Letter Re: Advice on Long Term Ammunition Storage Techniques

Could you address storing ammo? Regarding ammo cans, vacuum sealing, and what that actually accomplishes? Also would 02 absorbers or silica gel be in any way useful? I’m currently using vacuum pack on my surplus after I inspect them and remove any surface dirt/corrosion,then into ammo cans for storage. I also like the idea of vacuum packing small amounts, any thoughts on that? Thanks, – SP

JWR Replies: Be sure to buy military ammo cans with rust-free interiors and seals that are still soft and free of any cracks. This will provide an essentially air tight seal. Adding a 1 to 4 ounce bag of silica gel desiccant is definitely worthwhile, to remove any moisture from inside the can.

As I have mentioned twice before in the blog, DO NOT vacuum seal loaded ammo. Doing so can unseat bullets! A very light vacuum might be acceptable, but even a home vacuum packing machine such as a Tilia FoodSaver, can achieve enough of a vacuum to unseat bullets that are not crimped into cartridge necks.

Oxygen absorbing packets are not the best choice for ammunition storage. (These are designed to kill insect larvae in storage foods.) If you are worried about corrosion, it is much more practical and cost effective to use silica gel desiccant packets.