How much heat is too much?
How much heat is too much?
That's an unknown. The rule of thumb for chemicals is every 10 degree rise in temperature halves the chemical life.
I've shot 1930's German 8mm ammo, some great stuff. I've shot 1980's 7.62x54r Bulgarian, it was erratic and nasty. My guess is that storage conditions made a big difference.
My approach is, that if the ammo or powder is stored at a temp/humidity comfortable for me, it's going to last.
A Glock will melt before ammo will go bad.
From StorageFrom Alliant Powder: Reloading SafetyRECOMMENDATIONS FOR STORAGE OF SMOKELESS POWDER
STORE IN A COOL, DRY PLACE.From RamshotRecommendations for Storage of Smokeless Powder
STORE IN A COOL, DRY PLACE.The powder manufacturers all list storing powder in a cool, dry place. Go right ahead and heat up your ammo with melting glocks, I'll keep mine cool, reliable and consistent.Store powder in its original container in a cool/dry place.
Consider this, too: best info I can find is that a glock won't melt 'til 230 c, which is 446 f. Nearly 500 degrees. At that temp you'd have rounds cooking off.
The US military seems to worry about storing ammo at high temps also:
Operation Desert Storm: Solar Radiation Shielding Materials for Ammunition Storage
"Abstract : Absorption of heat through high ambient temperatures and solar radiation has proven to have an adverse detrimental effect on ammunition in open storage. "
How much heat are they worried about? Seems about 161 degrees F is what ammo in Saudi Arabia can get up to. And this is ammo for relatively immediate use (months) not long term stockpiles:
Saudi Arabia (SA) Ammunition Temperatures in Open Storage, 1991
There is a 5 Gal. pail with a screw on lid made entirely of plastic that fits the needs
of a cashed stashed for under ground storage needs. it screws on to a gasket so I'de
say good to go for 3 years. I saw some at a home Depot about 2 years ago. I'm sure
you could get them a resteraunt supply house.
Last edited by Frogman; 07-30-2008 at 08:17 PM.
I purchase ammo cans several at a time. .30 cal and .50 cal cans. Pistol cartridges in .30 cal cans and rifle ammo in the .50 cal.
Example: Load approx 1000 rds of .38spl 158g SWCs. Drop them loose in the can. When full seal the lid, wire it shut, and stencil on what caliber, load info, and date. I stack them in the closet of my bedroom. House is always moderately cool. Never gets over about 80 degrees. And there is little moisture, though that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Then I also use the tall .50 cal cans for storage of misc. stuff. Mostly anything that may be of use should SHTF.
Two Combat Tours
Criminal Justice Major.
15 years of shooting under the belt
Collection of both modern and antique handguns and rifles
STILL A YOUNG MAN WITH LOTS OF TIME
Here's the best way for long term storage of ammunition--or anything else of interest or importance....
PVC pipe--large diameter PVC pipe.
10" / 12" or larger inner diameter PVC. Schedule 40 pipe is great (white PVC). In the larger sizes, the wall thickness is slighly more that 1/4".
Large diameter PVC is easily available at plumbing supply warehouses--that kind that tradesmen and contractors use. Here cash is king--so walk in, know what you want, and wave cash... you will not be turned down.
PVC is easily cut with a hand saw. Just make sure your ends are square, this done by wraping a string around the pipe--measuring from the end for alignment, then marking with a pencil or marker. Cut along the line as you roll the pipe.
Your containers are then sealed using PVC (same schedule) end caps, plugs or screw caps. Make sure you use lots of PVC primer, before you apply liberal amounts of glue.
End caps are recommend because they provide a completely sure-fire seal. Allow a few inches of room between the end-caps and your stuff. This is because when you want to open it later--you tap the stuff to one end by tilting up the container. Then you saw around the end cap. Voila! It's opened.
I would suggest using lots of desecate (sp?) packs inside your containers. And before you seal it up--use a hair dryer on low heat... with it aimed into the container for a half an hour or so. This will drive out excess moisture.
Hidding your containers? Burrial of course. But not off your property--or property you cannot control. Crawl spaces under houses, sheds, etc.--sprinkled with lots of scap pipe of course to throw off metal detectors. Do not burry you container in ground that has a shallow water table--don't push it. Or on a potential flood plain--it may float up. Do not burry your container on ground that has vehicle traffice (tractors, cars, etc.) --you don't want to crush it.
If you need a BOC (bug-out-container) off property, then you have to be very clever where you place it. Again take in all the considerations above. Formost you need security. Un-trodden space. Unseen. Away from the obvioius places where treasure hunters with metal detectors would ply. No abandoned homes, ranches, etc. But it has to be accessable. This is the conondrum! Also... you need security when placing your container. You don't want to plant something under the watching eyes of a theif--who will wait for you to leave and dig up your goods. Put some thought into this process, with the thought of how you are going to re-locate your cache rain, night, day, snow or whatever. Also--if you should go down--make provisions for someone else to take up the flag.
Ammo cans--not good for burrial. Yes they are water-tight, but they rust. I believe a 50-cal ammo can will fit into a 12" dia PVC. ---this would be optimal. Ammo cans would be good in a walled-up hide-hole, false floors, etc. where fast availability is necessary. Also when storing metal items (ahem!) inside PVC--oil, oil, oil and seal in plastic. Break items down if necessary.
Storing ammo only--2" diameter PVC is readly available at Home Depot. A lot of ammo can be stored inside a 2' x 2" PVC container.
Sky's the limit using PVC--thank God for Dow Chemical.
PVC pipes are good! Do everything you said and us a RVT sealant around the outside lip, you know have a double seal that has some ability to be distrubed and still maintain a seal. if the tube is long, remember to tie sting to small stuff, to help get stuff out when you need it. Next you need a PHD, no, not a college geek, a post hole digger, dig to proper depth, put in some small rocks to keep water from sitting on your PVC. To store guns the sameway, use transmission fluid, have friends that did this in the 90's pulled up the stuff, looked like new, plus the fluid is good to clean weapons in SHTF times.
WEAPONS CACHE 101
October 30th, 2008 by Syd
By Gabe Suarez
I don't believe in burying weapons. Still, I have received so many emails about this that I guess I need to mention something. Whatever you do, you need to keep at least one weapon set (pistol and rifle) with you along with the accompanying ammo. But for those with extensive arsenals who want to secure them better and outside of the "gun safe" method, read on.
To cache means to hide something. You don't learn to cache the sorts of things we are talking about in police academy, you learn it from criminals. A true cache, like we are discussing, should be able to lay undetected for years.
There may be varying levels of caches as well. An E&E (escape and evasion) cache will contain a complete getaway kit in addition to a pistol and maybe a folding stock AK, that while well hidden, can be grabbed up and used in a blink of an eye. Think of that as a hidden bug out kit. Such a cache will contain stuff to fight with, stuff to treat injuries with, stuff to eat, and stuff to use to change your appearance. A few $100 bills would be a good idea too. All of that can go in a small backpack (except for the AK).
I don't think anyone has interest in the cache of "sports guns", so we will focus on the cache of fighting weapons such as assault rifles and combat pistols. Remember to make certain to leave no fingerprints on any cache item. All caching must be done with latex gloves on and those of you with hairy arms, wear long sleeves taped at the cuffs. Free market guns (private party anonymous purchases) are better for this than those whose numbers are married to you.
Remember that it is not enough to dig and bury as the "fresh grave" in your front yard will only draw attention. You need to "hide" it. Look at three broad categories: rural caches, urban caches, and underwater caches.
Rural Cache - In the countryside, cache options abound. Needless to say that a cache can be located on your property, but look to cache stuff either on someone else's land, or in public land. Look for old piles of metal or used up farm equipment. These make great places as few snoopers will want to move a bunch of rusty junk around. And all that metal wreaks havoc on any technical search methods. Abandoned farmhouses, ruins, and foundations provide countless hiding places, as do small caves, old mines, and even graveyards. Just look for places where people would tend to not want to go, or places that would be overlooked. It is a good idea to GPS the coordinates and memorize them like your birthday.
The Urban Cache - In cities you must be more creative. You need to find a quiet dark out of the way corner were you can remove some tile or blocks or panels to create an improvised vault. Remember, make it look nasty and few people will put their hands in there.
The Underwater Cache - Arms may be sealed into a big PVC pipe, then sunk. The Swiss did this during WW2 as a fallback in the event Hitler's forces invaded
No matter where your cache will be located, you should go to great pains to make sure that it remains sealed and moisture proof. A large PVC pipe works fine, but I am more in favor of a large Pelican Case. Remember that if your cache is damaged by nature, you will have wasted your time. A Pelican case can not only be made water proof, but is as strong as steel.
A chunk of dry ice dropped into a watertight package and allowed to "steam off" before sealing will purge out the rust producing oxygen. Silica desiccant bags are also necessary -specially for an ammo cache. Where possible, for long term storage seal the lids with a bead of silicone glue.
Where tight space is a consideration, as in urban caches, you may have to merely wrap your weapons in plastic. In this case use the biggest thickest heavy duty lawn and garden bags you can find. After placing the arms inside, suck out all the air you can, twist the end, and duct tape the hell out of the entire bag.
Memorize the location of your cache. Take compass readings and GPS coordinates as well as the use of landmarks. Keep an eye on it regularly by simply driving by if nothing else. Be alert to construction around your cache.
If you see signs of activity, or the survey stakes go up, move it out immediately. When you look for a cache location, consider that you will need an excuse for being near it. This is easy in rural areas but slightly more complicated in the urban environment.
When returning to a cache, do some counter-surveillance. Move through the area looking for anyone or anything out of place, or anyone who may be staking it out, or even a new "utility box" which may contain a remotely operated camera. When making a final approach, don't walk right up to it.
Just as discussed in Roger's Ranger Rule Book, "fish hook" your trail, double back and observe your own path in to check for followers. This may take some time, but is well worth it.
Finally, walk right past your cache and make it appear you are doing something, or unloading something into an adjacent area. This is simply a ruse for the event you are compromised. If you are contacted at this point, your adversaries may not find the true cache, and your "cover for action" is believable. Only when you are truly sure of your safety should you go to the cache and unload it. Consider leaving tell-tale secret marks which will tell you if anyone has disturbed and replaced your cache. It is a favorite trick of security forces to put tracking devices into cached weapons in order to follow the guerrilla back to his base and catch the entire band.
A tell-tale may be a bit of thread or a pebble etc. placed in such a way that if the cache is disturbed it will break or fall out without the security forces noticing it.
Having written all of this, I want to make a point - I don't like the idea of caching weapons for the reasons most folks will do it. Freedoms are not given, they are taken. And once possessed, they cannot be taken away while the original owner lives and is willing to kill and die to keep them. We would be a different nation if those who live here today had not forgotten that lesson of yesterday.
Suarez International USA, Inc.
One Source Tactical
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