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Posted: 11/1/2002 2:53:49 PM EDT
I am getting a collection of about 20 ammo cans - good 'fat .50' cans in terrific shape. I am laying up quite a bit of... make that, I have just nuts and bolts and other junk, that I want to keep fresh for a long time.

Is there a concern about the rubber seals going bad in the mean time? I have read the suggestion to put a film of vaseline on the rubber seals, but wonder if that is neccessary or even if it has a positive effect.

If rubber treatement is necessary, what is the best product for doing such?

Thanks.
Link Posted: 11/1/2002 3:00:37 PM EDT
I'm considering tearing out a much of the old rubber and using silicone chalking...Anyone ever try this?
Link Posted: 11/1/2002 6:52:42 PM EDT
Be careful of vaseline on rubber, they are both petroleum based and the vaseline will soften the rubber over time. Always use silicone on natural base (petroleum modified) rubber, but not silicone rubber, and vice versa. Always keep the lubricant different than the rubber. Like will soften/dissolve like.
Link Posted: 11/1/2002 7:05:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/1/2002 7:05:53 PM EDT by NAM]

Originally Posted By txalan:
Be careful of vaseline on rubber, they are both petroleum based and the vaseline will soften the rubber over time. Always use silicone on natural base (petroleum modified) rubber, but not silicone rubber, and vice versa. Always keep the lubricant different than the rubber. Like will soften/dissolve like.



Agreed! THat's why they tell you not to use vaseline on condoms....it breaks down the rubber. I know this may sounds weird, but i bet KY jelly would work great! It's meant for rubber.
Link Posted: 11/1/2002 8:38:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/1/2002 8:39:49 PM EDT by TwoStage]
Just check the seal for cuts before you buy, load it, close and forget about it. Don't put anything on the seals. Uncle Sam made that way for a reason.

A Bud was diving in Guam (1972) and came up with a 30 cal. can, upon getting it open he found some brand new Bandoleers 30-06 F.A 43 in the 8rd clip, no rust anywhere on the inside of the can
Link Posted: 11/1/2002 8:52:26 PM EDT
How about pure Olive Oil? Its all natural and I think it might work. I guess I'll give it a try on one of my cans.
Link Posted: 11/1/2002 9:07:20 PM EDT
I've used a thin coat of di-electric grease on my seals with great results so far.
Link Posted: 11/1/2002 10:33:45 PM EDT
I secoond the choice for dielectric grease or silicone. Petroleum based products are succetable to bacteria (yes there are bacteria that eat oil) and may damage the rubber. Use an inert substance instead.
Link Posted: 11/1/2002 11:40:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By txalan:
Be careful of vaseline on rubber, they are both petroleum based and the vaseline will soften the rubber over time. Always use silicone on natural base (petroleum modified) rubber, but not silicone rubber, and vice versa. Always keep the lubricant different than the rubber. Like will soften/dissolve like.



IIRC, Troy told me to use vaseline on the seals in another thread where I had asked the same question...hmmm...what gives?
Link Posted: 11/2/2002 9:53:44 AM EDT
Oh yeah, "Like Dissolves Like." Thanks for reminding me of my good high school chemistry teacher.

Having given this more thought since I posted, I considered that what would make the rubber deteriorate would be sunlight, ozone, and other 'exposure' factors that really are not going to be an issue.

So I'll leave them alone. Besides, I really do pick out the very best looking ones at the army surplus place, and the washing with dish soap leaves them looking almost brand new.

Thanks all.
Link Posted: 11/2/2002 9:58:38 AM EDT
If you're worried about your ammo can seals, then you're thinkin' too hard.

Go run three miles instead!
Link Posted: 11/2/2002 10:22:36 AM EDT
What TwoStage said...

But, if you must. Dielectric is what's used on most flashlight seals(SureFire), scuba gear(regulators), etc.....

But really, your obsessing.
Link Posted: 11/2/2002 10:23:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/2/2002 10:25:47 AM EDT by CANADIAN_TACTICAL]
Do not put Vasoline on them.
I would leave them alone.

If you absolutely feel you must do something to them - do as Joe556 recomended.

Or seal it - then silicone it all around to ensure - drop in PVC pipe, dump in desicant gels and seal up PVC pipe seal the pipe - mark w/ GPS and wait.
Link Posted: 11/2/2002 8:01:36 PM EDT
It really depends on the kind of rubber it is. I understand Vaseline will destroy natural latex rubber, but many synthetics are unaffected.

But since we have no idea what kind of rubber it is, I would stay on the safe side and stick to a silicone based lubricant.

BTW, you can buy rubber cleaners. Go to the local stereo store and ask for "pinch roller" cleaner. It's used to clean the rubber pinch roller on tape decks. It's not expensive, and it removes dirt and ozone, making your rubber soft and supple again. :)
Link Posted: 11/3/2002 4:57:33 AM EDT
If you're that worry about ammo long term storage condition, buy them in sealed battlepacks or sealed tins. Then you won't have to do anything.
As to the rubber seal on the cans, I found a .30 can full of 7.62x54R last year that was sealed in the can over 17-18 years ago and forgotten in a corner. When it was opened, the rubber was still good and the rounds looked fresh. Don't know if this is normal but nothing was done to the seal or to the can when the rounds were originally stored.
Link Posted: 11/3/2002 7:32:41 AM EDT
Seal them with the lids and shrink wrap the whole can tightly.

Nothing is going to get in then.

KyARGuy
Link Posted: 11/3/2002 12:11:26 PM EDT
Thanks again to all who replied. It's good to get others' personal experiences -- and very good to read that untreated is just fine.
Link Posted: 11/8/2002 11:33:59 AM EDT
Been using mist spray silicone auto type for 30 years on can seals with no problems looks like the day they were made......
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