“The last thing you want to happen with your gun is to fail when it is needed.”
People buy firearms for safety and more often than not, they are seldom used. Not using them for longer durations and not storing them well, could cause them to fail.
Ammunition is expensive; taking a few precautions can keep them good for longer period, whereas making compromise on its storage could lead to unnecessary early damage of ammunition.
Starting off with the basics, the primer is the most vulnerable part of any ammunition and if it absorbs moisture there is an extremely high chance that the ammunition might fail.
There have been instances where people have reported using almost thirty-year-old ammunition successfully because their ammunition was stored in optimal conditions and they were able to use it even after three decades There have also been reports that cartridges which were loaded during the second world war were used a few decades later and they still fired perfectly well without any real problems - that shows that if ammunition is stored well it can last for a long time.
People think that keeping the cartridges loaded might spoil the spring in the cartridge, whereas the fact is that high quality certified firearms come with high-quality material and the spring inside the cartridge doesn’t fail due to the elongated loading of the bullets. The real reason behind their failure is found to be the wear and tear caused by the regular usage.
Here are the 10 things you would want to keep in mind to avoid ammunition failures:
- Store them in a cool and dry place: Ammunition should always be stored in a cool and dry place at room temperature as their upper casing is made of metal, and metal has the tendency of accumulating rust which may lead to their failure. Never place them on the ground; look for a higher place and always avoid storing them in places like the garage, laundry room or kitchen where the probability of usage of water is high.
- Try to store them in an ammo box: The best way of storing the ammunition is in an airtight ammo box with rubber seal hovering. Try to choose a metal box as the flex resistance of a metal box is higher than a plastic one, a plastic box will do as well but they might break easily if they fall from a height.
- Use silicon moisture absorbing packets: Always keep a couple of dry moisture absorbing packets at the bottom and the top of the container, just to make sure that even if some moisture seeps through the box those packets will suck the moisture and avoid the rusting of ammunition. The best way would be to place a couple of packets in all the directions of the box to make sure that all the possible directions are covered.
- Use the old ones first: Keep the old ammunition first so that you can finish the old ones first as they are most prone to rust and degradation due to exposure to different weather conditions. It’s always better to write dates on the stocks as it will help you sort them as per the date of purchase and using them becomes easier.
- Check them once in a while: if you don’t use them regularly, keep checking the ammunition once in a while to make sure that they are in good condition and are ready to go as you never know when the emergency will arise.
- Frequent opening of the ammo box could lead to unnecessary damage: Checking occasionally does not mean one needs to open the box every couple of days. Doing it every couple of days will lead to regular oxygen and moisture flow in the box which will lead to rusting of the bullets. To avoid unnecessary moisture accumulation only cross-check the box every 5-6 months. Ammunition is expensive; few precautions can keep them good for longer, whereas making even slightest of mistakes while storage could lead to unnecessary early damage.
- Keep a few rounds ready in vacuum-sealed bags with silicon moisture absorbing packets while travelling: People who carry their guns during travel can use vacuum-tight plastic pouches with a silicon packet placed in them and keep them in a car or bag just for emergency use, having a pack of extra ammunition is always considered safe. Especially for the people who go on hunting trips in the jungle or any place for that matter, an extra pack could come handy in an emergency.
- Remove the rusty ammunition: It is particularly important to make sure you remove rusty bullets from the pack as soon as you find any in the box, because rust tends to contaminate quickly. If you keep the rusty bullet in the pack with the other bullets, it will slowly and slowly contract others.
Final words: It’s better to have ammunition and not to use it than not having when needed, so keep them action ready as you never know when you might need them.
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Feel free to visit sibtac.com for any queries about ammunition, remember “safety comes first.”