There is a reason most military surplus ammunition comes in tin cans with plenty of sealant. When the ammunition must be supplied to troops in the Arctic or a rainforest, it must be impervious to extremes of climate.
Conversely, the commercial ammunition we all bet our lives on daily comes in paper, cardboard and foam boxes. And that is OK, most of the time. The only time I have seen a problem is when it was stored in a damp basement or an unkempt storage room. Just the same, some like to keep a stash for emergencies. SHTF, or just in case, is the motto; we want clean, dry, reliable ammunition in a wet, dirty environment.
Buying ammo cans is one way to address the situation, and they are not as inexpensive as they once were. Then you must decide what to put in the can. As for myself, a box or two of rifle ammunition and a few shotgun shells is a good truckload.
Fiocchi has developed a special “Canned Heat” storage system. The cans resemble popular packaging for chips and nuts yet are more robust. The cans are sealed with tight-fitting plastic caps similar to reusable plastic container lids.
To open a can and use the ammunition, there are three steps:
- Remove the plastic cap. If you do not use the entire ammunition supply, you can replace the cap.
- Remove the foil strip by using the pull tab. (The foil seal cannot be reused.)
- Remove the cardboard cover between the ammunition and the foil to access the ammunition.
This is a neat trick for carrying 50 rounds of .223 ammunition or 10 rounds of 12-gauge. According to Fiocchi, the convenience and protection from canned ammo or handy reusable plastic containers are features Fiocchi is proud to provide to its shooting customers.
Cans and plastic containers protect the ammo from the elements, including dust, dirt, moisture and humidity. Easy to carry and store, packaging options from Fiocchi provide more convenience and peace of mind when it comes to long-term storage and protection of your ammo, whether it is being stored or transported from your home to a range or field.
Fiocchi Canned Heat ammo is packed in a sealed can with desiccant to protect it from moisture. The can also features a re-closeable plastic lid so you can open it and shoot some, or all, of the ammo and reclose it using the plastic lid, which is much more secure and durable than a cardboard box.
Not only is Fiocchi Canned Heat useful for storing and protecting ammo in your vehicle or “go-bag” you also may reuse the can for small parts, fired brass or trash at the range, campsite, home and shop.
Sounds good to me and let’s take a hard look at the ammunition itself, because that is the real story. Fiocchi offers two loads in the .223 line; at least, that is what I have on hand. Will there be more to come?
The .223 Line
The 55-grain FMJ load breaks 3200 fps from most rifles, while the heavier 62-grain FMJ boat-tail loading breaks at about 3000 fps. Those are the shooter-grade loads offered at a fair price. Intended for recreational and target shooting, they are standard loads for the .223 Remington rifle. My personal AR-15 rifles and a single Ruger Mini-14 have given excellent function. The powder burn is clean and accuracy is good to outstanding.
I should mention the loads should not be compared to generic ball or surplus ammunition as far as accuracy goes. Fiocchi has an excellent reputation for accuracy and those loads carry on in that regard. Either exhibits 100-yard accuracy of 1 MOA in the proper rifle. I achieved a little better than 1 MOA with an AR-15 rifle and the Nikon M223 scope when testing the 62-grain load.
Now, let’s look at a few of the other Fiocchi .223-caliber offerings. I have tested several extensively and, while I have my favorites, all performed well. I have little practical application for the 40-grain V Max loading, yet a well-designed bullet screeching along at 3650 fps has much to recommend against varmints. Penetration is low and pests are vaporized on demand.
The 50-grain polymer-tip V Max BT, at 3300 fps, has much to recommend for longer range use. The standard 55-grain PSP (pointed soft point) loading may seem generic, and it is offered in affordable 50-round boxes. That is the load I have found most useful. Accurate at long range, reliable and a great all-around loading, it is the one I stock up on for personal use.
The 69-grain Sierra Match King load is wonderfully accurate. When using a long-barrel rifle, or in those few instances when I find a bolt-action .223 in my hands, that loading has proven tremendously accurate. It is a load I keep on hand to demonstrate the best accuracy of a .223 rifle.
It is true that the 55-grain PSP does everything I need to do, although the 69-grain loading is demonstrably more accurate. I simply have to work to demonstrate that accuracy. The 77-grain loading, using the Sierra Match King HPBT, is respectable. By repute, that bullet is among the most accurate and effective of all .223 loadings. Frankly, I became immersed in testing the 69-grain load, which seems more practical for my applications, and have not tested the Fiocchi 77-grain as thoroughly.
A recent range session with a Daniel Defense rifle indicated the load is at least as accurate as the 69-grain offering. I think I would purchase the one on special if looking for absolute accuracy.
I keep two types of Fiocchi buckshot on hand. The reduced-recoil 12-gauge is excellent for home defense and my pump-action shotguns. However, a self-loader demands full-power buckshot.
The 12-gauge full-power load functions in the Raptor and Mossberg 930 as well. The 12-gauge full-power load feels about like a reduced-power load in the Mossberg 930 because of the self-loading action. I like those loads a great deal and use them with confidence. The reduced-recoil load is plenty strong at 1150 fps. The full-power load, at 1325 fps, is well suited for game taking at longer ranges. Each burns clean.
When you are looking toward long-term storage or simply want to find a handy and rugged means of storing ammunition, the Fiocchi Canned Heat line is an excellent choice. The quality is service grade, and the packaging excellent.
How do you store your ammo? Ever found it unusable because it wasn’t stored properly? Plan on getting the Fiocchi Canned Heat storage option? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.
Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooters Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.
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