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