Ammo cache 15 years later

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  • This topic has 11 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 1 month ago by dnb. This post has been viewed 32 times
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    • #108506
      Robert
      Participant

        So a long, long time ago a friend that was an FFL dealer happened on a “great deal” on 7.62×39 and a handful of us went in on a pallet.

        Not really having the need for a large amount of ammo then I was reluctant to buy too much. But $70. a case of 1,000 rounds was awesome back when it was regularly $100-120. a case. The short term squeeze it put me in financially was more than worth it because not too long after the ammo basically doubled in price

        Storage space was a premium at the time so I decided to bury some of that ammo. I don’t remember if I was out of mylar liners at the time or what, but I basically just filled a 6 inch PVC tube about 3 foot long with loose ammo and oxygen absorbers. I used regular end caps having seen the futility of using screw in caps not long before that and paying the piper for cutting corners.

        The tube was packed in late 01, early 02, and was buried some time in 2002. The ammo sat there undisturbed till a few years ago. Driving through that area a few years back I noticed the land was being timbered. Uh oh, not good. Then I heard the land might be for sale. Time to pull it!

        The tube was buried about a foot down and buried horizontal for ease of removal. Here’s where everyone who has never actually RETRIEVED a heavy cache tube thinks it’s best to plant a tube VERTICAL. Not realizing that it may be years, or decades before they are back there. In the mean time, landmarks change a bit and now they have to hit a six inch spot perfectly (planted vertically, only six inches could be hit when digging or probing). However a horizontal layout means that you have a greater MARGIN OF ERROR in finding the exact spot the cache was dropped. A 3 foot long tube placed horizontally gives you three feet to hit when you probe or dig, versus six inches. Trust me, it WILL matter. Ask me why I had to buy a metal detector years ago….

        Now picture yourself retrieving the cache under SHTF circumstances. You may be tired, injured, thirsty, tired, hungry, sick. It may be raining, will likely be at night. Tools may be minimal. GPS may or may not be working. Landmarks will be vague.

        The other important aspect of a horizontal layout is that you can use a shovel, bar, etc. to pry the tube up once it’s located and you’ve done SOME digging. This will save TIME (you won’t want to hang around long) and energy (remember the tired, thirsty, possibly injured deal?).

        So when I went to retrieve this one, I found it really easily compared to other tubes I’ve put vertically.

        I brought it home and it laid out by the shed for a while now.

        Realizing the loose ammo thing was definitely NOT the way to properly pack the tube, I felt like I was probably going to be highly disappointed when opening the tube.

        As the pics show, once the tube was cut open, the ammo inside spilled out quickly and was almost exactly like it went in there. A couple of cartridges (less than five out of 1,700) showed some light rust on the side of the cartridge. That’s never been an issue with this type of ammo and I’ve shot much worse over the years. Other than that, everything was peachy.

        The loose ammo has already gone into ammo cans of training ammo and some already into new mags that just arrived. I’ll post more as the ammo is rotated but given that I’ve shot some rough looking x39 over the years and had 99.9% of it go bang, I’m guessing all of this will also.

        How to do it correctly-

        To do it over again I would do the following differently.

        1. Avoid the 1,700 rounds of loose ammo deal. That was dumb.
        2. Smaller total qty of ammo in the tube. This will also make the tube lighter to carry away quickly if need be and smaller.
        3. Pack 200 rounds in a 1 gallon mylar bag, purge air out and seal mylar. Smaller bags like that are also easier to handle, put quickly in a backpack once the tube is pulled, etc. Also easier to distribute among a team. With the loose pack it would have been “here everyone grab a handful!” LOL
        4. Put some mags in there also. WTF good would have 1,700 rounds have been if for some reason I only had one mag? Think about how most of us train, rarely retaining mags while in the midst of bad things. Plan for that and have 50 or more extra mags stashed away. Or live by the fantasy that you will be able to pick up or stow every single mag you use- and probably die in the process over a $10. piece of equipment…

      • #108507
        zeerf
        Participant

          Great info Robert, thank you for sharing. Glad to hear this sollution held up and protected your ammo and some great lessons learned.

          Not to derail your main point but I often wondered about also storing some slip2000 or other lube as well and common (smaller) spare parts along with the ammo and mags as you point out. I have never cached anything like that personally so could be a bad idea I assume if done wrong. Reading this has helped me plan with a few ideas.

        • #108508
          Robert
          Participant

            Definitely a good idea to have some spare parts.

            “For want of a nail….” type deal.

          • #108509
            Corvette
            Participant

              Good post, Thanks.
              I have shifted to Z-CORR Bags for all metallic items.

            • #108510
              wheelsee
              Participant

                I have shifted to Z-CORR Bags for all metallic items.

                Why?? What benefits have you seen?? (not what’s advertised)

              • #108511
                Corvette
                Participant

                  I only switched to Z-CORR about 30 months ago, so I have no known benefits. I do not use them as a stand alone shield. I use them as the inner most shield, which is then enclosed in several redundant waterproof shields. We mostly employ them for firearms, but they are large enough that we add all related tools. They do make them for ammo size caches, also. We tape the opening secure, then fold or roll the opening and tape secure again, and repeat if possible.

                  Why?? What benefits have you seen?? (not what’s advertised)

                • #108512
                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                  Moderator

                    …I often wondered about also storing some slip2000 or other lube as well…

                    Be careful about any liquids, but petroleum in particularly as fumes (liquid too) can adversely effect the ammo. I keep these separate. Parts are not a problem.

                    I tend to be very cautious with my caches.

                  • #108513
                    zeerf
                    Participant

                      Joe,

                      rgr that and great point. I guess I am thinking of at least 3-4 seperate caches but close enough togeather that if I had nothing I would have some basics if nothing else.

                    • #108514
                      D Close
                      Moderator

                        A good weaponsman piece on caches

                        Parts III and IV

                      • #108515
                        Anonymous
                        Inactive

                          Great pointers, thanks for sharing.

                        • #108516
                          DiznNC
                          Participant

                            Great info, Robert, as per usual.

                          • #108517
                            dnb
                            Participant

                              Good report. $70 a case? Wow, you lived in the good ol’ days.

                              Nothing like gaining some personal experience from others.

                              Know a guy who was gifted a pallet of 308 by some guy he helped who was in the business, circa 2010. He made out like a champ after all heck broke loose. He was not even a big time shooter, more or less just for fun. Always thought, wow, a whole pallet of ammo…

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