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-   -   Storing ammo. (http://m14forum.com/ammunition/110575-storing-ammo.html)

whiskers February 23rd, 2012 08:05 PM

Storing ammo.
anyone have any thoughts on keeping ammo, and powder in a gun safe? Mine has a high temp-time rating but I don't recall any warnings about this issue. Any thoughts on this would highly appreciated, whiskers.

BSalty February 23rd, 2012 08:36 PM

In my safe instruction booklet it states that it is not a good idea. (not exact wording obviously) That said I do store loaded rounds inside 30 and 50 cal cans at the bottom, but I have a separate container I keep in the garage for my powder and primers that is made for storing explosives.

I certainly wouldn't store black powder in there.

XXIV Corps February 23rd, 2012 08:40 PM

Research, still the only game in town......
Welcome on board whiskers, pull up an old ammo crate and sit awhile. This here Gun Board is a great place for information on M14/M1A Rifles and Military Surplus Ammunition. Again welcome aboard and have yourself a great week Sir. DI5

The 10 Golden Rules of Ammunition:

1) You can never have too much ammunition on hand. 1k rounds per battle rifle is a good minimum to start with (fubar).
2) Supplies of good surplus run out before you know it, and usually when you're running low on ammunition so buy plenty while its available.
3) When in doubt about how much ammunition you should buy, refer to rule #1.
4) Ammunition is meant to be shot, so shoot often.
5) Because of rule #4, ammunition must be replenished often as well.
6) When replenishing supply of ammunition, refer to rules #1 through #3.
7) You must buy at least twice as much ammunition as you shoot (fubar).
8) Always store ammunition in a cool dry place (TEA). The only time you have to much ammunition is when you have a house fire(Slick).
9) If you don't have room in your house to store ammunition per rule #8, build a bunker or a cellar in your back yard for storing ammunition (TEA).
10) Friends don't let friends buy Indian surplus ammunition (TEA). Or Never buy surplus ammunition from a country where you wouldn't drink the water (midrat).

I never store ammunition or black powder in a Gun Safe. I would need a room full of them if I did. I just use a dark, cool, dry place to store it all in. Gun Safes are for your valuables.DI5

whiskers February 24th, 2012 09:11 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. what ammo i have stored in my safe is in cans,and only a couple of jugs of smokeless powder. No primers,or imitation black powder. and i agree with the ten rules of ammo, plus a few more. If memory is right, most in the safe is AP. the rest is in cans out of sight. IMHO one can never shoot enough. Thanks Again, whiskers.

cosmolined February 24th, 2012 08:44 PM

Storing ammo in a safe isn't a big deal. If you have a fire, it will only ruin the ammo. Storing any propellant in a safe IS a big deal. It can turn into a bomb.
I store my powder in an old defunct refrigerator with a magnetic door latch. The primers are in the freezer part to protect them from temperature fluctuations. HTH

jbrooks February 24th, 2012 09:40 PM

Powder is powder. (Talking smokeless here...)

Whether or not the powder is inside a cartridge or in a powder can, there is no difference.

If a fire is sufficiently hot to result in a temperature inside the safe to ignite the powder or especially ignite the primer, the ammo will cook off, but will destroy anything inside the safe.

Think about it... The act of powder igniting is an EXOthermic chemical reaction, that is, it creates heat. That's what makes your barrel hot when you fire the rifle.

So whereas the inside of the safe may be kept to say 350 degrees (so as not to burn paper. This simulates the inside temp of the typical "fire safe" that has been in a house fire for 1/2 hour.), that MAY be enough to pop the ammo. If that happens, the ammo in a can will all ignite and create a firestorm inside your safe.

Add more pounds of powder if you store more than 150 rounds of ammo. For 1,000 rounds, you gotta put the match on up 6 pounds of powder.

So the issue becomes... "at what temperature does smokeless powder, or a primer, spontaneously ignite..."

I don't know the answer, but I do know that if you toss ammo into a bonfire, it will ignite at some point, but my guess is, the temperature is more than 350 deg...

You can do your own experiment: Put a pound of smokeless powder (equivalent of maybe 150 rounds of 308 ammo) inside a metal container that approximates the interior size of your safe.

Then, heat the container to about 350 deg. NOW, toss a match in and let the pound of powder burn, and see how much the temp in the container rises. Just for fun, add some paper and a wood stock to see the effects. :)

So you really take a significant risk if you store ammo inside a safe, even if a "fire safe". The ammo, IF it ignites, and if there is a significant amount of ammo, it will destroy everythin inside the safe.


cosmolined February 24th, 2012 09:56 PM

Has anyone here had first hand experience?
Not picking a fight. I also know the difference between an endothermic and exothermic reaction, but I disagree. The quantities in an individual round do not pose a hazard, nor will it destroy your weapons. (Just ding the stocks.)

jbrooks February 24th, 2012 11:01 PM


Originally Posted by cosmolined (Post 809863)
...The quantities in an individual round do not pose a hazard, ...

Precisely why I mentioned the quantities 150 to 1,000 rounds. I was trying to illustrate a realistic scenario.

Give it a try.


Originally Posted by cosmolined (Post 809863)
Not picking a fight. ..

Mever crossed my mind. USN3


slamfire1 February 25th, 2012 08:03 AM

I would not store ammunition inside something as hard shelled as a safe.

I do not know what it takes to cause ammunition in the case to explode, but being inside something as strong as a safe is probably not a good idea as what ever force is being released is contained inside a steel barrier.

I have seen videos of tanks completely exploding. Tank turrets going way high, out of the view of the camera. "Pop top" I think they called it.

When I asked how could a little anti tank weapon do that to a tank, I was informed "its not the warhead, its the ammunition in the tank that causes so much damage.".

whiskers February 26th, 2012 06:18 AM

Good points,all of them. I'll probably take the ammo, and powder out. Hmmmm, that will make more room. What can I put there? Thanks to all, whiskers.

TexIndian February 26th, 2012 08:52 AM


Originally Posted by whiskers (Post 810638)
Hmmmm, that will make more room. What can I put there?

More guns, of course!

Packing a 45 April 17th, 2012 10:51 PM

Safe powder= big ass pipe bomb not worth it.

Nomad April 18th, 2012 05:33 AM

Get an old Freezer and store your powder or primers in it and lock it up for safety.
That should keep things a little safer, but keep the powder stored some where else away from the primers........

dragon6097 April 18th, 2012 05:44 AM

I'm curious now as to whether it's as dangerous as some have said.

You would have to pack in the powder in order to get any explosiveness out of it. I'm picturing in my head tossing a 1lb can of powder into a bonfire and getting nothing more out of it that the fizzle of the powder cooking off. The plastic would melt before getting anywhere close to the pressures required. Same would apply for a safe I would think? You have cubic feet of space that would need to be "pressured" in order to create a bomb, especially one that blows the doors off a safe. I have no idea the ratio though per cubic ft or however they'd determine it.

Could also be that my basic grasp on physics is skewed GI2 or I severely underestimate the problem

angelonm April 18th, 2012 08:16 AM

Do Not Store Powder Or Ammo In A Safe. You Are Creating A Potential Bomb.

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