Friday, August 16, 2013

Ammo Storage: Heat, Cold, Water, And Duds

Yes, that is waaay more scope than I really need on a 10/22.

  I try to get on some of the other gun blogs at least a couple of times per week. I usually do more lurking than commenting. One question that seems to be asked regularly regards ammo storage, and how temperature effects ammunition.
  Guess what? I am not going to answer that. I'm only going to give a brief anecdote about temperatures, and .22lr ammo.

 There have been 3 boxes of .22lr and one box of Federal 9mm sitting in my truck for the past 2yrs. We don't have the crazy temperatures in VA that some of the other states have, but it's not unusual to see 100 degree to 5 degree days throughout the year.
  One box of Federal Lightning and two boxes of Remington Thunderbolt were shot last week through my Ruger 10/22. There were no FTFs with the Federal. The Remington ammunition had 3 failures to fire. That's actually better than I've seen in the past from some budget .22lr. There were no issues with the 9mm.

  That was a little boring, and not much of a test. Hopefully anecdote number two will be a little more interesting and/or informative.

  Several years ago, my downstairs flooded during a tropical storm. The bottom level of my house was under about 1-1.5 feet of water. It wasn't much of a disaster compared to what some have faced, but it was a big deal for my household.
  Can you guess where I stored my ammunition? Yep, in a footlocker on the bottom level. None of it was even in ammo cans.

  This is roughly what was on hand:

There were about 1,000 rnds of .40cal from Speer, Federal, Winchester, and Remington. Some reloads were present.

I also had at least 1,500 rnds of 9mm from Silver Bear, Remington, Federal, Blazer, and Winchester. A few hundred rounds were reloads.

A few hundred rounds of .38spl and .357magnum were present from various manufacturers. Most were no doubt Winchester WWB, and Federal.

Several bulk packs of .22lr were in the footlocker.

I had a few hundred rounds of 20ga and 12ga from Remington, Federal, and Winchester (various loads... mostly birdshot).

 There were several hundred rounds of Brown Bear and Silver Bear 7.62x39mm. An opened battle pack of Australian .308 was present (under 100 rnds).

  All of this ammunition spent several hours underwater.  I put most of it in a couple of buckets to drain, later that day. A few family members were kind enough to wipe the ammo down, and repackage it for me over the next week.
  The .22lr was thrown away. Not much money was tied up in the rimfire ammo. I wasn't concerned with losing $30 worth of .22lr with everything else that was going on at the time. I also wasn't going to take advantage of those that were nice enough to save my centerfire ammunition.

  I wouldn't recommend shooting ammunition that spent several hours being submerged, but that's what I did. You're a grownup. Make your own choices.

  All of the ammo listed above was fired over the following year. I made sure that I was the only one shooting it. A lot of misfires were expected. Would you care to guess how many there were from the thousands of bullets that were underwater?

  It was less than 10, and they were spread out among several different manufacturers, and calibers. I was very impressed by all of the ammo manufacturers that I listed in earlier paragraphs. Even the reloads came through OK.
  Surprisingly, the steel cased ammo didn't rust. I wouldn't expect it to rust when in the original packages, but the lacquer coating can get dinged up a bit when a few hundred rounds are in a Tupperware container. Then again, this was some of the first ammo that I used.

  That's my story. Hopefully anecdote number two was more helpful than the first one.

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