Small Explosion at the range

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MySuomi, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. MySuomi

    MySuomi Member

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    Well, I did something stupid. I was shooting .223 (Russian Silver Bear) out of my favorite AR at the farm. If you have ever shot Russian rifle ammo you know that is packaged in those small boxes with the shells wrapped in paper with a staple on both sides. One of the cartridges was stuck in the paper next to the staple. I thought I got it freed from the paper.

    After I finish shooting I usually burn any left over boxes, target paper etc. So, I light the two "empty" silver bear boxes with the paper stuffed in them IMG_2351.JPG IMG_2352.JPG IMG_2353.JPG and just stand there. To my surprise there is a loud bang. I guess I did not free the shell up from the paper but instead put it and the paper into the fire. Here are some pictures.

    I guess the primer went off and set the cartridge off. Glad nothing hit me. So, if anybody tells you a cartridge will not go off in a fire that is patently not true. They can and will explode if that primer goes off. Another lesson in being careful.
     
  2. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I have never doubted live ammunition would go off when thrown in the fire. I have always wondered if the bullet or case would have enough power behind it to do lethal damage? A lot of what a gun does is direct the forces of the burning powder to propel the bullet. With the case fragmenting like that I wonder how much power the bullet actually has?

    Of course I have never wanted to find out by myself! Picking brass or steel shrapnel out of my skin or eyes is something I would really like to avoid.

    I am glad you are ok!
     
  3. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Quite a few "experiments" have shown that ammunition certainly will expode from heat, but also that the bullet won't go much of anywhere, unless it happens to be in a gun at the time. The test that comes to mind involved placing a cartridge in a lead pot with a piece of cardboard on top. The bullet dented the cardboard but did not penetrate.

    Bits of cartridge case, of course, could certainly penetrate skin and damage eyes if the range is close enough.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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  4. 1942bull
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    1942bull Contributing Member

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    Such a blast creates shrapnel. Pieces of metal that are blown out. They do not have much velocity, bit they could do harm to some degree. Getting hit in the eye with a 1/16 inch piece of hot brass could blind a person or animal. A little shrapnel under the skin could lead to infection. The danger depends upon the mass of the ammo. I once photographed combat engineers blowb up an NVA ammo dump. We had to be 200 meters away before they set of the blast. If you were close the shrapnel might not you, but the concussion would.
     
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  5. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    Good to hear you’re ok. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  6. stillquietvoice
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    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

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    Glad to hear your OK. That could have been worse.
     
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  7. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Member

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    the saami video on ammo in a fire is very interesting . its amazing how little the the bullets traveled ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  8. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Had a primer go sailing past my ear after my idiot buddy threw a live .30-06 cartridge in the camp fire. We found the bullet in the ashes the next morning-didnt go far.
     
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  9. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    Perhaps recycling your paper and cardboard would be better than burning it. You mentioned being "at the farm". Paper and cardboard break down quite easily in a compost pile.
     
  10. Roverguy

    Roverguy Member

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    No pressure vessel, no velocity.

    Not good to be in proximity to. Not really dangerous at 10ft.
     
  11. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Ya, if you left it in a piece of pipe it’ll possibly blow stuff out of each end. Other than that it’s basically a firecracker with a thin brass case; a big pop! with bits of brass that’ll fly out for a little ways.

    Now a nitrogen shock absorber or a small propane tank? Those’ll blow logs out of the fire when they let go ;).

    Stay safe.
     
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  12. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Ya, seen a shock turn into quite the missile after one intrepid junior tech thought he could torch off the rusted mount bolts.

    We heard it halfway across the shop property in the lunchroom. Somehow, nobody got hurt, but theres still a decent crater in the concrete floor of that bay!

    I think that kids sellin cellphones now..... probably best for everyone.:confused:
     
  13. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    No harm to the wife's oven also. I was drying a load of brass in the oven after soaking it in Birchwood Casey liquid brass cleaner. I don't know how I missed the fully loaded 7.62x39 cartridge. Bang- no harm to the oven, but my face turned red.
     
  14. Airborne Falcon
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    Airborne Falcon Contributing Member

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    Yeah some of my old drunk Airborne buddies did some ammo in the fire tests during our last Hunt Fish Camp in 2020.

    They all went off, all flavors, all kinds ... I think a small piece of shrapnel made a ping sound off of one of the trucks ten yards away or so .... but there wasn't much to any of it. Made some loud pops though. Threw sparks everywhere. Sparks and embers.

    Glad you weren't hurt or that you didn't realize it at the last second and try reaching down and grabbing it and yanking it out or something.
     
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  15. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
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  16. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    I was in Dallas when the bottled gas yard exploded and burned in ‘07.


    I had assumed in the case of a live cartridge in a fire would be similar, with the case and bullet going in opposite directions but not far. I wouldn’t have guessed the case would rupture. Interesting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
  17. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    Glad you were not injured!!!
     
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  18. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    No one I'm aware of has ever said that.

    What many of us have said, based on experiences like yours, is that ammunition burning in a fire does not launch projectiles anywhere near full speed.

    or steel case, in your case.
     
  19. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Contributing Member

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  20. MySuomi

    MySuomi Member

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    I just need to be more careful. This hobby is great but if you lose focus you can really mess things up.

    Glad my lessons learned have been relatively harmless.
     
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  21. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Back in the early 60's, living in the rural Midwest, we burnt most of the garbage we created in a burn barrel behind the house. It was my job to do that. One day after my mom and older sisters had completed "Spring" cleaning, there was a considerable amount of garbage to be burnt. Loaded up the barrel, lit it up and went back in the house. Short time later it sounded like a war in the backyard.
    My mom quickly realizing that the girls must have thrown some live ammo in the garbage, made us kids all go to the basement till long after the last "bang", fearing we might be hit by a stray bullet coming thru the house. Later when things cooled down I went out thinking the barrel would be riddled with holes. Not even a dent, even tho there was a considerable amount of empty .22 and 30-30 cases in the barrel.
     
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  22. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Here you go.

     
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  23. packetloss

    packetloss Member

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    Why do you burn the boxes? I can't think of anything good coming of that.
     
  24. MySuomi

    MySuomi Member

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    As for why did I burn the "empty" ammo boxes: I did not feel like hauling them to the big burn pit that we have. This is a farm. We typically burn all non metal/non petroleum based stuff in the pit with limbs, brush etc. The only thing I take to the dump are metals, tires and batteries. The rest gets turned into dust.
     
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  25. jarhead127

    jarhead127 Member

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    Wow, scary what could have happened. Glad all OK!
     
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