How many ammo rounds can you legally store in a home? - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 04-30-2008, 23:01   #1
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Lightbulb How many ammo rounds can you legally store in a home?

Having just read quite interesting interviews with two ammo distributors regarding the complex factors affecting ammo prices (i.e. still no foreign milsurp imports...even AFTER the AWB expiration without changing powder etc), one of the guy's warned about possible prison time etc if a fire broke out and a fireman etc were injured. He says that today's (panic) hoarding- further increasing prices- won't be any problem in a jail cell, and a felon won't have any more problems making easy decisions regarding guns/ammo. He will never again be allowed to own OR shoot anyway.

He suggested that over 2,000 rounds might be a serious problem without some sort of visible 'hazmat' labeling someplace. I'm sure that professional burglars would love this designation. A buddy has lots of ammo but the chances are very, very slim that much is in his house.
We are in a row of houses with no separate structure-just a 40' patch of trees in back which might allow some 'deeply buried/camo'd treasure' {at night} -kept dry- or somehow buried/marked in preserved woods about 200-300 yards away; level ground, but has small creeks and a little erosion in places. Even if a thick gunsafe somehow made it legal, I can't afford one.

The attorney fees would be bad enough.
More dumb questions because I'm an ignorant novice, aware that pride (silent dignity) combined with being oblivious can get you into real trouble.
My questions are totally sincere. Any ideas or critiques certainly won't bug me-life is too short to let pride keep us from learning critical lessons from others' mistakes.

Last edited by Ignition Override; 04-30-2008 at 23:31.
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Old 04-30-2008, 23:44   #2
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Uh oh!

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Old 04-30-2008, 23:50   #3
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Ignition Overdrive

I think there would be several variables that would come into play with such a question.

1. What are the current State, County, and City Laws? I would check that out first.
2. Did you take reasonable safety precaution when storing the ammo? Fire proof gun safe, Fire proof storage box or something of that sort.
3. How big is your house?

I want to think if you do #2, the only thing that will limit how much ammo you can have is the size of you house. I could be wrong so check out the local laws.
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Old 05-01-2008, 00:04   #4
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Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. What if you only had one round in your house, it fired off, and hurt a fireman? Would you get in trouble? Doubtful. Fires are dangerous, with or without ammo, and a person could get hurt. I don't know how to describe it, this sort of thinking is a little.... paranoid. Just buy the ammo you want, keep it how you want, and live on. Don't worry about it so much. Hell for fun when I was a kid we used to through rounds in the fire, the rounds wouldn't go far enough to hurt anyone, the cases went farther than the bullets. keep it in the safe if you're worried about it.

Better yet, solve all of this with a 10 minute phone call to the firedept tomarrow. Ask them the questions you asked us, and then tell us what they said. Done. Hell, you know what? I'll call the fire dept, AND ask the legal dept here on base what they have to say about it. Between both of our calls, we'll get the answer.

--Chuck

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Old 05-01-2008, 01:13   #5
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"Roger that".
Those are some reasonable answers.

Will check with the local Fire Dept (maybe call the small city hall when back in town), and also find some cheap fire-resistant ammo cans for most of the Wolf.
The 600 rounds of Bulgarian are already in two thin sealed cans (just wish I could consistently hit near a bullseye with the MN 44 at 50 yards).
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Old 05-01-2008, 02:06   #6
 
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Originally Posted by CanDoShooter View Post
2. Did you take reasonable safety precaution when storing the ammo? Fire proof gun safe, Fire proof storage box or something of that sort.
Seriously. I don't disagree with the concern of firefighters when charging into the house, and then are suddenly confronted with detonating rounds of the metric f***ton of .223 you stashed away in case the zombies show up.

Rounds are either locked up in the gun locker, or out in a shed. Fail to see a problem with that. Why do you need 100,000 rounds of FMJ in your closet? You don't. You may have the right to, but you're kind of an idiot because it's a safety hazard.

An exploding round in a fire won't discharge the slug as fast as it will discharge a fragmented shell - but it still can injure someone.
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Old 05-01-2008, 13:08   #7
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Keep as much ammo as you like in USGI ammo cans.

Simple.

Also, I have found that it's best to be...discreet.
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Old 05-01-2008, 14:43   #8
 
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Small arms ammunition is basically a non issue when it comes to the danger that it presents to fire fighters. SAAMI has information on this topic that is distributed (along with training videos) to fire departments. If anything, putting ammunition in a metal can would make it slightly more of a hazard as you've contained whatever explosive force is there. Ammunition can simply be stored in its original containers however you see fit. If you want to line the floors of your basement with ammunition, eh, go right ahead. I'm told that MA has some type of law placing a limit of 10,000 rds (not sure if that's centerfire, rimfire, or all told) on home storage, but since I'm not a Mass. resident, I'm not familiar with the law there.

Storage of powder for reloading, and particularly black powder, present other issues, but loaded ammunition is pretty safe to store in bulk quantities. Think about it, do you see a haz mat warning sign at your local Walmart near the ammunition counter? Even in shipping, ammunition isn't tagged with haz mat stickers, only with the "ORM-D" label for small arms ammunition.
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Old 05-01-2008, 15:11   #9
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Originally Posted by Oswald2001 View Post
Keep as much ammo as you like in USGI ammo cans.

Simple.

Also, I have found that it's best to be...discreet.
+1 on the cans and being discreet - and modify the cans so they can be locked. Keep out a few rounds for a SHTF situation, but secure the rest and I think you would be safe.
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Old 05-01-2008, 16:03   #10
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Many years ago American Rifleman had an article about how ammo cooks off in a fire. I won't try to go into details, but the gist was that it presents no real hazard except in the imagination of the antis. Since there is no barrel to allow a bullet to accelerate and thus become a hazard, the ammo just sort of "pops" and "ploops" apart. It does not explode. I have no link so you'll have to find it on your own if you can, or go through back issues if you have saved them.
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Old 05-01-2008, 17:41   #11
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There is no explosive danger with the USGI ammo cans. If anything, the cans will contain the rounds cooking off. If the fire is big enough to compromise a USGI ammo can...believe me...you have bigger problems to worry about than some ammo.

Most of the danger is the packaging that the ammo is in catching fire.

The US government has essentially unlimited funds.

Over the years, it has spent MILLIONS and MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars figuring out the optimum way to store ammo.

They came up with essentially the same as today's USGI ammo can about 100 years ago.

So, after about 100 years of actual use in ALL circumstances (more than a dozen shooting conflicts - including several major wars), unlimited budget, fires, floods, revolutions, depressions, heat, cold, hand carry, vehicle carry, pack animal carry, ....

The most tried and true....time tested...proven...way to store ammo is...

The USGI ammo can.


Remember, about 100 years and essentially UNLIMITED BUDGET...the US militaries still use...


The USGI ammo can.


There's a reason for that.
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Old 05-01-2008, 17:42   #12
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Ammo storage

Oswald2001 & Cobradoc; You guys got it right. Store any ammo in USGI ammo cans and you will be fine.That's what they are designed for. And you'll be able to grab a can and run (to the range, of course) something that's very hard to do with cardboard boxes. Back in the dark days of the klintons I talked to the county ass't firemarshall about ammo storage. He conferred that assembled ammo poses no additional threat to firefighters. The propane cylinder on your grill is much more dangerous, when exposed to flame. And quantities are misleading, a mere 4 bricks of rimfire 22 amount to 2000 rounds.
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Old 05-01-2008, 18:57   #13
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Originally Posted by X - Man View Post
Oswald2001 & Cobradoc; You guys got it right. Store any ammo in USGI ammo cans and you will be fine.That's what they are designed for. And you'll be able to grab a can and run (to the range, of course) something that's very hard to do with cardboard boxes. Back in the dark days of the klintons I talked to the county ass't firemarshall about ammo storage. He conferred that assembled ammo poses no additional threat to firefighters. The propane cylinder on your grill is much more dangerous, when exposed to flame. And quantities are misleading, a mere 4 bricks of rimfire 22 amount to 2000 rounds.
Something else I do is install a locking lug on the cans and lock my cans to keep the grandchildren from getting too curious and keep the frau off my a$$. I also buy combination locks that I can set the combination on. It's a little more expensive to have combination locks but this way, I set all the combinations the same and never have to look for the freaking keys!!!

You can but the "Ammo Box Lox" kits from Cheaper Than Dirt for $5.95 each. Of course, they will charge you $10 for shipping and handling. That's to pay for the 12 pounds of catalogs they send with the delivery.
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:23   #14
 
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Old 05-02-2008, 17:42   #15
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Yeah, I've seen the same info as above. If ammo is cooked off without the constraints of a firing chamber the cartridge case swells, allowing the gas to "leak" at around the base of the bullet, and the pressure is vented without really driving the bullet anyplace. In real world fires it has been reported that steel ammo cans merely looked stretched or bloated from internal gas pressure. Stretched or warped very far and the seals would quickly come apart and the gas vents out of the can. No real hazard at all.
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Old 05-02-2008, 17:48   #16
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Mythbusters TV show did a segment on "hiding a gun in the oven, forgetting about it and turning oven on". Unchambered rounds were no problem, even a .50 BMG round was not too big a deal. Due to weight of the brass, it did get enough velocity to break the glass on the oven door. All other rounds tested caused no real damage to the oven and did not break the glass.

I think the SOP for fire dept is to contain the fire , with no need, obligation or duty to go rushing into a burning home unless a life is in danger.

Our house caught fire due to lightning strike, and since we were all out, the FD just hosed it down, then did inspection of remains before allowing us to go in and retrieve valuables etc...
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Old 05-02-2008, 17:54   #17
 
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CD Combo Locks do no good if you have to tatoo the combo to your forhead to remeber it
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:48   #18
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Originally Posted by Rjak View Post
CD Combo Locks do no good if you have to tatoo the combo to your forhead to remeber it
Notice I said combo locks that I can set the combination on. And if I use only one combination on all the locks, it's easier to remember.
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