Ready, Aim, Fire?

Gene Kelly head ShotWith Gene Kelly
AGI and GCA President

The last couple of years we have had some devastating fires here in Northern California. Unlike a tornado or earthquake, they are usually totally destructive to a house or outbuilding, leaving nothing but a pile of ashes. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you had a fire in your workshop, garage or storage locker where you keep all your ammo? 

In this video, AGI President Gene Kelly barbecues a mix of ammo just to see how much of a bang they make when cooked, and what the danger might be. Whatever the result, it looks like he had some fun making the video.

16 Responses to Ready, Aim, Fire?

  1. Thanks for another VERY interesting video. It is especially appreciated because of the time and expense of someone willing to perform such tests and share the reality of the outcome. Good stuff! Cheers!

  2. I was in an Army hospital many years ago. One of the other orthopedic patients was about 13 and was having his 6th or 7th surgery in the past three years. When he was 10, he and friends had tossed some .50 caliber ammo into a campfire. One round went off and destroyed his hand,

  3. A gun shop caught fire and burned to the ground in a nearby city last week. The fire department had their hands full with rounds firing in the flames. In the local TV audio/video, you could hear the rounds going off. I am not sure why the fire department even let the public and reports as close as they did.

  4. I believe that The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI)has a complete set of tests that show how various ammunition reacts to a fire.
    I personally would prefer to allow those folks to do this exercise as opposed to attempting to blow up my BBQ even if it sounds fun. When I was a kid, we used to throw cans of Spaghetti-Os into campfires and the results were rather spectacular with spaghetti all over the beach.

  5. I would think that If you had a fire and stored loaded ammo in sealed metal GI ammo cans that the whole thing might blow up like a bomb. That would make an interesting video.

  6. This is great info. I would like to suggest viewing a video made by the National Shooting Sports foundation that tests loaded ammo in several different situations. Here is the link;

  7. A friend of mine had a house fire, destroying his ammo storage. He had it all contained in military steel ammo cans. They bulged and dented, but did not open. The gasses vented out the lids, but contained the carnage within the cans. After the fire, the local fire chief requested that the homeowner donate the cans to the fire department so they could show them during talks to demonstrate the value of proper ammo storage, and how it protects firefighters during fires. Not a single can failed. The gaskets are designed to keep out air and water, but are not sealed tight enough to keep significant pressure. The cans won’t ‘blow up like a bomb’.

    • Thanks for that John–good to know!

      A lot of the bulk ammo I buy these days comes in plastic ammo boxes–I wonder how they would hold up under similar circumstances? If they are close to the source of the fire they would probably melt but I also doubt they would be strong enough to take the pressure as well. Hmmm–I guess I should go out and buy some more metal cans.

      • Metal ammo cans are like an addiction to me, it seems I just can’t get enough of them and I would highly recommend converting from plastic to metal, especially since John’s comment. You can buy (or make) some good sturdy locks for them also. Save the plastic for fishing tackle, etc. Cheers

    • Was just reading the comments that came through today and was VERY relieved with your comment John! Since watching this video I kept wondering about my ammo in metal GI ammo cans. I have stored all my ammo in metal ammo cans since day 1, so this was very good info to know! THANK-YOU!


  8. I have most of my ammunition in metal cans but do have some plastic containers. I guess that I will move it all to metal GI ammo cans in the near future.
    This has been a very interesting conversation, I kinda got a bang out of it!

  9. It’s a serious subject and I think we should have some fun with it because we all need to make certain that our ammunition is properly secured as well as making certain that we are prepared to use our firearms if necessary.

  10. I believe that The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) did a video on this subject a few years back and found that other than scaring the daylights out of people, rounds going off in a fire did little damage to people. Now, if the rounds are contained is a pipe-type of container, they might do damage because they were “directed”. You can find these videos on YouTube.

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