Best ammo can

Gear

In terms of overall safety, there’s no real difference between a plastic or metal ammo box — modern ammunition uses smokeless gunpowder, making it less likely to explode in a fire. This means the plastic ammo box will simply melt, and a metal box won’t produce shrapnel.

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Which ammo cans are best?

Any responsible weapons owner knows that ammunition must be locked away in a safe place and out of reach of unauthorized people. The most effective way to do this is to place the live rounds in an ammo can.

Securely stored, it’s also a convenient way of transporting the ammo to the range or a different location. A sturdy option is the Solid Tactical .50 Caliber Metal Ammo Can. It’s made from stainless steel and is available in two military colors. 

What to know before you buy an ammo can

Caliber of stored rounds

While a general ammo can is useful for most live rounds, there are several models available that cater specifically to different calibers. Ammo cans for shotgun rounds neatly stack an equal amount of boxes, while you need a bit more room for .50-caliber or .30-caliber ammo. Consider if you also want to store handgun ammo, and which rounds need to be easily accessible.

Material

The purpose of an ammo can is to keep the live rounds out of the hands of uninformed people or away from children. The construction material plays a vital role in this, as the ammo can shouldn’t be made from flimsy elements that can easily be opened. Sturdy materials also prevent the ammo can from being damaged while in transport.

Lockable for safety

Together with sturdy construction materials, the ammo can shouldn’t be openable by everybody. As part of the safety associated with live ammunition, the ammo can must have the ability to lock through a combination lock or one that uses a key. Where locking the can isn’t possible, many have an intricate clasp and clamping system that can be rather tricky to open if you don’t know exactly how. For added protection, all weapons and ammo must be stored in a gun safe.

What to look for in a quality ammo can

Weatherproof 

You not only need to keep your ammo safe from people, you also need to protect your live rounds from the elements. Whether you’re hunting or going to the range, you must make sure that the ammo won’t be exposed to the elements. A quality ammo can is water-resistant and has a sealed lid to keep dust and dirt out. Although they can be hard to find, there are some ammo boxes that are blast- and fireproof.

Portability

Any firearms owner can tell you that ammo can be deceptively heavy in large quantities. You don’t always want to bend down to carry the ammo box with two hands, so a handle is the best solution. Look for an ammo box with a sturdy carrying handle that won’t detach or pop out if the ammo is weighty.

Multifunctional

Most users buy an ammo can for the express purpose of storing live ammunition inside. While this is the intended use, a quality ammo box can also be used for many other things. It works well for storing fishing tackle or tools, and can also be used for sensitive or valuable documents, since most are waterproof.

How much you can expect to spend on an ammo can

The price of an ammo can depends on its size and material. Smaller ammo cans retail for $10-$20 but can be cheaper if they’re plastic. Larger cans are designed for ample storage and cost $30-$50.

Ammo can FAQ

Do ammo cans come with a lock?

A. This depends on the ammo can that you buy. Most metal ammo cans don’t ship with a lock, but you can attach one if needed. Other models are supplied with a preinstalled locking kit. For most ammo boxes, there are at least two holes through the lid and handle to attach a lock.

How much ammo can you store in an ammo box?

A. This depends on the interior dimensions of the box. The standard ammo box can store around 500 boxed 9-millimeter rounds, or when removed from the boxes, about 1,000 loose rounds. The actual amount also depends on the caliber of the ammunition.

What’s the best ammo can to buy?

Top ammo can

Solid Tactical .50 Caliber Metal Ammo Can

Solid Tactical .50 Caliber Metal Ammo Can

What you need to know: Solid and sturdy, this ammo can is made to protect your ammo from weather and people.

What you’ll love: Made from sturdy metal, this ammo can from Solid Tactical has been designed for .50-caliber rifles. It’s entirely waterproof and submersible, as it has a rubber seal on the inside to prevent seepage. There’s also a small packet of desiccant to remove any moisture. The ammo can ships with a locking kit so you can prevent accidental access. 

What you should consider: Some users indicated that the locking kit makes the lid difficult to close.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top ammo can for the money

Plano 1312 Ammo Box

Plano 1312 Ammo Box

What you need to know: This sold ammo box is a popular choice for many firearms owners.

What you’ll love: Measuring 11.63 inches long and 7.13 inches wide, this ammo can from Plano is popular with weapons enthusiasts. It’s affordable and is made in the U.S. from durable plastic. It’s designed to hold .50-caliber rounds but is also perfect for 9-millimeter ammo. It has a brass bailed latch on one side, and a heavy-duty handle on the lid. The latter is water-resistant as it has an O-ring seal on the inside. It has two locking points, adding to the security of the ammo.

What you should consider: One user mentioned that the handle can pop out if the ammo can is too heavy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Sheffield 12628 Field Box

Sheffield 12628 Field Box

What you need to know: This choice from Sheffield is a solid ammo can that can be locked in three places.

What you’ll love: This Sheffield ammo can is made from strong plastic and has a solid lid that’s held in place with clamps. It can be locked with a key or combination lock in three different places and features an interlocking system that makes stacking multiple boxes easy. The ammo box is water- and dust-resistant, and weighs just over 1 pound when empty. It’s large enough to store several caliber rounds.

What you should consider: Some users have said that the ammo can is smaller than in the pictures: it measures 11.5 by 5.25 by 7.25 inches.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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