View Full Version : Off-the-wall safety question . . .

April 6, 2006, 12:49 PM
I keep a pump shotgun in my bedroom for HD. It's in a wooden locked cabinet (kids around). It has a loaded magazine, but no shell in the chamber. It stands in the cabinet, barrel straight up. The bedroom is on the main floor of our home, and there's a kids' bedroom above the cabinet where the shotgun is stored.

Here's the question: Let's say we have a fire on the main level in the bedroom where the shotgun is stored. If the cabinet goes up in flames, what happens to those shells in the mag? Bottom line, should I be worried that the mag will act as a crude barrel and deliver multi-shell-propelled shrapnel into the upstairs bedroom?:eek:

(You think of some crazy stuff when your kids are involved.):)

April 6, 2006, 12:59 PM
I suppose anything is possible. Why not just store the gun muzzle down instead so you don't have to worry about it.

April 6, 2006, 09:33 PM
Shot fires out of a barrel as there is no other direction for it to go. If it exploded in the magazine it likely will bulge the heck out of it, but I doubt if it would explode such that it would go through the cabinet top, and the ceiling and floor. If its not chambered it doesn't matter which direction the barrel is pointed.....................ck

April 6, 2006, 11:27 PM
I only mentioned the barrel because the mag and the barrel are parallel. I was thinking that someone might be familiar with the actual result of a loaded shotgun in a house fire. I'm curious what would happen with multiple shells in the mag in that scenario. Looks like one for the Mythbusters.

April 7, 2006, 03:07 PM
The shells are not tightly contained in the magazine. A detonation would just "Bloop." Far more dangerous would be the fire itself. If it got to the point of cooking off your shells, the second floor of the house would be in deep trouble.


Jeff F
April 7, 2006, 10:57 PM
I've had experience with shotgun shells and various other rifle and handgun ammo tossed in a camp fire. It just mostly explodes. Shotgun ammo pops pretty good. The bullets of center fire and rim fire rounds never get launched more then a few feet if at all. Chunks of brass from the cartridge go flying pretty hard and will cause injury if it hit a person. Being inside of a cabinet I see no problem. If there was a round chambered and it cooked off, that one would go off just like the trigger was pulled.

Ranger Al
April 8, 2006, 02:45 AM
Personally, I would store the gun with the barrel point downward. Its much safer and beside the oil would not ruining the stock. I was told that with wooden stock, the oil in the gun would work it way into the wood and ruining the wood. I have yet to see one, but I am sure some older fokes may have experince such..

April 9, 2006, 11:53 AM
The shotgun has a synthetic stock, but I appreciate the feedback.