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Old November 21, 2012, 09:59 PM   #1
tgreening
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Started a fire....

Was at the indoor yesterday getting in some more time with the PX4 .40 I bought, along with my big-handed buddy working with his S&W. I offered up mine, and he responded in like kind.

Normally I don't use the lane closest to the wall but in this case he had and we were doing our swap shooting in his lane. His went off without a hitch but then I was up. I never much paid attention to the swept up pile of brass, shot gun shells, and other what-not that was brushed up against the wall out in the lane proper but when after one of my shots that pile lit up in a blaze it got my attention right quick!

I cleared the pistol real quick and made a hasty retreat to the bench in the back wall, while my partner went to notify management of the fire. I had never left and kept an eye on it. Turned out it started fizzling out almost right away so I left the local fire extinguisher be. Unfortunately for me (and my lungs) one of the other range occupants decided that once the fire had dwindled to matchbook size it was high time to blast that sucker with the powder.

It's an indoor range and not all that big so it was choke time almost instantly. I beat feet right the H E double hockey sticks out.

Range management decided it was a good time to start complaining about people using crap ammo that leaves unburned powder on the floor, russian made garbage, incompetent hand loaders, etc etc. Apparently one, more, or all of the above was to blame for the minor conflagration, and not the messy pile of sweepings left to accumulate along the wall.

Unfortunately I have to weigh the somewhat iffy fire safety against the fact that this place is literally 5 minutes from my office, and I don't even know WHERE another range might be in my area. The only other I know went belly up awhile back.

Orrrr, I could just chalk it up as training to be able to shoot while under fire. Har har harde har har!
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Old November 21, 2012, 10:03 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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Two points:

(1) The ventilation system SHOULD have carried the smoke and powder away from you when the fire extinguisher was deployed. I don't think you should shoot at that range in the future, because you are probably breathing a lot of lead dust.

(2) Even quality American-made ammo leaves unburned powder. I have a deal with the range where I shoot -- I buy primers and powder from them, and they let me scrounge brass for reloading. I shoot .45 Auto, and almost every case I grab out of the buckets has significant amounts of powder left.
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Old November 21, 2012, 10:06 PM   #3
JohnKSa
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Quote:
...crap ammo that leaves unburned powder on the floor, russian made garbage, incompetent hand loaders, etc etc....
The amount of unburned powder on the floor likely has a lot more to do with the length of the barrel it's shot out of than the type of ammo.

Unburned powder forward of the firing line is a well-known and unavoidable issue in indoor firing ranges. It's ridiculous for the management to pretend that it's anything other than what is to be expected. It makes as much sense to complain about it as to complain about how bullets build up in an earthen backstop at an outdoor range.
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Old November 22, 2012, 12:00 AM   #4
Old Grump
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Poor housekeeping on the managers part. Every single night I ran a class or a match on our range I swept and wet mopped afterwards and dumped my sweeping in an arc just outside the door. You wouldn't believe how green that grass wall or how well it grew. No way they should turn off the lights and go home with a dirty range or open it again with trash and dust on the deck. I know the place is handy for you but seriously I would look for another spot that keeps their range up better.
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Old November 22, 2012, 12:40 AM   #5
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Yeah, no kidding. Do they ever clean it, or just expect the patrons to do it? That's not your fault.
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Old November 22, 2012, 12:47 AM   #6
9mm
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This is why I always keep my guns/ammo to the LEFT of myself shooting, so a hot casing doesn't ignite a live round, lands on box/in box..
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Old November 22, 2012, 02:47 AM   #7
mete
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Stuff does accumulate . IIRC the Glock range had a fire from powder and even primer residue that had collected. Keep your range CLEAN !
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Old November 22, 2012, 02:39 PM   #8
tgreening
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<Magnum>. Anytime I go there it's swept up, but usually into a pile along the wall. I don't know if they collect it later to sift the brass or what they do, but it's the first time it's been an issue while I was there and the 2nd time ever according to management.

I never felt the least bit at fault. We'll see if 2nd times the charm and they change their procedure.
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Old November 24, 2012, 12:49 AM   #9
orionengnr
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Quote:
This is why I always keep my guns/ammo to the LEFT of myself shooting, so a hot casing doesn't ignite a live round, lands on box/in box..
Mmmmm....what?

A "hot casing" will not ignite live rounds or burn through a cardboard box. If one lands on bare skin, you will notice it, and it will leave a mark, but it will hardly be worthy of note.

About three years ago someone snuck in a BP gun and touched off a round. The flaming ejecta ignited the unburned smokeless powder from many thousands of rounds of handgun ammo. The range suffered $20,000 worth of fire damage, to say nothing of the lost revenue from being "down" for about four weeks.
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