handgun/ammo left in vehicle


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ryanrichmond
January 3, 2011, 05:07 PM
I recently found a rather spacious hidden compartment (~ 16"x6"x6") within the cabin of my truck. I would like to store a small Bug Out Kit in there but am unsure as to the effects on a small handgun with ammo left in the truck during the Virginia climate changes (anywhere from 10 degrees on up to 120+ degrees within the vehicle).
I know ammo has a very high resistance to hot temperatures but...
1. What about the gun itself?
2. What about cold temperatures?
3. What effects to equipment should I consider when packing my kit?
4. Is there a special way I should pack the items before putting them in the compartment?

This won't be a kit I would need to get to in a matter of seconds so wrapping the items in some sort of cloth/bag would be fine. It's just in case of emergencies where I am stranded and need a little something to get me home/safe zone.
The compartment is up against the outter skin of the vehicle. That is to say it won't have much barrier from the outside of the vehicle -- just a thin layer of metal.

Thanks for any info you can offer. I would like to utilize this space but I would like to know how to go about doing so.

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rcmodel
January 3, 2011, 05:13 PM
I doubt it gets as hot in Virginia as it does in Iraq.
SO, no, it won't hurt the gun, or the ammo.

You might want to swap out the ammo and use it for range practice yearly or so though, just for peace of mind.

On the otherhand, I have .22LR, .40 S&W & .45 Colt ammo in my Kansas truck under rear-seat bag for going on six or seven years that still works just fine when I shoot some of it.

I'd almost bet it gets hotter & colder here then there!
But still not as hot as a HumVee in Iraq.

rc

kingpin008
January 3, 2011, 06:03 PM
First of all, as RC said the temperature changes aren't drastic enough to really have much effect on the gun or the ammo.

However - if it were me I'd load a few magazines, then pack them in a vacuum-type bag along with the gun. Seal it all up, and that part's good to go. My reasoning for this is less to protect it from the elements, than it is any random fluids, oil, road grit or other what-have-you from getting into the gun or mags and screwing things up. I don't know exactly where this compartment is, but I've seen dirt & grime in some odd places in my vehicles, so to me it's worth taking a shot at protecting. And since this isnt an immediate-need kit, a sharp knife is all you need to access the pistol.

As for the rest - A blanket or two (if they'll fit) maybe a de-activated cell phone, and some good high-calorie snack type food like nuts, powerbars, etc. These would have to be changed out every so often of course, but that'll just give you an excuse to pull out the rest of the gear and give it a checking over.

gearhead
January 3, 2011, 06:45 PM
Maybe a compass and GPS, also.

Hardtarget
January 3, 2011, 07:25 PM
16"x6"x6". Not a lot of room so chose carefully. A good knife, the compass, ammo according to what gun you keep close. Maybe a bit of cash. I don't know how easy it is to access this compartment, so take time planning your items for concealment. You don't want to need to get into it too often...it may start to show "wear" and tip off the B.G. if your vehicle is stolen.

Mark

J_McLeod
January 3, 2011, 07:36 PM
I keep my ammo in the garage, where it's 20-30 every winter. I think my truck got to 120+ in Iraq, and I never had problems with ammo after either.

ryanrichmond
January 3, 2011, 08:13 PM
Accessing this area multiple times will not show wear marks. It's a hidden compartment underneath of a storage compartment that resides behind my seat (much like a jack storage compartment)

It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. My excitement about this storage compartment is that it won't take up space in the truck that I use for other things; not the fact that it can't be found because anyone that takes longer than 5 minutes to loot my truck could *probably* find this area although it wouldn't be apparent to everyone to look there.

AzHornedToad
January 3, 2011, 09:02 PM
I live in the Phoenix,Arizona area and I routinely keep at least one extra box of play ammo along with a box of SD rounds in the console between the seats of my truck. Granted it is not Iraq hot, but it can get pretty darn close down here. I try and make sure that I cycle through it once a year but it kills me when it is a $30 box of Gold Dots. I have never had a FTF out of 800-900 rounds of various manufacturers and a truck cab can hit 180 degrees with the windows shut in June. Hope it helps.
NRA Life Member
Oderint Dum Metuant

doc540
January 3, 2011, 09:04 PM
If someone had a truck kind of like yours, where might they look for a similar compartment? ;)

ObsidianOne
January 3, 2011, 09:23 PM
I have heard that leaving ammo in hot areas will tend to cause problems with the realiability of the powder. Though again, that is what I've heard.

As for the rest - A blanket or two (if they'll fit) maybe a de-activated cell phone, and some good high-calorie snack type food like nuts, powerbars, etc. These would have to be changed out every so often of course, but that'll just give you an excuse to pull out the rest of the gear and give it a checking over.

If you can't fit a regular blanket in said space, you could always buy a couple of those survival blankets (the tinfoil looking ones) that come smaller than the size of a box of matches.
On the food end of things, remember it's going to decompose a lot quicker and be affected by the heat. I'd try leaving some food in a center console and see how many days it lasts in there and gauge what you should put in the secret area.

au01st
January 3, 2011, 09:27 PM
Small first aid kit and some vitamins?


How well would a pack of those store brand multi vitamins hold up to heat?

LiENUS
January 3, 2011, 09:41 PM
I'd look into vacuum packing a sleeping bag and throw a space blanket in there (or if you know what I'm talking about look for a space blanket type sleeping bag body condom). If vacuum packing the bag can get it small enough you can afford yourself a lot of extra warmth vs space blanket or regular blanket alone.

ryanrichmond
January 3, 2011, 09:42 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. They've helped a lot

I was thinking this would be more of a 2 day kit using as few perishables as possible. Power bars would probably be enough to sustain myself and a passenger if I happened to have one for a couple of days.
It's really a bare minimum kit including such things as:

Pistol/ammo
Knife (or 2)
Blanket(s)
Power Bars
Compass
Flashlight
Lighter(s)
Standard first Aid kit
$100 cash
Spare change of basic clothes (underwear/2 shirts/socks)

I'm sure I can fit all of these things into a small enough sealed bag to fit into the compartment.

The Lone Haranguer
January 4, 2011, 07:59 PM
This is reasonable preparedness without crossing the line into "mall-ninja-esque" paranoia. I do have a concern, however, about theft.

RevolvingGarbage
January 4, 2011, 08:13 PM
Here's an idea in case of theft: If this isn't a kit that you would need to access rapidly, why not remove the firing pin or another vital part and store it separately in the vehicle so that on the off chance some punk does break into your car and finds it, he wont have a functional firearm and will be more likely to dump it so you can at least get it back or even better maybe save someones life.

243winxb
January 4, 2011, 08:37 PM
Heat above 125 can cause cast bullets lube to run, contaminating the powder.

ObsidianOne
January 4, 2011, 09:06 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. They've helped a lot

I was thinking this would be more of a 2 day kit using as few perishables as possible. Power bars would probably be enough to sustain myself and a passenger if I happened to have one for a couple of days.
It's really a bare minimum kit including such things as:

Pistol/ammo
Knife (or 2)
Blanket(s)
Power Bars
Compass
Flashlight
Lighter(s)
Standard first Aid kit
$100 cash
Spare change of basic clothes (underwear/2 shirts/socks)

I'm sure I can fit all of these things into a small enough sealed bag to fit into the compartment.

DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY, don't put lighters in there. 100+ degree weather will cause them to combust. Use matches instead, strike anywhere matches.

rhodco
January 4, 2011, 09:19 PM
I've left my Glock and a couple of spare mags in the truck during 100 degree Georgia heat, and below freezing overnight in the Tennessee mountains. No problems with gun or ammo.

However, flashlight batteries go dead quickly when exposed to extremes like this over time. I kept putting new batteries in my flashlight, left it in the truck... next time I needed it the batteries were dead again. Finally switched to a SureFire flashlight that takes 123A lithium batteries. They have a 10 year shelf life (but only about 20 minutes run time). In short, it will be bright when I need it. But won't last very long.

jrpbullrider
January 4, 2011, 09:40 PM
DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY, don't put lighters in there. 100+ degree weather will cause them to combust.

I may know a lot but I do know I live in Central Texas and I keep a lighters in my truck all year long due to I keep forgetting mine some where. and I have never had one go up on me. and yes it get over 100% here in the summer.

This is just me I am not saying every one should I just know it work for me where I live.

ObsidianOne
January 4, 2011, 11:26 PM
I may know a lot but I do know I live in Central Texas and I keep a lighters in my truck all year long due to I keep forgetting mine some where. and I have never had one go up on me. and yes it get over 100% here in the summer.

This is just me I am not saying every one should I just know it work for me where I live.

I've had a friend who left a Bic in the center console of his car and he opened it one day to find the inside melted a bit, some lost CDs, and burnt papers.

Also have a neighbor that left a Bic on her wicker chair under a shaded patio and it lit the table and chairs on fire and proceeded to move to the porch.

I live in Arizona.

JTHunter
January 4, 2011, 11:47 PM
Ryan - nice idea, but what happens if your vehicle is hit on that side causing the gun to fall out onto the pavement? Is that something you want to happen? Before you use that location, you should try to find someplace inside the passenger compartment first.

Sport45
January 4, 2011, 11:48 PM
I'm not a proponent of hiding guns in vehicles except maybe for a very short while. If you tuck one away into a "hidden" compartment you may find it missing months or years later. You'll never know when it left. Was it at the car wash, oil change, etc?

Storing an important piece of the gun in a separate place may not be an answer either. I would easily recognize a 1911 firing pin, for instance, in my glovebox. The wife might need something to get chewing gum off of the bottom of her shoe some day and the firing pin would wind up in a trash can somewhere.

Rocketmedic
January 5, 2011, 01:01 AM
You are all forgetting the most basic survival need: water. It sucks to store, but a few cans of water can literally save your life. I carry a gallon in my truck here in El Paso.

I'd recommend a case or 2 in the back, plus some canned survival water and rations, space blanket, and knife. Putting a gun in your kit is not smart...theft and cleanliness, interstate travel, etc. Ammo is ok, but I would take the gun with you.

LawScholar
January 5, 2011, 01:03 AM
I have about 250 rounds in my car right now (necessity, I live in university housing), and it can be hard to logically know it's okay when it got to -20 or so the other night.

^+1 to water. I keep two or three bottles by the spare tire all the time.

honestlou
January 5, 2011, 04:47 AM
I've left my Glock and a couple of spare mags in the truck during 100 degree Georgia heat, and below freezing overnight in the Tennessee mountains. No problems with gun or ammo.

However, flashlight batteries go dead quickly when exposed to extremes like this over time. I kept putting new batteries in my flashlight, left it in the truck... next time I needed it the batteries were dead again. Finally switched to a SureFire flashlight that takes 123A lithium batteries. They have a 10 year shelf life (but only about 20 minutes run time). In short, it will be bright when I need it. But won't last very long.
Get an l.e.d. light. Welcome to the 21st century! :)

ryanrichmond
January 5, 2011, 06:08 AM
Thanks guys. Again, more useful information. I will think more logically about this kit. I carry wherever I go anyway so I suppose a gun left in the truck isn't necessarily important but I will keep an extra box of ammunition in there and switch it out every 6 months or so.
I have an old backpack I will store everything in after I've sealed it all up in vacuum bags. Just roll the backpack up tight and slide it in the cubby.

If you have more ideas, keep 'em coming. This is kinda fun

Zumet
January 5, 2011, 07:23 PM
which handgun should i take (bug out bag)??
357
45 acp
22 semi
22 SA
44 mag/spl
45 LC.. I own a 45 trapper rifle also.

ryanrichmond
January 5, 2011, 07:30 PM
That's a whole can of worms, Zumet. You could discuss for days which gun would be the best to have in a BOB but I would say (in my opinion), from the guns you listed, that the 357 or 44spl would be nice to have.
I say that because I like revolvers and decent sized calibers. Revolvers have less moving parts, no jams, and always goes bang when you pull the trigger.

K0ZZZ
January 6, 2011, 01:49 PM
If we're talking long term storage of a pistol, and you're in an area with higher humidity, the only precaution I'd consider taking would be to put it in one of those food vacuum bags. Just to keep condensation off of it, considering how many hot and cold cycles it would go through. Since you said you're not looking for immediate access to it. If it was something you'd need to grab in a "when seconds count" situation, I'd rotate out the ammo and do a thorough clean ever 3 months.

JTHunter
January 6, 2011, 11:34 PM
K0ZZZ - sounds like good advice.

788Ham
January 6, 2011, 11:41 PM
Don't put any full cans of beans or tomatoes in there, might gum up the ammo a tad!:cuss:

bobbarker
January 7, 2011, 12:11 AM
If you have an army surplus store around you anywhere, or look around online, I'd suggest a poncho liner instead of a regular blanket. They are about the warmest things I've ever covered up with outside of a sleeping bag, and they take up VERY little space.

I would even take it over one of those space blankets a few folks have mentioned. A poncho liner is MUCH more durable. I'm not sure what they'd go for online, but usually can be nabbed for 7-10 bucks in a surplus store.

ryanrichmond
January 7, 2011, 06:35 AM
nice. I'll look into those, bobbarker

oldfool
January 7, 2011, 07:40 AM
somebody says "bug" or "bug out", I look for something to step on
but I keep a few hundred rounds in a small cooler in the pickup cab year round, just 'cause too lazy to tote ammo in/out every week range trips, restock once a month as needed
but it could stay there for years if need be, no worries about deterioration or safety, hot or cold, short time, long time

a gun, no, just wear one ;)

CraigC
January 7, 2011, 11:44 AM
IMHO, the best use for a Glock or similar autopistol is truck duty. They are essentially rust proof and I won't be crying in my beer if it gets stolen.

stickhauler
January 7, 2011, 01:41 PM
I'd agree with the poncho liner, I carry one in the truck with me (I drive OTR) and they will keep you warm as toast, and they're an easily stored item. I can't seem to find them anymore, as I'd love to find a few for all my vehicles. The one I did find was around $20.00.
For food items, I'd suggest MRE's, they are designed to have a long shelf life in every weather extreme.

LemmyCaution
January 7, 2011, 08:13 PM
Vacuum packing to prevent condensation damage is a very good idea, but you should also put a small packet of silica gel dessiccant in with the firearm to absorb whatever moisture is not removed by the vacuum.

ryanrichmond
January 7, 2011, 09:31 PM
Dessiccant packs are already a well known thing in my house. I wouldn't think of storing anything anywhere without tossing in a couple with the supplies being stored.

oldfool
January 7, 2011, 10:10 PM
"best use for a Glock"

cannot disagree with that
but I have a thing for wheelies, most of the time, even though I don't generally casual wear one, I shoot 'em a lot
if/when one is in the truck "map case" (I ain't telling what if/when means)
an older model but excellent condition model SS 4" Rossi six shooter with a not real bad trigger, very accurate, and 100% reliable is what it is, and the IWB gets parked securely elsewhere during a long ride; not a bug thing, just a comfort thing, the map case
(never did like stopping to ask directions nohow)
if I forget and leave it in the truck, no harm done; and if bad unlucky enough to get it wrong gone, it's not like losing a mint k-frame
map case draw be handier than IWB draw from the driver's seat

used to be a "pretty much mint" SS 60 J-frame, but I don't much like leaving that one out there if I happen to forget to take it out
always did shoot better w/ 4" than 2" anyway

Leathermarshmallow
January 8, 2011, 12:04 AM
Get an otter box. It is waterproof and you can buy different sizes. Here is a pic of one that I keep in my truck. (I now have more items in it).

CraigC
January 8, 2011, 10:55 AM
...cannot disagree with that
but I have a thing for wheelies...
Me too, I just don't leave `em in the truck. ;)

Although I've toyed with the idea of getting a stainless sixgun (all stainless, innards included) specifically for truck duty. I would invariably end up putting swanky grips on it, getting some nice leather for it and generally getting too attached to it to leave it in the truck. So I save me from myself and just keep a Glock (or at present, an XD) for truck duty.


Get an otter box.
That's pretty cool and a good lookin' "kit".

ryanrichmond
January 8, 2011, 01:03 PM
Good idea with the otter box. hm I should have designated a budget before I started this thing. :)

Paul47
January 8, 2011, 07:22 PM
I'm pretty sure I've read that extended exposure to high temperatures degrades gun powder, and may cause it to burn a lot hotter than it normally would (leading to high chamber pressures). It gets really hot in cars.

I would certainly cycle it through at the end of the year (use it for practice) so you don't end up with multiple years of exposure in the ammo.

SharpsDressedMan
January 8, 2011, 08:37 PM
Mine is a stainless S&W 1006, with some extra loaded mags. 180gr 10mm full loads. I have concluded that the 10mm and .44 Mag represent the best available for the auto and revolver, respectively, for use from a vehicle. One probably won't be concerned with concealment, as they would be stored in a vehicle, and power to engage hostile targets, and possibly shoot THROUGH or into vehicles, etc, is a real possibility. The rust resistance and semi-auto delivery of the 10mm gives me an edge, although if I had a good stainless .44 Mag, I would not complain. I have never had any degradation of ammo quality or problems from carrying and storing guns and ammo in a vehicle.

45Fan
January 8, 2011, 08:59 PM
Seems that everyone has covered most of the bases, but I havent seen anyone mention toilet paper, or maybe wet wipes. Not something that anyone thinks about, until nature calls.
As far as storing it, I have a buddy that keeps about the same kit you are thinking about, but its in a small bag, similar to a pilots helmet bag, and it goes just about everywhere he does. No worries if he changes vehicles, just grab the "go" bag and go.

ryanrichmond
January 8, 2011, 09:09 PM
The ultimate plan for this kit would be getting me to a safe zone in the event that my vehicle breaks down and my cell phone is dead and I'm in the middle of nowhere (rarely ever). I'm planning for 2-3 days of emergency survival (generally how long it would take me to get to a safe area/find help)
Oh no I'm in the middle of nowhere and I have no means of communication! Oh good, I have my BOK; I'll just hump it to the nearest civilization and radio for help.

CZguy
January 8, 2011, 10:36 PM
I'm pretty sure I've read that extended exposure to high temperatures degrades gun powder, and may cause it to burn a lot hotter than it normally would (leading to high chamber pressures). It gets really hot in cars.



This comes up from time to time. Gun powder degrades (very slightly) from temperature extremes and time. Practically you will not notice any difference.

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