Modern firearm ammunition is made to very high standards. It is incredibly stable and reliable, but there are some things to consider when buying ammunition and storing it until you are ready to use it. While there are many different ammunition types on the market, you can handle most of it the same way unless it is specialty ammunition, and then the manufacturer will let you know how to work with it.
When purchasing ammunition for your firearms, you should start at a reputable firearms store or a gun shop to ensure you are getting high-quality ammunition that will work correctly in your gun. Look for brands that are familiar to you, and take a look at the boxes to ensure they are not water damaged or have other problems.
The lot numbers and date of manufacture on the box can help you determine if the ammunition is old or not, and if you are looking for ammo from the same lot, you can match the numbers on the boxes and be sure everything you purchase was made at the same time. Often this is less critical for hunting or sport shooting, but if you are buying match-grade ammo for competition shooting, it can be vital.
Buying ammo that is made by small manufacturers overseas is not always a bad thing. However, if you can, getting your ammunition from a large, well-known supplier is often the best way to ensure you are getting ammo that will work the way it is supposed to. Shop the sales if you can when buying ammo in lots, and then store what you don't need until you are ready to use it. Most ammunition can last ten or more years on a shelf when stored correctly, and if the price is good now, you may want to get a stockpile in case the price jumps later.
Once you purchase the ammunition for your firearms, you need to find a way to store it to protect it from damage and preserve it for future use. Temperatures can affect ammunition, so keeping it in your home where the temperature is consistent is an excellent option.
The ammo does not need to be out where people see it, so a closet shelf or in a kitchen cabinet that you are not using is a great spot. The ammunition also needs to stay dry, so putting the boxes into air-tight bags that you can label with the date of purchase and the type of ammo works well.
Keep the ammunition out of the sun and keep it where you can quickly get to it. In the right conditions, the stock you have on hand will be ready to use for years. Use the oldest ammo first and rotate the inventory to ensure you don't have any rounds going over the ten-year mark if possible.