The 10 Best Ammo Cans

Updated April 19, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Everyone knows that wet or dirty bullets are the worst friend a shooter can have, so don't leave your ammo stored where it can be exposed to the elements. These boxes will keep all of your cartridges dry and dust-free going to and from the shooting range. They also make great decorations for military-themed rooms or as weatherproof storage for an open vehicle. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ammo can on Amazon.

10. MTM AC30T

Don't let the fact that the MTM AC30T is made of plastic fool you: it's a solid, well-built product. It's great for storing ammunition over the medium or long term, especially inside a properly-childproofed cabinet in your garage or basement.
  • the same shape as army surplus gear
  • designed to last for years
  • capacity is limited
Brand MTM
Model AC30T-11-P
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Solid Tactical Premium

The Solid Tactical Premium is one of the few models that can withstand being fully submerged, and each one is individually tested. It is ideal for long-term storage when you don't want to take any chances of your bullets losing their integrity.
  • three colors to choose from
  • 100-percent money-back guarantee
  • some arrive with a few imperfections
Brand Solid Tactical
Model pending
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. WaterBrick Stackable

If you often store your cans in damp locations or subject them to a lot of rain during transport, the WaterBrick Stackable is one of your best bets. Made completely of plastic, you don't have to worry about them ever rusting, even if left wet for days on end.
  • lid snaps on securely
  • locking lugs for stacking
  • contoured handle
Brand WaterBrick
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Blackhawk! 30 Caliber

The Blackhawk! 30 Caliber is made to be used over the long term. It is constructed from heavy-gauge steel so that it will last, and includes a thick rubber gasket that runs along its entire lid to keep out both air and water.
  • handle conveniently folds flat
  • very similar to military issue
  • cannot be locked
Brand BLACKHAWK!
Model 970019
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. U.S. Military Surplus M2A1

Versatility describes the U.S. Military Surplus M2A1. Its handle collapses for both easy storage and stacking, and it also doubles as a way for non-shooters to easily keep wallets, cell phones, and other gear dry on camping trips.
  • traditional military lettering
  • great man cave decoration
  • the inside has been known to rust
Brand U.S. Military
Model M2A1
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. MTM AC4C

If you have much larger needs than average, then the MTM AC4C is probably what you're looking for. This large crate comes with four .30-caliber cans that can be used to store bullets of all sizes. The wide flat design will never tip in a vehicle.
  • four tie-down slots
  • included cans have padlock holes
  • ideal for a shooting club
Brand MTM
Model AC4C
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. MTM TMC15

The MTM TMC15 features rigid foam padding with built-in slots for holding clips, allowing you to reload quicker in the field or at the range. Dual latches ensure that it always stays securely closed when in transport, keeping your gear safe.
  • made in the usa
  • contoured stacking ridges
  • lightweight plastic construction
Brand MTM
Model TMC15
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Sportsman Series ABox Men's Army Style

The durable Sportsman Series ABox Men's Army Style doesn't just hold slugs, it can keep all kinds of fragile goods secure. A rubber O-ring keeps the contents reliably dry and, with the lid open, it can be stacked with others.
  • attractive olive drab finish
  • completely airtight
  • fully-opening hinged lid
Brand Sportsman Series
Model ABOX
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Plano Molding Tactical Custom

Made from strong, high-quality plastic, the Plano Molding Tactical Custom is practical and easy to use. Even though it isn't the biggest option, it can handily store up to -- or over -- a thousand rounds of .223 or 9mm ammunition.
  • available in black or green
  • water-resistant o-ring seal
  • handle doesn't strain under weight
Brand Plano
Model 1312-00
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Ammo Can Man Mil-Spec M2A1

Designed to hold up to .50 caliber bullets as well as a range of smaller sizes, this three-pack of the Ammo Can Man Mil-Spec M2A1 can carry over 2,000 rounds of 5.56 x 45mm ammunition. Each box is perfectly sized for easy transport to and from the shooting range.
  • not surplus -- arrive brand new
  • extremely durable construction
  • pull-down latching tops
Brand Ammo Can Man
Model pending
Weight 18.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

From Wooden Crates to Metal Cans

Best known for being olive drab and carrying .30 caliber cartridges during World War II and .50 caliber cartridges during the Vietnam War, ammunition canisters have enjoyed a long and colorful history as props in Hollywood war films, toolboxes housing jumper cables or wrenches, and fashion accessories for M2 Browning machine guns mounted on tripods along the Ho Chi Minh trail.

Originally made of wood, ammunition crates were used to store grapeshot and lead rounds aboard galleons and frigates, along the ramparts of bastion forts, and in arsenals close to where ammunition was manufactured. Cannonballs, on the other hand, were stored much the same way we store missiles today, on artillery magazines, stationary racks, or stacked in pyramids. Aboard the warships of the 17th and 18th Centuries, cannonballs were often kept in the hold where they served as additional ballast. Due to their weight, cannonballs were rarely if ever transported in crates.

After the American Civil War, when generals learned the hard way the importance of mobility and artillery shells began to replace cannonballs, wooden ammunition crates were used primarily for transport rather than both transport and storage. While each crate contained multiple handheld metal canisters, each canister contained multiple clips, magazines, or a single bandoleer.

By virtue of their portability, ammunition canisters could be shipped to the front and rapidly divvied up among entire platoons as opposed to each soldier at a time, ensuring that each soldier had the exact amount of ammunition required without wasting time counting bullets or 50-round boxes. Take a can and go.

On top of holding ammunition, metal canisters were also designed to be mounted to tripods to prevent bandoleers from tangling or getting caught while being fed into heavy machine guns. And thanks to their convenient, sturdy handles, empty canisters were often re-purposed to carry tools, additional rations, or medical supplies--a trend that continues to this day as both veterans and civilians alike proudly use old canisters as toolboxes, lunchboxes, and first aid kits.

The Proper Way to Store Your Ammunition

When using an ammunition canister for its intended purpose, storing ammunition, it's important to keep in mind where you will be storing the canister itself.

If you plan on storing your ammunition canister in a damp, cool place such as a basement or cellar, always be sure to use an airtight canister. Most, but by no means all, modern canisters feature waterproof or water-resistant gaskets, both of which provide airtight seals. However, just because a canister is advertised as waterproof does not mean it can be submerged in water for extended periods of time and should always be tested prior to filling it with live ammunition. Likewise, if you plan to store your ammunition by burying it, always be sure that whatever elements may penetrate the earth throughout the year do not also penetrate the canister.

In addition to ensuring that your canister is indeed waterproof, it is always best to err on the side of caution and include packets of silica gel as a desiccant to absorb any condensation that may accumulate inside the canister. The canister may very well be waterproof, but the air trapped inside the canister once it is sealed still contains water molecules that will undoubtedly condense if the temperature inside the canister is initially higher than the temperature outside the canister once the canister is placed in storage.

That being said, be careful not to simply toss a packet of silica gel on top of the ammunition before sealing the canister: a packet strategically placed in the middle of the canister, between the layers of ammunition, is bound to be much more effective in preventing potential corrosion as it will be equally distant from both the top and bottom layers of ammunition. When in doubt, use multiple packets of silica gel. They are much cheaper than the ammunition they are designed to protect.

How to Recycle Your Old Ammo Cans

Looking for a new ammo can to replace an old one with a deteriorated gasket? Don't be so quick to throw the old one out with the trash.

For every type of ammo you can store in an ammunition canister, there are a dozen different do-it-yourself projects that can put old, useless cans to good use.

Thanks to their shape and size, old steel ammo cans can be used to store more than just tackle, and Tuesday's lunch. With the right tools and a bit of engineering know-how, you can transform your old ammo cans into a complete collection of camping equipment, a battery-operated box fan, a battery-operated boombox, a portable wood-burning stove, a charcoal grill, and even a windproof oil lamp. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

For those who prefer to stay at home and play video games once hunting season is over, there's the AmmoLAN by George Perkins, "a highly portable mini-PC with massive storage space and a 10/100 NIC," built right into an old metal ammo can.

Whatever your other hobby may be, there's bound to be something you do with your old ammo cans other than throw them away.


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Last updated on April 19, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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