Loaded CCW Guns in Safe: Safety Question ?

This is a discussion on Loaded CCW Guns in Safe: Safety Question ? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; While posting a thread about a new product to mitigate damage by NDs while loading/unloading handguns - (thread elsewhere on this forum if interested) I ...

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Thread: Loaded CCW Guns in Safe: Safety Question ?

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Loaded CCW Guns in Safe: Safety Question ?

    While posting a thread about a new product to mitigate damage by NDs while loading/unloading handguns - (thread elsewhere on this forum if interested) I realized I would not need such a product as I keep my CCWs, (one of 2 snubs and a Beretta 92FS) loaded in my safe. Partly for safety - I avoid loading, unloading just put the guns in the safe from my hip - and partly to have a loaded gun "available" this is my practice. (For various reasons I don't want a loaded gun in reach of bed. As a compromise I set safe combination so it will quickly open and keep a flashlight by it.)

    My question: I know others keep loaded CCWs in their safe so do I with a round in the chamber - but my safe is a small Sentry Fire Safe for handguns - I need no full-size safe, have no interest in long guns and there are some questions of my dwelling's age, floor structure, allowing on the 2nd Fl a full-size safe. (I rent second floor). Anyway, moot point, I have no need for one.

    My safe's got plenty of steel - about 16" wide, 14" high, 18" deep, exterior - weighs 80 lbs empty. BUT, in a fire, don't loaded and chambered guns blow up or at least discharge in a safe? Wanna be sure no one, including firemen, would be injured if there was a fire.
    So what happens to loaded guns in a fire inside a safe and, if it's what you'd expect, discharges/explosions, do they stay contained inside? Including smaller safes like mine?

    Thanks

    PS: I THINK SOME ARE MISREADING THIS BECAUSE I DIDN'T STATE IT BUT TO BE CLEAR:
    I KEEP LOADED AND CHAMBERED GUNS IN MY SAFE
    Last edited by walleye; December 20th, 2011 at 01:34 AM.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Just guessing but I cannot imagine a loaded firearm blowing up because of fire. I have to believe that a round in a firearm would react in the same manner whether it was ignited by fire or by a firing pin. It would have the effect of you shooting your safe from the same distance.
    Just guessing.

    Michael

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    From op:

    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Just guessing but I cannot imagine a loaded firearm blowing up because of fire. I have to believe that a round in a firearm would react in the same manner whether it was ignited by fire or by a firing pin. It would have the effect of you shooting your safe from the same distance.
    Just guessing.

    Michael
    Which if done, (shooting my safe at 6" or so) would not penetrate the safe wall - well, that's good.

    How could they go through steel come to think of it, they're not nuclear bullets.

    So, hopefully a dumb question........

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    The only one that could even gain velocity is the one in the pipe the powder continues to burn and pressure continues to build in the pipe, this is why longer barrels (within reason and pending load) lead to increased velocity.
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    Member Array mfcmb's Avatar
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    Mythbusters did an episode about ammo heating in an oven. If I recall correctly none of the ammo escaped the oven... except maybe the one round they chambered? Look up the episode and see.
    In the heat of the moment, what matters is what your body knows -- not what your mind knows.

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfcmb View Post
    Mythbusters did an episode about ammo heating in an oven. If I recall correctly none of the ammo escaped the oven... except maybe the one round they chambered? Look up the episode and see.
    But it did escape the oven? I'll check it out.

    Well I took a look, interesting. Only chambered did it escape the oven, but smashed the WINDOW of the oven and I think it said after hitting the oven top (hard for me to make out what the announcer said)
    Does answer the question if you have a window in your safe, but I hope if chambered round hits the steel walls from inside it stays inside. I guess what was significant here was the round did not penetrate the steel inside of the oven - just the window. And the steel inside an oven is lot thinner than a safe wall - even a small safe's wall.

    My interpretation anyway.

    I can't really see how a bullet could penetrate steel.


    The Link if interested:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=mythb...ient=firefox-a

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    Senior Member Array sdprof's Avatar
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    If a round cooked off in the the gun, the bullet will be traveling fast. Hopefully the steel of the safe will contain it.

    But, it's got to get really hot in the safe to do that. From what you're describing, I'd assume that safe has some fireproofing insulation, so the temps won't get that high.

    From the Mythbusters, the loose rounds that cooked off sent the casings flying, the bullets mostly stayed put. Newton's laws and all that.
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    Walleye, like you, for safety's sake, I don't keep one in the chamber on the night stand. I do keep it with a full magazine inserted, and in a holster on the night stand. I keep the ones in the safe in the same condition. Loaded mags, but not one in the chamber.

    If someone provided me a solid reason to keep them loaded, I would reconsider my storage method. Since I carry at home, I always have a 9mm handy. A 12 ga is handy as well.

    I saw the Mythbusters episode about guns in the oven. Loose rounds aren't deadly. One in the chamber is.

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    Ex Member Array walleye's Avatar
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    From op: Mine are in the safe chambered

    Quote Originally Posted by steelhawk View Post
    Walleye, like you, for safety's sake, I don't keep one in the chamber on the night stand. I do keep it with a full magazine inserted, and in a holster on the night stand. I keep the ones in the safe in the same condition. Loaded mags, but not one in the chamber.

    If someone provided me a solid reason to keep them loaded, I would reconsider my storage method. Since I carry at home, I always have a 9mm handy. A 12 ga is handy as well.

    I saw the Mythbusters episode about guns in the oven. Loose rounds aren't deadly. One in the chamber is.
    I edited my OP to make clear that 3 of my guns are loaded with one in chamber - two are revolvers, one a Beretta I leave with one in the pipe and safety on.

    That was why I asked the question

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    Post #9 got me thinking. In a revolver, all rounds are contained in the cylinder. In an auto loader, only the chambered round is so contained. Does this make a cooking off revolver more dangereous and likely to self destruct? I would assume that the bullets hitting the frame would do more damage than the bullets cooking off in a mag, although the handle of the autoloader could get some damage. Interesting to ponder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by walleye View Post
    I edited my OP to make clear that 3 of my guns are loaded with one in chamber - two are revolvers, one a Beretta I leave with one in the pipe and safety on.

    That was why I asked the question
    I wondered about this also. Probably over-thinking the situation... but here's what I have done. I took a 6" thick metal military ammo can and filled it with sand, and placed it behind my safe. In the event of fire, a chambered round (357 magnum) in my safe would have to penetrate the safe, then the metal can, then six inches of sand, then the other side of the can, and then make it through an exterior wall on my house before it would have any opportunity to do serious damage. I don't think that's going to happen, even with a 357 magnum.

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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    I use a real safe as a nightstand so I am not worried about a round going off from a fire or a round passing thru from a ND
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    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Do you store ammo in your safe? In theory it would cook off slightly faster than ammo in a firearm since the firearm would act as a heatsink reguiring more time for the ammo to heat up. Lighter duty safes often have plywood or composite (which is better) material between the metal. Heavy duty safes often ues these materials in addition to concrete. Some have a ball bearing plate to prevent (resist) drilling.

    If for nothing but you own edification why not call Sentry and inquire? I'd be interested in their reply.
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    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKinNY View Post
    I use a real safe as a nightstand so I am not worried about a round going off from a fire or a round passing thru from a ND
    That is a good looking little safe!
    Diddle
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    Storing loaded magazines, loose, or boxed ammo in a safe is not as big a hazard as storing a load weapon, should a fire breakout. Per SAAMI's tests the loose or box ammo will cook off and the bullets will not become a dangerous projectile. The pops are the primers, however the powder just burns. There is no pressure chamber to launch the bullet.

    The cambered bullets in a pistol or rifle on the other hand, when they cook off they can become a dangerous projectile as the bullets are in a pressure chamber that is design to lanuch the round down the barrel. The escaping gases have only one route and that is down the barrel pushing the bullet. They may not have the same energy as a primer fired round.

    Check SAAMI's webpage and they have a report on their tests for the National Fire Protection Agencies and Code authorities.

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