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Thread: Ammo storage and moisture

  1. #1
    Regular Member bigdaddy1's Avatar
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    Ammo storage and moisture

    Since moisture is bad for gun power, is it a good idea to store your ammo with rice? I read that if you drop your cell phone in water that putting it in a bowl of uncooked rice will draw the moisture out. If I put some rice in the bottom of my ammo can (army surplus) will that prevent powder damage? How safe is it to fire off aged (maybe 4 or 5 years old) ammo?
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Ever hear of folks that buy surplus ammo? Or folks that find great-granddaddy's WWII bringback? Ammo gets stored in not-climate-controlled settings all the time, and unless it has been submerged it goes bang without a problem.

    Storing rice in your ammo might impart a metallic taste to the rice. Depending on just how bad the situation is you might find the taste unacceptable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdaddy1 View Post
    Since moisture is bad for gun power, is it a good idea to store your ammo with rice? I read that if you drop your cell phone in water that putting it in a bowl of uncooked rice will draw the moisture out. If I put some rice in the bottom of my ammo can (army surplus) will that prevent powder damage? How safe is it to fire off aged (maybe 4 or 5 years old) ammo?
    Desicant (Silica Gel) would be better.

    Modern ammo is sealed very well, I've actualy seen people just to prove a point submerge ammo for a week, then fire it. That said keeping it dry is good, but it's not as moisture sensitive as you think.

    As for age, it's perfectly safe to fire old ammo, and it's usualy just as reliable to. I have personaly fired ammo from 1939 without a hitch, and I've heard of people firing ammo over a century old.
    Last edited by Small_Arms_Collector; 06-06-2012 at 02:30 PM.

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    Regular Member Ironbar's Avatar
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    I did have a bunch of problems with a box of very old .32 ACP once, with a lot of FTF's in the first ten rounds. I decided to give the rest over to be destroyed. That's the one and only problem I've had with old ammo. Everything else in any other caliber has been fine.

    As for storage, I keep mine in the gun safe. With my dehumidifiers in there, I keep the Rh right at 50 - 54% which is spot-on for long term storage.

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    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    I contacted Federal Premium, Winchester, and Remington, as well as a small bulk ammo re-manufacturer near me about this. I don't have the emails anymore, so I'll just give you a quick rundown (all four companies said basically the same thing).

    As somebody said already, modern ammo is sealed very well. As for dunking it in water, that's not a problem. The problem comes with temperature differences, causing the metals to expand and contract. Basically, if stored in a cool, dry(ish) place (really anyplace inside), the ammo will last AT LEAST 10-15 years, and function without issue. After that, there may be a small number of failures, like a couple every thousand. So, as for shelf life, don't worry about it.

    For carrying in a gun, the life expectancy is much less. This is especially true if you carry in a humid climate or with a heavily oiled gun. All companies recommended target ammo to be used/replaced after at least a year. Both Federal Premium and Winchester stated that the high-end self defense ammo is made with much closer tolerances. (Federal particularly addressed my carry ammo, Tactical Law Enforcement HST.) This high-end self defense ammo is good to carry every day in a pistol for up to 3 years. This time-frame includes extreme climates, such as Alaska were the firearm and ammo could be subjected to a lot of moisture and temperature differences of over well over 100 degrees.

    Basically, don't worry about it. I don't know about you, but I shoot every week, and my SD ammo gets a workout at least once a month, so It's not really an issue. And honestly, IMO, if your not shooting your carry gun for 1-3 years to keep up your skills, then you have no business carrying a firearm.
    Last edited by HighFlyingA380; 06-07-2012 at 02:11 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Being from Colorado, I store my ammo in Colorado. It's pretty dry here, right now, 15% humidity.

    On a more serious note, the pressure fit between a bullet and its casing is tight enough to keep out water at several atmosphere's of pressure. Just keeping your modern ammunition from getting wet is more than enough to keep its powder dry.
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