During 2008, Americans stockpiled ammunition out of fear of the economic crisis and the election of President Obama. Years later, shooters have troves of ammo (some of which is scarce to this day), but whether these stockpiles are in good condition is another story.

This guide discusses ways to improve the longevity of your ammo, as well as the safest (and legal) ways to store and transport it.

Why Extend the Shelf Life of Your Ammo?

Many shooters take the time to maintain their firearms, but they assume their ammunition stockpile will last forever. This is a dangerous assumption. In fact, how your ammo is stored determines its longevity. Think of your ammunition as insurance, a safeguard in case of emergency. Just like any insurance, your hoard of ammo comes with a disclaimer – that if not properly maintained, it could be rendered useless after a certain amount of time.

Shooters who store their ammo in an air conditioned space and use it within 12 months of purchase should have no problem with quality. However, those who stockpile should make a habit of proper maintenance.

If you are one of the many shooters who took advantage of the 2008 collapse as a time to stockpile ammunition, then your trove of ammo is nearing a decade in age. That means if you have been caring for it incorrectly for the past 10 years, it could fail you when the time comes to use it.

The 3 Rules of Ammo Storage

Want to ensure a long shelf life for your ammunition investment? There are just three easy steps to making sure your ammo stays reliable.

Keep Ammo Dry

Moisture is kryptonite to ammunition. And no matter where you live, there is moisture in the air. Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your ammo dry.

  1. Ammo Cans: The military learned about moisture the hard way, which is why they invented ammo cans. Make sure yours have rubber seals to ensure no moisture gets inside.
  2. Moisture-Absorbing Packs: These handy (and cheap!) packs should always be kept with your ammunition, whether it is stored in an ammo can or Ziplock bag.
  3. Environment: Use common sense when choosing a room to store your ammunition. Moisture-rich spaces like laundry rooms, steam rooms and bathrooms are never good choices. Wherever you decide to keep your stockpile, store it “high and dry” off the ground.

Continue reading Protecting Your Ammo: A Guide to Safely Storing and Transporting Ammunition at Ammo.com.