Today, I have something really important to share…
A comprehensive guide to finding, buying, and utilizing ammo cans.
Because if you own ammo, you owe it to yourself to protect your investment!
And ammo cans will:
- Significantly increase it’s longevity.
- And maintain its accuracy
Having an organized, systematic approach helps with both…
Table Of Contents
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And there are two basic types of ammo cans to choose from:
Metal or Plastic.
Neither option is “right” nor “wrong.”
They’re just “better” or “worse” depending on YOUR circumstances.
But in general:
- If you’re buying for long-term ammunition storage – go with metal.
- If you want help with transportation to and from the range – go with plastic.
Metal has stood the test of time – but it’s heavy.
Plastic can deform over time (especially in extreme temps), but it’s lighter.
If you’re still on the fence about metal vs. plastic, watch the following videos:
↓ Metal Vs. Plastic Ammo Boxes
↓ Long-Term Ammo Storage – Metal Vs. Plastic
Note: If you’re interested in even more ammo storage info and “how to store your ammo for the long term,” check out our comprehensive ammo storage guide.
This is ammo crate setup is hard to beat. It’s perfect for storing several calibers in a systematic and organized way.
Why? Because you get 4 cans AND an ammo crate that fits the cans perfectly (5 pieces total). This means you can store, organize, and haul a ton of ammo in a hassle-free way.
The individual cans simply lift out of the crate. So you can take just a single can or take all four by picking up the crate.
All these cans are 30-caliber, making them convenient to store all types of ammo in bulk.
And with the addition of the specialized crate, you can stack your ammo as high as you’d like (from floor to ceiling). All without worrying about knocking them over.
The cans and ammo crates are made of rugged polypropylene for extreme durability. Many people prefer hard plastic over metal – since it won't rust and there are no sharp edges.
Plus, the crate includes 4 tie-down locations for truck or ATV transportation.
The ammo cans also have a water-resistant O-ring seal and a heavy-duty latching system. Albeit, the latch is a plastic snap lock which may have some durability concerns.
But everyone agrees this is the absolute best ammo crate set up for hauling ammo to the practice range.
Finally, all MTM products are “Made In USA” in Dayton Ohio.
One reviewer performed a test to see how much ammo he could fit via different calibers:
- "700 rounds of 45 auto was pretty much it. Maybe another 25 rounds.
- 116 rounds of 12ga shells @ 2.75" long. Also, could fit another 10-12 if need be.
- 1000 rounds of 9mm and plenty of room for at least another 150.
- I did a test with some 5.56 from a buddy. We got to 450 rounds with room still left
- This is PER CONTAINER by the way."
↓ MTM 4 Can Ammo Crate Cheap Storage Solution
Now, let's take a look at a product from Plano - the most cost-effective ammo can on the market.
This plastic can features a water-resistant O-ring seal that’s designed to keep your ammo dry and safe. It includes a brass latch and a heavy-duty carrying handle.
This is a stackable ammo box and according to one reviewer, it can hold the following:
- "9mm @ 1,000 rounds in the original boxes!!! (S&B 115 Gr FMJ... 20 Boxes of 50 rds)
- or- 9mm @ 500 rounds of LE in original boxes (Winch. Ranger 147 Gr SXT... 10 boxes of 50 rds)
- or- 223 Rem @ 520 rounds in original boxes (Wolf Prem. Gold 55 Gr FMJ... 26 boxes of 20 rds
- or- 12 ga @ 100 rounds in original boxes!!! (Royal Buck 2-3/4" 00 Buck. 20 boxes of 5 shells)"
Now, this ammo box is a go-to when storage space is limited. For example, if you’re trying to fit an ammo can inside a gun safe and you need something compact.
Finally, it’s near impossible to find something this good at a lower price point (unless that price point is FREE).
↓ Plano Field Box Test: Water Resistant? Or Not?
This metal ammo can feature a “WORRY-FREE SEAL” that's considered air and watertight.
It comes with a hinged lid with a locking latch and a flat-folding handle.
It’s built to last since it’s made of heavy gauge solid steel. The lid includes a rubber gasket that ensures a tight fit to keep water and air out.
It comes in classic camo green color (.30 caliber or .50 caliber), tan color (.50 caliber only), or black color (.50 caliber only).
Here’s a helpful comment from one reviewer to consider:
"Here's what I consider the biggest advantage of this container. I stored loose ammunition in this can, and also in plastic ammo cans made by Plano and MTM. The plastic cans had rubber seals around the inside of the lid. So I assumed they would keep out moisture from humid air. I placed desiccant packs in all the containers.... the kind of desiccants that have beads that go from blue (when dry) to pink (when saturated). The desiccants in the plastic ammo boxes turned pink in less than two weeks. However, the desiccants in this metal can were still blue in the same period. For this reason alone, not to mention the superior strength of the Redneck can... I’m buying more metal cans to store all my ammo."
One concern is the stackability of these.
The carry handle creates a small “void” on the bottom of each can that’s slightly off-center. This causes a very high stack of them to slant…
↓ Product Review: Redneck Convent Waterproof Ammo Box
Tired of storing all your ammo in boxes or loose inside an ammo can, why not just store your loaded magazines instead?
This Tactical Mag Can from MTM allows you to do exactly that.
It's designed to hold up to 14 magazines inside foam-tight foam inserts.
It comes with 2 carry handles, and 4 tie-down points and they are designed to be stackable.
It's a simple but effective ammo crate design.
Note: This specific mag can is for .308 mags.
↓ MTM Tactical Mag Can, Is It Worth It?
Here’s an ammo crate that can carry a ton of ammo or gear! It provides an immense amount of storage space.
One reviewer's take:
"I love this anno crate. It seems well made. I started looking into an alternative for storing ammunition in traditional ammo cans (.30, .50, fat .50's etc.) I needed something that would keep my ammunition dry and organized.
These ammo crates are especially useful for storing shotgun shells or other ammunition that is not densely packed (example Remington green/white .223). When filled moving them is still manageable.
They stack well too. I was able to fit (60) boxes of Remington green/white box .223 in it without having to damage any of the boxes.
If I were to pack these into .50 cans I can only fit 300 to 400 rounds (without removing them from the box). I plan on buying more. Buy some, you won't be disappointed."
This ammo crate includes 2 strong handles and is designed to be stackable. And includes dual padlocks and four tie-down tabs.
This helps provide extra security and makes transportation easier.
This ammo crate also includes a water-resistant O-ring seal which will keep your ammo and gear dry in wet conditions.
↓ MTM Molded Products Ammo Crates and Cases
Here’s a nice assortment bundle of ammo cans (small, medium, and large). Here are the measurements of each size:
- Small – 10 7/8” by 3 3/4” by 7” (30 cal)
- Medium – 11 7/8” by 6 1/8” by 7 1/2” (50 cal)
- Large – 12 7/8” by 7 1/4” by 9” (fat 50 cal)
One nice feature is these three cans are able to nest inside each other. So, they save space if you want to haul them around empty (like back home after the shooting range).
Each ammo box is airtight and water-resistant due to the thick rubber seal that comes with each.
They also have metal laches, metal hinges, and a metal handle.
So, this is a good deal if you're looking for multiple sizes in a single purchase.
If you are looking for a bulk discount, these 6 large 30 cal plastic ammo boxes might do the trick.
These are water-resistant due to their tongue and groove lid design and rubber-sealed gasket. Plus, they include pre-drilled holes for adding a padlock.
They also have a nice hinged plastic handle for convenient transportation.
The one complaint is it's not extremely heavy-duty and not a guarantee to be “airtight” for the long term.
But at this price point, these still may be worthwhile if you’re primarily looking to organize your stash.
↓ Metal Ammo Can | Box – Unboxing Review
This ammo can has one very nice bonus feature for those who want even more organization. It includes ten 100-round containers that fit inside the ammo box itself.
These extra containers are an excellent second level of organization. It’s perfect for those who can’t stand just dumping their ammunition haphazardly into their cans.
It also comes with color-coded stickers sheets with 4 color choices (a total of 80 labels). Plus, 10 ammo description cards.
One reviewer’s take:
“Awesome Can for 9mm. Worth every penny. It comes with 10 100 Rd cases and one large container that holds all 10. Plus, it has enough room for 1 more. I just received this today. But can already tell it is going to make ammo storage, range days and reloading so much easier.”
Adding ammo can locks is always a good idea.
Sure, a lock won't stop a thief, they would just take the whole can. But they will prevent kids from accessing your ammunition stash.
However, there are two options, adding lock hardware or adding a hanging lock.
If you want your ammo cans to hold magazines, then you have to get foam inserts. These help to keep your magazines organized and protected.
There are many different foam insert cutouts to choose from. Such as the Case Club M2A1 .50 Cal Foam Insert.
Or you can click here to see many more foam insert options.
Metal boxes have been a staple of preppers and outdoor enthusiasts for ages.
But there’s some tall tales and bad information floating around out there.
Let’s set the record straight.
Myth #1: All Ammo Cans Are Created Equal
Now, I know what you’re thinkin’ – “Ammo cans are just metal boxes, right?” Well, not quite!
There’s a world of difference between those surplus military cans and the cheap imitations you might find at the local store.
The real deal, the military-spec cans, are built like a tank.
They’re sealed tight, waterproof, and designed to withstand a nuclear blast (almost).
So don’t skimp on quality when it comes to your ammo cans!
Myth #2: Ammo Cans Are Only for Ammo
Wrong again! Sure, they’re called “ammo cans,” but these versatile boxes are good for a whole heap of other things.
You can use them to store all kinds of gear – from tools to first aid supplies, and even your precious survival gear.
Just slap a label on them, and you’ve got yourself a neat and organized storage solution.
Myth #3: Ammo Cans Are Totally Airtight
Now, don’t get me wrong, ammo cans are pretty darn good at keeping’ moisture out, but they ain’t perfect.
Some folks think these cans are completely airtight, but there’s still a tiny chance that moisture can sneak in over time.
So, it’s always a good idea to toss in a few moisture-absorbing packs, like silica gel or desiccant, just to be safe.
Myth #4: Ammo Cans Will Keep Your Ammo Good Forever
I wish this one were true.
But alas, even ammo can’t stand up to Father Time.
Ammo cans do a bang-up job of protecting’ your bullets from the elements, but they won’t make your ammo last forever.
Ammo still has a shelf life, and factors like temperature and humidity can affect it over time.
Be sure to rotate your stock and check your rounds regularly.
Myth #5: Ammo Cans Are Bulky and Impractical
Some folks think that ammo cans are too heavy and bulky to carry around in a bug-out situation.
But let me tell ya, they’re worth their weight in gold!
Sure, they ain’t featherlight, but they’re rugged and can take a beating.
Owning an ammo stockpile is an investment.
An investment in your personal defense.
And like any worthwhile investment, you should protect it.
With ammunition, that means using ammo cans.
And honestly, they’re not all that expensive.
Plus, you buy them once, and they’ll last you a lifetime.
It’s a resilient and wise way to keep your ammunition as organized and protected as possible.
Prepare, Adapt & Overcome,
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