Whether you just got into handling firearms for the first time or have been handling firearms for a while, it’s a good thing to know how to handle the ammunition that goes along with it. Being able to demonstrate and explain how to handle ammunition in a safe manner builds your confidence. Confidence in your tools, equipment and yourself means you’ll have the belief you can succeed well when you use them.

Handling firearms and ammunition requires having the proper attitude of maturity. A good attitude can help you develop substantial skills and respect for the things that could one day save your life. It will also save the life of someone else. We have read far too many stories of young children gaining access to firearms and ammunition that was unsafely left in the open; the person who died wasn’t the careless person, it was the child.

Not ideal: Glue can spill, hard objects can strike and damage, too messy to access when needed.
Not ideal: Glue can spill, hard objects can strike and damage, too messy to access when needed.

Let me tell you. I used to go shooting with a guy who brought his dad’s revolver and ammunition to the range in a plastic Walmart bag. He never cleaned the weapon and he stored the ammunition on top of his refrigerator. When I asked him if he ever cleaned the gun he replied, “I don’t know. Maybe a year?” Well, the bag eventually ripped and spilled the contents all over the gun range floor. Talk about looking ridiculous trying to pick the ammo and gun up.

That’s not how to take care of your stuff, even if it’s not your stuff.

Storing it properly prevents the cable-guy, handy-man or visiting children from getting their fingers into it; for a moment you just might forget that you put it there.

Not ideal: it gets cold and sometimes humid in the washer/dryer closet
Not ideal: it gets cold and sometimes humid in the washer/dryer closet or hot.
  1. Don’t buy ammunition if the box or carton is torn, ripped or broken.
  2. Don’t buy loose ammunition if you have not personally checked each round over. Our local gun dealer keeps a barrel full of ammo in bulk for sale. Take the time to know what you’re buying.
  3. Don’t buy ammo on discount unless you know the source is reputable. Buying discounted ammunition could mean a few things: are they production rejects, is the ammunition stolen from someone’s store inventory or is it possibly “seconds”. Do you know how the ammunition was stored? Buying from a trusted friend is different than buying from a shady dealer.
  4. Do know the proper ammunition to use in your firearm. If you don’t know then find someone qualified to teach you-A firearms dealer would be a good person to ask.
  5. Do keep your ammunition in a secure location. Don’t leave it on the coffee table, tucked in the sofa or in the refrigerator because you saw the hero do that on television.
  6. Do store your ammunition in the original container and with the proper label: box, vacuum sealed bag, can etc. Ammunition stored in the original cardboard boxes helps to reduce some potential corrosion from moisture. Mark your ammo cans and other types of storage containers with the appropriate information.
  7. Do keep your ammunition away from excessive heat. Place you ammo in a dry place and not somewhere cold or too hot.
  8. Do keep your ammunition away from humidity. Corrosion can occur from excessive moisture as it reacts with the primer or the brass casing.
  9. Do rotate your stock of ammunition on a regular basis. Do periodic checks once every six months. Use the older ammunition first as you acquire more of the same type.
  10. Do check the condition of your ammunition before using it in your firearm. Do check for damaged or irregular looking ammunition from your stockpile.
  11. Do use the proper containers to transport your ammunition. Use ammo bags, ammo cans or the ammunition boxes they originally came in.
  12. Do not mix different size cartridges and shell sizes. Keep them separate.



By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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