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Ammo storage

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Kimber Custom, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    Well my rifle collection has gotten large enough that I finally had take the shelves out of my safe to make more long gun room. I know; tough problem the have.

    So do a need a second safe to store ammo in a humidity controlled space or does gorilla racking next to the safe work just as well?
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    cool dry lasts a good long time

    I have ammo that was bought in the mid 60's that works perfectly the only special storage it has ever had is to be in the same enviroment I was comfortable in.
    I have just finished up using 1 lb cans of IMR powder my dad bought in 1967-68 again worked perfectly.

    Now if your house has a high humidity (you got mold on the walls?) or you store your stuff in the garage which hits 110 in the summer then you might want to do soemthing else.
     
  3. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Fire department first responders would probably vote for ammo in a safe...
     
    ironmike86 and (deleted member) like this.
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I find Ammo boxes, both 7.62 NATO size and 50 Cal, work well for storing ammo. I even have a large 20MM "chest" sized box that i use to store ammo.

    My large volume ammo is .308, .223/5.56mm, and 9mm. The .308 I put in the 10 round "holders" that ammo manufacturers pack 2/box. Get all I can carry from my Club Range. These ammo holders, filled with loaded ammo, fit nicely in the 7.62mm NATO ammo box standing on end. One box will hold 15 of these carriers or 150 rounds. Put a piece of cardboard, cut to size, on each side of the box to cut movement to a minimum. The box is airtight and there's just enough room to add a small dessicant container.

    For .223/5.56 I store this in stripper clips, anti-rattle sleeves, in bandoliers. Properly folded one can get 800+ rounds in a 50 Cal Box with again, room for a dessicant pack.

    9mm is stored loose in either 7.62mm or 50 Cal boxes, depending on what's available.

    As for the Fire Department, it would be wise if they just stood back should there be a fire in my house. Besides, I'd rather it be "burned to the ground" than to mess around with my Insurance Company on their idea of "rebuilding".

    As for putting ammo in a safe, I doubt it makes it any safer (pun intended). If all the ammo were to cook off at once that safe door will just become a much larger projectile than the ones on the end of the cartridge. Un-contained ammo may "pop" but rarely does it have any damaging effect over a few feet from the origin.
     
  5. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    Fire department / first responders actually prefer that ammunition and components NOT be stored in a safe or any other strong enclosure. They want the hot gases to escape easily in the event of ignition. If (at a fire) they're told a safe has ammo and/or components they'll most likely evacuate the nearby neighborhood and drown the structure without allowing any firefighters inside. And if they're not told and find out later they're going to be really mad.
     
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    But so what? If the homeowner is complying with the law, even if it's not within the firefighters "wishes", there's nothing they could do.

    That's one reason we have laws, so we don't have to follow the wishes and desires of those who tend to go on "power trips".

    What's interesting is that Washington State Law requires any smokeless powder in excess of 25# be stored in a "strong box" or cabinet with a max of 50#. Apparently they didn't consult the Fire Department when passing this law, or did they?

    State law has no reference for max "fixed ammo" (loaded rounds) storage. Primer storage is limited to 10k in a residence.
     
  7. Izzy

    Izzy Oakridge Active Member

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    Most of my ammo is kept in military surplus ammo cans, that are in a locking file cabinet!
     
  8. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Lot's of milsurp 50BMG ammo cans. That's my answer to ammo storage. I try to buy ammo in spam cans, too, when possible.
     
  9. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I vote for and store my ammo in ammo cans as well. Funny thing about ammo cans is that is exactly what they were made for..........

    What danger does a firefighter have from loose ammo?
     
  10. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    well, what danger exists if you chuck up a 308 round in a vise and hit the primer with a punch?? Exploding rounds.....well, explode! To be in close proximity to 168 grain bullets flying around on TOP of extinguishing a fire seems to be a bit much to ask...and by the way, my ammo and powder is stored in a pretty big safe...1/2 inch steel all the way around, weighs an even ton,fire rated pretty highly. the ammo in cans, inside the safe. The odds of a house fire causing internal safe temperatures high enough to cook off ammo is unlikely, and the odds of that door coming off are even less. I just favor the idea of first responders going home in one piece.
     
  11. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    If 168gr bullets will go flying all over the place why do we need chambers to contain and direct the pressure to propel them?

    As a FF there is minimal risk from loose ammo and smokeless powder but it is still nice to know about. There is a very high risk from bullets in chambers or black powder.

    Might do some more reading on the topic vs repeating the same false info over and over, what happens to ammo in a house fire - Google Search

    While putting ammo in a safe or a proper magazine would be nice some of us dont have that little amount of ammo on hand.
     
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  12. Browning55

    Browning55 Seattle-Everett Area Active Member

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    RE POWDER STORAGE (NOT LOADED AMMUNITION)

    I do agree that state law (RCW’s) in Washington allow private storage of smokeless powder up to 25 pounds with additional amounts up to 50 pounds to be kept in a “strong box”. I was trying to avoid commenting on the collective I.Q. of our legislature but it does often appear they would straight-line a brain scan. We should also be aware that state regulations (WAC’s) along with many county codes adopt NFPA which allows 20 pounds of smokeless powder storage.

    On the subject of storage I do believe Fire Marshalls, professional firefighters, smokeless powder manufacturers, and SAAMI know more than our legislature. For example, SAAMI states “Storage cabinets should be constructed of insulating materials and with a weak wall, seams or joints to provide an easy means of self venting.” Powder manufacturers recognize the same principle. If manufacturers and other professional industry sources know more than our legislators then following the best advice (with respect to quantities between 25 and 50 pounds) would be contrary to state law requiring storage in a “strong box”. (If I had to use a strong box I would vent it by drilling a number of large holes.)

    I personally will not store smokeless powder in a safe regardless of quantity. Not only do I consider it unwise but I see potential risk and liability to others as well as my own residence. Let’s say we have a goodly quantity of smokeless powder and we decide to put it in a safe. A fire results in the powder igniting and the resulting explosion not only seriously damages or destroys our own house but also one or more adjacent structures – and possibly even injures (or worse) another person who may or may not be a firefighter. Separate from legal arguments establishing liability, I do not care to pay the resulting legal fees regardless of outcome.

    I don’t tell other people what to do – that’s not my intent or my job. We do pretty good here sharing our thoughts and reasons to hopefully help others make their own considered and informed decisions.
     
  13. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I have stuff in my house I'd like back even if there was a fire. On the other hand, I be thrilled if my rental house burned down to the foundation.
     
  14. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    I've seen plans for an Ammo/Powder "Strong box" based on SAAMI's recommendations floating around on the internet somewhere. Been planning on building one, just never got around to it. No powder or ammo (other that a mag or two pre loaded) in my safe cause of the important papers in with the guns.
     
  15. Axe

    Axe Eugene Area, OR Member

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    As a firefighter Im going to put out the fire not only to keep it from spreading elsewhere but to protect property. Some might say let the house burn down so there is less hassle with the insurance company but I have yet to hear of an insurance company that will replace family photos and heirlooms. i have also heard people say things about ammo cooking off in a fire and I'll tell you my thoughts; im not worried too much about the bullets flying around while im putting out a fire but I do worry about the brass cases as they can come apart in a fire and they do fly with some power. And just to keep my meandering on topic, I prefer to store ammo in ammo cans myself.
     
  16. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    As a firefighter you can probably appreciate that more attention should be paid to fire prevention than worrying about where to store the ammo.

    No point in building a "strong box" or filling GI ammo cans if you're also one of those people that run 20 items off a cheap extension cord. Likewise forgetting that space heaters need to be turned off when not needed as well as being kept away from flammables.

    No point in protecting the ammo if people are careless in so many other ways.
     
  17. Axe

    Axe Eugene Area, OR Member

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    I do agree wholeheartedly that more attention must be paid to fire prevention. It is a rush to go into a building and put out a fire but it is devastating for the owner. The problem in an economy like this is fire prevention is the first area to be cut when budget cuts roll around.