Ammo Scare


September 16, 2008, 10:58 PM
I was at the range the other day when a guy was unloading the back of his car getting ready to shoot.A 50 cal ammo can falls out onto the gravels. Heard alot of rattling. He picks it up and nonchalantly drops it at the bench nearby. I was surprised when he opens it to show that it was 3/4 full of ammo. Not separated into boxes but just rattling loose.

Am I just paranoid that something may happen? I buy bullets in bulk but never leave them loose in large numbers that can rattle enough that it sounds like a rain stick. Usually transfer them to either old plastic trays or old cardboard ammo boxes.

Was this guy just tempting fate or am I too anal? Or is this perfectly ok to do?

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Aguila Blanca
September 16, 2008, 11:01 PM
Georgia Arms sells ammo that way.


September 16, 2008, 11:01 PM
Are you my UPS driver by chance? ;)

September 16, 2008, 11:03 PM
I wouldn't leave loose ammo rattling around, but I doubt it's a safety concern. If a primer gets hit hard enough to set off a round, it's brass shrapnel that could cause injury. Since it is encased in a steel can, chances are it will be contained.

September 16, 2008, 11:18 PM
I have driven many miles on rough, rocky 4 wheel drive roads with loose packed ammo cans and never had a problem.

September 16, 2008, 11:22 PM
OP: please get a job with the post office!

September 16, 2008, 11:27 PM
You're not likely to drop a round "perfectly."

And if you do, nothing much will happen.

Unlax, okay?

September 16, 2008, 11:39 PM
What they said. Extremely unlikely to set anything off, and even if it did the worst that would happen would be some brass shrapnel. Ammo is not nearly as sensitive or fragile as some folks seem to think.

September 16, 2008, 11:52 PM
I've seen the remains of military .50BMG that cooked off in an ammo can after a fire. Several dimples from the inside, but no penenatration of the can.

I've also recieved many boxes of loose ammo in the mail, packed in a cardboard box. If it were that dangerous I dought the Post office would let people ship it that way.

September 17, 2008, 12:12 AM
relax man, no prob with dropping an ammo can filled with ammo. in fact, i've found those cans are the best way to store/transport large amounts of ammo quickly

September 17, 2008, 12:40 AM
Back in the "Olden days" ,as my grandpa says, the air force used to fly around and shoot at targets set up on land next to my grandpas. He said that sometimes they would drop/ditch the remainder of ammo belts out of the plane. He has a FULL belt of it along with a few dozen loose rounds that he has picked up in the years past.
So, to make my point, if .50cal cartriges can fall out of a plane, hit the dirt and not go off i think rattling around in an ammo can should be more than safe

September 17, 2008, 08:23 AM
Isn't that what an ammo can is for? to transport and store ammo.

September 17, 2008, 08:33 AM
How many of us use to carry around a pocket full of .22lr's when we were kids?

It was a normal saturday for me to grab by dad's Marlin 39A and stuff a handful of .22's into my pocket and hunt squirrels for hours. Never heard of a .22 going off in someones pocket... Heck, even found some in my pockets after a wild ride through the washer and dryer. Don't really think it is that big of a concern.

September 17, 2008, 08:49 AM
Huh? Ammo cans were meant to be filled with ammunition...I keep quite a bit of surplus, bulk rifle and pistol centerfire rounds loose in .30 cal and .50 cal cans with nothing but a pack of dessicant.

Ian Sean
September 17, 2008, 11:32 AM
I carry ammo like that all the time also...especially when I make a lot of one caliber for a day of plinking fun.

I would have been more worried if I dented the ammo can or messed up the lid/latch.:D

September 17, 2008, 11:54 AM
Centerfire ammo has to be hit in such a way it is unlikely though not 100% impossible for it to go off. After all, remember as soon as you say it can never happen it will. The only ammo that I might be concerned about carried that way is 22lr, but then the chances are still pretty small.

September 17, 2008, 11:57 AM
Even if a round went off, it is unlikely to harm you when it is inside the metal ammo can.

Ian Sean
September 17, 2008, 12:08 PM
But in this movie I saw, this guy shot/dropped/kicked/set on fire an ammo box and Kabloomie!

Awwww...never mind:evil::neener:

September 17, 2008, 12:28 PM
I carry reloaded and purchased bulk ammo that way all the time. In fact, when I hit a good deal at Walmart on "value packs" and have a class coming up, I dump it out of the boxes into the can, to make reloading easier. Never heard of a problem.


September 17, 2008, 12:36 PM
Posted by Wideym:

"I've also recieved many boxes of loose ammo in the mail, packed in a cardboard box. If it were that dangerous I dought the Post office would let people ship it that way. "

The Post Office does NOT let people ship it that way. In fact, it is illegal to ship ammunition through the USPS, loose or not.

Improperly shipped or packaged materials can bring down an aircraft. Remember the Value Jet crash in Florida? Take the time to pack and ship ammo properly and don't take a chance with other people's lives.

September 17, 2008, 12:39 PM
I heard of this guy who wears a belt of live .223 to hold is pants up...I think his name is Gecko45.

Bush Pilot
September 17, 2008, 12:51 PM
What's an ammo box?, when I fill the loaded ammo bins on my Dillons I dump them into metal ammo cans and don't give it a second thought. As far as .22 rimfire, have you ever purchased a "bulk pack"?

September 17, 2008, 12:55 PM
This is how I used to store my bulk pistol ammo reloads (lower-pressure target stuff). I recently switched to the plastic MTM boxes for all my reloads after finding some primers in sideways on my last batch of 9mm. The box stores them bullet down so I can inspect all primers.

Normally I get into such a rhythm when reloading bulk pistol ammo that I don't check all primers.

September 17, 2008, 01:17 PM
Improperly shipped or packaged materials can bring down an aircraft. Remember the Value Jet crash in Florida?

I find it to be a HUGE leap at best and disingenuous at worst to imply that shipping full chemical oxygen generators in a place where the first line of fire suppression method is oxygen starvation is the same as sending a box of loose ammo. Or to imply that shipping loose ammo, in any quantity, could by itself, take down a plane.

I'm afraid you're comparing apples to doorknobs.

I won't however disagree that hazardous materials should be properly shipped.

September 17, 2008, 07:23 PM
I was more worried about damage to the ammo than I am personal injury. Since that's roughly $300 worth of good ammo just being slung around.
I'm not really worried about a KB situation. More a situation that might cause damages to the casing or something to cause them to jam in the gun.

I'll just have to relax and go shoot.

September 17, 2008, 08:41 PM
Relax and go shoot? careful, you might hit the primer ;)

September 17, 2008, 09:52 PM
I was handloading some rounds with a buddy the other day when I dropped a bunch of finished rounds into an ammo can. He practically dived under the table for cover and then proceeded to chew me out. I looked at him rather quizically and said "what?"

September 17, 2008, 10:05 PM
only reason i ever get jumpy with loose ammo is when im reloading black powder cartriges (or loading smokeless rounds with super touchy primers). but once it's all put together, ammo is pretty stable and can take alot of bouncing around

September 17, 2008, 10:14 PM
Throw it in the street. Its not going to do anything other than waste money on dented ammo.

September 17, 2008, 10:53 PM
I dropped a crate (40 or so) live M203 grenades once. They fell about 3 feet. After I ahh... unpuckered... and recomposed myself I picked them up and went about my business. I was fine, they were fine. The box of .50 should be fine as well.

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