How to Remove Stencils from Ammo Cans: The Easy Way

 

Easy Tip to Remove Markings from Ammo Cans

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When I figured out how to remove stencils from ammo cans, I wished I had learned it earlier.  Up until this point I had repainted my cans to cover the markings.  Now I can simply remove the stencils and keep the nice OD green paint.

Want to Store Reloads in Labeled Ammo Cans?

I have a few thousand reloads stored in various methods around my shop .  Soon I got tired of seeing ice cream buckets full of bulk ammo sitting around.  To fix this, I ordered several Styrofoam repack kits for my pistol ammo. Next, I packed the rounds neatly into little white 50 round boxes.  After that, I wanted to have a good way to store them.

Luckily, I have several assorted military surplus ammo cans lying about. I find it interesting that 4 boxes of pistol ammunition will fit in the bottom of an .50 ammo can.  Those layers of 200 rounds can be stacked 4 deep.  This means in a single .50 caliber can I can securely store 800 pistol rounds.

My problem is that I have a lot more than .38 special rounds, and since all the ammo cans are marked with military stampings they all look alike. This caused me to start an internet search to find an easy way to mark military ammo cans.

You Have to Remove Markings Before You Can Re-Label

However before I could paint my cans, I had to remove markings from ammo cans. Most people tend to either sand and repaint their cans, or just paint over the markings with spray paint. That is the simplest solution, however, matching paint colors as you repaint several cans can be a problem, plus the cost of paint, and the fact that I wanted to do it a different way led me to discover that the markings are not painted on with stencils they are stamped on with ink.

You would be surprised at how easy some acetone paint remover (I used fingernail polish remover) and a rag will lift the stencils off the cans. The only thing you need to worry about is that with enough scrubbing you might be able to lift some green paint off also. In my experience this did not happen – but I imagine it could.

Once I removed all the markings and let the paint thinner dry I was ready for the next part which was actually marking the cans – Stay tuned for how I actually marked the cans…

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