WDITOT: Ammo Can Magnets

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In this week’s addition of ‘Why Didn’t I Think Of That’ (or #WDITOT – come on Twitter trending!) are Ammo Can Magnets. Last week I stopped by MAC Tactical, my FFL/SOT, to pickup a new review gun (one that rhymes with Kimber) and on the way out the owner showed me a set of simple-but-elegant magnet labels that are specifically designed for .30 and .50 caliber ammo cans.

Surplus ammo cans aren’t perfect for storage: they can dent, chip paint, scratch, rust and can’t be locked without modification. But for the money, there is really nothing that comes close in terms of solid, dry storage containers. Like every respectable American gun owner, I own a “handful” of .50 cal cans.

But labeling the cans has never been a strength of mine.

Before:

Ammo Can Magnets

Ammo Can Magnets

After:

Ammo Can Magnets

Ammo Can Magnets

I’m a fan. These magnets are inexpensive, well made, easy to read at a distance and can be quickly swapped between cans. I’ll definitely be buying more.

Out of curiosity, I decided to drop the owner, Wade Leishman, an email to as how he got started making magnets. He writes:

AmmoCanMagnets.Com came into existance in early 2013 when I was first getting into shooting and I was trying to buy and store a bit of ammo for range time at my local Sportsman’s club. I purchased enough that I decided that I wanted a few military surplus ammo cans to store the ammo that I was buying.

I soon encountered what I assumed was a common problem of identifying what was in each can quickly without opening each one. To label the cans, I didn’t personally care for the look of handwritten labels with tape or stick on label maker labels . I also found myself moving my ammo between my cans often as I was organizing and adding new calibers. Because of that I had the idea to use small magnets to identify what was in each can. Like most things on the internet, I searched to see if anyone was already selling something like this and at the time I didn’t find anything similar.

I decided to design a few magnets for my own personal ammo collection, and thought they looked great, were reusable and gave my stash a very “professional look and feel”. I shared a few photos on a shooting forum because I thought it was a cool idea and that’s what people do on enthusiast forums. The positive response was immediate and amazing and things took off from there with requests for new calibers (many I’d never heard of and a new shooter), different magnet sizes (smaller for .30Cal sized cans), fonts, colors and designs for things other than ammunition that people also store in ammo cans.

3 1/2 years later, we now stock almost 500 different magnet and 70 Sticker (for plastic ammo cases) designs of various caliber, font and color combinations. We are still a small family owned and operated business and we are a proud supporters of the NRA, NRA Business Alliance and support as many 2nd Amendment causes (both in California and National) as time and funds allow.

Why didn’t I think of that?

From the AmmoCanMagnets.com website:

These professionally digital printed vinyl magnets will stick to any side of any metal military ammunition cans and are a convenient and quick way to determine what is stored inside with opening them. No more tape, markers or stickers and give your ammo can’s a “professional appearance”. They could also be affixed to anything magnetic (auto’s, refrigerators, etc.) for more of a fun, gun/ammo themed display piece. Great for personal ammunition storage, dealers or gun shows!

Over 350 Caliber, Font, Color and Size combinations in stock and custom designs upon request.

.50cal size are 3.4″w x 1.9″h / .30 cal size are 1.9″w x 1.7″h

A small sampling of labels and designs available from Ammo Can Magnets:

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They also have the ability to make custom magnets and offer a variety of stickers.


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MSRP: $1.00-$1.50

Ammo Can Magnets – http://shop.ammocanmagnets.com

info@ammocanmagnets.com

http://www.ammocanmagnets.com
https://www.facebook.com/Ammocanmagnetscom
https://twitter.com/AmmoCanMagnets


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Special thanks to Mark at MAC Tactical who handles all the transfers for my TFB review guns.



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • TX Shooter

    I get the rolls of single side sticky magnetic tape from the craft store. It’s about the width of dymo marker label tape. I peel the backing off the magnetic tape and the label and join them. That way I can label the most exotic ammo in my storage with any level of detail I choose.

  • DanGoodShot

    Yup… going to buy some. Thanks for helping to separate my money from my wallet Pete. Good find!

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Ha! You’re welcome?!?

      I’m buying more. I love simple stuff like this.

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      Yeah thanks Pete… happy to take some of Dan’s $!

      • DanGoodShot

        I bet you are! Lol.

  • Klaus Von Schmitto

    Awesome! I just refurbed some ammo cans last weekend and was wondering where I could get paint stencils made. This solves that problem with a better solution than paint.

    BTW – Spray can truck bed liner is great inside your ammo cans. I put it in all of mine.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Good idea. Do you strip the paint before using the spray?

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        I rough it up a little bit with sandpaper and wipe it down with acetone. I’ve never had any peel to any degree.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      That’s an awesome idea.

    • Paul White

      what benefits does the liner bed provide?

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        Keeps my ammo from getting dinged up when I move the cans from place to place and a Little extra waterproofing if a seam leaks.

    • phuzz

      You should be able to buy packs of stencils (A-Z, 0-9) at a hardware store or similar.
      Otherwise just print onto paper and cut out with a craft knife.

  • hw97karbine

    How do they work?

    • PK

      Miracles.

    • Major Tom

      Magic.

    • anonymous

      Yeah, my first thought was “Didn’t you read the article? Magnets!” and to leave some snarky response like “magic” or “miracles”.

      Then I realized he was asking how well do they work; i.e., are the magnets strong enough to keep the labels in place, etc. I’m guessing that others knew this, and are just being funny and not condescending.

      Funny how words are like those optical illusions that can be interpreted in different ways — like the one with the wine glass and two faces. I guess it’s profound thought because I haven’t had my morning coffee yet.

      • iksnilol

        Might’a been a reference to “F###ing Magnets, How Do They Work” which is a lyric from Insane Clown Posse which later became a meme on its own right.

        • hw97karbine

          I’m glad that as many folks seem to have understood there reference as were baffled by it.

          • iksnilol

            Well, it is a polarizing reference.

          • KestrelBike

            hahaha. Honestly, it was a good song. ICP has some creative songs. I have general disdain for juggalos, but songs like suicide hotline and boogie woogie wu just make me laugh. Other songs they’ve had like “homies” about loyalty and being yourself, well once you remove the face paint and other goofie anti-social aspects, you have a general theme that 2A’ers could identify with and appreciate.

            lulz commence flames.

          • Ebby123

            Same with Tech n9ne,
            But again – the gem or two they contain is buried under a literal mountain of juvenile shock-jock antics that glorify everything that’s wrong with humanity.

      • Longhaired Redneck

        It’s just English…

    • Bierstadt54

      They come from the place of spells and fairies.

    • Don Ward

      I (CP) what you did there…

    • Lew Siffer

      COLLEGE PROFESSOR ANSWER: Magnetism is described as an electromagnetic field, a quantum field, represented as a vector of three quantum operators at each point in quantum electrodynamics as incorporated in the Standard Model of particle physics.
      DRILL SERGEANT ANSWER: Just fine! Move out!

      • carlcasino

        How does it work? Hope this guy only does air soft.

  • PK

    I use a strip of the widest blue painter’s tape, about 3″ if memory serves, and a “bold point” indelible marker to label them. It’s worked for years and I think I have a total of <$10 invested in that strategy.

    Changing what's in the can? Another layer of tape after removing the existing tape, or just right over it.

    • Daniel

      Yep. Same here.

    • I use normal masking tape, but the same process. It also allows me to add more details, like bullet weight.

      • More power to someone who has made a business.

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      I’m willing to do “small batches of the oddball/antique rounds, depending on if you need 1 or 5 and if there is anyone else on the planet that might also be interested in that round. Shoot me an email to info@ammocanmangets.com and we can talk.

  • This is really terrific. I use ammo cans extensively for ammo storage, and I’ve found that stickers don’t always seem to work very reliably. Magnets should be comparatively robust in comparison, and much easier to work with. Great idea, and I suspect I’ll be buying some before the end of the year!

  • anonymous

    Every .45 fanboy knows that the “Less Lethal” and “9mm” labels are redundant.

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      I LOL’ed at this reply… although only shoot a 9mm and 22LR so can’t say too much! 🙂

  • anonymous

    I’m disappointed that there’s no “40 Watt” label, for my phase plasma rifle.

    • Ebby123

      Or “INCENDIARY GRENADES”… now where am I going to keep those!?

  • Ken

    I hope to have a need for the “8mm Belted” magnets one day.

  • Sianmink

    Shocked and delighted these aren’t $5 each.

    • Russ Kell

      Yeah. I can actually afford to get one for every can I own at this price.

    • Ebby123

      +10,000

      Every time some engineer has a good idea, the accountants show up and F*K it up for everybody.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Should make these for 5.56 and .300 rifles.

    • Anonymoose

      That’s what marked dust covers are for.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Yeah thats a joke.

        • Anonymoose

          What I see as most dangerous now is the RZE Unimags. Someone is going to jam a 5.56 into a 7.62×39 or .458 because they saw a normal-looking mag in it.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I honestly do not understand these mistakes. Maybe its because I was taught to pay attention to detail by a Vietnam vet and former Marine (my father) but ive never had a problem putting the wrong bullets in my rifle.

          • Anonymoose

            I knew a guy who bought .308 to put in a nugget.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            A guy at my office bought a fancy new AR and asked if it would fire 5.56 and 7.62………..through the same barrel.
            I fear for his life, not with guns but like maybe accidentally swallowing his shoes or something.

          • iksnilol

            I’m more worried about 7.62×39 in 5.56 than vice versa (5.56 has been somewhat successfuly fired in AKMs… successfuly defined as not blowing up).

          • Doom

            literally how are people doing this? how is sticking a .30 caliber bullet in a .22 caliber barrel working? how is the round chambering? how is the bolt going far enough into battery to close all the way and let the hammer fall? is it just slamming the bullet back into the case or is there enough space in the throat of the chamber but once it gets to the rifling it goes to .22 cal? just how is .300 blk or 7.62×39 being chambered in a 5.56 gun?

          • iksnilol

            You got it backwards. You can fit a 5.56 into the chamber of a 7.62×39 gun.

            Regarding 300 BLK, some loads are shorter, so the bullet fits in the neck/shoulder area of 5.56.

          • Doom

            Would have sworn I saw a post on here a little while ago showing a .300 blk blown up in a .223 rifle, though like you said it could be hiding in a chamber. I probably wouldn’t want to own two guns in the calibers 5.56 and .300 blk. just go one or the other. I am very careful when loading mags, but crap happens.

          • iksnilol

            There was a post about a .223/5.56 blown up from loading 300 blk in it.

    • Dan

      Perhaps you and I should make an electronic cartridge identifier that connects to the rifle and warns the shooter that they have loaded the wrong ammo. We will of course make them cartridge specific so that people will have to buy one for each caliber. It could put the firearm on safe and taze the shooter at the same time, both to save their firearm from destruction and punish them for being stupid.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Lol

  • Anonymoose

    mmm…delicious 10 gauge…

    • Gary Kirk

      10 gauge is like wild Turkey for your shoulder.. Hell of a time while playing, but the next morning sucks

  • ozzallos .

    Or, I don’t know… Electrical tape?
    $3 can get you a pack of red, blue, yellow and black at the local mart store.

  • Renegade

    I’ve bought a lot of these (north of 20) and they work great. Also know a few people that are happy with them. The owner is open to suggestions for new magnets as well.

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      Renegade! Thanks for your support and kind words!

  • Swarf

    P-Touch label maker.

    Label all the things.

  • Don Ward

    Does it come in 7.5 Swiss? Because I need a magnet for 7.5 Swiss.

    Right after I find 7.5 Swiss ammo…

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      7.5 Swiss currently available in Yellow / Black Standard Font 50cal sized, and 7.5×55 Swiss – Black – Standard – .30Cal… shoot me an email to info@ammocanmagnets.com if you are looking for other designs.

      • Don Ward

        Well done sir. Well done.

      • Ebby123

        You guys are awesome. Just sayin..

  • Billy Jack

    You can buy magnetic pages to use with your color printer at Amz or Wally World. Print them yourself cheap. Inkjet or laser.

  • MindMelder

    I use a label printer. White printed letters on black tap to identify my 20+ cans. Good idea here nonetheless though Simple and effective.

  • Hellbilly

    I use a label maker. Much cheaper and does the same thing while still looking neat and tidy.

  • Disarmed in CA

    Need some self-stick vinyl ones for non-metallic storage

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      We have about 70 more “common” calibers in sticker form for the non-metallic cases. It seems many of the “big retailers” (Bass Pro, Cabela’s, etc) do more plastic than steel cans. We are happy to look at others if there is something we are missing.

  • HH

    What a great idea and product (I hope as I ordered a bunch of them). I have maybe 30 ammo cans with handwritten sh$t scratched on them- half the time is wrong. I resort to swaps the lids to match the rounds with the labels, etc. Complete PITA.

    Man….This cures an annoyance of mine.
    Kudos!
    Just wish they had “Belted” versions of the 54R, 308, and 556….

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      Shoot me an email to info@ammocanmagnets.com with what your looking for (Caliber, font Std/Stencil, color:Black/Yellow and can size:30/50Cal) nd we can see what we can do for the “belted” version of these. Just hadn’t been requested by anyone before.

      • Houston

        Emailed. Thanks !

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I’m a sucker for good storage and labeling! These are cool and ammo cans look bad a##!

  • Shootin’ Buddy

    So, people aren’t doing color codes like me? Pink for 9mm, Pontiac Blue for .45acp, white for .38s, inter alia?

  • RICH

    Someone was selling similar magnets on E-bay a few years back. I thought they were a great idea and ordered about 10….. which I never received ! ! After going ’round & round’ I finally got my $$ back……

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      Hope that wasn’t me… we only did FleaBay for the first couple months back in early 2013 (and never would have stiffed an order) and found it more trouble than it was worth… Would be happy to see if there is anything we can help with if you haven’t found an alternative solution already.

      • RICH

        NO, I’m sure it wasn’t you ! My sincere apologies if you thought I was referring to you. The magnets on E-bay were just a narrow strip, one line strip. I will be contacting you shortly to order some as I never did get those I tried to purchase on e-bay.

      • Houston

        emailed. Thanks!

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        Thanks for coming by, Wade. Keep up the great work!

  • bobthenest

    Good idea for those who need a commercial product. I’ve been making my own for years using bond-paper-size magnetic sheets and printing whatever I want on them. I use the ones that are perforated to separate into business card size pieces. Same as flat “refrigerator magnets” businesses give out.

    Works for my WWII library archive storage in 20mm cans as well as my actual ammo storage. Those in deep storage have cal, date, manuf, bullet type/wt, and count. Less info on ones used near future; move labels as necessary, write changes on them until enough to print new ones.

    Cut into strips they are good for my too-many-drawers-to-remember standup tool chest drawers and a clean/dirty sign on the dishwasher. The sheets go through my laser printer with no problem — lots of versatility.

  • Rooftop Voter

    I am happy to see this new item. For years, I had the everyday problem of keeping all my 40 mm Bofors rounds in one location. Now I will be able to inventory them much easier.

    Actually I have used the heavy duty manila tags with the wire “string” from Staples since 1988 and they work just fine for long term storage. The wide blue painter’s tape works great also and to completely remove any residue, I use mineral spirits and it cleans right off.

  • I’ve been using these for years. Didn’t realize they weren’t as well know. I love them and have them on every can I own.

  • Lee Enfield

    Reviews don’t inspire much confidence

  • Don Ward

    Well I just got off the tundra in Alaska after 2 1/2 months commercial fishing in Bristol Bay a week and a half ago so I haven’t been looking. But thanks for the link! Will check it out.

    • Lee Enfield

      That’s a pretty good excuse. You should tell the captain to arrange for some high speed internet satellite access so you can make more use of your extensive leisure time on that fishing excursion 😉

      • Doom

        IS FAHNNY BECAUSE THERE IS NO TIME OF LEISURE ON FISHING BOAT HA HA!

        • Lee Enfield

          Yeah I know that….thats why the (wink) tag 😉 Of coarse maybe I’m missing your SARC tag

  • AmmoMFG (Drew)

    Neat idea, only real problem I see… regular metal cans are getting more expensive, and plastic cans are getting better and cheaper.

    It would be neat to see these offered as stickers as well as magnets. Any word on custom lettering?

    • AmmoCanMagnets.Com

      We have about 70 Sticker designs currently for the most common calibers… willing to make more as demand dictates.

    • Doom

      keep your eyes open, Maybe I missed out on super cheap cans, I dont know how much they used to be, but they always cost around 12-15 dollars locally for the 16~ years I have been into real guns. But just a couple months ago I was able to buy 12 US made .50 cal Black hawk brand Steel ammo cans with the same rubber liner in the lid as a milsurp can for 140 something shipped to my house from Palmetto state armory. not bad for 12 high quality cans that weighed nearly 70 pounds being shipped hundreds of miles to my house.

      • AmmoMFG (Drew)

        Heh “let me tell you a story son…”

        Back in the early 90’s, you could get ammo-cans at the gunshow 2 for $5, and 5 for $10. About the cheapest I can get them for from anywhere today is about $10 in “like new” condition. Last time I bought a few pallets from a surplus action, they were covered in paint, rust, and seagull feces, and were still not cheap.

        It’s worth noting, I’m an ammo manufacturer (hence the name), so the higher retail cost is something I have to pass on to customers. I can get US made plastic cans for about 1/3 or less if I’m ordering in the thousands quantities (not unreasonable).

        Sure, you can’t prop your car up on top of the plastic can, but a $10-15 price difference is sometimes enough to make customers look elsewhere for their ammo, even if it comes with the nice metal can.

        • Doom

          10-15 dollar price difference? must be getting a heck of a discount with bulk, they are at best 5$ cheaper when buying a small amount and locally. and I worry about the handle snapping off and smashing my foot when I have 30-40 pounds of ammo in the crate lol. Plus like I said, I got Brand new US made “Milspec” cans for like 12$ a can shipped from PSA. pretty good deal in my opinion, and they will last a lifetime or 3.

          • AmmoMFG (Drew)

            When you buy anything by the truckload, most people are willing to shave some bucks off.

            When I talk about “good” plastic ammo cans, I use examples like the old ones 25mm Bushmaster ammo came in, or the ones south african surplus 308 was being shipped in with.

            At the moment, the Berry’s “40 cal” can is kinda the leader, I put a few 5lb lead bricks in one, and then threw it in a cement mixer, it was pretty chewed up after an hour, but had failed by the 3 hour mark. The metal cans just deform beyond usability with this test but do protect the contents.

            What I would like to see but havn’t is someone using some tougher polymers like glass filled nylons and the like to really make a tough plastic ammo can.

  • CountryBoy

    Any hobby/craft store has magnetic sheets available. I cut them up to make the same thing; they’re white on one side and slick, like a whiteboard, so I can wipe them and reuse ’em.

  • Idrathergofishing

    Plastic?

  • Andrew Foss

    I label the latch. If I’m reorganizing, swapping lids is the last step after dumping the ammo into the different can. Simple. And the .50 cans are compatible with 60mm mortar ammo cans. My method will fall on its face if I ever need to use one of the six 120mm cans or the 40mm can I have. But I don’t expect to need 5-10k rounds worth of rifle/shotgun ammo storage, not with ammo prices being what they are.

  • Gary Hoffmann

    I love these things. I keep getting more ammo cans, then I order some more ammo can magnets.

  • Kalash

    I’ve purchased some of these before and the magnet on them is fairly weak and they tended simply to fall off whenever the ammo can was moved around, loaded in a truck, etc.

    Best thing to do is use blue electrical tape, and a Sharpie.

  • Doom

    I really appreciate the price being so affordable. It reminds me of an episode of “sharktank” which I usually dont watch but happened to be one day. In the show there was a farmer selling a plastic cone you could place around your trees in an orchard and selling them for I believe 2.50 per unit and he was making enough to live comfortably, but just wanted to get extra money to expand his business out of his local area. The sharks hounded him about why he wasnt charging like 10 dollars a unit and he said he just wanted to do what was right and provide a quality item at an affordable price and wasnt in it to stick it to people.

    what a confusing comment, you would have to see it to understand.