If you own a firearm, you most likely take good care of it, especially if you use it for regular practice, recreation, hunting, etc. However, it isn’t just your gun that needs to be handled properly. The ammunition you use requires the appropriate storage and maintenance as well.
Although ammo doesn’t really have an expiration date, it might become inefficient due to inadequate storage. The gunpowder might become less effective, the cartridges might corrode, etc.
To avoid this, make sure you follow the guidelines on how to store your ammo properly.
Shop For Quality Ammo
First and foremost, invest in quality ammunition. This is the first step to ensuring your ammo’s long shelf life.
While ammunition once used to offer a shelf life of only several years since being manufactured, modern ammo such as Natchez ammo has a shelf life of many decades, if not longer.
Have A Reasonable Supply of Ammo for Your Needs
There are people who tend to hoard ammo, and then there are people who buy ammo only when they use it up in training or during hunting.
Buying ammo in bulk and storing it for future use is an approach that is most commonly encouraged as it helps you save money, especially if you are still not sure enough about what ammo you prefer.
If you practice shooting or go hunting regularly, you can predict how much ammo you’ll need in the following period and invest in an amount that will last you for a while. Most people store a few months’ worth of ammo supply.
Keep Track of Your Original Ammo Boxes
There is no better or safer way to store your ammo than in its original box. You can simply keep the ammo in their shipping boxes, which already contain labels telling you what ammo is inside.
Another way to store ammo is to use your own boxes, marking the ammo brand, caliber, grain, and gunpowder used. Each time you change the ammo, simply replace the label. This is a good idea for two reasons:
- Ammo can get damaged when deposited in a metal can
- You might want to trade your gun and caliber, and therefore your ammo as well
You can also go for GI-style ammo cans. To be on the safe side, always check the rubber seal to make sure the can is airtight. You can even put your ammo in a sealed plastic bag first, just in case. Some people opt for Tupperware. In any case, the crucial feature the storage box needs to possess is a quality rubber seal ensuring air tightness.
Whatever you choose, avoid opening and closing the storage box too often, as this allows air and humidity to reach the ammo.
How to Choose the Right Storage Location
Choose a cool/chilly, dark, and dry place to keep your ammo functioning and prolong its shelf life. Many people think of basements, attics, garages, or even barns as suitable locations, but a closet in a regular room serves the purpose much more effectively.
The important thing to keep in mind is for the temperature not to oscillate too much, as that leads to condensation and humidity, which in turn affect the gunpowder or cause cartridges to corrode.
On the other hand, in cases of high heat, the lubricant in grease grooves on the bullet melts into the gunpowder, which may cause failure in firing the weapon.
Along with moisture, avoid storing the ammo near any cleaning supplies.
To stay safe and give your ammo a long shelf life, make sure you invest in quality ammo and provide it with proper maintenance, including adequate storage conditions.
A quality storage location can go a long way toward ensuring your ammunition is functional and safe to use.
Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios.
When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games