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Old October 2, 2012, 01:08 PM   #1
Captains1911
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Ammo Can Gaskets & Oil

This may not be the best place for this, if not my apologies. Anyway, I store all my ammo in ammo cans. When I first started doing this, I would apply some Breakfree CLP to the rubber (neoprene?) seal gaskets with a q-tip, because I once read somewhere that this could help increase their longevity. Now I'm reading that I may have done more harm than good as petroleum based oils can breakdown rubber. Great...I have probably done this to 15-20 cans, and although I haven't noticed any deterioration, I really haven't been looking that closely. Although, applying the Breakfree to the seals turns the q-tip black. Am I over stressing? I really don't want to have to replace $200 worth of cans, but I will if that's what I need to do to ensure they have good seals.
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Old October 2, 2012, 01:15 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captains1911
Am I over stressing?
Yes, you're over-stressing by DOING it in the first place, say nothing about worrying about what you've done afterwords.

Ammo stored in those cans under normal conditions will last for DECADES. Longer than you'll ever need it, for sure.

What you do with the seal, or don't do, or if there is a seal or isn't, has no real bearing.
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Old October 2, 2012, 01:22 PM   #3
Captains1911
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Well, not than I'm disagreeing, but is the seal not meant to keep moisture out? I would think that ammo would have a better chance long term with an air-tight seal vs. one without.
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Old October 2, 2012, 01:33 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Don't you think that the case, bullet and primer creates an air-tight seal?

Yes, it does.

Ammo has been stored with no real forethought as to longevity for decades at a time and continues to perform flawlessly.

It's simple, if you're worried, get a lubricant that's rubber friendly and use that. They aren't that tough to find.

Personally, I think you need more to worry about if this sort of thing is even on your radar but if you feel the need to worry about it then fix it.

Rubber protecting compounds are cheap and plentiful. Get some Lexol or Armor-All or McGuire's protectant and sleep well at night.
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Old October 2, 2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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Oh, and I'd personally be more worried about what affect the off-gassing from whatever chemical I used on the rubber might have on the brass than I would be concerned about whether or not I needed to store the ammo in an air-tight container. Ammonia and other chemicals are very, very bad for brass. That would worry me a lot more than the rubber on the can.
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Old October 2, 2012, 01:50 PM   #6
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I have had ammo stored in surplus ammo cans over thirty five years with a desiccant bag. The desiccant is checked and replaced about once per year. The ammo looks as new. Note: some of the ammo is from the 1950's and was stored indoors in a closet in their original boxes until 1977 and was then placed in ammo cans.
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:29 PM   #7
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Another vote for the party that thinks you are WAY over-stressing on this.

There are also some things you can do to the ammo to make it even more long-lasting -- you can seal both the bullet and primer. Most factory ammo has a sealed bullet, some seal the primer as well.

You really, truly do NOT need this kind of protection in handloads, but it's available. I couldn't ever see me doing it.
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:46 PM   #8
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Years back I bought a bunch of ammo cans that had some funky chemical all over them, including the "rubber" seal gasket. Here's what I did & 15 years later they're still fine.

Wipe with denatured alcohol, or yellow "heet" (same thing), till any black surface crap comes off on the cloth. This gives you a fresh surface to work with.

Buy some "armorall" wipes & use them to run a couple of coats of the chemical into & all over the rings. Don't worry if a bit more black stuff comes off,as long as it's not big chunks. Repeat 2~3 times waiting till the last coat soaks in before applying the next.

After the last one has "dried" close 'em up & don't worry for the next 30+ years.
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Old October 2, 2012, 05:00 PM   #9
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Or plain old plumbers faucet grease will do the same thing.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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Keep greases and oils off rubber gaskets.

Remember from Chemistry class, like dissolves like? Organics (oil) will dissolve other organics (rubber). Even if the gaskets were thermoset, instead of thermoplastic plastic, there is nothing good that an oil coating will do over time.

It is likely the gasket material is tolerant of oil, so wipe the things off, soap and water won't hurt, and close the lid.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Buy some "armorall" wipes & use them to run a couple of coats of the chemical into & all over the rings. Don't worry if a bit more black stuff comes off,as long as it's not big chunks. Repeat 2~3 times waiting till the last coat soaks in before applying the next
The above works for me.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:34 AM   #12
BPowderkeg
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anyone ever heard of brake fluid ? it is very rubber friendly, that is what i used on my 20mm ammo cans, i have one full of 12 Ga. bird & trap ammo that i filled and sealed back in 1972AD, never opened since then, when our new skeet & trap range opens i'll open it.

what do ya'll think i'll find ?
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Old October 3, 2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Brake fluid is glycol based according to wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_fluid

I had a brake fluid leak that rusted the lines and ate the paint off the sheet metal. If it were me, I would keep it off my ammo cans.
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Old October 5, 2012, 07:43 AM   #14
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I ended up putting some of this on the seals, now I'm done worrying about it. Thanks for the replies.

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Old October 5, 2012, 09:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Remember from Chemistry class, like dissolves like?
No, I skipped school that day.

Plus the old timer plumbers what taught me plumbing had me greasing o-rings and the like, so it stuck. (It works in the bathroom!)
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Old October 5, 2012, 09:13 AM   #16
Don P
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Mountains out of mole hills for no reason at all. I would be more concerned with drastic temperature changes and condensation occurring. All the rubber seals in the world will not stop that process from taking place.
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Old October 5, 2012, 01:30 PM   #17
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Condensation would only occur on the outside of the box unless you were opening the box a lot while said box was very cold and then opened in a warm humid atmosphere.
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