Ammo going off on its own...?


PDA






SilentStalker
March 13, 2012, 02:24 PM
What would cause a round of ammo to go off on its own, if anything at all? I had a friend of mine say he had some rounds in storage that just went off by themselves which is kind of scary considering most people store ammo in their house. I mean I would bet the majority of people just have it stashed in their closets, under their bed, etc. A few may have it locked up but even so is that little lockbox going to keep a round inside of it if it does decide to go off, it is pretty doubtful. So, can anyone help a guy out and give me some info on this? Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ammo going off on its own...?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
JohnM
March 13, 2012, 02:27 PM
No way.
Throw it in a fire, yeah.

rcmodel
March 13, 2012, 02:29 PM
I agree.
Nothing but impact on the primer, or fire can make a round just go off.

rc

Shadow 7D
March 13, 2012, 02:32 PM
YES
the lock box will stop the BRASS CASE from causing damage, this is a WELL covered topic, if you care to use the search function or Google

ZeSpectre
March 13, 2012, 02:36 PM
I have never heard a creditable story about a finished round "going off by itself".

Hangfires and the occasional reloading error, sure. People doing stuff like hitting primers with hammers and stuff, sure...but never a round just detonating.

SilentStalker
March 13, 2012, 02:38 PM
^^^That's what I thought. Thanks guys. I found it hard to believe myself and of course have always heard of the cooking them in a fire or hitting primers with a hammer LOL but always thought that you would have to be a little nuts to do stuff like that.

rcmodel
March 13, 2012, 02:41 PM
Here is what will happen in a fire:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=7001165&postcount=15

rc

SilentStalker
March 13, 2012, 02:53 PM
^^^Thanks. That was a good read.

SilentStalker
March 13, 2012, 02:56 PM
So, what do you guys do with rounds that say have been hit on the primer but failed to go off even though you can visibly see a dent in the primer? How do you safely dispose of that round?

Overkilll0084
March 13, 2012, 03:00 PM
I had a friend of mine say he had some rounds in storage that just went off by themselves which is kind of scary considering most people store ammo in their house...snip... So, can anyone help a guy out and give me some info on this? Thanks.


Heat/fire. Yes.
Gross/negligent mishandling. Perhaps.
Intentional stupidity involving repeated impacts around the primer? Probably. Karma/fate/Murphy enjoys this type of scenario.
Direct hit with a lightning strike? Can't rule it out entirely ;)

Sitting in a box being left alone? No.

Carl N. Brown
March 13, 2012, 03:15 PM
So, what do you guys do with rounds that say have been hit on the primer but failed to go off even though you can visibly see a dent in the primer? How do you safely dispose of that round?

I currently have a batch of foreign military 7.62x25 which fail to fire 1 out of 8; waiting an appropriate time for a possible hangfire (hasn't happened with this batch), I recock the gun and those will fire on second strike. Either the primers are too hard or the mainspring or firingpin protrusion of my pistol is not adequate. It makes great ammo for overcoming flinch (if I am flinching unconsiously, it shows when there is no recoil to mask it).

The club range I shoot at has a box for discarded ammo and the club takes care of disposal of duds. Easy out there.

Otherwise, with other problem ammo, I pull the bullets with pliers, dump the powder, and drop the unfired or unforable casings in a jug of soapy water for a week-long soak.

HGM22
March 13, 2012, 04:55 PM
I have heard that the powder does decompose over time. It may be possible that it gets unstable enough that a small stimuli (like summer temperatures) could set it off. I would think probably not though. I'd think you'd see corrosion in the case before it got to that point also. In addition, it'd probably "go off" by venting any built up gas inside the cartridge, not "go off".

JohnM
March 13, 2012, 05:05 PM
I have heard that the powder does decompose over time. It may be possible that it gets unstable enough that a small stimuli (like summer temperatures) could set it off. I would think probably not though. I'd think you'd see corrosion in the case before it got to that point also. In addition, it'd probably "go off" by venting any built up gas inside the cartridge, not "go off".

More myth.
"heard" on the internet, so it must be true.

GONRA
March 13, 2012, 06:52 PM
GONRA remembers a U.S.&.A. Navy "rule" (need correct nomenclature here)
that smallest caliber ammo that can "go off on its own" is 3 inch artillery ammo.
This is because powder decomposition heat has to BUILD UP
just not get CONDUCTED OUT, to generate a temperature to ignite it all.

Need a substantial amount of volume to let this happen.
Its JUST NOT GONNA happen with the small cailber rifle and pistol ammo we deal with!
No matter how awful Olde Powder gets (liquid acid / smelly stuff) its NOT gonna ignite,
just mess up surroundings.
BUT - RELOADERS have to realize that their powder stash
CANISTERS and JUGS are "just like" the 3 inch artillery ammo.
When these go bad (some illerate jerk stores it in an attic or hot garage)
its MIGHT start a fire and burn yer house down!

JohnM
March 13, 2012, 06:56 PM
BUT - RELOADERS have to realize that their powder stash
CANISTERS and JUGS are "just like" the 3 inch artillery ammo.
When these go bad (some illerate jerk stores it in an attic or hot garage)
its MIGHT start a fire and burn yer house down!

Documentation?

GONRA
March 13, 2012, 11:10 PM
If memory is correct, read U.S.&.A. navy info in an olde WW II era Navy gun manual. Remember, this is a general rule, proably errs on the side of caution...

Loosedhorse
March 13, 2012, 11:14 PM
he had some rounds in storage that just went off by themselves which is kind of scarySounds like we have an episode of Ghost Hunters to look forward to.

mjsdwash
March 13, 2012, 11:14 PM
even if ammo were to go off on its own(wont) the bullet would have virtually no energy, the case would explode, throwing low energy shrapnel about 10 or 15 feet, not enough to hurt anything, because the energy is released in the displacement of air. I know this from actual testing. Nothing to worry about, even if id did happen.

Owen Sparks
March 13, 2012, 11:17 PM
Even if a round went off for whatever reason it could not do much damage unless it was chambered in a firearm. The case would split and make a POP and that is about all.

Claude Clay
March 13, 2012, 11:22 PM
a stray neutrino or quirk that got through cause of the holes the space ships are making in the sky. and your friends ammo was collateral damage.

or there is more to his story.

GONRA
March 14, 2012, 12:20 PM
GONRA remembers pulling an Olde Fashioned WHITE PHOSPHORUS incendiary bullet from rifle caliber cartridge case and noting a wisp of smoke coming out. Phosphorus Pentoxide.
(Don't Panic - today's incendiary ammo that we find a Gun Shows etc.
is Perfectly Safe - no WP in it!)
Lucked out - not enuf heat to lite off the powder in the cartridge case.
If powder HAD ignited, would have just made a flash, no real damage,
assuming one had their Safety Glasses on!!!

Ammo was a Collectors Item - pretty sure
8mm Mauser caliber and WW II Japanese manufacture.
Apparently a little WP got out thru the soldered weep hole over years of storage, temperature cycling, etc. loosening up the solder plug.
Could have leaked out thru bullet base too? ??? Who knows?
When I pulled the bullet, a little WP was inside case neck
or on the powder.
Tiny bit of WP quietly burned in the air, didn't even see a flame!

One can probably make a credible story for a WP rifle caliber ammo failure mode (weep hole fails, WP leaks out in really hot weather,
ammo is cracked case neck olde stuff, air gets in and off it goes...)
that causes a ammo fire, but its REALLY DOUBTFUL the fella had WP incendiary smmo.

10-20 years ago some guy was selling shootin' quantities of WP type rifle caliber (may have been Italian 7.7mm version of .303 Britich?)
incendiaary ammo in the Shotgun News. Listed as "wet pack".
To me, meant he was selling it packed in water, because of "suprise ignition" issues. Never knew the facts of course - didn't buy any - "wet pack" was scarey...
Guess you had to dry it off then try to shoot it. Hmmm.

Believe (hope) its safe to store WP ammo collector items in air tight ammo boxes.

Again, its really doubtful the fella had WP ammo,
but its the only way I can figgerout how ammo can "go off on its own".

sniper762
March 14, 2012, 05:27 PM
So, what do you guys do with rounds that say have been hit on the primer but failed to go off even though you can visibly see a dent in the primer? How do you safely dispose of that round?

BURY IT 1FT. IN THE GROUND AND FORGET ABOUT IT

browningguy
March 14, 2012, 05:28 PM
Based on my limited understanding of the current state of quantum mechanics, anything is possible.

Although it may be extremely unlikely.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ammo going off on its own...?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!