5.56 Ammo in a sealed can - looking for information

Got a question for you guys…

My Dad has a sealed “coffee can” of 5.56. Has anyone ever seen this? Just looking for some information on it. I was unable to locate anything on the web with it. I have been giving my Dad a hard time that it was just a homemade job - he swears it was military. Thanks

Everything about that can yells out, “Fake!”, but every time I say something like that it turns out that I’m wrong. We have some 5.56mm experts on the forum, so let’s hear what they say.


The last weird packing of US 5.56x45 I have seen was a 155mm carrier shell…

Would that be a valid FA Lot Number?

Wouldn’t that be convenient packaging for delivery to a belting facility?

Military storage of small-arms ammo in round cans is usually unheard of because when stacked or placed together in typical crates, there is a lot of dead unused space, unlike square-cornered cans which utilize the most space.

Not totally unknown however, but usually reserved for oddball specialty stuff like old tear gas cartridges:


The lot numbering system used from around 1970 to 1980 looked like that but the four digits is unusual. That would seem to indicate a tremendous number of lots were produced. Production of 5.56mm by that time was largely done at LC.

The yellow stenciling seems too new when compared with the patina of the rest of the can. I don’t see any provision for opening the can but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. And, as DK said, loose cartridges in a round can would be very unusual.

But, what do I know? Maybe Ron Fuchs is seeing this??


How would your average, non-factory, citizen seal a can like that???

Many places offer such services + the tools are commercially available and they are not even special.

fieger.ch/downloads/6900.pdf … 46707f7cd8

bruja.de/catalog/product_inf … cts_id=975

At E-Bay:
ebay.de/itm/Dosenverschliess … 0777605224

Mormons are very much into canning foods by using such equipment. A video showing that operation may be seen here: intelligentlivingpoes.wordpress. … f2175d72a1
It would be just as simple to can ammunition given the availability of equipment and metal cans. I have seen 9mm ammunition packed into cans resembling tuna fish cans, but it has been a long time and I do not remember the source.

I live in Arizona but I’m not a Morman. But, I did live in Alaska for 30 years and many households had both a canning machine and a bottle capper. We canned our own salmon and bottled our own beer and soft drinks. Smoked and pickled salmon and herring were also put up in jars but you didn’t need any special gizmos to do that.


You might be thinking of American Ammunition “A-Merc” who used to use cans like these in 9mm, .40S&W, and .45acp:

More recently there has been the Fiocchi canned ammo:

and other small time producers using cans such as Paraklese Technologies (don’t ask me why you would ever want a 5rd can of 12ga):

“Ready Reserve” is the most recent company doing it:

These however, all have the convenient pull-tab style lids which make for easy opening. The 5.56 can of M193 looks to be a typical can-opener required type of can?

The canned .22 and 12ga. would be very handy additions to a boat or plane survival kit, or for stashing at a seldom-visited location.

The “Tuna Fish” type cans I saw weren’t those, and quite some time ago - maybe 15 years. Seems they had some military or paramilitary labeling, maybe something to do with Navy SEALs.

I agree that canned ammunition would be excellent for long-term cache storage or for other reasons such as storage in locations where there is the possibility of getting wet or submerged.

Something else just occurred to me. After WWII, most US .30 Carbines were upgraded and refurbished at various depots. They were actually canned, in large steel cylindrical cans, I think 10 or 12 to a can, for placement into long-term storage.

The US military also packed some 30-06 ammunition in a kind of tuna fish cans.

The ammo in these cans is headstamped LC 57. 5 cartridges per can, each cartridges separately wrapped in a tissue.
These cans were most likely a test run for the 30-06 bio-chemical cartridges but that is another story.



There was a company that had ‘canned’ 9mm ammo a while back (late 90s?)…it was something weird like “Black Lightning – Final Justice” or something like that.

The US Military also packed .45 line throwing blanks in tin cans.

Opening another can of worms (pun intended): having grown up in early to mid cold war days it struck me how this can might fit in with the cold war/civil defense/surviving the atom bomb mentality of the 1950’s,1960’s and 1970’s. Remember the Greenbriar Resort at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia with the huge bomb shelter for the US Congress which remained secret from 1958 until 1992. Also during this time the Federal Civil Defense Administration prepared Fallout shelters all around the nation stocked with all types of supplies packed in cans and boxes. Just a thought, no proof what so ever!


By the time the 5.56mm came on line, the cold war was over and civil defense shelters had been long abandonded.

If CD shelters had contained rifles, pistols, and ammunition (I don’t think they did) the ammunition would have been more conveniently stored in the “spam cans” it was issued in.


With all do respect the 5.56 x 45mm was is full use and production by the US military in the mid 1960’s and my grade school was a designate fully stocked fallout shelter in 1968 and we were still doing duck and cover drills at school once a year!

Also I made reference to the Congressional bombshelter because it would not be unreasonable to assume that weapons and ammunition could have been stored there as apposed to Civilian shelters. Considering the mindset of the nation and the Federal Government during this time who knows what all was being discussed, tested and tried as far as types of long term storage procedures are concerned. We do know the Government was storing all sorts of items in many types of storage containers including cans during this time. Again no proof of this but it is in the realm of possibilty considiring what was happening in the US during this time and what may have been stored at civilian vs noncivilian shelters.



I guess I remember it differently. I was in Alaska in the 60s and me and several of my buddies went thru the abandonded CD shelters which were mostly in the basements of some of the older buildings. The old CD organization had been dismantled by then and there was no one left with the responsibility to clean them up. Everything in them was still there for whoever wanted to take the junk home. As recently as 10 years ago I still had several of the heavy cardboard barrels that I used to store stuff in my garage. Some of the Forest Service cabins on remote lakes and the State survival cabins on the interior highways had a lot of the old CD stuff in them, so it did serve some useful purpose after all.

The cold war can be said to have extended all the way until the breakup of the USSR but I remember the “duck and cover” days and backyard bomb shelters being over by the early 1960s.

Just an old man’s remembrances, and probably faulty, to be sure.