First in First out – sometimes but not always a good idea for ammo storage

Published by the Author on August 28, 2009 at 12:01 am > How-To Guides and Other Info > First in First out – sometimes but not always a good idea for ammo storage

Following up on my recent article about long term ammunition storage, I would like to make a few comments about the “first in, first out” ammo storage method:

Ideally, one should use a “first in first out” method of using/storing ammo.  That means that the oldest ammo should be used first, and newly acquired ammo used last.  That keeps the ammo stockpile as fresh as possible.  However this isn’t always the ideal approach, since some ammo is more valuable than other ammo, and taking ammo in and out of long term storage may do more harm than good.

As an example, I just bought many boxes of the rather expensive Corbon DPX .40 S&W hollowpoint ammo to store in ammo cans.  I use these rounds for my concealed carry pistol, but (obviously) not for regular target practice, since doing so would waste quite a bit of money.  I also have this ammo sealed in an ammo can, which I don’t really want to open, since I would then have to add in new desiccant and oxygen absorber packets.  Since this ammo is sitting in a temperature controlled, very low humidity, and virtually oxygen free environment, I’m willing to bet that it is better off sitting there unopened than if I were to cycle the older ammo out and replace it with new ammo.  Therefore, that ammo will sit in those ammo cans for quite some time – whether or not I acquire any new Corbon DPX ammo in the mean time.

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  • don

    how regularly do you shoot people in self-defence? Surely a box of shells would last years unless you live in compton.

    • The LearnAboutGuns.c


      I think you're misunderstanding. I've never had to shoot someone in self defense, and hope to keep it that way.

      However, I have gone through a good deal of ammo. That is because I don't want to trust my life to ammo that has sat in my concealed carry handgun's magazine, gone through hot/cold cycles, experienced high humidity, etc. So, after the ammo has sat unused in the magazine for a while, I use it for target practice and load fresh ammo.

      While it is likely that the ammo would stand up years and years of sitting in my concealed carry handgun, I feel more comfortable knowing that I'm carrying fresh ammo.