Organization is important. I’m disorganized. I can find it in my computer but outside of that I need HELP.
So I try and organize. My shop has pictures on the peg board to remind people (me) where things go when they return it to the peg board and to allow me to know that something is missing. There are things that have their place and they just live there. (3/4 inch combination wrench hangs off a bolt on the side of the mill. Two others are on the peg board.)
I’m sad to report that not all my firearms have their place. They live in safe places but not all of them have a home yet.
My reloading bench is only 3×3 so enough room for reloading but not for mess. I tried to fix this with open top bins that hang off the wall. That worked well when I had the space. Now that rack is in a different room and the new reloading room is still more disorganized.
One thing that did work for some organization was ammo cans. I had the 30Cal can full of 30-06. I had the 30Cal full of 5.56 in clips and, wait, why is that 30cal can full of soldering and electronic shit. Well this can is full of, What? It’s the first aid kit mom packed for me 40+ years ago when I headed off to collage? GRRRR.
Labels! That’s the answer.
The issue is what to label and the size of the cans/boxes. I have a big chest in the reloading room but it is always covered with “stuff” so I can’t get into it.
I finally fell on the answer, sort of by accident. Products from MTM Molded Products.
So here is a review of the products I’ve purchase of theirs.
These are my go to for range ammo. I use different product for long term storage.
They come in different sizes depending on the caliber/size of the round. They they work well for what they are. They are compact. The only real issue is that they are noisy. They rattle in the box which may or may not be an issue for you. They come in different colors, clear like the above or solid. Most of my pistol caliber are solid black.
If you are looking for something to carry reloads to the range, yeah, use these.
They also make them for rifle calibers:
These are plastic ammo cans and this is where things start to get interesting. While the external size of these plastic can’s don’t match that of the metal cans, the insides do. These I love.
It is important to note that they make these cans in non standard sizes as well. So you can buy an ammo can that exactly fits their ammo boxes. You can get a can that holds 700 rounds of 45ACP in 7 of there ammo boxes:
I have one of these for 45ACP as the price was right on Amazon.
They have versions that hold magazines instead of their boxes. For example a can that holds 16 1911 sized mags or
another that holds 15 AR-15 mags or another that holds Glock type mags.
And this brings us to the first real issue with MTM products. Their ammo cans are not standardized. So it is possible to buy an ammo can for your 5.56 mags that is just perfect, but while the size of the box looks like their 50cal can, it isn’t. Not a big deal for loose cans, but it becomes more interesting in the tray and crate side of things.
All of these are lighter than their metal counter parts and I’ve not had a single can break on me. Not that I’m particularly hard on my ammo cans. I have no problem using them instead of metal cans. They are sealed with an O-ring which keeps dust, dirt, and water out. It is airtight as well but I wouldn’t expect them, or any ammo can, to handle being submerged at any serious depth.
And this is why I decided to use MTM products for organizing my reloading and shooting gear. Their Ammo Trays.
I’ve talked to the people at MTM and from their website they will sell you just the tray part, but they don’t consider that to be a standalone product. They expect to sell the trays with a full compliment of ammo cans.
They have trays for all of their ammo cans but not all of their specialty cans. Which is why I mentioned that the 5.56 magazine can isn’t the same size as the 50 cal can. They look close but they are not the same. It is unclear to me if they would fit. Because of this I’ve not purchased any of the magazine holding ammo cans.
Besides trays for their plastic ammo cans they make trays for metal 30 cal and metal 50 cal cans.
I have multiples of these. I have a 30 cal tray that has my low count rifle ammo. Each can is labeled with the caliber. As an example, I don’t have 1000+ rounds of 303 British. So the 303 british in this can holds all the loaded rounds of 303 in boxes as well as all of my prepared brass and my cleaned but unprocessed 303 brass.
This tray lives near the top of the stack but it is just a few seconds to move a tray and expose the tray I want. At some point I’ll build some shelves for the trays but it isn’t required.
And again, this is where there is a downside. Each tray is dsized for the ammo cans it holds. Thus the 30 cal tray doesn’t stack perfectly on the 50 cal tray even though there are only 3 50 cal cans and 4 30 cal cans. And the trays for metal cans are just a little smaller than the trays for plastic cans so they don’t stack perfectly.
They do stack, but don’t expect to build a stack 10 deep with a small on the bottom and bunch of bigs on top.
These trays are very sturdy. I’ve had no problems shelping them with full cans around the house as I had to move things.
But not all things are small enough to fit into an ammo can. Even a big 50 cal can. And MTM came up with an answer for that as well.
Their ammo crates.
They have two lines, the ACR -18 and the ACR -72. The footprint for all the -18s are the same and the footprint for the -72 are the same. So if you want them to stack you just need to pick the right series.
They are big enough to put all the parts of a reloading press in, or a bunch of reloading tools. They have great handles so they are easy to move around and again they stack. The sizes aren’t an exact match to the trays but you can stack them within reason.
If you are interested you can see their entire product line at: MTM Case-Gard but most of their product line is available on Amazon for a bit cheaper.