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Video of 9mm Shell set off with Torch

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Badger Arms, Nov 26, 2014.

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  1. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Hmmm...

    How 'bout a video of a typical metal magazine loaded with ammunition tossed into a fire?

    If I had only thought of this myself before giving away all my spare .45 ACP magazines!

    Be interesting to see how well the magazines hold up.
     
  2. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    My experience says different......they don't even jump out of the fire, let alone hurt anyone. We back off to six feet or so for a margin of safety, but no animals were ever hurt or killed in our informal fire tests.

    Propane bottles are a different story, but even their performance is inconsistent in casual observation.

    .....and yes, I run with some dangerous fellows.
     
  3. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    I do not think you're grasping what I'm saying here. I am saying that I caught on video cartridges going off with enough velocity to embed a 9mm case several inches into ballistic gel. This is not a case of "YMMV". You have an anecdote saying you didn't get hurt; I say you just beat the odds. Physics will tell you that both the case and bullet should have roughly equal energy. Exterior ballistics tells you that they are not likely to slow down enough in 20 feet. Probable that your cases and bullets were either striking parts of the fire or something else was going on.

    Lethal? Not very likely. Can it cut you? Yep. Can it penetrate the skin? Pretty sure. Can it put an eye out? Definitely.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  4. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I'd disagree on being able to penetrate you. An eye, quite likely dangerous.

    As I said in the calibration of ballistic gel, a bb is fired for comparison(calibration) of about 600 fps, and it goes between 3-4" into the gel. That's the standard amount. Having shot, and been shot with bb's, clothing stops them, bare skin stings like crazy, but I don't recall anything more than possibly broken skin, not much for penetration. The larger diameter of the case may break the skin if exposed, but I doubt it would do much else. And yes, I think it very quickly loses power as distance increases from the point of origin.

    In the fire vid, they had most particles or pieces stopped by one piece of sheetrock, very little happening after that. Firefighters standing around close by felt the impacts of numerous pieces, nothing even hurt, let alone did damage. Could it hurt your eye, sure, as could something hand thrown, or a bug on a motorcycle at highway speed.
     
  5. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    Actually, it tells you how much power is in the primer, as there is nowhere near enough enclosed space for the powder to burn before entering open air.

    Notice the unburned powder on the gelatin.
     
  6. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    First as I didn't do so in my previous post I want to thank Badger for taking the time and efforts to put together the video. Most of us have seen the fire department training video put together by SAAMI and Badger's video results pretty much run with that.

    There is little doubt that some cases would likely cause a substantial ouch or in some cases depending on how and where they hit more substantial damage. Pretty much a crap shoot as I see it.

    What I tend to wonder most about is the primer. RC allured to this in his post #25 and Jaymo mentions it in post #30. Smaller and weighing less than a BB a primer cup is likely getting with it when it exits the shell casing. While I haven't a clue what the primer cup velocities might be I would not want one hitting me less heavy clothing and I would venture a primer cup launched from a rifle case could easily take out an eye. If it penetrated outer garment and skin I would guess it could wreak a little havoc on the inside.

    Those damn little 22s can be nasty if the cases fragment. Dug a piece of that brass out of the web of my hand once.

    Ron
     
  7. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I don't want to get hit with any of it.

    The primer poses a significant eye-injury threat.
     
  8. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    All these questions really provide information for the tailoring of future testing.

    For penetration testing, slap a layer of something over the surface of the gelatin to simulate skin. Doesn't have to be something ultra-tough...a simple white T-shirt, for example. If nothing else, it provides a reasonable layer of clothing in the testing.

    Bare gel penetration is only one measure of penetration ability.
     
  9. Lycidas Janwor

    Lycidas Janwor Member

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    Does the heat from the torch affect the gel? That is, does the heat radiating out from the torch flame cause the gel to become easier to penetrate?
     
  10. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    Yes, but only if you are RIGHT on the gel. There was one test we did where the torch was pointed too far right and it melted a bit of the block. The rest of the tests, this one included, the heat from the torch did not heat the block up at all. So, no, that was not a factor at all, especially with the bullet. Heat propagation is also VERY slow in the gel so heating the surface directly would not make it easier to penetrate.

    Ballistic gel (or Clear Ballistics in this case) is MUCH harder to penetrate than most give it credit for. Most people think "Jello" when you should be thinking "Human Skin".
     
  11. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    I watched the video and your tests are flawed. I don't really care enough about it to argue with you or point out the flaws in your test.

    Burning rounds, outside of a rifle chamber, poses little to no Hazard, other than your ears and lungs.

    90% of the time, in a real fire, the primer goes off first, without igniting the powder, then you get a whoosh when the powder flares off. The biggest danger is the puff of ash that is disturbed by the blown primer. My lungs are just fine......

    I can't be the only one who has witnessed this first hand. If I am, the veteran laced crowd I run with just might be more "daring" than I thought.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  12. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    You're not going to argue about it, but then you make some vague reference to how my methodology was flawed? Smooth.
    ... and we just take your word on this? The SAAMI video and mine both show them popping bullets out with enough force to penetrate one layer of drywall and 3" of a gel block respectively.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  13. we are not amused

    we are not amused Member

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    Only if you are with in inches of either when it goes off.
     
  14. we are not amused

    we are not amused Member

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    It really doesn't take much to penetrate one layer of drywall or three inches of ballistic gel. It is designed to approximate the density of flesh, but it does not behave just like flesh. There are differences.

    Would it possibly injure you if you were within inches of it, possibly, but other than potential eye injuries, I doubt very much they would be serious.

    My brother and I used to throw shot gun shells into a trash can fire and they never did any harm, and when Dad caught us, he was more teed off that we were wasting his shot gun shells than us getting hurt.

    I remember some friends in town who used to tape ball bearings to the primer of a shot shell, and throw them off the top of the fire escape. If the shell didn't blow out to the side, (often) the side walk was covered with the shot which had been launched at very low velocity out of the shell.

    The biggest problem with ammunition in a fire is if it enclosed in a strong metal container, such as a safe or metal military ammo can. If it gets hot enough, when the first shell detonates, it will cause a chain reaction which will cause the metal container to detonate like a bomb.

    I am unconcerned with individual rounds going off in a fire. As I said earlier, I had a fifty caliber round go off in a house fire. It was sitting in the open on a self. The casing was still on the self within inches of where it had been sitting, with the neck of the casing split. No hole in the self above, or any apparent damage not attributable to the heat of the fire.
     
  15. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    While a shotshell was not the subject of the video, we did test some and I'll be posting those videos later. Spoiler alert: you cannot compare the results of pistol calibers to shotgun shells (or rifles, but that's a different story).
     
  16. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    All of this only means one thing...MORE TESTING SETUPS FOR US TO WATCH!

    :D

    I'm looking forward to watching them!
     
  17. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    I filmed about a dozen of them and I'll be posting them over the next few months if you're subscribed to my YouTube Channel. Any cartridge you want to see?
     
  18. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    I'm betting that you've likely already covered several of ones I'm most interested in seeing, which would be the calibers I shoot: 9mm (which you've shown here), .45 ACP, .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .45 Colt. 12 Ga shotgun shells would be neat, too.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the upcoming ones, whatever they may be. I'd also be interested in variations in testing setups as well, which could be used for comparison. Here are a few:

    Increase the distance between the cartridge and the ballistics gel. It's cool to do this test close up, and I suspect easier and more convenient. But most people are not likely to be within a handspan of a cartridge in a fire. Obviously, it's more difficult to do the same test setup with the gel 6 feet away, but may be moving the gel back about a foot would work to show variations in penetration. Or putting the cartridge in a non-constraining pipe to help control the direction of the components would allow the gel to be placed further away. Non-constraining meaning of a large enough diameter so that the pipe doesn't act like a gun barrel in confining the force of the expanding gases.

    Add some kind of layer over the face of the gel to simulate either skin or typical clothing. I know ballistics gel isn't like jello in consistency, but there is a difference between how gel acts and how skin or clothing acts.

    I would be especially interested in seeing what would happen to a cartridge cooked off while inside a standard steel magazine. I suspect that the components would not escape the magazine, except perhaps for one that is right at the mouth of the magazine itself. I suggest loading a 1911 magazine with one cartridge to see what would happen with the bullet while sitting at the mouth of the magazine and loading another magazine with one cartridge followed by one or more empty casings to see what would happen with the bullet will sitting deeper in the magazine.


    Maybe, when things settle down with me some, I'll do some of these myself. After all...it appeals to the pyromaniac in me.

    :)
     
  19. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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  20. alexander45

    alexander45 Member

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    Didn't we have some big fire department video sticky on this?
     
  21. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    If you're in a burning structure, ammunition popping is the least of your concerns.

    SAAMI did a bunch of tests and determined that loose ammunition does not present a significant hazard to firefighters wearing normal PPE.
     
  22. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    The sad thing is that they had to do those tests. Any sportsman with a box of 22 is in danger of his home burning down because some firefighter doesn't know that the risk is virtually nil. How many homes have burnt down because the firefighters didn't want to 'risk' getting near for fear they'd get shot.
     
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