Due to concerns of increased government gun control and restrictions on ammunition, it makes good sense to stock up now before ammo gets more expensive and less available. Also, ammunition will be a highly valuable commodity for barter in a post-collapse situation, so you might want to store a surplus of commonly used ammo for that purpose (if your budget allows).
Most ammunition can have an extremely long shelf-life when stored under the proper conditions. There’s plenty of decades-old surplus ammo out there that still performs just as well as the day it was manufactured. Humidity and drastic changes in temperature are the biggest threats. Obviously, primers and powders lose their potency when exposed to moisture, but the biggest concern is corrosion of the casings. Below are a few basic tips to keep your ammo in safe, optimal condition for years to come:
- Keep your ammo in factory sealed containers until you need to use it.
- Store boxes of ammo in air-tight containers, such as surplus military ammo cans.
- Use a desiccant (silica packets or pieces of heat-treated drywall) in your cans to absorb ambient moisture.
- Keep your ammo in a part of the house where temperature and humidity are low and remain relatively constant. Your bedroom closet may be a better choice than your cellar or garage.
- If you must store ammo in a place that experiences high humidity, use a de-humidifier and keep track of humidity levels with a hygrometer.
- Allow for air circulation beneath and between ammo cans. Use 2x4s to keep cans off the floor and as spacers between cans.
- Keep your ammo out of direct sunlight and excessively high temperatures.
- Write down storage dates and rotate your stock.
I should also mention that states have different laws regarding how much ammunition you can legally store. Penalties for violation of these laws can be pretty stiff, so make sure you find out what the laws and regulations are in your state.