Jerry Cans

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Plastic Water cans (mil-spec)

Plastic Mil-Spec Water Cans

Plastic mil-spec cans this size are hard to find!  I'd been looking for information on real military style plastic cans as well as a source to buy them from for a long time.  Thanks to Ken (the "MuttGuru" here see his pages on the M151 Military Truck), I finally got a lead on the real thing: military specification (mil spec) water cans.

The U.S. military style are the best ones I've found so far, they are what you want for rugged durability.  If you want one contact Joe Romano at GeneratorJoe who carries the Scepter cans now, or Brigade Quartermasters by clicking their link or calling (770) 428-1248 and you can get one for about $20.00 plus shipping (item #GWC06).  I wanted mine for carrying potable (drinkable) water, not gas, but they do make these to hold fuel as well.

Plastic Mil-Spec Water Cans Manufacturer

The manufacturer for the plastic cans is Scepter Corporation out of Canada.   They have a website at, or you can contact them at Scepter Corporation, 170 Midwest Road, Toronto, Canada, M1P 3A9. Tele: (416) 751-9445 x 306 or Fax: (416) 751-4451.  Although they make several colors of cans, Brigade Quartermasters sells only the olive drab and tan color cans.

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Plastic Water cans (mil-spec; Scepter image)

Metal Mil-Spec Fuel Cans

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"Standard Issue"
red metal fuel can
(mil-spec by Blitz®)

I have red metal "standard issue" cans for gas.  These are widely available unlike their plastic counterparts.  You should find these at hardware stores, military surplus stores, and many mail order companies.

See below for information on the NATO style cans that are available.

NATO Style Cans

I was recently contacted by Joe Romano who has a website called GeneratorJoe.   These folks are the exclusive Canadian and American Distributor for these NATO style cans supplied by Wavian Associates of England.

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NATO fuel can (GeneratorJoe image)

Stock #29520—20 liter, 5.28 U.S. gallon fuel can18 1/2" (468mm) high; 13 5/8" (345mm) wide; 6 3/4" (170mm) deep and weighs 6 LB (2.75 kilograms).  Packed 5 cans per case.  This is the original 20 liter "JerryCan" designed by the German army during W.W.II for use in the blitzkrieg of Europe.  This can is built using two stamped heavy metal parts welded together and can withstand rigorous fire (full of gasoline) and drop tests.

The interior is flow coated with a special formula paint that prevents rust and does not allow contaminants to stick to the inside of the can and contaminate the fuel.  The heavy duty spout closure mechanism and locking pin ensures that the can cannot open accidentally.

All cans are certified to UN, NATO and TUV standards and produced under terms of ISO9001.  Special colors, labels and custom impressions available on large orders.

They have 3 spouts that fit these cans: Fixed Spout, Flexible Spout and the California Emission NO-Spill adapter spout which meets all CARB requirements.   All spouts have breather pipes for no-splash pouring.  See them at or contact

Joe tells me they handle the Blitz® cans and holders as well as the Scepter cans.  They also have a lot of other cans and emergency standby electric power generators and transfer switches.  For my review of these NATO cans click here.

Holders For Cans

Since the Jeep's  tailgate had been replaced by a previous owner and was not original, I didn't feel too bad about modifying it with jerrycan holders.  Below is a close-up of one of the holder assemblies.  I added a handle near the top of the tailgate for the containers to rest against, as well as being able to run the straps through for more support.  I used big 2 1/2" fender washers on the back side of the holder bolts to beef up the mounting strength, and I used round headed bolts facing toward the cans in case I get bumped from behind (a little less chance they will puncture the cans; and hey, they still have to get past the massive draw bar back there anyway!).  If you have a surplus store that has the real mil-spec holders (usually painted OD), get those instead of the red ones.  The military surplus holders are much thicker and stronger.  I've replaced my red ones since the photo on the left was taken.

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Carrier close-up                                New water cans on new mil-style holders


Mil-spec is short for "military specification."  When we say these cans are "mil-spec," that means they are built according to a set of specifications drawn up by the U.S. military.  If you are curious, below are the actual specs on these cans and holders.  These are PDF files, so you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open them.  You can get the reader free from adobe. (Thanks to Al Dolney of Boeing for these spec sheets.)

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