Spoiled ammo is any gun owner’s nightmare. There are few things worse than opening your ammo case to find your precious shells corroded, warped, or even worse: in mint-looking condition, but with unobservable decay that damages your barrel (or your face).
Why Does Ammo Storage Matter?
Guns & ammunition are serious investments. Neglecting to properly protect & care for them could lead to frustrating & expensive repairs & replacements. A proper ammo storage cabinet at home or ammo box on the road can prevent some of the most common bullet-ruining scenarios.
While bullets are made to withstand harsh conditions, they are not indestructible. Humidity, extreme heat, & UV light are the elements that pose the most danger to your ammo's longevity.
Before we look at some of the best models, even the best ammo storage cabinet will not be able to prevail against two operator-errors: poor storage location and lack of organization.
Ammo keeps in top condition when the environment both inside & outside the case meets three requirements: DRY, DARK, COOL.
Long-term exposure to humidity is ammo’s kryptonite.
So, in addition to being dry, an ideal ammo storage environment should maintain a steady cool temp. No need to go throwing your stash in the freezer! The interior of most houses is unlikely to reach 150 degrees fahrenheit or above (the temp at which ammo warps), but a car trunk or outdoor shed in desert heat might, causing damage bullets & affecting the performance of plastic ammo boxes.
Below-ground storage is excellent for avoiding UV rays, extreme heat, & significant temperature change, but check the environment to make sure it’s not too moist.
If there’s mold, mildew, or general humidity, you’ll want to bolster the dry-keeping factor with desiccants (those little silica packets that come in everything) in the ammo boxes & a dehumidifier in the room.
Disorganized ammo is not a mortal sin, but it can certainly frustrate your efforts to locate the correct bullets quickly & keep track of which shells have been sitting in storage the longest.
While ammo doesn’t have an expiration date, gunpowder can lose potency overtime. Avoid the potential resulting damage to your firearm &/or yourself by rotating ammo by use date.
The only way you’ll keep this straight is by labelling your shells.
Ammo can decal stickers can be purchased on Amazon for easy identification. The aim of organization is not for decoration or even inventory - it is efficiency. Tagging your ammo saves you time, money & hassle by allowing you to find ammo quickly, choose your rounds accurately, & use it in order of purchase date.
Best Ammo Cases: Metal
You’ll thank yourself when you have to grab the right ammo in a pinch. Here are some of the most trusted metal options on the market:
- Considered the “O.G.” of military-grade steel ammo boxes
- Waterproof gasket that holds 1,000 9mm rounds
- Withstands unrivaled scrutiny test (see MIL-DTL-3060F)
- Steel casing considered superior to plastic for long-term ammo storage
- “New” condition version often out of stock
- Used or surplus versions can be found, but the gasket is likely not as reliable.
For buyers who value protection and performance, but are unable to locate an original of the M2A1 above, Solid Tactical offers a steel ammo case with similar specs.
- Manufacturing company claims to give each individual can an overnight ater-submersion test (with ammo remaining safe & dry)
- Money-back guarantee
- Includes desiccant pack to resist moisture
- Metal frame makes it heavier for transport
Both this and Solid Tactical case above have over 2k+ 5-star reviews on Amazon.
- “Worry-Free” seal to keep out humidity
- Steel ammo boxes are known for being superior to plastic in air-tight seal
- Heavy gauge solid steel built to last
- Awkward for stacking storage - best remedied with a shelved ammo cabinet
Best Ammo Cases: Plastic
- Made of rugged polypropylene material
- One of the most versatile & reputable plastic ammo boxes
- Can carry upwards of 15 lbs of ammo
- Includes ATV rig attachments, for easy transport to remote locations
- Condensed organization structure makes it ideal for frequent transportation of multiple ammo types
- UV light & heat can warp plastic casing more easily than metal
- Locking latch is a plastic snap, which is less likely to withstand a drop
- Lightweight, but durable plastic
- Easy to transport
- Compact enough to store hassle-free in your ammo cabinet
- One of the most cost-effective options
- Plastic material more susceptible to effects of extreme heat
- Some users report less reliable moisture-resistance than metal cases
Tired of sifting through ammo boxes? Why not store your loaded magazines instead?
- Solid polypropylene structure that won’t rust
- No sharp edges
- Stackable design
- Water-resistant O-ring seal
Whichever ammo storage solution(s) you go for, we’ll help you fill ‘em up with the best ammo on the planet.