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What to Know About Storing Ammunition

A picture of ammo and a blog title that reads, "What to Know About Storing Ammunition"

One of the most important aspects of being a responsible gun owner is properly storing ammunition. The experts at Colorado Handgun Safety are here to help you learn how to safely and properly store your ammunition. Did you know the Hazardous Material Safety Administration classifies ammunition as an explosive? Sadly, poorly stored ammunition has led to mass casualties at various munition sites across the globe. Even though it’s on a smaller scale, it’s just as vital to ensure you store your ammunition safely at home to prevent harm to you and your loved ones. 

Properly storing your ammo also ensures it lasts as long as possible. At Colorado Handgun Safety, we offer various gun safety classes to help you. Below, you’ll learn the best tips for storing ammunition, including the best locations, ideal storage temperatures, and what to do with your ammo in case of a fire. 

A picture of ammo

Where to Store Ammo

There are some storage guidelines to follow if you want your ammunition to last its lifespan. Always store ammo somewhere cool, dry, and dark. There have even been records of ammunition lasting for centuries under these conditions. To extend the lifespan of your ammo, practice the following tips:

Store In A Cool Location

When temperature drastically changes, it affects the integrity of the ammunition’s primer. The primer will begin to absorb moisture, which eventually will render your ammo useless. It’s essential to keep your ammo somewhere cool but not somewhere too cold. According to SAAMI, the ideal temperature for ammunition storage is between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use An Ammo Container

To help keep your ammunition dry, use an ammo container. Ammo containers, also known as ammo cans, have an air-and water-resistant seal that ensures it’s kept dry. Another benefit of storing your ammunition in an ammo container is that it’s kept stagnant. Containers help prevent your ammo from being damaged, scratched, or dented.  

Store In A Dark Location

When it comes to ammunition, one of the most destructive elements is UV light. If exposed to the sun for an extended period, it risks damage. When choosing where to store your ammunition, always pick a location away from windows and sunlight.

Ammunition can function in extreme weather conditions, no matter the temperature or level of humidity. So, as long as you store your ammunition somewhere safe from weather fluctuations, it should last you at least ten years. It’s best to keep ammo in room-temperature locations with low humidity levels. 

Be extra careful during summer and winter, when the weather is more likely to be extreme. Hot weather conditions can cause one of the elements in gunpowder, nitrocellulose, to take on a gas form. This gas forms when the ammunition becomes too hot and begins to sweat.

A picture of a case of ammo

How to Store Ammo For A Long Time

The more organized your ammunition storage, the better. Keeping an organized storage system will let you know where everything is and help you track how much ammunition you have. To optimize your ammunition storage system, use the following tips:

Label Your Ammunition Storage Containers

Labeling your ammo storage containers will let you know where everything is, which is especially helpful during emergencies. Say there was an intruder in your home, and you needed to load your gun. You obviously wouldn’t want to waste time rummaging through your ammunition to find the right bullets for your handgun.  

Keep Out Moisture With Clay Desiccant

Clay desiccants are non-hazardous materials that act as dehumidifiers and help control the temperature of environments. Even with clay desiccant, it’s vital to regularly check your ammunition to ensure it’s holding up properly. It’s helpful to use transparent plastic when you seal your ammo so you can check for signs of corrosion without undoing the seal.

Keep Kids Away From Your Ammunition

Always keep your ammunition somewhere children can’t access it. Lock it away to prevent danger when a child or inexperienced shooter handles ammunition. Consider storing your handguns and ammunition in two different places. That way, if a child somehow gains access to one, they won’t be able to cause any harm.

A picture of a case of ammo

How To Store Ammo In Case Of Fire

The heat produced from a fire can cause ammunition to explode, which fuels the fire. The higher the caliber of ammunition, the higher its explosion potential. If you ever have a fire at your home, call the bomb squad or police department immediately and inform them there is ammunition that needs to be safely taken care of. Although it seems counter-productive, the best place to store ammo in case of a fire is in a wooden box. Wood doesn’t conduct heat as well as the metal of ammo containers. If there is a fire, and you can do so safely, carefully transfer your ammunition to a wooden box and place it far away from the fire in a dry location.

Storing Ammo FAQs

Where can I store ammo at home safely?

The best place to store ammo at home is somewhere secure, away from windows and sunlight exposure. Always make sure to use a locking system when storing your ammunition, as this will ensure only authorized personnel has access.

Can ammo go bad? 

Yes, ammo can go bad. It is best to store ammo in a cool, dry, and dark location. If the ammunition gets too hot or the primer gets damaged, it can start to corrode. Check your ammunition regularly, making sure there are no signs of corrosion and the primers are still intact.

How do I dispose of old ammunition?

If you have old or damaged ammunition that is no longer usable, the best way to dispose of it is to bring it to a local police department. They will handle the disposal and ensure it is done correctly.

How long can ammo be stored?

With proper storage and handling, ammo can last for many years. However, if you want to ensure your ammo stays in optimal condition, it is best to use it within two years of purchase. No matter what type of ammunition you’re storing, the most important thing is safety.

Can ammo freeze?

Yes, ammunition can freeze if exposed to low temperatures and moisture. If you live in an area where temperatures drop too low, it’s best to store your ammunition in an environment-controlled space.

If you want to ensure your ammo is stored safely and securely, follow the tips mentioned above. With these guidelines, you can rest assured that your ammunition will last for years to come.

Always remember that safety is key when it comes to handling and storing ammunition. Use caution when loading, transporting, and storing your ammunition. Follow all local laws regarding the storage of firearms and ammo. By doing so, you can help keep yourself and those around you safe.

A picture of a handgun and ammo

Properly Storing Ammunition Is Easy With Colorado Handgun Safety

Safely store your ammunition by following the tips above. By taking care of your ammo, you’ll also extend its lifespan. Proper storage also equips you to be able to easily access your ammo in the event of an emergency when you need to protect yourself and your family. If you want to keep your ammunition elsewhere, you can always speak with a dealer or your local police station and inquire about their ammo storage options. 

At Colorado Handgun Safety, we’re dedicated to helping you become the most informed, safest gun owner possible. A vital aspect of being a responsible gun owner is understanding how to store your ammo. If you want to learn more about your ammo storage options or want to reserve a spot in one of our gun safety classes, please contact our team today!

Get the Best Firearm Training from Colorado Handgun Safety

Colorado Handgun Safety offers a wide variety of classes to meet the needs of all types of gun owners. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced shooter, our classes provide the knowledge and skills necessary for safe and responsible firearm ownership. Plus, our classes are taught by certified instructors with years of firearm experience.

We offer basic handgun safety classes as well as more advanced courses, such as concealed carry, self-defense, and private shooting sessions. Our goal is to ensure that all gun owners are educated and responsible in the handling of their firearms. Visit our schedule to learn more about our classes or give us a call today!

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