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This was a discussion elsewhere and I kinda wanted some opinions of people that were storing guns that were probably not all just utility type guns. Storing ammo and loaded guns in gunsafes. I never really thought about what might go on in there in case of a fire.
I have small children. So all guns , loaded and unloaded, are locked up.
A loaded shotgun and HD pistol are loaded in the safe with a few boxes of ammo. The mass majority of ammo is not in the safe , but locked up elsewhere. Its not the fastest way to pick up a home defense weapon, but the safe is arms reach of the bed.. touch pad.. some in-the-dark practice...and so please call me direct first if you want to enter through the window or want to search for any pistols that might be left on the window sill from the photo section. :)
I have never considered what fire works might be happening if a fire struck and ammo cooks off in there. Now I know nothing about what temperature it takes to do that. It could be that it won't or cant get hot enough inside during a fire to do that, but I'm thinking it can even though it is a fire rated safe. It could be that the temp to do that is so great that the surrounding guns are heat damaged anyway.. i don't know. but if a shotgun round goes off, or those ammo rounds start cooking off , i'm thinking its gonna be a bad sight to see inside there. Do I need to re-think my plan here? I'm thinking now that all ammo needs to be out of there and the loaded guns in another separate safe like the quick access handgun type safe.
Questions.. comments.. snickers.. ?

 

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I do know that ammo out of a chamber will not build up the same pressure as when it is in a chamber, so the will go bang but not a full power pop, and a gun will cook off rounds when they get to hot. I have these same questions, but I guess just don't have a fire......
 

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There is an episode on that TV show where they do tests to see if common myths are true or not, forgot the name. One episode went into this question. They used a stove instead of a safe with the top replaced by bullet-proof glass, from where they filmed. At high temperatures, unchambered rounds bounced around the safe and its front window (dunno what a stove's front window is made of) causing no damage or penetration of walls or window. BUT, a chambered round from an actual gun, pointed at the front window,clearly broke whatever material heat-resistant front stove windows are made of.

I keep several guns in my small safe loaded, and I point the guns at the back of the safe and have the safe in front of a wall. I figure in a fire - the safe #1 is fireproof for a certain amount of time, and #2, i find it difficult to believe a round in a gun would penetrate a thick steel safe wall and then go thru the room wall and have any energy left to damage houses outside by going thru the far wall of the adjoining room as well. I figure there is much less chance that that would occur than there is that I would need a loaded gun quickly for a felon in my house (for certain reason I do not want a loaded gun to be immediately available in my bedroom, so I have the safe combination set so I could open it in a few seconds and get a loaded gun out, and I would have to be fully awake to do that. The safe is next to my bed.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just in understanding how a round functions, I know that a unchambered round is not gonna excellerate the bullet, just likely to rupture the casing. still , in a tightly packed safe this is not good. and a shotgun going off .. in my case, or a pistol round too, this is going to damage the safe contents if not already damaged by the fire. anyway, I reasoned it out kinda the same way. What's more likely to happen and what's got the worse consequences. An intruder is probably more likely these days and consequences worse of not having a loaded gun if a gun would be needed... vs. the contents of the safe being damaged by ammo in the event of a fire.
 

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When I lived in SoCal, there was a rash of home invasions. Seems the "suspects" would burglarize a house (or pose as a repair man) and enter the house. If they saw a gunsafe, they would come back and force the homeowner to open the safe. Since then, I have kept a large caliber, double action revolver about chest high, loaded and pointed to the rear of the safe, with the handle turned so that I can grab it easily. Each safe is oriented so that my body is at least partially shielded by the diir when open. One safe has a S & W 1917 and the other a Charter Bulldog.

Also, I read in a reloading column years ago about storing powder in a safe. Seems that another "suspect" tried to open a safe with a cutting torch, wherein the gun-owner had stored powder. Seems that when he returned from vacation in Hawaii, they still had not identified the body.

I was in the L.A. area when Fowler's gunshop (in Pasadena) caught fire. The safe where they stored black powder was downstairs. The paper said the found a body a block away and fragments two blocks away. (Owner and employees were downstairs before opening using the indoor range when the fire started). Now, black powder is more explosive than smokeless, still............
 

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A Solution?

I was just thinking reading the posts: maybe a good thing would be just have in the safe: a magazine loaded and the gun's slide open so you could put the mag in and chamber a round real quickly if an invader was in your house.. That way, if there was a fire, and no other guns loaded and no ammo stored in the safe, the 7 or 8 rounds in the magazine would fizz out or bounce around a bit igniting nothing.

I may try that and practice with it (with unloaded mag of course).
 

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My thought is if my safe got hot enuf to cook off ammo inside, whether in a gun or not, I'd have bigger problems to worry about than what happen to the guns and/or ammo. I don't have a need for loaded guns in my safes but would be more concerned about rounds not chambered, such as the lower one of a revolver and rounds in the mag of an automatic. I have Black Powder warning labels on my safes, intended to discourage cutting torches.
 

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I have loaded handguns in both my safe for the same reasons stated by BearBio. I can't imagine that a .44 special or a .45 ACP will penetrate the 3/4" steel rear body of my safe. Now the Micro Vault that I keep my Glock in next to the bed is a different story. It lays pointing away from me. A bullet from it would need to penetrate the vault, 3 interior walls, a roof, and both walls of my garage before exiting the house. Besides, the Glock would probably melt before the chambered round went off. Storing loaded guns in a safe, at least my safe, is pretty much a non issue to me.
 

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In the event of a fire I'll, hopefully, NOT be inside. If the fire were to reach the gun safes they would contain whatever ammunition were stored or loaded in the few weapons I do keep loaded. Dependent on how out of control a potential fire could become and if it became apparent that the loss was total I'd tell the kind firefighters: "Y'all might wanna back up a tad and let her burn cause something inside might go bang". Let us all pray we never have to experience this kind of disaster. Be safe pardners :)
 

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I'm probably the odd one out... The only time my guns are loaded is when I'm carrying concealed or at the firing line at the range. I do have a few loaded magazines, speedloaders, and shotguns with full sidesaddle shell holders in the safe, but no guns are loaded. My German and Australian Shepherds both sleep on the floor in the bedroom with me and can entertain night time visitors while I fetch the armaments. The dogs have free access to the house when I'm not home, which further deters visitors.

To take my safety paranoia even further, I follow the advice from one of the old time gun magazine writers even thought I can't remember which one wrote it.... Even though I unload guns before putting them in the safe, I assume that space aliens have teleported inside and loaded them all. I always check the chamber while it it still pointed safely into the safe.
 

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I've had fun reading this thread. If I were to put my $0.02 in it would be something akin to what A1A said in the earlier post.;)
 

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When I was in Iraq we had a building catch on fire due to electrical problems. The fire burned for a some time (hot spots and some flames for 2 days) The room where we had our law enforcement desk contained new metal boxes of both 9mm and 5.56mm rounds plus our M4 Carbines when not in use. After the fire, the only thing left of the M4s were the barrel and the bolts. The Ammo had cooked off but all stayed within the box. The boxes had a few dents and when I opened them the cardboard boxes were gone, the copper jackets/brass were on top and the lead cores had all melted and pooled on the bottom of the cans forming a solid sheet of lead. Quite a bit of the brass was split. During the fire you could hear it pops and crackles but all the ammo stayed contained in the metal box. At least ours did.
 
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