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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ammunition "stockpile" has gotten large enough that I think it would be a pretty crushing blow if somebody broke in and stole most of it... the problem is that I don't have an adequate safe for storage, and I won't be able to justify one until next spring. I'm hoping to collect even more ammunition in that time if I can.

So I'm considering doing an on-site cache. I'll be applying most of the same principles that I would if it was a regular cache; watertight, winterproof, under the cover of darkness, et al. The issue that I'm looking for brainstorms on is how to make it easily accessible but difficult to discover.

I've considered the possibility of using something akin to a wooden box cover cover a deeper hole but being shallowly buried itself. I could attach a rope or chain to this which could be used as a handle to rip it out of the ground in an emergency, and access the items underneath. Let's get tin foily for a second here though and let's say down the road a full on confiscation is enacted, they show up at your house and confirm there isn't any ammo inside, but then they send a fellow with a metal detector around the yard...

It would seem in that scenario burying scrap above the target would a) not be effective in any way shape or form to begin with, and b) make it much more difficult to reach the cache when necessary.

I have an old metal shed back there. I'm considering "cleaning it out" long enough to bury something beneath it, as that might solve a couple problems all on its own, and severely mess with detection. Might. But again it will also make it difficult to get at.

It would be easier to buy a safe, but while my wife and I can pay our bills every month, we're not rolling in excess cash and have no desire to go further in debt with lines of credit (paying off a student loan every month that you saw practically nothing come from kind of jades you).

So yep, if you made it this far and you haven't fallen asleep, I appreciate your time and thoughts on the matter.
 

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Where do you live, suburbs?
The thing about burying ammo or firearms (or anything, actually) is moisture.
I don't really think that the Federales will be doing house to house searches for ammo anytime soon. I would worry more about theft, especially if other people know you have firearms and amounts of ammo.
I have enough ammo that I stopped keping it in the house years ago, in case of fire.
I moved my stash out to a barn, and got a non-working refrigerator to use as a large ammo can. (I also have a dozen or so GI ammo cans).
You already have a metal shed out back. You could get a broken refrigerator free or real cheap, put that in your shed, put on some hasps and padlocks and that would work. As long as you kept knowledge of what was in there to a minimum.
The fridge has a gasketed door to help with moisture control, and is insulated to help with swings in temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where do you live, suburbs?
It's definitely not the burbs, but it doesn't qualify as rural either because I can say hello to my neighbor from my front steps. It's a small town on the outskirts of Albuquerque, three doors down have a few horses, I come home and find chickens in my yard on occasion, and there's a lot of dirt. Lots and lots of dirt.

The thing about burying ammo or firearms (or anything, actually) is moisture.
I try to fend off moisture even when they're inside. However this is why I'd be following the same rules as other caches, with a watertight container, lined on the inside with silica to soak up any residual h2o.

I don't really think that the Federales will be doing house to house searches for ammo anytime soon. I would worry more about theft, especially if other people know you have firearms and amounts of ammo.
I don't either. I just figure if I'm going to do it, I might as well go after every possible outcome I can conceivably protect against, including unlawful search and seizure. To me it's like having a gun and not needing it, or needing it and not having one; I'd rather I over think something than find out later I could have prevented it.

I have enough ammo that I stopped keping it in the house years ago, in case of fire.
I moved my stash out to a barn, and got a non-working refrigerator to use as a large ammo can. (I also have a dozen or so GI ammo cans).
You already have a metal shed out back. You could get a broken refrigerator free or real cheap, put that in your shed, put on some hasps and padlocks and that would work. As long as you kept knowledge of what was in there to a minimum.
The fridge has a gasketed door to help with moisture control, and is insulated to help with swings in temperature.
Really cool idea actually, and things like this are exactly why I ask questions I could otherwise figure out on my own. I'll look into the possibility of sourcing an old fridge and maybe we'll have to visit the local flea market to see what other objects can be turned into a safe.

Thievery is of course my biggest concern. I could always just litter my yard with old appliances to make it obvious I'm a poor bum. :D
 

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A light bulb in the fridge can help with the moisture. The only problem with a broken fridge is that Consumers is giving folks $50 for their old ones with free pickup. They are nowhere to be found here.
 

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Go out one night and bury it in your driveway, then straddle the burial point with a parked car. (You would obviously want to have the ammo in a suitable container)
 
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No madder how you seal it underground will have problems. What ever you put it in insulate it well I mean well. place ammo in side so it does not it touch sides.
I betting you could get real creative and find ways to store and no one would find it.
 
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The value in an old fridge is the scrap copper and aluminum of the evap coils and the refrigerant tubing. But this is not needed if it's just going to be used as a cabinet.
I got mine free for hauling it away.
Danny, the thing with burying something in your back yard is it may draw unwanted attention if someone spots you doing it. Who knows, maybe a neighbor might think you are burying a body and call the cops. That is how screwed up society is today that people would even have that cross their minds.
If your metal shed is not leaking rain water (I don't even know how much it rains in Albuquerque) you could always build a standing wooden cabinet out of 2X4's and plywood with a door you could lock. Bolt it to the wall or floor, or both.
 
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In most kitchen base cabinets and bathroom vanities, there is a space below the bottom shelf since they are usually elevated to the height of the kickboard. It wouldn't be too hard to remove this shelf, stash your stuff, then replace the shelf. They would find it in an all-out determined search, but it would be safe from many searches.

The training materials I have seen all involve the use of metal detectors for searches.

Another possible option is to find a self-storage place that has 24 hour access and store some of your ammo there.

Of course, you could always bury it in your neighbor's yard. :p
 

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Since the move out of Illinois, I now have to come up with storage ideas too. Keep them coming.
I find that digging in AZ not a real good option. Locals tell me they need jack hammers just to break ground to plant trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nevada had the same ground, thanks to the alkali.

I already thought about the being discovered digging holes in my yard scenario. That ones easy, I've got a few bushes in pots that are still waiting to go in the ground. I could very easily go out there during the day and dig holes right in front of people without them cluing in. Drop something in later at night when everyone is asleep, cover it up and they'll just think I second guessed where I was putting one of the bushes.

I'll have to examine our cabinets later to see if I can work with that idea without tearing them up too badly.

Appreciate all the ideas so far, it's giving me more to think about.
 

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You could always bury a 55 gallon drum and fill it with capped lengths of 6" PVC full of ammo. Just cut the top off the drum and get a piece of 1/4" steel plate to cover the top. Put a few inched of dirt over the plate to complete your hide.
 

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My ammunition "stockpile" has gotten large enough that I think it would be a pretty crushing blow if somebody broke in and stole most of it... the problem is that I don't have an adequate safe for storage, and I won't be able to justify one until next spring. I'm hoping to collect even more ammunition in that time if I can.

So I'm considering doing an on-site cache. I'll be applying most of the same principles that I would if it was a regular cache; watertight, winterproof, under the cover of darkness, et al. The issue that I'm looking for brainstorms on is how to make it easily accessible but difficult to discover.

I've considered the possibility of using something akin to a wooden box cover cover a deeper hole but being shallowly buried itself. I could attach a rope or chain to this which could be used as a handle to rip it out of the ground in an emergency, and access the items underneath. Let's get tin foily for a second here though and let's say down the road a full on confiscation is enacted, they show up at your house and confirm there isn't any ammo inside, but then they send a fellow with a metal detector around the yard...

It would seem in that scenario burying scrap above the target would a) not be effective in any way shape or form to begin with, and b) make it much more difficult to reach the cache when necessary.

I have an old metal shed back there. I'm considering "cleaning it out" long enough to bury something beneath it, as that might solve a couple problems all on its own, and severely mess with detection. Might. But again it will also make it difficult to get at.

It would be easier to buy a safe, but while my wife and I can pay our bills every month, we're not rolling in excess cash and have no desire to go further in debt with lines of credit (paying off a student loan every month that you saw practically nothing come from kind of jades you).

So yep, if you made it this far and you haven't fallen asleep, I appreciate your time and thoughts on the matter.
#1 I'd be more concerned over the theft of firearms than I would ammo. This goes for the Feds too, if they're coming after your ammo they're coming for your guns too in which case you're going to want that ammo close at hand, this is not the time to be digging stuff up.

#2 Any BATFE agent worth their salt is going to know about the old "bury some scrap metal over your stash" trick. Unless you're going to litter your yard with scrap metal that trick isn't going to cut it (they read these forums too)

ricepaddydaddy's idea of the refrigerator is a solid one and with some bolts and nuts that go all the way through the body of the fridge attaching a hasp I think this would be very secure to all but the most determined thief. I presume the floor of your shed is wood so a few lag bolts through the floor of the fridge with some big fender washers wood work pretty well for securing said fridge. Make sure the lags go into the floor joists. If the floor is concrete so much the better a few anchors and some bolts and that puppy is going nowhere. Use a quality padlock on that fridge and you should have no theft issues but if you're really concerned about theft of ammo either deposit your ammo in the shed during a workday when no one is around the neighborhood or do it under cover of darkness (1 or 2am should do it I would think). I would put a big can of desiccant in the fridge to ward off the moisture and I would vacuum seal the ammo in 100 round packs and place it in ammo cans. I might even live the ammo cans with thin sheets of styrofoam to help with temperature swings.

-Infidel
 

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This is just my opinion. I have no scientific data or professional experience to back it up, so it is probably worth only slightly less then what you are paying for it.

I am not a big fan of burying stuff, especially things that require a degree of precision to work correctly, like guns and ammunition. Number one, it is WAY too much work to have to dig a hole every time I want to get at my preps. Number two, the ground does move over time. So putting an airtight and watertight capsule underground may not stay air and water tight over a few year period of time.

From an earlier post, you mentioned that you are located outside Albuquerque. If you are west of Sandia Peak (i.e. in the desert) I would just put your extra cartridges in NEW .50 cal ammo cans and store them in the crawl space under your house or in your basement. If you are east of the mountains (i.e. where you have trees and rain and stuff), Rice Paddy Daddy's idea sounds perfect. In either case, they are easy to get at and protected from water. Plus, you have the added benefit of not leaving an obvious trail of "buried treasure". Remember, your "dig site" is going to remain pretty obvious for quite a while after you fill it in.

As a couple guys have mentioned already, the odds of the Feds doing a house-by-house search for ammunition is pretty remote. Plus, I should think that is when we want ALL of our ammunition very close at hand. The last time an American president tried to do a house-by-house search confiscating guns and ammunition was when Mr Lincoln sent his thugs to Richmond, VA. General Lee turned them around pretty quick and sent them home with their tails between their legs. I have no reason to believe the outcome would be much different if the current fraud from Illinois tried something similar.

Just my arrogant opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think I should clarify something before I begin. I'm not actually worried about the feds knocking on my door and carrying metal detectors. They don't have the manpower, and I'm pretty sure they're going to give everything else a try before all out confrontation. I just figured that while I was carrying out this exercise I should put out all feelers for the best possible solution. That being said,

#1 I'd be more concerned over the theft of firearms than I would ammo. This goes for the Feds too, if they're coming after your ammo they're coming for your guns too in which case you're going to want that ammo close at hand, this is not the time to be digging stuff up.
I don't have many, so most of them are usually near me. There's at any given time at least a sidearm on my person and a long gun in a case in the car (which is attached by cable to the seat mounts, the closest thing I have to a safe at the moment). So even if my house was cleaned out between my wife and I we should still be armed by the time we get home.

Nevertheless you are right. This is why we need to buy a safe regardless of what I do after today.

#2 Any BATFE agent worth their salt is going to know about the old "bury some scrap metal over your stash" trick. Unless you're going to litter your yard with scrap metal that trick isn't going to cut it (they read these forums too)
Which is why I followed that by saying it wouldn't work, we're on the same page. :)

@inor, the only thing I disagree with in your post is that my dig site will be visible. Here in the desert it's all dirt... it's fairly easy to make dirt look like dirt, even after digging around in it like a mole. Outside of that, I'm keen on the ideas of using something nondescript in my shed or looking for areas in my house that I can disturb without leaving them looking disturbed. Appreciate the feedback, greatly!
 

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I would suggest you use some 4" PVC Schedule 40 pipe, the kind they use for plumbing houses. Inexpensive, cuts with a hacksaw, and you can buy end caps that you can glue on with the cleaner and solvent glue to make the pipe sections completely watertight.

Drop some ammo and desiccant sacks into zip lock baggies, seal the cap on, and instant cheap ammo watertight cache.

When you need it later, cut it loose with a hacksaw and you're ready to go with your powder dry....

Bury them in multiple locations, with the pipe perpendicular to the ground level (harder to pick up with metal detector).

A post hole digger works great - perfect hole.

Lot of work, though. You may be better off just buying a safe....

There is a company I buy storage products from, making ammo cache cans you can bury, but not in your budget.... Linky:

Survivor Ammo Can by MTM Case-Gard - Plastic underground ammo storage can
 

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I use my old Sentry steel security cabinet that I used to keep my guns in. Loaded up it weighs over 1000# and would be very difficult to get out of my basement, or even the corner it is bolted in. It would be not to difficult to break into with a pry bar, but that's why I have guns, a wife that can shoot them, and a dog. If there ever were a serious societal break down I would not want to be out in the yard exposed digging for ammo.
 

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Does your house have a crawl space and if it does, is it accessible from inside (usually a closet)? If so, consider the crawl space. Vents are usually too small to access from outside, so they would have to 1) Know you have ammo in the first place, 2) Gain access in to your house and 3) know where the access for the crawl space is located, providing they even know you keep it in the crawl space. If they make it that far, they have to detach it from whatever/however you have secured it, then move it out from under the house. Not easy by any means.
 

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why not wrap the ammo container in ceran wrap, Youd think if you can store food you'd be able to store ammo :) what about storing your ammo in rice?
 

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I use foodsaver bags the ones you vacuum the air out to store my ammo and use kitty litter in my 4" PVC cache as a desiccant.
 

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How about Walter White's trick? He stashed his ill gotten gains in the crawl space under his house through a trapdoor in his closet.

Then there is the idea of having more than one stash place. You could have a trapdoor-crawl space stash. You could have a metal shed stash. Then you could have an off site storage locker stash. Kinda like not having all of your eggs in one basket.
 
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