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Does ammunition with smokeless powder explode during a fire? I was under the impression that does not occur.

Don Verna
 

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I'm sorry for those involved.

Not a very big operation if there was only 60,000 rounds on site.

Doug Whiton, P/W dealer/dist
 

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Listened to a reporter tell us about how there were thousands of bullets and primers in the warehouse, and that the "primers went in the back of the Bullets", bout lost control of my truck I was laughing so hard.
 

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Don, 25 years ago..a old trapping buddy of mine had a brand new ford 4x4 catch on fire while he was out trapping..he said he and his wife stood there watching it burn until the 22-250 rounds started going off that was on the dash.. that was when they decided to evacuate the area..
 

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So oxygen and nitrogen are combustible? Taken several chemistry classes and never knew that. Learn something everyday.

James
 

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Most reports will make up stuff to make it sound more impressive. I have been a firefighter for 23 yrs both paid and volunteer. Every time I was interview at a fire scene I asked the reporter if they were going to use what I said and not make up something. The reports would look at me weird and say of course. Majority of the time they did not keep their word and added a lot of fluff that was not true. Made the story more "exciting".

Ammo will detonate in a fire but does not have enough force to do anything except maybe put a eye out. Now aerosol cans in a fire will almost take your head off if your not careful.
 

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Oxygen is a non-combustable......BUT..it aids and accelerates combustion.
What was so incorrect about the statements in that link?

Have any of you actually witnessed large amounts of powder burning???? It's pretty impressive, to say the least.
 

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<i>"..until the 22-250 rounds started going off that was on the dash..."</i>

blkcloud (and anyone else who will care to read this)

What they heard was the primers cooking and going off. The primers will pop and go flying from the cartridge case, but there's not enough energy to harm you seriously. Might embed in your skin, or cause a problem if it directly hits you in the eye.

Contrary to popular belief (like the folks in the media, and even a lot of people who should know better) the bullets WILL NOT go flying out of the cartridge case, like they do out of a rifle or shotgun barrel. Can't happen.

If a cartridge is fired outside the confines of a gun chamber, even a metal case high power rifle cartridge, the pressure will rise and the brass case will burst. But it won't go flying and the shrapnel won't have enough energy to penetrate through corrugated cardboard.

SAAMI and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) have tested the heck out of this.
 

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Like 221 said, oxygen is an oxidizer and substantially aids combustion. By itself, it is not a combustible fuel.

Compounds of nitrogen, like nitro glycerin, are, of course, combustible.
 

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timb99

I know, without a doubt, that 38 special ammo can be fired outside of a chamber and the bullet sails out of the brass with some force. This knowledge is based on several foolish childhood experiments.
 

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I should know this but I don't. Help me understand the difference between some of these verbs I am reading because I am sure there are differences between "burn", "explode", and "detonate". Timb99, you are saying that with enough heat, the powder will burn with enough force to burst the casing? I would think the primer would have already exited under a lesser temperature, also? I would guess (LOTS of emphasis on "guess") that Physics would say that, given a choice between the bullet going forward (ish) and the casing propelling backwards (ish), because the bullet is so much heavier than the casing, the casing would depart in whatever direction first?

I just don't have a good mental, visual picture of what would actually happen under the old "bullet in the furnace" in Wood Shop class scenario.

Doc
 

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re: oxygen. We were warned not to change the Oxygen tanks on our cutting rigs with greasy gloves on.

That was because of danger of explosion when the oxy hit the grease. I had heard of an injury from this but don't know for sure.

HM
 

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Oxygen is an oxidizer, it should never come in contact with anything flammable, in the right concentrations it will burn violently or explode

Every once in a while in the HVAC/R business we will hear of someone who unthinkingly will use oxygen to pressure check a system, and they are usually killed by the explosion of the compressor because it has oil in it and when the pressure get right it blows
 

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Oxygen itself will not explode, burn or whatever. However the higher the concentration of oxygen other materials will burn or explode. With enough pure oxygen added you can get water to burn. Oxygen is only dangerous BECAUSE it will cause almost if not everything burn/explode if in a confined space.

John MI
 

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OK ... let's see if I can explain the difference:

Burn ... like a log in the fireplace.

Explode ... gas leak in the house causing the house walls and windows to come apart.

Detonate ... TNT, Nitroglyceine, bomb etc. ... extremely destructive force.
 

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Myth Busters T V had an entire show the other evening on this subject testing everything from .22 rimfire thru .50 caliber. They tried it in a microwave, gas stove and a log fire. They used a lot of ammo-pails of it. Only one .50 cal. broke the inside glass of the stove. In the fire in which a whole pail of mixed ammo. was poured onto the very hot fire some .50's cases ruptured, otherwise nothing serious. They were very close but behind police shields-nothing that I remember. Experiment was considered Busted.
 

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Thanks, DaveP. Can't believe I missed that MythBusters segment. I'm pretty addicted to it and my wife may have performed an intervention so she could watch HGTV for a change! ;-) I'll have to check that on YouTube. Do you recall any title for the segment?

Doc
 
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