OPTIMUM Ammo Storage: Temp., Humidity, etc...

Discussion in 'Caliber Zone' started by undeRGRound, May 13, 2014.

  1. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    Needing Info here, as I have a growing amount of Ammo.

    1. Temperature
    I assume cool, rather than warm, but constant temp. is best, Right?

    2. Humidity
    Assuming lower is better...

    3. Atmosphere:
    Her is my biggest question, and likely hardest to find. I have "oxygen absorbers" and wondered if this would help or maybe even hurt, butit seems to me gunpowder has it's own oxidizers, and maybe these would keep oxidation away from my ammo?

    4. Fireproofing
    This is a big plus, but does anyone know how to build it in to a small room?


    Anything else you can contribute will be big help, I am working on an ammo storage project :D
     
  2. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    Optimum storage...my basement.:p

    55-65 degrees year round, low humidity, mostly concrete.

    Oxygen absorbers don't matter, as oxygen by itself does nothing without the other stuff, like humidity.

    But, you can use vacuum pack units to seal ammo well against humidity, tossing an oxygen eater in the pack hurts nothing. Then toss the packs into ammo cans.

    The typical cardboard ammo box can absorb and hold moisture, not a good thing for long term storage.

    As for fire...insure it all?
     

  3. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    Sounds good, Ajole!

    I have been googling this in the meantime, and the only (one person) disagreement I could find is that someone said oxy-packs release moisture when they absorb oxygen. But I doubt this, and they are so small, it would be miniscule if it did. So some desi-packs would offset this phantom :p

    I could do the sealed packs, then put an ox-pack in with the packages and into an ammo can. Double Sealed and all that!

    I know that when we run conduit into a fire-rated room, it has double drywall (1-1/4") for the 30 minute fire rating. So drywall is good, more is better, but a fire rated safe is best, and put that in a drywall room!
     
  4. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    I doubt the oxy eaters drop water. We put them into dry pack canned goods at a cannery my church runs, if they dropped any water, it would be really bad.
     
  5. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    We use them (as directed) to store grains in bulk, and I doubt they release moisture. too. As for oxygen, the powder has it's own oxidizer it seems :cool:
     
  6. ajole

    ajole Supporting Member

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    Just wondering. What do you think an oxidizer does?

    I haven't looked yet, but I'm betting it's something that helps fuel burn by providing...oxygen?

    Sort of the opposite of an oxygen eater?

    Anyhow, I still don't think oxygen matters.;)
     
  7. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    Exactly. The "oxidizer" in black powder was KNO3
    commonly called Potassium Nitrate. Or so I have read.
     
  8. Oxygen absorbers are essentially just powdered iron or steel and a tiny amount of moisture and a few grains of salt. The metal rusts, absorbing the oxygen out of the air to form the ferrous oxide. You introduce more moisture into a sealed ammo can by breathing into it.

    As long as you normalize it before shooting it (cold powder does burn differently than room temp) the only temp extreme that damages ammo is heat. IIRC, 130 degrees over a period of several months will alter the powder sufficiently to be measurable in pressure/velocity changes, per DOD testing. The only other concern with tempswings would be condensation, which if stored in a sealed container with dessicant, not an issue.

    Powder is self contained, no need for external oxygen, guns will fire in outer space just fine!

    Drywall is the usual fireproofing material used in construction. A couple three layers with staggered seams works better than one single thick layer.
     
  9. desertrider

    desertrider Member

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    I've been buying/stocking/hoarding ammo since '98. Still have some cases I bought as far back as '01 that I just haven't opened yet.

    I have a bunch of old Turkish milsurp from the 50's that I'm pretty sure spent much of its stored life before I acquired it in less than ideal conditions. A bunch of old WWII era 8mm milsurp stuff, too.

    I live in a reasonably dry climate with only moderate humidity a couple of months out of the year. All my ammo is kept in military ammo cans in an un-insulated, non fireproof gym locker.

    I've never had any problems with my stored ammo. I've had bad ammo, but it was faulty from the day I bought it, and not related to my storage practices.
     
  10. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    I believe I have a good plan now. Got a small room (big enough for round 1:p)
    that I could drywall to death cheaply. Install a safe and ammo storage.
    Humidity is Public Enemy #1
    Heat, and temp swings are bad also...
    A few oxy absorbers will be OK as a secondary layer of protection.
    Meaning outside of the 'brass containment zone' just in case...


    I was also thinking of making up a few 50 cal cans of 'Battle Packs' which
    would contain a variety of everything I expect to use in SHTF situations.
    But maybe a 4095/JCP specific one, and a 4595/JHP box. IDK
    Maybe I'm overthinking it :confused: