I just got my first handgun and had previously bought a safe that we had used for other things. The safe is a made by first alert, and is the 2087F. It says in the manual, which I've thankfully kept, that the safe is not designed to store medication, firearms, ammo, etc. My question is, what does this warning actually mean? I know that fireproof and water proof safes don't actually stand up to major fires; everything in it will only last for about an hour before the internal temperature rises. This seems like even gun safes would have the same problem, and any ammo would eventually go off anyway.

So assuming that I did store my Glock in this safe, with a couple of hundred rounds of ammo, what is the worst that could actually happen? Would I wake up up at 3am to a few hundred rounds going off simply because of the airtight seal? Is that even possible?

Sorry if that's a lot of questions. I'm genuinely curious though, if there is any real danger at all.

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Most firearms regulations (and certainly best practices) require the firearm itself and its ammunition to be protected by separate, independent locks. Gun safes typically help you meet this requirement with a locked compartment for the ammunition within the main safe.

Modern ammunition is pretty stable, so there's no real danger of it firing unexpectedly under normal conditions. If it's a portable safe, there's some danger of dropping it and shocking the ammunition that way. Ammo boxes are built to provide some protection against accidentally firing loose ammunition, and some gun safes may also provide this type of safeguard.

I would advise you to consult your local gun club or shop for more detailed advice.

  • Friends who competed in the Netherlands had two safes, one for their guns and a second, smaller, for the ammo. Might work for you as well, even though you are in a different country with different laws. – Willeke Apr 10 at 20:31

My Silvercore instructor said you should never store ammunition in an airtight or near-airtight safe, so that may be a contributing factor.

If ammunition detonates in a fire or some other unintended scenario it can create a sudden and intense increase in pressure. If there is nowhere for that pressure to quickly vent your safe becomes a bomb and could explosively fail at the weakest point.

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