Ammo in House Fire

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Thread: Ammo in House Fire

  1. #1
    New Member Array joromu's Avatar
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    Ammo in House Fire

    Recently there was a house fire in our area in which it was reported that there were 300 guns in the building along with much ammo. Of course the media failed to mention that ALL of the guns were legally owned. I was also reported that the firemen didn't want to enter the structure because the ammo was going all all over the place. I was under the impression that the ammo would explode but the bullets would not be fired as they would from a gun. If anyone could fill me on on this situation I would appreciate it.

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    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    You are correct in that they should explode, but I wouldn't take any chances either. Stranger things have happend. A firemans job is to go home at night too.


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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    I once had the unfortunate privilage of burning to the ground a semi tractor containing my guntrading stock and aprox 1.5k rounds of mixed rifle , pistol , and shotgun , the rounds do detonate , they spew mid volocity brass , neither the brass nor the slugs will relyably penetrate a half melted nylon bag.. that being said your average fireman only sees the gunpowder issue and considers every round a mini pipe bomb at the least , at the worst he sees it as aimed twards him and fired from a weapon , here is a case where the real threat is far less of a concern than opinion , and thank god there is not enough reality to dispell the miths lol

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    Lack of containment essentially makes a round of ammo a glorified fire cracker.

    It is true a bullet could leave a case and represent an injury threat but velocities will be relatively very low. Also of course too, even cases could fly but risk is less than most might imagine - not tho something to stand close to and watch!
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    As said above not a big deal now black powder on the other hand

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    now i wouldnt want to deal with ANY quanity of black powder , nor would i make the statements i made concerning loaded ammo where smokeless in bulk cans or kegs are concerned lol

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    Member Array micah6161's Avatar
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    I live and volunteer as a firefighter in a rural area where many houses have ammo in them. It is definately a risk going into burning building that has any thing that could explode inside and we have to make a judgment call on going in to fight the fire or fighting it from outside. As far as ammo goes depending on the type they can create some fairly good explosions but it is nothing like being fired from a gun. I have been hit by a couple .22 rounds that exploded in a fire and my turnout gear made it feel like getting hit by a paintball with a heavy sweatshirt on. The rounds that exploded were less than 3 feet away from me when they exploded.

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    primers still come out when exposed to high heat.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    yes rocky, but nothing in modern ammo is anything like shooting it thro a firearm , not to say you cannot be injured , but its not near the hazzard as loaded ammo cooking off as folks see it . now stored powder black or smokeless may well be different , at the least you will have a real hot blow torch effect as it burns , if not an energetic reaction lol

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    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    I've discussed this matter with our fire chief, after a house fire occurred in another MA town where the fire chief let the house burn to the ground and stated to the media that the fear of ammo in the house (the owner was a reloader) forced them to just let it burn!

    My chief said it was all BS, their turn-out gear will stop any shrapnel from exploding cartridges (the brass blows out the side and the bullet stays pretty much where it was). He said his guys have trained and been taught that it is not a threat to them.

    It was good to hear this from our chief.

    Maybe the difference is between fire chiefs who are "politicians" and those who are professional firefighters and climbed the ranks to chief (all 3 fire chiefs we have had in my 31 years here worked their way up in the department).

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    I keep all of my ammo stored in GI 50 cal ammo cans. If it gets hot enough to detonate it very likely will not penetrate the ammo can.

    That said, if I have a fire, I fully expect Clark Co. FD to stand back and watch it all burn to the ground.

    I have approx. 20k of various rounds of ammo in the house and several pounds of smokeless powder as well as about 30k primers.
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    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    The Fridley Fire Department of Fridley Mn did an excellent video called "Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter". Federal Cartridge was also involved.

    Get a copy and get the facts.

    Believe LenS's chief--he is telling it like it is.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC135
    The Fridley Fire Department of Fridley Mn did an excellent video called "Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter". Federal Cartridge was also involved.

    Get a copy and get the facts.

    Believe LenS's chief--he is telling it like it is.
    I wonder why so many trained firefighters seem so frightened by it? At least in MA there is an excellent fire academy where FFs go for in-service training while on the job as well as their basic academy when they first get appointed.

    Don't they have this similar level of professionalism in other states? [I ask out of sincere curiosity, as I have the utmost respect for FFs and wouldn't want to do their job on a bet!]

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    Question Addition

    OK Agreed that loose ammo & boxed ammo is not dangerous in a house fire.

    What if there is a loaded firearm in the house...rifle or handgun & the chambered round "cooks off" due to the intense external heat?
    Where is that bullet going?

    Just curious.

    Addition: It's possible that when a house fire heats up a firearm to the degree that the chambered round will detonate that it may also be hot enough to melt a lead projectile.
    But, what about the exotic solid copper bullets that will only melt at a Much Higher temperatures.

    Has anybody done any testing of putting a "chamber loaded firearm" into a fire to see if that round will fire normally with enough force to kill a firefighter?

    I'm really just curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter
    OK Agreed that loose ammo & boxed ammo is not dangerous in a house fire.

    What if there is a loaded firearm in the house...rifle or handgun & the chambered round "cooks off" due to the intense external heat?
    Where is that bullet going?

    Just curious.

    Addition: It's possible that when a house fire heats up a firearm to the degree that the chambered round will detonate that it may also be hot enough to melt a lead projectile.
    But, what about the exotic solid copper bullets that will only melt at a Much Higher temperatures.

    Has anybody done any testing of putting a "chamber loaded firearm" into a fire to see if that round will fire normally with enough force to kill a firefighter?

    I'm really just curious.
    IIRC, there was an incident several years back where a .30 carbine was in a rack on the wall when the house caught fire. The round in the chamber cooked off, went through the wall and out into the yard.

    I would not expect the muzzle velocity from a cooked off round to me significantly different from a normally initiated one.

    But I could be wrong on both counts.

    Matt

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