After the pressure drops when the bullet leaves the bbl the case shrinks slightly and allows easy extraction. Lubricated ammo prevents this sticking action and actual forces against the bolt increase.

    The HK G3 is an excellent example of this. The chamber flutes surround the case with gases from firing, letting it "float" in the chamber during firing. This increases the force against the bolt head and provides enough force to cycle the delayed blowback action. Note the many complaints of failures to eject on builds using the Korean made bbls that have flutes that are not to spec.

    Another example is case head separation from firing in chambers with long headspace. The brass stretches and thins where the chamber ends due to the forward part of the case being stuck to the chamber walls.
    Last edited by kernelkrink; 07-22-2008 at 07:26 PM. Reason: bad shpellin'

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    You know I didn't really stop and think when I replied because I realized my food vacuum sealer would be a perfect ammo storage solution. You could make your own battle-packs!

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    Gunco Maniac sjohnson's Avatar
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    Remember to store in a cool place once sealed. Nothing degrades powder like heat.

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    Hooligan upgrayedd's Avatar
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    Good to know. I knew that moisture was a big enemy of ammo, but not heat.
    thanks!!

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