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Rustproofing an ammo can


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After wire brushing and de-greasing, I applied a zinc rich primer and a couple of coats of plasticote spraypaint. Allow plenty of time between coats to dry. Although not submerged,it survived being buried in soil and leaf litter under very wet conditions, the only rust after two years was at the hinge where you can't protect it at all.

Edited by adrianjohn
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I would first check to see if it is 100% waterproof first. 1 meter or approx. 3 feet of water will exert some pressure, so a good place to check is your bathtub. Submerge the ammo can for a few minutes, If there is even the slightest bit of seepage consider something else. You say it will be under 3 feet of water 24-7, and that is tough to get an ammo can to be 100% water tight. A small water proof container like a "pelican" brand container may be more efficient. I have seen a few ammo cans out in the woods, away from any river or creek full of water. Just something to think about.

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I'm with Hunter on this one, I don't think an ammo can is the right tool for the job. The Pelican containers or Otter box (I think they're called) might be a better choice. Or you could go to your local home improvement store's plumbing aisle and put together a pvc container that would cost less than the Pelican box. The threaded clean-out plugs work good at keep water in, they should work just as well keeping it out.


Sorry I can't help with a coating that would make the ammo can work underwater but if you have success figuring it out, please come back here and let us know what you came up with.

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Yeah, not sure about using an ammocan for an underwater cache but this is how I prep the can.


First I use a power drill with a wire brush to remove most of the layer of paint and any markings. Then I use navel jelly on any rust spots. I then hose it off and let it dry.


I then spray the whole can inside and out with a Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer. After that drys I use an enamel spray paint using various colors if I'm camouflaging it, but usually I just use a dark green.


Of course, except for removing the markings, all of this is completely unnecessary but I do enjoy the project.

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I'm considering hiding an ammo can in a little creek bed, where it will be submerged under a meter of water 24/7. Is there any coating I can put on the can to keep it from rusting? I'm thinking of something I can spray on it to keep the rust out.


Actually found a cache that was just as you are describing, only in about 1.5 meters of water. They had rocks in it to make it sink and attached via steel cable anchored at the shore. The suggestions given all sound quite good. The main component is your seal. I would test if first. If your seal is good then you may want to protect the exterior using the suggestions already given.


I think the main drawback is that the seal will eventually fail because it is not made for underwater storage. It is designed to keep water out, but it was not designed for prolonged (years) of submersion. It may last a good long time though, with some maintenance maybe years? Who know? Another factor is the chemistry of the water.


Just to be safe you could use the ammo can as the housing, but place another (waterproof designed) container inside it to hold the log and swag. :unsure:

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