Guns and high heat

This is a discussion on Guns and high heat within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Let's say it is summer time and you have to store your gun in the car for an extended period of time. It can get ...

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Thread: Guns and high heat

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Guns and high heat

    Let's say it is summer time and you have to store your gun in the car for an extended period of time. It can get pretty darn hot in a car, maybe upwards of 120 -130 degrees. Is this going to harm the gun and/or ammo? How long can the gun/ammo be in that type of environment and be OK?
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    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    There are going to be a lot of variables here...

    Steel or polymer framed gun?

    In direct sunlight or indirect heat?


    I would think that a steel gun, even in direct sunlight, probably wouldn't have much of an issue.
    I don't know enough about the composition of the polymers they use to give you an answer about those.

    I'd just keep the gun reasonably insulated (like wrapped up in a towel or jacket) and under a seat or etc..., out of direct sunlight.

    I'd wager that the ammo would have issues before the gun would.

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    it will be fine.
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    Now your OC spray is a whole different issue!
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    I don't see any problem with them being left in the heat, either steel of polymer frames. When I lived in SW Oklahoma the daytime temps in the summer would run between 90-110 degrees, so you can imagine what it would be like inside a car. I left guns in the car with no probem to the gun. Now you might want to make sure the AC as been cooling it for awhile before you try slipping it into the waistband. It will definitely burn you if you do it too soon!!

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Although 140 deg F is a lot for a human, it is not that significant for mechanical devices. During extended firing sessions, parts of guns are designed to get pretty hot so I wouldn't worry about it in a car. Just don't burn yourself if you pick up a hot gun...

    Keeping it away from extended direct sunlight is a good idea (UV radiation is bad for wood and plastic). Remember ammo discharges when it reaches about 450 deg F.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    it will be fine.
    So long as you don't leave a gun in the trunk in Death Valley during high summer, yes, it should be fine.

    If you've never experience truly hot weather, it might be hard to believe. But trust me, though: in 124* heat (near Death Valley), the inside of a car parked all day gets far, far hotter than that. Depending on what you use, a gun's lube can go very thin and start flowing right off the gun, in such heat, leaving the gun dry. Won't happen on a 100* day, but I've seen it happen once out in the desert. Had a rifle and gun in the trunk, while carrying my sidearm. Came back and found the guns in the trunk to be dry as a bone. Had to strip/lube them before they could be used.

    During extended firing sessions, parts of guns are designed to get pretty hot so I wouldn't worry about it ...
    Guns can go dry during extended sessions. Gun parts are designed to take the heat. But, lube goes thin. No part design is going to stop that, with some lubes.
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    Member Array rmarcustrucker's Avatar
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    never had one of my "plastic" guns melt and I normally rotate ammo at the range.

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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Why don't you send your question in to mythbusters.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonofASniper View Post
    Why don't you send your question in to mythbusters.


    I will be waiting for that episode.
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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonofASniper View Post
    Why don't you send your question in to mythbusters.
    They sotra did:

    YouTube - Mythbusters - Bullets exploding inside an oven

    They tested if guns in the oven can be lethal. The answer is yes.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutz4utwo View Post
    They tested if guns in the oven can be lethal. The answer is yes.
    True, but the temperature has to get up around 450+ degrees. I do not think it would get that hot in a car. Still, if I have to store a gun in a really hot area, I might just unload it.

    PS What a great job to have. I wonder if there is an opening.
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    Member Array Lange's Avatar
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    It'll be fine. Iraq, 120-130...nothing bad happens.

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    Agreed. But the ammo part can be another story. Firing ammo that is heated as per our discussion can, I believe, materially increase chamber pressures, and in a very high performance load could conceivably push pressures over the limit for the gun. IMHO. Not that I think it would necessarily blow up, but I do think the gun could be damaged, with the attendant safety hazard for the shooter. I lived for 15 years in the central valley of California where summer temps hit 110 all the time, and the gentleman's comments about interior temps of cars are dead on in that climate. This is always a consideration in testing handloads for high-powered rifles.....i.e. you never leave the ammo out in the sun and shoot it while it's hot for the above reason. So I personally would practice the same safety precautions with my pistol ammo as well.

    JayPee

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaypee3843 View Post
    Firing ammo that is heated as per our discussion can, I believe, materially increase chamber pressures,
    Interesting point I hadn't thought of. Let's do some thinking:

    Looking at the pressure curve in the chamber when firing, we need to do calculations where pressure hits the max. Although the difference in temperature between 100 deg F and 140 deg F is 7.4% (must calculate from absolute zero 310 Kelvin to 333 Kelvin) it is not that significant when you realize at the max pressure point, the chamber gases are burning very hot and are probably close to 1000 Kelvin? A small change in the initial ambient temp of the reaction shouldn't increase temperature of the burning much.

    Size expansion due to temp increase? Lead, copper, and steel (barrel) all expand slightly when heated and would make the bullet fit the barrel tighter (barrel "expands" and makes diameter less). Once again, considering that firearms routinely operate with very hot barrels, I doubt an ambient temperature change will make a significant difference.


    Does anyone know what the specific reason hot-load reloaders don't leave their ammo in the sun is? Curious if i missed something...

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