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Old October 12, 2020, 06:08 PM   #1
Carmady
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Revolver in safe during house fire...what kind of damage?

If there was a revolver in a gun safe during a house fire could/would the extreme heat cause damage to some parts? This would be a stainless S&W.
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Old October 12, 2020, 08:25 PM   #2
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fire safe?
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Old October 12, 2020, 09:14 PM   #3
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Google it. You should be able to find articles written by professionals on the subject.
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Old October 13, 2020, 09:10 AM   #4
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Some finishing processes heat the metal to 700 degrees or more, but under controlled conditions, no open flame, etc.
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Old October 13, 2020, 10:54 AM   #5
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I'm only acquainted with one house fire where there were guns in a safe and it was supposed to be a high end gunsafe. Every gun in the safe was destroyed.
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Old October 13, 2020, 11:37 AM   #6
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I’ve had experience with several batches of guns that had been in fires. Estimates for insurance purposes. Most all were ruined if actually in a total burn. If not by heat by the combination of heat and water. Those safes aren’t water proof. I’ve never had guns that were in a safe in partial fire. Probably didn’t get damage so they didn’t make it to me. Non safe guns got water damage. If gun lays in mess for several days it will suffer damage. I think there is acids in ash when mixed with water eat metal.
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Old October 13, 2020, 11:53 AM   #7
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A lot depends on where the safe was in relation to where the fire was. A house fire can upwards of 1700 degrees, if the safe is right in the middle of that versus in a room on the other side of the house, your results will be different. Wood or rubber stocks are most likely gone.
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Old October 13, 2020, 12:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies. I'll pass on this one.
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Old October 13, 2020, 12:14 PM   #9
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As said, it depends on how hot it got.

One indication would be to see what happened to non-metal things in the safe. If none of the plastic foam was damaged, you know it didn’t get that hot. If all the plastics in there were melted to a puddle, I’d worry. If wood parts are charcoal, I’d assume the worst- a master gunsmith would be my next stop.
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Old October 13, 2020, 01:27 PM   #10
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Any fireproof safe will have a time limit. As in how long the thing was in the middle of the fire. In most cases, the fire rating is not very long. It can be 45 minutes to 2 hours. Regular Chrome Moly steel loses temper starting at about 500 F. Wood burns at about 600 F. So, if the grips are burned, the steel, even SS, is permanently damaged too.
"...finishing processes heat the metal to 700 degrees or more..." Heat treating ad annealing, yes. However, the temperatures and time at temperature is strictly controlled. Neither is controlled in a fire.
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Old October 13, 2020, 09:58 PM   #11
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Photos I have seen of guns after a fire have shown them to rust very quickly due to rapid rise in moisture into the safe shortly after the fire.
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Old October 13, 2020, 11:36 PM   #12
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This is not a 100% guarantee that the gun is ok, but if it looks good (no damage to grips and no obvious rust damage) and if the springs are all still in good condition, it's probably ok.

Of course it's important to be able to verify that there has been no work done on the gun (grip replacement/refinishing/spring replacement) in order for that assessment to be worthwhile.
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Old October 14, 2020, 05:04 AM   #13
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Has to reach critical or at least chane the hardening to affect the integrity.
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Old October 14, 2020, 12:24 PM   #14
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Modern safes will have a fire rating. They will be rated to protect the contents against damage from XXXX temp for XXXX minutes/hours.

If you don't have the safe manual/paperwork stating that, call the maker they'll tell you.

And be aware its only a rating. I'm sure its tested, and valid, but there's no telling exactly what conditions will reach if your house burns down around your safe.

The fire dept responding fast and getting things contained (or out) in 45 min is different than the structure burning for 2+ hours down to the foundation.

The house you're in makes a big difference. I grew up in the NE and lots of houses there are 100+ years old some 200+ basic wooden structure. DESPITE all modern upgrades those places are tinderboxes once they get lit.
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Old October 16, 2020, 10:13 AM   #15
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We had a fire limited to a lower level living room. I had a couple rifles and shotguns on an open rack at the time in my bedroom on the wall. It probably didn't get much over 100F in the bedroom, the fire department got there in a few minutes and limited the fire damage to mostly the living room. The entire house, however, filled with some nasty acidic smoke. It ruined the finish on all of the blued rifles and shotguns, and seriously stained the stainless finish on the Ruger Mini 30. All remained perfectly operable since the fire didn't get into the room. So, even if it isn't high enough heat to hurt them, if there is smoke, the finish may be damaged.
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Old October 16, 2020, 10:17 PM   #16
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Right. It's a sufficient but not necessary condition.

If the finish is good, the grips/plastic parts are undamaged and the springs are still good then the gun is almost certainly ok. If there wasn't enough heat to melt plastic or burn the wood, there's a good chance it's still functional. Same with if the springs are still strong.

It could still be ok with a damaged finish or damaged grips/plastic parts but it's trickier to be able to tell in those cases.

If the springs have gone soft, I would assume that the gun is likely unsafe as that means it's gotten hot enough to ruin the temper of the steel in the springs.
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Old October 19, 2020, 08:58 PM   #17
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AT 1000 degress, its an oven man.. I accept that there are some safes that can work miracles but generally speaking, I would consider firearms in the safe to be toast. Much would depend on exposure time and how involved the fire actually was.
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Old October 22, 2020, 04:56 AM   #18
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Revolver in safe during house fire...what kind of damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmady View Post
If there was a revolver in a gun safe during a house fire could/would the extreme heat cause damage to some parts? This would be a stainless S&W.
If the safe isn’t fireproof:

Melted grip. If loaded, one round could go off.

Get one with a high fire rating.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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Old October 23, 2020, 10:07 AM   #19
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Here's a pic of the right side, and there appears to be some roughness or pitting between the screws on the sideplate. The seller won't send better pics, and I'm not buying it.

I'm posting the pic to see if anyone thinks a fire could have caused the possible disfigured sideplate, or if the sideplate is good and the pic makes it look disfigured. I saved the pic on my pc and can enlarge it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg safe & fire.jpg (61.2 KB, 35 views)
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Old October 23, 2020, 10:50 AM   #20
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Rubber grip and plastic sight insert look ok. Pitting from fumes and contaminated water.
I might buy it in person if cheap but not mail-order.

My guns were not flamed in the fire following The Incident of 2010 but all finishes out of the safe were damaged. A couple of old guns didn't have much finish anyhow, so I just cleaned them up. One was just kind of sooty and I cleaned and recleaned until it looked ok. Others were refinished and homeowners insurance even paid for it.

Ammo was a different story.
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Old October 24, 2020, 04:31 AM   #21
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I had to ask him twice to get an answer about the insert, which he said is original. I figured that would melt before the steel.

When asked if the grips were original, he replied that the gun comes with the grips shown.

The fire destroyed the case and paperwork, which he claims were in a closet.

All that, with him being over an hour away and accusing me of wasting his time, I told him he could keep his gun.

Glad to hear your insurance company took care of things.
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Old October 24, 2020, 07:52 AM   #22
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paper ignites at 480 degrees F. many safes are rated to prevent such a thing and have themselves listed as 1,400 degrees for 30 minutes etc cetera before the internal safe temp gets hot enough for valuable papers to burn. so.... the condition of the gun(s) depends upon the safe and its exposure to fire.
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Old October 26, 2020, 09:32 PM   #23
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LOL He still has the ad up, but he edited it and removed the parts about the house fire, melted case, and combusted paperwork. Maybe someone will buy it now.
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Old October 27, 2020, 06:09 AM   #24
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