Ammo Cans: The New Plastic Fantastics


Categories: Ammo can Containers GeoTools Reviews


Love the original, hate the sequel … right?

That’s the way it normally works with movies, book, video games etc  – or so I thought until I got to review MTM Case-Gard’s new take on that geocaching staple, the Ammo Can.

Those heavy-duty war artefacts have been as traditional in the United States as well traditionals since our favourite hobby began, yet sadly they’re nowhere near as popular Down Under.

Perhaps that’s got something to do with repeat rumours of bans on ammo can sales over the years and the lack of military surplus stores in New Zealand. Or just that they have a habit of rusting shut after a particularly nasty winter.

Personally, though, I adore the old metal versions; they have substance, history and you know they won’t be too affected by the elements. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like version 2.0 at all, so it’s with some surprise that I find myself typing mostly good things about them.

For starters, they’re lighter in weight than the originals – perfect for lugging to remote GZs – but still offer the same amount of storage (30 pounds or nearly 14 kilograms of swag, in fact). Each features a double latch to prevent accident openings and double padlock tabs – something sadly missing in many of the army options. They’ll never rust and MTM Case-Gard boasts that its patented tongue-and-groove O-Rings provide a superior water-resistant seal.

In another major selling point, you’re no longer restricted to camo-green. The Ohio manufacturer offers three colours – black, forest green and orange (strictly for hunters, I’d say, but the latter could be used as a desert hide in a pinch) and three sizes – 30 Caliber, 50 Caliber plus an in-between option. There’s even a Zombie design, if that’s what takes your fancy. 

Price-wise, MTM’s range is also cheaper than buying second-hand at an army surplus store – at least in New Zealand. I got mine for A$19.95 (US$20.74) new compared to the NZ$25 pricetag for an almost rusted-shut relic. And if you’re shopping in the US of A, there are better bargains at MTM’s online factory store.

The worst I can say is that their size takes a bit of getting used too – even when compared with a metal “Fat-fifty” – and that long-term, I doubt they have the staying power of the originals which withstood Hilter, cold European winters and more than the occasional stray bullet.

But then again if zombies ever attack, I think I’d rather take my chances on the sequel.


*You can purchase MTM Case-Gard’s Ammo Can range at hunting stores, and geocaching websites 101Geo. Prices start at US$11.77 in the United States or A$19.95 Down Under.


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