Many owners and operators of firearms neglect ammo and ammo storage safety. Every firearm owner should undergo proper firearm and firearm safety training from a licensed professional, but often correct and safe ammo storage is not a part of the training.
Safely and securely storing your ammunition is an important part of responsible gun ownership, and can also be convenient and even lifesaving in certain circumstances. Whether you enjoy hunting with a shotgun or rifle or use a pistol for personal protection, storing your ammunition correctly and safely can save you time and money, and give you extra peace of mind.
Here we are going to look at some of the do’s of ammunition storage, and the different methods you can use to keep your ammo organized, and ready to use when you are.
Do Keep Your Powder Dry...
This is an old saying that dates back centuries. Gunpowder, or cordite, that has become damp or wet will not fire efficiently, if at all. Keeping your ammunition dry is important if you intend to use it.
Keeping your ammunition free from water isn’t as simple as storing it off the floor in case of an accidental flood, though this is a good idea, as moisture in the air, or humidity, is one of the biggest threats to your ammunition.
A damp or dank basement, attic, or corner of a room is not a good place to store ammo. Moisture not only poses a threat to the powder in your bullets and shells, but it is also a corrosion threat to casings. This can cause bullets and shells to be dangerous if fired, and even to disintegrate over a long period of time. The best area to store your ammunition in is one that is free from high humidity or dampness.
Store your bullets and shells in their boxes, inside sealed plastic containers. Keep these above the ground and your ammo will stay moisture free and ready to use. In a state that often experiences high levels of humidity, like Georgia, Florida, or Louisiana, it is recommended that you have a dehumidifier in your ammo store to help keep it dry.
Keep it Cool
Extreme temperature fluctuations can prevent ammo from functioning properly, especially changes from extreme heat to extreme cold.
Ammo should be stored at room temperature, so make sure the space you are storing it in has heating and cooling just like a living space would. The winter and summer temperatures can affect the efficiency of your ammunition if you are storing it over many years, and this can often be the case from some home ammunition stores.
Make sure your ammo store is kept heated and cooled in line with the rest of the home, and make regular checks throughout the year to ensure your home heating and ventilation systems are in good working order in the space.
If you live in a state that experiences high temperatures regularly, such as Arizona or Nevada but also many others in the nation, then you should have air conditioning and dehumidifiers working in your ammo store. The repeated high temperatures, mixed with an increased chance of humidity, can cause your ammunition to become unusable in just a few years.
Keep Your Ammo Secure
By keeping your ammo safe from humidity and fluctuations in temperature, you are keeping it ready to be used at a moment’s notice. But who will use it?
Ammunition security is as important as firearm security. Some may consider it even more important, as without ammunition a gun poses as little threat as any blunt object, but bullets and shells can still cause damage on their own.
Keeping your ammo in a safe and lockable cabinet or storage box is a vital part of being a responsible gun owner. Even when not loaded, ammunition can still pose a threat to someone. When exposed to an ignition source, such as a fire, bullets, and shells can explode and cause injury. Ammunition can also be used in someone else’s firearm without your permission or supervision.
If you are teaching a child or young adult about firearms, their history, and the importance of their second amendment rights, then they may feel tempted to use or handle your ammunition outside of your supervision. This can lead to tragic injuries and accidents, often involving close family members, friends, and potentially even you. Keeping your ammunition secure is as essential to protect you, your family, and your community as responsible gun ownership and personal protection is itself. Make sure you keep it locked up before it is locked and loaded.
Ammunition can cost a lot of money. If you are planning to keep ammunition stored for a long time, follow our simple guide and your ammo should last you a decade or more. Make sure it is there for you when you need it by keeping it dry, cool, and secure.