One of those 1 in a million things...


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CoRoMo
May 10, 2013, 10:57 AM
So my dad likes to use his empty peanut cans to keep the bullets he casts in. He also uses these cans to keep spent brass separated and occasionally loose handloads, but mostly just the lead bullets he casts. They are pretty handy at separating all the different bullets cast.

Anyway, a few days ago he was going down into his basement with a stack of these in hand and the top peanut can contained loose .45acp loads. When he made the first step, that can toppled off and fell about six feet or so and landed on the third step up from the basement floor. It immediately blew apart, emptying its contents with a loud boom. Here's what's left of that peanut can...

(ignore the separated .223 shell)

http://i1195.photobucket.com/albums/aa394/CodyMonahan/theexplosion005_zps07a8fc8c.jpg

One round set off when the can hit the stair it fell to. Below are the remains of the cartridge that went off. You can definitely see that the rim of another round was what impacted the primer. It's amazing that the force was directed in the exact linear path needed for this to happen. Again ignore the separated .223 shell. It isn't connected to this incident.

http://i1195.photobucket.com/albums/aa394/CodyMonahan/explosion2001_zps8f39e183.jpg

I'd bet money that he couldn't do that again if he wanted. He could probably roll a can of loose rounds down those stairs a thousand times over and never set off another round like that.

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KansasSasquatch
May 10, 2013, 11:11 AM
Well it blew out in the middle. That's probably a good sign that the bullet didn't pick up much velocity and that the biggest danger was from a little bit of brass schrapnel.

Certaindeaf
May 10, 2013, 11:12 AM
That'd sure wake someone up! I use all kinds of odd containers too. Nothing like ammo cans though.. they have nice handles and are way less likely to be dropped. It's getting close to Father's Day.
Glad no one was hurt!

returningfire
May 10, 2013, 11:13 AM
Wow. I use plastic coffee cans for the same purpose as your Dad thinking that the plastic might prevent a primer strike, but if the stars align just right like in your case it wouldn't. Glad no one was hurt.

CoRoMo
May 10, 2013, 11:47 AM
That'd sure wake someone up!
Yep! He said that Mom and the cleaning lady came runnin' at the sound!! :what: And that the basement smelt like a gun shot. :D

But I was going to ask here, something that I've never been able to find. I've read about Hatcher's impact study on LRPs and the more modern specs for rifle primers by the Army, but I've never ever seen data on what mil-specs exist for pistol primers. Anyone know?

Here's the study that Boatright published last year: http://www.davidtubb.com/davidtubb/content/graphics/pdfs/DT_firing_pin_impact_studies.pdf

I've never seen data on pistol primes though. I can only venture a guess at how many inch-ounces pistol primers need or pistol firing pins deliver. I'd guess LPP need 40 or 50? And the firing mechanisms deliver double that? I don't know. :confused:

If anyone knows, I'd love to read through a study on it.

Certaindeaf
May 10, 2013, 11:52 AM
There was a huge study done by the DOE, Sandia National Laboratories on primers.. I forget the main gist of it though.. I don't even know if impact studies were done.
There's a sticky somewhere on this board showing how primers/ammo behave when set off en mass and or burned.

fguffey
May 10, 2013, 01:07 PM
We take ourselves too seriously, once there was apro·lif·ic shooter, he had the bad habit of carrying ammo to the range in zip lock bags, and I think that is cute, dangerous but cute, one day when walking from the range office to the range he dropped one of his zip lock bags of 45 ACP, one of the primers was struck by the rim of another case and the primer launched itself off of the heavy case/powder/bullet and hit the shooter in an artery on the inside of his leg, needlessly to say, he almost bleed to death.

Again, I have R. Lee’s book on modern reloading, I am sure others reloaders have the same book, difference? I read my book, R. Lee did test on the speed and enthusiasm the primer uses when leaving, carrying ammo in a plastic bad is a bad habit, back to the part where “ We take ourselves too seriously”, R. Lee claimed primers are dangerous, unfortunately the owners of his book do not read, his book, they thought he said Federal primers were dangerous, what he said was he did not test Federal primers because Federal did not donate primers to be tested.

F. Guffey

fguffey
May 10, 2013, 01:15 PM
http://www.saami.org/videos/sporting_ammunition_and_the_firefighter.cfm

There was a study etc., etc.. the link from SAAMI covers some of the claims “There was a study etc..” The study had nothing to do with caring ammo to the range in zip lock bags or stored ammo down the stairs in cans.

When I have purchased new ammo the ammo came packed and separated in containers, when at the rang I ask about the packaging containers that are being thrown away, they give me everything they have in the way of ammo packaging, I believe hauling loaded ammo in sip lock bags is cute, dangerous but cute.

F. Guffey

Certaindeaf
May 10, 2013, 01:25 PM
Elmer Keith was about killed by a rooster.. anything can happen. Probably more people have been seriously injured just stubbing their toe on the sidewalk than by dropping "cutely" packaged loose ammo.

45_auto
May 10, 2013, 03:16 PM
Must have been some SERIOUS crimp on that case to have the brass come apart before the bullet came loose!

villagelightsmith
May 10, 2013, 03:25 PM
A few times in the past, I've felt flush while facing a bargain stack of MTM or Berry's 50x cartridge boxes, new or used, that would fit my current caliber. When a vender at a gun show is looking at packing them all up again and somebody asks how bad he really wants to do that, one can pick up 10, 20 or 30 same-number boxes and solve your packin' problems for a nice ... long .... time. It's so nice to have a bunch of extras when one gets that wild hair to crank out 500 or 1000 sage-rat loads. It doesn't take more than a few of these buys to solve this - one - problem for the rest of your life.

The gentleman's comment about picking up castoff foam or plastic ammo packaging blocks at the range is a fine idea. They can be taped together to make bigger blocks, too, if the package volume is not an issue.

JSmith
May 10, 2013, 03:30 PM
That didn't end up where I thought it was going. When you said "dad likes to use his empty peanut cans" to keep his ammo in, I though he'd given some to someone with a peanut allergy. I can't go a week these days without having someone tell me how allergic they are to peanuts.

No, that one isn't reproducible. He could throw ammo cans down the basement stairs from now until doomsday without setting another one off. Look at it this way: it's one more thing he doesn't have to worry about.

That'd sure wake someone up!

It would wake me up. And probably cause considerable damage to my underwear in the process. :eek:

MtnCreek
May 10, 2013, 03:43 PM
Mr. Guffey, I guess I need to take another look at Lee's manual. I remember his note on not using Fed primers and his dislike of stacked primers, but don't remember anything about Fed not donating primers for testing.

LightSmith, About every Midway order, I add a cartridge box or two to the order. Bought 2 yesterday with an order; cheap at somewhere around $3.50 / ea.

Come to think of it, I have an approx. 6"x6x6 box of loose 9mm sitting in my front floorboard right now. Don't know how many cartridges are in it; the box is from 500 bulk .45 cal bullets. Ya'll wish me luck on the ride home. :)

CoRoMo
May 10, 2013, 05:58 PM
I use plastic coffee cans for the same purpose as your Dad thinking that the plastic might prevent a primer strike, but...
I do not advise that you change a thing. Ammo is perfectly safe in your containers.

He mainly uses these peanut cans ONLY for his cast bullets. My dad never really uses anything but MTM boxes for his loads. Back in January him and I ordered 16 MTM pistol boxes from Cabelas in addition to about that many pounds of W748. Twelve of those boxes were for him and he already had a great many of them already. He was simply using that can as a quick improvise to his normal routine. He said that he'll never do that again and stick to the MTM's, but that's probably overkill; you can't always have one of those boxes handy when you're toting some loose rounds somewhere.

And the plastic coffee cans are free after the coffee is gone.

BYJO4
May 10, 2013, 07:44 PM
Glad that no one was hurt. It doesn't happen often but you wont forget it if it does.

1SOW
May 10, 2013, 09:58 PM
The biggest threat is being "cut" with sharp fragments. Primers are the most volatile and the only explosive component we handle. Primer Frags do get 'stopped' by relatively light wgt materials. A plastic coffee container 'should' be relatively safe.

Once that thin aluminum foil on the peanut can is cut, it has almost zero resistance to impact.

There is a National fire test for loaded ammo around here somewhere. Sheet rock stopped the few that went off.

jmorris
May 11, 2013, 12:43 AM
[Must have been some SERIOUS crimp on that case to have the brass come apart before the bullet came loose

No, chunk some in a fire and they will all look like that.

The case is the weak link and will look like popcorn far before the bullet moves, outside of a chamber.

jmorris
May 11, 2013, 12:46 AM
Then again, don't do that and just trust me.

slamfirev10
May 11, 2013, 02:32 AM
Then again, don't do that and just trust me.

:p

:cool:

Captaingyro
May 11, 2013, 08:41 AM
CoRoMo: Did you ever find the piece of brass shrapnel that tore through the bottom of the can?

Could it still be embedded in one of the wooden stair steps?

Peter M. Eick
May 11, 2013, 10:24 AM
That looks pretty normal for a blowup outside the chamber. As kids we used to shoot at the primers with pellet guns of belt fed 30/06 ammo and saw the same thing. The bullet travels usually less than an inch. The case peels back and some hunk of it gets thrown around a bit.

I think the lesson learned is don't do that for obvious reasons.

splattergun
May 11, 2013, 10:28 AM
That didn't end up where I thought it was going. When you said "dad likes to use his empty peanut cans" to keep his ammo in, I though he'd given some to someone with a peanut allergy. I can't go a week these days without having someone tell me how allergic they are to peanuts.

No, that one isn't reproducible. He could throw ammo cans down the basement stairs from now until doomsday without setting another one off. Look at it this way: it's one more thing he doesn't have to worry about.



It would wake me up. And probably cause considerable damage to my underwear in the process. :eek:

Peanut allergy: the Confederate States' revenge. :D

'twas a completely random confluence of circumstances, though not entirely unforeseen. The remote chance of bulk packed ammunition striking a primer is partly why higher quality ammo is packaged in separate compartments.
OTH, 'white box' ammo is packed in bulk, so it seems an acknowledgement of how rare a possibility this really is.

GaryL
May 11, 2013, 11:02 AM
No, that one isn't reproducible. He could throw ammo cans down the basement stairs from now until doomsday without setting another one off. Look at it this way: it's one more thing he doesn't have to worry about.

Ok, we all know you are exaggerating just a wee bit here. But I agree with you in general terms. Statistically, the odds are against it being a serious issue, but a proper DOE could demonstrate 0 incidents in a 10000 attempts, or 5 in a row right off the bat.

I had a prof in college who could calculate stuff like that. He was really good. Occasionally he would do an example in class, and it was almost like he rigged it. One time he went through the formula predicting when something would repeat in a general population. The example he used was in our class of about 350, with 365 days in a year, that the sixth person's Birthday would match one of the first 5. Then he had us start from the front row announcing BDs (Feb 3rd, Nov 20th, etc), and the 6th person's was a match.

Anyway, a sidetrack, but the point is, a live round AD is rare, but does happen. In spite of that, I do carry live rounds to the range in baggies. Those are nicely labeled for testing loads and packed in ammo tins for transportation. I don't see the risk as any greater than having them in a box. I wish I could recall when it occurred, so I could search for it and provide a link, but a guy on an automotive board posted pictures of the aftermath of having an ejected 45acp shell hit one of the exposed primers in an open box of 45acp ammo on the bench and set off that round. It broke open the box, damaged a couple rounds, but the rest were fine.

homatok
May 11, 2013, 12:30 PM
Odd occurance! Your father experienced "the perfect storm"!! Still it reminds us that stuff happens.

Steve Cover
May 11, 2013, 12:57 PM
Storing loose rounds in a plastic container?

What about static discharge?
This is much more likely than a random primer impact.

Steve

rondog
May 11, 2013, 01:06 PM
Glad your dad wasn't injured! He could have gotten a nasty cut or an eye injury from that. Thankfully it was just a "aw jeeze, would ya look at that!" moment.

The white cardboard ammo boxes from Midway are cheap and reusable. I make labels for them on my PC using Word, I use Avery #6461 removable labels so I can change the load info as needed. Much better than loose ammo in baggies or cans. I store the boxes in .50 cal. or M249 SAW USGI ammo cans. I can open an ammo can in my garage, pick out what I want according to the box labels, and away I go.

Those red plastic 2lb. Folgers coffee cans are wonderful for storing brass in! If you can accumulate a bunch of them, do so! I used to work in an office that emptied those frequently, and I'd pack home the empties. I use those same removable Avery labels mentioned above, and just write on them with a Sharpie what's in the can. Since I store dirty brass, deprimed brass, and cleaned & polished brass for many different calibers, the contents are constantly changing.

Field Tester
May 11, 2013, 02:15 PM
GaryL,

It was actually in a issue of Guns & Ammo a few years back.

He was at the range, .45 spent brass hit a live round that wasn't covered. The round tore everything up. I'd link the article but I'm on my phone. This changed my shhoting habits. Any live ammo not in a mag gets covered. What's taking a few extra seconds of saftey even if it is one in a million?
Maybe I should change my storage habbits as well.

splattergun
May 11, 2013, 05:46 PM
Storing loose rounds in a plastic container?

What about static discharge?
This is much more likely than a random primer impact.

Steve

That's completely a non-issue.
Think about it. We take our primers and transfer them from the plastic tray they're sold in to another plastic tray on the priming tool. Then we pour our powder from a plastic jug into a plastic container on the measure. We place the shells in a plastic loading tray, dumping the measured powder through a plastic funnel. When the bullet is pressed in we put the completed round in a factory-made plastic ammo box. Or a baggie. Or a plastic container like a plastic ammo box, a coffee can or mama's old Tupperware(R).

Hondo 60
May 11, 2013, 06:13 PM
I'm glad to hear no one was hurt.

Must have been some SERIOUS crimp on that case to have the brass come apart before the bullet came loose!

Nope! Have you ever seen the TV show "Myth Busters"?
They did this with rounds in an oven.
The bullet did no damage until they launched a 50 caliber round.
It was the case that dented the inside of the oven, not the bullet.

dickttx
May 12, 2013, 04:31 PM
I can't imagine falling six feet down a stairs and being able to get up.!:uhoh:

Sorry, reread OP. I thought your dad fell down the stairs.

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