Ammunition 'going off' by itself

This is a discussion on Ammunition 'going off' by itself within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What a loon. If just ONE EVER went off spontaneously at walmart, then it surely would've cause the adjacent ones to go off, then the ...

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Thread: Ammunition 'going off' by itself

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    What a loon. If just ONE EVER went off spontaneously at walmart, then it surely would've cause the adjacent ones to go off, then the whole aisle would go in a chain reaction that would've caused some serious carnage. I think we would've heard about that and insurance companies would refuse to insure companies that sold and/or transported ammo. Not to mention I've yet to receive or ship a package via UPS without it getting smacked around. No rash of spontaneously dead UPS guys. I'm embarrassed that it has to be explained...I guess he believes his mom about going blind if he...oops, wrong forum for that comment.
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  3. #17
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    The friend needs a Doc and soon.

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTurner91 View Post
    My friend seems to think if you drop ammunition, even if the primer isn't touched by anything it has a good chance of simply exploding and propelling the bullet as if it was fired from a firearm
    Perhaps your friend watches CSI. I saw 1 episode where a cartridge rolled off a table, landed upright and fired up into a ceiling light causing a lab-destroying electrical fire.

    No way. A primer could fire the propellant, but the neither the bullet nor the cartridge case is going anywhere. The unsupported case will simply rupture and the propellant will squirt out through the hole.

  5. #19
    Senior Member Array BeefyBeefo's Avatar
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    Not going to happen.

    Don't you guys watch MythBusters?

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  6. #20
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    Never say Never. However, you stand more chance being injured by the brass case than by the bullet.

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    THERE WERE SOME TENSE MOMENTS AT THE Grand Forks POLICE DEPARTMENT TODAY. THE BUILDING WAS PUT INTO LOCK-DOWN WHEN THERE WERE REPORTS OF SHOTS FIRED. POLICE SAY JOHN HAMMEN CAME TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT CENTER ABOUT 10 O'CLOCK THIS MORNING TO USE THE SHOOTING RANGE WITH AN OFFICER. WHILE WALKING UP THE STAIRS HE DROPPED HIS BOX OF AMMUNITION... AND ONE OF THE ROUNDS WENT OFF. POLICE WHO HEARD WHAT THEY THOUGHT WAS A GUN SHOT RUSHED OUT OF THEIR OFFICES WITH THEIR GUNS DRAWN... TOLD HAMMEN TO PUT DOWN HIS GUN AND PUT HIS HANDS UP. THEN THEY HANDCUFFED HIM AND TOOK HIM TO AN INTERVIEW ROOM. KERWIN KJELSTROM: a freak accident is all we can label it as now and there wouldn't be any charges resulting from that. You drop a box of ammunition and one round goes off... Its just an accident. THEY SAY HAMMEN DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG AND WAS LET GO A SHORT TIME LATER
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  7. #21
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Your friend has an irrational fear. It is nothing that a year in good counselling wouldn't help.

    A kid put a .22 cal shell in a vice in shop class and cranked down on the casing, and it went off... hitting a friend of mine in the back who was standing 2 ft away with is back to it. It broke the skin, that's it. If it had been a centerfire, I'm sure it would have never fired.

  8. #22
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    well i can tell you from first hand experience...yes i'm a moron, but thats besides the point. if you cut a 12 gauge shell up and empy out the husk of the balls and powder and just have the primer...you can bang the hell out of the back/bottom/whatever you want to call the primer area, with a pair of pliers and it won't set off the primer. it needs a direct hit on the primer..in my case it took me taking out a knife and placing it on the primer then hitting the knife w/ the pair of pliers :-D

  9. #23
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    I was a bit of a punk as a kid too. My friends and I would take 22 rounds and throw them on the ground trying to get them to go off. When we were successful they just exploded like a small firecracker. The funny part is that we were throwing them rimfire side to the ground in an effort to ignite them and we still only got about 1 out of 5 to pop.
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  10. #24
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    The TV show that answers all important questions in live, Mythbusters, covered a couple issues like that.

    - if you throw ammunition into a campfire, it will go off. But the velocity of the rounds is slower then normal (still somewhat dangerous). In order to reach its full velocity, the round needs to be held together by a barrel. The shell casing by itself will blow up too early.

    - they also did the "use a handgun round to replace a car fuse". After lots of thinkering, they got it to fire into the right direction and it may have hit the driver.

    There are two "explosives" in your cartridge: The primer, which is the part to watch out for. It is highly sensitive, and goes off rather easily if struck right.
    The actual powder in your bullet is actually rather harmless. If you burn it by itself, you will see a flash. But it needs high temperatures to go off (which is provided by the primer).

    BTW: Any artillery people around here that ever burned artillery powder charges? All you get is a very nice, hot and bright campfire. Most gun powders don't "explode" but flash off.
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulJ View Post
    The TV show that answers all important questions in live, Mythbusters, covered a couple issues like that.

    - if you throw ammunition into a campfire, it will go off. But the velocity of the rounds is slower then normal (still somewhat dangerous). In order to reach its full velocity, the round needs to be held together by a barrel. The shell casing by itself will blow up too early.

    - they also did the "use a handgun round to replace a car fuse". After lots of thinkering, they got it to fire into the right direction and it may have hit the driver.

    There are two "explosives" in your cartridge: The primer, which is the part to watch out for. It is highly sensitive, and goes off rather easily if struck right.
    The actual powder in your bullet is actually rather harmless. If you burn it by itself, you will see a flash. But it needs high temperatures to go off (which is provided by the primer).

    BTW: Any artillery people around here that ever burned artillery powder charges? All you get is a very nice, hot and bright campfire. Most gun powders don't "explode" but flash off.
    Smokeless powder simply burn. They are not true explosives, thats why they can be put out on the shelves in large quanities at your local store.
    Black powder is an explosive. Thats why you dont see many stores with it on their shelves. Its has to be kept in more secure places.

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  12. #26
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    I remember an episode in the AR magazine a few years ago where they were doing ballistic testing in order to make safer jackets for firefighters. They were using .308 rifle rounds and heating them with a blowtorch on the side of the case until they went off, pointed at a jacket. The report stated most of bullets went through with lethal force. The casings were not held down, they were just laying on a screen so the flame could reach them. If I can find the correct magazine and article out of my hundreds of AR mags, I will scan and post.

    This doesn't answer the question about random ignition and what it takes to pop a primer, but it does shed light on the lethality of a unbarreled round IF one does go off (rifle calibers at least)
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  13. #27
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    Anything is always possible. Due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and the ability of subatomic particles to disappear from one location and wind up somewhere hundreds or millions of mile away, there is the statistical possibility that I will be sitting in my recliner watching TV, and find myself the next second standing on the moon. Of course, the probability is so low that it would take longer than the life of the universe for it to happen, but it's possible, and statistically greater than the likelihood that I will sleep with Nikki Cox.

  14. #28
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    I frequently drop ammo as my fingers aren't as nimble as they once were. I also often carry a single .45acp in my pants pocket with my change as well as a full spare magazine in my jacket pocket. No round has ever gone off without being struck by the striker. Shoot! How many times do you read here about FTF's that occurred after the trigger was pulled? (not with Glocks, BTW) All of this having been said, by me and everyone else who has responded, it is still unlikely that your friend will ever believe the truth. Too bad! So sad!

    Quote Originally Posted by Squawker View Post
    Anything is always possible. Due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and the ability of subatomic particles to disappear from one location and wind up somewhere hundreds or millions of mile away, there is the statistical possibility that I will be sitting in my recliner watching TV, and find myself the next second standing on the moon. Of course, the probability is so low that it would take longer than the life of the universe for it to happen, but it's possible, and statistically greater than the likelihood that I will sleep with Nikki Cox.
    So it would be wise to avoid your recliner and your TV. And who is Nikki Cox?
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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevDerb View Post
    So it would be wise to avoid your recliner and your TV. And who is Nikki Cox?
    You can't be that young.
    Sticks

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    See also Sheep

  16. #30
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    I don't know who Nikki Coxx is either and don't actually care, but I digress. I have a Yugoslavian SKS that has started giving me some ejection problems as of late. So I was doing internet research to try and get some ideas of where I wanted to look to correct the problem. Anyhow in the course of that research I found that the SKS platform is notorious for slam fires due to it's free floating firing pin. So I decided to test it to see if their is a high probability of this happening when chambering a round. Took a sized case with only a primer in it and repeatedly dropped the bolt on it. Every time without fail the firing pin left an indent in the primer and the primer did not ignite till I actually pulled the trigger on it. These were Winchester blue box large rifle primers which are fairly soft. So can a round just go off? No it isn't going to happen. Can one go off if the primer is struck by something other than a firing pin? Maybe but I bet the odds are pretty astonomical.
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