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Storing Loaded Magazines in a Gun Safe

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by chemcmndr, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. chemcmndr

    chemcmndr

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    When I look at threads of what people have inside their safes, I sometimes see a shelf dedicated to loaded magazines. Now, I know that most safes are fire rated, but the interior temperature still gets pretty warm (somewhere below the 450 deg F autoignition point of paper). I'm wondering if loaded ammunition in magazines would run the risk of auto igniting while in the safe and potentially damaging the contents as well. Any thoughts?
     
  2. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    What's the difference between ammo loaded in a mag vs ammo stored in the box? Are you saying that no ammo should be in the safe at all?
     

  3. Seraph1926

    Seraph1926

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    meh, hard to say. as soon as the bullet leaves the case it's going to lose a ton of its energy as the gases aren't focused and pushing the bullet down a barrel. And I think you'd only have to worry about the top round anyway I doubt it would have enough energy to penetrate a magazine, especially a metal lined one. Lay a piece of plate steel down and put the mags on top?
     
  4. 10-32

    10-32 Here, hold this

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    I agree with that, but if the ammo did ignite, it would cause a fire inside the safe, no?

    I leave ammo in my safe and take my chances. My papers (DD-214, things like that) are in a smaller fire safe within my safe.
     
  5. Seraph1926

    Seraph1926

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    Fire needs oxygen, fuel, and heat. There will be plenty of heat. Fuel may be negligible, I don't know at what temperature that carpet etc will ignite if at all. I don't think a safe is going to have a whole lot of oxygen to begin with. And if you have those little packets (which are iron shavings from what i've been told) they allow the iron to oxidize (rust) consuming oxygen I don't think there's going to be enough oxygen for a fire to really work with. A bullet may spark as it bounces off stuff but I would say the risk of a fire inside of a safe is pretty low.
     
  6. WASR10

    WASR10

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    Ammunition discharged by heat and flame has almost no projectile force. That is why the barrel of a gun is an important part of ballistic equations. Or so I have read, this does not come from experience. LOL
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  7. srwm4

    srwm4

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    When a round of ammunition detonates outside of the chamber of a weapon, physics states that the brass case is what will be sent flying rather than the bullet, since the case is far lighter. I'm not terribly worried about brass sparking when it is thrown into the rear of the mag.

    The explosion would temporarily increase local temperature, which may or may not be enough to set off other rounds in the mag. And even if it does, the worst that would happen is that more brass would get thrown into aluminum/polymer. The brass on the round or two at the top of the mag would likely get blown out the top of the mag, but then you just have brass striking carpeting in the safe - again, not a huge deal. I can't see the brass being hot enough to light carpet on fire from momentary contact.

    For anyone who still hasn't seen the Mythbusters when they put live ammo in an oven:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BX1kvJVrjc
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  8. 10-32

    10-32 Here, hold this

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    Good point
     
  9. m2hmghb

    m2hmghb

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    Buddy of mine who is a FF has been hit by slugs and pistol projectiles during fires. Apparently if they aren't loaded in a firearm they won't even go through turnout gear. 22lr may be a different case due to it's design, but I don't recall.
     
  10. Darkangel1846

    Darkangel1846

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    Man I saw someones photo of about a hundred AK mags loaded and stacked in a safe. I thought the guy was a bit paranoid.
     
  11. 10-32

    10-32 Here, hold this

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    Well just who do you think is gonna protect the kids when the zombies come?

    Zombies!!

    Please, think of the children...
     
  12. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    My gun shop burned to the ground in 1995. 23,000 rounds of ammo, mostly in steel ammo cans.
    Don't believe everything you hear about ammo in a fire.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Note the bullet holes in the cans. These bullets had to have aleady gone through a steel 50 cal ammo can.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  13. chemcmndr

    chemcmndr

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    Sorry I wasn't clear enough at first. By "damaging the contents in the safe" I meant from a fire/smolder perspective, not a projectile one. While oxygen absorbers would deplete the level of oxygen in the safe, the oxygen in the cartridge is enough to cause combustion (firing guns underwater will prove this point).

    I keep all of my NFA documentation in the gun safe in a binder which is too large to put inside the smaller firebox that I have in the safe. I guess it really doesn't hurt to leave the loaded mags out of the safe. More room for guns anyway...
     
  14. wrenrj1

    wrenrj1

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    I'd suggest you get a safe deposit box and put your NFA (sorry I don't know what that is) there. I just moved to a larger SD box at $30.00/year. Good enough for me. I have loaded mags/weapons in my safe however my bulk ammunition is not stored there.
     
  15. michael e

    michael e

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    Only ammo in my safe is whats is loaded in the mags of guns I carry, I don't have room for all the ammo and guns in my safe. If something happens and the house burns down I am not to worried if the ammo is in safe or 5 feet away.
     
  16. chemcmndr

    chemcmndr

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    My NFA documents are the tax stamps for the short barrel rifles and suppressors I own. I'd rather not leave the originals in the hands of a bank.
     
  17. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

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    I keep my NFA docs in one of those small personal fire-resistant safes inside of my big safe.

    I don't know know if the documents would survive a raging inferno in there any better than they would if kept loose in the safe, but it makes me feel better.

    My ammo is in a locking cabinet next to the safe.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2011
  18. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    Not a safe.

    But my brothers house partially burnt down a few years ago with many thousands of rounds of ammo and quite a bit of black powder, stored in his workshop. The workshop was where the fire started and where it was the hottest. That end of the house was totally destroyed. The rest of the 'L' shaped house (about 2/3) was 'saved.' A lot of the ammo was in 50 cal ammo cans, a lot of it was just stacked in the factory boxes. The black powder was all just stored in factory one pound cans.

    He informed the firefighters of the ammo and powder immediately upon arrival. They fought the fire while ammo was detonating all over the place. They put the fire out and no one was hurt, although many thousands of rounds of ammo were detonated along with a lot of the black powder.

    I helped him go through the remains, looking for salvageable items. Amazingly we found cans of black powder that were just singed and we found lots of ammo that was still shootable. We also found spent brass and bullets all over the place.
     
  19. toshbar

    toshbar Timber Baron

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    The only time you have too much ammo








    is when your house is on fire.
     
  20. Upstate Glocker

    Upstate Glocker

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    +1 That Mythbusters segment is great -- definately recommended viewing.