how volatile is ammo re: shipping?


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MyRoad
August 31, 2004, 08:42 PM
Has anyone ever heard of ammo "firing" during shipping? How big a bump in the road would a truck have to hit before a round would go off? OK, maybe ammo packed neatly in boxes of 20 or 50 does not allow for the kind of impact necessary to set off the primer, but what about loose packed ammo? I have some Speer ammo that was bought in bulk and loose-packed in boxes of 250 rounds. Obviously, it was shipped all over the country thousands of times in that packaging, and nothing happened (to my knowledge). I'm just curious what it would take, and what would happen if ammo 'ignited'.

Reason for this possibly stupid question? I'm moving, and the shippers are moving a few thousand rounds of ammo for me (they don't know this). I'm wondering about worse-case-scenarios (that's a disease I have), and I started to imagine that if the truck struck a fierce enough bump in the road to slam the loose-packed ammo in a way in which one rim slammed into another round in just the 'wrong' way... what would happen? Would the bullet "firing" have enough energy to set off another round (and a chain reaction - visions of ammo-popcorn racing through my head...)? If one round did go off, would the heat released be enough to set off other rounds?

I've heard that bullets firing without a barrel don't produce much velocity. Everything is packed in metal containers, so assuming a round could fire, I'm not imagining that I'll find a bullet hole running through the rest of my belongings. The only thing that caused me to pause, was the "ammo-popcorn" concept, because that sure would build up a lot of heat...

I'm not losing sleep over this, but once the thought occurred to me, I had to ask.

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Mal H
August 31, 2004, 08:55 PM
Don't worry about it at all. The truck would have to crash and burn for any of the ammo to go off, and it doesn't matter much how you pack it. There is no bump in the road, probably including falling off Pike's Peak that will set it off.

I'm not sure about the legality of doing what you propose though. You may be placing the movers in legal jeopardy, not sure about that. I guess the "don't ask, don't tell" proviso applies.

MyRoad
August 31, 2004, 09:10 PM
Thanks Mal, that's what I was expecting to hear. As far as the movers go, there isn't any part of the moving contract, or any papers that I signed or even put my initials on that specified that they would not transport ammunition. One of many loose pages included in their moving packet is titled "non-allowables" and has a long running list of things that include frozen foods, wedding albums, personal video tapes, car keys, paints, aerosols... and ammunition.

In some cases they are relieving themselves of responsibility from items that can be lost or stolen and whose value is vague or may be irreplaceable (like "family photographs" - which is on the list), and other items on the list could leak and impact the contents of the truck - since they move 4 to 5 households in a single truck-load.

Thanks again for the info -

Jeff Timm
August 31, 2004, 09:15 PM
Direct hits from .50 Cal US armor piercing incendiary rounds have been known to detonate HE warheads. No much else will be that vulnerable.

Geoff
Who still carried all his ammo and didn't send it with the movers, who WILL inspect every package. :cool:

MyRoad
August 31, 2004, 09:47 PM
...Who still carried all his ammo and didn't send it with the movers, who WILL inspect every package.
I tried to carry it with me when I drove cross country, but it put my car over it's payload capacity, and the rear tires were to bowing out (not kidding!). The ammo is in two locked containers, and I have the keys and I'm already on the other side. If they require the ability to inspect every box/container (which is not in the contract), or shake the heavy containers and can identify the muffled sound of clattering ammo, then they'll leave those two behind and I'll have to deal with it another way at another time.

From going over their 'non-allowable' list, I really don't think they care what's in the shipment -- they are only covering themselves in case my two dozen 55 gallon drums of Ammonia leak all over the another family's living room furniture, they can avoid responsibility i.e. a law suit.

Other things that are 'non-allowable': Produce, Plants, Nail Polish, matches, motor oil, financial documents, airline tickets, computer disk storage, school records... etc.

hso
August 31, 2004, 10:12 PM
(2) Packaging for cartridges, small arms, and cartridges power
devices as ORM-D material must be as follows:
(i) Ammunition must be packed in inside boxes, or in partitions
which fit snugly in the outside packaging, or in metal clips;
(ii) Primers must be protected from accidental initiation;
(iii) Inside boxes, partitions or metal clips must be packed in
securely-closed strong outside packagings;
(iv) Maximum gross weight is limited to 30 kg (66 pounds) per
package;

Russ
September 2, 2004, 12:29 AM
If you can lock the containers and if they ask, tell them its your rock collection handed down over many generations.

Jordan
September 2, 2004, 01:32 AM
A week or two ago a box of .40 fell off the tailgate up my pickup and one round went off... much to my suprise.

Tore the box to shreds, brass "shrapnel" laying all around, found the bullet about 20 feet away.

Before this happening, I would have never thought that possible... or at least extremely unlikely.

MyRoad
September 2, 2004, 02:51 AM
A week or two ago a box of .40 fell off the tailgate up my pickup and one round went off... much to my suprise.
Was your pickup moving at the time, or did the box just fall the three feet or so to the ground?

Sunray
September 2, 2004, 03:18 AM
"...I'm moving..." Save yourself a whole lot of BS and move your firearms and stuff in the vehicle you move in.

Jordan
September 2, 2004, 03:18 AM
No, just parked in my driveway.. bumped it off accidentally. Fell about 3'.

This was a box of UMC.. 250rnds in 50rnd plastic trays, 5 trays to a box. The primer of the exploding cartridge appears to have been set off by the rim of another case... how that happened is tough to figure as, like I said, they are separated by plastic trays.

Gabby Hayes
September 2, 2004, 05:07 AM
... they are only covering themselves in case my two dozen 55 gallon drums of Ammonia leak
Dude, I'd be losing a lot more sleep over shipping over a thousand gallons of ammonia packed in with my stuff than the extremely unlikely chance of having a primer go off. :eek:

MyRoad
September 2, 2004, 01:16 PM
Sunray, I already moved and made the drive, now that I'm settled here I'm having the rest of my belongings shipped out. My original plan was to take all of my guns and ammo with me, but the car would not hold them.

Gabby, I was kidding about the ammonia... just illustrating a point. :)

0luke1
September 2, 2004, 02:10 PM
I had an order of 500 rounds of .223 shipped to me - loose in an ammo can. I didn't think that was a very good idea.

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