A dodged bullet you probably never heard about.

Back in 2007 IRRC, OSHA attempted to bring under its jurisdiction the storage & distribution of commercial small arms ammunition. The regulations that wanted to impose treated your regular ammo as if it was explosives used in demolitions and it would have pretty much killed ammunition sales as we know them. One can imagine that regulations such as storage magazines built to OSHA specs, special electrical wiring that would guarantee zero sparks, 50 foot prohibition of matches, lighters and any other device that would create a flame including firearms would put a kibosh on ammo retailing. The regulations on transportation alone are so onerous that you could pretty much kiss goodbye your UPS delivery of ammunition & reloading components. For a “summary” of the OSHA regulations, click here for the 69 page OSHA document.

SAAMI (Small Arms & Ammunition Manufacturers Institute) stepped in and demonstrated that the perceived dangers were more Hollywood lore than actual risk.  They produced this 25 minute video that I saw last nite for the first time and it is now in my favorites’ list to be used in future discussions if needed.

Warning: you will probably cringe at the amount of ammunition destroyed (400,000 rounds) in the making of the video, but it was for a good cause.

10 Replies to “A dodged bullet you probably never heard about.”

  1. (having not watched the video)
    My best friend’s .22 misfired once and bent a bullet in half. I decided I needed to extract the bullet and burn off the powder for safety’s sake(and I still stand by that decision. I wasn’t going to try firing it, anyway).

    After the powder had been spilled on the concrete, it was remarkably difficult to get it to ignite. I eventually gave up.




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    1. Maybe overreaching technically but both the UN and ATF classify propellant as an explosive (though the ATF does so in a nuanced manner) and the state of MA regulates ammunition via a CMR in exactly the manner that OSHA was proposing. In MA, anyone with more than 10K rounds or 10 lbs of powder, or 1000 primers must build a bunker. This effort by OSHA is part of a larger effort to do this in all of the states I doth believe and I suspect if you peel away the layers, you will find Brady, et al; in the middle of it.




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  2. When it’s not in the chamber of a gun, ammo is just a big firecracker. Anyone who’s ever tossed a round into a campfire would know that. 😀




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  3. @Terraformer

    Yeah propellant is an explosive, but I mean it doesn’t present anywhere near the danger they would have you believe. Not all explosives are equal. They make it seem like a box of ammo is a crate of dynamite.




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  4. In a previous life, since I am a chemical engineer and was Plant Manger of a chemical plant, I was part of a hazardous materials response team in a small town. One Sunday night I got a call that there was a truck on fire out on the Interstate, and all the fire department knew was that there was hazardous materials on board. The cab had caught fire first so all the manifests were burned up, and no one could get the dispatcher on the phone to confirm what the truck held.

    When I arrived the front of the truck was engulfed, and the flames were making their way to the trailer. Since we needed to know, we decided it was best for us to try to open the trailer. We put a spray on the fire, and some volunteers got the seals cut off, and got the trailer open.

    It was beer. The trailer was full of beer.

    We relaxed. But I had a nagging thought in my head. Beer isn’t a hazardous material, not even in a dry county on a Sunday.

    When the fire finally engulfed the front of the trailer, we found out why the shipment was hazardous. The ammo in the front of the trailer started to cook off.

    Being a shooter I knew it would make a lot of noise and we should move back a reasonable distance, but it was amazing how many thought it would be like the beaches of Normandy.




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