In today’s digital era, we still need to remember some old-school safety tips. Storing ammo safely is one of them. It’s not just about keeping the ammo in good condition, but also about making sure people are safe around them.
When it comes to guns and their ammo, it might seem simple at first. On the other hand, ammo comes in many types and each has its own specialties. Let’s get down to business and talk about how to store ammo with all the safety precautions in check.
Ammo Types and Storage – Does it Matter?
Ammo comes in all shapes and sizes, from the commonly known 9mm to the specialized .50 BMG ones. It’s essential to know that each kind has its own special needs.
Take shotgun shells, for example. They have a unique plastic case, so you need to store them differently than metal-covered ammo. It’s all about knowing these differences to make sure your ammo are well taken care of.
How long does ammo last? Well, most ammo, if you store them right, can be good to use for many, many years. But it’s not just about time. Where and how you store them is super important.
Some ammo can go bad quickly if you don’t store them in the right conditions. On the flip side, if you’re careful and store them properly, they can stay in top shape for a really long time.
What Is the Perfect Storage Environment for Ammo?
When we dive into the intricacies of how to store ammo, it becomes clear that the environment in which these cartridges are stored plays an extremely vital role. A well-considered storage environment goes beyond finding a spot in the basement or a corner of the closet.
On a side note, click here to find out about the top 5 quick draw holster alternatives.
Moisture and its Damaging Effects
First, make sure your ammo stays dry. Moisture can be an ammunition’s worst enemy. When ammo comes into contact with water or humidity, there’s a risk of rust and corrosion. Beyond the obviously visible deterioration, rusty ammo can lead to various issues such as misfires.
A lot of people tend to believe that sealed ammunition is invulnerable to moisture, but that’s not entirely true. Tiny imperfections can allow humidity to seep in.
That’s why it’s beneficial to use storage solutions that are water-resistant and include moisture-absorbing packets. These desiccants actively pull moisture from the surrounding environment.
Temperature — Cool Location
The next crucial factor is temperature. It’s vital to make sure that your ammunition is stored in places without drastic temperature fluctuations. Ammo, especially its internal components, is quite sensitive to these changes. When exposed to excessive heat, the chemicals inside the bullet can change, affecting how fast it travels and the path it takes.
On the other hand, overly cold conditions might interfere with the bullet’s lubrication, making it less reliable. Just think: if you’re storing an exquisite bottle of wine, you wouldn’t store it in a place where the temperature constantly shifts.
Similarly, your ammo needs a spot where the temperature remains consistent, preferably away from direct sources of heat or sunlight.
Many people might think of cool places, such as basements, when considering ammo storage. They’re on the right track; basements are typically cooler and maintain a steadier temperature. However, they can also be more humid than other parts of a house, which could lead to moisture problems.
Conversely, attics are often drier but can experience vast temperature changes. So, what’s the solution? Ideally, you’re looking for a space that’s both cool and dry. Closets situated in the interior of a home, or rooms explicitly designed for storage, often strike this balance.
While it might not be the first thing that comes to mind, light, especially ultraviolet (UV) light, can degrade ammunition over prolonged periods. This type of damage is sneaky. You might not spot it immediately, but over time, the structural integrity of the ammunition can weaken.
So, think of your ammo as delicate artwork that is best kept out of direct light. Cabinets, safes, or specialized ammunition containers are all prime choices to ensure your ammo isn’t exposed to harmful light.
Finally, consider the air quality. Stale air, especially in places where chemicals or solvents are stored, can have adverse effects on ammunition. Providing proper ventilation helps maintain a continuous flow of fresh air, preventing the accumulation of any harmful compounds and creating a healthier environment for ammunition storage.
Easy Ammo Storage Tips
Ammo cans are durable and they’re popular for a reason. They are made of metal or plastic, and they’re designed to withstand the elements. These cans are favored for their tight seal, and they guard against dirt and moisture. While there are many storage methods, those prioritizing durability often turn to ammo cans.
Modern Storage Boxes or Ammo Containers
These are specialized boxes, and they’re designed for ammo. They have features that regular boxes lack, and they provide enhanced protection. These boxes merge old storage wisdom with new-age design, and they often include moisture-absorbing features. When you’re looking to blend tradition with innovation, these boxes come to the rescue.
Cardboard is straightforward, and it’s effective for sorting. It might seem too basic, but when combined with drying agents, it gets the job done. Cardboard boxes allow for easy categorization, and they’re lightweight yet protective. Though some might overlook them, many seasoned gun enthusiasts still value the simplicity of cardboard.
If you’re interested, we’ve also got an article on the best handgun range bags.
Proper Storage For Ammo
Safes provide paramount safety. They’re not just about environmental protection, either. They also deter unauthorized access. These safes, often heavy-duty and lockable, give peace of mind to users. For households where there’s a concern about safety, especially with children, a safe becomes an essential part of the storage solution.
Storing Ammo with Guns
This is a contentious topic, and opinions vary. Some advocate for storing them together for easy access, but many voice safety concerns. Separating ammo from guns provides an added layer of security, and it requires deliberate action to load in emergencies. For those weighing safety over quick access, the advice is clear: keep them apart.
Regular Maintenance Check
Maintenance is key, and routine checks are part of that. You might have the best storage, but without regular checks, problems can creep in. Periodic inspections highlight any issues, and they provide longevity. If the goal is to have ammunition that’s always ready and reliable, these checks can’t be skipped.
How Do I Store Ammo Safely?
Keep In Original Box
Ammo usually comes in a specially made box that’s perfect for it. Boxes like these are designed to protect ammo and keep them in top shape. It’s always a smart idea to keep your ammo in these boxes because they are designed with the ammo’s safety in mind.
However, life happens. Sometimes we lose or damage these boxes. If that happens, just transfer the ammo to a new box and make sure you write on it. Label it clearly so you know exactly what’s inside.
A super simple way to keep your ammo in great condition is by storing it in a clean spot. Over time, dust, dirt, and other tiny particles can mess up your ammo and wear it out. It’s just like how you wouldn’t store your favorite snacks in a dirty pantry.
Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to check your ammo storage. If you notice any signs like rust or anything that looks off, it’s better to spot it early.
Always Think of Safety
We all want our homes to be safe places. When you have ammo, it’s super important to think about where and how you’re storing it. If you have young kids running around or even curious visitors, you’d want to make sure they can’t easily find or access your ammo stash.
Using a sturdy safe or a locked box is a great choice. But remember, the lock is just one part; where you place it matters too. Instead of the usual spots, try to think of a hidden, safe place.
Store Ammunition and Firearms Separately
Most experts, and even everyday folks, agree that it’s a good idea to store your guns and ammo in different places. It’s a safety thing. Imagine if someone, especially a kid, found your gun. It’s way safer if they don’t find the ammo with it. Especially for guns that you’re not using daily or those that are more for collecting, always store them without any ammo loaded. And the ammo? Well, they should be in a completely different spot.
Imagine you’ve collected different types of ammo over the years. Without labels, it would be a mess! Just like how you label your leftovers before tossing them in the freezer, do the same with your ammo.
It helps you identify which is which, and also ensures you use up the older stuff first. Plus, it’s always easier when you know exactly what you’re grabbing without having to guess.
It’s one thing to know all about ammo safety yourself, but it’s equally important to make sure others in your home are clued in too. Have a chat with them. They don’t need to become ammo experts, but a basic understanding and awareness of where it’s stored can go a long way in ensuring everyone’s safety.
How Can I Prevent Moisture from Damaging Ammo?
When you’re thinking about storing ammo, one big issue that comes up is how to deal with moisture. It’s a problem that can damage your ammo. Luckily, we have a simple and effective tool to combat it: desiccants.
What Are Desiccants?
Ever opened a new box of shoes or a bag of jerky and found those little packets that have a warning, “Do Not Eat”? That’s a desiccant.
Its main job is to suck up and hold onto moisture, keeping things around it dry. When you place these desiccants alongside your stored ammunition, they act like little guards, preventing the ammo from getting wet and potentially damaged or rusted.
Why Clay Desiccants Stand Out
There are various kinds of desiccants out there, but clay desiccants have a special place among them. They come from natural earth materials, making them eco-friendly and safe for use. One of the most impressive things about them is their ability to absorb a lot of moisture, almost up to a quarter of their own weight.
So, if you live in a place where it’s often humid or where the moisture levels change a lot, having clay desiccants around your ammunition can be a game-changer. They’ll ensure your ammo stays in top-notch condition for a much longer time.
Bullet Storage: Common Issues and Solutions
Storing ammo might seem simple, but sometimes problems arise. Here’s a breakdown of some common challenges and ways to tackle them.
Corroded ammo is often the first signs of wear and tear. This ammo might appear different, with changes in their color or with a strange powdery substance on them.
So, what can you do? It’s a good idea to check your ammo from time to time, looking for these signs. If you notice any ammo looking a bit off or corroded, it’s best to separate them from the rest. A top tip to remember is to keep your ammo in a dry place, away from any moisture.
Just like with other metals, ammo can get rusty, especially if they’re left in damp or humid places for too long. Rust can make a bullet less reliable, much like how a bike with a rusty chain might not ride smoothly.
To fix this, you can also use small packets of desiccants to keep the area dry. If you ever find a bullet that’s started to rust, it’s usually better to set it aside and not use it.
Sometimes you might find ammo that look a little banged up but not entirely ruined. It’s tempting to use them, but it’s also crucial to stay safe. If you’re ever in doubt about whether a bullet is okay to use, it’s a smart move to ask someone who knows a lot about them.
This could be someone at a gun store, a local shooting range expert, or even someone from the company that made the ammo. They’ll give you guidance on whether it’s safe to use.
Storing a Large Bullet Collection
For folks who have a lot of ammo, organizing and storing them can be a task. The main goals are to keep the ammo in good shape and ensure they’re easy to find when needed. One handy approach is to use older ammo first, so they don’t sit around and age too much.
Also, pay attention to where you store them. Make sure the area has a consistent temperature and stays dry. Lastly, always keep your ammo in a secure place. It’s not just about them being in top condition, but also about making sure only the right people can access them.
Should You Store Ammo in the Basement?
A lot of people think of the basement when they need a storage spot in their homes. But is the basement really the best place for ammunition?
Basements usually stay cooler than other parts of a house, which sounds great for ammo storage. But there’s a catch. Basements can also be pretty damp and humid, more than anywhere else in your home.
This extra moisture can be a problem because it makes things like rust and corrosion more likely.
Making the Basement Work for Bullet Storage
If you’re set on using the basement, there are some steps you can take to make it safer for your ammo. One big thing is to make sure the basement has good airflow. This can be done by using fans or making sure windows are open when the weather’s nice.
Dehumidifiers are another good idea because they pull moisture out of the air. When you’re finding a spot for your ammo, keep it off the ground. It’s also good to avoid letting it touch concrete walls.
Both of these steps help reduce the chance your ammo will get wet. As always, keep an eye on your ammo to check for any signs they’re getting damaged.
Considering Regional Rules for Storing Ammo
Different places have their own set of rules for storing ammo. It’s more than just keeping your ammo safe. It’s also about following local guidelines.
Colorado Handgun Safety
Let’s look at Colorado as an example. In recent times, Colorado has made some changes to its rules, especially about handguns. The state really wants people to store guns in a safe way.
This means using things like lockable storage boxes and special safety devices. Even though these rules talk a lot about guns, the same ideas can be applied to ammo. Safe storage is the key, but you should still be able to get to your ammo if you need them.
Always checking local rules makes sure you’re doing things right and keeps your ammo in top shape.
When you contemplate how to store ammo, you might come to realize it’s like playing a game where the rules keep changing a bit. There are two main things to always remember.
First, be careful. Second, keep up with the latest tips. Whether you’re someone who shoots just for fun or you’re super into collecting ammo, how you store them really matters.
Always be on the lookout for new ways to store and keep your ammo safe!