Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ammo question (exploding outside of the gun)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by dxkj21, Oct 20, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. dxkj21

    dxkj21 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    225
    If a 9mm shell were to be thrown up against a wall, or the primer struck with enough force outside of an actual gun, would the shell rupture, or would the bullet be propelled in any way?

    Just a few thoughts I had as my cat found a loose 9mm and was knocking it around and off my desk while I was in the other room
     
  2. Mongo the Mutterer

    Mongo the Mutterer Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,242
    Location:
    St. Louis
    I don't know, but I do know if you have a fire, a fireman buddy of mine isn't concerned, since when the rounds cook off the brass fires away from the bullet, since the bullet is heavier, for the most part.

    If a round cooks off inside a barrel, that is not good.

    With the cat, I don't know. I have three cats who allow me to live with them. I'll ask them ;)
     
  3. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,543
    Location:
    atl ga
    An uncontained round is about as dangeous as a firecracker.
    It would take a healthy strike directly on the primer to set one off. Falling from a table is very, very unlikely to do it
     
  4. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    18,302
    Location:
    Ft. Worth
    I would be more concerned with the tiny sharp bits of flying ruptured brass than the bullet itself.

    But no, the bullet won't be the weak point if that happens, the case will.
     
  5. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,572
    Location:
    Essex Co, MA
    For a centerfire round, it can go off from a drop, but is extremely unlikely. Even if it does, as stated above, it won't cause any serious damage except to your shorts. :what:

    A rimfire round is a little more likely to go off from a shock.
     
  6. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    9,056
    Location:
    SouthEast PA
    The credible reports I'd read from people to whom external cookoffs have happened concur with the "as dangerous as a large firecracker" assessment. I've also not heard of any cases actually rupturing.

    I did read one report of a guy dropping a .38spc round from belt height, which detonated. Apparenty, the primer hit a stone _just_right, so be aware that it can happen.
     
  7. Scoupe

    Scoupe Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    382
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I know two cases of .22 ammo going off without the benefit of being in a firearm's chamber.

    #1: Guy puts his still hot pipe in his pocket, a .22 cartridge gets down in the bowl and cooks off. Blew a dime-sized chunk out the side of a nice briar pipe.

    #2: Kid in Jr. high (like 35 years ago) found a live .22 round. Takes his Daisy, cocks it, holds it vertically and places the .22 round on top of the muzzle and pulls the trigger. Kid had a glass eye at age 13 and a nice little piece of brass shrapnel for show and tell.

    So I'd argue that it's certainly more stout than a fire cracker, but nothing that you'd need to be diving for cover from if you're 20 yards off.
     
  8. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,723
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    As a long-time reloader I've run several live 9mm rounds through the tumbler. Never had one go off, or fail to fire when loaded in a gun. I've also treated .22 LR's to the washer-dryer cycle (tucked in a Levi pocket). Again, no detonation. Over the years I must have dropped an ammo can worth of rounds on the basement floor. Never had a single one fire.

    I've concluded that ammo is mighty, mighty tough to accidently detonate.
     
  9. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    Well - it's all been said but - keyword here -

    "containment'' - the critical factor with expanding gases ... plus ''least line of resistance''.
     
  10. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    1,985
    Location:
    Grand Forks, North Dakota
    Closest thing I have had is a round of Federal 22LR (POS brick ammo:cuss: ) that I fired out of my 10/22 when, unknown to me, the last case had not completly ejected and aparently had had the mouth of the case squished by the closing bolt. So here I am with a 10/22 that is out of battery. Usualy when the gun is OOB the firing pin is not able to ignite the primer because it just shoves the case foreward. In this case, the bolt was ALMOST in battery, but not quite due to the squished spent case. When I pulled the trigger, the report sounded really funny and gunpowder and bits of brass where comming out the ejection port. I unloaded the gun and found reminants of the case in the chamber as well as the squished 22 case on the shooting bench and a few little pieces of brass. Other than that there was no damage and the bullet managed to exit the bore.
     
  11. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Messages:
    4,087
    Location:
    Mitchi-gun, the Sunrise Side
    If the case holds together it will still be the most dangerous part. In cases of hangfires that were laid down, the bullets which were the heaviest part of the loaded cartridge barely moved, but the case became a projectile.
     
  12. kikilee

    kikilee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Arkansas
    That fine for a few rounds, but let’s say hypothetically a guy has say 10,000 to 12,000 rounds of various types of ammunition stored in his shop. How much concern would there be on the part of the firefighters if this hypothetical shop was to catch fire?
     
  13. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Messages:
    1,231
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    From what I can gather from this thread, it would be like 10,000 to 20,000 firecrackers all going off more or less at once. :eek:

    When I was much younger (and more than a bit stupider) one of my buddies came over with an old military .45 ACP round. I put it in a vise and hit the primer with an ice pick just to see what would happen. The case exploded and all of the shrapnel missed me. I wouldn't recommend trying it.
     
  14. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,073
    Location:
    Bemidji, MN
    I was in a shop once when a guy dropped a box of .45 acp and it landed primer side down.

    Nobody moved for about 5 seconds then we all sighed a breath of relief.
     
  15. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,451
    Location:
    Utah
    I am reminded of this thread over at 1911 forum a while ago...

    The guy was disassembling his 1911 when the recoil plug got away from him, shot into his range bag, and hit the primer of a .45 ACP cartridge.

    Wes
     
  16. bogie

    bogie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    9,569
    Location:
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    Guys, we're forgetting something here.

    What caliber is the ideal cat toy? Something that's not too round, not too large, not too small, not too long?
     
  17. far2much4me

    far2much4me Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    21
    There was an article in the American Rifleman (1968 - 1972 timeframe, I think, had several photos). It covered a major fire at a large sporting goods store. The fire department determined that the greatest danger in the fire came from SCUBA tanks. When they exploded, they were very dangerous. Shotgun shells mostly just melted before the powder caught fire. They did not explode. Rifle and pistol ammunition "popped". In some cases the bullet just came out, in others the case ruptured. The firefighters said it was like someone in the store throwing pebbles. Definitely an eye hazard, but firefighters wearing their heavy jackets, helmets, and face shields/respirators would be pretty much immune to small arms ammo. Overall, the article was interesting with a few surprises.
     
  18. Chrontius

    Chrontius Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    472
    Only suprise is that a SCUBA tank holds about the same energy as a car bomb. "Very dangerous" strikes me as a bit of an understatement.
     
  19. slopemeno

    slopemeno Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    285
    I've seen a .45 acp the went off by being thrown into a bulk 5 gallon bucket of reloads. It made a pop and the three people standing around were taken aback for a second, but luckily no injuries. I would be mostly concerned about an eye injury.
     
  20. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,087
    Location:
    michigan
    I talked about this with my Bro in law who was a Lt on the local city fire dept a few years ago and he claimed ammo wasn`t much of a worry. He said the bullets popped and came out of the case but had no vel, said they and the cases only traveled a few ft from ignition point. His biggest worry was cans of powder that was in his eyes the same as gas cans laying around. In other words bullets were not much threat but bulk powder was a accellerant (sp?) and could be a problem if there was enough of it.
     
  21. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Messages:
    147
    Well, when I was younger my friends and I were known to throw a handful of .22 LR shells into the fire when nobody was looking. Like everyone else has said, it's about the same as a firecracker.
     
  22. Jubei

    Jubei Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    Illinois
    Sorry,

    I'm not meaning to highjack or sidetrack the thread, but is anyone else having "Boondock Saints" flashbacks about the cat thing?

    And my clumsy self has dropped plenty of ammo, no accidental/unexpected bangs for me.

    Jubei
     
  23. GunnySkox

    GunnySkox Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,129
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I think someone should shoot an email to Mythbusters or The Box O' Truth or *blibbity-blibbity-blah* and see if anyone's interested in doing some pseudoscientific ammunition shock tests. Being dropped/thrown from various heights and forces against various surfaces. Getting hit with stuff, etc.

    It couldn't be all that difficult to do, and would make for fun reading.

    ~GnSx
    "AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!! What the @#$% are you doing?! I hate you. I hope you die in a car crash!" ~Eddie Izzard, explaining the appropriate reaction to someone who squeezes your hand way too hard in a handshake.
     
  24. B36

    B36 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Indiana
    It is not a problem.:)

    First, in a fire the lightest part of the cartridge is what is expelled from said cartridge--yes you guessed it, the primer!

    The Fridley Fire Department, Mn, did a test burning lots of ammo in a building and in a semi. Federal supplied the ammo. In the store, a nomex coat worn by fireman was placed in the center of the room. There were no penetrations of the coat.

    If your local department wants, I am sure they could get a copy of the tape. My copy was given to me by a federal rep many years ago.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page