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Posted: 9/16/2003 5:50:40 PM EDT
This is getting stupid

A few days ago I posted that my wife is starting to get nervous with all of the LC M193 I've been buying lately. Well, the topic must have come up with her damned mother somehow because now she's convinced that it's a fire hazard. She is also convinced that if there is ever a fire in the house the ammo will explode and kill us all...

...You get the drill-she's freaking hysterical-and I wish I was kidding...

I tried to explain to her that when ammo "cooks off" it doesn't "shoot" like it does when shot from a gun.

Please, please, please point me to some sort of resource that I can print out and give her. I need to show her what happens when ammunition catches fire.

For the love of god this ammo is stored in sealed metal ammo cans and kept in a locked steel cabinet.

As stupid as this sounds she is dead serious and I'm out of ideas.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:04:21 PM EDT
She's right, you are all going to die. TRG
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:07:33 PM EDT
The following are ALL pictures of houses that had ammo stored in them and EXPLODED during a fire. [img]http://www.startribune.com/stonline/images/news95/1house24.l.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.msfa.org/hotshots/images/090202/snowhill3.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.fortleefire.org/explosion.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.abilenetx.com/firedept/14a.jpg[/img] You're all going to die in the explosion, man. TRG
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:08:18 PM EDT
Make SURE you show your wife this thread, ok? TRG
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:09:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2003 6:11:00 PM EDT by zhukov]
She's right, you are all going to die
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[LOLabove] Wish I could help you, but a qiock internet search didn't show anything conclusive. What the heck did she *think* will happen when ammo gets hot ? Would she feel better if it was only 100 rounds instead of 5000 ? Bullets WILL be flying through the air. On the other hand, if it's so hot that ammo cooks off, you wouldn't be standing close enough anyway.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:20:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By zhukov: Bullets WILL be flying through the air.
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Wrong When ammunition cooks off outside of a chamber, the brass is what may become airborne, and generally, lacks sufficient velocity to do any real damage. This is of course standard physics, the brass is lighter than the bullet, so it is what moves, and without the constraint of a chamber to keep the pressures up, a fair amount of the pressure will be expended by expanding and rupturing the case. You should look at casings from housefire cookoffs. As for explosions, it shoudl not, however if ammunition is stored in airtight steel canisters, then that canister may actually cause th eexplosion, otherwise ammo just burns off nicely making popping noises, and you sit there wishing you had stored it better [:D]
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:24:33 PM EDT
Simply put the cases will rupture as the cartridge will burst rather than fire the bullet in any direction. The brass will give way at the hot spot, split and the force of explosion will be minimized as smokeless powder requires pressure to explode. Pour some smokeless out of a cartridge and light it with a match, it will flare and burn rather than explode. Black powder on the other hand does not require pressure to explode and it would be very dangerous to store in any quantity.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:35:24 PM EDT
build a burn pit in your back yard. Get a good fire going and toss in a few rounds of ammo. Show her what will happen. you will get a loud pop and see the brass jump. When i was a paramedic i went in several house fires that had ammo stored. occasionally i'd hear a pop and feel a case bounce off my turnout gear. No big deal. Having said that tightly pack ammo in sealed cans " could be a problem if conditions were right. mike
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:41:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat: Make SURE you show your wife this thread, ok? TRG
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Great... ...I think tomorrow I'll break out the kinetic bullet puller, take apart a round, and light it on fire for her to see. This would almost be funny if she wasn't freaking out about it. [B]I HATE MY WORTHLESS MOTHER IN LAW.[/B] She is a knee-jerk, reactionary, shit-stirring moron with too much friggin time on her hands. She never has anything nice to say, second guesses everything, and has an opinion on every possible subject. I always shudder whenever my wife goes to see her, because without fail she returns completely wound up about something. I hate her [X]
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:44:57 PM EDT
TRG is right. I speak from personal experience. I one time left a box of Wolf ammo (not the new style, but the older stuff that contained gunpowder) next to a George Foreman grill and the explosion leveled my house! Fortunately, I had stepped out to buy another case of Colt 45's. A neighbor snapped this picture a few seconds after it blew up: [img]http://www.ShipItToU.com/images/special/Kaboom01.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:45:48 PM EDT
Unless the metal cabinet takes a direct napalm strike, she has nothing to worry about. I don't know how you could make her understand this.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 6:52:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2003 6:52:54 PM EDT by CJan_NH]
Originally Posted By BlammO: TRG is right. I speak from personal experience. I one time left a box of Wolf ammo (not the new style, but the older stuff that contained gunpowder) next to a George Foreman grill and the explosion leveled my house! Fortunately, I had stepped out to buy another case of Colt 45's. A neighbor snapped this picture a few seconds after it blew up: [img]http://www.ShipItToU.com/images/special/Kaboom01.jpg[/url][/img] This isn't helping, but it's funny as hell anyway [:D]
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:01:34 PM EDT
I never found that George Foreman grill. [:(] OK, I've made more than my share of smart ass posts lately. Here's something that might be helpful. National Fire Code permits up to 20 lbs. of gunpowder and up to 500 lbs. of ammunition in a residence without a special storage locker. Here's an example of a municipal code that's based on the national code: [url]http://www.codesite.com/LAMC/FPP/fpp@PDF/C5a7d055.pdf[/url]
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:04:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2003 7:09:53 PM EDT by CJan_NH]
OK, I've made more than my share of smart ass posts lately. Here's something that might be helpful. National Fire Code permits up to 20 lbs. of gunpowder and up to 500 lbs. of ammunition in a residence without a special storage locker.
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Uhh, I have well over 20 pounds of powder in the house. I reload for a bunch of shooting buddies and we pool our resources and buy enough components for three months at a time. What the heck do I do now? Edit: She should be more freaked out about the powder than the stinkin' ammo. Not to mention the three 20# propane cylinders I have in the workroom.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:06:53 PM EDT
Federal Cartridge did a video on this back in the late 70's or early 80's. They loaded a car with about 25,000 rounds and set it on fire. (IIRC)
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:13:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2003 7:15:47 PM EDT by BlammO]
Originally Posted By CJan_NH:
OK, I've made more than my share of smart ass posts lately. Here's something that might be helpful. National Fire Code permits up to 20 lbs. of gunpowder and up to 500 lbs. of ammunition in a residence without a special storage locker.
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Uhh, I have well over 20 pounds of powder in the house. I reload for a bunch of shooting buddies and we pool our resources and buy enough components for three months at a time. What the heck do I do now?
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No sweat! Just build yourself some pine cubby holes for up to 100 lbs. of powder. You can have 5,000 lbs. if you store it properly and your local code doesn't forbid it. This is what I was looking for when I found the link for the previous post:
[url=http://www.imrpowder.com/safeinfo.html]SAAMI Smokeless Powder Properties & Storage[/url] (a) Quantities exceeding 20 lb. (9.1 kg), but not exceeding 100 lb. (45.4 kg), shall be stored in potable wooden boxes having walls of at least 1-in. (25.4 mm) thickness. (b) Quantities exceeding 100 lb (45.4 kg), but not exceeding 900 lb. (363 kg), shall be stored in nonportable storage cabinets having walls of at least 1-in. (25.4 mm) thickness. Not more than 400 lb. (181 kg) may be stored in any one cabinet and cabinets shall be separated by a distance of at least 25 ft. (7.63 m) or by a fire partition having a fire endurance of at least 1 hour. (c) Quantities exceeding 800 lb. (363 kg), but not exceeding 5,000 lb. (2268 kg), may be stored in a building if the following requirements are met: 1. The warehouse or storage room shall not be accessible to unauthorized personnel. 2. Smokeless propellant shall be stored in nonportable storage cabinets having wood walls at least 1 in. (25.4 mm) thick and having shelves with no less than 3 ft. (0.92 m) separation between shelves. 3. No more than 400 lb. (181 kg) shall be stored in any one cabinet. 4. Cabinets shall be located against walls of the storage room or warehouse with at least 40 ft. (12.2 m) between cabinets. 5. Separation between cabinets may be reduced to 20 ft. (6.1 m) if barricades twice the height of the cabinets are attached to the wall, midway between each cabinet. The barricades shall extend at least 10 ft. (3 m) outward, shall be firmly attached to the wall, and shall be constructed of 1/2 in. (6.4 mm) boiler plate, 2-in. (55 mm) thick wood, brick or concrete block. 6. Smokeless propellant shall be separated from materials classified by the US Department of Transportation as flammable liquids, flammable solids, and oxidizing materials by a distance of 25 ft. (7.63 m) or by a fire partition having a fire endurance of at least 1 hour. 7. The building shall be protected by an automatic sprinkler system installed according to NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.
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Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:23:23 PM EDT
No sweat! Just build yourself some pine cubby holes for up to 100 lbs. of powder. You can have 5,000 lbs. if you store it properly and your local code doesn't forbid it. This is what I was looking for when I found the link for the previous post:
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Thanks for the info. I keep it stored in the bottom of [url=http://www.imagedump.com/index.cgi?pick=get&tp=4410]this steel locker.[/url] Does that count?
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:25:51 PM EDT
I am a fireman. I have been for over 8 years now. In that time I have been to numerous structure fires and I have never been too worried about ammo. The only real concern I would have is if a loaded gun had a round chambered, was stored in a manner exposing me to the line of fire and if the heat somehow managed to set off the round. Otherwise your LC ammo is basically a firecracker. I have seen one instance when a 30-30 casing was propelled at enough speed to bust through a single pane window. And even that was not anything to get really worked up over. But here's what I would tell my wife if she ever complained to me that the ammo was dangerous....."Well honey, I guess you would not want to know what all of those cleaning chemicals you have could do!". As a fireman I am far more concerned with chemicals mixing somehow during the chaos, unknown cans of gas igniting/exploding, downed power lines, toxic vapors, etc. I usually don't give ammo cooking off a second thought. Oh, and as another poster mentioned, if your wife is close enough to be in danger when it gets hot enough to cook-off ammo, chances are good she will have been exposed to heat 1300 degrees F for a number of minutes! She isn't likely gonna care about the ammo at this point! If you leave the home and stay away from it at a distance far enough to be safe from the fire, the ammo isn't gonna hurt you. And the ammo is not going to cook-off as soon as the heat reaches it. It will take several minutes usually of being exposed to the most intense heat before it starts to blow. This should give her a great deal of comfort. Again, I am a fireman. If it would comfort her knowing a fireman has lots and lots of ammo in his home, I might be able to send you some pictures! LOL. It seems the last time I took inventory that I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 42,000 total rounds here (counting all calibers). I am more concerned about having all that lead inside my home than I am about any threat it poses during a fire. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:42:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CJan_NH: [B]I HATE MY WORTHLESS MOTHER IN LAW.[/B] She is a knee-jerk, reactionary, shit-stirring moron with too much friggin time on her hands. She never has anything nice to say, second guesses everything, and has an opinion on every possible subject. I always shudder whenever my wife goes to see her, because without fail she returns completely wound up about something. I hate her [X]
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We got the same Mother-In-Law?!?!
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:43:04 PM EDT
Well this is what I found so far: The first link is to a news story that has a fireman stating that ammo does not pose much of a risk in fires, but other than that doesn't really give any details. [url]http://www.theithacajournal.com/news/stories/20030913/localnews/252401.html[/url] Scroll down a little on this next link and it gives a short answer about ammo and fires. [url]http://cartridgecollectors.org/faq.htm[/url] The preceeding link, has this link: [url]http://www.saami.org/ship.html[/url] When the video title listed in the preceeding link is put into a search engine, I found this: [url]http://www.saami.org/docs/SAAMI_lit.pdf[/url] The fireman video and other publications can be found here: [url]http://www.saami.org/[/url] You may want to do some poking around on the last link, it may have more pertinent info somewhere on the site, I didn't look to much farther than the front page. Here is another discussion about ammo and fires here, may be of use: [url]http://www.machinegunbooks.com/cgibin/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=1&topic=2314[/url] Your library may have old issues of the American Rifleman, look for this article: "Ammunition and Fire" by Gary D. Sciuchetti, Mar-1996, American Rifleman I found the following excerpt from some discussion forum: There is an article on ammunition and fire written by Gary Sciuchetti (a volunteer firefighter) in the March 1996 issue of American Rifleman. Sciuchetti's test was done inside a 4 foot drywall box, with a propane torch positioned underneath the platform holding the ammunition, and a worn-out firefighter's coat covering a bag of nonhardening modeling clay used as a target. The ammunition included some of the magnum rifle and pistol cartridges, aluminum case cartridges and plastic-hulled shotgun shells that are common today but not in Hatcher's time. Only two projectiles penetrated the outer fabric of the firefighter's coat. Both were primers from military cartridges with crimped primers. Both primers were stopped in the coat's lining and both produced dents in the modeling clay, equivalent to a bruise in flesh. Sciuchetti's conclusion concerning the dangers of ammunition exploding in fires is the same as Maj. Gen. Julian S. Hatcher's: "It is not the hazard it is often thought to be." Well that is about it, as far as what I can find with relatively simple internet searches, hope this helps.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:45:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle: As a fireman I am far more concerned with chemicals mixing somehow during the chaos, unknown cans of gas igniting/exploding, downed power lines, toxic vapors, etc. I usually don't give ammo cooking off a second thought. -Charging Handle
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Remind me to tell you about the time I knocked over a box of baking soda while cleaning the coffee maker with vinegar. [:\] [img]http://www.ShipItToU.com/images/Special/Kaboom02.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:49:17 PM EDT
Here's what you need:
Sporting Ammunition and the Firefighter, a video produced by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, analyzes the characteristics associated with small arms ammunition when it is subjected to severe impact and fire. When a primer ignites, it causes the propellant to burn, which creates gases which, when under pressure in a firearm, send the bullet down the barrel. Pressure created by the propellant being burned is what discharges a bullet. As such, loose ammunition in a fire does not result in bullets being discharged because the propellant is not burning under pressure. The video, which has been widely circulated to fire departments, concludes that while ammunition produces a popping sound when it burns, there is no mass detonation of the ammunition, any projectiles are of low velocity, and there is no threat to firefighters in their standard turn-out gear.
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[url]http://www.saami.org/publications.html#primers[/url]
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 7:49:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2003 7:51:24 PM EDT by CJan_NH]
Thanks for the info Charging_handle and Jason. That should help a [b]lot[/b] [:)] Edit: bigdb1-thank you as well.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 8:11:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2003 8:17:21 PM EDT by Charging_Handle]
Originally Posted By BlammO:
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle: As a fireman I am far more concerned with chemicals mixing somehow during the chaos, unknown cans of gas igniting/exploding, downed power lines, toxic vapors, etc. I usually don't give ammo cooking off a second thought. -Charging Handle
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Remind me to tell you about the time I knocked over a box of baking soda while cleaning the coffee maker with vinegar. [:\] [url]http://www.ShipItToU.com/images/Special/Kaboom02.jpg[/url]
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Blammo, That house at the top left portion of that picture looks like a good example of F4 level tornado damage if it was a well constructed home. There were definately some winds approaching, if not exceeding 200 mph there. Glad I wasn't in that home at the time! Yikes. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 8:20:26 PM EDT
Well, I'd say that's a really good call if I didn't know for a fact that the damage was caused by my baking soda & vinegar mishap. Trees were snapped like twigs for miles. It's a good thing I had that umbrella insurance policy.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 8:45:41 PM EDT
You can't let her watch tv anymore now. Every time you see ammo go into a fire bullets start flying everywhere and it looks like the 4th of July. Your doomed.
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 9:08:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BlammO: Well, I'd say that's a really good call if I didn't know for a fact that the damage was caused by my baking soda & vinegar mishap. Trees were snapped like twigs for miles. It's a good thing I had that umbrella insurance policy.
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You think THAT was something? I tried mixing peanut butter and chocolate and the explosion leveled three blocks. The lawsuit against Reese's is still pending. I think the judge is gonna rule in my favor. We showed these pics at the trial. They are real, the judge thought they were cool, too. That is why I will win. [img]http://www.stampede-entertainment.com/postcards/tremors3/explosion-l.jpg[/img] I also put an Alka-Seltzer into a Jolt Cola can and it killed three cats. We showed these pictures to the judge and he said we would win that too. I am going to be rich now. And I got to kill some cats, too. [img]http://www.rit.edu/~andpph/photofile-c/jolt-explosion-1.jpg[/img] TRG
Link Posted: 9/16/2003 9:17:17 PM EDT
I sneezed and farted simultaneously once. Killed the dog and blew out windows in a two mile radius.
Link Posted: 9/17/2003 4:14:02 AM EDT
CJan: If the fire is hot enough to cook off ammo in the cans inside that steel cabinet, I would hope that you and yours have long since escaped the house. And with the fire at that point, you have MUCH more to worry about then the ammo cooking off. Noah
Link Posted: 9/17/2003 5:37:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno: I sneezed and farted simultaneously once. Killed the dog and blew out windows in a two mile radius.
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Without pics, you are a liar. TRG
Link Posted: 9/17/2003 12:17:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2003 12:19:30 PM EDT by BlammO]
Originally Posted By CJan_NH: This is getting stupid [:|]
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[;)]
Originally Posted By CJan_NH: A few days ago I posted that my wife is starting to get nervous with all of the [red]LC M193[/red] I've been buying lately.
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Good God man! I should've read your original post more closely. That LC M193 is the most dangerous kind -- it's hypersensitive military ammunition. Only the military should be allowed to have that stuff! I quit using it because of this incident at [b]Matthew_Q[/b]'s Central Texas shoot last year: [url=http://www.ShipItToU.com/Files/Kaboom03.mpg]Short video[/url]. A follow-up investigation (super-high magnification of the video like they do on spy TV shows) revealed that a butterfly had landed on a live round that was left on the range. Call the bomb squad [b]now[/b] and have them decontaminate your house! Or call me, I'll do it. [Linky fixed]
Link Posted: 9/17/2003 6:32:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno: I sneezed and farted simultaneously once. Killed the dog and blew out windows in a two mile radius.
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Without pics, you are a liar. TRG
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It could happen.
Link Posted: 9/18/2003 4:56:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno:
Originally Posted By TheRedGoat:
Originally Posted By Johnny_Reno: I sneezed and farted simultaneously once. Killed the dog and blew out windows in a two mile radius.
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Without pics, you are a liar. TRG
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It could happen.
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After all, the probability of dynamiting a stack of logs and winding up with a shack is not zero. [:P]
Link Posted: 9/18/2003 8:20:21 PM EDT
A few days ago I posted that my wife is starting to get nervous with all of the LC M193 I've been buying lately. Well, the topic must have come up with her damned mother somehow because now she's convinced that it's a fire hazard. She is also convinced that if there is ever a fire in the house the ammo will explode and kill us all... Please, please, please point me to some sort of resource that I can print out and give her. I need to show her what happens when ammunition catches fire.
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CJan_NH, maybe you're enjoying the smart-ass replies, but if you want some real info on this matter, you can find it covered in some depth in chapter 21 of Gen. Julian S. Hatcher's excellent [i]Hatcher's Notebook.[/i] I'll only quote a tiny bit of the relevant section, from pages 532-533 of the 1966 edition: "... a large number of metallic cartridges and shotgun shells were burned in a fire of oil-soaked wood. The cartridges and shells exploded from time to time, but there was no general explosion or propulsion of shot or bullets with any great force or to any great distance. Throughout the test, the men conducting it remained within 20 feet without injury. This test showed that small arms cartridges, whether they are metallic cartridges or shotgun shells, when involved in a fire, will not explode simultaneously but rather piece by piece; that the bullets or the shot are not projected with any great velocity; and that the material of which the cartridges or shells are made will usually not fly more than a few feet." Hatcher also did his own tests, setting off a variety of ammo from 12-gauge shotgun shells to 30-06 cartridges, either electrically or by the application of heat, and found that the fragments that flew off would not penetrate a cardboard box he'd placed over the apparatus. You can rest easy. The fire may kill you, but the ammo cooking off won't.
Link Posted: 9/18/2003 8:37:06 PM EDT
Rosstradamus, thank you for your reply. The situation fortunately has been pretty much taken care of. I printed a bunch of info and highlighted the salient points for my wife to see. Sometimes I wish my mother-in-law would keep her damned mouth shut. Recently I refurbed the rest of my ammo cans and my wife helped me with the prep and painting. This was her version of a mea culpa for freaking out over this issue. Like I said earlier in the thread, my rifle ammo is kept in sealed ammo cans and stored in a locked steel cabinet. It doesn't get much safer than that unless I spend $1000 for a fireproof locker.
Link Posted: 9/18/2003 9:02:31 PM EDT
Rosstradamus, thank you for your reply.
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You're quite welcome.
The situation fortunately has been pretty much taken care of.
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Glad to hear it.
Sometimes I wish my mother-in-law would keep her damned mouth shut.
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Personally, I don't think everyone is entitled to an opinion. I think everyone is entitled to an [i]informed[/i] opinion.
Like I said earlier in the thread, my rifle ammo is kept in sealed ammo cans and stored in a locked steel cabinet. It doesn't get much safer than that unless I spend $1000 for a fireproof locker.
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Quite so. By the way, I highly recommend [i]Hatcher's Notebook[/i] to any serious student of small arms. It not only covers the subject just addressed but a host of other topics that come up here from time to time: Chapter 7, Experiments with Barrel Obstructions Chapter 10, Headspace Chapter 12, The Theory of Recoil Chapter 14, Velocity vs. Barrel Length Chapter 20, Bullets From the Sky Chapter 22, How Far Will My Gun Shoot? If you only read one gun book, [i]Hatcher's Notebook[/i] would be hard to beat.
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 6:04:49 AM EDT
To reiterate what charging handle said……… As an emergency responder for the company I work for, and a Volunteer fire fighter… I would be a little more concerned with your propane tanks and all the cleaners and aerosol cans of whatever you might have in your house! And yes I have a lot of ammo in my house!
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 3:10:29 PM EDT
Don't worry about the mother-in-law, in just a few short years your wife will be walking in her foot steps. Been there, almost done that. I miss her.
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 5:38:22 PM EDT
Let her read some of the warning labels on the stuff that is under the sink. Sometimes that can be even more dangerous.........
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