Storing Loaded Magazines in a Gun Safe [Archive] - Glock Talk

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chemcmndr
12-09-2011, 22:47
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?

cowboy1964
12-09-2011, 22:50
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?

Seraph1926
12-09-2011, 22:57
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?

10-32
12-09-2011, 23:02
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?

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.

Seraph1926
12-09-2011, 23:26
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.

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.

WASR10
12-09-2011, 23:40
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

srwm4
12-09-2011, 23:42
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

10-32
12-09-2011, 23:51
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.

Good point

m2hmghb
12-09-2011, 23:56
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.

Darkangel1846
12-10-2011, 12:38
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.

10-32
12-10-2011, 12:42
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.

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

Zombies!!

Please, think of the children...

M2 Carbine
12-10-2011, 18:20
I doubt it would have enough energy to penetrate a magazine, especially a metal lined one.

Apparently if they aren't loaded in a firearm they won't even go through turnout gear.

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.

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/C1.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/CP1.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/FRockchuckerand9mm.jpg

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/CP2.jpg

Note the bullet holes in the cans. These bullets had to have aleady gone through a steel 50 cal ammo can.
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x464/Bell-helicopter-407/Fpowdercans.jpg

chemcmndr
12-10-2011, 18:32
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...

wrenrj1
12-10-2011, 18:57
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...

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.

michael e
12-10-2011, 19:22
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.

chemcmndr
12-10-2011, 19:54
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.

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.

eracer
12-10-2011, 20:01
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.

Caver 60
12-10-2011, 21:00
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.

toshbar
12-10-2011, 23:55
The only time you have too much ammo








is when your house is on fire.

Upstate Glocker
12-11-2011, 04:20
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


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

chemcmndr
12-11-2011, 10:08
+1 That Mythbusters segment is great -- definately recommended viewing.

I saw that episode when it first aired, but not since then. Going back and watching it, it looks like the ammunition in the oven was set off around 475-500 degrees. I would venture that the inside of a fire rated gun safe wouldn't get above 450 degrees during a fire; so, I would say that it's borderline on storing it in the safe.

ETA: Just looked at the MSDS for Accurate double base powders (I load .223 with AA2230) and it lists an autoignition temperature of 320-360 deg F. The autoignition point of Hodgdon Universal (what I use to reload 9mm) is 338 deg F.

jonathangalt
12-12-2011, 20:04
The only time you have too much ammo








is when your house is on fire.

you sir, have won!!!

glfpunk
12-13-2011, 07:05
Well just who do you think is gonna protect the kids when the zombies come?

Zombies!!

Please, think of the children...

The zombie thing is an interesting concept to me. Now, I'm no fool, I don't think someone can be killed and come back to life or anything like that, but there are cases in insects of zombie like scenarios. There's a parasite that gets inside I think it's grasshoppers, that makes them commit suicide by going to water source and drowning itself so it can incubate and spawn out of it. That's pretty zombie like to me.

CaptTurbo
01-26-2012, 17:08
I keep ammo in the lower part of my gun safes. I watched several fire test videos. The one from Liberty safes is a good one you can find by searching. Anyway, the temps in the lower areas stay much cooler then up near the top.

Also, unless you have invested in a very high end safe with at least 90 minute fire resistance you will likely loose your stuff. The big box safes came out of their test ovens in flames.

boozer
01-26-2012, 19:51
I think, if the temp in your safe gets high enough to affect the cartridges in your mags, your docs stored there are toast also.

NEOH212
01-27-2012, 03:49
I suppose it's a possibility if the safe heats up for a long enough of a time. I'm willing to bet if things get that hot, there won't be much salvageable in the safe to worry about at that point.