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  1. #1
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    How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    I live in Arizona and our temps are expected to hit 110 this weekend and it will go higher for sure, this is just the start. I generally have a loaded weapon in my vehicle everyday, things in the cab get hot, including the gun and ammo. How hot can ammo get before it would spontaneously ignite? I'm carrying store-bought, run-of-the-mill .38 Special loads. Any guesses?
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  2. #2
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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    Your auto can't get hot enough for ammo to ignite, it's perfectly safe in there.
    It may mess with the effectiveness of the gunpowder after a very long period of exposure. The biggest problem ammo has with changes in heat is the condensation. Since you're in AZ, humidity isn't going to be a problem like it would if you were lets say in NOLA in the middle of August.

    If one of your guns is stored in a car the question is -
    Is it secured while it's in the vehicle or tucked under teh front seat?
    You could store it in a locking insulated safe. Honeywell makes a few models that will fit into a trunk or under a truck seat. (available at Lowe's and Home Depot starting at $30 or so.
    Just about anyplace you can store it in your vehicle, and insulate it from additional heat is all the better. Keeping it in an unprotected or uninsulated place will also make the gun too hot to handle on some days. Ever burned youself on a hot soda can? Imagine a gun in your hands in the "heat of the moment" please pardon the unintentional pun.

    I keep mine in a safe in the trunk of my car when I need to leave it there.

    I have a Honeywell #2017 safe like this one (12.8 x 16.1 x 5.8"):
    http://www.honeywellstore.com/2017
    ($60.00 +/-) Fire and Waterproof

    you could get the #2013 (11.1"X13.9"X6.1"):
    http://www.honeywellstore.com/security- ... safes/2013
    ($40.00 +/-) Fire and Waterproof

    you could get the #2011 (11.4"X13.9"X6.1"):
    http://www.honeywellstore.com/security- ... safes/2011
    ($30.00 +/-) Fireproof only

    The least expensive place I've found for these is Ebay, even after the shipping is added, but a local store is much more convenient and faster to get one.

    Just some ideas.
    Regards, Gregory
    Teach them the truth, and let them sort thru the cobwebs of liberalism that have infested their minds.
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  3. #3
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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    Thanks Gregory, I'm just curious about the point of critical mass by way of hot temps. I've carried this way forever, but recently it crossed my mind. As a native of Arizona, born in Yuma AZ, I can safely say that there is no form of passive insulation device designed for cooling that would work in a locked vehicle during a hot summer day in the Arizona desert, if there is, it's hidden away with the "100 MPG magic carburetor" in the government's secret warehouse!
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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    BC2,
    Any insulation you can protect your guns with is better than none.

    Mythbusters did a show about trying to get a disposable butane lighter to blow up in a car. They never succeded and the highest temp they ever got in a car was around 205 degrees.
    Gunpowder ignites somewhere just above 350 degrees. With that there is little to no need for any concern.
    Teach them the truth, and let them sort thru the cobwebs of liberalism that have infested their minds.
    When the time comes that I don't want a new gun, call the undertaker!
    When they come for your guns, give them the ammo first!
    .45 ACP, Because shooting twice is just plain silly!


    http://www.corneredcat.com
    http://www.takdriver.com



  5. #5
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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    That's what I'm looking for Gregory, thanks! The only problem left is holding a gun so hot that it will burn your skin, just like the door handle, the steering wheel, shifter, ect., but we don't have to shovel much snow in these parts!
    “So son, explain again exactly why there’s a stripper in your bedroom?"

  6. #6
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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    Some powders are a little temperature sensitive, resulting in higher chamber pressures which can affect accuracy. Not an issue with pistol ammo though, I guess.

    When testing new loads I try to keep the ammo out of the sunlight.

    Just thought I'd toss that in...

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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    You didn't say whether your .38's are loaded with lead bullets or not. Melted lubricant can foul powder. This is particularly so wih handloads using cast lead bullets and soft alox based lubes.
    ".... Evil Flourishes When Good Men Do Nothing...."

  8. #8
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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    I have had a primer flow into the firing pin hole with a less than max load of powder in 6MM Remington. Thats why I switched to Varget for the 22-250. Never had a problem with hand gun/shotgun powder, and it gets a bit toasty during September dove season

    We had a can of Pepsi burst in the truck while it was parked,,,, makes a mess
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  9. #9
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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    We're instructed to store gunpowder and primers in a cool dry place. Vehicles are far from cool in the summertime - particularly in the southwestern US. My guess ( ) is that long-term repeated exposure to extremely hot temps is no good for the stability of the gunpowder and the life of the primers in loaded ammo. JMO, but I'd make a point to shoot and replace that carry ammo on a fairly regular basis.

    Chances are that the heat will do no damage, but I would occasionally change it out to make sure it is still effective.

    Wonder if extreme AZ heat has ever caused some rounds to "cook off" in a vehicle? One time, I left some dark-finished tools out in the sun when working on a vehicle - and they got too hot to pick up with bare hands.

    xtm

  10. #10
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    Re: How hot of a temperature can ammo take safely?

    I've been lucky. In over 30 years of this heat I have not had a FTF do to heat. Even my black powder loads all went off on the first strike.

    It is common to go to a Black Powder match and put your ammo in a cooler to help keep your lube from melting into the cases. Cases get very hot in the afternoons.

    With modern catridges I have never had a problem. Even when it's over 120 they shoot well. I now try to do most of my load development in the hot days recently testing loads I intend to use later this year. With powder sensitivity to temperature you can get an honest reading in the heat and then when you go to a match where it's cooler out you know your ammo will still make the power factor you were looking for.


 

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