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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a San Diegan and my county has just survived the worst fire storm in California history. My family and home were never directly involved because we live on the coast. But I currently have about two thousand rounds of range ammo in the garage, plus HD ammo and handguns about the house. As the Perfect Santa Ana hit us, combined with the worst drought in memory, I found myself watching a local TV station commentator describing how a house in Rancho Bernardo was burned to the ground, and listening to ammunition in the ruins cooking off in an alarming sputter. In fact, the commentator said that cartridges were raining down upon him. He got there long after the firemen had left -- and guess WHY they left.

Morale: if fire approaches your house and you are ordered to leave your house, take your ammo!

I continue with this: Although Qualcomm Stadium was used as an evacuation center, the Chargers will play in Qualcomm Stadium Sunday. I welcome you to watch a game in a town, and a state, that was ready for the Perfect Storm.

Hoowah!
 

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It is not so easy to get ammo in my country, so, when I find ammo, I purchase it.

Your post is very important, and I would like to hear some comments about safety in storing ammo.
 

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I'm regularly paranoid about house fires. I've seen just how quickly homes can go up. Having ammo and components is a real liability. My stop, drop, and roll plans currently do not include taking the time to round up all my ammo, which is considerable and stored in two closets in my house. Irresponsible of me, I know. I do, however, have three fire extinguishers. I also regularly give them out as house gifts to friends.

An underrated topic, to be sure.
--d.
 

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Best way to store ammo and components is in a fire-resistant safe (great ballast!) or an old fridge or freezer.

Moderates temperature swings in storage, and will resist fire long enough to allow a hose stream to keep it cool.

Black powder needs to be stored in an outbuilding, in a cooler or other insulated container.


Regards,

Pat
 

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Great subject, JayDubya. We really need to talk more about this. Here's my $0.02......Back in the days of old, fire resistant safes were ordinary safes that were lined on the inside with thick drywall. This will give you a little more time and should work like a champ in the old fridge or freezer mentioned by Pat, which I think is a heckuva good idea in and of itself. Drywall is easy to cut to the right dimensions and there's no limit on thickness. Most safes I saw with it were using one sheet of 5/8" drywall.

I've had to content myself with locating my ammo near an exit door in one corner of my garage, and putting some other in my gunsafe in G.I. ammo cans. And like Dave, one of the most common decorations in my house is fire extinguishers. I'm 40 minutes away from our volunteer firemen, so go figger!

Now, I'll probably get lynched for saying this, but I always get rid of all ammo I can no longer use.......for instance I just sold off 600 rounds of 8mm Mauser. Seemed the right thing to do since I sold off my 8mm rifles a year ago. I also cut back on the number of Mosins I owned, so I cut my ammo supply for the remaining two rifles to less than half of its former levels.
 
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sealed reinforced , metal, , drywalled etc etc containers are the worse place to store smokeless powder you'll take a relatively non volitile flammable and turn it into a bomb, the reason gun powder does what it does is because it is ignited in a confined area. Read the label on the cans of powder, it should be stored in a un enclosed container that wont allow pressure to build.
I considered putting the warning placards on my garage and later my workshop to warn the fire dept, but figured I would want them to at least make an attempt to ut the fire out or come get me if I needed getting. Plackards will have the firemen launching water from a long was off, you think they are gonna go in your basement and hold water on your refriderator converted to ammo locker ?
 

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Excellent topic!!! If one has the time to evacuate from an on coming fire, by all means try to take your guns and ammo with you.

Ever since being in a tornado ['79] I have always lived in a home with a basement, I have always kept my guns & ammo [except those for self defense] in a room in my basement. I also have great concerns about a fire as well and the consequences; mostly of course getting my family and pets out first and then my guns & ammo. The results of a fire reaching my stored ammo could be serious do to the amount I have, but at least if a fire does invade my home and gets to the ammo and it is ignited I have the concrete walls and the earthen barrier behind them to protect my neighbors and the fireman. In the event of a fire where there is little time to evacuate, ammo would be low on the list of things to save, however, a few of my guns would be on the high side of that list. If there is no basement or safe venue to store your ammo, at least advise the authorities as to the situation.

papabear
 

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Thanks, Papabear. I have a similar set of problems, and have found this to be a really tough nut to crack. Let's face it, architects just didn't spend enough time thinking about ammo storage in their residential designs!
i.e. If you locate it in the garage, there's the gas in the cars to worry about. Removing it from a basement during a fire is almost impossible and incredibly dangerous. Then if you locate it somewhere else, five will get you ten the new location is right next to the propane tank or a natural gas line. So just between us, that cinderblock outbuilding located away from the house is looking better all the time, no?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I thank you all for the civility (and usefulness) of your responses. I got a bucket of -- stuff -- on other forums from men who kneejerked off on a very few of the many words I wrote. Kneejerk reactions do not help our interests; they hurt. Carry on, gentlemen.
Cordially, Jack
 

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Hello Jack,

The purpose of this forum is the serious discussion of handguns and ammunition. It's where we part company with many other forums on the 'net.

Best,

Chris
 

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Most firemen can tell you that they've opened a fridge or freezer after a house has burned down around it and the stuff inside has been barely affected. Plus the newer ones use magnetic latches that would let it vent if decomposing powder ignited inside.

Regards,

Pat
 

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I'm trying to understand Joe4d's comment. Does that mean that a GI ammo can is not a good place to store ammo? What about storage in an outbuilding that is dry but in which there can be temperature extremes -- i.e., cold in winter and hot in summer?
--Ray
 

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Metal cans are fine. Its what the military stores ammo in. Should the ammo inside catch on fire, it helps contain the shrapnel. Plus, if it catches fire, there are bigger problems outside the can.

The idea of using a 'fridge or modern firesafe is to keep things cool inside as long as possible. The 'fridge especially will vent easy if there's a pressure buildup.

Not speaking for Joe, but I think what he meant was, storing bulk powder in a heavy oldfashioned safe might cause a sharp pressure rise before it vented.


Regards,

Pat
 
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