Hot gun in car pose any danger?

This is a discussion on Hot gun in car pose any danger? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; To the gun itself that is... I keep a Bersa 380 in a compartment inside my truck at all times - my "car gun". Keep ...

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Thread: Hot gun in car pose any danger?

  1. #1
    Member Array vashooter's Avatar
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    Hot gun in car pose any danger?

    To the gun itself that is... I keep a Bersa 380 in a compartment inside my truck at all times - my "car gun". Keep it there so that if I need to CCW (I am licensed) I have a gun and holster at the ready. My truck stays parked in my work lot all day (secure lot) but the temps inside during these hot summer months must reach 100+ degrees inside. When I check the pistol at the end of the day the gun is pretty darn hot- so is the spare mag w/ammo.
    Does this pose any danger or harm the gun/ammo at all? The ammo isn't going to cook off in my car is it?

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  3. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    It's gonna take a few hundred degrees for anything bad to happen. Best thing you can do is not touch it immediately when you get in your vehicle. Have I ever told anyone I'm a real fan of window tint--for several reasons, tactical, security, and coolness.

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    Distinguished Member Array Tally XD's Avatar
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    I keep mine in my car a lot and its extremely hot here in Florida as well. No worries. Not hot enough to cook off a round. I guess my car would burst into flames first, then there would be reason to worry.
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    Hot gun in car pose any danger?
    Only if the cops see it.
    They'll take it, arrest you and accuse you of stealing it.
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    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    I have seen ammunition cook off in a fire, but usually temperatures are in the 1500 degree range, so I doubt seriously that 120 degree heat will cause any problems.

    If your ammo is loaded at maximum pressures (psi) like Buffalo Bore or Double Tap or your own loads, (any ammo actually), then theoretically the pressure may increase even more.

    For example a .38 special +P may behave more like a low end .357 magnum. If your pistol is able to handle this increase in pressure, then no problem.

    BTW, a lot of gun factories test their guns with super high pressure proof loads all the time.

    After all you can't call timeout to the BG while everyone waits for your gun and ammo to cool down. I doubt that any real catastrophic failure would happen anyway as it would take a lot of heat to raise pressures to the danger level.

    Your pistol may have lubricant evaporate sooner than normal, so I would check it at least once a week to make sure it is still properly lubricated.
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    Member Array biasedbulldog's Avatar
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    The only danger is burning yourself when you try to stick in your holster... not that I have ever made that mistake. Certainly not earlier today... :)

    I've got window tint and windshield screen, but when it hits 105º it doesn't really matter.
    "War necessarily brings with it some virtues, and great and heroic virtues too. What horrid creatures we men are, that we cannot be virtuous without murdering one another?" -John Adams

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    Nope - no problem at all for that temperature range.
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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biasedbulldog View Post
    The only danger is burning yourself when you try to stick in your holster... not that I have ever made that mistake. Certainly not earlier today... :)

    I've got window tint and windshield screen, but when it hits 105º it doesn't really matter.
    I can see getting in the car that's been 'cooking' all day in the 'extra' summer heat of a asphalt/concret parking lot, unlocking your EDC and 'quickly' placing it in your Smartcarry............Ouch!

    I wouldn't worry about your ammo 'cooking off'......it takes more heat than is generated in your parked car.
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    You're increasing the chamber pressure by heating your ammo, if you fire it "fresh from the oven." May or may not be a problem, depending on the gun/ammo. Heating and cooling your ammo increases its rate of degradation.

    Fire up your "car ammo" once a month or every couple of months, and I wouldn't worry much. (Akin to not rechambering the same round so frequently as to set back the bullet.)

    Leave the ammo in without rotation for (totally my subjective guesstimate) a couple of summers, and I would not be surprised by some squibs.

  11. #10
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    The only problem I could see happening is repeated heating and cooling over an extended period of time might speed up the powedr deterioation.

    Like Rob72 said I think it would take a few summers and winters.
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Sky Pilot's Avatar
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    Maybe warping the grip panels?
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  13. #12
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    I used to leave my gun in the truck all the time in SW Oklahoma. Summer temps reaching 100-115 with no problems to the gun or ammo. Only thing you might possibly have problems with is your grip panels, depending on the material, and any grease type lube you might use. You might want to make sure you use a lube that is meant to stand temperature extremes.

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    The accumulated heat in a vehicle's interior won't cook off rounds. High heat could degrade the ammunition's performance over time. Also some pretty high velocity spikes may be registered over a chronograph by just sitting some ammo in the shade and some in the sun on a scorching summer's day here in Texas.

    Archer's right that ammo still works. A few years ago we had several weeks of really high temps here. I finished mowing at our old lake place one morning around 11:00. Thought to treat myself to some shooting before I left. Shooting in the sun, the .38 Special revolver I was using became too hot to hold. I'd never before seen a handgun too hot to hold and certainly wouldn't have expected much from standard velocity .38 Special ammunition. There was a thermometer handy in the shade of a mesquite tree. It was registering 111F. I jumped in the pickup and left in disgust. The ammo gave standard performance on target while I was shooting.

  15. #14
    Member Array Ping Ping's Avatar
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    If guns and ammunitions were susceptible to ambient temperatures, we would only be able to have wars above and below the tropics. We would have no issues in the middle east, somalia, mexico, the sudan, or anywhere in the American southwest.

    That said, I sure wouldn't want to need to grab a 1911, shod with alumagrips, off the dashboard of a HUMMV in Iraq. ;)
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    As others have already stated, there should be no problem or real danger to the gun or car from exposure to the heat.

    It is a problem however, if you need your gun and don't have it because it is cooking in the car. I assume that you can't carry at work, and that is why you leave it in your car. My suggestion is to carry it as often as you can, then it will spend less time cooking in the car.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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