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Old October 27, 1999, 11:07 PM   #1
Join Date: September 17, 1999
Posts: 69
I am currently taking lease on an apartment which bans "explosives, lighting materials, or flammable liquids, except gas, electric light, or candles."

Does handgun (pistol) ammunition count as an "explosive"?

(Ok, I'm looking for legal technicalities, I suppose... but I don't want to be living by myself without some sort of HD....)


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Old October 28, 1999, 01:05 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
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Granting that gunpowder is shipped as a hazardous material, your out is that it does not explode. It burns, rapidly, in a controlled manner.

Also, loaded ammo is not considered a hazardous material, so far as I know. (Explosives, not political standpoint, doncha know...)

My best advice, I guess, is don't let the danged landlord know. Your self-defense is not his business, anyway. Your well-being is his civil responsibility; is he paying for all new locks? Any previous tenant may well have a key.

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Old October 28, 1999, 02:01 AM   #3
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Aren't primers and powder shipped HazMat, but loaded ammo shipped regular?

In a fire, loaded ammo bursts (not explodes) when the propellant (not explosive) reaches ignition temperature. Unless contained within something like a barrel or a revolver chamber, there is almost always so little "oommph", the case will not go fast enough to pierce a cardboard box.

Powder and ammo are "explosive" only when subjected to adiabatic shock--i.e. another EXPLOSION!

Primers are another matter, but in original containers and assembled in cartridge cases, the explosives act in isolation and are too small to be a regulatory concern. Your eyeballs and the first 3mm of your skin are the only things in danger when a single primer lets go.

Do NOT believe what you saw in "Rambo." The gunstore explosions were PURE fiction. It takes a warehouse full of smokeless powder, or a huge pile of black powder, to blow up.

Black powder *is* a low explosive, so you probably can't do the muzzle-loader thing at your new Apt.

Get a copy of the Uniform Fire Code or your local county fire code, and look up the gunpowder storage regulations. Comply with them. Note that they call smokeless powder extremely flammable or something like that. Explosive release of accumulated burn gas pressure is possible, but only if the stuff is improperly stored. The container explodes, not the powder.
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Old October 28, 1999, 05:58 AM   #4
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The label of my plastic *cans* of Alliant powder say "DANGER! SMOKELESS GUNPOWDER-EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE AND EXPLOSIVE"

The label on the Accurate #5, just says extremely flammable.

Since this is the reloading forum, and in that context, I would say you would be screwed if the landlord found a container of Alliant and anything else. Nothing is printed on any of the boxes of factory ammuntion I have concerning combustible, explosive or flammable. In that context, if the landlord found a container of Accurate #5, finished rounds of ammo, and some factory ammo, he might be the one screwed.
I think Art is on the right track. Low profile and minor reloading. Use the money you save reloading to apply towards a house.

CCW for Ohio action site.
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Old October 28, 1999, 06:32 PM   #5
Join Date: September 17, 1999
Posts: 69
Thanks for the information!

I knew I'd get some good answers here. *grin*

I don't reload yet, and I don't think I can fit a reloader in my studio AND keep a 4x5 enlarger AND a computer and TV, AND a bed to sleep in! (But I promise with my first house comes a reloader! woohoo!)

So there is no problem with that. Good point with the lack of explosive warnings on the factory ammunition. I think I'm on fairly safe legal ground here, then.

No, the landlady is NOT paying for new locks. In fact, she outright refused when I asked. (It's a VERY good rate in a decent neighbourhood so I overlooked this irritating point.)

I planned to have new locks put in right away, but she insisted that I had them keyed to her master too, so I suspect it'll be a a week until I can find a time where the locksmith will show up at the same time as me and her (and her master key).


Again, thanks for the advice. =)

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Old October 29, 1999, 02:50 AM   #6
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Alliant is doing two things, IMO:

Covering its butt for the extreme conditions where smokeless can explode. I heard of a factory blowing up a few years ago, and all the knowledgable people working there strenuously denied that their oxidizer product was explosive. Volatile, yes, as it easily breaks down to release O2, but not explosive. It can and often does make big "booms" when combined with a fuel. Then someone found a textbook that listed the extreme conditions which make explosion possible without an accompanying fuel--large quantities and either extreme heat or severe shock. Kablooey!

The second thing Alliant may be doing is covering its butt for the very real possibility that some careless nut will store his or her powder under extreme heat or whatever it takes for the Nitroglycerin in their double-base powders to separate out. Technically, it's not smokeless powder any more, but a mix of nitrocellulose and what we might call free nitroglycerine. And that stuff IS explosive...
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Old October 29, 1999, 11:03 AM   #7
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I am sure that loaded firearm ammunition would be allowed in an apartment in reasonable quantities. Otherwise, police officers could not rent apartments.

When I rented an apartment in a large complex, I did reload. I used a "Workmate" folding table as a bench. Also, I only bought my powder in one pound containers and never had more than a pound in the apartment. I would reload a bunch, shoot a bunch, then buy some more components and load a bunch more. In hindsight, it may have violated the terms of the lease but I didn't think to look just then....I just did it on a small scale and as safely as I could.

Hope this helps, Mikey

When Guns Are Outlawed, I Will Be Another One Of The Quarter Million Violators Who Are Not Prosecuted
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Old November 11, 1999, 05:31 AM   #8
Join Date: November 3, 1999
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Smokeless is a propellant,not an explosive.
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