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  #1  
Old 05-27-2012, 01:37 PM
brown12687 brown12687 is offline
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How much ammo is safe to have in your home?




How much ammo is safe to have in your home?

I've been wondering if there is a point where having a certain quantity of ammo in your home is too much risk should a fire break out. Not only for the safety of you and your family, but also for your neighbors as well. If you have thousands of rounds of pistol and rifle cartridges, but more so rifle rounds, it seems like as your home burns, the heat could cook off the rounds and cause a serious problem for fire crews and your neighbors.

So, unless you have a dedicated fire resistant safe, how many rounds do you feel comfortable storing in your home?
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2012, 01:44 PM
downtownv downtownv is offline
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If my house burns to that point it wouldn't matter much the whole house would have to burn to the basement floor
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2012, 01:45 PM
tchostler tchostler is online now
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As many as I can before the wife complains. In a fire, the cases just split, the bullets don't go anywhere.
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  #4  
Old 05-27-2012, 01:48 PM
69charger 69charger is offline
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I guess 1 round could cause a potential prob. Myth Busters had a show on ammo going off without being in a chamber. Just in an oven. There wasn't much damage from the bullet. It seamed the case caused more.

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  #5  
Old 05-27-2012, 01:51 PM
sousana sousana is offline
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Before I moved to my new home, I'd maintain about 10k rounds in the garage in heavy duty steel bins. Now that I am in my newly built home, I had a proper ammo bunker built underground out back that is all concrete and has 8 individual rooms accessed through a steel door, it is climate controlled, has it's own sprinkler system and is alarmed with a cellular backup. Now I maintain on average about 8 to 11k rounds of 9mm, 45acp, .38spl, .357, .44mag, 45LC and 5.7x28, and on average about the same in rifle loadings. No, I'm not a survivalist, I just shoot on a daily basis at lunch and weekends and matches.
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2012, 01:55 PM
SmilinShooter SmilinShooter is offline
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Don't keep it in a safe. I say this because I have a safe full of .45 ACP from the ammo price hike. I had to move and forgot the combination to the safe. You can't just load that on a truck or cut it open with a plasma cutter. I had to wait for the safe company to send me a combo after I provided the ORIGINAL recept, SN and warranty paperwork. I hadn't opened the safe in over 2 years. I roll my rounds, but I was buying Walmart's stock every friday.
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  #7  
Old 05-27-2012, 03:53 PM
L84CABO L84CABO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sousana View Post
Before I moved to my new home, I'd maintain about 10k rounds in the garage in heavy duty steel bins. Now that I am in my newly built home, I had a proper ammo bunker built underground out back that is all concrete and has 8 individual rooms accessed through a steel door, it is climate controlled, has it's own sprinkler system and is alarmed with a cellular backup. Now I maintain on average about 8 to 11k rounds of 9mm, 45acp, .38spl, .357, .44mag, 45LC and 5.7x28, and on average about the same in rifle loadings. No, I'm not a survivalist, I just shoot on a daily basis at lunch and weekends and matches.
I drool every time I see pictures of your place. Any chance you have some pictures of, "the bunker?" Sounds awesome.
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  #8  
Old 05-27-2012, 04:00 PM
CountryUgly CountryUgly is offline
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I've seen a house go up in flames with what the owner says was 100-200k rounds give or take. There was a whole lot of popping and hissing and a couple of minor kabooms but no projectiles left the area as far as anyone knows. The volunteer fire dept did however back off and let it burn till they felt the danger to them had passed. The pile of melted brass and lead where his "bunker room" had been was quite impressive though.
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  #9  
Old 05-27-2012, 04:00 PM
spinks spinks is offline
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The only real danger in a fire is that from loaded firearms. A round that detonates because of excessive heat while chambered will travel down the barrel just as if you pulled the trigger. I was a volunteer firefighter for 13 years and encountered many rounds of ammunition popping like popcorn. The flying casings can cause injury to the skin. However, a firefighter's bunker gear will protect from the flying brass. I was lucky that I never had one come my way from a loaded gun.

Oh yeah, fire lined safes are useless in a real fire.
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2012, 04:36 PM
rex rex is offline
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These guys are correct.A loaded gun is like pulling the trigger and deadly.On a loose round,the weight of the bullet in most rounds becomes the gun and the case becomes the projectile.Since the case is unsupported it will blow and have alot less pressure,but what happens depends on the orientation of the round.Laying down,sitting on base or bullet will effect things.

I can tell you a 44mag case will fly 50yds easily with enough power to take an eye out or give you a welt,tested this years ago.Set it off with a 22,so after overcoming a 22 bullet hitting it the case it smacked the concrete wall hard enough to easily hear through good earmuffs.Left a nice little doink in the block.
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  #11  
Old 05-27-2012, 06:02 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Newton's 3rd law.
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2012, 09:31 AM
Cannibul Cannibul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
Newton's 3rd law.
You mean the elf guy that makes the cookies?

Sadly the vast majority of recent HS graduates can't even guess as to what Newton's 3rd law states.
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  #13  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:47 AM
B-Rad B-Rad is offline
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We burn boxes and trash all the time, occasionally a couple live rounds get into the mix somehow. Makes a pop, never hurts anything. Without the barrel i can't see it blowing through the house.

I have probably 20K rounds and I don't even think about it.
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  #14  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:58 AM
rex rex is offline
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Nexton's 3rd law is always present,but most think the case and bullet will both take off.Not so.Mass is usually forgotten.In my 44mag example,the bullet just poofed a few yards into the berm that nobody saw hit,the case was freakin hauling over 50yds hitting a block wall with more force than I care to get hit with.The bullet would never have made it near that far.Sitting on a shelf as boxed,the bullet poses little threat compared to the case,and inverted the bullet becomes the threat.I've seen where mass and outside forces don't always get thought about in discussions like this.

I did this test because this discussion came up when my Super Blackhawk would not pop a primer,broken anvil is all I can see now for the reason.Most thought the case and bullet would go a few feet and be done,a few of us disagreed so I said lets find out and poked the round in the target backing.3 shots later we were right,but I underestimated the power that case would still have.Like I said,it could put an eye out or give you a really cool welt if it hit you.

B-Rad posted as I wrote.I've seen the jerks throw a box of 22s in the fire,obvious not you.If they are oriented right,those cases still haul butt quite a ways.Doing as you've had happen usually means there are other objects around to deflect and rob power from them.I,ve had the same happen in a burn barrel with mild 38s and there was just a poof in the flame,nothing exited because obstructions scrubs power real fast from them.As a funny side note on the 38s,I shot drain holes in my burn barrels,these 38s barely dented the bottom and sat nice and pretty flattened out in the bottom of the barrel.
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Last edited by rex; 05-28-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-28-2012, 01:21 PM
Dave Waits Dave Waits is offline
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Uh-oh! I'm in trouble. Got about 30K through the house, mostly in the master bedroom but about 600 rounds in the gunsafe. As for the gunsafe, any safe made of at least 12 ga. steel( Mine is 8 Ga.) will contain even a massive cookoff.
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  #16  
Old 05-28-2012, 01:31 PM
Mike'sgooddeal Mike'sgooddeal is offline
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We burn our trash barrels at the range and regularly will cook off a few rifle and handgun rounds that were misfires thrown in by random shooters. They are loud enough to surprise you, but won't cause real harm unless you have your face over the burning barrel . If the fire in your house or garage gets hot enough to cook off rounds, chances are you're already going to lose the structure.

Burning ammo is kind of like popcorn. It will go off one round at a time, if they all went off simultaneously, there could be a problem. That would be true for the popcorn in your microwave also...

Truth be told, ammo cooking off in a sealed container (good safe?) is perhaps more dangerous than loose ammo in a pile on the basement floor. By containing the pressure from the rounds going off, the safe could pressurize to the point of failure, potentially letting loose schrapnel from the safe itself...and all the pieces of brass and bullets melting inside.


There's probably a greater hazard in storing spray paint, Coleman Fuel, paint thinner and other items that most of us have, but never think of. Great Stuff Foam burns really well, with an impressive bang!
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  #17  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:17 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is offline
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How much depends on your home. This is not easy or trivial.
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  #18  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:26 PM
PolymerMan PolymerMan is offline
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Storing a 5 gal can of gasoline is probably more dangerous than a box with 5,000 rounds of pistol ammo. The gasoline vapor has such a low flash point and even a static electrical discharge can ignite it.
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  #19  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:32 PM
Don P Don P is offline
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Lets see, when the concrete floor in the den starts to sag under the weight of the ammo then I have enough and just safe enough.
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  #20  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:34 PM
45silverback 45silverback is offline
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Do you maintain a couple of gallons of gasoline in your gargage for the lawn equipment? Gas is far more explosive and dangerous in a fire than ammo, gunpowder, or primers. In fact it's worse than black powder.

Gonna build a seperate bunker for your gas cans?
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  #21  
Old 05-28-2012, 02:40 PM
schwartzint1 schwartzint1 is offline
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As much as you can fit!
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:44 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is offline
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Yes Gasoline is way worse that any ammo you store. You might want to rethink how you store it.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:00 PM
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Also don't forget the 10-20 gallons inside any vehicle trapped inside your garage, cans of paint thinner, flammable aerosol containers, natural gas lines running to your water heater, et cetera. There's only so much you can do no matter what you're storing.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:06 PM
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I once responded to a residential sructure fire where ammo was going off. I recognized the home owner as I guy that sold ammo at gun shows. I suspect he probably had hundreds of thousands of rounds in his house. Lots of popping that concerned the Fire Dept. and neighbors. There were neighbors everywhere watching and commenting. I think the neighbors probably thought the house was going to go up in an explosion somewhat equivalent to a tactical nuke. The cartridge cases, being lighter than the projectiles, that Newton's 3rd thing, was all I saw around in the street during and afterwards. Nobody injured, no other damage,etc.

So, I don't know how much ammo is OK or too much. But, other than the cartridge cases laying around afterwards, I couldn't see that this house fire was much different that the many others I'd been to, where ammo was not present, at least in any noticable quantity. Stored gasoline, vehicle gas tanks, propane, paint thinner, etc. would concern me much more. But, I believe the general public would be more concerned if it became known that the home contained an "arsenal" of 3 or 4 guns and 5 or 10 boxes of ammo...
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:10 PM
Bigmant Bigmant is offline
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Horde as much as you can. You never know when the U.S. might come under attack or a zombie uprising may occur. Be prepared for the worse!
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