What is the thing to store ammo in?

When it comes to safely and properly storing ammunition, the most important thing is to have the right container. Having the proper ammo storage is essential for protecting the ammunition from damage, corrosion, and accidental detonation. For firearms enthusiasts, sport shooters, hunters, and preppers alike, selecting the ideal ammo cans or boxes to hold your cartridges and shells is a crucial decision.

Quick Overview

– Ammo cans and ammo boxes are specifically designed to securely hold ammunition. They are typically made from durable materials like metal or sturdy plastics.
– Key factors for ammo storage include protecting cartridges from moisture, preventing discharge/explosion, portability, and organized storage.
– Metal ammo cans provide the most secure and protective storage, while plastic ammunition boxes are more affordable and lighter weight.
– Popular metal ammo can options are .50 cal and .30 cal cans, which hold 400-1000 rounds depending on caliber. Plastic ammo boxes come in various sizes.
– Ammo cans have rubber gaskets for a tight seal and are recommended for long term ammo storage. Ammo boxes are good for organization and transport.

Ammo Can Materials

Ammo cans are cylindrical containers made out of metal or plastic and designed specifically for safely housing ammunition. The most popular materials used are:

Steel – Steel ammo cans are known for their durability and ability to protect ammunition from external elements for long periods of time. Steel cans are waterproof and airtight when sealed correctly. Steel provides the highest level of safety and security for ammunition storage.

Aluminum – Aluminum ammo cans are lighter weight than their steel counterparts. They provide good impact resistance and also protect ammunition from moisture, oils, and solvents. Aluminum cans are rustproof as well which gives them an advantage over steel cans in certain environments.

Polyethylene Plastic – Plastic ammo cans provide many of the benefits of metal cans – waterproofing, rustproofing, airtight seal when closed properly. Plastic ammo containers are significantly lighter in weight than metal and are generally the most affordable option. The downside is they are easier to damage than steel or aluminum.

Ammo Can Sizes

Some of the most common sizes for ammunition cans are:

.50 Caliber Cans – .50 cal ammo cans measure approximately 12 inches tall by 5 inches wide. They typically hold 400-500 rounds of standard handgun ammo like 9mm. Or 200-300 rounds of larger rifle cartridges. The .50 caliber can is a versatile mid-sized option.

.30 Caliber Cans – For a more compact and portable ammunition can, the .30 caliber size is a good choice. These cans measure around 7 inches tall by 6 inches wide. They fit 150-300 rounds depending on the caliber and cartridge size. Great for transporting ammo to the range or for short term storage needs.

20mm Cans – At approximately 15 inches tall and 7 inches wide, 20mm ammunition cans offer sizable storage. 20mm cans can house 600-1000+ rounds depending on how the ammunition is stacked and organized inside the can. They are a popular choice for bulk long term ammo storage.

5.56 and 7.62 Cans – For common military calibers like 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm, ammo cans sized specifically for these cartridges are available. They provide efficient storage for several hundred rounds. Include gaskets for a waterproof seal.

Plastic Ammo Box Options

In addition to metal ammo cans, plastic ammunition boxes provide another storage solution:

Protector Cases – This style of plastic ammo box features two halves that latch together on the sides. They come with thick foam inserts that can be customized to fit specific cartridges. Excellent for keeping rounds organized and separated during transport.

Clear Storage Boxes – Transparent plastic ammo boxes enable you to easily see contents at a glance. Foam blocks inside allow customization of the ammunition compartments. Helpful for inventory management and preventing jumbling of different cartridges.

Waterproof Dry Boxes – Meant for outdoor activities, this type of plastic ammo case has a gasketed seal and latching lid to create a watertight and airtight environment inside the box. Keeps contents safe from water, dust and debris.

Modular Storage Boxes – These plastic ammunition boxes feature dividers so cartridges can be arranged into organized rows and columns. Modular dividers allow the box interior to be reconfigured as needed. Helpful for sorting and compartmentalizing different kinds of ammo.

Key Considerations When Selecting an Ammo Can

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing an ammunition can or box:

Security – The container’s ability to be sealed tightly to prevent moisture and debris from entering is important. Ammo cans with rubber gaskets provide the best waterproofing and airtight protection.

Durability – Long term ammo storage requires a sturdy container constructed from metal, high density polymer, or other impact resistant materials. Durability prevents damage over time.

Stackable Design – Many ammo cans are shaped to allow stacking 2 or 3 cans atop one another. This conserves storage space when housing bulk ammunition quantities.

Portability – If you plan to frequently transport your ammo, lighter weight plastic boxes may be preferred over heavy steel cans. Recessed handles and latches make carrying ammo easier.

Appropriate Size – Select an ammunition container with appropriate interior volume to hold the quantity of cartridges you plan to store. Allow room for future ammo additions.

Benefits of Proper Ammo Storage

Storing ammunition in a secured container designed specifically for that purpose provides a number of benefits:

Prevents Damage to Cartridges – Moisture is the enemy of ammunition. Ammo cans protect cartridges from exposure to water, humidity, and condensation which could cause corrosion and potential misfires.

Avoids Accidental Discharge – Airtight, impact resistant cases prevent ammunition from being exposed to elements that could cause unexpected firing. Reduces risk of injury or damage.

Easy to Organize – Ammo boxes with customizable foam inserts or dividers allow bullets to be neatly arranged for inventory management. Quickly locate specific rounds needed.

Enables Long Term Storage – Ammunition properly packaged in a sealed container can remain inert and stable for decades when stored in a cool, dry location. Allows for long term supply maintenance.

Simplifies Transport – Rugged ammo cans with handles allow bulk ammunition to be easily moved to/from the range, hunting lands, or other locations as needed. Simplifies transport logistics.

Recommendations for Successful Ammo Storage

Here are some best practices to follow when using ammo cans and boxes for storing your ammunition supply:

– Inspect containers for cracks, damaged gaskets, or other defects that could compromise the protective seal. Select high quality ammo cans from reputable brands.

– Clean and dry ammunition thoroughly before storage. Remove dirt, oil, grease or solvents which could cause deterioration.

– Pack ammunition tightly in the box or can to prevent shifting and jumbling during transport. But avoid tight packing that could crush cartridges.

– For metal ammo cans, apply a thin coat of anti-rust lubricant to the interior surface. Even stainless steel cans can corrode over time without lubrication.

– Label each container clearly with the contents, quantity, and packing date. Use a marker friendly to the case material that won’t rub off or fade.

– Avoid storing ammunition in areas prone to high heat, humidity or rapid temperature swings. The ideal environment is cool and dry.

– Rotate stock periodically – use up older ammunition for practice shooting and replace it with fresh cartridges. FIFO (first-in, first-out) rotation prevents aging.

Long Term Ammo Storage Tips

For maintaining a reserve ammunition supply over an extended time period, here are some additional storage recommendations:

– Utilize ammo cans with a rubber gasket for the best waterproof and airtight seal. The gasket must create a complete interior seal when closed.

– Pack ammunition in air tight polymer baggies before placing in the can. This provides added moisture protection. Oxygen absorbers can be added as well.

– Store ammo cans off concrete floors – use wooden shelves or pallets. This prevents moisture wicking from the concrete into the can.

– Inspect seals and lubricate can interiors every 2-3 years. Freshen grease or oil in the can if it appears dried out. Check for signs of corrosion.

– For loaded magazines, use ammo boxes with foam cutouts that isolate each magazine from contacting another. Unloaded magazines can be stored in ammo cans.

– Maintain storage temperatures between 55-70°F with humidity around 30-40%. This will minimize corrosion issues and ammunition deterioration.

Purchasing High Quality Ammo Cans

For getting started with reliable ammo cans to store your bulk ammunition, here are some recommended options:

Metal Ammo Cans
– MTM Ammo Cans – Well constructed, USA made metal cans. Known for durability.
– Plano Ammo Cans – Rugged design made to military specifications. Waterproof and chemical resistant.
– Ammo-Can.com – Specializes in surplus .50 cal and .30 cal ammo cans. Good prices.

Plastic Storage
– Flambeau Outdoors – Respected for tough and customizable plastic ammo boxes.
– Plano Molding – Offers a full range of tactical storage boxes and cases.
– MTM Case-Gard – Top choice for dry boxes, modular ammo crates, and protective cases.

Buy Local
– Sporting goods stores often carry ammo cans and boxes in stock. Support local businesses when possible.
– Surplus and military stores – can find quality metal .50 cal or .30 cal ammo cans.

Key Takeaways

– Ammo cans and boxes are specifically engineered to safely and securely store ammunition for the long term.
– Metal cans provide maximum protection while plastic boxes are preferred when light weight and affordability are priorities.
– Match the ammunition quantity to an appropriately sized container – allow room for expansion.
– Follow best practices like cleaning ammunition, proper packing method, climate control, and rotational inspection.
– Invest in high quality ammo storage solutions from reputable brands for optimal results.


Having the proper storage containers for your ammunition supply is a vital part of being a responsible and prepared gun owner. Ammo cans and boxes are designed explicitly for this purpose and provide Organization durable, protective housing for cartridges and shells. By selecting the right size container for your needs and adhering to recommended storage practices, you can keep ammunition in optimal condition and ready for use when needed. High quality ammunition storage solutions are an item every firearm enthusiast should invest in.

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