Best Ammo Storage Containers for Survival Situations: Top 5 Picks for 2020

There is more to staying properly prepared with your firearms than simply purchasing bullets. A huge factor that many people fail to consider when preparing for survival situations is that ammunition for your firearms will need to be properly stored in order to remain reliable and useful.

best ammo storage containers in survival situations

Ideally, we will never need to use the ammo in an emergency situation but should that time come then it is absolutely vital that our ammo will work when we need it to.

How can we stack the odds in our favor by increasing the chances of our bullets remaining viable? We can do so by paying attention to how we choose to store our ammunition.

Let’s take some time to get into proper ammo storage practices, which types of ammo containers are ideal for potential survival situations, and just what factors we need to consider when investing in our ammo storage containers.

Before that, if you are in a hurry, here are my top product picks:

CONTAINERS DETAILS
  • Large amount of ammo stored for a fair price.
  • Water resistant o-ring helps to prevent moisture from infiltrating ammunition store.
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  • Very environmentally resistant exterior casing.
  • Spacious interior allows these containers to be used for more than just bullets.
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  • These cans are confirmed to be airtight and waterproof.
  • High level of longevity with these containers considering the tough steel construction.
  • The efficient design allows for high ammo capacity, easy storage, and these boxes.
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Proper Ammo Storage for Survival Prepping

Proper ammo storage for survival situations begins by understanding exactly which factors diminish the potency and reliability of your ammo stocks.

Factors that may diminish your ammo stock are:

  • Aged ammo/Long term storage
  • Abusive handling
  • Bullet point blunting
  • Temperature induced stress/exposure to extreme variations in temperature/climate.

So how do we minimize these diminishing factors affecting our ammunition stockpiles? I know that in my experience that proper ammo storage is a discipline that becomes easier to maintain with habits and proper ammo storage containers.

In some extreme cases, misfires have occurred due to improper ammo storage which can create increased chamber pressure when firing caused by temperature variance. Even in the less extreme examples this effect can be quite negative because it can cause slight variances in bullet trajectory and the accuracy of your shots could be absolutely vital in a potential survival situation.


Best Ammo Storage Containers: Top Picks

Now let’s take a look at some of the ammo storage products that have stood out to me and assess their pros and cons. To be fair, these are some solid products listed here so we have to reach a bit for cons as these are generally well-designed products.

These ammo storage containers are all certainly superior to my father’s original system of keeping them in the couch cushions.

Breaking down the various factors when it comes to ammo storage solutions will better help you to understand which products will satisfy your needs and which ones will not.

1. Best Value Ammo Storage Container – Rangemaxx Shotshell Ammo Can Review

The range max shotshell ammo can is one of the more economical ammo storage solutions. At the time of this article writing it is priced quite low and can hold a fair amount of ammunition. The midsize allows for decent ammo storage and also for trips to the range and the handle makes it easier to carry.

Pros:

  • Easy to carry and store.
  • Very affordable and fairly priced for its size and capacity.
  • Water resistant with a solid latch.

Cons:

  • Smaller size means less possible ammo stored
  • The lock seems easily breakable
  • You would need to purchase several of these store a decent amount of ammunition

Customer Sentiments:

For the price, most customers are pleased with this product as it is cheap, basic, and gets the small job done.

2. Most Variable – MTM Ammo Can Combos MTM Review

MTM ACC9 Ammo Can Combo (Holds 1000 Rounds)

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The MTM ammo can combos are a nice ammo storage solution due to the fact that it is a high-quality product that is capable of holding large amounts of ammunition. This product combo comes with several cans but you can use it to store your ammunition that are water resistant.

Pros:

  • Large amount of ammo stored for a fair price
  • Water resistant o-ring helps to prevent moisture from infiltrating ammunition store
  • This product consists of three different potential ammo can combinations and allows for variable ammo storage solutions.

Cons:

  • Smaller ammo cans in the combo are thin
  • Smaller ammo cans in combo have no handles for carrying and should be stored in the primary box
  • Only 3 possible can combos available (700 round combo, 1,000 round combo, and 400 round combo)

Customer Sentiments:

The majority of customers for the MTM Ammo Can Combos seem to like the variable aspect of can orders which allows for a degree of custom bullet organization.

MTM ACC9 Ammo Can Combo (Holds 1000 Rounds)
  • Ammo Can 9mm Combo, 1000 Rounds, Flat Dark Earth
  • Double Latch Design

Last update on 2020-09-29 at 07:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Reliable Classic – 50 Cal. Military Surplus Ammo Can Review

.50 Cal Military Surplus Ammo can

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This classic ammunition storage container is easily recognized by anyone with basic military knowledge or has washed war movies. The iconic 50 caliber military surplus ammunition can is a reliable ammo storage solution that is both airtight and watertight and easily stackable for larger stockpiles of ammo. Interior dimensions are as follows: 11 x 5.6 x 6.75 inches.

Pros:

  • Very environmentally resistant exterior casing.
  • Collapsible handle and design allow for both easy transportation and make these containers safe to stack upon one another.
  • Spacious interior allows these containers to be used for more than just bullets.

Cons:

  • Has no exterior lock so it is difficult to keep others from accessing them.
  • Can be extremely heavy when fully loaded so Transportation can be a challenge at times.
  • These containers are very recognizable to anyone who lays eyes on your 50 cal military surplus ammunition container will have an idea of what’s inside of it.

Customer Sentiments:

Many favor this old reliable ammo container not just for it’s efficient design and decent storage capacities but also for it’s sense of nostalgia and place in history. Not everyone is thrilled about carrying them when full and heavy though.

Last update on 2020-09-29 at 07:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Best Design Ammo Storage Container – Tactical Overlord Ammo Can Review

Tactical Overlord New Ammunition Storage Container Metal Case Waterproof...

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To me, the Tactical Overlord Ammo Can seems like a modernized and updated product based off of the design of the classic 50 caliber military surplus ammunition can. This product has many of the same positive attributes that the 50 caliber military surplus ammunition container possesses and seems to improve upon the design in a few different ways. The Tactical Overlord Ammo Can is manufactured by The Army Force Gear Family.

Pros:

  • These cans are confirmed to be airtight and waterproof as they are tested by being submerged in 10 ft of water to confirm the animal inside remains dry.
  • High level of longevity with these containers considering the tough steel construction and the fact that these were made with high quality metal.
  • The efficient design allows for high ammo capacity, easy storage, and these boxes are able to be stacked as well.

Cons:

  • High weight capacity means that these can be challenging to transport when fully loaded.
  • There is no locking mechanism present on this product.
  • Availability seems to be an issue at times as they tend to sell out.

Customer Sentiments:

Customers with this one have had mixed feelings on this one. While the structure is solid and it accomplishes it’s goal very well, there is no denying that this one chips easily and the aesthetic is easily compromised. If the appearance of your ammo containers is an important factor to you then this one might not be an ideal purchase for you.

Tactical Overlord New Ammunition Storage Container Metal Case Waterproof...
  • MAKE IT YOUR OWN - Click on Customize Now to enter your custom text, name or initials, and to choose...
  • AIR TIGHT and WATERPROOF - Keep your ammunition dry and ready! Each of our cans are individually...

Last update on 2020-09-29 at 07:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Middle Ground Choice – Plano Field Box Review

Plano 131250 1312 Ammo Box

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I’m fond of the Plano Field Box due to the fact that it is somewhat of a middle ground of many of the positive attributes of the other ammo storage containers listed in this article. It is mid size so it can contain a decent amount of ammo without being too bulky so you can also use it to go to the range. The Plano Field Box is made from durable polymer and it does have a locking mechanism but the price is fair.

Pros:

  • The combination of the water resistant O-ring seal and a durable polymer make this a fairly resistant ammo storage container.
  • The efficient shape and design allow for a decent amount of ammo storage while also still being stackable upon one another.
  • Locking mechanism is present so this one has a degree of safety precaution built into it.

Cons:

  • Smaller size means that you will need to purchase several of them even tend to store a larger amount of ammunition for potential survival situations.
  • The locking mechanism is useful but the hinge is relatively small so it will keep praying hands out of it but a good hammer strike would open it right up.
  • The polymer exterior is quick to show dings and abrasions on its surface.

Customer Sentiments:

The majority of Plano Field Box are pleased with the purchase as long as they understand it’s pros and cons. I’ve read that some users did not receive the slide out tray that was supposed to be included but I have not experienced that myself

Plano 131250 1312 Ammo Box
  • Dimensions: L=11.63in. x W=7.13in. x H=5.13in.
  • Brass Bailed Latch and Heavy Duty Handle

Last update on 2020-09-29 at 07:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API



Ammo Storage Container Buying Guide

So it’s come time to purchase an ammo container. Just what are you looking for in such a purchase?

Here are a list of factors that I consider worth thinking about as you shop for your own ammo container products:

  • Does it keep moisture/water out?
  • Is safe and secure but allows me fast access when needed?
  • Is it properly sealed to avoid/minimize corrosion of bullets?
  • Is it not highly heat conductive so as to avoid heat damage to ammo stockpile?
  • Does it holds bullets in place well enough to avoid abrasion damage incurred from having to move your ammo container
  • Does it have some form of organization chart or card system if you are mixing various ammunition types?

FAQ Regarding Storing Ammo

I recall having to hunt through the couch cushions for bullets back before my old man picked up proper storage containers as a kid so I can personally testify how useful a solid ammo storage container can be. Weird chore to be performing as a kid but the lesson stuck with me.

When discussing methods for properly storing ammo here are questions that often come up and answers to those questions:

Q: Ammo Storage Ideas: How to Store Ammo Properly?

Ammo should be stored in a secure container that will prevent moisture from infiltrating your bullets. It is important to store your ammo stocks in a location that will not be subject to severe weather fluctuations.

Q: How To Keep your Ammo Dry and Safe?

There are a wide variety of ammo storage products that work wonderfully when it comes to keeping your ammo dry and safe and we will cover some of them further ahead in this article. Where you choose to store your ammo container will be a factor as well. Do not store your ammo in areas that are prone to moisture or that you have less control over the temperatures. You can even insert waxed parchment paper or oilskin to add an additional layer of protection for your bullets.

Q: Where to store your Ammo?

You will want to consider the temperature fluctuations where you want to store your ammo and whether or not moisture will be a problem. Bullets begin to lose gas at 125 degree fahrenheit which causes an imbalance of the pressure in your firing chamber and on the other hand freezing temperature exposure for bullets means a potential loss of ballistic performance so it best to seal your ammo in an ideal lock box or container and store in a gun safe or place where you have more control over environmental factors.


Verdict

There are a wide variety of ammo storage container solutions available on today’s market so it is important to understand your own specific needs and the pros and cons of these various ammo storage containers.

After you assess your own needs you might find that a combination of the products listed are ideal for what you are looking for so that you have different containers for longer-term storage, other containers for transport to the range and hunting, and whatever else your needs might be.

Investing in the best ammo storage container will greatly contribute to staying ready should any form of survival situation arise so that you can more

One of my first mentors always used to tell me to never forget the 6 P’s:

“Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance”



Joseph and Noemi Gonzales
Written by Joseph and Noemi Gonzales

Joseph Bryant and Noemi Gonzales are a dynamic duo that share a passion for firearms, survival education and gear, martial arts, and adventure. These two also have experience with hunting, training with firearms, various forms of self-defense, and preparing for potential worse-case-scenarios and work hard to pass this knowledge on to their two daughters. Read this duo's full interview here. Read more of Joseph and Noemi's articles.

3 thoughts on “Best Ammo Storage Containers for Survival Situations: Top 5 Picks for 2020”

  1. We live near the ocean so humidity is always a problem with ammo storage. Even on hot days we see fog roll in. Lost a bunch of rim fire cartridges to moisture. Ammo cans with moisture absorbing packs keep my powder dry. Ziplock bags keep stuff organized inside them with labels & dates for quick identification. Like with food it’s good to use the old stuff first. Also good to test fire for dependability & accuracy.

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  2. I bought a bunch of the Plano ones on Black Friday last year and I use them for the ammo I do not stockpile as much (30/30, .38 special, etc). I didn't get a slide out tray with mine… but I only paid $3.99 a piece for them

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  3. Although I live in the hot and dry desert, I still put dessicant packs in my ammo boxes (I have Plano boxes). I get the packs free from a local guitar store. Most stores just throw them away, so, if you have a guitar store close by, go see if you can get some packs for free.

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