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Old September 18, 2012, 02:13 PM   #26
Patriot86
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@ REDBOW: Its funny you say that; I was an an indoor range maybe 2 months ago putting some rounds through my favorite evil black rifle and I noticed a couple of the 223 "Tula' rounds I fired off make what looked like sparks when they impacted the backstop/wall. I did not notice this with the Federal brand rounds I was using. Did not think much of it until now.
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Old September 18, 2012, 02:20 PM   #27
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Indeed, fireing off bi metal rounds of the high power variety into metal/rock will result in a shower of sparks. A lot of outdoor ranges wont allow them due to a fire hazard as well as backstop damage. Persoanlly i think its tons of fun to dump a mag of them into a metal target. Very cool looking when done in a safe and controlled enviorment
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:08 PM   #28
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I'm with Peetza on this one. Living in the hills and having a junkpile has let me shoot many many metal "things" if you are talking a bulk propane tank of 250 gal or so I have never seen a shotgun round whether .410 or 10 ga that would even remotely penetrate it. Even the smaller 20# bottles with a shotgun at more than contact range would notconcern me. The tank should have a metal cover over the controls/tubing etc. which are much more likely to be damaged than the tank itself. Honestly I would think that you have a better chance or having a misfire or a mechanical breakage of the firearm (shotgun) than you have of busting that tank with a shotgun.

Old waterheater tanks, and pressure tanks from wells can take an amazing amount of shooting with little damage to show for it. However if you are curioust some old black tipped 30-06 ammo will shoot a hole through it with an ancient springfield 1903!!
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:23 PM   #29
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I remember Myth Busters doing this in a James Bond special. They ended up having to shoot the tank with a Mini Gun and incendiary rounds to make the tank explode. So unless you have a type of ammo that I am not aware exists you should be fine.
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Old September 18, 2012, 09:28 PM   #30
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It has a brick interior wall where the gas stove is, so no worries about hitting the gas lines. I know the chances are slim but the chance is still there. I think it's my responsibility to take it into consideration. And getting the tank removed is in the works, but I have a feeling it may never happened. If it was my property, I would have removed it before I moved in. But it's a rental, so I have to wait. The stove does look nice, and the brick in the corner of the room does look well, very straight. But I still don't like having bottle gas. I've had carbon monoxide poisoning before, not the worst experience in a hospital but certainly not the most enjoyable. Plus the price is crazy expensive to get a tank filled. It will just never be used while I live here. So that takes me back to my question, what gun would you guys suggest? I know no one really has any information on what can penetrate a bottle tank in my backyard, but what would you guys use? To me, simply not worrying about it seems foolish. I'm leaning towards a 12 gauge shooting small shot. I'd normally use 000 but I don't know if that could penetrate a tank.
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Old September 19, 2012, 07:03 AM   #31
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buckshot will not put a hole in a propane tank...not even the grill sized ones...end of story.
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Old September 19, 2012, 07:51 AM   #32
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I finally went to the Mythbusters site and copied this. If I remember right they were at least in one episode working with the 20# grill sized tanks, which are much thinner than the larger steel bulk tanks.




A person can shoot a propane tank and make it explode.
busted

First, the Build Team decided to test whether it was possible to breach a propane tank with Bond’s 9mm handgun. They found that 9mm rounds were not powerful enough to breach the tank, but shotgun shells and .30 caliber rifle rounds were more than enough to pierce the tank. They then fired armor piercing rifle rounds at a tank filled with propane, but could not get the tank to explode. Not even tracer rounds were successful. Finally, the Build Team resorted to extreme measures. They found that the only sure way to make a propane tank explode was to use high explosive or a high powered Gatling gun firing incendiary rounds. The Build Team concluded that Bond (and most people) would not normally have access to such weaponry, busting the myth.
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Old September 19, 2012, 08:01 AM   #33
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Just to reiterate,... I've personally ignited one with a round of wolf 55gr .223 so it is possible.
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Old September 19, 2012, 08:34 AM   #34
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Back in the very early 60's,,,

Back in the very early 60's,,,
We lived on the far south-side of OK City,,,
Everyone had those huge propane tanks beside our homes.

One morning we had no heat,,,
Dad found a bullet hole in our tank,,,
The county sheriff said that was happening a lot.

It turned out there was a man shooting them,,,
He was using a WW-II milsurp rifle and surplus ammo,,,
Apparently this happened to several families before they caught the guy.

I have always wondered why the tanks didn't explode.

I would have thought there would be a big boom from a steel jacketed bullet.

Aarond

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Old September 19, 2012, 09:16 AM   #35
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Well, if you can't convince yourself that it would be like winning the lottery in reverse, convince yourself that buckshot won't penetrate a large propane tank WITHOUT having to go through walls first, and you'd be shooting through walls first.
It's a non-issue.
Shooting the stove or lines in your house would be much worse and there's nothing you can do about that. No bullet that would suffice for SD would NOT penetrate stoves and gas lines.
I feel like your putting the cart before the horse. Worry about stopping the deadly threat first, any 1:1,000,000 scary things AFTER can be worried about IF they happen.
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Old September 19, 2012, 07:29 PM   #36
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But we watched Jason Bourne blow up a propane tank with birdshot so it must be true. Oh wait, the movie would have ended right there with Jason hugging dirt if they wouldn't have gave him some Dragonsbreath (sic).
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Old September 19, 2012, 07:40 PM   #37
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Those tanks are very thick, and heavy metal. I know of a story that ran a few months ago in the paper that a man in state was killed by a .380 FMJ that bounced off of one. It was one of those for the Darwin Awards moments. He was showing his lady that shooting it would not blow it up.
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Old September 20, 2012, 09:28 AM   #38
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I'd be more apt to be afraid of tank being struck by lighting then exploded by gunshot....

....one more thing for the OP to worry about.


The reason I say this is I had a tree in the backyard that set about 20ft. from our tank. Tree took a direct lighting hit. A few days later the grass turned brown fingering out from the trunk of the tree where the tree root base went. One very nice brown strip went straight under propane tank.

There's a company going around in these parts that install underground tanks and have been hyping the non-safety issue's of above ground tanks. Haven't seen any rush for existing above ground tank owners to convert but there have been a few house's built in the area that's had their tank inst'd underground.

At any rate, periodically inspecting lines, valves etc...the tanks are rounded , made of thicker steel and I've never worried about it.
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Old September 20, 2012, 01:49 PM   #39
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How thick is the steel sheet on one? (I assume that we are taliking about the large several hundred gallon propane pigs that folks have in their yards)

The reason I ask is that there is a steel penetration model near the end of Quantitative Ammunition Selection that can be used to determine if a certain bullet can punch through it.
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Old September 20, 2012, 08:26 PM   #40
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It has been a number of years since I looked at this question.

First I would shut off the valve located at the tank. This will eliminate any issues with the stove.

Second I would contact the local propane supplier who serviced the tank. They may actually own the tank and will come pump it off and remove it. This should be indicated on the tank.

Thirdly, there is a certification on the tank. This certification gives the standard to which the tank was certified. I believe it is an ASME standard. It permanently imprinted on the tank. You should be able to access this standard at your local library or find a discussion on the internet.

A part of the certification is a bullet impact test. Generally, that is a 30-06 at some distance. From a practical standpoint I do not believe that a load of 00 buck will penetrate the tank. If the Valve cover is in place, it should not damage the valve and regulator.

You might also contact your local fire marshal for assistance.
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Old October 19, 2012, 04:37 PM   #41
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12ga. #1 buck and don't worry about the tank. Very unlikely that you will have to shoot toward the tank and also unlikely that lead buckshot will penetrate the steel tank.
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Old October 19, 2012, 08:55 PM   #42
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I have busted two mythbusters conclusions in the past. Those two guys are jerks. My buddy drives a limo nights and picked them up at the airport, and they wouldn't even give him an autograph. But anywhoo.. I remember another friend of mine had a video he used to play over and over to show off his surround sound. It was several guns starting from a .38 going up to a 50 cal. shooting a gasoline tank. NONE of them ignited the gasoline.

I'm pretty sure those tanks are rented from the company who fills them, they might come looking for it.
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Old October 20, 2012, 09:13 AM   #43
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Not only the Mythbusters episode... I watched a show of Sons of Guns where the Redjacket guys thought they could build a round that could get a tank to explode in a single shot and prove the Mythbusters wrong. They couldn't. They made some fancy rounds that shot .223 followed by some delayed .22 tracers and .357 followed by some delayed .22 tracers (all in one trigger pull) Still not even close. Of course both the .223 and .357 penetrated the tank.
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:29 PM   #44
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If I was trying to get a propane tank to explode with a tracer, I'd shoot nearer the top of the tank, in the (hopefully) vapor portion above the liquid line. It's the vapor that burns.

Where did the Mythbuster guys shoot their tank (s)?
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Old October 21, 2012, 05:39 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward429451:
Where did the Mythbuster guys shoot their tank (s)?
On a closed test range.
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Old October 21, 2012, 08:30 PM   #46
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For those interested, CGA C-6 "Standard for Visual Inspection of Steel Compressed Gas Cylinders issued by the Compressed Gas Association Inc. specifies that a 20 lb. cylinder (which holds 4.77 gallons) manufactured to DOT/ICC code 4B(A)-240 must have a minimum wall thickness of 2.27mm- that's just a little less than 1/10th of inch.
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:21 PM   #47
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Quote:
I have read that propane has approximately the same pound for pound explosive potential as C4, but don't know how accurate that comparison is.
Propane can be used to produce just about the most powerful explosion outside of a nuclear bomb. Propane might not be specifically mentioned but it is what is used to make a fuel air bomb. Drop a 10 to 20 thousand gallon tank of propane into a jungle. Let the gas spread out on the ground for a bit. Then drop white phosphorus on it and you have an instant airfield and have killed everything in the radius of the explosion.

The key is air. That is why the tanks do not generally explode when shot. Not enough air mixed with the fuel and the bullet is not necessarily an ignition source.
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Old October 23, 2012, 11:25 AM   #48
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I have seen a propane explosion and fire out on the farm and it was not pretty. This was a leak that was accidentally ignited.

My problem with a propane tank is not about accidentally shooting it while defending against a home invasion, but a sniper with a high powered rifle with certain types of ammo, not shooting the tank once, but multiple times to set off either an explosion or a fireball and fire.

Go to You Tube and see the show of Sons of Guns or Red Jacket with the folks from Mythbusters,,, it can be done.

Propane tanks to me are a security risk.

That is why I have thousands of sandbags and plenty of shovels and a dozer at my disposal, if things were to go South, and I had to defend a fixed perimeter, you can bet that perimeter would be defended by a berm or sandbags or both.

Should Normal People lose any sleep over this,,,probably not.
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Old October 23, 2012, 12:09 PM   #49
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Quote:
On a closed test range.
That's some amazing comprehension you have there, lol. I meant where on the tank, top, bottom, middle...? you see?
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Old October 23, 2012, 12:35 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward429451:
That's some amazing comprehension you have there, lol.
Oh, gee, thanks. It is one of my more endearing qualities.



Just glad that you realized that I was being humorous. As of late, there seems to be a lack of a sense of humor on this board.
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