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Thread: Dispelling Some Myths-SAAMI Video

  1. #1
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    Dispelling Some Myths-SAAMI Video

    This video was produced primarily for firefighters, but is good information for reloaders as well:

    http://youtu.be/3SlOXowwC4c

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    Thanks for posting the link. I have a young friend that recently got on the fire dept. and wanted to show this to him, I thought I had this link saved but couldn't find it.

    Rick
    "The people never give up their freedom . . . Except under some delusion." Edmund Burke

    "Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack on our liberty, we encourage it." Samuel Adams

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    It needs to be bumped to the top and made a "Sticky"! The subject is coming up too often with all the new re-loaders.
    My hero's have always been Cowboys!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master VHoward's Avatar
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    This does need to be a sticky.

  5. #5
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    I've met with Rick Patterson a couple of times and he's a very knowledgeable guy. He's written some manuals on lead management and ranges in conjunction with Ed Guster III, of EPA, that are full of good advice and common sense. This video is in line with what NSSF and SAAMI do to dispel myths. The more people who see it, the better.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  6. #6
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    Lefty SRH's Avatar
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    Thats a great video, ive seen that before and sent it to my entire family thats constantly concerned about my ammunition somehow miraculously igniting.

    Now my question is what will our cans of powder do in a fire, burn or blow?
    "In GOD We Trust"

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy shredder's Avatar
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    Ahhh The truth!

    The ammo and propellants we use and the systems developed for its use are very very safe. It takes some effort to make any of it dangerous.

    I love this video. Wayy too many "reporters" bringing us stories of ammunition in fires with flying projectiles injuring and driving firefighters away and mayhem that simply does not exist. I would without reservation stand with the firefighters in their protective gear and fight an ammo fire at close range. I know the truth.

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    Lefty SRH,

    My best friend where I used to live is a retired Battalion Chief for the county fire department and avid shooter and reloader. He says cans of powder simply open up from the pressure of the BURNING powder, and there is no explosion. They had done tests at their training facility and proved that it just burns. With today's packaging in plastic containers, there is even less pressure buildup, so it simply burns a little hotter for a few seconds. I've seen powder cans that he retrieved from a fire that had the seam split, but there was no evidence of an explosion. There are some household chemicals that are far more dangerous than a can of gunpowder.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReloaderFred View Post
    Lefty SRH,

    My best friend where I used to live is a retired Battalion Chief for the county fire department and avid shooter and reloader. He says cans of powder simply open up from the pressure of the BURNING powder, and there is no explosion. They had done tests at their training facility and proved that it just burns. With today's packaging in plastic containers, there is even less pressure buildup, so it simply burns a little hotter for a few seconds. I've seen powder cans that he retrieved from a fire that had the seam split, but there was no evidence of an explosion. There are some household chemicals that are far more dangerous than a can of gunpowder.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred

    Thanks, that what i was figuring (and hoped) but considering the shear volume of powder in an eight lb can i was sure wondering.
    "In GOD We Trust"

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Bayou52's Avatar
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    Very informative video on the effects of exposing live ammo to fire, other explosives and crushing weight.
    Bayou52
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  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Kind'a brings tears to my eyes seeing all the ammunition carnage.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty SRH View Post
    Thanks, that what i was figuring (and hoped) but considering the shear volume of powder in an eight lb can i was sure wondering.
    It actually doesn't matter how much powder it is, as long as it is in an approved DOT container that is manufactured in a way that if pressure exceeds in the container, the lid pops open and the powder just burns.

    now if you take that powder and put it in an airtight container, well that will result in something much worse.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ReloaderFred View Post
    Lefty SRH,
    There are some household chemicals that are far more dangerous than a can of gunpowder.

    Fred
    So there are, especially when it comes to starting a fire. Gasoline and lots of cleaning fluids, thinners etc. will send their vapor out looking for trouble, but powder stays where it is put. And that is just accidental. Whoever heard of an arsonist starting a fire with gunpowder?

    General Hatcher experimented extensively along these lines, and found cartridges to be incapable of expelling their bullets dangerously. He describes very large explosions and spontaneous ignition in arsenal stocks of powder. But that involved deterioration and very large quantities in single bins, which are entirely different from the way powder is stored by any shooter or FFI dealer.

  14. #14
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    Unfotunatly there are a lot uninformed peaple out there, and they dictate our proceedures. I have read Hatchers notebook,, facinating read also there was an artical in American Rifleman magazine about fire and loaded ammo. We had to take ordinance awarness classes in school when living in Europe. I have seen ammo in fires 22lr was the worst as far as launching its bullit, and lit off cans of smokless powders honestly nice effect but nothing like a gas fire. Coffee whitener is insanely flammable with the right air mixture. Sugar burns with a vengence!!!
    I try to inform peaple but to no positive out come.
    With all that said i give black powder a wide berth, smokeless powder not so much. What happens in real life and TV are two very different things, be informed
    Last edited by leebuilder; 02-21-2015 at 09:19 AM.
    When you read the fine print you get an education
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    Boolit Buddy 300winmag's Avatar
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    Haz-Mat fee's ??????
    As I was told when I was a child; your elders will make you smarter if you listen. Then when you are older your elders will teach you WISDOM.
    300winmag

  16. #16
    The public doesn't have much idea who SAAMI are, and they could call "American Rifleman" biased. But firefighters just want fire safety, and Hatcher was a US major-general, and chief of field service for the ordnance department. That carries weight for anybody who gets accused of reckless endangerment, or in a jurisdiction where a licence to store ammunition has to be argued for.

    Although in general very well conducted, there was one way in which the video seems unnecessarily pessimistic. The tester set off the cartridges by whacking a firing-pin with a hammer. In real-life fires it is likely that the powder will ignite before the primer does, and it is far from unknown for the primer to be found never to have ignited at all. This is how I interpret your finding .22 rimfires to come closest to violent ignition (and someone, if memory serves me correctly General Hatcher) found out that they would ignite at the highest temperature, and shotgun shells at the lowest.) With a rimfire, the priming composition is most intimately in contact with the outside.

    The video also starts with a warning that a chambered cartridge will react as it would if the trigger were pulled in the normal way. Well it might, and you certainly wouldn't want to count on it not doing so. I can't imagine it ever being as close to harmless as the rounds in the video. But although I don't remember where I heard this, it is highly likely that even a loaded firearm, discharged by heat-to-powder rather than heat-to-primer, will have much less than usual velocity.

  17. #17
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    Hi Ballistics in Scotland. You are right in every aspect. The video is very well done, seeing all that unburnt powder fly around was suprising to me. I am thankful that General Hatcher took and shared his notes. I had a vistor to my place a while back, i had been reloading that day. He looked around and asked about the can of H4831 on my bench and i told him it was gunpowder. He was frightened of it and sat near the snowblower with a full tank of gas, farthest away from the powder. I can recall many instances like that.
    I just feel that there more peaple that have it out for firearms, ammo and the peaple the appreciate them, any misinformation does not help.
    I like your comment on 22s never thought of it like that.
    Last edited by leebuilder; 02-22-2015 at 11:39 AM.
    When you read the fine print you get an education
    when you ignore the fine print you get experience

  18. #18
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    A cartridge in the chamber of a rifle, whether fired from a firing pin strike or from heat, will perform the same way in both cases. The primer detonates and causes the powder to burn. Then the pressure builds up and the bullet is pushed from the case mouth and down the barrel. The pressure will be the same whether the powder is set off by heat or primer.

    As for the video itself, it was produced for firefighters, to simply explain to them what actually happens when ammunition is exposed to heat and to dispel the rumors that abound in the public arena. I posted it here for the same reasons.

    As for SAAMI, I've met the CEO, Rick Patterson, several times, and I'm a life member of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the parent organization of SAAMI, which is an industry sponsored entity to standardize specifications for common ammunition types and calibers. If there were no standardization, as in times past, there wouldn't be any reloading data for us to use that would be pressure tested and safe.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    Exactly!

    Rick
    "The people never give up their freedom . . . Except under some delusion." Edmund Burke

    "Let us remember that if we suffer tamely a lawless attack on our liberty, we encourage it." Samuel Adams

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  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    I agree that the pressure reached due to external heat source would produce virtually the same as primer actuated ignition if both cartridges are confined within a chamber. I have witnessed this in the form of a "cookoff" in Select Fire crew served weapons and was trained in protocols/immediate actions to stop this phenomenon.
    Likewise, I have recovered detonated .22 LR Cases from a fire barrel used to burn off paper targets/backers from our range. The casings bear no evidence of firing pin strikes, but we're ruptured through the side and/or case mouth. The significantly greater mass of the bullet resists movement and the lighter casing typically becomes the projectile. While the aerodynamically inefficient casing has likely a very short "effective" range, I am certain I would not want to stop one.
    Just my experiences, YMMV.
    Got-R-Did.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check