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Old February 12, 2002, 01:45 AM   #1
sheaman
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Caching Ammo underground on ranch

Any ideas on the best way to cache ammo/clips etc. on a remote property. You know..tired of dragging it all up there come shooting time.

Thinking about sinking a steel dock box underground and lining the top and insides. But how do you combat dampness etc.?
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Old February 12, 2002, 02:01 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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bag the ammo in heavy heat seal plastic bags.

seal the ammo in PVC tubes.

seal the tubes with RTV or silicone sealant.

For a final layer of protection, seal the tube in a heavy heat seal plastic bag.
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Old February 12, 2002, 06:32 AM   #3
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and if ya really wanna get fancy, vaccume all the air out of the sealed pvc pipe and fill it with nitrogen! just put a valve in one of the ends of it...did that for a time capsule made of pvc...it was about 2ft diameter and 4ft long
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Old February 12, 2002, 07:02 AM   #4
Brett Bellmore
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Please, he's not talking about a survival cache to be resorted to in the event there's been a confiscation, he's talking something which will be accessed frequently!

Ideally, I think the first step would be to get one of those vacum baggers for food, and package each box, or reasonable quantity of ammo, in a sealed bag with a dessicant pack. That way even if some water gets into his store, the ammo will be ok.

Then get some LARGE PVC plumbing pipe, seal one end with a permanent glued cap, and the other end with a screw cap. Bury it in the ground with the screw cap on the top, and a bucket upside down over that cap to help keep dirt out of the fitting.

That should do the trick.
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Old February 12, 2002, 10:38 AM   #5
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How big of a supply of ammo are we talking here? Different calibers or what? What is the weather like, lots of rain or snow? High humidity? All would be factors. Getting stuff out of a PVC pipe might be difficult if it is buried, you don't want to have to dig up the thing every time you wanted to get stuff at the bottom out.

If you can stand the expense and get the equipment to your range, why not pour a cement in ground box that will hold either the dock box or ammo cans. Add a steel, hinged lid to the cement box with a good seal around the edges and you should be set to go. Might be expensive but it will last for a long time. Leave about 6 - 8" above grade to help prevent seepage into the box.

A bunch of us store ammo and other things on property in northern Michigan in a simple wooden building. We use ammo cans and have not seen any problems with rust etc.
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Old February 12, 2002, 11:38 AM   #6
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Call Harbor Freight, and get one of their little trailers. That way, you don't have to worry about stuff getting stolen.
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Old February 12, 2002, 01:55 PM   #7
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50cal or 20mm ammo cans. Make sure the seals are good.

Concrete is not a good moisture barrier unless appropriately mixed or treated.

Sam
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Old February 12, 2002, 05:46 PM   #8
Halo
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A variation of the ammo can suggestion:

I have seen large plastic cans (actually not much smaller than a foot locker), used to hold mortars or artillery rounds. These have the same type of rubber gasket as the small cans, and since the body is plastic you shouldn't have to worry about it corroding.
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Old February 12, 2002, 10:41 PM   #9
Mark Jumper
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My professional expertise is industrial packaging (steel drums, fibre drums and plastic drums) for industrial chemicals and lubricants.

One thing to remember is that polyethylene bags of any type will be permeated by moisture over time. Only those poly bags that have been blended with oxygen barrier resin will stop permeation and only if the heat seal closure is done properly.

Plastic drums with a gasketed removable cover are excellent for burying in the ground. You can pack them full of ammo, handguns and other accessories and they will survive just fine. Because the inside height of a 55 gallon removable head is approximately 34", you may not be able to get all long rifles in the plastic drums.

You could also consider a 55 gallon removable head steel drum. Remember to get a tubular or flowed in gasket in the cover. If you want a rust free interior, specify a "lined interior". All manufacturers of new steel drums can provide you with drums that have a sprayed-on, baked-on chemical resistant interior coating.

Use plenty of dessicant material packets in drums to absorb moisture.

The one material that will stop gas permeation is foil. Foil bags with a heat sealable end are a great choice for long term storage of valuable materials.

The PVC pipe with nitrogen purging is the best idea I have seen on the board. Nitrogen purging will eliminate any oxygen from the interior of the pipe and not allow oxidation to occur.

If the federal government is ever going to attempt to deny us our right to keep and bear arms, they will most likely just dry up the supply of ammo, rather than go to the time, trouble and danger of confiscating firearms.
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Old February 12, 2002, 10:53 PM   #10
Mike Irwin
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Aux contraire, Brett!

That's LIGHT duty storage. You should see my recipe for heavy duty long-term storage.

But, no matter how you cut it, the PVC tubes make great storage containers.

You can cut sheet neoprene or sheet rubber gaskets for the screw tops.
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Old February 13, 2002, 01:16 PM   #11
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Mark, what about mylar bags? Permeable? With polyethelene, how long til moisture penetrates?


Quote:
If the federal government is ever going to attempt to deny us our right to keep and bear arms, they will most likely just dry up the supply of ammo, rather than go to the time, trouble and danger of confiscating firearms.

That's perfectly logical, but wrong. They will do BOTH. Why? Best said in a Robert Heinlein book:
  • Those who live for power use a different logic.


It's very true, and it's well to keep that in mind.
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Old February 13, 2002, 04:16 PM   #12
ghillieman
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Were do you get nitrogen gas?
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Old February 13, 2002, 08:57 PM   #13
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Save yourself some money. Whether for hunting cabin use, or for survival access, try these, they're pretty much indestructable:

1) 5 gallon plastic paint buckets. You can get rubber gaskets, or use RTV silicone seal. Larger drums are great, but cost more and you may not want to disturb that much quantity.

2) Plastic Coleman ice chests. Larger, sturdier but more of a pain to silicone seal, but some can be locked.

3) Always use ziploc baggies inside for additional moisture/contaminant seal.

4) Wrap in tarps before burial.

5) set your objects on a plank flooring as well as place planks on top of buckets to level and stabilize and protect the burial site.
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Old February 15, 2002, 02:56 PM   #14
Quartus
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Quote:
Were do you get nitrogen gas?
Nitrogen burritos, of course!


Seriously, any welding supply house will sell it to you. It's also used to pack food (in 5 gallon paint buckets!) for survivalists. Poke around the corners of the Web for those kind of places, and you'll find what you need.

The paint buckets are good.
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Old February 15, 2002, 08:32 PM   #15
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Wouldn't a light coat of cosmoline help with the weapons ? If you don't "GUNK" it on you can wipe it pretty clean in no time . If you put stuff in pretty big containers you could rig up a vacuum pump to evacuate the oxygen . Put a gauge on it so as to know when to pump a bit more now and then . Water boils at -90 degrees at 0 atm. . Unless you need access at the speed of combat there are a few good ways to preserve .
Not to be nosy but what caliber are you gonna be "heavy" in ? .223 and 7.62 will always be around and in HUGE supply . The M-16 will be the weapon of choice for the Gubmint as will the M-60 . These calibers may become guarded but surely not extinct . Good luck .
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Old February 17, 2002, 02:49 AM   #16
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Instead of nitrogen, I use CO2 . It's cheaper, and as a homebrewer, I happen to have it on hand. But any inert gas will do. You can get double gasketed lids (gamma seals) for 5 - 6.5 gallon pails for about 6 bucks. I love them for storage as my basement leaks a bit in heavy rain. food and ammo stay dry.
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Old February 17, 2002, 04:22 AM   #17
yankytrash
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Ammo cans inside plastic trashcan. Good for rain, snow, ice, whatever.

For more secure storage, use a galvanized trashcan and put a chain and padlock on it.
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Old February 17, 2002, 11:19 AM   #18
Quartus
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CO2 is not an inert gas. Add a bit of moisture, and you have carbonic acid. Not a very strong acid, but an acid nonetheless. Acids and metals (like brass cases) don't get along very well.

Unless you can guarantee 0% moisture, I would not recommend CO2 for long term storage.
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Old February 17, 2002, 08:48 PM   #19
Watchman
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Just a hint...

If you are goin to bury PVS tubes and leave the top just a few inches below the surface...

Take a piece of plywood and cut it to fit the inside of the tube. Drill two half inch holes in 180 degrees apart about 3/4 or so from the edge. Take two pieces of rope and insert one into each hole. Tie a knot on the bottom side of the plywood. Make sure that the rope is at least as long as the tube. Now take a stick and tie each rope to the stick. Make sure the stick is longer than the diameter of the tube.

Load your tube with ammo , making sure that the stick with the rope is across the upper part of tube. Make sure that the stick is on top of the ammo. Put the stick with the rope inside of the tube on top of everything and seal it.

Now, when you need your ammo, you can open the top and just pull the stick. All of your ammo will come out of the tube. You wont have to lay on your belly and stick your arm in there to try to extract ammo. Do this with every tube that you bury and it will make your life much easier.
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