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long term ammo storage


gunner

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i did a quick search on and didnt find any previous post but i have a couple boxes of 43 dated .30 M1 carbine ammo and some 42 dated garand ammo i need to safely store for long term. what do you guys recommend.

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I keep all my ammo in the typical USGI surplus ammo can stored in a cool dry place. Never had any problems and I've been doing that for decades.

Terry

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First off, all military ammunition from WWII foraward is waterproofed. Either mouth and primer laquer sealed, or laquer primer and asphaltic tar sealed mouths. Therefore, if you are wantiing to store them so that they function, nothing extra is necessary.

If you are wanting to protect from external corrosion, then you will need to store the ammo in air tight containers. There are several ways of doing this. First, if the stuff is already stored in cardboard boxes, leave it. If it is stored on stripper clips or enblock clips, then it needs to be inspected. Di-electric corrosion is the biggest enemy here. Metal of different types touching will cause corrosion over time if moisture is present. If you find any rounds that are already showing corrosion, remove them as it is nearly impossible to stop the corrosion once it starts, you can only slow it down. If you are going to put the rounds back on stripper clips or enbloc clips, you will need to have a inspection program that causes you to periodically check the ammo.

Get an ammo can that has a good rubber seal and inspect it closely for nicks or damage. If it is good, then put your ammunition in the can and leave enough space to put a dessicant pack inside. You can buy these off ebay or hardware stores. There are usually instructions that let you know how to re-activate them. Put the packs inside the can and shut them. I have had some cans that had questionable seals, so I have taken a piece of thin wire and run it around the edges of the lid with a couple pull rings on either end. Then using clear silicone, completely sealed the lids and hinges. I will usually stencil a reinspection date on the can

I hope that helps.


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thank you very much! thats just what i needed. i have an ammo can with a good rubber gasket ill store it in. ill remove the garand ammo from the en bloc clip and just leave the .30 in there cardboard boxes. thanks guys

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If you put dessicant in the can and keep it moisture free, you don't need to remove the rounds from the ebloc clips. It's only when there is moisture that you start the corrosion process. Do an initial inspection and if they look clean, you should be fine. Use latex gloves to prevent the salt and oils from your fingers getting on the brass as that is a great way to start corrosion. If the rounds are corrosion free, I would go ahead and seal them up. The reason you need to check them every so often is in case the corrosion has started, you can get those rounds out and prevent the corrosion from spreading. I would inspect them every five years if you live in a humid environment, 10 if not. Remember that rubber rots over time and that seal can lose it's integrity, that is why you put dessicant in the can and periodically inspect.

Also, lightly corroded ammo is ok to shoot, but heavily corroded ammo should not be shot. Corrosion causes the brass to become brittle and possibly split when fired, causing dangerous pressure situations. With minimal effort, you can see even light corrosion. If the corrosion is light, it is possible to tumble the rounds if you have a tumbler. Some say that tumbling is dangerous and can cause rounds to go off, but I have never had this occur in thousands of rounds. But with that said, I do live round tumbling outdoors just in case it isn't urban legend.


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I've heard temperature swings are to be avoided as well as they can cause moisture to condense on things, presumably inside the casings.

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I've heard temperature swings are to be avoided as well as they can cause moisture to condense on things, presumably inside the casings.

 

Ya, temperature plays a big part, it has to be stored in a cool dry place, but you also have to keep the temperature fairly constant. As for condensation on the inside of the cases, this is only an issue with unsealed ammo. If you have military ammo, this is not a problem. If you don't know if your ammo is sealed, get a glass pan, lay your ammo in the pan. Boil some water and pour over the rounds. As they heat, if they are not sealed, the will begin expelling air bubble streams out of the primer or bullet/neck, these are not sealed. Take the rounds out before the bubble stream quits and wipe them off and they are perfectly OK, just not sealed. Conversely, if there is no stream whatsoever, then they are properly sealed.


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Hi Hawkdiver

I am making a Mannaquin display and in my ammo belts i will have 43 ap 30-06 ammo which i dont plan on shooting,and if i inspect them every few years do you see an problems with them left in the pouches? Thanks Jay

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Shouldn't. As long as you don't handle them with your fingers, and they are clean to start with, you should be fine. I do the same and have had no problems with mine. As I said earlier, if you live in a humid environment, inspect more often. With enbloc clips, check around where the steel meets the brass and where the brass is laying flat against the next round. The early signs of corrosion is a milky appearance, which will then turn into a darkening of the brass and then the corrosion.

If you don't know if your rounds are clean, you can get a degreaser and a rag, put on some latex gloves, clean the rounds, reload them and put them away and they should be fine.


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