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Old February 2, 2019, 09:13 PM   #1
TruthTellers
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Harbor Freight Ammo Cans

They have a sale until the end of the month for their "Bunker Hill" brand cans. These are the small plastic ones that are regular priced at $7, not the .50 cal metal cans that are twice that. Sale is $3 a can with a limit of 5, so I bought some today cuz I'm in need of some for organization purposes.

My thoughts are if it weren't for the sale, these would not be worth buying at full price. Even with the 20% off coupon, they're not worth nearly $6 when adding in sales tax and the reason is they're very small. If you're familiar with the Plano cans that are under $10, the ones that ammo companies will buy and put their brand name on and sell bulk ammo in like Winchester...

https://media.midwayusa.com/producti...550/550528.jpg

The Harbor Freight cans are not the same size, they're even smaller and they won't stack on the Plano cans. I'll post a pic if I get the time to show the difference in size.

Also, these HF cans don't stack as sturdy as the Plano ones do. I've got all mine stacked fine, but I wouldn't make them any higher than 5. The Plano cans I'm confident enough I could stack them 10 high or even up to the ceiling and they'd be fine.

The one positive about them is because they're small, if you have small spaces where you can put two or three stacked that a Plano or MTM can can't fit, these probably will fit; they have a small footprint. So, at $3, damn fine for the money, but if I wasn't in need of them and could wait, I would have ordered a different brand.
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Old February 2, 2019, 09:31 PM   #2
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I have looked at those, maybe someday I'll give a couple a try.
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Old February 2, 2019, 11:01 PM   #3
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I bought a couple of these a few years ago.
I’ll stick with the metal cans but these are good if weight or metallic are issues.
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Old February 3, 2019, 12:22 AM   #4
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I gave up on plastic ammo "cans" years ago. For me they just don't hold up to the wear and tear of holding umpteen pounds of lead. They also bend and move slightly while carrying and stacking, not a lot, but enough to lose the airtight seal the metal cans give. That said... the metal 50 cal cans if you get them new will cost you $12 on up. I pick up used ones at gun shows for $5, but you have to sort through the stack (if they let you) as some are not in the best shape.
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Old February 3, 2019, 02:08 AM   #5
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I gave up on plastic ammo "cans" years ago. For me they just don't hold up to the wear and tear of holding umpteen pounds of lead. They also bend and move slightly while carrying and stacking, not a lot, but enough to lose the airtight seal the metal cans give. That said... the metal 50 cal cans if you get them new will cost you $12 on up. I pick up used ones at gun shows for $5, but you have to sort through the stack (if they let you) as some are not in the best shape.
Maybe for the gun shows around you, me those metal ammo cans are $10 after an $8 entry fee and an hour drive.

I like the Plano and MTM plastic containers (I also don't like calling them cans, they're not) and haven't had issues with them busting. Have a Plano I've had for 7+ years packed with 762x39, moved many times, and it's as good as the day I bought it.
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Old February 3, 2019, 03:03 AM   #6
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IMO dealing with H F is like going to Vegas ,I don't gamble so I pass
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Old February 3, 2019, 02:21 PM   #7
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IMO dealing with H F is like going to Vegas ,I don't gamble so I pass
I don't buy anything they sell that uses electricity... except their dual rotary tumbler and that works great. $40 after coupon and adding in what I paid for in stainless pins, I got into wet tumbling for almost half what the Frankford Arsenal rotary tumbler costs.

It's not a gamble, you just have to know what to buy and what to stay away from. Everything I've got from HF I've been extremely pleased with.
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Old February 3, 2019, 03:45 PM   #8
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Is the original post talking about these boxes from Harbor Freight? https://www.harborfreight.com/ammo-dry-box-61451.html

HF also has steel .50 cal ammo cans for $15.99.
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Old February 4, 2019, 07:22 PM   #9
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"HF also has steel .50 cal ammo cans for $15.99"

I'm fortunate to have two HF stores within half hour drive. I seem to get those 20% off coupons once every week or so... which puts that $16 steel 50 cal ammo can at $12.80. I've bought several there. Walmart sometimes has them on sale for around $12-13.

Don't get me wrong, I don't completely dislike plastic ammo carriers, I use them for other things, mainly small gear, small parts. I just found over the years that for heavier things like hundreds of rounds of ammo, I prefer something solid and more rigid like steel, that's all.

Then there is the added safety of more protection in a fire. Cooked off rounds in a metal can often stay within the can. If a fire is hot enough to cook off a round, that plastic container would be a melted puddle, with the rounds popping off un-contained. Just sayin'
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Old February 5, 2019, 07:56 AM   #10
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I have about 6 of those boxes. Since I reload I've found that I can store 4 boxes of Rainier Ballistics boxes with 100 rounds in each box. Also I can pack them with 10 boxes of reloaded 9mm 50 rounds packs. The nice thing is traveling with these in stead of packing individual 50 round boxes in a gun bag or loose in the trunk of my car. For 3 bucks each, that's pretty hard to beat. Besides, they look good
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Old February 5, 2019, 04:10 PM   #11
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Plastic ammunition cans deform with the weight. Especially when stacked. That being said I do have some.
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Old February 5, 2019, 05:49 PM   #12
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unclejack37
Quote:
I have about 6 of those boxes. Since I reload I've found that I can store 4 boxes of Rainier Ballistics boxes with 100 rounds in each box. Also I can pack them with 10 boxes of reloaded 9mm 50 rounds packs. The nice thing is traveling with these in stead of packing individual 50 round boxes in a gun bag or loose in the trunk of my car. For 3 bucks each, that's pretty hard to beat. Besides, they look good
Nice tip. I thought those little buckets were worthless. I've bought their .50 cal cans and they stack right with GI cans. About a year ago, they had their .50 cal cans on sale for around $10, so I bought a few.
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Old February 5, 2019, 06:02 PM   #13
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I just got a flyer and the 50 cal steel cans are on sale for around $12 IIRC and they have a 20% off coupon with it. The metal cans look pretty good.

I also have some of the plastic cans sold by Cabelas and have been pleased with them. I haven't tried to stack them so can't comment on that.

I plan on going to HF and get about 3-4 of the metal cans. I really need to buy some of the 30 caliber cans. I have a couple now but I'll be danged if I can find them.
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Old February 6, 2019, 02:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ratshooter View Post
I just got a flyer and the 50 cal steel cans are on sale for around $12 IIRC and they have a 20% off coupon with it. The metal cans look pretty good.

I also have some of the plastic cans sold by Cabelas and have been pleased with them. I haven't tried to stack them so can't comment on that.

I plan on going to HF and get about 3-4 of the metal cans. I really need to buy some of the 30 caliber cans. I have a couple now but I'll be danged if I can find them.
The 20% off coupon only applies for 1 item, not every item you buy.
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Old February 6, 2019, 06:55 AM   #15
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Tractor Supply has new Treeline brand .50 cal. cans for like $8 regular price. They are not GI but they look and work the same.
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Old February 7, 2019, 07:22 PM   #16
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"Tractor Supply has new Treeline brand .50 cal. cans for like $8 regular price. They are not GI but they look and work the same."

You just have to keep your eye open for deals from time to time. Was in Walmart for something else, decided to quick check over in sporting, and sure enough they had 50 cal cans for 9.88... only two left and I grabbed them. I know there are ammo can deals from time to time online, but that's one item I can almost always find cheaper at a brick and mortar.
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Old February 9, 2019, 01:26 AM   #17
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So I took some pics of different ammo cans I have. The left one is the .50 cal metal can, middle one is the MTM .50 Cal can, the bigger one on the right is the MTM AC11.



As you can see, the AC11 can hold 10 boxes of Winchester Bonded .40 quite snug so they're not moving around and has enough height to hold another 10 on top of those for a total of 20 boxes or 1000 rds.

The .50 cal MTM only holds 4 across and can't do any more in that config because the boxes are too long to be put in horizontally.



It can hold more, but you'd have to stand them up



What the MTM .50 does do extremely well is with 100 round .22 plastic boxes.





Stacked 5 high, the MTM .50 can hold 30 boxes for a total of 3000 rds. The AC11 could fit a few more boxes, but they didn't fit as snug as in the .50 cal.

The steel can definitely feels more secure when carry heavy loads, but for simple organization and stacking purposes, they are not the best. The indentation on the bottom that's there to strengthen the can is also what makes it a pain to load neatly.

I'm going to be buying some plastic MTM ammo containers, not ammo cans to fit boxes of ammo in, I'm talking containers to fit individual rounds of ammo in, and I'll try different sizes of those containers and see how they work in all these containers.

I may make my first youtube video to document all of that, so stay tuned. For all the talk about firearms, ballistics, tactics, etc. Being organized is also important because having ammo, mags, and gear all cluttered around is only going to hurt when the time to use them comes. Being able to use the space in the proper size ammo can for your needs means you'll be able to store and organize things more effectively.

I was really pleased with how much the AC11 could hold and I packed it as full as I could and it's currently got 1050 rds of .40 in it. It's pretty heavy and I think the weakest point of it with that much weight in it is the carrying handle. The two latches feel very secure, I have confidence in them to hold, but the handle and where it's attached to the lid feels like it will break.

I wouldn't carry the AC11 by the handle for long with that much weight in it, so what I do is I carry it with my hands under the bottom to help support the weight and only use the handle when picking it up or putting it down with the other hand underneath to help ease tension on the handle.
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Old February 12, 2019, 08:45 AM   #18
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I travel across 5 states on a regular schedule with several guns that need to be separated from the ammo. My pickup makes it a bit of a challenge since the guns are in the cab and the ammo is in the bed. I have a cover for the bed but sometimes in heavy rain the bed does get wet. Those smaller $3.00 plastic ammo boxes from HF are perfect for carrying loose ammo, loaded magazines and loaded clips. My wife stole a couple boxes from me to use for her crafts supplies and I'm going to look into using them as a first aid/emergency box for the cars. I have to check if those flares will fit in them.
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