Ammo cans for gas? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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mac66
07-10-2011, 16:49
I ran across a guy selling ammo cans for some good prices. While looking at some of the larger 81 and 120mm cans it occurred to me that they were big enough to hold 3 or 4 gallons of gas and as tough as jerry cans. So now I am thinking of picking up a couple and maybe rigging some sort of a spout on them and use them for gas.

What says the hive?

AK_Stick
07-10-2011, 17:12
poor idea.


Metal will cause contamination of your fuel, rubber gaskets in them will get destroyed.

There's a reason everyone in the world got away from metal gas cans. It wasn't because they were good.

bdcochran
07-10-2011, 19:17
You will also learn that ammo cans do have contaminants in them. Frankly, I don't know if they can be 100% removed.

Dexters
07-10-2011, 19:36
This sounds like a Darwin Award project.

barstoolguru
07-10-2011, 19:43
the paint will peal and the gasket will melt from the gas eating at it

quake
07-10-2011, 22:39
Couldn't pay me to do it; anymore than I'd 'rig up' a threaded fitting and use them for propane...

No offense meant, but imo that's a very bad idea.

crimsonaudio
07-11-2011, 06:00
This sounds like a Darwin Award project.

This.

Or the makings of a news headline.

mac66
07-11-2011, 08:57
Thank you to the "just don't do it" crowd for you enlightened responses. :supergrin:

With all due respect, I am not putting drinking water in them, what contaminants that might be in an ammo can are unlikely to hurt an engine.

Second, the gaskets in ammo cans are chemical resistant and made from the same stuff that they make gas can gaskets from. Yeah, I checked.

Third, metal gas cans are still used all over the world. I have a couple jerry cans that I use and never had a problem with the metal contaminating the fuel.

Fourth, explain the Darwin Award comment? Explain why putting gas in a sealed metal container is any different from putting it in any other sealed metal gas can?

So other than that and despite all the speculation and WAGs, does anyone have any valid reason why you couldn't use a sealed metal ammo can to carry gas?

DoctaGlockta
07-11-2011, 09:01
Thank you to the "just don't do it" crowd for you enlightened responses. :supergrin:

With all due respect, I am not putting drinking water in them, what contaminants that might be in an ammo can are unlikely to hurt an engine. Just to be safe however I might just wash it out first.

Second, the gaskets in ammo cans are chemical resistant and made from the same stuff that they make gas can gaskets from. Yeah, I checked.

Third, metal gas cans are still used all over the world. I have a couple jerry cans that I use and never had a problem with the metal contaminating the fuel.

So other than that and despite all the speculation and WAGs, does anyone have any valid reason why you couldn't use a sealed metal can to carry gas?

If you think it is a good idea go for it. Sounds like you have convinced yourself. I must say that I have thought about storing many things in ammo cans but storing a flammable, highly volatile liquid has not been one of them.

Good luck.

mac66
07-11-2011, 09:08
If you think it is a good idea go for it. Sounds like you have convinced yourself. I must say that I have thought about storing many things in ammo cans but storing a flammable, highly volatile liquid has not been one of them.

Good luck.

No I am not convinced yet. I am waiting to hear a valid reason why not. To be honest we all store flammable highly volatile liquids in metal containers all the time. Gasoline, paint thinner etc, etc. My point is that these things are heavy duty steel containers with sealed lids. If I welded the lid closed, and put a spout on them, how are they different from any other metal gas can?

Dexters
07-11-2011, 09:18
Fourth, explain the Darwin Award comment? Explain why putting gas in a sealed metal container is any different from putting it in any other sealed metal gas can?



No way! We would then miss your post wondering why your house burned down. Or asking why your car's gas filter needs replacing when you use gas from your ammo cans.

ChuteTheMall
07-11-2011, 09:27
If I welded the lid closed, and put a spout on them, how are they different from any other metal gas can?

My only suggestion is to do this before you fill it with gasoline.:steamed:

quake
07-11-2011, 10:35
...So other than that and despite all the speculation and WAGs, does anyone have any valid reason why you couldn't use a sealed metal ammo can to carry gas?

Just due to the 'unknowns' involved and the return on investment. Is an ammo can's interior paint impervious to gasoline, or will the gas dissolve the paint and turn to jello inside; unknowns like that. And the return on investment, combined with those unknowns, just doesn't seem worthwhile, when actual 5-gallon steel gas cans are available for $35-$50 or so, with no unknowns or tinkering necessary. No need to weld anything up, no need to find, purchase, and somehow attach nozzles, etc; genuine, ready-made metal gas cans, complete and ready for use.

Bear in mind also that those big 81mm & 120mm cans are going to hold substantially more than 3-4 gallons; more like ten or so. So now there's also the weight issue of trying to actually use a home-made gas can, weighing 75-80 pounds, to fill up whatever it is that needs filling up.

I'm sure it could be done as long as someone was willing to address the unknowns and weight issues; I just don't see why it would be worth the effort unless a person just had a huge supply of those ammo cans sitting around and nothing else to do with them. (For that matter, even in that case I'd suggest selling those cans and then using the money to buy real gas cans.. :supergrin: )

If you want to do it, it's a free country; just for me personally it wouldn't be worth the worries and hassles involved, not when the genuine article is readily available.

HotRoderX
07-11-2011, 11:24
I am pretty sure your idea is illegal. Could have swore you could not store gas in anything not rated for gas.

swordsmn
07-11-2011, 12:23
Use the ammo cans for EMP shielding of radio's & hotpockets.
And remember, It IS tactically cool to goto Walmart & buy a plastic gas can...
Blue ones for water too!

mac66
07-11-2011, 12:54
Use the ammo cans for EMP shielding of radio's & hotpockets.
And remember, It IS tactically cool to goto Walmart & buy a plastic gas can...
Blue ones for water too!

Best reason yet not to. Just go to Walmart. :supergrin:

I will concede that it is better to just use regular gas cans but there is nothing magical about them. The metal ones are just metal cans, the plastic ones are just molded plastic. Nothing mysterious about that.

I am done with this. Time to move on.:supergrin:

Bilbo Bagins
07-11-2011, 12:56
I ran across a guy selling ammo cans for some good prices. While looking at some of the larger 81 and 120mm cans it occurred to me that they were big enough to hold 3 or 4 gallons of gas and as tough as jerry cans. So now I am thinking of picking up a couple and maybe rigging some sort of a spout on them and use them for gas.

What says the hive?

I say put the crack pipe down, before posting on GT S&P :rofl:

DoctaGlockta
07-11-2011, 13:09
I ran across a guy selling ammo cans for some good prices. While looking at some of the larger 81 and 120mm cans it occurred to me that they were big enough to hold 3 or 4 gallons of gas and as tough as jerry cans. So now I am thinking of picking up a couple and maybe rigging some sort of a spout on them and use them for gas.

What says the hive?


Video removed due to guilt

OP I'm really sorry but I just couldn't help myself.

swordsmn
07-11-2011, 13:29
Hey I even store my Ed's red in plastic gas cans.. (No acetone used in my Ed's)

Lot's of guys use their 50cal can's as Ed's Red dunk tanks not me.

I think Red plastic IS magical vrs a 1945 ammo can for gasoline storage. You sound like a nice guy. Be careful out there...

RichJ
07-11-2011, 13:35
Thank you to the "just don't do it" crowd for you enlightened responses. :supergrin:

With all due respect, I am not putting drinking water in them, what contaminants that might be in an ammo can are unlikely to hurt an engine.

Second, the gaskets in ammo cans are chemical resistant and made from the same stuff that they make gas can gaskets from. Yeah, I checked.

Third, metal gas cans are still used all over the world. I have a couple jerry cans that I use and never had a problem with the metal contaminating the fuel.

Fourth, explain the Darwin Award comment? Explain why putting gas in a sealed metal container is any different from putting it in any other sealed metal gas can?

So other than that and despite all the speculation and WAGs, does anyone have any valid reason why you couldn't use a sealed metal ammo can to carry gas?

No I am not convinced yet. I am waiting to hear a valid reason why not. To be honest we all store flammable highly volatile liquids in metal containers all the time. Gasoline, paint thinner etc, etc. My point is that these things are heavy duty steel containers with sealed lids. If I welded the lid closed, and put a spout on them, how are they different from any other metal gas can?

You make some valid points. I too see no real difference between one sturdy metal and another sturdy metal container. I can see where the paint on the inside of a ammo can would degrade and gum up the gas but other than that, the seal probably isn't going to degrade. I checked the old metal gas can i have and it is not painted on the inside. You might consider stripping the inside first.

I would test one out by filling it 1/4 full and putting it somewhere in the shade in the backyard or somewhere else safe (not in the garage). Come back a week later and check it. Check the seal. Check the paint. Note the condition of the can to see if there are any bulges from pressure ect. Then turn it on its side and leave it for a few days. Come back and look for leaks and check the seal again to see if it's gummy. Go from there to make an informed decision on how to procede.

The only bad thing I can think of would be that the seal might be too tight and not allow the can to vent. A full can might build up pressure and go kaboom with a spark. Be very carefull and give us a report after the 1/4 can test.

swordsmn
07-11-2011, 13:46
Then turn it on its side and leave it for a few days. Come back and look for leaks and check the seal again to see if it's gummy. Go from there to make an informed decision on how to procede.

Then just proceed to Walmart buy a tactical brand red can :-)

RichJ
07-11-2011, 13:57
Then turn it on its side and leave it for a few days. Come back and look for leaks and check the seal again to see if it's gummy. Go from there to make an informed decision on how to procede.

Then just proceed to Walmart buy a tactical brand red can :-)

A 5 gallon plastic can is like $20 at Wal Mart right? It depends on how cheap the OP can get those 120mm cans to see if he could save enough it make it worth the time.

1 old 0311
07-11-2011, 14:01
How you going to vent it?

Dexters
07-11-2011, 14:02
After this gas can re-invention; you might want to try working on the wheel.

RichJ
07-11-2011, 14:15
After this gas can re-invention; you might want to try working on the wheel.

What ever happened to the idea of improvising with what you have? I'm not saying the OP has a good idea, but apparantly no one here has tried this so no one can say if it's a good idea or not.

I say let the OP experiment with the idea and let him post the results. It could be a colossal failure or a good idea. Who knows?

ETA: I'll bet anything that at one time, someone in the Army had to do this out of necessity. It may not have been long term, but you can bet somebody had to store some fuel somehow and an ammo can was what they had to use and it worked, at least for a short time.

FireForged
07-11-2011, 15:01
I also agree that keeping gas in anything not designed for gas is just not a good idea. There are hundreds of gas containers available for cheap, I just cannot imagine putting gas in a ammo can.

AK_Stick
07-12-2011, 03:01
What ever happened to the idea of improvising with what you have? I'm not saying the OP has a good idea, but apparantly no one here has tried this so no one can say if it's a good idea or not.

I say let the OP experiment with the idea and let him post the results. It could be a colossal failure or a good idea. Who knows?

ETA: I'll bet anything that at one time, someone in the Army had to do this out of necessity. It may not have been long term, but you can bet somebody had to store some fuel somehow and an ammo can was what they had to use and it worked, at least for a short time.


I've never welded on a fuel tank, while using my 02 line as a over pressure/fumigation, but I know its a bad idea.

Just because no one has used a ammo can for fuel, really doesn't mean we can't rightfully say its a bad idea.



Secondly, I'll bet your right, someone, somewhere has probably used a ammo can to haul fuel once.

I've seen welders, working on the bottom of a full fuel tank too. Didn't make it a good idea....

ChuteTheMall
07-12-2011, 04:45
None of the guys who already tried this are able to post about it, missing all those fingers and such.:shocked:

phil evans
07-12-2011, 05:00
seems like a very bad idea.
the non-ability to vent vapor would stop me.

RichJ
07-12-2011, 08:52
I've never welded on a fuel tank, while using my 02 line as a over pressure/fumigation, but I know its a bad idea.....

The welding part seems like a no-brainer. No explanation needed.

SFCSMITH(RET)
07-12-2011, 09:38
I don't know about gas.. BUT I do know lots of guys who have/are used/using 20mm cans as solvent tanks for cleaning weapons. The cans are painted on the inside, the solvent takes care of that.

I will say I saw LOTS of steel gas cans used, with lots of mogas spilled on them, and 10/30/90wt for that matter, and none of them suffered a catastrophic paint failure.. Long term storage .. don't know, but a square can you can remove the whole top from would be easy to prepare.

Yes Virginia, there was a time when the whole Army didn't run on diesel.

Let nothing in this post allow you to think I approve or recommend it, I just doubt it's any more dangerous then any other storage method, nor cost effective. Unless those ammo cans are very, very cheap.

Dexters
07-12-2011, 11:35
I will say I saw LOTS of steel gas cans used, with lots of mogas spilled on them, and 10/30/90wt for that matter, and none of them suffered a catastrophic paint failure.. Long term storage .. don't know, but a square can you can remove the whole top from would be easy to prepare.



What type of metal was used in the gas cans you saw and what type of metal is used in modern gas cans?

What is mogas?

mac66
07-12-2011, 16:29
I get it, :wavey: don't do it. :supergrin:

One of the reasons I posted is because I had been involved in dual sport motorcycling and off road 4x4. Those guys turn just about anything and everything into auxiliary fuel cells. Even so, I haven't found anyone who made a big fuel can out of an ammo can. I did find a guy who made a 50 cal can into a gas can however.

Yes metal jerry cans are still available but they are getting expensive since the CARB compliance thing came into being. I can get some of the 81 and 120 mm cans for $10 ea. which is far cheaper than metal jerry cans and why I was asking.

As for legality, at least in my state, gas containers can't be glass and have to be marked. That is the only restriction.

I have to admit that I am a bit surprised at the negative comments. Ammo cans are far stronger than metal gas cans so I don't think safety is an issue. The only issue IMO is whether one can add a spout to one cheap enough to make it worthwhile.

Dexters
07-12-2011, 16:57
Ammo cans are far stronger than metal gas cans so I don't think safety is an issue.

I love that line, but I think we all knew it.

quake
07-12-2011, 17:03
...whether one can add a spout to one cheap enough to make it worthwhile.

That's a big part of my comments; how much is the added hassle worth to you, and that answer will be different for everyone. $10 for the can, probably $5-$10 for the spout, and then the welding time & material investment of cutting for, and attaching, the spout; and then the welding of the can itself shut. Say $20 or so total invested, plus time & effort..?

For me, the reason it's not worth it is that real (no perjorative meant) gas cans are available for $35, with all the hassles eliminated. To each his own, but for the extra $15 or so, I'd rather have normal gas cans and my time freed up to do other things.

Fwiw, I buy quite a bit from www.uline.com, and they have 5-gallon metal gas cans for $35 if you buy three or more:

http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/H-1850/Drums-And-Pails/5-Gallon-Gas-Can-Type-I
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UDtPcSIdL._SL250_.jpg

JDSTG58
07-15-2011, 11:44
........

SFCSMITH(RET)
07-15-2011, 11:51
What type of metal was used in the gas cans you saw and what type of metal is used in modern gas cans?

What is mogas?

Cans where..
I guess whatever the .GOV specified.. some kind of steel. We had one type for fuel/oil, and another type (the only difference was the opening) for water.

And mogas is, or rather was, regular leaded gas, as defined by a military spec. It's what we used in jeeps until the hummer took it's place. .GOV cars use unleaded and come with a credit card.. but back in the day, Army POL points had diesel and mogas.

AK_Stick
07-15-2011, 13:13
Just an FYI, the .mil has officially ditched the metal cans due to issues with rust/condensation, and safety.

They're also no longer legal containers to ship fuel/flammables in or with per the 49 CFR US title 10.

Dexters
07-15-2011, 13:19
Cans where..
I guess whatever the .GOV specified.. some kind of steel. We had one type for fuel/oil, and another type (the only difference was the opening) for water.

And mogas is, or rather was, regular leaded gas, as defined by a military spec. It's what we used in jeeps until the hummer took it's place. .GOV cars use unleaded and come with a credit card.. but back in the day, Army POL points had diesel and mogas.

Thanks for the reply.
I think we gave the OP enough hints as to why storing gas in ammo cans is not a good idea.

Big Bird
07-15-2011, 13:29
One of my jobs when I was a junior Armor officer assigned to a tank Battalion in Germany was Support Platoon Leader. So I was in charge of all the fuel, food, and bullets for 4 tanks companys and all the assorted ash and trash that went with it. This was in th 80's so the Army was transitioning to an all Diesel force. But we still had a buttload of MOGAS driven equipment. It was a nightmare trying to keep 58 M1A1 tanks that each averaged about 350 gallons of DF2 a day running let alone the 70 or so M151A2 jeeps, generators, etc all full of gasoline with only a few mogas/diesel TPU's mounted on 5 ton trucks. Towards the end of my duty I got 15 Fuel HEMMT's which each held 2500 gallons of fuel that made life easier.

Haven't heard the term MOGAS in 20 years... Still gives me the heeby jeebies.

mac66
07-15-2011, 18:53
Well, I picked up my ammo cans yesterday. A bunch of 30s. 50s, couple of 40mm and 1-81mm and 1-120mm.

I have decided not to put gas in them but just for fun I calculated how much the 81mm and 120mm would hold. The 81mm would hold approx. 8.1 gals while the 120 would hold 8.4 gals approximately. Approx numbers because I used the outside dimensions to calculate volume. The 40mm would hold 4.4 gals and the .50 cal 2 gals.

Warp
07-15-2011, 19:49
I'm not saying the OP has a good idea, but apparantly no one here has tried this so no one can say if it's a good idea or not.


Either you don't use this theory in real life or you are one lucky SOB to still be alive.

bdcochran
07-15-2011, 20:30
don't forget, sometimes the interiors of the containers have been treated with chemicals.

mac66
07-16-2011, 07:23
don't forget, sometimes the interiors of the containers have been treated with chemicals.

Which means what?

Seriously, you guys are over anal-ysing these things. They are just a sealable metal container.

quake
07-16-2011, 08:18
Well, I picked up my ammo cans yesterday. A bunch of 30s. 50s, couple of 40mm and 1-81mm and 1-120mm.

I have decided not to put gas in them...

:wavey: Sounds like you at least thought it thru & made your own decision. There's a lot of things those larger ones would be handy for - storage of primers & powder might be worth considering; or all kinds of electronics or other things that you want to protect from moisture, bugs, and/or light.

ChuteTheMall
07-16-2011, 08:49
What about storing bulk ammo in gas cans?

:headscratch:

farmer-dave
07-16-2011, 20:42
What about storing bulk ammo in gas cans?

:headscratch:

I bet one of my lci 5 gallon water cans would hold alot of 22 ammo, and would never be noticed.

Lawmaker
07-19-2011, 21:45
I bet one of my lci 5 gallon water cans would hold alot of 22 ammo, and would never be noticed.

And it has a nice pour spout. Wont fall apart like the .22 bulk boxes.

SFCSMITH(RET)
07-20-2011, 07:32
I bet one of my lci 5 gallon water cans would hold alot of 22 ammo, and would never be noticed.

And it has a nice pour spout. Wont fall apart like the .22 bulk boxes.

Of course if you filled it with .22s you wouldn't need that pour spout.. and on the same note, if filled, even if a bad guy tried to steal it.. would take a couple guys to do it..lol

mac66
07-27-2011, 13:34
Of course if you filled it with .22s you wouldn't need that pour spout.. and on the same note, if filled, even if a bad guy tried to steal it.. would take a couple guys to do it..lol

Oh no. Don't you guys know that it is dangerous and illegal to store (whatever) in unapproved containers? Or, at least that seems to be the answer to any suggestion one might have.

Of course here are things that everybody knows.

-Red plastic containers are safer than non-red metal ones.
-Metal gas cans that are painted red are safer than ones painted green.
-If the container is not red and says GAS on it, it is unsafe and illegal.
-Metal containers cannot hold the pressure of gasoline as it expands. They will blow up, magically ignite and kill everyone on the block.
-CARB compliance is a way to protect us from the above.

Lone Hunter
07-30-2011, 12:08
Guys all across the country cities like mine are cutting firefighter jobs so in the name of job security I ask.

Please don't discourage folks for building homemade gas cans.

Or storing flammables in containers not made or labeled for them.

While we're at it, keeping said items in their cars and homes.

Refilling those little 2 dollar green propane cans. I know you can buy the adapters and your brother-in-law said its ok.....

Refilling cans while in the bed of their trucks and so forth.

Thank You LT Lone Hunter out.

For those that refill those little ones.

Now, here is the safety talk. If you live in the US, you may know that the "LAW" requires all (MOST) tanks less than 40 some odd pounds to be fitted with an OPD, or Overfill Protection Device, AND makes filling of those tanks not so equipped illegal. This is because IF THERE IS NOT A REASONABLE "GAS SPACE", that is, if the tank is filled completely with liquid, it will EXPLODE if the temperature is raised only a few degrees. The reason the OPD's were mandated is because of weakly educated convenience store employees who could/would fill a tank completely full of liquid propane. And this also applies to YOU. Make sure that any tank you fill has a gas space at the top. You can insure this by never filling a small tank from a big tank, or by weighing the tank to insure that it is not filled too beyond it design capacity.

Stevekozak
07-30-2011, 14:12
Wow! Lots of negativity here! Like the big brother we all wish we had had....... Hmm.

OP, I think you have to make at least one now, to try out the theory. For turds and ha has. I do agree that venting would probably be one of the biggest issues with the idea.

quake
07-30-2011, 17:06
...Like the big brother we all wish we had had.


No, we're simply stating our opinion; that it's a really bad idea to run with scissors, and urging someone not to do it.

Big Brother throws you in jail if you run with scissors. Massive difference.

:wavey:

Stevekozak
07-31-2011, 10:07
No, we're simply stating our opinion; that it's a really bad idea to run with scissors, and urging someone not to do it.

Big Brother throws you in jail if you run with scissors. Massive difference.

:wavey:

Well, I thought you were one of the least negative responders in the thread. :)

G-30Jet
07-31-2011, 12:37
True story: In 1978 my Dad put premium fuel (his chainsaw gas) in a 16 gallon metal drum, completely full, forgot about it. Long story short.... fast forward to 2006. Found the drum in the back storage shed. Says, hey i wonder... yes it was fresh and used it in the riding lawn mower and a four cylinder Toyota pickup. Both ran perfect with the "sweet" fuel.

When you store fuel in the plastic jugs, the light ends of the fuel escape and the octane rating falls sharply within the next thirty days.

beatcop
07-31-2011, 21:01
If you were just using the can as a shell for some type of bladder, maybe it would be ok, but the seams, hinge, lack of a nozzle, and so on seem to be detractors.

The cross country bikers had mylar ? wine bags filled with fuel in their side bags, etc. What are you going to use the cans for? static storage, transport...it's tough to beat something designed to do the job cheaply, aka the red plastic can.

mac66
08-04-2011, 20:01
So here is the deal. I filled one 50 cal can with gasoline and put it in the yard behind my house. It has been sitting in the sun for a week. Temps have been in the mid nineties. It has swelled a bit in the sun, but not as much as the 1 and 2 gallon plastic cans I set next to it. I also put an aluminum 26 oz water bottle filled with gas next to it. This bottle was used on my dual sport motorcycle to carry extra gas. It is quite common to do so.

So far no one has been blown up or burned to a crisp. I don't intend to use the ammo can for gas in the future but I was curious whether it would leak or not. Every day or so I tip it up, tip it over, stand it on end, flip it upside down to see if it leaks. Not so far.