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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a newbie question... is it ok to store ammo in the trunk of a car? Not just from home to the range, but indefinitely? I bought a case of CCI Blazer ammo, and it's easier to just keep it all in the trunk and take out a box or two as I need them. Any safety issues? Your advice would be appreciated.

-Nugg
 

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I would strongly advise against this. The temperature and humidity changes would be too great. From a reliability factor, these are not good things to do to gun powder. From a safety issue, I don't even want to think about over-pressure problems as a result of firing cartridges that have been kept in a 160 degree trunk on a hot summer day in beautiful Cleveland OH.


[This message has been edited by shane45-1911 (edited 08-29-2001).]
 

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Another factor that I have read about but cannot personally confirm, is that the extended vibration from long-term vehicular storage tends to remove the coatings on the powder grains and alters the burning characteristics of the powder. Since many of the coatings are inhibitors, the possibility exists that the powder would become much faster and create a over-pressure situation.

I would also be concerned, as is shane45-1911, about the heat and humidity of trunk storage.
 

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In reference to my previous post, it would be an interesting experiment to store a box of ammo in a vehicle and periodically (say, once a month) break down one round and sieve the powder to see if the coatings are in fact being removed from the powder.
 

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Actually, it might be interesting to test the whole issue of whether storage in a car trunk is detrimental to ammo. This would require checking for unacceptable pressure variations, powder breakdown, ignition failures, etc. At one time, the city police department where I lived would not use ammo that was over six months old, and that ammo was stored in an air-conditioned building. Recently, Jeff Cooper mentioned something similar, but in neither case do I know what "evidence" was used to decide the policy.

The only experience and logic I can bring to bear is this: the truck of my car has less variation in temperature - and probably humidity, too - than the passenger compartment. I would not be afraid to take my gun out of the console and shoot it on a hot summer day, so I would not be afraid to shoot ammo that had been housed in the less extreme environment of my trunk. On the other hand, the ammo in the gun is subject to fairly frequent "rotation", so it hasn't been subject to major temperature and humidity variations - and vibration - for a long period.

Maybe a compromise would be to keep a few boxes of ammo in the trunk, enough to be convenient but not so much that it has to live there for months. Or for that matter, maybe the possibility that there could be problems outweighs the convenience. Lacking hard scientific evidence, this may be something everyone has to judge for themselves.

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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

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What about the potential for an explosion (or worse) in the event that you are involved in an accident? I'm thinking about both serious accidents and fender-benders. You want to have to justify having all that ammo to LE if you get bumped by someone and have to open your trunk?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good point, Bacchus. One I hadn't considered. I was also wondering if the ammo might somehow "bake" and go off by itself. Probably a silly question to those of you in the know. Regardless, I have removed the ammo from the trunk, so thank you all for your good advice.

-Nugg
 

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I left a 50rnd box of 40S&W Federal Classic 180gr JHP's in my trunk this summer, for almost two months. All of 'em went bang, but some were very low velocity, just enough bang to clear the muzzle. Don't leave ammo where it is exposed to temp. extremes.
 

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Don't think there's an explosion risk. When was the last time you heard of or read about the "spontaneous ignition" of cartridges in a magazine (rifle or pistol) when a gun self-destructed or the case head blew off sending a peak-pressure gas blast down a full magazine well?

Even in a fire, there is not sufficient containment of cartridge cases outside the confines of a barrel chamber to be really dangerous in an auto trunk. If there's a fire, it's probably the gas tank that's already ablaze - and you are in deep trouble if you are anywhere near the car anyway.

The British government tried this one on when they attempted to set limits/other storage requirements on the amounts of ammo stored in homes. Blackpowder (in brass cartridges) is another matter entirely of course; unlike smokeless, which is a propellant - blackpowder is an explosive, albeit "low" class.

But I agree with it being unwise to store in an auto truck because of degredation. I swap my carry ammo out periodically.
 

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ammo in the military is kept in metal cases and sits in the sun many days with out any problems.

sometimes the ammo was so hot is burnt the fingers to hold it while loading.

i always have at least a case in the trunk of my car and never had a problem.

now if the car ever caught on fire it would be a mess.....
 
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