Collapse bottom bar

Guns & Ammo Network

Ammo Gear & Accessories

How to Make your Ammunition Last Longer

by G&A Staff   |  August 24th, 2011 33

Dick Metcalf gives some good tips on how to store ammunition and to preserve its shelf life. Follow this can’t-miss advice and your ammo will last longer.

  • Gary

    Did someone post the wrong video here???? While I generally agree with what Dick says, aside from the caveat to not constantly reload the same round into the top of the magazine, there is nothing in this video to show someone how to "make your ammunition last longer"…..if fact Dick says "shoot it up every month"….

    • Tino

      I agree, what exactly was this video supposed to do? It told me to shoot more. Clever way for the gun media companies to get me to buy more ammo.

      • John

        WTF is this, to make your ammo last longer shot all of it. I what an answer to this BS!

  • Alex

    I agree. What's up with this video. But I'll offer some advice. If you live in a humid climate invest in a dehumidifier. Keeps your powder dry and it will last longer and shoot better.

  • Ramil

    I could have sworn they were going to say something about annealing case necks of rifle cartridges to avoid neck splits in storage. I was annealing case necks before anyone knew you needs special crayons, and all ammunition factories do it, so it probably adds a lot to storage life.

  • bruce smith

    This stupid iPad did not show a video!

    So how do I make it last longer?


    A pc guy


    • Tino

      Not the iPad's fault. This video is probably Flash-based. Time for ST to get into the HTML5 era.

    • R.D.WYLIE

      Wrap in a bag one of those that you can suck out all the air , put it in a dark ammo can,and don't tell
      anyone you have it,I forgot you can wax coat the primers and around where the bullet seats!!!

  • Thomas Ivey

    What Dick is saying is to make sure that your carry ammo is always fresh. Nothing could be much worse than needing to use your firearm and finding out it will not function.

  • ford PU

    False advertising!

  • Donald

    Somebody messed up on this one. Just to add one comment to his "don't reload the same round over and over," it will also cause a hollow point round to start to deform and close the hollow point making it less effective. I had an officer in Houston consistently unload his weapon ever night and did just the same thing. The hollow point round became a "ball" round and the primer became so battered it failed to fire.

  • http://yahoo G.D. Wollesen

    I have ammo that I loaded 40+ years ago and it works like the day it was loaded.

    I only load pistol ammo with bullets that have a crimping ring.

    And I crimp all my auto loader ammo very tight.

    • R.D.WYLIE

      IF you crimp your AUTO ammo it is seating on the case mouth how do you avoid the ammo working
      it's way to far in the barrel??

  • JJ Lanza

    Why does Dick have his trigger finger inside the trigger guard while cycling the slide??

    • Jim

      Great point! What kind of "expert" does that?

  • T Mack

    So to make your ammo last longer you are to shoot more ammo?

    What the heck kind of information is this? I expected something like help on reloading or instead of live-fire exercises do some empty-gun exercises.

    This should have been titled "Shoot up your ammo so you have lots of fresh ammo around".

    Hey Shooting Times – we aren't as dumb as you apparently think!

  • Joe Traylor

    I agree the title does not match the content. General concensus among knowlegable handloaders I know is simply "out of sunlight, constant temperature of 65 to 70 degrees and less than 70 % humidity".

  • Bill White

    I didn't read all the post but I wanted the information on ammo storage, humidity, shelf live, ambient temperature,etc. Any idiot knows not to champer the same round over and over. Is Dick too old to write an informative article. It matches the down hill and less content of ST since Peterson split it out to about 5 other magazines.

  • V Huynh

    He got some important points, but really, he is working for the firearms industries or being paid by them. So naturally he encourage we fire more bullets. I believe store ammo in cool and dry place with dessicant in proper ammo boxes would ensure their longivity.

  • Joe D

    Ammo storage has so many variables, but useing military ammo cans, desicant and inside storage goes a long way. Military ammo also uses a sealer at the bullet/ case neck, and at the primer. Keeps for years and years. Those cans will last a lifetime if painted as needed, and treated with a little care.
    My advice is, load enough for a couple years at most and use it as usual while rotating / replacment as you go.
    Personally, I sometimes find it hard to keep up with my reloading because I get a high from burned powder in the A.M.'s at the range. Take care~~

  • ed g

    i had a model 1911 that had some gi hARD BALL HEAD STAMPED 1938and it fired modern ammo wont deteriorate/i fired a round that fell in a bucket of water for a month /actually im lieing about the 1938 hard ball only most of them fired/i also fired some old 30 cal luger from ww2 that was all good modern stuff doesnt deteriorate for many years

  • everet

    will someone give me hard numbers how long is rifle ammo is viable when stored properly ??

  • Dave

    I am using ammo made in 1970's without any problems at all.

  • Bob

    I used to live in Tennessee, terrible humidity. Moved to Southern Arizona 12 years ago and humidity problems evaporated. Ammo, Guns and old cars last forever. Nuff said….

  • Papa-Daddy

    10-4 on the old military rounds. Got 2 cans of 1964 7.62. I've shot through 1 can with my Springfield M1A. Had 2 (I think), misfires out of 432. I'm collecting ammo. Storing in new cans with desicant at 75 deg and 40-45% humidity year round. I expect they'll be effective for a very long time.

  • bghzzu


  • ArcForce

    Compressed Magazine spring?? in the engineering world this would be known as a half cycle. most spring steel is governed under the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) It does not matter if the magazine spring is compressed for 1000 years the spring is designed for a specific number of cycles. One full cycle being compressed to full discharge over and over, that's what wares the spring out. a constant Half cycle will never ware the spring out. this goes for everything from car doors to wiper blades its the Rate of design cycles that wares a spring out. Ie. springs are designed for 100,000 cycles then one half cycle could never ware it out. its the constant use of any object that wares it out. so the guy in the video doesn't have a clue… my 2 bits



    • ArcForce

      Hi.. No, I replied to his initial Video comment where he says compressing the Mag. spring is bad for the spring. this isn't true of springs in any way. If you read my comment. You could keep the Mag. fully compressed with no effect on tension or tensile strength 'ever' So that a false statement om his part (I'm in the Metal biz.) Thx for your reply

      • Firewagon

        Good info for those not aware how springs are designed to function, i.e., cyclic. Additional useful info would be to have some idea, from the specific firearm manufacturer, the approximate cycles their springs are designed to provide.

        Most shooters would never need this info to shoot infrequently; however, match shooters would benefit by having some idea when they should replace their mags – before experiencing the inevitable spring/mag failure.

  • greg logan

    I found a couple hundred rounds
    of .556 in my attic that were put there in 1980 and forgotten. ( freezing all winter and 115 all summer) I fired all of them a few weeks ago without a single malfunction or misfire thru my Ruger556. Modern ammo is pretty damn foolproof even though I don't reccomend this storage method.

  • Jon Y.

    yeah, my brother-in-law tried to tell me not to store my mags with ammo in them, so just what do I tell the intruder or the bad guy when TSHTF, "uh hold on, let me load up cuz I believe that keeping loaded mags will cause spring failure…BLAMMO..just not gonna happen, sorry, i rather be ready at the drop of a hat than to have to scramble! I really found ArcForce's comment to be factual coming from an engineering perspective which is the breeding ground for just about everything man-made!

    • guest

      try cycling thru your magazines keep 1 or 2 fully loaded for a month then switch to 1 or 2 different mags for a month.

back to top