Transporting Loaded Ammo

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posted on June 16, 2014
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A friend e-mailed me a picture and a story of how a loaded round discharged in his shooting bag. At his request, I am keeping him anonymous, but he wanted to get the story out to help fellow shooters. The ammo was his handloads for 3-gun competition—9 mm with a Barnes bullet. It was among the hundreds had had loose in his shooting bag.Usually my friend carries his ammo in an MTM Case-Gard case where each round has a place, but for reasons he did not elaborate, this time he carried his ammo loose. Everything was fine until he also included the tactical knife he normally carries with the ammo. Somehow during either handling or travel an edge on the spine of his knife was in contact with the primer on the cartridge, and enough force was applied to cause the primer to fire. Thankfully, no one was injured, and the only damage was the destroyed cartridge case.

Three lessons learned: First, don’t transport loose ammo on a public conveyance where you do not have control of the bag at all times. Even if your ammo bag is within another piece of your luggage, the baggage-handling goons can find a way to destroy it. Second, under no circumstances should anything but ammo be in the bag with the ammo. Yes, this was a freak accident—perhaps one of the freakiest—but we now know that it is preventable. Finally, treat ammo bags with some respect. Don’t toss them or drop them. Ammo bags do not need to be treated like a thousand-year-old Ming vase, but reasonable care will prevent something like this from happening and make the bag last longer.This little story is particularly poignant, given my last blog on the Dillon’s Border Shift bag. My friend did not tell me who made his bag, but consider this an addendum to that blog.

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