Ammunition is essential for anyone who loves guns because without it the weapon is useless, unless you intend on using it like a stick. Maintaining older ammunition is nearly the same as maintaining any other type of bullet or cartridge. Just be sure that you don’t keep the ammo too long because this can break down its effectiveness or even lead to injury or destruction of property.

Too Old
Before talking about how to maintain the ammo, you should know when ammo is simply too old. If the box is over 10 years old, then it’s time to get rid of the bullets. The powder is probably bad and can lead to misfires or duds that won’t do anything. While you might be lucky and the bullets may still work, it’s not worth risking if you get into real self-defense situation.

Air and Water
Too much exposure to air and water can destroy the effectiveness of ammo. It’s always best to keep your bullets in air-tight and water-tight cans to prevent them from going bad. If you’re stocking up, then just keep these cans around in case they’re needed. Most cans can store hundreds of bullets or cartridges at once.

Burying Ammo
Some people like to bury their older ammo so that it’s harder to find. Burying is very popular in the survivalist circles and can be very helpful in certain situations, but make sure that you place it in a proper canister first. Just putting everything in a cardboard box or something equally flimsy will expose the bullets to the elements.

Reloading Cases
You can easily recycle your casings with a reloading bench. Not only does this reduce costs, but it gives you complete control over the bullet’s quality. You can choose the bullet, powder and other components. Just make sure that you thoroughly clean the casing and check for rust before reloading. If there’s any rust, then toss the casing.

Proper Labeling
It’s easy to throw all your ammo into one box and just be done with it, but this level of carelessness can cost you. Many bullets look similar to each other, and if you put one in the wrong gun, then it can lead to some major trouble with the weapon. This is especially true with older ammo where the original markers have been rubbed away. Make sure to properly label everything and keep it in factory packaging if possible.

Ammo can be very volatile around high temperatures, especially older ammo. Be sure to store everything in a cool, dry place so that none of the bullets accidentally go off. This can destroy your whole case, and can even lead to injury or death if anyone is present.