The 10 Best Ammo Cans

Updated August 04, 2017

10 Best Ammo Cans
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 37 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 your cartridges dry and dust-free going to and from the shooting range. 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 30-Caliber

Don't let the fact that the MTM AC30T 30-Caliber is made of plastic fool you: it's a solid, well-built product. It's great for storing shot over the medium or long term, especially inside a properly-childproofed cabinet in your garage or basement.
  • uses same shape as army surplus
  • designed to last for years
  • smaller than you might expect
Brand MTM
Model AC30T-11-P
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Sportsman Series ABOX Men's Army Style

What's in a name? The durable Sportsman Series ABOX Men's Army Style doesn't just hold slugs, it can keep all kinds of fragile goods secure. That includes those beautiful, but sort of creepy, china dolls you inherited a while back and have been meaning to put away.
  • attractive olive drab finish
  • can hold hundreds of rounds
  • somewhat expensive
Brand Sportsman Series
Model ABOX
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Bunker Hill Security

The Bunker Hill Security offers a heavy-gauge polypropylene construction with a reinforced lid. Its neutral grey color means it won't attract any unwanted or undue attention, and it is equipped with a bail latch that is corrosion-resistant.
  • a rugged-looking design
  • predrilled for padlock
  • the handle is a bit stiff
Brand Bunker Hill Security
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. U.S. Military Surplus M2A1

Versatility describes the U.S. Military Surplus M2A1. Its handle conveniently collapses for both easy storage and stacking. It also doubles as a way for non-shooters to easily keep wallets, cell phones, and maps dry on camping trips.
  • powder-coated and polished exterior
  • relatively sturdy construction
  • the inside has been known to rust
Brand U.S. Military
Model M2A1
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Blackhawk! 970019

The Blackhawk! 970019 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 for good sealing power and security.
  • handle conveniently folds flat
  • very affordable price
  • the paint chips easily
Brand BLACKHAWK!
Model 970019
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. MTM TMC15

The MTM TMC15 features a water-resistant O-ring seal and rigid foam padding with built-in slots for fitting in clips. With those grooves, the time required for reloading in the field is minimal. However, its plastic housing is rather cheap.
  • made in the usa
  • ergonomically-designed handle
  • a bit on the bulky side
Brand MTM
Model TMC15
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. 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 box, it can handily store up to -- or over -- a thousand rounds of .223 or 9mm ammunition.
  • transports easily
  • water-resistant o-ring seal
  • handle doesn't strain under weight
Brand Plano
Model 1312-00
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Rothco 81 MM Grade 1

The Rothco 81 MM Grade 1 might be a bit bulky for everyday use or convenient storage, but it is perfect as a long-term solution in a dedicated space. This genuine military surplus item is waterproof and ready to be put to use.
  • handle on each side for carrying
  • removable lid with rubber seal
  • also great for emergency gear
Brand Rothco
Model pending
Weight 7.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Solid Tactical Surplus Double Pack

Free of dings, bad seals, and manufactured by an ISO 9002 military supplier, the Solid Tactical Surplus Double Pack includes both a .30 and .50 caliber box, ensuring that you always have the proper size needed to store your slugs.
  • tested for air and water tightness
  • hold more than 20 lbs
  • the lids are removable
Brand Solid Tactical
Model pending
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Mil-Spec M2A1 50 Cal

Designed to hold up to .50 caliber bullets, this 3-pack of the Mil-Spec M2A1 50 Cal is commonly used to carry up to 840 rounds of 5.56 x 45mm ammunition. Each box is also perfectly sized for easy transport to and from the shooting range.
  • not surplus - arrive brand new
  • authentic military lettering
  • 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 August 04, 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

Our professional staff of writers and researchers have been creating authoritative product recommendations and reviews since 2011. Many of our wikis require expert maintenance, and are authored by individual members of our editorial staff. However, this wiki is currently maintained by multiple members of the ezvid wiki team.


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