How To Properly Store Ammunition

It’s always a good idea to stockpile ammo. Not because that’s what so-called ‘crazy doomsday preppers’ do, but rather, because it’s a good idea to have a healthy amount should another severe ammo shortage hit.

In 2013, for example, the prices of ammunition skyrocketed and certain calibers such as .22 LR were virtually nowhere to be found. And in the event of a major future disaster, such as an economic collapse or an EMP attack, you can guarantee that there will be another ammunition shortage even worse than the last one.

Have you ever wondered if you would have to go ten or more years without ever being resupplied with more ammunition? That could very well happen after a nationwide EMP attack for example.

That’s why two things are essential:

  1. You store enough ammunition

  2. You store that ammunition properly so that it lasts

Unfortunately, ammo storage is a bit more complicated than resting your boxes and containers on the shelf and forgetting about it. On the contrary, that’s only a recipe for absolute disaster because all ammo has a finite shelf life, and improper storage shortens that shelf life considerably.

And since ammunition isn’t cheap, you’ll want to go to great lengths to extend the shelf life of your ammo as much as you possibly can. Properly stored ammo should be able to last you for fifteen or twenty years.

In this article, we will cover the subject of ammo storage in-depth so you will know exactly what to do:

How Much Ammo Do You Need (Really)?

Here’s a golden rule to follow with ammo stockpiling: you can never truly have enough. Just as you can never truly store enough food and water, you can also never truly store enough ammunition.

But while you may not ever be able to store enough ammo, there is still a minimum amount that you should store, and that amount is one thousand rounds per caliber.

While one thousand rounds of ammo may sound like a lot, the truth is it really isn’t. If you had to go ten years before being resupplied with ammo, for example, one thousand rounds is nothing! That ammo may have to last you for ten years (or more) for training, hunting, and defense in the event of a major disaster such a nationwide EMP attack. So honestly, it’s not very much.

The best way to accumulate a thousand rounds of ammo will be to buy it in bulk. This way, you’ll pay less per round. But if you’re really on a budget, an alternative way would just be to buy one to two boxes a week, and to watch your stockpile grow from there.

What To Store Your Ammo In

NEVER store your ammunition in the simple cardboard boxes that they arrived in. That is a guaranteed method to shorten their shelf life and waste your investment, because they will be far more vulnerable to moisture and corrosion.

Instead, you’ll want to store your ammunition in green metal Army surplus containers to give them a proper barrier of protection against the outside elements. You can either store the rounds loosely or in the boxes, but you will want to have them in that green container.

Why? Because the army metal container is easily the most durable and cost affordable way to protect your ammo properly. Assuming it’s sealed properly, you could close it and then submerge it fully under water, and the contents inside will be kept completely dry.

Needless to say, the green metal army container will be very effective at protecting your ammunition from humidity. The best size to get will be the .50 caliber ammo can size, as it is large enough to hold a lot of rounds while also being small and light enough to transport easily.

To keep things organized, store only one caliber per ammo can and attach a label to the outside of the can denoting the caliber stored. You may also want to write the date that you stored the ammo as well.

Storing Your Ammo Cans

Alright, so you stuff all your boxes into green metal army cans. Now what?

Well now, you need to think about where to store those ammo cans. Several rules need to be followed for where to store your ammo:

  • You need to store your ammo indoors

  • You need to store your ammo in a room with low humidity

  • You need to store your ammo in a room that is safe and secure

There is no greater enemy of ammunition than moisture and humidity, because there is literally nothing that will cause your ammunition to corrode faster. Corroded ammo is simply unsafe to shoot, and you will therefore need to get rid of it if it does indeed corrode…which you obviously don’t want since you’ve put all of your money into it!

This is why if you are going to store your ammo in a room that can receive larger amounts of humidity, you will need to keep a dehumidifier down there with it, and also throw at least one to two packs of silica gel packets in with your cans as well.

Next, think about the security of the room that you’re going to be storing your ammo in. You don’t want anybody to access it who shouldn’t be, such as kids or a home invader.

If you lack a room in your house that you can lock to keep the contents inside safe and secure, your best bet would be to get an ammo cabinet. An ammo cabinet essentially resembles a gun safe, only it is designed to store ammo instead of firearms and has slightly less protection (although you could go with an entire safe to store your ammo, if you want to).

The main idea is that your ammo cabinet can be kept locked, so unauthorized people will be unable to access the contents inside. Furthermore, you can take things a step further by hiding your ammo cabinet when you’re not at home, such as by draping it over with a towel or blanket or covering it with cardboard storage boxes. Concealment is often times the best security method.


To conclude, ammo storage is an absolutely vital topic to know. Ammunition that is properly cared for can have a total shelf life of fifteen to twenty years, but that can be reduced drastically if you don’t take the proper precautions to ensure that your ammunition is kept protected. Otherwise, you’ve just wasted all the money that you invested into your ammo to begin with.

As a golden rule, try to stockpile at least one thousand rounds of each caliber you have in order to be prepared for ammo shortages. Then, store that ammunition in green metal army cans and then store those cans in an indoor location that is safe, secure, and free of moisture and humidity.

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