When gun owners buy bullets, they think about loading them into the chamber, shooting them out the barrel, and seeing where they land. However, they also need to think about where they will put them before they put them inside their gun. Without that little foresight, they might make a mistake that leaves their ammunition virtually worthless. Nobody wants to waste a perfectly good bullet, especially before even getting the thrill of simply firing it.
If you have read our blog posts, you know that we at OTM Tactical are experts on ammunition. We have explored the history of ammunition and spotlighted top brands like Berger Bullets, to name a couple of posts. Now, we can show you how to keep your bullets from getting damaged or otherwise negatively affected while you keep them stashed away. Here are a few tips for proper ammo storage, directly from OTM Tactical’s shooting professionals.
Keep Them Somewhere Cool
For all their explosive potential, bullets are not immortal. In fact, the level of complexity in all the chemical reactions that make said explosions happen makes them quite vulnerable to slight shifts in conditions. For this reason, we urge rifle owners to beware of two factors when choosing a storage spot for their ammo. The first of these is temperature.
Exposure to high temperatures can compromise the integrity of the bullets by dissolving the lubricants and solvents that keep their components together. Worse than consistently high temperatures — or consistently low temperatures, for the matter — are inconsistent temperatures. Swings from hot to cold can cause stress on the metal parts of the bullets. They may expand and contract a few times a year, which is terrible for maintaining integrity.
When you choose a storage spot, make sure that it is in a consistently cool location. Check that it is dark as well. A concentration of sunlight over an extended period could prove to be too much heat.
Avoid Humidity at All Costs
The second factor we wanted to mention for choosing a storage spot is humidity. Excessive humidity can have even worse effects than temperature shifts alone. It can cause corrosion, rust, and other ill effects that would utterly corrupt your metallic cases and shells. The effects may vary based on the materials. Still, whether they are made from aluminum or lead or something else, any metal is susceptible.
You may want to consider removing the bullets from their box and keeping them in resealable plastic bags. As you close them, try to press the air out before sealing them completely. Better still, if you can, use a vacuum-sealing method. This should prevent moisture from getting in and staying long enough to wreak havoc on your supplies.
We cannot stress enough the importance of a good location for your bullets. Basements and garages are prone to getting musty. Attics rarely fare better. Maintaining a humidity-free environment should also be a priority. You should think about using a dehumidifier. Lastly, check on your bullets regularly for possible damage from temperature and humidity.
Stay Organized with Ammo Storage
Preventing damage is just one aspect of ammo storage, albeit a critical one. Another is keeping everything organized. Shooting enthusiasts tend to own multiple rifles, which may be of entirely different models, builds, or types. No bullet is universal, so they will need to purchase different types of ammunition that are compatible for each of those weapons.
As hobbyists amass ammo, their collection may soon prove unwieldy. As soon as you purchase your second distinct type of ammunition, we strongly advise that you find ways to stay organized. Keep them in different locations or apply clear labels on any containers you use. Invent some kind of system that makes sense to you — for example, rifle bullets on one side of the closet, handgun bullets on the other.
Misplacing your bullets completely is just as bad as decimating their lifespan. Either way, you would lose them. This mistake would be especially alarming for gun owners with children. Without trying to get too grim, kids should not be able to find bullets — another vital factor of proper ammo storage. This example should make it clear that organizational skills are not just for personal convenience. A good system can show you when something is not where it should be.
Use Older Ammo First
Ammunition can last a long time, but not forever. Urban Survival Site advises that rifle owners select which bullets they will use for any given occasion based on when they bought them. The oldest ones, they suggest, should take priority. You know that the new ones should be good for a long time, while the ones purchased long ago may not have much time left.
Organizational skills will also come in handy here. If this piece of advice intrigues you, then you should develop a habit of affixing boxes, bags, or other containers with labels showing purchase dates. You may also want to start moving ammunition around so that the oldest ones are the first you see. That way, you will guarantee to yourself that you will receive your money’s worth.
Organizing everything in chronological order is a practical measure against the possibility of forgetting about older purchases. Time makes everything defective. Understanding this fact will help you appreciate everything a little more — including your bullets.
Get High-Quality Ammunition
You could have a state-of-the-art shooting machine in your arsenal. However, without equally excellent ammunition, the gun’s tactical and competitive advantages could be canceled out — or worse. Low-quality bullets are also more susceptible to storage conditions, and they could become defective in less time.
What a professional really needs are top-notch bullets with exceptional integrity, optimized designs, and lengthy lifespans. These and other qualities will mitigate, if not entirely nullify, the ammo storage problems described in this article.
You can find bullets like this right here at OTM Tactical, home of a variety of top ammunition brands. Our selection is extensive and comprehensive, covering a vast array of loaded ammo types for many different rifle types and models. Check out our inventory and place an order today!