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When it comes to desiccant packs for ammo storage, you can’t afford to take chances. Ensuring your ammo stays dry is crucial for long-term preservation and performance.

Quick Answer:
Use clay-based, Tyvek wrapped desiccant packets.
One packet per ammo can (M2A1 or M19A1).
Recharge them at 200 degrees for 3 hours to extend their life.

For gun owners and manufacturers, keeping ammo moisture-free is essential. Desiccant packs are your best friend for this. They absorb moisture, keeping your ammunition in top shape for years.

Importance of Proper Ammo Storage

Proper ammo storage is critical to ensure your ammunition lasts and performs well when you need it. Let’s dive into why controlling humidity, preventing corrosion, and maintaining ammo longevity are essential.

Humidity Impact

Humidity is the silent enemy of ammunition. When moisture gets into your ammo cans, it can cause a host of problems. High humidity levels can lead to:

  • Corrosion: Moisture can cause metal casings and bullets to rust. This not only affects the appearance but also the functionality of the ammo.
  • Deterioration of Gunpowder: Excess moisture can seep into the gunpowder, affecting its ability to ignite properly.
  • Mold and Mildew Growth: Just like on consumer goods, mold can grow on ammo if the conditions are right, leading to potential health risks and damage.


Corrosion is one of the most significant threats to stored ammo. When metal parts of the ammunition corrode, it can lead to:

  • Misfires: Corroded ammo is more likely to misfire, which can be dangerous.
  • Reduced Accuracy: Corrosive damage can affect the trajectory and accuracy of bullets.
  • Shortened Shelf Life: Ammo that corrodes quickly becomes unusable, wasting your investment.

Ammo Longevity

To maximize the lifespan of your ammo, you need to keep it dry and in a stable environment. Desiccant packs for ammo storage are a simple and effective solution. They absorb the moisture that would otherwise cause the issues mentioned above.

By using high-quality, mil-spec desiccant packs, you ensure your ammo remains in optimal condition for years. For example, the clay-based, Tyvek wrapped desiccant packets meet or exceed several military standards (MIL-D-3464 Type I & II, MIL-D-3436, MIL-I-8835, J-STD-033D), ensuring they are up to the task.

Ammo storage - desiccant packs for ammo storage

Real-Life Example

Imagine you’re a hunter who has meticulously stored ammo for a big hunting trip. You open your ammo can, only to find that the rounds are corroded and unusable. This scenario is avoidable with proper storage techniques, including the use of desiccant packs.

Quick Tip: For M2A1 50 cal and M19A1 30 cal ammo cans, one desiccant packet per can is typically sufficient to keep moisture at bay.

Using desiccant packs not only preserves the quality of your ammo but also ensures it functions correctly when it matters most. For long-term storage, this small investment can save you from significant headaches and potential safety issues.

Next, we’ll explore how to use desiccant packs for effective ammo storage.

Choosing the Right Desiccant Packs for Ammo Storage

When it comes to storing your ammo, selecting the right desiccant packs is crucial. The two main types you’ll encounter are silica gel and clay-based desiccants. Each type has its advantages, so let’s explore them.

Types of Desiccant Packs

Silica Gel Desiccant
Silica gel is widely used for moisture control due to its high effectiveness in absorbing moisture. It’s commonly found in electronics and food packaging. These beads can absorb up to 40% of their weight in moisture and are often available in packets that change color when saturated, indicating when they need to be recharged.

Clay-Based Desiccant
Clay-based desiccants are another excellent choice for ammo storage. These desiccants are often wrapped in Tyvek, a material that offers superior resistance to moisture compared to paper. Clay desiccants are economical and can be recharged multiple times, making them a sustainable option for long-term use.

Desiccant Pack Sizes and Their Uses

The size of the desiccant pack you choose should correspond to the volume of your storage container. For standard ammo cans like the M2A1 50 cal and M19A1 30 cal, a single appropriately sized desiccant pack will suffice. These packs are designed to provide ample moisture absorption for the can’s volume, ensuring your ammunition remains dry and safe.

Quick Tip: Always opt for desiccant packs that are packaged in foil moisture barrier bags. This packaging ensures that the desiccant is fresh and fully effective when you use it.

How to Use Desiccant Packs for Effective Ammo Storage

Placement in Ammo Cans

Correct placement of desiccant packs in your ammo cans is crucial for effective moisture control. For the M2A1 50 cal and M19A1 30 cal ammo cans, the recommendation is straightforward: drop one desiccant packet into each can before sealing it.

ammo can desiccant - desiccant packs for ammo storage

Why One Packet?
The desiccant packs included in our kits are specifically sized for these ammo cans. Each packet is calculated to provide sufficient moisture absorption for the volume of the M2A1 50 cal can, which is approximately 1,080 cubic inches. This ensures your ammo remains dry and corrosion-free.

Quick Tip: Place the desiccant pack on top of the ammo or along the side. This helps to maximize the surface area exposed to the desiccant, allowing it to absorb moisture effectively.

Sealing and Storage Conditions

Once you’ve placed the desiccant pack in the ammo can, proper sealing is essential to maintain a moisture-free environment.

Foil Moisture Barrier Bags
Always use desiccant packs that are packaged in foil moisture barrier bags. These bags are hermetically sealed and impervious to moisture, unlike plastic bags which are 3,000 times more porous. This ensures that the desiccant is fresh and retains its full moisture-absorbing properties when you receive it.

Environmental Factors
Store your sealed ammo cans in a cool, dry place. Avoid areas with high humidity or temperature fluctuations, as these conditions can compromise the effectiveness of the desiccant packs. Keeping the storage environment stable helps in long-term preservation of your ammo.

Quick Tip: If you live in a particularly humid area, consider using additional desiccant packs or recharging them more frequently to ensure optimal moisture control.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your ammo remains in prime condition for years to come. Next, let’s look at how to maintain and recharge your desiccant packs.

Maintaining and Recharging Desiccant Packs

Recharging Your Desiccant Packs

Desiccant packs play a crucial role in keeping your ammo dry, but they require periodic recharging to maintain their effectiveness. Here’s how you can easily recharge them at home.

Steps to Recharge:

  1. Preheat your oven to 245 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Place desiccant packs on a baking sheet ensuring they are spread out evenly.

  3. Bake for 16 hours to fully restore their moisture-absorbing capacity.

  4. For a quicker recharge, you can also bake them at 200 degrees for 3 hours, which will recharge them to about 95% capacity.

Note: Ensure your oven does not exceed 250 degrees as the Tyvek material of the packs can degrade at higher temperatures.

Lifespan and Effectiveness

With proper care, desiccant packs can last between 1 to 3 years. Some packs include indicators that change color when they need recharging, helping you keep track of their effectiveness.

Quick Tip: Store unused desiccant packs in a sealed container to prevent them from absorbing moisture from the surrounding air, thus extending their useful life.

Frequently Asked Questions about Desiccant Packs for Ammo Storage

Should I store ammo with silica gel?

Yes, using silica gel desiccant packs is highly recommended for storing ammo. Silica gel is excellent at absorbing moisture, which helps prevent corrosion and keeps your ammo in good condition. According to Kentuckiana Gun Works, their silica gel desiccant packs are three times the amount needed for a 50 cal ammo can, making them highly effective.

Bob, a customer, mentioned, “God, I hope these work, otherwise there’s gonna be some super excited Chinese dudes.” This highlights the importance of proper moisture control to ensure your ammo doesn’t get compromised.

How long do desiccant packs last?

The lifespan of desiccant packs can vary. Generally, they can last 1-3 years if stored in their original packaging. Kentuckiana Gun Works states that their desiccant packs have a shelf life of over three years when unopened. Built-in indicators will change color, signaling when it’s time to recharge them.

For example, the desiccant packs from Micro-Pak Distribution USA can be recharged in a 300°F oven for at least 3 hours until the indicator turns back to its original color. This process can be repeated multiple times, extending the life of the desiccant packs.

How much desiccant do I need for ammo?

The amount of desiccant needed depends on the size of the ammo can and the volume of the enclosed space. For instance, Kentuckiana Gun Works specifies that their desiccant packs are designed to be three times the amount necessary for a 50 cal ammo can.

For M2A1 50 cal ammo cans, one packet should suffice, while for smaller M19A1 30 cal ammo cans, the same pack will provide a large safety margin. This ensures that your ammo remains dry and free from moisture-related damage.

By understanding the needs and capacities of your specific ammo storage, you can select the right amount of desiccant packs to keep your ammo in optimal condition.


In conclusion, using desiccant packs for ammo storage is essential for maintaining the longevity and reliability of your ammunition. Proper storage conditions, especially moisture control, are critical to prevent corrosion and ensure your ammo remains in optimal condition.

By choosing the right desiccant packs, such as clay-based or silica gel desiccants that meet mil-spec standards, you can safeguard your investment. These packs are specifically designed for ammo cans like the M2A1 50 cal and M19A1 30 cal, providing more than enough moisture absorption capacity.

Long-term benefits include:

  • Preventing Corrosion: Desiccant packs absorb moisture, preventing rust and corrosion on your ammo.
  • Maintaining Reliability: Dry ammo is reliable ammo. Proper storage ensures your ammunition performs as expected when needed.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: High-quality desiccant packs are rechargeable, offering a long lifespan and reducing the need for frequent replacements.

At Micro-Pak Distribution USA, we specialize in providing top-notch desiccant solutions. Our products are designed to meet stringent standards, ensuring your ammo remains in pristine condition for years to come.

For more information on our desiccant solutions and to explore our range of products, visit our product page.

By investing in the right desiccant packs, you ensure your ammo stays dry, reliable, and ready for use, no matter how long you store it.