Storage Question

I’m planning on purchasing a tool box for storing my collectables, which are primarily shotshells. The photos that accompany Dick Iverson’s article on West-Can Plastics shows a corragated tray holding shells. Does anyone know where I could get something like that to put in the tool drawers, to hold individual shells? If not, other suggestions would be welcome?

Hey Shotmeister

See this post … ed+storage

slick rick, thanks for the link to the old thread. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the corrugated plastic.

I have another question about storage. Is there any reason NOT to store cartridges in common 2 mil plastic ziplock bags? I bought 1,000 3" x 5" just for small parts and stuff around the gun room and that’s what I currently have my cartridges in. I know it’s not a “display”, but I just drop a slip of paper with a number on it and any notes in the bag with the cartridge(s) and keep them in flat boxes in order. I have pictures of each one with the same number as the file name (suffix number for headstamp or sideview). I can see more in the pictures than I can with a magnifying glass and if I ever want to look at the cartridge itself I can go right to it.

Anyway, my point is, can the plastic of the bags damage the cartridges in any way? TIA

I believe that the Old Ammo Guy stores his cartridges that way. Maybe he’ll read this when he awakes from his nap, and give you more info.

The only thing I might add is to be careful of the paper that you put in bags. Go to Walmart and buy some acid-free stock to use.



Excellent point I hadn’t considered. I guess I better get on that now while it’s less than 200 bags to open and replace!

Old Ammo Guy here! I have used the small zip lock bags for about 15 years and have had no problem at all with them. They keep the Florida humidity from working away on the lead bullets the way it does when they are exposed to the air. I usually wipe the bullet and case down with a little grease on a towel before I put it in the bag. The bags also seem to slow down the self destruction process for those cartridges that are corroding from the inside.

Thanks for the confirmation from experience. My wife is at Walmart looking for acid free paper now.

I’ve found that caseless ammo stored in plastic tubes or bags seems to go bad sooner than if it is just exposed to normal room / tray conditions. Can’t say if this is also true in humid areas.

This is probably a dumb question, but do you mean caseless as in “not in a box” or as in a “tround”? TIA

A Tround has a case, generally of Celeanese Fortiflex plastic, by caseless I mean rounds where the moulded / bonded powder grains are the case it’s self, and typically have a conventional bullet seated in the ‘case’ mouth. There is a primer (usually) in the base (various kinds of primers have been tried) and when fired the moulded powder grain “case” burns leaving nothing in the chamber to eject. ie = caseless
Variations of these puppys go on forever, round, sguare & rectangular shaped cases with or without necks, base and side primers & etc, & etc.

For what its worth, the VL caseless 22s don’t seem to mind the plastic bags.

Just a suggestion which may be of some merit or it may not. You asked about large flute corrugated cardboard but have you considered the smallest flute size clear roofing sheets?
We had some on an outhouse that was demolished last year and the pitch of the fluting was around inch to inch and a half which would be fine for shotgun cartridges.
I don’t know where it came from it was here when we bought the house and its gone now so I cant post a picture.

Vince–I would be a little hesitant to use that “Fluted” siding. It is normally made from fiberglass which tends to outgas the solvent used in its manufacture. If you go to a lumber store or anyplace that sells these sheets, you will be able to smell them from 10 feet away. I have no idea if the vapors from them would harm cartridges, but it would not surprise me if they did.

As for the storage of caseless rounds, the problem seems to be when they are stored in plastic vials with no vent. They turn to green slime. Storage in sealed glass vials seems to be OK.

If acidic paper is an issue, would this corregated cardboard (rolls of it, I have found) need to be acid free? Also, would plastic be harmful to paper and brass cased shotgun shells? Could you store paper with plastic hulls and in plastic trays?


I speak from some sad experiences. Not all corrugated cardboard is created equal.

At one time I had several drawers (metal) that I lined with corrugated shipping stuff that I got from U-Haul and never had a problem. Later, when I added some drawers, the local U-Haul no longer carried the rolls so I took some big sheets of corrugated cardboard from a large box out behind Walmart, soaked one side until it peeled off, leaving me with some very nice stuff to line the drawers. You probably already know what happened. In only a few days the cartridges started showing signs of discolor and the lead tips on hunting bullets turned frosty. I had a few boxes of 22 LR in the drawers and it even got to the lead bullets inside the boxes.

Looking at the big box showed that it was made in China. Evidently they used some kind of strong acid in making the cardboard (maybe even urine) and didn’t bother to wash it out.

Now I use only plastic. Those caseless 22’s come from the factory in a plastic tube so I guess it must be OK. I have never had any of my caseless cartridges show any distress when stored out in the open air.

I read your summary of your USN background on the other thread. Thanks for your service.

What is a GM (SW) by the way. I saw a photo of a guy who had that rank. I’ve never heard of it.

Ray (GM2) USN



No wonder I was beginning to like you Ray! Gunner’s Mates are my kinda people. I was a TM but on submarines, we act as GM’s too because after deck guns were removed from subs, so were GM’s.

As for a GM (SW), he/she is a Gunner’s Mate but Surface Warfare (SW) qualified. Submarines have had a qualification program for many years and sometime in the 1970’s someone got the idea it would be good for the surface Navy too. Eventually it became a rather rigerous program, worthy of the pin that signifies its completion.

When I was in, there were GMG’s (for guns), GMT’s (technicians, for NUCs) and GMM’s (missile, for surface to air missles). There have been many rateing changes since I left. TM’s are gone entirely now I think.

Concerning the corregated cardboard and the acid issue, I will just shop for acid free or some other material.

Shotmeister, Drop by your local library and inquire as to their source of acid free supplies. Have stored my caseless rounds in coin tubes for years with no ill effects. They are available at most coin shops. The one here charges only 25 cents each. maybe more in “big” cities. Acid effects coins also so the tubes are acid free.


I have my cartridges stored in plastic tubes for years and no problems till now.
You also can put a label on it.

I also use tool boxes for storage. I simply lined the drawers with felt secured with small tabs of double sided tape. This was done about 4 years ago and so far no problems. My shot shells are all kept on plastic coin rolls (nickel size). I also use neutral paste shoe polish to bring back the color on paper shotshells, so far this seems to have not effected them and it definitely makes the printing stand out better. It will also loosen dirt from the paper. It will however darken some of the over shot wads so I avoid this area unless it is already damaged. I have even freshened up some boxes this way but if they are high end boxes I am hesitant to do this as I do not know the long term effects of the polish. I have had shoe polish on some brass shells for a few years now and as of yet they seem to be keeping alright, it does look like it has slowed the frosting of a few that were already frosted. I can’t say it prevents frosting though. It is suprising the amount of dirt that the poish will loosen and not do damage to paper.

Hope this helps