This is a discussion on Heat and a Gun? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This may sound like a crazy question but can anyone tell me if you are in a place that you have to leave your gun ...
This may sound like a crazy question but can anyone tell me if you are in a place that you have to leave your gun in your car for an extended period of time and the temp is very hot, can this cause ammo to discharge and does the heat effect your gun?
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NRA (Lifetime Member)
U.S. Navy Vet.
I am a civilian employee in a jail at my local police department, and we are not allowed to carry weapons while working. I leave my gun in the car. Though our past couple of summers have not been very hot (90's max temp mostly), I have never had this happen. Hopefully it never does. It has spent 2 summers in a hot car and nothing like this.
On the other end of this spectrum, will cold affect they way a gun would function if left in the car during the winter?
Unless the car were in a fire, it couldn't get hot enough to fire cartridges or melt your Glock. I once measured the temperature on the dashboard of a car sitting in the hot Oklahoma summer sun, looking for the max, and recorded 168 degrees Fahrenheit. I bet it would require, oh, 451 degrees to damage your pistol or ammo.
I'm pretty familiar with cold. I suggest you remove all traces of oil and then lube with Rem Oil or similar. Then you're good to go in 40 below.
Up here a hot car is prolly stolen.
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Our troop in Iraq carry weapons in much hotter conditions that are encountered here at home, and have no known problems with ammo going off from the heat. I know you can throw rounds of ammo in camp fire and they will go off, but I have never heard of rounds going off in from overheating in a closed up car in the sun.
I seem to remember a similar question being asked a while back and one of our Phoenix members said no problem. There aren't many places hotter than PHX, so I'll add my +1 to the "No" group.
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During the extreme heat of the summer here, the temperature in my closed vehicle exceeds 130 degrees. I have left my 1911, Glock, SIG and S&W guns in that heat all day and never had any issues, even when the metal of my weapon was too hot to hold!
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We have talked about this topic before... http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...cars-guns.html
take a look at this Mythbusters putting guns in the oven:
YouTube - Mythbusters - Bullets exploding inside an oven
Yes, ammo can self-ignite if it reaches a high enough temperature. This is not a problem with in your car on a hot day (not hot enough), but can be a problem in fires.
Ammo igniting outside the gun's chamber will not launch the bullet anywhere, but the brass case will explode and send shrapnel about. Not deadly, but might cause injury.
Ammo in a gun that is loaded can ignite and will fire the round normally out the muzzle. Very deadly.
Quality modern firearms work great in the cold! CPL is highly recommended and is rated to colder temps then most of us will ever see. Note: if you take a very cold firearm and place it somewhere warm and damp (like next to your skin or inside your tent camping) you may get liquid water condensation on the firearm. If you were to then go outside, the condensation can freeze causing malfunctions. Not much of a problem for concealed carry, but a problem for hunting in freezing conditions.
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Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor
Never a problem, and Florida can get 'toasty'...
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Heat won't make the ammo go off or damage the gun (think about the temps involved when you're firing it), but it can cause deterioration of the powder in the ammo. Thats why it's recommended that ammo and powder be stored in a cool, dry place.
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The temperature inside a vehicle will not get hot enough to cause ammo to discharge.
As to damage to your gun. It shouldn't cause any serious problems. Metal and polymer parts should be fine. Rubber parts shouldn't be affected either. Plastic parts, such as some grips, may warp from the heat. Biggest problem the heat will cause is a breakdown of some lubricants. If your lubricant gets runny you can end up with parts with little to no lube on them and areas with excessive lube. Not to mention the mess they can make on a leather holster.
From what Mythbusters and High School science taught me, it should be just fine. I'd avoid leaving it in direct sunlight(not that it'd cause anything to go off), but then again, who leaves a gun out in the open?