I recently got an Ammo Can Stove from one of my sponsors (picture to left); specifically, I got the Blue Ridge (there are other models), which is apparently their most popular stove. As I was anxious to try it out, I wasn’t going to wait until the winter to test it. So, even though it’s like 90 degrees outside, I had to cure the paint before my first real use, which sounded like a great time to see how it worked.
A few details first, the Fire Box: 8.5″ High, 7″ Wide, 12″ Long (it’s literally an ammo can) and weighs 8.5 pounds. I also got the 5-piece stove pipe system too, which conveniently stores inside the stove for ease of storage and carry. Enough with the details…
Now, because it is an ammo can, you’re not going to be using firewood that is much bigger than twigs or fairly small branches at best; you could even use scrap lumber if you wanted. That’s actually good news to me because it means you’ll be using less wood and therefore less foraging for you. The bad news is that you’ll probably need to keep up with the fire more often rather than being able to let a huge log smolder for hours on end.
I should state the, while it is an ammo can, it has really been converted into a stove. There is obviously a front door that is easy to open and close (with handle), a grate inside for ash to collect underneath, a front adjustable airflow damper, legs to keep it off the ground, a flue, and so on. It’s also painted flat black for longevity. Flip it upside-down and you now have a convenient carry handle. Because the bottom side is actually the top of an ammo can, it’s opens easily and fully, which makes it easier to clean out the ash deposits.
My first experience was a good one as I didn’t have any problems with it. I got my fire going easily. Of course, I did “cheat” a bit because I used a fire log. Anyway, I could feel radiant heat from the stove within about 15-20 minutes. I would imagine I could cook something on top of it within at least 30 minutes. It was also relatively windy the day I tried my stove and it didn’t blow over either, which was something I was a little worried about. I should note that I didn’t bother with attaching the flue as I was only trying to cure the paint and didn’t need to exhaust smoke out of a tent.
I’m sure you’re wondering if you can make one yourself or if you should just buy it. If you’re handy with metalwork then maybe it’s something you can do. As for me, I prefer to spend a few bucks and get it done right. From what I’ve seen elsewhere the ammo can stove is reliable and will serve you well for small scale heating and cooling situations.
Here’s a YouTube video review also: