Camping & Survival

Throwback Thursday: Keeping Your Powder Dry—How to Store Ammunition Using a FoodSaver

Picture shows rifle rounds vacuum-sealed in a clear plastic bag

Ammunition is way less susceptible to “going bad” than your long-term food supplies. However, improper storage of ammo can cause corrosion. Moisture and heat can cause the gunpowder and primer to deteriorate, in turn affecting the round’s reliability, function and performance. It can even cause the round to become unsafe to fire. If stored properly, ammunition can last indefinitely and certainly for decades. Due to rising costs, dwindling availability or prepping for SHTF, caching ammo now can benefit you later in saving costs at the range, protecting your family and for bartering. Ammunition is a hot commodity now. In a dire survival situation, it is safe to bet that ammunition will be as desirable as food, if not more so.

Picture shows the front of a silver and black FoodSaver vacuum sealer machine.
Using a FoodSaver, I securely store ammo long term.
Using a FoodSaver machine, I found a way to not only safely and securely store ammo long-term, but it has made my self-defense and bartering preps more organized. The FoodSaver and other similar products are vacuum sealers designed to store food. They remove all the air from a plastic storage bag and then seal the bag so no more air can get it in. The vacuum seal rids the bags of all oxygen, so whatever you choose to put in the bag is free from moisture and corrosion. Storing food in these bags allows meats to stay fresher longer in the freezer and in the refrigerator.

I used the FoodSaver model V3880 bag sealer and standard FoodSaver brand bags. However, other, more heavy-duty bags are available from other vacuum sealer brands and for the FoodSaver GameSaver. I suggest the heavy-duty multiply or the LiquidBlock heat-sealer barrier bags. The standard bags and rolls will work just fine, but if you want an extra level of protection, buy the bags and rolls rated for freezer storage.

I packaged individual loose rounds, as well as ammo stored in its original boxes. The boxes allowed for a more airtight seal, while packing loose rounds allows me to store more rounds per storage container. I packed my vacuum-sealed ammo packages in military surplus ammo cans, but plastic ammo cans, burial tubes and PVC pipe work just as well. Anything with a gasket seal to prevent water and moisture from getting into your storage container will work. For extra peace of mind, throw a desiccant pack into your storage container. It is not necessary to put one in the vacuum bag. By doing this, I have created a vapor barrier and can confidently store my SHTF ammo anywhere. I can even bury it!

Picture shows rifle rounds vacuum sealed in clear plastic
If stored properly, ammunition can last indefinitely— certainly for decades as a minimum.

10 Benefits of Using This Method

  1. Since the FoodSaver bags are clear, you can clearly see what type of ammo is in the bag.
  2. The bags are easily labeled with a Sharpie-type pen. My bags included a place to write the contents and date on the bag.
  3. You can create as big or small of a bag as you want. I packed as little as six rounds in one bag.
  4. Because you can make your own bag sizes, you can adapt how you seal your ammo to a variety of storage containers.
  5. It is more organized.
  6. Ammo is protected.
  7. You can bury ammo safely.
  8. It is easier to store in a variety of containers that meet your storage limitations.
  9. Ammo remains stable in a variety of temperatures and environments.
  10. You can grab what you need faster than storing loose rounds.

Tips

It may take some experimenting with bag sizes to get the proper seal. One good thing about the plastic FoodSaver rolls is once sealed they may be cut and used again. If you mess up on your first few bags, you can cut them to different sizes to reuse them. You must have at least two inches of extra plastic so the machine can vacuum and seal properly. I laid out my ammo packs first and measured precisely what size of bag I would need, as well as adding the extra two to four inches for the seal. Be careful cutting the bag too short. Pointy rifle bullets can and will pierce the bag.

How do you store your ammo? Share your tips with others in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (79)

  1. One can seal many prep items, including those items one will need when no electricity will be available and for barter.
    Such as; small hand crank–solar- battery radios, solar trickle charger.
    e,tra filters for water purifiers and even purifiers, battery charger for tripped down yard solar lights, small hand flour mill and meat grinder blades, plastic dinner tools, rifle cleaning and repair supplies.
    Underwear, socks, medical supplies ( including sterile surgical tools), feline sanitary needs,
    An Inexpensive DC to A.C. inverter.
    Buy own bulk grains, and seal into proper serving size as some bulk food containers are large enough once opened to feed a platoon at one setting.
    odd size light and sight battery charger.
    At range I have seen many a scoped AR with no backup sights, zeal a less e,pensive scope or Red Dot and mounts, I once saw a man slip and break a 1500-2000 $ top line scope, when SHTF your warranty sucks.
    Lastly, what about money , gold, silver coins, pazsports, original or copies of birth certificates, military records, SS cards, whhy?
    Do you look like blue eyed white skinned US citizen, cuz if you are of pigmented skin or have certain distinct racial facial structures there will be many a fool out there, including US security, police and military that will not trust your patriotism.

  2. Ok, I will be the one to throw this out there. There at those who claim that the air trapped between the gun powder particles in the casing can try to escape when ammunition is stored in vacuum sealed bags, and cause the primers to back out. Now don’t go off on me. I’m not one of those, but I do not know the answer either. I would like a professional opinion on this. Not the guessing of a group of know it alls. So show us your credentials.

  3. I’ve had a Foodsaver for years and have used it on almost every thing you can think of! I basically live off of deer meat and it’s great for that! But I can not believe I never thought about using it on Ammo, and now I have even more sealing to look forward too! Thanks for the Super Tip Shooter’s Log!! Be great for storing pistols in also!!

  4. I like the idea of using the FoodSaver to vacuum seal ammo. I’d like to make one suggestion to insure that the contents are easily identified. Enclose a label written in heavy black letters INSIDE the bag. Your label is then impervious to the effects of moisture, aging, etc.that can make external labeling become difficult to read.

  5. Sounds like a good idea as a supplement to what I currently use which is Grade 1 and/or new/unused 7.62/30cal ammo cans. Started using them to protect electronic tools/meters from high humidity and corrosion while carrying them in a small pickup tool box.. Now I use them for storage of non carried or unused handguns, mags and all ammo.They are waterproof, can be easily opened and closed and with the moisture absorbing packets, and the rubber seals built into the lids, the ammo stays dry and is easily transportable.

  6. I resisted so long before finally succumbing to the idea of vacuum sealing, but now I can’t imagine why it took me so long. I love the machine & after reviewing several lesser machines thru some of my friends, I feel this one is among the very best as well as well worth the expense.

  7. One thing people keep missing about the storage bags is the guns themselves the storage bags is super for storing my guns which I don’t plan to use that often. I put 5 away in the back of my shed 7-8 years ago and they look like the day I put them back there. I ran out of safe space at the time and nothing bothers them. I did have one lose seal which I redid a few years ago but the rest are fine. PS they really look cool sealed and the plastic shrinked around them!

  8. I would love to have a Food Saver because we buy our food in bulk and love to go to pick-your-own farms, and a sealer would ensure that none of the food went to waste or spoiled
    thanks

    1. @ Rebecca.

      I Read your comment. Man Venture Outpost (manventureoutpost. com), has a Commercial-Grade Vacuum Sealer. Called the Weston Professional Advantage Vacuum Sealer, Model: 65-0501-W. It’s a 11-inch wide by 23-foot Continuous Feed System for $140.53 less Shipping and Handling.

  9. Never tried that. I used to be a Ship builder /welder @ a ship yard where I live. I welded Heavy steel bulkhead/s compartment deviders with gas and rod. Was apprentice first, then certified welder later. I use blueing or paint to line out a pattern on lite gage steel and aluminum for pattern cutting with a panel cutter/sheet metal saw on my home projects. Before was a ling time ago–now just a hobby welder now–you no–, hitch mounted carry racks, spare tire carriers, brush guards, light bars, etc., etc.. Dont have that kind of time for Big Stuff any more + too tireing on a regular basis.

  10. As children, myself and my friends were professional trash diggers with our newspaper bags and bicycles on trash day. We lived near the old Rams training camp in long beach, Ca. @ cal state l. b. The players lived there and it was a ritzy area in those days. We would hit there first on trash day, then, migrate to our area later on. Loved those apt. construction sites. Lead, 2 x4’s scrap, and we use to punch the round slugs out of the electrical boxes to use as coins when we would play poker. Found money wrapped in newapapers, typewriters, tools, car parts, and polaroid fotos (Enough Said). Those were the fun days.Young and not a care in the world. Couldn’t wait to get older; have a car, and a girl friend. Ah, Alas “Be careful what you wish for–You might get it”.

  11. Saw one–handled one when I bought my Mac 10 years ago @ a gun show. They were, I believe , issued to State prisons and prison guards in the days. I wanted it , but passed on it. it appeared to be in excellent condition as i remember it back then, Oh, well, my loss.

  12. I have an aluminum trunk/foot locker with heavy rubber seal, and cam lock butterfly latches that you screw tight with fingers or pliers. whole lit comes off for easy access. It was for missle components–found it @ a Junk yard years ago before recyclying. I welded a hand cart on to it for easy moving and added some Big Momma pad locks to it also. Saw one like just the other day for sale. Jeeze– $700.00 What a find was the one I got for super cheap $25.00.

  13. Wife has Beanie babies sealed in vacuum bags for a long time. Perfect condition still after brown hair turns Grey. They are a Useless commodity now. Buy guns and watch the price go up, and up, And UP!.

  14. Paint cans are notorius for rusting through in a short period of time; especially if outdoors?. Be sure stuff is in a plastic bag AND Can Liner. Dry sand or sawdust absorbes a lot of moisture before it releases it into the area.

  15. Former welder in young years, hobby welder now. have some of– on hand already for sheilded arc + Acetelene gases and the welders arc, gas, and panel welder for cars.

    1. @ Martin Pierce.

      I don’t know if this apply in this case or not. Ignite the raw Acetelene gas and bath the exposed Aluminium surface until a black sooty film/residue is left behind. Then adjust the Oxygen flow until you have a nice blue cutting flame. Apply blue flame over sooty surface unit the black residue is burnt off. This is an indicator, that will tell you that the Aluminium surface, is the proper temperature to be wielded or cut.

  16. plastire of paris, zip lock bag. fill sawed off bleach bottle, fill half way, add bag, pour rest over, let cure, leave in bottle with handle to carry. To extricate, cut away bottle, drop plaster in boiling water, when desolved pull out bag and open. item inside is clean and dry. lot cheaper than Ballistic jell and get at any art store.

  17. @ For those of you that want to go the extra mile, as far a protection is concerned. Pour a mixture of BALLISTIC GELATIN over your valuables to form an completely Airtight Seal over your Valuables. The only thing that can BREECH the airtight seal, other than Cutting Them Out, is Heat. Heat exceeding 140F, that is. Or, Hot Water with temperatures above 140F will dissolve the Ballistic Gelatin. As a side note, Ballistic Gelatin can be used a ready made available Fire Starter. So even after you Cutting Out, your Valuables keep the Ballistic Gelatin around, as a handy Fire Starter.

  18. @ Secundis

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I don’t see how moisture could be drawn into the sealed bag from the ground. Anyway, that’s why I use Nitrogen.

    1. @ Steve.

      I’m not a chemist, but over long periods of time, say 10 to 20-years, the Hydrogen, Oxygen mix in the water vapor, could interact with the Nitrogen gas in the bag. And form Nitrogen Oxide, which is highly explosive, when touched off with a Static Electricity Spark. You might want to weight your options like substituting Argon Gas for Nitrogen Gas. It might be nothing, or it might be a Major Something. I would talk to somebody who knows about gases and what happens to them over a length of time. GOOD LUCK!!!

    2. @ Secundus

      Nitrogen gas is one of the most stable gasses there is. It is very difficult for it to combine with any other element, especially at room temp.It cannot fixate with oxygen unless there is some type of large spark or flame, such as lightening. I think the chance of that is small enough, and the volume of gas we’re talking about is small enough, that I’m willing to risk it. Besides, I vacuum the container before I introduce the N. The amount of O would be very small. I use N because it is very convenient for me. I have a ready source. Carbon Dioxide or Argon are 2 other gases that could be used. Even Carbon Monoxide could be used. I do appreciate your concern.

  19. I use the ones I get for my frozen food storage. 11″ wide which would make gallon bags. I also found some small little tabs to prevent rust they are for like tool boxes it helps prevent moisture or oxygen from starting rust if I find the name will post but I put one in each bag seems to work great.

    1. @ John.

      Depending how warm the ground is, during various parts of the day. The vacuum sealed poly bags, can act like a Solar Still. And actually draw moisture from the ground into the vacuum sealed poly bags. That’s, why you need a Desiccant in the bag to absorb the moisture. Also, over long periods of time, the Oxygen and Hydrogen will separate. And the Oxygen can interact with the Metals in the Gun, Ammunition, Whatever else metallic in the bar, rendering them useless.

  20. New 1 gallon metal paint cans, about $6 each. They seal up nice and stack pretty good also, and the lids seal real good. I poke a small hole in them, use a vacuum pump to suck all the air out, then place a piece of tape over the hole. Then, I have a tank of nitrogen that I fill the cans with. (remove the tape and place the nitrogen hose over the hole and let it fill up. ) Then seal the hole again by any means you feel necessary. A piece of duct tape works pretty good,. If you want a better seal try silicon. If you’re anal like me, solder the thing shut. Since there’s no vacuum you don’t really have to worry about getting a small leak and sucking air or what have you into the can. Throw in a desiccant pack for good measure.

  21. OK but you missed the best use for the storage bags on a roll. Your guns!!! yes I have done it with guns I don’t use very often. Lay the gun down make the bag longer seal one end, slide it in vacuum and seal it. Looks super to see your gun vacuum sealed, and it is safe for years. I check them once a year in case a seal breaks and some do but most last.

  22. I use Ziplock freezer bags and USGI ammo cans. The freezer bags come in different sizes. Also, you can use sandwich bags for small amounts of ammunition and then put these into the larger bags, then into the ammo cans.
    This method has worked well for several years now.

  23. I would also remind folks, ammunition and bombs from WW1 were openly buried in Europe 100 years ago. They still go off and kill people. I don’t suggest open burial of ammo. I am just making a point that it tends to be pretty durable stuff. Anything done to protect it, probably will.

  24. To. G-Man, A question for:

    I’m trying to get additional information on the “Monitor” variant of the BAR. I known the FBI used in training, but, did they ever use it in the field. Do you have any recommendations on where to look. Or are their any books on the subject.

    1. @lol.elujah: Officially known as the Colt R80 (Monitor) and produced beginning in 1931, this is an extremely rare rifle and has been valued at a worth of $100,000 today.

      Only 125 of this BAR variant were ever produced and out of that number the FBI only purchased 90. The FBI did use them for training, but keep in mind that Congress did not officially authorize the FBI with the authority to arrest or carry firearms until 1934. As a result, field use was rarely authorized or kept out of official documents, so no one may ever know to what extent they were actually used in the field by the FBI.

      It has been said that most were eventually destroyed with only a few being stored for historical purposes. I know there is one on public display at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, TX.

      There is no exceptional documentation of any field use within the FBI however the remaining 35 went to other various law enforcement agencies and the most notable historically documented field use of a Monitor was by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer when he ambushed Bonnie and Clyde.

      The following are other sources for you to research on the web:

      Modified differences between the Monitor from the BAR based on configuration can be found here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1918_Browning_Automatic_Rifle#Variants_and_subsequent_models

      Miscellaneous specs, historical use info, and value can be researched here:
      http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Talk:Browning_Automatic_Rifle

      A copy of the original manual for the R80 can be purchased on eBay for only $9.95 from this seller:
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Colt-Monitor-Machine-Rifle-R80-Manual-c1936-/370791492473

      A bit more history here:
      http://www.dieselpunks.org/profiles/blogs/the-monitor-fbis-first

      And finally, the FBI has made certain historical records available in a public repository on the Internet known as The Vault. If you enjoy such history, you may wish to read through this PDF file. Midway through the document you will find a section archiving the speech given by then FBI Assistant Director Drane Lester as he addresses the Thirteenth Meeting of the International Criminal Police in London. It is interesting to read where he mentions the dreaded Colt Monitor during his address in 1937:
      http://vault.fbi.gov/Interpol/Interpol%20Part%202%20of%2017

      I hope this helps.

  25. I use a food saver to prepare ammo for storage under ground. Using 4 inch PVC pipe and fitting readily available at any home center. I vacuum pack the ammo always including a desiccant pack then put the packs in the PVC container taking care to seal the screw in lid with bath tub calk. They are now ready to store under ground for long periods. When the feds show up, they will take what they see but probably won’t run around my property with a metal detector.. Larger diameter pipe can also be used to store firearms under ground. This is just as good and a lot less expensive than those ready made ground safes.

    1. You could also get a post hole digger to bury it vertically. Takes a bit more work to bury and remove, but it makes for a smaller target when searching with a metal detector. You could also bury pieces of metal around your yard to give false signals and one above what you buried to make them think that location was a decoy.

    2. @ Don P.

      a typical wooden handled post hole digger leaves a ~6-1/2 inch diameter hole. And placing more metal around a hole to hide a hole in an area where there shouldn’t be much metal to begin with. would just peak my curiosity even more.

  26. Fref / Secundius

    Regarding long term storage:

    Brass and aluminum do not get along well nor does steel and aluminum. theses combination corrode each other in conditions of long term contact.. Brass with steel however is ok. I have seen first hand that where incompatible metals will “weld” themselves together due to corrosion.

    All metals have specific relative electrical potential. When metals of different electrical potential are in contact in the presence of moisture, a low energy electric current flows from the metal having the higher position in the galvanic series. This is called “galvanic action.” Galvanic corrosion is a form of electrochemical corrosion that occurs when two dissimilar metals come together in the presence of an electrolyte to form an electrical couple, known as a galvanic couple.

    1. @ Mc Ruger.

      I usually after Thermal Molding them in Plastic Shrink Rapping, put them in a Liquid Plastic Dip and then Wax Dipping them. That assures for Multi-Layered Air-Tight Envelope of Security and Protection. Somewhat time consuming, but well worth the added protection.

    2. That’s why your water heater has that piece if zink (sometimes called a sacrificial anode) screwed into it. The zink is supposed to corpse away so other parts don’t.

  27. @ FIBERGLASS is your best bet as a long-term storage vessel and the Cheapest. An R-Value of 2.2 typical has a lifespan of ~50-years, while an R-Value of 5.8 has a lifespan of +100-years. If you do use Glass as a Long-Term Storage Container, go to a “Glass Blower”. And have them make one for you. Pyrex is not a plastic, its “Borosilicate Glass”. If you use ALUMINUM, get military surplus containers, there the cheapest. Or get a Large Aluminum “Growler” from a Restaurant Supply Company.

  28. How does the plastic hold up under long term storage against the brass cases? Had some in plastic baggies, after some 10 plus years and the bags will decompose against the cases leaving a wonderful mess. And if you have any ammo in plastic with the plastic sponge type material–once that decomposes, it will not come off of brass at all.

    1. @ Fref.

      In ideal conditions, buried, no sunlight, no earthquakes.
      > GLASS ……………………………………………….~1,000,000-years
      > ALUMINUM………………………………………~200 to ~500-years
      > STEEL…………………………………………………………….~50-years
      > SMALL PLASTIC CONTAINER…………….~20 to ~30-years
      > DEGRADABLE PLASTIC BAGS…………..~10 to ~20-years
      > LARGE PLASTIC CONTAINERS………….~30 to ~45-years
      > TITANIUM…………………………………………………..~1,000-years

    2. @ Lifespans of Polymer Pistols, Unprotected depends on Light and Heat, as main factors. If Buried and Exposed (NOT PROTECTED), As follows with Soil Temperatures of:
      > 68F: 30-years
      > 77F: 25-years
      > 86F: 20-years
      > 95F: 15-years
      > 104F: 10-years
      Don’t bury in the desert!!!

  29. Of course this will work but there are caveats:
    1. Bags/rolls are expensive; any real quantity if ammo would be very expensive. I would seal boxes ammo or loaded mags before loose rounds.
    2. My experience has shown the rolls/bags don’t tolerate sharp edges or points and will leak if poked so care is needed. I used to buy fresh caught shrimp in quantity, vacuum seal and flash freeze but the sharp nose and tails of the shrimp would often poke the bags and cause a leak.
    3. Poly ammo cans have rubber seals, don’t rust and will store large quantities safely and cheaper. If I wanted to prepare large amounts of ammo or arms for long term storage I’d rather use the heavy duty self sealing clothing bags that use a household vacuum to draw down and add an extra seal made from duct tape or wax to prevent long term leakage.

    1. CAVEAT: as to plastic/polymer ammo cans, such as Harbor Freight’s or Plano plastic ammo cans–True, they do have a rubber seal topside,

      BUT, you will notice that if you load them fully with loaded rounds, the entire shebang gets awful heavy for plastic.

      Result: when you lift the boxes using its handle, the heavy contents (by virtue of gravity) pulls the box AWAY from the rubber seal topside!

      In short, a heavy ammo load will cause water or air leakage when you lift them!

      Better to use the metal USGI ammo cans. nuff said.

    2. @ Centurion_Cornelius: Excellent point. I knew there was a reason I stay away from HF and Plano plastic cases. They are so tempting for the price, but for not much more I’ve always been able to wait for sales on surplus metal ammo cans.

      Sure they come dirty and dinged up a bit on the outsides, but they are easy to clean up and the insides are usually perfect.

      We have a local reloading shop that notifies its faithful customers first via email when a batch comes in. We are allowed to pick and chose the best of the lot and I’ve paid as low as $8 a can for each.

      For my money, I’m sticking with metal and recommend others find a source and do the same.

  30. Another good dessicant is charcoal!
    I have ammo cans and some of my weapons in a locked closet!
    I buy charcoal (kingsford or whatever) and put it in some panty hose that you can get cheap or some of your wifes!
    The charcoal briquettes are excellent moisture absorbers.
    You can replace them every 6 or 7 months.
    You can also but some in old socks and put them in your ammo cans.

  31. Been doing that for at least 10 yrs now. Old Hat. Grease your guns and put them in a storage bag that uses a vacuum sweeper to suck the air out. Lasts for years if you want. Keep my Silver coins that way to and Silverware also; Money, Medications, you name it.

  32. I started worrying about humidity damage right after we got the gun safe. There was an electrical unit, externally powered, that could keep everything dry but I didn’t like the idea of having to remove one of the hermetically sealed plugs to run a cord out to an power outlet

    .Our gunsmith didn’t think it was worth worrying about since we normally have very low humidity here in Southern California. In fact if you know about our drought it makes sense. I finally invested in a reusable desiccant can with a vented lid that is designed for gun safes. It’s small enough not to take up a lot of space and as I remember, according to the instructions that came with it: if you live in a humid area about once a year you can remove the desiccant medium and put it in a microwave and cook out the any dampness it has attracted. I think it was around $20 and it seems worth it. Every thing is high and dry.

    As far as using our vacuum food saver, I have used it for food and some of the claims they made at the demonstration at Sam’s club are true about long time food storage. But what they don’t tell you is that the wrapped items, one on top of another, are slippery and not always easy to stack in a confined area. I also haven’t found it user friendly with boxed items and the sealed perimeter flap sticks out far enough to take up more room in a confined space. I’ll tick with my desiccant can.

    1. @ Hank Alvarez.

      What you might want to consider, take a old pair of Nylon or Silk Stocking, Packing a small amount of desiccant silicate into the stocking, and rolling just small enough to place inside the barrel of you weapon. While allowing, what small amount of air to flow through the stocking from either end, of the barrel. And use a ram-rod to push out the stocking, or a piece strong Kevlar string to pull out the stocking.

  33. The Sportsman’s Guide, sell Near New Condition Hardigg Storage Containers, for 1/10th to 1/100th the cost of the original Government Military Prices. For anyone that’s interested.

  34. I have a couple of questions. It looks as though I need to invest more time into the science of long-term ammo storage. This article has revealed for me something I hadn’t given too much thought.

    As I come to the close of the end of a long career in both military and law enforcement, I now realize this was evidently a topic better left to the armorers and not us troops. Or could it be I was absent on ammo storage training day?

    As I get closer to retirement my career schedule allows me more personal days which I use for prepping. With the extra time I have more heavily in the past two years begun stockpiling ammo. My inventory ranges across a variety of cheap steel cased Russian surplus ammo to higher-end brass Federal rounds in every caliber which represents my vast weapons inventory.

    All my ammo, regardless of source, is eventually stored in military metal ammo cans; whether shipped that way factory sealed or placed in ammo cans I purchased from local surplus. So my question is, is this not enough?

    I have some Australian brass 5.56 that already came sealed in individual bubble packs of 20 and in sealed ammo cans, so I know not to worry about that. As well, I have crates of sealed “spam” cans of 7.62x54R for the Mosins, so again no worries.

    However, the bulk of all my Russian surplus ammo (TulAmmo & Wolf) which ships packed in individual boxes of say 20 rounds – appears to be wrapped in a brown desiccant sorbent paper inside each box of 20. From there I stack and store each box in ammo cans. Is this still not enough?

    After I retire I will more than likely put my family on a more consistent range training regimen which will allow our ammo inventory to be cycled more often. However, some of our higher-end ammo will not be touch because I don’t want to get caught running out of ammo in the event of another Oblahblah ammo scare. Sp that would be my focus towards long-term storage procedures.

    Also, I had already been looking into cheaper means for homemade desiccant packs to see if I can reduce the light rust that appears on gun barrels in my safes. Evidently I need this for my ammo cans now as well. So I’ve been looking into other posts that say to use 100% silicon kitty litter sold at Walmart etc., and then fold it into coffee filters and glue or staple it shut. Has anyone tried this with success? Does anyone have any other better tips and ideas?

    1. @ G-Man.

      You might try those transparent plastic cylindrical containers, with the lock-down clamping devices, they use to store cigars in, or, Boveda Packets, Crystal Humidifiers, Humidity Beads. I’m submitting an Packing Supplier Company, that carries everything you might need for long term storage needs. You can even get a Hard-Copy Catalog from them as well. (uline.com)

    2. You’re doing just fine. Don’t bother with vacuum sealing your ammo if you don’t know the composition of its primers. Avoid long term storage of “lead free” stuff. If it’s “lead-free” ammo, that designation includes the primer. Its storage life is limited to 4-6 years because it lacks the more stable lead styphenate primers. The lead-free primers go inert over a relatively short time. Premium quality U.S. made ammo is generally manufactured using lead styphenate in the primer. It’s stable, with an indefinite storage life. It will function just fine 50 years from now if stored in dry stable environments (like your bedroom closet). I’ve had 35-year old .22 ammo rolling around in desk drawers and garage shelves. All of it went “BANG!” when I pulled the trigger. If the time has come to “bury” your arms and ammo, it’s really the time to use it. Is it not?

  35. @ Ken & Mc Ruger.

    Don’t forget to put a Desiccant Packet into each vacuum sealed container, to absorb any moisture that might accumulate inside the vacuum form. If your storing weapons and ammunition, try a Type I and/or II, specification MIL-D-3464. Will do nicely, if storing exposed foods. Use one that’s Food Grade, they come in many forms and sizes.

  36. Good post Suzanne.
    I have been looking into several Food Savers for storage but have not decided yet. I am interested in vac seals mainly for storing trading stock but would also use it for ammo. At present I am storing ammo in plastic ammo cans with seals and desiccants. I also rotate my stock through shooting at the range. I believe this will work well for a considerable period.

    1. @ Mc Ruger.

      Try Cabela, they have a fairly good selection, or go to a Restaurant Supplier. They have Food Saver product line and some Industrial Strength based food savers, too.

  37. I’ve been using that method for some time now, works great. One tip to keep the o ring seal pliable on military surplus and plastic ammo cans, take a small amount of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) and run it around the o ring. Talcum powder is an alternative, but not as long lasting.

    1. @ Ken.

      I use to work in the restaurant industry for 30-years. Petroleum Jelly, is not such a great idea. The petroleum base in the Vaseline, will deuterate and dry-out the O-Ring material over time, Causing it to break. Go to a restaurant supply company and ask for Restaurant Grade or Food Grade O-Ring Jelly-based lubricant. K-Y Jelly will work in a pinch.

    2. Crisco shortening works also, (I use for water filter o rings) silicone grease will work for non food use…
      Water pump grease (not silicone) very messy, expensive, been using silicone for faucet repair not as long lasting as the water pump grease…
      Thought I’d through that in to the mix…

      later

    1. You can also put a “Moisture Absorber ” in with each pack (Their Cheap!), but don not use “O2 Absorber” it will degrade the Nitro Cellulose by removing the Oxidizer in the propellant if the Cases aren’t sealed correctly. 1) lacquer sealant for the Primer and Case Mouth for the Projectile.

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