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The Game of Life, by A Modern Stoic

I lie awake, thinking of the past and different choices I could have made in this game of life, or fantasizing about the future and the alternatives I can choose. Then I remember that the only moment that exists is the one my mind occupies in this instant. “If thou shouldst live three thousand years, or as many myriads, yet remember this, that no man loses any other life than that he now lives; and that he now lives no other life than what he is parting with, every instant. The longest life, and the shortest, come to one effect: …

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Getting Home In The Event Of An EMP- Part 2, by B.M.

emp Explosion

We are looking at what might be required if you are working in the city a great distance from your family’s home. My scenario is that I work 50 miles away, which would require a two day walk. I’ve already talked through the basics of day one, which is focusing on getting as far as possible while being the Gray Man. Now, let’s look at what might happen next. Overnight and Day Two So, you have had a fortunate day. You’ve covered 30 miles, but you are exhausted. You’ve eaten once; you are sweaty, tired, worried, and it is getting …

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Getting Home In The Event Of An EMP- Part 1, by B.M.

emp Explosion

I want to open by saying that this is not a blueprint for long-term survival or preparedness, nor is it the same as a bug-out-bag scenario. This is a guide for getting home in the initial stages of a grid-down scenario. I served in the USMC,  worked the streets of this country for 25 plus years and I have also traveled extensively (to 60 plus countries). I have dealt, on a regular basis, with human beings from all walks of life, and there is no accounting for the ignorant and irrational behavior that they display. The One Thing You Can …

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Hormel Spam Recall


Hormel has issued a recall for 228,000 pounds of canned meat products, because they might contain pieces of metal.

Hormel said it issued the recall after receiving several complaints from consumers about finding the metal material in their food.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was contacted not long afterward to conduct the investigation.

The products in question were produced on Feb. 8 through Feb. 10. 

The following products are subject to recall:

  • 12-oz. metal cans containing “SPAM Classic” with a “Best By” February 2021 date and production codes: F020881, F020882, F020883, F020884, F020885, F020886, F020887, F020888 and F020889. These products were shipped throughout the United States.

The products subject to recall have the establishment number “EST. 199N” on the bottom of the can.

The items were shipped throughout the United States and to Guam.

There have been reports of minor oral injuries associated with consumption of the products. FSIS has received no additional reports of injury or illness from consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ food pantries. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Consumer Response, Hormel Foods, at (800) 523-4635. Members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Hormel Foods Media Relations, at (507) 437-5345.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at or via smartphone at

The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at:

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Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Parents

Carolyn Miles, president & CEO of Save the Children, and Erin Taylor, Save the Children staffer, meet with children and families at a mega-shelter in Houston, Texas. Photo Credit: Susan Warner/Save the Children 2017.Hurricanes – and their aftermath – can be especially scary for little kids. Did you know there are simple things you can do to reduce the toll a hurricane can take on your family? Here are top hurricane survival tips from Save the Children’s emergency experts on how you can protect your children from distress during and after disasters.

Preparing For a Hurricane
Talk to your children about hurricanes. Explain to your child what could happen in the event of a hurricane, using simple, age-appropriate words. Outline an emergency plan for the whole family, with an evacuation plan and meeting location and emphasize that their safety is your utmost priority.
Practice evacuation drills. Once you’ve created your evacuation plan and talked with your children about it, it’s time to practice. Be sure to run through different scenarios – at home, at school and at other places you visit often (like a grandparent’s house, or a second home). When planning your evacuation route, remember that bridges may be washed out, and low-lying areas may be flooded.
Learn your child’s school or daycare disaster plans. If your child attends school, daycare or an after-school program, ask for the facility’s emergency plan in the event of a hurricane. Learn their procedures for evacuation, notifying parents and if there is an alternate pick up location.
Stay informed. Use a NOAA Weather Radio or listen to a local station on a portable, battery-powered radio or television. Be ready to act if a Hurricane Warning is issued. Know the differences between a Hurricane Watch and Warning:
A hurricane watch – there’s a threat of hurricane/tropical storm conditions within 48 hours.
A hurricane warning – a hurricane/tropical storm is expected in 36 hours or less.
A tropical storm/hurricane statement is issued every 2-3 hours by your local National Weather Service (NWS) office. It will summarize all of the watches and warnings, evacuation info and most immediate threats to the area.
Pack a Go-Bag for each child. Every member of the family should have a Go-Bag packed and ready. Include basic hygiene items, a few changes of clothes, a notebook and games and any medications necessary. Does your child need a special blanket or stuffed animal? Children’s security can be tied to the simplest of items. Empower your child and ask them what they’d like to include.
Create an In Case of Emergency (ICE) card for your child in case they are separated from you. Use this valuable template or create your own. It should have the child’s name and at least three emergency contacts, including one person who is outside the affected area.
Read More

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Bring Your Own Bandaids- Part 1, by A. & J. R.


Disclaimer: The following is for informational and entertainment purposes only. You should always consult your physician for any questions regarding your health or that of a family member. The authors are merely discussing items you may wish to have on hand to care for a family or group, for when a licensed healthcare provider is available but supplies are hard or impossible to come by. We write from the perspective of patients (a Type 1 diabetic with hypothyroidism and his wife who has had her spleen, gall bladder, most of her pancreas, and half a pinkie removed) and parents of …

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Guess What? We Grow Up, by The Autistic Prepper

apocalypse survival guide

It was good to read about dealing with autistic children and their special needs in survival situations, and I’d like to thank Grey Woman for her article. There have been articles about the elderly, the physically handicapped, those with dementia, but we on the autistic spectrum have been largely ignored. Our differences are too bizarre for most people to understand. Adult With Autism; We Grow Up Let me introduce myself. I’m an adult with autism, and I’m also a fervent SurvivalBlog reader and occasional contributor. I also like to watch water going down a drain, insist that my egg be …

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Medical Supplies, Principles of Use and Purpose, by J.V.

Today’s world climate seems to reinforce more and more the need to be prepared for various situations that might arise. Everything from terrorism to tensions with whatever country it is this week. We all need to do our part to be prepared. This includes the medical side of things. Knowledge and Practice Nothing beats knowledge and practice of a particular skill set. Even without the proper tools, if you understand the principle inside and out, you can think of ways to adapt and use what supplies you have on hand. This is the true meaning of survival– making due with …

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Reducing the Breadcrumbs Produced By Your Digital Life, by P.L.


None of us want to unknowingly share personal information, but it’s happening everyday if you browse the web, use email, or have a mobile phone. You could decide “I’m going off the grid!”. That’s great if you can, but it’s not practical for 99% of us. The Breadcrumbs So, how might you go about reducing the breadcrumbs produced by your digital life? ProtonMail First, consider using ProtonMail for your personal email. There are no ads and no tracking. A basic account is free. I paid for the Plus account, since I wanted more features. I access ProtonMail on my iPhone …

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Never Think You Are Safe, by A.E.

Back in 1986, I was living in a ground floor condo in a large complex where I thought I was safe. My apartment opened onto a grassy common area, which several buildings faced at differing angles, as it was not geometrical. While I was playing on my patio with my one year child, I heard a women yell “help me, somebody help me”. Unfortunately, her voice was faint and the buildings caused a slight echo, so I could not pinpoint the exact building or condo. As I searched the area, the voice abruptly stopped. Was she gagged? Beaten? It was …

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Staying Hidden Online, by Z.M.


We’re being monitored, online. That’s nothing new though. We all know that. In a world that increasingly grows to rely upon technology, and where your individual data points can mean big money for some advertiser somewhere, it should come as no surprise that just about everything that we do online has been recorded and stored on some server somewhere. I’ve grown quite alarmed over this the past few years, but I have never really known where to even start. I just thought “Incognito” mode on Chrome was enough to hide me from all that was happening. I was wrong. After …

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Guest Post: How The Globalism Con Game Leads To A ‘New World Order’, by Brandon Smith

Green economy

When globalists speak publicly about a “new world order” they are speaking about something very specific and rather sacred in their little cult of elitism. It is not simply the notion that civilization shifts or changes abruptly on its own; rather, it is their name for a directed and engineered vision — a world built according to their rules, not a world that evolved naturally according to necessity. There are other names for this engineered vision, including the “global economic reset,” or the more general and innocuous term “globalism,” but the intention is the same. The ultimate goal of the …

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The Simple Things, by The Watchman

So you think you have this prepping thing pretty much down pat by now? Or are you new to this world of prepping? You have your water filters, generators, fuel, guns, ammo, food stores, medical supplies, a bug out vehicle, and heating elements. You have researched, taken courses, practiced drills and you have completed a mock bug out. If you said “yes” to any of this small list, you are already off to a good start. But sometimes we overlook the simple things we need in order to get by day to day. List of Essential Things One of the …

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Preparing for Chaos, Theory and Application- Part 2, by DF

Order and Chaos

In part 1 of this two-part article, I wrote about the theory behind the reason for preparing for chaos and provided and overview of the laws of supply and demand. Then, I moved from theory into practical matters. I began with alternative feed for chickens, as chickens are a means for sustaining us when the SHTF and our transportation system is not delivering feed, chicks, or supplies to our stores. We have looked at crabapples and how to provide them with various insects. Now, let’s look at sunflowers to use as chicken feed. Sunflowers/Sunflower Seeds One of my neighbors grew …

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Preparing for America’s worst day: Army multi-component exercise tests the force

Preparing for America’s worst day: Army multi-component exercise tests the force



Story by Master Sgt. Anthony L Taylor 

318th Press Camp Headquarters 

MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. – Fields of debris, demolished vehicles and bodies of mannequins and live role-players laid across an entire town center; words on bed sheets, asking for assistance, hung over the roofs of buildings; and street poles laid fallen, while buildings were covered in plumes of smoke, and homes were submerged in a body of water.

The scene was not the set of Hollywood’s next apocalyptic blockbuster film, but it was what U.S. Army Reserve, Army National Guard and active component Soldiers drove into at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center for the U.S. Army Reserve’s Guardian Response 18 exercise, April 2 – 28, 2018.

“This is a Defense Support to Civil Authorities exercise and it’s to validate and ensure the readiness of our response force for a catastrophic event,” said U.S. Army Reserve Col. Chris M. Briand, Chief of Staff, 78th Training Division and chief of operations for Guardian Response 18. “It is a (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear)-response enterprise which is comprised of three different elements across the active duty, the U.S. Army Reserve and the National Guard.”

More than 4,500 service members from 80 units across the nation participated in the U.S. Army Forces Command-directed evaluation/capstone training event. In addition to all Army components participating in the exercise, elements from the U.S. Air Force as well as state and federal agencies, and local emergency response forces were involved.

“It really is about readiness in our forces and having the proper capability to respond to a catastrophic event anywhere in the homeland,” said Briand. “And also to be able to develop those partnerships with the local communities and interagency (partners), and to be able to come and save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate extensive property damage, which are the three tenants of the (DSCA).”

The U.S. Army Reserve’s 84th Training Command and 78th Training Division planned, and coordinated as the execution control headquarters for Guardian Response 18.

“If you look at other exercises, we’re usually preparing our capability and our readiness for the warrior abroad,” said Briand. “But with this exercise, we’re really talking about protecting the homeland and being ready and capable to respond to America’s next worst day.”

Briand further shared that readiness, partnerships and capabilities were some of the key focus areas for this exercise, and that the military’s role was strictly a support role and that they would not be in charge of incidents in a real-world disaster.

“We (the Army) or Soldiers who respond to an event are not in charge,” said Briand. “It’s the state incident commander who is in charge. We are supporting here, but we in the exercise replicate the incident commander, the defense-coordinating officer, and all those state and federal agencies that assist in this response. We are playing those roles here.”

The validation exercise sets realistic training for first responders through a notional 10-kiloton nuclear detonation scenario in a major city of the United States. The training audience brings a range of life-saving capabilities such as medical response, decontamination, technical rescue, patient evacuation, communications and logistics support to move people, equipment and supplies by land and air. The overall scenario developed for the training exercise was service members responding to an incident in support of civil authorities, several days after the incident occurred.

Guardian Response 18 produced a variety of events for Soldiers to include trench rescues, urban search and rescue operations, vehicle and subway extrications, and a mass casualty decontamination line, to name a few, while all in a contaminated CBRN environment. Maj. Gen. Ray Royalty, commanding general of the 84th Training Command, and exercise director for Guardian Response 18, toured the grounds at MUTC before the training audience arrived and met with the various planners and support staff for the exercise.

“The biggest take away (at Guardian Response 18) is the training, the dialogue and the understanding of the expectations of something like this really happening,” said Royalty.

Once training units arrived on the ground, they established their work sites and sent out CBRN teams to check for radiation and decontamination levels ahead of deploying technical rescue teams to the impacted area.

U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Ian Kurtinitis, a firefighter with the 468th Engineer Detachment, based out of Danvers, Massachusetts, was a part of the training audience at Guardian Response 18, and conducted rescue missions in conjunction with the CBRN mass casualty decontamination line.

“Our specific mission is urban search and rescue and specifically, today, to search and rescue a contaminated environment,” said Kurtinitis. “There’s a subway station that we’re working at and there are people trapped inside. Our mission is to gain access, extract patients and to assist anyone that is ambulatory and to extricate those who are non-ambulatory. But, we are coming into this (scenario) as we’re assisting overwhelmed local entities who have been at this for several days.”

Kurtinitis further shared that a unique skill of their training is the capability of performing technical rescue operations while in CBRN environment protective gear. He added that although civilian entities are trained in the same technical disciplines and Hazardous Materials teams, typically, civilian partners do not perform technical skill rescue operations while in CBRN protective gear.

“We’re firefighters. Our (Military Occupational Specialty) is 12 Bravo, a firefighting unit, so a lot of these skills fall under our skill set, and this builds on it,” said Kurtinitis. “We’re still executing our job, but we’re doing it at a much more technical and advanced level, so the upside is that you have people that want to be here, people that want to do the job, people that want to help others, so even in training, they approach it as a real-world event.”

“There’s never an issue with motivation or discipline. When (Soldiers) are out here working, they’re 100 percent of the time going to execute the job that they’re here to do,” said Kurtinitis. “In an event like this, the added feature is that they have (live) role-players, so (Soldiers) get the exposure to patient packaging with a real person. You have to take care of that person because it’s a real person that you’re bringing out.”

Once victims were rescued, they were transported or directed to the mass casualty decontamination line for triage, treatment and then transport to the closest medical facility.

“We sort them into groups to see who needs to go through first,” said Spc. Christopher Custer, Combat Medic Specialist with the 409th Area Support Medical Company, based out of Madison, Wisconsin, who was receiving patients after they exited the decontamination tent in the MCD line. “I basically re-sort them to make sure that they’re going to the right place for the right amount of treatment. After they are (decontaminated), they come to me and I re-direct them.”

U.S. Army Reserve Spc. David Forcier, assigned to the 468th Engineer Detachment, was working on a team for urban search and rescue at a vehicle extrication site.

“There’s been an event and we’re here to rescue the victims out from inside of the vehicles,” said Forcier. “(The training) is absolutely phenomenal (in regards to) the amount of work that they are doing, and the rotations (that everyone is on). Everyone’s doing a really good job at making sure that we’re taking care of each other, and also taking care of the victims. (There is) a lot of good triage for the victims and making sure that the medical team is waiting for them, so when we extricate those victims, they are well taken care of and we’re working really hard to make sure that every victim gets out in the least amount of time.”

Training scenarios primarily were focused on search and rescue operations, decontamination and medical support capabilities, but units were also tested on events such as an outbreak of protests from displaced civilian role-players at their facility gates, to test their reaction.

“When I approached, everyone seemed mad and slammed on the gate,” said Pfc. Miguel Sanchez, with the 555th Transportation Detachment. “We tried to work with them and tried to work with their leader, but they were incompliant and said that they didn’t have a leader. But you have to do the best that you can and calm them down as much as you can — Afterwards, the commander arrived.”

“I think it’s great,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Dillard, commanding general of the 78th Training Division, and deputy exercise director for Guardian Response 18. “This is all about protecting the homeland. I think it’s an excellent exercise for our Soldiers to understand what’s important and how to work with the civilian authorities. Also, to collaborate and communicate with the civilian authorities, as it would occur, and what they would do if we were to be involved in an incident of this magnitude.”

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Bill Gates thinks a coming disease could kill 30 million people within 6 months — and says we should prepare for it like we do for war

The next deadly disease that will cause a global pandemic is coming, Bill Gates said at a discussion of epidemics on Friday.We’re not ready.
A flu like the 1918 influenza pandemic could kill 30 million within six months, Gates said, and the next disease might not even be a flu, it might be something we’ve never seen.
The world should prepare like it does for war, according to Gates.
If there’s one thing that we know from history, a deadly new disease will arise that will spread around the globe.
happen easily within the next decade. And as Bill Gates reminded listeners while speaking at a discussion about epidemicshosted by the Massachusetts Medical Society and the New England Journal of Medicine on Friday, we’re not ready.

As Gates said, he’s usually the optimist in the room, reminding people that we’re lifting children out of poverty around the globe and getting better at eliminating diseases like polio and malaria.
But “there’s one area though where the world isn’t making much progress,” said Gates. “And that’s pandemic preparedness.”
The likelihood that such a disease appears continues to rise. New pathogens emerge all the time as the world gets more populous and humanity encroaches on wild environments. It’s becoming easier and easier for individuals or small groups to create weaponized diseasesthat could spread like wildfire around the globe. According to Gates, a small non-state actor could rebuild an even deadlier form of smallpox in a lab. And in our interconnected world, people constantly hop on planes, crossing from megacities on one continent to megacities on another in a matter of hours.
According to one simulation by the Institute for Disease Modeling presented by Gates, a new flu like the one that killed 50 million in the 1918 pandemic would most likely kill 30 million within just six months now. And the disease that next takes us by surprise will most likely be one that we see for the first time when the outbreak starts, like happened recently with SARS and MERS viruses
If you were to tell the world’s governments that weapons were under construction right now that could kill 30 million people, there’d be a sense of urgency about preparing for the threat, said Gates.
“In the case of biological threats, that sense of urgency is lacking,” he said. “The world needs to prepare for pandemics in the same serious way it prepares for war.”Stopping the next pandemic The one time the military tried a sort of simulated wargame against a smallpox pandemic, the final score was “smallpox one, humanity zero,” according to Gates. But as he said, he’s an optimist, and he thinks we could better prepare for the next viral or bacterial threat. In some ways, we’re clearly better prepared now than we were for previous pandemics. We have antiviral drugs that can at least do something to improve survival rates in many cases. We have antibiotics that can treat secondary infections, like pneumonia associated with the flu. We’re getting closer to a universal flu vaccine. During his talk, Gates announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would be offering $12 million in grants to encourage the development of such a vaccine. And we’re getting better at rapid diagnosis, too, something essential since the first step against a new disease is quarantine. Just yesterday, a new research paper in the journal Science announced the development of a wayto use the gene-editing technology CRISPR to rapidly detect diseases and to identify them using the same sort of paper strip used in a home pregnancy test. Yet we’re not good enough yet at rapidly identifying the threat from a disease and coordinating a response, as the recent global reaction to the last Ebola epidemic showed. There needs to be better coordination and communication between military and government to help coordinate responses. And Gates thinks that government needs ways to quickly enlist the help of the private sector when it comes to developing technology and tools to fight against emerging deadly disease. As Melinda Gates said recently, the threat from a global pandemic — whether one that emerges naturally or one that’s engineered — is perhaps the biggest risk humanity faces right now. “Think of the number of people who leave New York City every day and go all over the world — we’re an interconnected world,” she said. Those connections make us all vulnerable.

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Preparing for Chaos, Theory and Application- Part 1, by DF

Order and Chaos

Many people view the possibility of economic/societal disruption and collapse as science fiction, suitable as entertainment in dystopian novels or movies. I view it as actual science, not fiction and am preparing for the ensuing chaos and necessities to get past it. Well-proven theories in the areas of nonlinear systems and economics can help us partially understand what can happen, how we can prepare and respond, and even what is not possible to predict. My first section on “theory” is quite abstract. It looks at some of the basic principles of chaos theory to describe the mechanisms of economic/societal collapse. …

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Creating Your Own Secure Messages – Part 2, by DaytonPrepper1


Yesterday we talked about how to create and use a One Time Pad. Today we will talk about another way of encoding messages. I am sure I am not creating anything new with this method, but I have not seen it before nor do I have a name for it. My working name is Word Grid Substitution. Description of the Method The heart of this method is a 25,000 word grid. The current word grid is 10×2500. I take the message to be encoded and search for the first word from a random spot in the list. When the word …

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Creating Your Own Secure Messages– Part 1, by DaytonPrepper1


I am an experienced programmer with a lot of time spent in Excel everyday for my paying job. East Sierra Sage’s article on Cipher Security got me thinking again about One Time Pads and other secure message techniques. I really enjoy automating things with Excel’s powerful formulas and macros. So I set off to create a tool for a One Time Pad spreadsheet that would create the One Time Pads and also encode and decode the messages being sent. How to Use a One Time Pad (OTP) You will need a Shift Chart and an OTP Chart as the basic …

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What is the Shelf Life of Ammo?


We talk about the shelf life of lots of things around here:  food, medicines, liquor, but there is one thing we have not discussed, and that is the shelf life of ammunition.

Manufacturers often indicate that properly stored ammo lasts for ten years.   But in reality, that may be more of a guideline.  Some may last for decades – we’ve all heard of people shooting ammunition from 40-50 years ago with no problems. Just like food storage, how long ammo is good for depends on how it is stored.

Proper storage

To make sure your ammunition does not degrade, here are a few considerations:

  • Ammunition must be stored in a cool, dark and dry place with low humidity.
  • Maintain consistent temperature – temperature swings threaten the condition of ammunition because the humidity will likely set in.
  • Avoid any type of moisture as it will cause corrosion.
  • Make sure it is away from direct sunlight or heat.
  • Store in a sealed container.  A good quality ammo can with an airtight seal keeps external air from coming in and ruining your ammo.   Throw in a silica gel desiccant pack for extra protection against humidity.
  • Label your containers so you don’t have to constantly open each can every time you need a certain type of ammo.  Include the date of purchase on your label.
  • Use the “first in, first out” rule in your ammo inventory:  use the oldest ones for target practice so you are constantly rotating your stock on a regular basis.
  • Inspect your stock periodically.

Signs of damage

Before using old ammo, look for signs of damage such as:

  • cracks in the case
  • rust or corrosion
  • warped shape
  • improper fit in the chamber
  • the bullet tip is pushed into the cartridge

    What happens when ammunition has degraded?

    The casing can corrode or rust, the primer can become deactivated.

    As far as the powder, the risk is the bullet may never make it out of the barrel of your gun when fired because it does not have enough momentum.  When this happens the bullet becomes lodged in the barrel and cause a blockage.  The next shot fired will cause the destruction of your firearm and possibly injure you or others.  If in doubt, don’t use it.

    How do you dispose of bad ammo?

    I’ve brought old ammo to the gun range for disposal.  The proprietors had a canister of old ammo awaiting pickup from a recycling company and they allowed customers to drop them off there.  Ask first.

    You can also call the non-emergency number of your local police station to find out if you can arrange to drop them off.  Or, check with your favorite gun store and they may just take it off your hands or steer you to someone who will.

    The final word

    Your firearms are no good without ammo.  Take care of your investment.  With proper storage and care, your ammo will last for decades.

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