Gun carry in a fire?


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TheeBadOne
September 25, 2003, 10:09 PM
September 24, 2003 -- Three hero NYPD detectives rushed into a burning Brooklyn building yesterday and saved five people, including a 5-year-old girl.

Edward Vasquez, 37, Dino Anselmo, 37, and Brian Latimore, 44, were hunting for a robber at 10 a.m. when they spotted smoke rising from 344 Ashford St. in East New York.

They got three people out of a first-floor apartment and were told more people lived upstairs. Anselmo and Vasquez went upstairs and knocked down the door, finding the man and his young daughter inside.

The three cops guided them out through a smoke-filled, pitch-black staircase using only a flashlight.

"I didn't do anything that any cop in this precinct wouldn't have done," Vasquez said.

http://cms.firehouse.com/content/article/article.jsp?sectionId=46&id=19257
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I wonder how hot a gun gets against your side without any turnout gear? (won't even mention the ammunition!) :eek:

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Futo Inu
September 25, 2003, 10:14 PM
Well, someone's gonna say it inevitably, so it may as well be me - don't carry a Glock into a fire - it will melt. :D (JK - actually a polymer gun would be better because it wouldn't transfer the heat to your hands so much).

Archie
September 25, 2003, 10:38 PM
Gunpowder no doubt ignites at a lesser temperature, but a primer gives off more heat than that...

Cook-offs occur in fully automatic weapons. In the service, we were warned about M-16s getting so hot the round in the chamber would fire from the heat. However, it took some serious shooting time to get the barrel and chamber hot enough to do that. Usually, the metal was hot enough to sustain damage. I fired a number of rounds through an M-16 and never had a cook off. (Not that that is statistically significant.)

So I'm thinking this: By the time the pistol has heated up enough to transfer enough heat to ignite the round in the chamber (or magazine) the carrying party is in much worse trouble than an AD.

Brian Dale
September 25, 2003, 10:53 PM
Well done, Detectives Vasquez, Anselmo and Latimore!

C.R.Sam
September 25, 2003, 11:07 PM
Cops done good.

What Archie said....
Hot nuff to cook off the rounds, the carrier is already cooked.

Sam

4v50 Gary
September 25, 2003, 11:18 PM
Yep.

pax
September 25, 2003, 11:28 PM
Brave cops.

I wonder if any of them worried about carrying their guns into a burning building, or if it occurred to them after the fact, or if it didn't occur to them at all.

Me, I'd be so wrapped up in thinking about the job at hand that I might forget tiny little considerations like that.

pax

chaim
September 25, 2003, 11:35 PM
I'm with the others. I don't think I'd be too worried about ammo cooking off if I had a gun on me and if I would be to run into a burning building for some reason. I think if it got hot enough to cook off the ammo, most likely the person carrying the gun would probably be dead from the heat (cooking would not be a good way to go). Now, it probably would be good to remember not to touch the gun for a while, at least a metal one, as it would probably be quite hot for some time.

Good call for the cops. Saving a life is more important than picking up a petty criminal.

Brian Dale
September 25, 2003, 11:40 PM
Without turnout gear, the tips of your ears ought to tell you when it's getting too hot to be carrying a gun, unless you're exposed to a big source of radiant heat (e.g., burning timbers, or the seat of the fire is across the room) and you stay in one place for a while, shielding your face and ears.
Y.M.M.DefinitelyV.

Standing Wolf
September 25, 2003, 11:59 PM
Yeah, but was there racial profiling involved? We'd better have an investigation.

444
September 26, 2003, 12:25 AM
There isn't a lot of information to go on here as far as cooking off ammo. It doesn't sound to me like there were really heavy fire conditions. In heavy smoke a flashlight is useless. All the light is just reflected back off the smoke. You would also be down as low as you could get crawling on your belly to get to the coolest part of the room; the floor. It doesn't make mention of any injuries from smoke inhalation or burns. Which all leads me to believe that there were not heavy fire conditions.
I don't know what temperature would cause ammo to cook off. I know that in the summer here in Nevada, you can leave a gun lying in the sun for five minutes and it is too hot to touch. I have had rifle barrels smoking with heat and never cooked off a round. I have seen (in the military) M16s with smoke coming through the holes in the handguards like smokestacks and never saw a round cook off. But, I have been in numerous house fires where ammo was cooking off, but this was in a fully involved room where everything was melted; phones melted to pools of plastic on the tables etc. You couldn't survive the heat and toxic fumes in an environment like that without the appropriate gear. One breath in a room like that and your lungs would be toast.
It doesn't sound like they were in those kind of conditions.

These guys are what public service is all about. They risked their lives to rescue these people. My hat is off to them. Just because they were able to accomplish this without appearent injury doesn't mean they wern't putting it all on the line. The heat is the least of their worries. Toxic gases, building collapse, or becoming lost in the smoke were big risks.

foghornl
September 26, 2003, 08:33 AM
I would say that by the time your weapon/ammo reached the flash point temp of primer or powder, that a round cooking off in your weapon would be the absolute least of your worries.

RustyHammer
September 26, 2003, 09:33 AM
Agree with Archie .... if it's hot enough for my ammo to "cook off", my bacon is going to be sizzling anyway!

Steve Smith
September 26, 2003, 09:52 AM
Beyond the common sense posted above...

From my past firefighting experience, loaded rounds rarely cook off in a house fire. Typically the air will expand and the bullets will come all or mostly out of the case. Then the powder burns.

Zach S
September 26, 2003, 11:19 AM
I've never ran into a burning building, dont know if i would take the chance for a stranger (its nice to think I would though) but I do know that if my house were on fire and I had family or friends inside, I wouldnt think twice about going in for them, and the guns in the house, and the one IWB would be one of the last things to come to mind.

From my past firefighting experience, loaded rounds rarely cook off in a house fire. Typically the air will expand and the bullets will come all or mostly out of the case. Then the powder burns. Considering my bedroom is sometimes used for an ammo can, thats somewhat re-assuring.

Steve Smith
September 26, 2003, 11:35 AM
Zach, the problem is that if there are metal ammo cans they can turn into bombs since they won't have a "pressure valve" like a bullet in a case. You should peruse the NFPA website and take note of their powder magazine recommendations. I built a magazine to their specs and it should work well to accomplish several things: insulate the powder for a long period of time, increase the time that it takes for actual flames to get near the powder (not necessary for combustion, but still helpful), and partially contain and direct a blast (upward) in the event of an explosion (acutally a very rapid burn).

444
September 27, 2003, 11:56 AM
Steve, with all due respect it has been my experience that it is extremely common to have ammo cook off in a house fire. I have seen it many times. Obviously not all house fires we go on have ammo in them, but it is not unusual at all to hear rounds cooking off. A friend of mine was struck in the chest with a round that cooked off in a housefire when he was standing outside on the sidewalk. All that being said, I have never heard of anyone being hurt by rounds cooking off in a fire and any firefighter I have worked with that has more than a month on the floor doesn't give it a second thought.
Not trying to be argumentitive and I realize everyone's experiences are different, but I can't agree that this is a rare occurance.

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