SAAMI video on ammunition and fire fighter safety


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hso
November 28, 2012, 08:33 PM
Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter
http://www.saami.org/videos/sporting_ammunition_and_the_firefighter.cfm

(Thanks to 1KPerDay for the original post.)

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Jim Watson
November 28, 2012, 08:46 PM
After my house burned, friends salvaged powder in scorched cans and ammunition in partly melted bags and boxes. (I was in the hospital, egress from second floor, not burns.)

Nothing went off. I am sure that if anything had kaBoomed or Popped, the fire department would have backed off, concentrated on keeping fire from spreading and let it go. As it was, nothing much was recovered except my guns and some supplies anyhow.

CowardlyHero
November 28, 2012, 08:51 PM
"25 straight minutes of me crying over all that wasted ammo." +1
Would have liked to see rimfire tested with that drop test but other then that good find.

Millwright
November 28, 2012, 11:34 PM
Moderator, I'm confused.

What's the relationship twixt the excellent SAAMI video posted have to the proscriptions appearing below it ?

IAC, thanks for posting the link and I'll be sure to pass it along to my sons whose professional and volunteer activities could bring them into contact with these materials. >MW

HOOfan_1
November 29, 2012, 12:00 AM
Moderator, I'm confused.

What's the relationship twixt the excellent SAAMI video posted have to the proscriptions appearing below it ?


You might be referring to his signature, which gets posted with every post he makes.

627PCFan
November 29, 2012, 12:01 AM
That was just painful to

gunnutery
November 29, 2012, 02:27 AM
You beat me to it HSO. I just logged in to post this (good thing I did a search). I thought the video was very well done. As much as it pains me to see so much good ammo destroyed, it's for a good cause. Thanks for posting.

Trent
November 29, 2012, 02:13 PM
The amount of ammo destroyed there makes me want to cry.

Blasting caps, bulldozers???? Wow.

Trent
November 29, 2012, 02:30 PM
OK that just dispelled every damn belief I had about ammo in a fire.

Only thing they didn't cover that's relevant to me (and others on here) is what about ammunition stored in government surplus ammo cans (50 cal / 30 cal)?

Do those contain the pressure enough to cause a chain reaction or do they pop open and vent without issue?

Soapy5
November 29, 2012, 04:10 PM
The comments on that video are hilarious

What a waste. Poor children in Africa could have used that.

hso
November 29, 2012, 07:22 PM
Trent,

The individual rounds cook off without any cumulative effect in an ammo can. There's no mechanism to cause them to do so simultaneously.

MachIVshooter
December 1, 2012, 01:17 AM
Pretty much mirrors what I've come to understand. There's a danger to eyes with detonating ammunition, but anything else will be superficial.

Even loose gunpowder in cans will just flash quickly. The risks assciated with other common accelerants in a fire are far greater.

If my place ever burned, the ammo and powder wouldn't be the scary parts; The multiple gasoline and diesel cans, mapp gas bottles and acetylene tank in the garage would. The 140 cubic foot acetylene tank would probably level the structure if it went :eek:

alsaqr
December 2, 2012, 08:48 AM
Been doing EOD/UXO stuff since 1959. i've burned a billion or two rounds of small arms ammo, mostly in open pits with scrap wood for cover, if any. Seldom does the bullet from a round project further than 20 feet from the pit.

Only thing they didn't cover that's relevant to me (and others on here) is what about ammunition stored in government surplus ammo cans (50 cal / 30 cal)?

i've burned ammo in US military cans too. 99 percent of the time the bullets just dent the can. Sometimes .50 caliber ammo will blow the can open.

Steel cased ammo in calibers 12.7mm and 14.5mm are another matter. Sometimes these rounds project small fragments of the case at a high velocity.

Most of this stuff is 5.56mm and 7.62 ammo:

http://i.imgur.com/Av2v9l.jpg

Trent
December 4, 2012, 10:00 AM
Trent,

The individual rounds cook off without any cumulative effect in an ammo can. There's no mechanism to cause them to do so simultaneously.

Cool. :)



i've burned ammo in US military cans too. 99 percent of the time the bullets just dent the can. Sometimes .50 caliber ammo will blow the can open.

Steel cased ammo in calibers 12.7mm and 14.5mm are another matter. Sometimes these rounds project small fragments of the case at a high velocity.


What about 50 cal projectiles not loaded in the cartridges but stored in bulk? I have 11,000 projectiles stored (mostly 500 per 50-cal can), mixed incendiary, API, APIT, two types of tracer, and a few cans of spotter tracer? 6,000 of those are blue-tip incendiary, 3,000 are APIT or API, the remainder a mix of tracers. (They're stored in a separate building currently)

What about bulk packed primers? (Modern shipping containers where they're all in individual pockets isolated from one another). I have 110,000+ primers stored in a lightweight metal file cabinet (doors are flimsy and won't hold up to any pressure). These include 25k (5 cases) each of small rifle, small pistol, large rifle, large pistol, plus 10,000 50 BMG arsenal primers. These are stored separate from any powder or ammunition.

Smokeless powder - I keep in batches of 25 lbs in each storage area, separated from each other. I keep a few 100 lb kegs of 50 BMG powder off-site (not at home) in a climate controlled building. I'm assuming these just act like a short-lived accelerant?

General Lee
December 4, 2012, 10:29 AM
I want to see what happens to 8lbs of powder. I have about 6 sitting side by side in my basement. I would assume just a big flash of fire, but I wonder if closed containers would cause anything else.

hso
December 4, 2012, 10:43 AM
Put your powder in plywood boxes made of 3/4-in plywood if you're concerned.
Do the same for your primers.

I can't comment on the tracer and incendiary projectiles, but you can find out by contacting SAAMI and asking them for storage recommendations. The powder and projectiles won't explode, though.

Black powder and primers will, but not the stuff you're using. The primers won't all explode at once, but I wouldn't put all my boxes of primers in an ammo can where you could get a rapid serial detonation.

Trent
December 4, 2012, 01:11 PM
I want to see what happens to 8lbs of powder. I have about 6 sitting side by side in my basement. I would assume just a big flash of fire, but I wonder if closed containers would cause anything else.

I lit off a few pounds of H1000 (3-4 pounds) a few years ago in my driveway. It was stored in a clear plastic container too near a window, I think the UV light started breaking it down as it had an acid / bitter smell to it. I'd poured it in to a shallow pile and made a 2 foot long 1" wide 1/2" deep "trail" of powder to light. H1000 is a pretty slow burning powder (used in 300 Win Mag and other big cartridges).

I lost all the hair on my right hand & arm, parts of my eyebrows, and was a little "lopsided" on my haircut for a while... I was NOT expecting such a slow powder to go "so damn fast".

The rest of the 10 pounds I had to burn off I did a handful at a time in a bonfire - my little girls liked "Dad's magic sparkly fairy dust".

Since then I've learned that it's real good for grass, so if I ever have a batch go south on me again I'll just make my yard green.

Trent
December 4, 2012, 01:32 PM
Put your powder in plywood boxes made of 3/4-in plywood if you're concerned.
Do the same for your primers.

I can't comment on the tracer and incendiary projectiles, but you can find out by contacting SAAMI and asking them for storage recommendations. The powder and projectiles won't explode, though.

Black powder and primers will, but not the stuff you're using. The primers won't all explode at once, but I wouldn't put all my boxes of primers in an ammo can where you could get a rapid serial detonation.

Thank HSO.

I'm thinking the tracers and incendiaries would probably be the most hazardous thing I have. Not sure what the flash point is on those. The incendiaries have ~19gr of compressed flash powder inside steel canisters inside the jacket.. they'd probably go with quite a bit of force.

hso
December 4, 2012, 11:45 PM
No, not really. Explosives and flammables/combustibles/incendiary are two different things.

SSN Vet
December 5, 2012, 02:57 PM
That was a really cool video...

I forwarded the link to our local fire chief to see if he would like to use it for training.

The quality of the production was very professional.... I'm guessing it cost around $500,000 total cost to put it together.

jard
December 6, 2012, 05:34 PM
Wow, that was great. Kind of blows my mind.

ConstitutionCowboy
December 7, 2012, 12:34 PM
I'd like to see similar tests done with 1, 4, and 8 pound containers of powder.

Woody

Trent
December 8, 2012, 01:45 PM
I'd like to see similar tests done with 1, 4, and 8 pound containers of powder.

Woody

I got a driveway.. you got a match? :)

blarby
December 8, 2012, 03:13 PM
Noticeably painful to watch- especially the bulldozer.

However, those rounds' sacrifice in the name of productive science is noted, and saluted.

This pretty much ends all of the "rounds in a fire" or related discussions from this day forward......

Blackstone
December 9, 2012, 07:38 PM
Great video, must've been in excess of 100,000 rounds sacrificed for the cause?

Edit: nevermind, just watched the retail store simulation, where they use 100k+ rounds in just that one part

GlockFan
December 16, 2012, 08:37 PM
What I was really hoping for was what about ammo stored in a safe or rsc. I would think that it would be safest in it in a fire. If, from what they show, that ignited rounds can not penetrate sheet-rock, that a steel box would be even better. And the whole "pipe bomb" thing I have heard people say in the past about ammo stored in a safe seems to be discredited here too since there was never a massive explosion in any tests.

fireman 9731
December 19, 2012, 04:07 PM
Great video! It will be used for training at my department and I will pass it along to colleagues at other departments.

NAK
December 23, 2012, 01:14 AM
Great video, but I started to feel nauseated about half way through it.

armed hiker
December 23, 2012, 11:02 AM
With today's prices of ammo .There is great harm that can come to firefighters and first responders from crazed ammo buyers running into the fire to save the ammo.

Be safe out there

barnetmill
December 26, 2012, 09:51 PM
For ignition of large quantities of powder I suggest you read Hatcher's notebook. I have not read my copy in a very long time, so I will refrain from using my memory and direct interested people to research it themselves.

cbuttre835
January 6, 2013, 11:06 AM
Excellent video. I've seen those effects first hand, it's really underwhelming. One house was owned by a pair of national guardsmen; they had thousands of rounds of ammo. Drove the arson dog nuts; he kept hitting on the remnants of ammo cans that were under the beds.

The 140 cubic foot acetylene tank would probably level the structure if it went

Been there, done that, too. There's a plug near the top of the tank that melts at low temp to prevent pressure build up. The tank was blowing about an 8-inch flame out of that hole. (machine shop fire). Really underwhelming.

rl2013
January 10, 2013, 08:46 PM
Good post! It was sad to see so much expensive ammo go. I was a bit humbled when some of my test predictions turned out wrong :)

Killian
January 17, 2013, 01:29 PM
I did have a firefighter cousin lightly wounded by birdshot that cooked off on a shelf during a fire. They theorized it must have been pushed up against a backstop of some kind in order to have propelled the shot. Their previous experience had been loud popping but no projectiles during previous fires.

Atbat82
January 17, 2013, 03:37 PM
That's pretty cool. I gotta tell ya, those fire fighters must really have a pair.

Imagine that conversation:

SAAMI: "We want you to stand in front of this burning trailer full of ammo. We're pretty sure no projectiles will fire with enough force to injure you"

FF: "Uh...did you say 'pretty sure'"

SAAMI: "Well yea, we need to run the experiment to be certain. That's where you come in"

FF: "Eh, what the heck. Sure"

bengals1975
January 27, 2013, 12:24 PM
What a great video! I had been wondering what could happen to a fire fighter should my house catch on fire and my ammo started cooking off. It's a relief to see it's really not that big of an issue. Seems like it will likely stay completely contained within my safe.

RM686
February 8, 2013, 06:37 PM
just ruined every action adventure movie I have seen where the hero throws a grenade into he bad guys ammo dump and blows the whole place to pieces for a 2 block area.

Blackstone
February 9, 2013, 06:49 PM
Or that fireplace scene in "Shoot 'em Up"

jschneider93
April 14, 2013, 07:21 PM
I wish they would have done the drop test with rimfire ammo. That would have been interesting.

Been doing EOD/UXO stuff since 1959. i've burned a billion or two rounds of small arms ammo, mostly in open pits with scrap wood for cover, if any. Seldom does the bullet from a round project further than 20 feet from the pit.

i've burned ammo in US military cans too. 99 percent of the time the bullets just dent the can. Sometimes .50 caliber ammo will blow the can open.

Steel cased ammo in calibers 12.7mm and 14.5mm are another matter. Sometimes these rounds project small fragments of the case at a high velocity.

Most of this stuff is 5.56mm and 7.62 ammo

Did you ever try any steel cased 5.56, 7.62x39, 7.62x54r or similar types like what many of us have cases of?

hso
April 16, 2013, 03:13 PM
None of it matters. The physics of it is simple and the behavior is consistent. Without a barrel for the bullet to be pushed down and build up speed the risk is insignificant.

Cactus Jack Arizona
April 18, 2013, 05:23 PM
HSO, this is probably one of the best videos to be mentioned on this site. One of my main concerns/fears have been fire fighters being hurt or killed due to ammo cook off during a possible fire at my apartment complex. I can now relax somewhat over that issue.

One of the buildings in my complex burned last year, completely destroying 12 units and damaging another 4. I wasn't there at the time so I don't know if anyone in that building had stored ammo. Regardless, nothing was mentioned about an ammo cook off on the newscast.

Again, thanks for posting.

Cryogaijin
August 13, 2013, 04:39 PM
I was talking to some of the NSSF people today, and they mentioned that all the ammo in the video was factory reject or recall. No salable ammo was harmed in the making of that video.

230RN
November 23, 2013, 04:35 AM
For whomever mentioned the powder cans + fire experiments in Hatcher's Notebook, a 1-lb can of smokeless in a fire just ruptures the can's seam and burns quietly. For 1 lb of Black Powder, it goes off with quite a thump with the expected big mushroom cloud of white smoke. The can in this case was projected about 35 feet (pp 529-530).

However, in experiments with shooting at 150 lb kegs of smokeless powder, most of the time the powder just ignited and burned as one would expect if it were in the open. But when a shot hit the bottom of one keg, the whole keg detonated with a terrific explosion (pp 527-528). "It would seem that if there is more than about 2 ft of powder above the point of entrance of the bullet, the powder may explode instead of simply burning."

Hatcher also cautions about burning large quantities of powder in the open because the generation of heat is so rapid that severe burns on the experimenter are quite possible.

Cf. also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4ig3V6MaMI

Terry

irl104
December 26, 2013, 08:20 PM
Thank you for the informative post.

Legionnaire
December 31, 2013, 02:49 PM
Great video; thanks. My wife and kids hated that I pointed out the silliness in the movie Paycheck. I'll have to show them this video to drive the point home.

Anybody aware of a similar video on the subject of black powder?

perpster
January 10, 2014, 04:32 AM
What about rounds that are chambered? For instance, one's bedside or under the bed defensive firearm?

Blackstone
January 16, 2014, 11:53 AM
What about rounds that are chambered? For instance, one's bedside or under the bed defensive firearm?

I would imagine that a chambered round "exploding" from fire would be identical to it firing normally.

bflee
March 7, 2014, 09:37 AM
If you send me your powder and bullets I will gladly burn them for you! I will let you know how they burned.

bldsmith
March 8, 2014, 01:41 AM
It did mention that a chambered round will fire just like it was fired from the weapon.

Now if they would just drop the hazmat fees!!

Schwing
March 8, 2014, 12:17 PM
I was surprised that no one has yet to claim that the video was yet another great conspiracy to deprive shooters of more ammo:)

That was a great video. I thought it was interesting that the firefighters obviously were confident of the outcome, even during the first few tests, they were igniting the fires directly.

thanks for sharing.

BSA1
October 2, 2014, 04:01 PM
I had a loaded .357 a magnum that went through the fire when our apartment burned down and the rounds did not fire. Although the grips were charred it may be the gun itself didn't get hot enough.

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