An Imperfect Investigation of U.S. Military Ammo Cans


I spent a small time attempting to educate myself about ammo cans, so right here it goes. If I’m incorrect on something, let me know in the comments.

What a employed U.S. Military Surplus Ammo Can commonly appears like.

Standard Definitions

Initial off, technically these are ammo boxes. Let’s get that out of the way.
Common convention compels me to refer to them as “cans,” as this is what they are mainly referred to as on the Web.

But a can, by most definitions, is disposable.

And the reality these cans are as an alternative completely reusable has permitted them to turn into 1 of the most well-known, certainly 1 of the most steady, trusted goods readily available for obtain in the military surplus globe.

Structure of an Ammo Can

The modern day ammo can was perfected at the starting of the Cold War, as NATO forces looked for greater strategies to guard and transport significant amounts of ammo in case of standard war with the looming Soviet Empire.

Today’s modern day all round style eliminates lots of of the troubles encountered with the older riveted steel cans employed previously through WWII, and tends to make each and every can into a sensible redoubt against put on and tear in the storehouse or on the battlefield.

The inside of the lid, displaying the rubber gasket

The major is flat and reasonably featureless, to stop make up of moisture which could at some point trigger corrosion more than years of storage.

All seams are spot-welded to offer a powerful water and air-tight seal.

No matter the model of Can, most identical models can be stacked on major of each and every other thanks to indentations on the major and bottom.

Lastly, the lid of the can latches shut securely, with a rubber gasket to stop movement of air and moisture in or out.

The Use and Abuse of Military Ammo Cans

Most correct Military Surplus Ammo Cans are employed. And they are seriously employed.

These most likely had been complete of ammo, and could have been packed complete of other points, and then retired in a dusty, dirty storehouse for a decade or much more.

Beginning at major left, we have the .30 Cal (M19A1), the Fat 50 (PA108), the 40mm (PA120), and lastly the normal .50 Cal (M2A1) cans.

All are coated in a thick layer of mummy dust from sitting about in significantly less-than-excellent storage circumstances.

I need to also note that all are just as dirty on the inside.

When each and every has a rubber gasket to maintain out water and dust, ammo cans are generally stored for extended periods with the lids disassembled, exposing the interior of the can to what ever circumstances are present all round.

After we get the cans, they are re-assembled into their present situation. But the dirt generally remains.

How Tough is an Ammo Can?

In your each day life, an ammo can need to be reasonably indestructible. You can knock them with each other. Drop them. Stand on them. They are created to hold up to common stuff.

The .30 cal can I located had a mild cosmetic ding that had sadly permitted a small rust to type. But not that huge of a deal.

Standard imperfections

You will also commonly uncover lots of spray paint.

This can when stored explosives

Particularly with bigger cans such as the 40mm show above, ammo cans are generally repurposed even in the military for the storage of tools and gear.

The covered-more than orange diamond indicates there had been when explosives in this box, most most likely 40mm grenades. But due to the fact that time, it was employed to shop some thing else.

It is anyone’s guess what, as the 40mm can is an exceptionally handy size for the storage of shop supplies. Maybe welding rods.

Cleaning Ammo Cans

For finding the dirt and grime off most ammo cans, the only point you seriously require is some soapy water.

And for the reason that ammo cans are watertight, you can in fact use a dirty can as its personal cleaning bucket. How’s that for worth?

In the parking lot, washing out ammo cans. A completely typical activity. It need to be noted I forgot to take the lid off. Most lids are completely removable.

This also illustrates 1 of the lots of sensible utilizes for an ammo can in an emergency: in an atmosphere without having a lot of uncomplicated water storage options, an ammo can can hold water for washing (but not for drinking).

After you have got your can all toweled off, you need to have a dirt-absolutely free can, prepared to use for all sorts of storage tasks.

.50 cal can, all cleaned up

A fantastic ammo can has 1,001 utilizes. It is a preferred of survivalists and preppers (and other intelligent folks) for the storage of not just ammo but also emergency supplies, fire-beginning gear and healthcare gear.

All that is left for me is to commence tossing in stuff and see what sort of kit I can place with each other. The very best aspect of these cans is you can use them more than and more than once again.

How considerably stuff can I throw in right here?

Very good luck with all of your personal custom projects.

Some additional suggestions on what to do with ammo cans:

Sensible Prepper’s Youtube Video

For storage of supplies

instructables ammo can projects


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