Ammo Box Panniers?

Discussion in 'Parcel Racks, Panniers, Luggage & Seats' started by Everett, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Everett

    Everett New Member

    Okay, I have spent the past hour and a bit searching for info on ammo boxes. I was at my local gun range tonight (shooting 44's, 357's, 38's, and those lovely 22 Singers) and a friend of mine had a military ammo box. He claims that there are ammo boxes very similiar to the size of motorcycle aluminum panniers. He said that they would way around 10lbs, each. I knew that I had seen a pic of a KLR mounted with ammo boxes, but do you think I can find it online? Notta chance. Horsizons Unlimited have lots of "hit" but not a single photo. I know they would be heavier than aluminum panniers and I would be stuck with their fixed shape. I just want to weigh all of my options before I order my aluminum.
  2. harry

    harry New Member

    A friend of mine came up with this set up very cheap ( see attachment ) I know they are on a Handa Domminator but what the heck they are so a like. The significant point is the source of the boxes, they came from the local record store as they are used by Mobile DJ's to carry around the 12 inch vynal records ( yeh every one's on CD and DVD but not the DJ's over here. I think they were £40 each, they are alluminum and lockable. The frames he acquired from elsewhere. Oh, almost forgot they are totally waterproof.

    I've included an extra photo of his first attempt when he used petrol jerry cans with the tops cut of, he then had to make up the lids, thes were ok but a bit heavy.

    If any of this is of interest I think I may have a shot just of the frame rails.

    Hope this gives you another avenue to go down.
  3. dengwynn

    dengwynn New Member

    Ammo boxes have the advantages of being cheap, strong, well sealed and easily available. If you cant find them locally try "sportsman's" He has lots of goofy stuff for sale and their catalogs are entertaining.

    My only urgent suggestion is that you repaint them as you absolutely do not want to be mistaken for carrying amunition in many third world countries. It means jail time or worse.

    There was a serious problem with that in Uganda when I lived in Kenya. When I was going to buy a surplus landrover, I met a guy who had been arrested and beaten for having gun mounts on his landrover. No guns, no ammunition just a flanged pipe going upward on either side of the bed. He had overlooked taking them off.

    In other words, carry a bazooka if you wish, but it'd better look like a fuzzy pink bunny. Conversely, if your easter bunny looks like a bazooka, you are in serious trouble.
  4. Larry

    Larry New Member

    I was riding my BMW GS in Guatemala in 1987 and after many road blocks and searches on the main roads I took a smaller road into the boonies. The large roads had lots of paper checks and searches but somebody of somewhat official status was in charge. Going into the boonies was a different matter. I came around a corner and about five or six 14-16 year old kids in jungle fatigues leapt out of the bushes and blocked the roads with guns barred. The oldest punk was in charge and he immediately demanded my papers but while getting them out they ignored me and immediately started rummaging thought all my stuff. They were a very rag tag outfit and they all took a shine to all my camping gear, particularly my sleeping bag and tent. When they got to my US army surplus mess kit (with US Army stamped on it) they were intent on confiscating it because it was "war supplies". I hemmed and hawed but the more I did, the more they insisted that practically everything I had was "war supplies". So I decided to suddenly not understand their Spanish and played dumb and started to pack up my stuff including my papers that they never looked at. I let them have the mess kit and I drove off. I spent a week in Guatemala and decided not to camp out or take any more back roads.
  5. Marty

    Marty New Member

    I am very interested in finding more information out about these panniers. Let me start this by saying that I am frugal. Naw, the truth is that I am cheap. I would much rather spend about $50 in materials and have something safe, efficient and effective than spending $600 to have the same thing, but a bit prettier.

    There are several sites that show the 20 mm ammo boxes. It would appear that there are two distinctly different versions of that particular box. One has a hinged lid and the other has a lid that once the latches are released, the top lifts straight off.

    From what I have read, shipping weight on one is 6 pounds and the other is 23 pounds.

    I think I might pick a pair up and also some 3/4 steel tubing, fire the welder up and see just how much trouble I can get into!

    If you do anything in that area, please let me know how your project is coming and I will reciprocate.
  6. Marty

    Marty New Member

    I just found something that might be even better than the ammo box solution for panniers.

    Those are water proof boxes manufactured by Pelican. One example of what they make is the 1550 box without foam. The price on the box is $86.04. Not as cheap as ammo boxes, but much cheaper than aluminum panniers. And the waterproof issue makes them very nice for our application. Here are the specs:

    Material High impact structural Copolymer Polypropylene

    Weather-Resistant Yes, (Watertight to 30'); O-Ring sealed

    Type Of Closure Hinged with double latches

    Exterior Dimensions 20.5 x 16.8 x 8.5" (520 x 426 x 216mm) LxWxH

    Interior Dimensions 19 x 14.5 x 7.8" (482 x 368 x 198mm) LxWxH

    Internal Pockets None

    Interior Fitting Does not come with any foam (Optional: #PEFS1550)

    Accommodates 35mm or medium format system

    Weight 10.5 lb (4.7 kg)

    Specialties Fold-down handle; Personalized nameplate (at additional charge); Built-in purge valve for changes in altitude or temperature; Optional combo lock can be used

    Hope this helps.
  7. DavidC

    DavidC New Member

    I just sent a note to the DSN about these boxes. Took one down to Safeway Grocery. It weighed in at 9.16 kg, or 20.2 lb. These came from They are marked "100 rds linked" " for M61 gun". They do not have any kind of insert. Steel box, inside about 7.5 in x 17.25 in long x 14 in deep. For Canadians on the list, 12.98 US each, 41 US shipping for the pair, and a final hold-up by UPS of $20 Cdn. They would be prettier if I had an extra $500 US to spend, but that buys a lot of gas.

    For the welders in the crowd, I got pictures of several racks for the KLR off the internet, cherry-picked the good ideas, and my 3/4 in square tube racks work well, with about 10000 km on them so far, (6200 mi).
  8. cfe

    cfe New Member

    I have a Pelican (forgot what size) as a "topbox" on the KLR. It has got to be a third the weight of an ammo box. Pretty darn tough, too. I love it. Watertight. It is amazing how much pressure the "air tight valve" will bleed off.

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