Depending on where you live, stockpiling ammo is illegal. Certain states have certain laws surrounding how much ammo a certain person can have in their possession, and as such, it’s possible to get in trouble with the law if you’re stockpiling a large amount of ammo and weapons in your home.
This might be unsettling for some preppers that store a healthy amount of guns and ammo in case of a SHTF situation, and while you shouldn’t be worried about a police officer randomly coming to your home and asking to see how much ammo you have, it is important to know how to safely store firearms of any type.
We’re big supporters of keeping an ample amount of ammo at all times to keep you, your property, and family protected as much as possible, but to do this, you need to follow certain guidelines to ensure that your ammo and guns stay in as good of condition as possible without being a fire hazard.
So, whether you’re stockpiling guns, stockpiling ammo, or both, here are a few tips to help make your experience as seamless and stress-free as possible – whether or not stockpiling ammo is illegal where you live.
Keep your ammunition in an environment at room temperature and low humidity
Although ammunition itself is rather small, it can quickly add up once you start buying boxes upon boxes of the stuff.
Storing your ammo in an area that’s the most convenient so your stockpile is out of sight is certainly ideal, but before you think about this, you want to consider the environment that your ammo will be resting in.
Ammunition is a lot easier to store and keep in shape than something like meat, but there are still a few things to keep in mind.
For starters, you’ll want to ensure that the room your collection is in is at a constant room temperature – not too hot and not too cold. Furthermore, a room with as little humidity as possible will also go a long way to ensuring maximum longevity of your supply.
Ammo won’t really start to show signs of breakdown or wear until temperatures reach 150-degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and for most people, you likely don’t have any room in your house or apartment that ever gets to this temperature.
According to Rick Patterson, Managing Director of SAAMI, “Definitely avoid storing ammunition in a car on a hot sunny day – that’s probably the single most likely scenario that could cause problems for the average shooter. With extremely high temperatures, you get rapid degradation of the ammunition components.”
Dry powder is good powder
Gun powder is something a lot of preppers will likely have on hand when storing a lot of ammo, and just like bullets that are all made and ready to go, you’ll need to ensure your powder stays in tip top shape as well.
When storing powder, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that you store it in an area where there’s low humidity. This is particularly important for powder compared to bullets, as keeping your powder dry will allow it to stay in storage in a working condition for a much longer time.
However, this does mean that storing gun powder in a damp basement won’t work. It’ll get moist, moldy, and quickly deteriorate to a state that isn’t usable.
Commenting on this matter, Rick Patterson says, “One of the biggest issues caused by humidity is corrosion of the brass casing and perhaps even the bullet. Number one that changes the dimensions of the case and creates friction, which may not allow the cartridge to seat in the chamber correctly. It could also weaken the cartridge, so take a look at the external conditions of the case.”
Storing guns for short and long-term storage
When storing guns, you’ll likely want to keep certain weapons for short-term storage, and others that’ll stay hidden away for a longer amount of time.
Before you put away a gun for either long or short storage, you’ll want to make sure that you give it a good cleaning. Properly cleaning your gun should always go from the inside out. The inside of your weapon gets dirty after prolonged shooting, causing your accuracy to quickly worsen.
When cleaning your weapon, getting a good, deep clean inside of the barrel will allow you to see the best results. Cleaning rods can really make a difference here, and when everything is done, you’ll want to throw on something to prevent possible rust.
If you’re storing your guns for the long-term, we advise to not lubricate the entire weapon. However, choose to add a very small coat to only the outside of the gun.
As for where to store your weapon, we suggest doing it in a gun safe. Yes, gun safes can get expensive, but they’re invaluable if you want to keep your guns working and looking as good as possible while keeping them in storage. A good gun safe will keep your guns clean, dry, and safe from any sort of possible harm.
Along with the gun safe itself, we also recommend getting an electric heating elements to go along with it. Even if you’re just using a light bulb, put this at the bottom of the safe. This will allow warm, dry air to constantly flow around your guns, and when keeping them in storage for a prolonged amount of time, will help to keep them working as great as possible when you go to take them out.
Storing ammo and weapons is one of the easier parts of being a prepper, but even as simple of a task as it is, there are still a few tips that you’ll want to be aware of to ensure you don’t make an easy mistake that compromises your entire collection. Keep your guns and ammo in a dry area where they’re safe from wetness and humidity, invest in a safe if you have the cash, and you’ll be set for years to come.