The military .30 caliber ammo can has many uses, but the primary use is ammo storage and transport. Imagine that! It’s almost as if they were made for it. However, my cans do not hold .30 caliber ammunition. I will go so far as to admit to the heresy of not owning any .308 rifles or ammo. For me, it is important to know how much of other calibers will fit in a .30 caliber ammo can, and how much they weigh when full. The numbers below are approximate, as this is using loose fill, so the space is not maximized. Depending on the caliber with careful (read as very time consuming) stacking add roughly 15-25%. Remember that also greatly increases the weight.
This works for in place storage for all the calibers listed in the table. In my opinion, the first three calibers are just too heavy to move in this configuration. I load those into the small 7.62 belt boxes. They have roughly half the volume, and this brings down the weight and size for easy transport. Not to mention the fact that I rarely run through 775 rounds of .45 ACP, 1,100 rounds of 9mm and certainly not 5,000 rounds of .22 LR, in a day.
In addition to the carry capacity and weight of the full can, there are other concerns if storage and transport is the goal.
The first is weather proofing. If you buy new stock, the rubber / silicon seal is a quite functional and will keep out most air and all moisture unless completely submerged. I would just add a desiccant pack or two and call it good. If your cans are surplus, and most people’s are, it is well worth it to replace those seals. I pry them off with an old paint scraper and use RTV gasket seal to make a new one. Both surfaces must be cleaned spotless, using acetone, MEK, or similar.
Then, run a bit of painter’s tape on each edge (or vegetable oil)and a bead of RTV in between, leave to set overnight. Remove the tape in the morning when the bead is adhered and cured. Just like magic, a new seal. For cans that I will not be in and out of, I just run a thin bead of silicone bathroom caulk over the existing gasket and a bit of vegetable oil on the mating surface of the can, then close the lid. NOTE, I said a thin bead. If you goop it on, getting that can open later will be a distinct chore. If you cannot manage a thin bead, liberally apply the vegetable oil anywhere the bead may spread too. Then trim and clean after a 24 hour cure.
|.22 LR||5,000 rounds||25–27#||29–31#|
|9mm (115–24 gr.)||1,100 rounds||28–3 0#||32–34#|
|.45 ACP (230 gr.)||775 rounds||.34–38#||38–42#|
|5.56 (55–77 gr.)||600 rounds||15–17#||19–21#|
|6.5 Creedmoor (125–142 gr.)||320 rounds||13–15#||17–19#|
|12 gauge 2.75”||140 rounds||12–18#||16–22#|
The second thing to worry about is damaging the ammo. This isn’t much of an issue except for precision ammo and the very soft lead tips of .22 LR. I don’t store or transport my precision ammo in such conditions, so it isn’t an issue. For .22 LR, I usually buy ammo in 500 round bricks. These are fairly space efficient and I don’t give up much round count in the .30 cal belt boxes to keep them from getting mangled. The quantity drops to roughly 2,500 rounds, but I believe it is a worthwhile trade. Unboxing does take some time, but I hope to never need to speed load my Ruger 10-22 or Ruger Mark III.
Do you have a favorite solution for ammo storage and transport? Share it in the comment section.
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