When people think of preppers, they usually think of the paranoid guy obsessed with stocking up supplies. After all, if and when SHTF, there wouldn’t be any time to purchase the essentials. However, acquiring the supplies is only half the battle when preparing for the worst. (h/t to AskAPrepper.com)
A lot of people seem to overlook the importance of proper storage. You can’t exactly shove all your supplies into a closet or basement and wait for the world to end before cracking open Pandora’s Box of Extremely Unorganized Things™. Food and water storage get a bit of attention because they’re perishable essentials that need to be stored well lest you want to get sick. However, have you ever thought about storing your ammo properly?
A good defense is a good offense
Let’s get straight to the point: Ammo isn’t cheap. One of the worst things you can come across as a prepper is stocking up on your favorite ammo only to find the brass discolored and corroded. While not as perishable like food, improper ammo storage can still lead to a bad time when you actually need them. The problem is that you wouldn’t actually know that the bullet has deteriorated until you pull the trigger. Follow these tips to make sure your ammo supply lasts as long as possible.
- Buy high-quality ammo. Most people want to get the most bang for their buck when buying items. Unfortunately, not only would there not be any “bang” so to speak, you’d be losing all your bucks for buying cheap ammo. There’s no guarantee that cheap or old ammunition has been properly stored. Ammo shouldn’t be seen as an everyday purchase. Look at it as a proper investment and buy the highest quality you can afford.
- Label and use from oldest to newest. Labeling boxes should be a staple in any storage process, not just for ammunition. Make sure to include the date of purchase in labeling so you can keep track of how old the bullets are. Additionally, use your ammunition starting from the oldest box to the newest so you can save the good stuff for when you actually need them.
- Get the right container. Ammunition usually comes in cardboard boxes upon purchase. While these are good enough for general use, cardboard boxes don’t make the cut for long-term storage. Keeping them in their original boxes can expose the bullets to unwanted moisture – a big NO for storing ammo. You can get some military-grade ammo cans or boxes. These are water-proof and moisture-proof containers designed to keep your ammunition safe and sound.
- Do regular checks. Even with the highest-quality ammo and the best storage money can buy, none of that would matter if you don’t perform regular quality checks. Whether it’s water leaking into your storage area or an unprecedented rise in temperature, unexpected things happen at the most inopportune times. Because of this, regular checks are important to fix the problem before further damage is done or to prevent them altogether.
- Handle moisture. Moisture is public enemy number one when it comes to ammo storage. Exposure to moisture can cause degradation and rust. It is recommended to use a vacuum sealer to ensure that the bullets never come into contact with moisture. Additionally, you can use desiccant sachets like silica gel to soak up any excess moisture that gets into the packaging.
- Cool and dry. Most types of ammunition are designed to withstand extreme heat – aside from the fact that the gun gets hot, it is also for surviving harsh desert conditions inside a soldier’s pouch. However, exposure to constant heat can degrade the performance over the years. Find a cold, but not damp, place to store ammunition to alleviate these problems.
- Use a humidifier. If you really want to go the extra mile in protecting your ammo, you can get a humidifier for your ammo storage room. This device sucks out all the moisture out of the room so the air remains dry.
- Reload. If you enjoy shooting and don’t have space for a large ammo stash, reloading ammo might be the solution for you. However, this requires a lot of knowledge on the design and history of the bullet, as well as proper equipment.
In any survival situation involving guns, making sure that the bullet actually leaves the chamber without any problems is essential. With proper handling, ammunition can last a very long time and could still be functional years after their manufacturing date. Proper storage could, in fact, save your life.