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; Has anyone ever heard of ammunition simply exploding? My friend seems to think if you drop ammunition, even if the primer isn't touched by anything ...

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Thread: Ammunition 'going off' by itself

  1. #1
    Member Array CTurner91's Avatar
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    Question Ammunition 'going off' by itself

    Has anyone ever heard of ammunition simply exploding? 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, same if you handle it too much or aren't careful and press on the cartridge too hard while loading a magazine etc... I mean obviously you don't want to sit there with a hulk squeeze on a cartridge but simply brushing the primer with your finger isn't going to set it off...

    I tried to tell him that nothing would happen unless something specifically struck(and struck hard) the primer or you were using ancient, poorly made ammo etc.. Was I correct, or does a modern .45acp(Example) have a chance of going off as if it was struck by a firing pin if you drop it and it lands on say, its side..

    Iv never heard of such a thing happening but my friend is absolutely convinced and hes afraid of even walking by ammo on the shelves in wally world because hes afraid its going to go off and shred him...

    It sounds a lot like scare tactics to me, but I don't have enough real world experience handling ammunition to say for sure.. Hoping to get some input from the experts, seems like we'd hear about more 'loading accidents' if there were any truth to this.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    Ammo isn't going to go off by dropping it, or squeezing it, or any other method other than the primer being struck. There's simply nothing to cause it to do so. Your friend is afraid to walk by ammo on the shelf. Has your friend heard of a lot of gun stores or Walmarts catching on fire because ammo exploded? Your friend is either gullible or nuts!

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Simple answer, no, it will not go off just from handling it. Even if it does go off for some reason, the bullet will not be propelled like it was fired from a weapon.
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    Soldiers keep 100s of rounds on them in magazines...and they jump from planes, climb up and down mountains, and conduct urban operations in Iraq and Afghanistan...

    I have yet to see anyone killed from dropped ammunition...and I guarantee, ammunition gets dropped everyday...single rounds, cases, pallets, etc.

    It's the uncleared chambers...i.e. "I thought the gun was empty"...that kill people.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Agreed, the only thing that would set it off is landing perfectly on a grain of sand or other protrusion large enough to dent the primer, and then I don't know that the round will have enough kinetic energy to do so.

    If it does manage to succeed, I have no idea what will happen, what kind of force the projectile will have, etc.
    Sticks

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    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    Send all your ammo to me for safe keeping, careful it might go off!!!
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    Well, as in any other possibility, it could happen......but in it would be after a monkey could accidently type out the Declaration of Independence when given a keyboard...
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    Member Array metaldemon7's Avatar
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    I saw a picture of a round that when off in another box of ammo that was sitting on the table at the range. An ejected round hit the primer of a loaded round in the open box. The rim hit the primer just right. All the round did was blow up the case in the foam. The bullet itself still sat right where it had been when the case blew up. Didn't even put a dent in the table. From what I saw in the picture, rounds went everywhere. Only the one that was hit went off. Your friend is a little paraniod.

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    Member Array spooter66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Well, as in any other possibility, it could happen......but in it would be after a monkey could accidently type out the Declaration of Independence when given a keyboard...
    My trunk monkey took exception to that, he's not happy!
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    Over the years I've dropped a lot of cartridges......in all sorts of calibers....& never have any 'gone off'....I still flinch when I drop 'em though.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by goawayfarm View Post
    ....I still flinch when I drop 'em though.......


    Same here.........Yikes!

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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    If you dropped a "centerfire" cartridge, it would have to land *perfectly* to strike the primer and ignite the powder.

    HOWEVER ...

    If you drop a "rimfire" cartridge, all bets are off. The primer on a rimfire cartridge is in the rim and if even the edge of the casing is struck, the primer *could* ignite the powder. Tell your freind to "walk softly" around rimfire shells.

    Example:

    When I was a young boy, I left a handfull of .22 shells on my dresser in my bedroom and a couple of them rolled off onto the carpeted floor and I didnt know it. My mother vacuumed my bedroom one day and sucked them up into the vacuum cleaner and .. *BANG* Thankfully, she had an old Kirby vacuum with a metal head on it and the bullets stayed inside so never left the confines of the vacuum. It taught me a huge lesson and am thankful nothing serious happened other than my posterior gettin a tan.


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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goawayfarm View Post
    Over the years I've dropped a lot of cartridges......in all sorts of calibers....& never have any 'gone off'....I still flinch when I drop 'em though.......
    Can you yell "FIRE IN THE HOLE!" in time and jump for cover?

    Now that the coffee has kicked in, my local IDPA shoots on primarily gravel. At the end of each stage/string, drop the mag, eject the chambered round (9 out of 10) times onto the ground from mid body height. That 10th time either the SO catches the round, or the shooter covers the ejection port and it drops into the shooters hand.

    Have not had a bang yet.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTurner91 View Post
    Has anyone ever heard of ammunition simply exploding?
    ...but my friend is absolutely convinced and hes afraid of even walking by ammo on the shelves in wally world because hes afraid its going to go off and shred him...
    Maybe the guy's a loony on the left that believes everything he sees and hears. Have you asked him if he frequents the Brady Campaign or Joyce Foundation websites?


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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P7fanatic View Post
    Maybe the guy's a loony on the left that believes everything he sees and hears. Have you asked him if he frequents the Brady Campaign or Joyce Foundation websites?



    Barring that, the only other reason I could think of is a lack of knowldge.

    Many people are uneducated in regards to bullets and what they and the launching devices they spring from are capable of. I'm certainly no exception, and learn something everytime I view the forums or read a magazine. I certainly don't know everything. In fact, you could put my knowledge in a thimble, with plenty of room to spare.

    Biker

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