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Thread: Why ammo cans are getting more expensive and harder to find

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    GuncoHolic Black Blade's Avatar
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    Default Why ammo cans are getting more expensive and harder to find

    Why ammo cans are getting more expensive and harder to find

    Posted on February 19, 2011

    Everyone has noticed that ammo cans have been harder to find and that when you do find them they cost more. Lots of folks are asking why, and lots of rumors are flying.

    First, to dispel the biggest rumor, there has been no executive order or directive that all ammo cans be crushed. Now some are being destroyed, but it is due to the incompetence of government workers, not an executive order. But more on that later.

    The first thing causing prices to rise is that the Army changed how they issue 5.56 ammo stateside. It used to be that when a unit went to the range they drew ammo that was packed just like “go to war” ammo- it was in stripper clips, bandoleers and and .50 cal ammo cans. That meant that every day lots of cans were opened, the ammo used, and the cans went to be sold. Someone saw that this was wasting money, and they changed so that 5.56 training ammo is now issued in cardboard boxes. The result is that the taxpayers are saving a lot of money, but there are a lot fewer surplus cans sold.

    The second thing is that more and more national retailers are starting to bid on the cans, and that drives prices up. Chains like Northern Tool have found that they can get $15 or more for a 50 cal ammo can. This drives prices up further.

    Lastly, you have typical government bureaucrat idiocy. First, somewhere somebody decreed that all ammo cans sold must have the lids removed. Why? Who knows. I guess they are scared to death that some of that evil ammo might be in it. Of course, that same ammo is available to anyone outside the military, but logic does not matter here. So they pay a government employee to sit there and take all the lids off so nobody finds a .223 blank out there.

    What happens then? They put them all on a pallet. And they sit exposed to the elements for months before they get sold, letting water pool up in them, causing the insides to rust.

    And then those typical government employees strap them down to the pallet. But what happens when you take the lid off an ammo can? It loses it structural integrity. So what do you do when you are a government employee who doesn’t care if he damages government property? You take the ammo cans that are easily bent and strap them down to the pallet so hard you bend them.



    Government waste at DRMO

    And the top ones are badly bent, as you see. But the bottom layers will be bent as well, and it only takes a slight bend before the can won’t shut or seal properly. You can figure at least 20% of the cans on the pallets are now good for little more than scrap. And for no other reason than the folks at the ASP and DRMO are lazy and don’t care.



    More waste from DLA Disposition Services

    So, add all these together, and the end result is that fewer cans are sold, many of the cans that do get sold are junk, and there are more people bidding for that. That all comes together to drive ammo cans prices higher.

    All of us in the military surplus business are used to seeing the stupidity that comes with the way the government manages it, but I figured folks out there might like a glimpse into the factors that affect price and supply.

    Why ammo cans are getting more expensive and harder to find. | Old Grouch's Surplus Stuff


    Black Blade: I use ammo cans to store ammo and supplies. They stack well and I can keep my supplies syored in a minimum of space. Too bad some Fed worker morons decided to crush a few and leave them open to the elements. Thankfully I have an inside track on ammo cans for myself but this is a waste.
    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America , you get a front row seat. - George Carlin


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    GuncoHolic Black Blade's Avatar
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    Sportsmans Guide has a limited number in stock - BOGO free. If you have a membership and a coupon code you can save even more.

    Used U.S. .50 Cal. Ammo Can - 805552, Ammo Cans at Sportsman's Guide

    These are still ~7 bucks each if you buy an even number.

    Probably left over from their S&B .308 sale packed in .50 cal cans. I missed out on that one but the S&B is corrosive so maybe not a bad thing.
    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America , you get a front row seat. - George Carlin


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    Grand Poobah Gunco's Avatar
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    30 cal ammo cans are way cheaper here
    ZAA-094 - Ammo Can .30 Caliber Grade I 10x7x3" Ammo Can Lever-Lock Lid Steel Flat Folding Carry Handle Stackable 7.97 each

    Great story very interesting read.
    "Courage is being scared to death - and saddling up anyway." - The Duke

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    TRX
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    Interesting. All the gun show / pawnshop / surplus store cans I've seen around here in the last 10-15 years have been brand new and made in China.

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    GuncoHolic BBill's Avatar
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    I've got some big ones-machine gun ammo cans. I've got 4,000 rnds of .45 in one-I had to get help to shove it under a table in my garage. No way in hell could I pick it up to get out of Dodge!!

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    Gunco Good ole boy tanvil's Avatar
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    I have a couple of those big ones too. They hold most of my powders. I can imagine filled w/ 230gr 45's you need a hand truck.

    Most of the 50 cal cans I see at MD shows are rusted and bent recently, now I know why.

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    GuncoHolic Sprat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBill View Post
    I've got some big ones-machine gun ammo cans. I've got 4,000 rnds of .45 in one-I had to get help to shove it under a table in my garage. No way in hell could I pick it up to get out of Dodge!!
    thats good, I can imagine that scene taking place

    the last two shows I went too here in florida, single cans sold asap , even used ones at flea markets are sold as soon as they put out, I see smg & CTD have bulk purchases of brand new ones in the box. I wonder if these are the chinese ones or the original contractor trying to make a buck on the side

    sprat
    Sprat and sprat1 are one and the same.

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    Hey a GOOD alternative is the Gamma Seal you can buy that goes on 5-gallon buckets. Not as PRETTY as ammo cans, but the same utility is served. I was surprised to see these at Home Depot now - and for a VERY competitive price vs. Internet prices. I think they were selling for $6.97 if memory serves. Get some 5-gallon buckets from an Asian restaraunt or a donut shop, clean them up and PRESTO you have food-grade ammo storage with a watertight seal.
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    GuncoHolic Sprat's Avatar
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    I got a e-mail from Aim today brand new never used unmarked 50 cal cans

    New Mil. Spec. M2A1 .50cal Ammo Cans

    for the price they are going for it best to get new instead of mis-matched re-painted used cans???

    sprat
    Sprat and sprat1 are one and the same.

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    GuncoHolic Black Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprat1 View Post
    I got a e-mail from Aim today brand new never used unmarked 50 cal cans

    New Mil. Spec. M2A1 .50cal Ammo Cans

    for the price they are going for it best to get new instead of mis-matched re-painted used cans???

    sprat
    Got the AIM email too. They look good but I have all I can use now. New cans are nice tho.
    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America , you get a front row seat. - George Carlin


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