It’s always good to have an ample supply of ammunition on hand, if for no other reason than to be stocked should your desired caliber become unavailable for purchase.
Shooters may also want to work up their own loads or reload from spent brass, and will need a good storage method.
Ammo cans help protect your precious ammunition from moisture and dirt, and will keep it fresh for longer.
Let’s go over five of the best ammo cans worthy of your consideration:
1. MTM 4-Can Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Cans
For shooters wanting to store a large amount of ammunition or several different calibers, the MTM Ammo Crate provides a solid foundation.
This a complete unit with four removable .30-caliber ammo cans that you can fill with different calibers or loads.
This system also allows you to remove one can for a trip to the range, but keep all of your ammunition in one concise location.
Further, it features heavy-duty latches and rubber o-rings for safe and secure storage.
2. Pelican V250 Vault
The Pelican V250 Vault is constructed of impact-resistant polymer and is produced by a company known for the extreme durability of their products.
It is waterproof and features two stainless steel lock reinforcements for secure transportation.
Additionally, the V250 utilizes one push-button latch that is both secure and easy to open.
Pelican ammo cans are amazing, especially if you are going to be moving them around often.
3. Nanuk 905
The Nanuk 905 Ammo Hard Case offers extreme durability and portability.
It is completely waterproof, dustproof and rustproof, so you can be sure your cargo is safe and sound.
Additionally, it features their PowerClaw latching system, that provides a secure hold in all conditions.
The Nanuk 905 is airline approved, Mil-Spec certified and is a good size to take with you anywhere.
4. Plano Field Box
The Plano Field Box is one of the simpler options and is mainly meant to store an accumulation of ammunition boxes from the store.
This is good for convenient transportation to and from the range and general storage.
This is not nearly as robust as any of the more expensive options on this list, but it is perfectly adequate for weekend range trips and storing a small amount of ammunition.
5. Monarch .30-Caliber Ammo Can
The Monarch .30-Caliber Ammo Can is another great option for ammunition storage.
It features cold-rolled steel construction with a collapsible handle for easy storage and transportation.
The hinged lid with cam latch provides secure closure and mimics the ammo cans used by the military.
This is a great, inexpensive option for ammunition storage, and the cans easily stack, so you can add to your stockpile as you go.
Honorable Mention: Mil-Spec .50-Caliber Ammo Cans
Military .50-caliber ammo cans have served shooters well for years for good reason.
They are constructed of durable steel and utilize a lever-locking lid.
They offer a lot of storage space and will last a lifetime, however, they are heavy and hard to move when filled with ammunition.
These ammo cans are available in a number of conditions from light use to trashed, but as long as there is not too much rust and the rubber o-ring is in good condition or replaced, they should serve you well.
Conclusion: Best Ammo Cans
Most of us understand the importance of developing an ammunition stockpile, but it is important to keep your ammo safe and in good condition.
With any of the ammo cans on this list, you can be sure that your precious cargo will be ready for when you need it the most.
How do you store your ammunition? Let us know in the comments section below!
I started with plastic ammo cans, the MTM ones that included the 100 round boxes. Then, as my reloading increased, I began to consider safety in a fire. I would hate for a first responder to be injured if my ammo ignited in a fire. The military uses steel for a reason. It will do a better job of containing the fire of exploding rounds.
As for weight, I have found that bulk packed loose pistol ammo weighs around 35 pounds in a 30 cal can regardless of caliber. 1,250 rounds of 9 mm, 1,000 rounds of 40, or 750 rounds of 45 all fit and weigh about the same.
I put rifle ammo in commercial boxes in 50 cal cans and they weigh less than pistol in the 30 cal cans.
If you cannot carry a 35 pound can of ammo, you probably cannot operate your rifle or pistol to any affect. That sucks to say, but the truth sometimes hurts.
In summary, the weight penalty of a steel government ammo can, compared to the weight of its contents, is not a factor worthwhile of debate. The safety factor of steel far outweighs the extra weight. I have never seen a steel can shatter when dropped on a frigid day either.
Are metal ammo boxes better than plastic in the event of a house fire?
As the ammo “cooks-off” due to the heat, would the metal ammo box contain the blast?
I guess I am old purest. After all who has the most experience storing and transporting ammo. Stackable and weather proof and all but indestructible. For transporting and storing large amounts in cans I use wooden 80mm mortar crates. Putting an axel through one lower end with wheels from a local home improvement store and a rope handle on each end. Sounds like a lot but you can take a number of calibers to the range in a pull-along cart.
Over the past couple years before the ammo debacle when shops were being forced out of business here in The People’s Republic of Illinois I went from shop to shop buying what I could afford and put it in storage. I have made more than my money back…. just DUMB luck.
But I have very hungry ammo-eating machines that need to be fed… then reloading becomes the task.
I’m sure there will be some kickback on this but I buy mine at Harbor Freight. They are models that are metal and also durable polypropylene. Both are durable, come in 5 sizes, they lock securely and contain an O-ring to keep out moisture. They stack easily and, best of all, the most expensive is $16 and the smallest is only $8! To save weight, I use the poly models!
I’ve never used any of the commercial ammo cans but have used military .30 and .50 for decades. They are very sturdy and highly serviceable (they got their cargo from the manufacturer, through the depot and to the front lines with no problems, right?). Over the years I’ve acquired one or two here or there from time to time as my need arose. I’ve never considered the commercial plastic versions except when milspec wasn’t available…and always passed on the price.
The drawbacks are minor. Yeah, they are a little heavy, but once you fill them to the brim with ammo they’re going to be anyway. A few have come a bit dinged up, but it’s more cosmetic than anything. The only thing I can see a benefit in the plastic commercial versions is if you needed to cache ammo or gear in an outdoors or wet environment. But a painted steel ammo can holds up fine there for a while too, it’s what they were designed for after all and the basic design has endured for coming close to a century now.