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5 Reasons Silica Gel Packets For Ammo Storage Are Effective

Water and moisture are the nemeses of ammunition. Even though modern ammunition is designed to be water-tight, ensuring that your stored ammo remains as dry as possible is crucial for maintaining its effectiveness and longevity. This is where silica gel packets for ammo storage comes into play, also known as desiccants.

With that said, you’ll see a mixture of the phrases “Silica Gel Packets for Ammo,” and “Desiccants for Ammo,” both meaning the exact same thing.

Beyond the use of silica gel packets for ammo storage, I’ll provide additional ammunition storage tips to make sure your ammo is in tip-top shape.

Personal Experience with Ammo Storage

During the coronavirus quarantine, I made significant changes to my ammunition storage setup after acquiring a new safe. Along with the safe, I invested in a dehumidifier rod to heat the air and remove any moisture. Additionally, I upgraded my ammo cans and decided to add an extra layer of protection by including silica gel packets for ammo in each can.

What Are Silica Gel Packs?

Silica gel packs are small packets filled with desiccant beads that absorb moisture and humidity. They are commonly found in various products to keep them dry, from shoe boxes to electronics packaging. For ammunition storage, these packs serve as an excellent defense against any moisture that might infiltrate your storage containers.

Benefits of Using Silica Gel Packets For Ammo

Absorbing Moisture and Humidity

The primary benefit of silica gel packets for ammo storage is their ability to absorb excess moisture and humidity. By placing a few packs in your ammo cans, you can ensure that even if a seal fails or moisture finds its way inside, the silica gel will absorb it, keeping your ammunition dry.

Desiccants for Ammo is a Cost-Effective Solution

Silica gel packs are inexpensive and easy to find. For example, a 50-pack of silica gel packs can be purchased on Amazon for under $8. This small investment provides a significant return in terms of protecting your valuable ammunition.

Added Layer of Protection

Even if you trust the seals on your ammo cans, adding silica gel packs is a simple way to provide an additional layer of protection. It is always better to be over-prepared, especially when it comes to safeguarding your investments.

How to Use Silica Gel Packets for Ammo Storage

Step 1: Acquire Silica Gel Packs

Silica gel packets for ammo can be purchased from various online and physical retailers. They come in different sizes and quantities, allowing you to choose the best option for your needs. Ensure that the packs you select are suitable for the size of your ammo cans.

Step 2: Prepare Your Ammo Cans

Before placing silica gel packs inside your ammo cans, ensure that the cans are clean and dry. This will help the desiccant work more effectively from the start. Inspect the seals on your ammo cans to ensure they are intact and functioning properly.

Step 3: Place Silica Gel Packs Inside

Distribute the silica gel packs evenly within your ammo cans. Depending on the size of the can and the quantity of ammunition, you may need multiple packs to provide adequate moisture absorption. Place the packs around the ammunition to ensure even coverage.

desiccants for ammo

Step 4: Monitor and Replace as Needed

Silica gel packs will eventually reach their moisture absorption capacity and need to be replaced. Check the packs periodically and replace them when they feel saturated or have changed color, indicating they are full of moisture.

Why Moisture Protection Is Crucial

Ammunition, much like firearms, is a significant investment. Proper storage is essential to ensure that your ammo remains functional and reliable when needed. Moisture can lead to corrosion, degradation of gunpowder, and compromised primer integrity, all of which can render your ammunition unsafe or ineffective.

Common Concerns and Misconceptions

Some may view the use of silica gel packets for ammo as overkill, especially if they have confidence in the seals of their ammo cans and ammo itself. However, considering the low cost and ease of use, adding these packs is a small step that can provide peace of mind and added security.

Additional Ammunition Storage Tips

Store Ammo in a Cool, Dry Place

Keep your ammunition in an environment that is free from excessive heat and humidity. Basements, attics, and garages may not be ideal due to fluctuating temperatures and moisture levels. Aim for a consistent climate-controlled environment.

Use Airtight Containers

Invest in high-quality, airtight ammo cans with reliable seals. These containers are designed to keep moisture out and maintain the integrity of your stored ammunition. Ensure that the cans are durable and built to last, providing a long-term storage solution.

Regularly Inspect Stored Ammo

Periodically check your stored ammunition for any signs of corrosion or damage. Early detection can prevent further deterioration and ensure that your ammo remains in good condition. This routine check can also alert you to any potential issues with your storage conditions.

Understanding the Science Behind Silica Gel Packs

Silica gel is a form of silicon dioxide, which is a naturally occurring mineral. It is processed and turned into small beads that are highly porous and capable of absorbing large amounts of moisture relative to their size. This property makes silica gel an effective desiccant.

The beads work through a process known as adsorption. Unlike absorption, where a substance is taken into the bulk of another material, adsorption involves molecules adhering to the surface of the silica gel beads. This process allows the beads to capture and hold moisture from the air within the confined space of your ammo cans.

Choosing the Right Silica Gel Packs for Your Needs

When selecting desiccants for ammo storage, consider the following factors:

Pack Size

Silica gel packs come in various sizes, typically measured in grams. Choose a size that is appropriate for the volume of your ammo cans. Larger cans will require bigger or multiple packs to ensure effective moisture control.

Indicating vs. Non-Indicating

Some silica gel packs come with indicating beads that change color when they are saturated with moisture. These packs can be very useful for easily determining when it’s time to replace them. Non-indicating packs, while effective, do not offer this visual cue and require more regular checks.

Rechargeable Desiccant Packs with Color Indicating Beads
An example of Rechargeable Desiccant Packs with Color Indicating Beads


Certain silica gel packs are designed to be reusable. These can be recharged by heating them in an oven, which drives off the absorbed moisture and restores their effectiveness. Reusable packs can be more cost-effective over the long term, though they require more effort to maintain.

Additional Uses for Silica Gel Packs

Beyond desiccants for ammo storage, they have numerous other applications around the home:


Silica gel packs can protect electronics from moisture damage. Place them in camera bags, cases for mobile devices, and storage boxes for gadgets to keep them dry.

Clothing and Shoes

Prevent mold and mildew in closets and storage bins by adding silica gel packs. They can also be used in shoe boxes to keep footwear dry and odor-free.

Documents and Photos

Protect important documents, photos, and collectibles from moisture damage by storing them with silica gel packs. This can help preserve their condition over time.

Storing Ammunition for Long-Term Preparedness

In addition to using silica gel packs, there are other considerations for long-term ammunition storage:

Rotating Stock

Practice rotating your ammunition stock. Use older ammo first and replenish your supply regularly. This ensures that you always have fresh, reliable ammunition on hand.

Labeling and Organization

Keep your ammunition organized and clearly labeled. Note the purchase date and type of ammo to facilitate rotation and inventory management. Proper organization helps in quickly locating the specific ammunition you need.

ammo organization

Climate Control

If possible, store your ammunition in a climate-controlled environment. Maintaining a stable temperature and humidity level is key to preserving the integrity of your ammo over time.

The Impact of Humidity on Ammunition

Humidity can have a detrimental effect on ammunition in several ways:


High humidity levels can lead to corrosion of metal components, including the casing and bullet. Corrosion can weaken the structural integrity of the ammunition, potentially leading to malfunctions.

corroded ammo

Gunpowder Degradation

Moisture can degrade the gunpowder within the cartridge, affecting its combustibility. This can result in reduced performance, misfires, or dangerous pressure changes when the ammunition is fired.

Primer Integrity

The primer is essential for igniting the gunpowder. Moisture can compromise the primer’s effectiveness, leading to failure to fire. Ensuring that primers remain dry is crucial for reliable ammunition performance.


Incorporating silica gel packs into your ammunition storage tips routine is a smart and effective way to protect your investment from moisture damage. These desiccants are affordable, easy to use, and provide an additional layer of security for your ammo. By taking this simple step, you can ensure that your ammunition remains dry, functional, and ready for use when you need it most.

By following these guidelines and incorporating silica gel packs into your ammo storage strategy, you can enhance the longevity and reliability of your ammunition, safeguarding your investment for years to come. This proactive approach ensures that you are always prepared, with ammunition that remains in prime condition regardless of the storage duration.

Safety Tip: Always store firearms and ammunition in a secure, dry place, away from unauthorized access. Regularly inspect and maintain both to ensure optimal performance and safety.

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