Can you safely store ammunition in a slightly rusty ammo can?

I have a couple ammo can that have some rust inside them. I know the rule, no moisture or extreme temperatures for adequate shelf life but I haven’t found anything on rust. They are very dry inside and have been for some time. I’ve done some reading and couldn’t find anything on rusty ammo cans for storage. I figured this would be a common thing because a lot of these ammo cans have rust. I don’t want to have to render these useless (however I still keep cleaning supplies in them) would you suggest sand blasting/painting over the rust? Or is this fine. It is only a fair amount of rust. Any suggestions would help. Thank you.

8 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    Yes. But it would be best to wipe the inside of the cans down with Naval Jelly to clean out the rust, rinse them out well, dry them and then spray the inside with Rustolium spray paint.

  • Mr.357
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If it is surface rust, I would not worry about it. If you are worried about it, spray it with some rust primer. If you are still worried about it, spray it with paint. If you are still worried about it, get an unrusted can.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Joseph, rust forms when air gets to the metal. I bought several of the GI ammo cans at a yard sale and

    what I recommend and what I do is put the ammo in the can and fill the can with water. The rust will

    not form underwater. I have never had anymore rust unless rust hits above the water.

  • 2 months ago

    Just get a wire brush to knock of the loose rust and some Rustoleum paint to paint over it.

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  • BBean
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The most economical way is to get Rust-Oleum paint in a rattle can and just a light coat will arrest the rust. Do not sandblast because if any part of the original paint is still on the can it is bonded and cured and the Rust-Oleum will adhere better.

  • 2 months ago

    Rust itself is not contagious to ammo, maybe clean the brunt of the loose stuff out with steel wool.

    Most of my ammo is in cardboard and plastic storage boxes, some wood crates.

    Cool and dry, it last decades.

    Water or corrosives are the worst enemy, live near seas, maybe baggies, then to containers.

  • 2 months ago

    Yes no and maybe?

    Rust on the inside is unusual - the cans have a rubber gasket - I had some on my sailboat that were totally trashed from salt water on the outside but were immaculate inside. If these were stored with the lids off or open - you should be fine. Little sandpaper to clean up the rust flakes and a few shots of spray paint you are back in business. If you leave the rust - the cans will slowly deteriorate from the inside, and, quicker when you open and close them.

    Me? I would not trust them for anything important like ammo or expensive items. I can buy nice new cans at all the local stores for cheap - and cheaper at the local surplus store.

    On the flip side - my wife took some of my nasty ammo cans - and refinished them with all sorts of neat artwork! She downloaded girly pics, made cut outs and did girly cammo. Some were done in winter cammo, etc. This could be an opportunity to makes some custom cans that you can easily recognize which one is which. I have a bright orange one with silver stripe for medical kit. I had an awesome bright red one with orange stripes but a guy who handles explosives saw me at the local range with it, offered me $50 for it - and I accepted.

    • Joseph2 months agoReport

      Thanks for the input have a good one

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Don't store ammo in rusty cans. Rust will spread. Oil covered cleaning supplies are ok. Sand blasting or sanding will remove the rust, and painting afterwards will protect the bare metal.

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