*Your Ammunition: Practical Packaging*
By: Defender
20 October 2005

Being a Rubie at heart, I want to have an adequate supply of ammunition on hand. This means thousands of rounds in each caliber. If my family needs to bug out, the ammunition needs to be readily accessible and immediately useful.

I thought about storage as I was loading up a bunch of 9 mm rounds this week. I thought about using the empty pill bottles I had been saving. Things came together for me in a big way.

How many 9 mm rounds can you put into a small pill bottle? Iím talking about the 10-dram size bottles that measure about 2 3/4 inches tall with a diameter of about 1 1/4 inches. I played around with it and discovered I could fit 15 rounds in each 10 dram bottle. As an amazing coincidence, I can fit 15 rounds into my hi-cap mags.

Hereís how I do it:


Put four rounds side by side in the bottom of the bottle. Put the fifth round in the middle of the four rounds. Put two more rounds on top of the row of three rounds. This gives you seven rounds on the bottom layer.


Stack another layer of seven rounds on top of the first layer. Finally, put one round across the top of the second layer. This gives me 15 rounds in a nice, tight package. Each bottle gets labeled with loading information, including the date that I loaded it. I use my computer to make the labels.

Now, how could I store my ammo bottles in a practical way? A 30-caliber ammo can works great!


I played around with different ways to stack the bottles in the can. The most efficient way that I came up with is to put a row of seven bottles side by side across the bottom of the can, alternating by the tops and bottoms of the bottles to make them fit better. I can fit four rows of seven bottles inside each 30-caliber ammo can.

Four rows of seven bottles gives me 28 bottles per can. Since I put 15 rounds in each bottle, this gives me 420 rounds of 9 mm ammo per can. Using 115-grain bullets, one full ammo can weighs 14 Ĺ pounds.

There are benefits and problems with any storage system. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages that I have thought of:


The bottles are cheap. My pharmacy sold me a bunch of them for 10 cents each, caps included.

The bottles are strong.

The bottles are readily available.

The bottles close and latch securely, and are as "child safe" as any other medicine container.

Each bottle holds the equivalent of one magazine.

The bottles are easy to grab, stash, and carry.

The bottles can help keep the ammunition clean and undamaged.

The bottles are easy to store in ammo cans.

The ammo cans are inexpensive, strong, and reliable.

A fully-loaded 30-caliber can is not very heavy.

The cans and the bottles are easy to label and re-label.



I tested the bottles, and they are not waterproof or air tight.

Rounds could rattle in the bottles, and the noise could be a problem when you are engaged in a mission.


My system works well for me. It is easy to grab a bottle and stick it in a pocket or a pouch, and each bottle represents one full magazine. Ammo cans may be easily transported, and even my young daughters could carry a full one with no problems. In a S hits the F scenario, previously specified ammo cans will be loaded in the BOVs. Different calibers come in different sizes. So do pill bottles. I plan on working this arrangement out for each of my calibers.

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