Leave them in ONLY if you have nickled brass, plain raw brass cases will turn green very quickly and really muck things up. Like DB Leath, I leave shotshells in. Police leather is the reason nickled brass exists.
The safest way is of course to remove them, that way when you toss the belt around or someone throws something on them there won't be any deadly surprises. Just because they are in a belt does not make them safe. In fact they are not as safe as bullets stored in a plastic case/box,
remember they are live rounds with exposed primers.
My compromise is to use nickel plated dummy rounds(bullets no powder with a used primer or no primer) which I leave in the Belt, minus enough loops for extra rounds carried for the match, which I remove at the end of the match.
Even nickel plated rounds need attending to now and then.
I leave in my nickel cases, remove the brass. It's amazing how fast the old green slime builds up on the cartridges and can make them difficult to chamber. My shotshell belt is canvas, so I leave even the full brass 12ga shells in it.
Ugh do I get this right; an exploding bullet isn't dangerous, the worst one will get if close enough is a powder burn??
Golly and here I have been treating loaded bullets with respect all these years when I could have been tossing them around, and not worring about children playing with them, and etc.
Gee the next time things slow down around the campfire I think I'll throw in a handful of 45's to liven things up, now that I know bullets going off, won't hurt anyone and only will cause a powder burn. **** the bullets are in the fire and I won't even have to worry about anyone getting a powder burn.
I remember in the dark ages of hunter safety classes they did a demonstration...they had rigged up a contraption to hold the rim of a shotshell with a "firing pin" that could be pulled back and released...there was nothing covering the shotshell. They took someone's hat, and put the shotshell, held by this contraption, into the hat and fired it. The shot just fell into the hat. The point was that without anything to, for lack of a better word 'focus' the pressures of the burning powder, there really wasn't much danger...RELATIVELY SPEAKING...of the round cooking off. But if someone were to wrap their hand around the shell when it was cooked off, which would provide immediate resistance to the rapidly expanding gasses...bye bye hand, and the shot would have moved forward with a little more authority. Kinda the same principle as lighting off a fire cracker in the open palm of your hand, then lighting off an identical firecracker and closing your hand...or making a shaped explosive charge.
I saw this same type of "experiement" done with a centerfire cartridge, and what seemed to happen was that the case expanded to the point that the crimp opened up enough so as to allow the burning gasses to escape through the opening created on one side of the crimp. The same thing happend when a loaded cartridge was esposed to heat. The bullet basically stayed in place, the crimp blew on one side, and the gasses escaped through that opening. The primer did pop and dislodge to a degree, and I think that some gasses probably escaped via that route as well.
I'm certinally not suggesting that anyone do this, as these "experiements" were done under relatively controled conditions...but it was still not a completely smart thing to do. Nor am I suggesting that this is how all loaded cartridges will react under similar circumstances. I'm just saying that this is what I've seen happen. Loaded cartridges are, as far as I've seen, not mini-grenades...but I still wouldn't want to be exposed to one cooking off in close quarters.
I remember a story told about a police dept that brought in a Soviet (back then it was Soviet) officer to demonstrate how to disassemble the Soviet weapons finding their way into the US. He dropped the mag out of the gun right on the table and ejected the round out of the chamber in like fashion.
One of the US officers noted this and asked, "Isn't that dangerous?"
The Soviet replied, "Dangerous, of course it's dangerous, it's a gun! It's supposed to be dangerous." :grin:
Black powder is an explosive. It does NOT need to be confined to explode. Smokeless powder must be tightly confined to generate pressures. It still burns progressively tho and doesn't explode like BP does.
I have caused roundss to go off (yeah I was young and dumb but had to know) and the bullet doesn't move, at least not enough to mention. Depending on what is the path of least resistance that's where the gases from the burning powder will go. That "might" mean the case could go flying away from the bullet with enough force to hurt but not seriously unless it hit an eye or it could just mean the case splits and gases rush out.
Now do NOT assume those rushing gases are not hot or that they do not expand and cover a large area fast when not confined because they do or can. Tossing bullets loaded with smokeless powder into a fire while not brilliant isn't gonna produce the effect most seem to think.
Many have discussed what "might" happen when using spitzer bullets rather than RN or FN bullets in a lever rifle. Some say it can or even will ignite the rounds or one of them in the tube. Maybe. Most likely not but the experiments I've read when they were able to make one go off no damage was done to the rifle. No containment so the gases vented. Violently yes but with no damage to the rifle and without setting off other rounds. Would I try it personally? Nope.
Still loaded ammo just really ain't so dangerous and neither are guns. Only in the hands of a careless person or one who intends to cause harm are they dangerous. A loaded gun with hammer cocked sitting on a table is no more dangerous than an unloaded gun in a drawer unless someone messes with it. It ain't gonna fire on it's own. It has to have help.
I probably change the rounds in my belt 2-3 times a year. The first 5 on the right get used on reload stages but the rest stay until I use them for practice, about twice a year. Never saw that green crud you hear about though.
Howdy! Seems to me that I read an article some years back about unchambered cartridges going off. The article cooked them off in a fire. Projectiles went flying BUT could only caused a bruise, no penetration. The Fire Department was part of this experiment as they wanted to know if they would be in Mortal Danger in such a circumstance. Conclusion was that if the fireman was wearing his heavy coat etc, he would be quite safe. Now the other side. I read about an poor hunter who place the shotshells in his coat pocket, slammed the card door (his coat was in the door jamb), the shotshells exploded and killed him. I guess I would be inclined to treat them with a LOT of respect and remove them from my belt and place them back in the box. I personally do not like to push my luck.
Since we're all friends here, and this wire is supposed to be a mutually educational experience for us, please don't take offense at the following comments. The projectile that comes out the end of your firearm barrel is a "bullet". The assembled item (case, bullet, primer, powder, lube) in the loop of your pistol belt is a "cartridge" or "round of ammunition". And, now that you mention it, those in my belt are starting to look pretty moldy/oldy.
Capt, you are exactly right. Words mean things. In this day and age of complete abuse of the language I am probably as guilty as the next of saying bullets while meaining loaded ammunition. I don't think anyone should be offended here. You just stated what we all know but don't always say.
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