Skip to comments.Surprising source for a desiccant for ammo storage--scoopable cat litter
Posted on 03/10/2013 5:34:51 PM PDT by RoosterRedux
A friend encouraged me to store my ammo with a desiccant (something to remove moisture/humidity from the ammo can/box).
After talking to my pharmacist (a gun lover), I learned that the primary ingredient in desiccant packets is silica.
After an online search for available products containing silica in a volume that would work as an ammo desiccant, I learned that there is a surprising source of which I already had plenty...scoopable/clumping cat litter.
Thought I would share this and ask for comments.
That should work fine, if you can keep the cat out of your ammo box.
I would be sure to wrap all of my ammo in something to protect it. That much dust cannot be good for anything to do with a firearm.
Save the Ol’ Lady’s panty hose, cut it into squares, two tablespoons of litter, twist tie, voila!
"I have this unnatural obsession with the ammo box...
I was thinking of putting the litter in a plastic storage bag and punching tiny pin-holes in it and placing it inside an open coffee can.
One winter (since the air was low humidity anyway) I put the ammo I intended to store long-term in plastic zip-lock backs and put them in sealable zip-lock bag, and the bags in .50-cal ammo cans. I figure that, with a good seal, more humidity can’t get in.
You need some way to determine the moisture content of it.
You can also put charcoal briquettes in ladies nylons, tie them off and hang them in your safe. I’ve hung them in safes and old refigerators for years.
For short money, get a food vacuum sealer. It works well with food too.
How long do you expect to keep your ammo? If it is not used in the next 20 or some years you can always replace it. Put it all in a styrofoam box to protect it against heat.
Grumpy Cat bump
Most cat litter is grey and is not silica, but bentonite clay. Not a good dessicant.
I use white rice in an old (laundered) sock. Works fine.
Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 1 hr. Moisture content will be about zero.
Really important to start with unused litter.
Save the Ol Ladys panty hose..”
That’s a piece of attire you don’t hear much about any more. Haven’t had a pair on for about 10 years.
If I want to be really, really sure, would it help if I baked my ammo for 2 hours?
I have a hygrometer that I use in my homemade plastic humidor.
My local pharmacist (who is a gun nut and reloader with thousands of rounds in storage) said you can always a heat a desiccant for a while in the oven or microwave before storage to get rid of any ambient moisture.
But then I guess cats in Israel don't need litter...plentiful deserts and beaches.;-)
Really important to start with unused litter.”
That’s a hoot. Sounds like a warning Bloomie would issue if he were into storing ammo.
To my cat there is no such a thing as “unused litter”. With some true dedication and time alone she can dump the box of new litter and scatter its contents all over the bathroom floor. Then she can have her own huge playground.
Until the SHTF or the zombie apocalypse, whichever comes first.:-)
Silica gel can be recharged in an oven, but not silica clay (kitty litter). Silica clay is a one way process (absorption only), but silica gel has buffering capability. So if he starts with silica clay that is already full of moisture, why use it? Like I said, you need a way to measure the moisture content to know if it will absorb more moisture. If it were me, I would just buy the silica gel which lasts forever.
Not arguing with your preference for silica, but I find it impossible to believe that clay will not release water vapor when baked. I’ve seen an awful lot of clay suck up water when it rains, and then turn to dust in the sun.
Sure, don't worry about the timer, you'll know when its done.
The desiccant I use for various things that I wish to keep dry is powdered milk in a jar with holes in the lid. Just my 2 cents.
Since you're not going to be storing it for long, I wouldn't worry about humidity.
Is that true? Scoopable litter cooked in an oven will not release its moisture?
“If I want to be really, really sure, would it help if I baked my ammo for 2 hours?”
Pull up a comfy easy chair in front of the oven, sit in it all nice and cosy, and take a nap...when you hear the snap, crackle, pop open the door and remove it... :)
I’ve used crystal cat litter as a desiccant. Looks a bit like rock salt and it seems to work fine in removing moisture.
I would be very cautions of any additives, such as fragrence, that would outgas and cause corrosion to your hardware.
Maybe just buy a commercial dessicant that is made for that purpose.
“.....That much dust cannot be good for anything to do with a firearm.”
Exactly my thoughts on this. I just finished cleaning up the cattery for the week, and nightly have to clean some others. I can tell you about dust, and how that cat dust gets into everything. Super scoop, or otherwise the dust is an enemy to your quality firearms.
I think the best bet is to vacuum pack your ammo. As the pressure decreases, any moisture “boils off” and is sucked away. Then pack the vacuum bags in kitty litter (Synthetic Zeolite) in a waterproof container. Then even if one of the bags loses its seal, the kitty litter will hopefully keep it dry.
Tends to be corrosive if much moisture is present, so you have to wrap your ammo in nonreactive material if you use it.
I store my ammo in old ammo cans that I bought at the army surplus store for ten bucks apiece. The olive-drab NATO kind that seal up like an old-fashioned mason jar. It never occurred that moisture could get into them anyway, especially since I live in an environment that gets very humid in the rainy season. The cat litter in pantyhose sounds like an excellent idea. Using rice sounds like a great idea, too. I put dry rice in salt shakers to keep the salt from clumping in the humidity, so it should work just as well in ammo cans.
OMG, I have to show the wife that.
When I was cleaning out the garage, I discovered some old 30-30 ammo that belonged to my grandfather. It was stored under less than ideal condition for at least 75 years.
I was afraid to use it, so I salvaged the brass & bullets. Though I didn’t use the powder or primers, I tested them & they seemed fine.
The velocity would have been decreased, but other than that they would have worked fine.
I've got over a thousand rounds to store. I need something very effective and at a very low price.
“I find it impossible to believe that clay will not release water vapor when baked. Ive seen an awful lot of clay suck up water when it rains, and then turn to dust in the sun.”
Me too, especially since I have commercially available desiccant bags filled with what I believe is bentonite clay and the instructions on each bag give a baking time and temperature to dry them out.
I wouldn’t use cat litter since it has perfumes which will make ammo smell like cat litter and might have other unwanted effects. Just buy desiccant bags, they aren’t super expensive: http://www.uline.com/BL_1001/Kraft-Bag-Clay-Desiccants
Google is your friend!;-)
You only have over a thousand rounds???... Go to the shoe department at Wally world and ask the attendant to dig out the silica packets from a half dozen shoe boxes. I have my local store collecting them and evry so many months I go by and thew department head hands me a bag of five or six dozen packets. Baked in an oven for thirty minutes, they are as good as new. Ammo cans are $13 a piece. You can probably get you small amount of ammo in two cans and five or six packets from the shoe boxes is all you need when sealed up. Before you close the lid for the storage, rub a finger wetted with CLP on the rubber seal.
I see pictures of that ugly cat everywhere. Is that the same cat, or do a lot of people just have the same kind of ugly cat?