Reloading Accident

cycleguy2300

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Say he had a few thousand primers in the area, don't primers explode (they do contain a small amount of high explosives) and won't they go off in mass more or less spontaneously? Add 6 pounds of smokeless powder to that and whatever other things he may have had around, like possibly black powder, and I wonder if it all could go kaboom. Just wondering.

One or two folks pointed out there was no mention of gas in the article. Well, there was no mention of an ignition source either but something ignited it. So, no mention of them does not necessarily mean gas or an ignition source definitely were not in the picture. The firefighter or whichever authority quoted the homeowner was restating what he told them. Then a reporter from the media quoted it - all of a sudden some of you seem to be taking the word of the media as gospel! My guess is there might be a bit more information that will be revealed after an follow-up investigation - if not by the fire department then by the insurance company. Then again, there may have been something else that was explosive in the area where he was reloading, my guess is the garage from the scant info given in the article about the garage door being blown across the street and from photos showing what certainly looks like the remains of a garage. That might also come out after an investigation and I would guess with some certainty that, if the house really is a total loss, the insurance company will do an investigation.

As for someone mentioning watching a burn off of ammo where firefighters nearby were not injured - that was ammo already loaded into individual cartridges - was it not? That is very different than unloaded: smokeless powder, black powder or primers.
Not only are primers high explosive, they are a primary explosive, having low energy threshold to initiate the reaction.

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jrbfishn

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Smokeless powder works to create a pressure driven catastrophic containment failure.
Powder ignites.
Starts to burn releasing large amounts of gasses creating pressure.
Resulting pressure increases the burn rate of the remaining powder.
A cascade of burn/pressure until catastrophic failure is achieved and the weakest point, the bullet, is expelled.

Black powder burns at a specific rate regardless of pressure it is under using that 'explosive' burn rate to expel a projectile.
Smokeless powder burns at a variable rate depending on it's chemical make up, shape and pressure to create a volume of gasses that quickly build to a higher pressure than can be contained by said container.
The difference between how the two types of powder works is why you can use BP in a smokeless gun but not reversed without a large chance of catastrophic failure.
Reloaders, especially those that do Cowboy Action, should know this. Smokeless loads in BP cartridge guns have to use a lower powder charge than modern cartridge guns because of the difference in the pressure curve. Very bad Ju-Ju if you don't.
But the resulting pressure curve is why you can put smokeless powder in a container, such as a pressure cooker, and get an explosive reaction. When ignited, pressure builds until you get a catastrophic failure to contain.
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toddnjoyce

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Explain then, what smokeless powder does when you pull the trigger and set off the primer if it doesn't explode. I would politely ask you to define "explode"…
In the EOD space, deflagration is a subsonic burn where the fuel and the oxidizer are not typically contained in the same molecule. This the technical definition of a low order explosive, which all propellants are.

High explosives are rules by the fuel and oxidizer being contained in the same molecule and having a supersonic burn rate…that is detonation.



Whoever mentioned brisance above is in the right technical jargon space as a way to measure the force released, which is derived (probably not the correct formulaic term) from the speed of the reaction (burn rate).
 

toddnjoyce

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Say he had a few thousand primers in the area, don't primers explode (they do contain a small amount of high explosives) and won't they go off in mass more or less spontaneously? Add 6 pounds of smokeless powder to that and whatever other things he may have had around, like possibly black powder, and I wonder if it all could go kaboom. Just wondering….
Likely not. Primers can go bang in groups but still need to ignite the powder in a space that contains the pressure sufficiently to move (that’s) what propellants do…they move stuff) the house structure quick enough to explode. Put all that shit in an old-style locking refrigerator, light it on fire from the inside and the refrigerator may burp or it may boom depending on a lot of factors, mainly how packed full of primers and powder the refrigerator is.
 

Texasjack

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First, "Floriduh". The only place where Elvis sitings and UFOs take a back seat to what the locals do.

Second, no freakin' way unless he was actually building a pipe bomb. Of course, if he was doing that, he would have had shrapnel, so that's unlikely too. More likely is that he had a gas or propane leak that had nothing to do with the reloading. The damage looks very much like what happens in an air/gas explosion, as the flash is so quick that it often doesn't set anything on fire. Nothing in the pictures looks charred.

I've seen large quantities of powder burned and it's very intense with a LOT of heat generated. I've never seen it explode unless the powder is contained in a tight vessel. You would expect a fire, not an explosion.

Or aliens.
 

BBL

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Any update on this story? It's been a few days, I would assume there would be a press release with some more information. Especially given the size of the story.
 
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