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Posted: 6/5/2019 10:23:16 PM EDT
I may be overthinking this. but picked up some surplus 50 cal cans from midway in great condition and I am storing ammo with a few desicant packs in each, I feel this will keep everything dry and safe for decades to come, maybe replace the desicant once every 6 months or so. I only stack to cans deep because I have heard that stacking them too deep will destroy the seals due to the m2a1 cans not having a support bracket. thoughts?
Link Posted: 6/5/2019 10:47:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2019 10:50:18 PM EDT by -Apocalypto-]
Once you close them up they will stay good until you open them. No need to replace the desiccant packs as long as you don't open them. I have mine of shelves I made so they are only stacked 2 high.

also.. many have left their ammo in the cases they are shipped in for years with no issues. If left in the climate controlled house..
Link Posted: 6/5/2019 11:12:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2019 11:17:07 PM EDT by TRW]
I don't have the tech data in front of me, but I have seen stuff (.50 cal or 5.56mm) packed in M2A1 cans come from the factory on an oak pallet stacked four cans high. I can't remember if wood bracing is used on the sides of the pallet or not or what the purpose was. Sometimes it's to provide stacking support and sometimes only used to "square" and secure the pallet to comply with MIL-STD-147 requirements.

One of these pallets pushes 2400 lbs easy and I have stacked these pallets 2 or 3 high depending on the vertical space available in the warehouse.

As such, I think you could easily stack them 12 cans high. I would use two wood dunnage strips (1" x 2" strips) between the 4th and 5th rows and every four rows after that for stability. One along the front of the cans and one in back. M2A1 cans tend to rock a bit when stacked due to the lids.

Store the ammo cans in a cool dry place. No direct sunlight and no temperature extremes.

Desiccant is a good idea. Buy small (1 or 2-unit) bags and make sure it meets MIL-D-3464.

Pop a humidity indicator (see link below) and one bag of desiccant into each can and inspect annually.

Humidity Indicators

Desiccant, MIL-D-3464

If indicators get to 40-50%, change the desiccant and pop in a new card and inspect again in 6 months.

Desiccant bags can be re-used/recycled. Pop a suspect bag into a warm oven (175-200 degrees) for about 20 minutes to dry them out.
Link Posted: 6/6/2019 6:35:06 AM EDT
I have stacked mine eight high. I will have to check the seals to see if they have survived and report back.
Link Posted: 6/6/2019 8:22:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/6/2019 12:50:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By nurew556:
I am storing ammo with a few desicant packs in each,
maybe replace the desicant once every 6 months or so.
I only stack to cans deep because I have heard that stacking them too deep will destroy the seals due to the m2a1 cans not having a support bracket. thoughts?
View Quote
no need for desiccant, I've stored/shipped 6 deep in a 3K mil trailer journey over bouncy rds and all the seals worked fine

keep it dry/cool if you can (not required)
Link Posted: 6/6/2019 1:34:24 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Lowdown3:
Ammo is a lot more robust than we give it credit
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I've fired WW1 surplus, I have no idea how it was stored the first 80 years of it's life, I can't imagine all of those years were under optimal conditions. Worked just fine.
Link Posted: 6/6/2019 8:22:40 PM EDT
Lol, it'll be fine.

Ammo cans will actually expand when warmed and force moisture out. You'll hear them contract after a purge.
Link Posted: 6/8/2019 3:11:53 AM EDT
Please do get back to us!
Link Posted: 6/8/2019 3:13:30 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TRW:
I don't have the tech data in front of me, but I have seen stuff (.50 cal or 5.56mm) packed in M2A1 cans come from the factory on an oak pallet stacked four cans high. I can't remember if wood bracing is used on the sides of the pallet or not or what the purpose was. Sometimes it's to provide stacking support and sometimes only used to "square" and secure the pallet to comply with MIL-STD-147 requirements.

One of these pallets pushes 2400 lbs easy and I have stacked these pallets 2 or 3 high depending on the vertical space available in the warehouse.

As such, I think you could easily stack them 12 cans high. I would use two wood dunnage strips (1" x 2" strips) between the 4th and 5th rows and every four rows after that for stability. One along the front of the cans and one in back. M2A1 cans tend to rock a bit when stacked due to the lids.

Store the ammo cans in a cool dry place. No direct sunlight and no temperature extremes.

Desiccant is a good idea. Buy small (1 or 2-unit) bags and make sure it meets MIL-D-3464.

Pop a humidity indicator (see link below) and one bag of desiccant into each can and inspect annually.

Humidity Indicators

Desiccant, MIL-D-3464

If indicators get to 40-50%, change the desiccant and pop in a new card and inspect again in 6 months.

Desiccant bags can be re-used/recycled. Pop a suspect bag into a warm oven (175-200 degrees) for about 20 minutes to dry them out.
View Quote
Awesome advice. I have heard about the pallets being stacked but was not sure if the wood supports the weight, as if it did, it wouldn't really be saying anything about the seals and stacking weight
Link Posted: 6/8/2019 3:14:34 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Lowdown3:
Ammo is a lot more robust than we give it credit, especially military surplus ammo.

I had a bunch of E. German x39 in cardboard cases I purchased in between a move 20+ years ago. It somehow got shuffled to another area of one of the Conex's and kind of forgotten about. We deal with very high heat and very high humidity here most of the year. About 5 or 6 years ago I was cleaning out and re doing one of the containers and found about 5-7 cases of the EG X39 still in the case. Problem was with the humidity the cardboard had of course went to crap and the little cardboard and styrofoam boxes inside were bad also. The ammo had a fair amount of rust on it, mostly on the primer end.

I only remember perhaps one or two failures when I shot up all that ammo and rotated it.

Everything "normally" goes into clean cans or comes in sardine type cans. This just got lost in the shuffle during the move.

Ammo is a lot more robust than we think.
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Agree. Ammo is very robust, especially sealed ammo. But I like to play it safe especially with how expensive the good and rare ammo can be.
Link Posted: 6/8/2019 3:36:52 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By nurew556:

Agree. Ammo is very robust, especially sealed ammo. But I like to play it safe especially with how expensive the good and rare ammo can be.
View Quote
I've shot shotgun shells that had been rolling around in my dad's sock drawer for 30 years with no issues.
Link Posted: 6/20/2019 10:33:57 PM EDT
Western surplus ammo will last 100 years or more, so long as it's kept dry and free of corrosion.

I found a few hundred rounds of 9mm reloads I'd given my father sometime in the '90s.
I loaded them in September, 1993.
I've fired them all, except 100rnds, since I "re-discovered" them in a wooden cabinet, stored in cheap plastic reloading boxes, in his unattached garage.
I haven't had a single misfire.
I'm saving the last 100rnds. for 2023, to make it an even 30 years since they were loaded.
Link Posted: 6/21/2019 10:06:25 AM EDT
I seal mine in #2 cans with a desiccant, stuff them in a room or closet and forget about them.
Link Posted: 6/21/2019 7:02:50 PM EDT
In addition to stocking ammo I actually collect rare and old ammo. On a whim this year I took some duplicates of some of my collection out and shot them. 30/40 krag from 1900 fired first strike. 30/06 and 45acp from 1917 both fired first strike. 45/70 from the 1880s loaded with black powder would not fire. 8mm mauser and 9mm Nazi from WW2 fired first strike. US WW2 30/06,30 carbine, and 45acp shot as good as new. 7.62x54r loaded for the czar fired first strike. 303 Brit loaded with no shit actual CORDITE hangfired......but fired.

I think properly stored any modern ammo will outlast anybody alive today.
Link Posted: 6/30/2019 10:38:02 PM EDT
Ammo and components are very robust so long as the don’t get wet. Powder for example will last 30 years in the original container as long as it’s not left out in the yard for the sun and rain to get at it.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 11:00:38 AM EDT
I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to preparing things for long term storage. With this in mind, pack a 1,000 round case as such:
.50 cal can
Insert trash bag
Dump rounds into trash bag
Insert large desiccant pack
Twist and seal bag after removing air
White lithium grease on can seals before closing.
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