There goes another one...Ammo dump explosions

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by HectortheInspector, Jan 24, 2012.

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  1. Possibly, and I am not an expert in these matters, but I have considerable experience in tinkering with SAA. Miraculously, I still have all my digits. I personally feel that the average ambient temperatures in this country may have a bit more to do with it. I was given the remnants of a box of .45 ACP "tommy-gun ammo" (as it was referred to technically) to dispose of in the eighties, by firing it off on the range from my personal Colt automatic. The stuff had 1944 stamped on the base, and was in perfect condition. No stoppages or misfires.

    I suspect that the cool, dry conditions in the average Brit military ammo bunker is very conducive to stable preservation. Kinshasa or Cyprus may have different temperature ranges.

    Pyrotechnics are unfortunately not as good. I have to test-fire my miniflares, one every November 5th, after their storage date expires. I always have some miniflares in the car boot (which probably gets a bit tepid in summer) and they get an occasional failure to fire after about three years older than the expiry dates on the packaging.

    If one of a batch fails to fire, then my little nephews and nieces then have the fun of firing off the rest, while I have the dubious pleasure of paying for the replacements. There were tears in my eyes last Nov 5th when I fired off an out-of-date illum civvy Schermuly over the neighbourhood. Damn things are incredibly expensive; I always put it down to the words "Emergency Use Only" stamped on the side. Seems to add a very large sum to the purchase price, for some reason...

    As we live close to the coast, I only fire the things off on bonfire night, or the local Coastguard becomes truculent.
  2. We fire all the out of date pyro on New year, always inform the Coastguard of location, time start/finish and colours of flares. Never been an issue as long as they know.
  3. I used to periodically collect explosives for my mine in Tanzania from the storage facility in Dar-es-Salaam mentioned above (see Feb 16 2011, Gongola Mboto), and very time I visited, about ten years prior to this event, there was increasing encroachment into the old and generally decrepit complex by shanty housing. All very social and relaxed; the last time I was there I remember kids playing on top of the bunkers, groups of people standing around while we loaded up the Gelamex, cordtex and dets etc. When it went up I was working for one of the risk mitigation organisations in London, and received a number of calls from tourists asking nervously whether there was a coup taking place...
  4. Heard of cretins with a forklift driving forks through an MLRS container after granby ans everyone heading for the horizon as fast as they could though not as fast as if the mlrs had gone bang:)
    Possibly not letting an infantry bloke who said he used to be a fork lift driver for tescos unload explosives without some training? Might have avoided that little drama:(.

    HM forces are the most professional military in the world, think about the consequences of that:(
    And be very very scared :(
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  5. Thanks, good advice. I'll try New Year next time.

    Ruddy Schermuly. The "Woosh" was so loud, everyone stopped scoffing burgers to ask what the f... it was. Until it went "pop"
    at the top of the arc.

    Now I've got to find a suitable place and time to try out my 1W lasers... Box says the range is "to the horizon in any direction". And no, it wasn't me near the Glasgow pub last night.
  6. There's a reason that pyro has a self life and you're advertising the use of a banned laser..............very smart!
  7. Lasers of that power are used for long-distance surveying, amongst other things, They are not banned. They just have to be used with care, and turned off immediately if you hear an aircraft.

    I would stick to commenting on pyrotechnics, if I were you.
  8. I had a mate who worked at pinewood studios and one day he said he had a surprise for us, he had got hold of quite a few pyros from the studios and some very funny looking maroons
    He said he would send up the maroons on nov5 at our mates place.
    We all went, had the usual piss up and watched some dubious pyrotechnics with fireworks. At the end of the eve he said watch this and launched 4 maroons via a homemade launcher right up over the busy uxbridge road in Hayes, I had never heard a maroon before and the resulting explosion of them overhead had me diving under the beer table. Every car alarm in a quarter mile went off and the explosions heard all over Hayes, within minutes there were police cars a fire engine and an ambulance racing up and down the busy road looking for an explosion, we bugged out and as we were leaving a police car was pulling up outside to question my mate.
    Apparently they were heard in uxbridge and southall and they thought it was an Ira bomb.
    Not very happy cops and a few shit filled pants too I reckon,, I never knew that maroons were designed to be heard over a town to call out the rnli so 4 all at once was fcking loud

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  9. Yep, I was playing with 2 three colour show lasers bigger than that, outdoor in fog recently. It was a bit childish but we had a laugh.
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  10. After further investigation, it looks as if you're right. There is no law just a recommendation by H & S, which is misquoted by a lot of authorities including the BBC.

    However, by all means keep playing with unserviceable pyro, the Darwin Awards needs candidates each year.
  11. I certainly acknowledge your last remark. When I look back at the misuse and stupidities I saw during my service (some of which were mine), it was a good thing that the old Mk8 Thundie (for example) went out of service. Two young subalterns of the RAOC dismantled a thundie to show some RA officers how dangerous the flash powder could be, and lit it with a yard-long spill of rolled up newspaper. After the flash dissipated and their bleached retinas recovered, the yard-long twist of paper was four inches long.

    Still didn't stop the (RA) idiots, though. One of the subbies saw a Royal Arty officer drop one inside an item of mess silver on a dinner night. It was expensive, although fortunately harmless to the officers nearby. He had been told that if he packed the handle with mud, it would stop the explosion.

    Your point is valid.
  12. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    Still remember being told of a day when the plod walked onto site (was working for BAe at the time) with a box asking for the Mortars Technical Authority....dumped it on hi desk and asked 'any idea what these are?' - his response was yes, and now lets all leave the room shall we......not sure exactly what they were but they were 20 years out of date and leaking!!

    I think Rickshaw-Major was at Eskmeals when the AS90 had an in-bore when there was a re-life trial going on....I saw the footage and at least one of them was damn lucky to even under 'controlled' conditions firing off out of life rounds is not a good idea.

    Saying that I have had the joy/honour of being one of the few people to deliberately blow up large rounds in-bore for test purposes....still brings a smile on when remembering.

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  13. On the subject of out of date munitions, I recall that round about 1978, we were given a load of 3" mortar bombs to expend - more to get rid of in a weekend than our usual annual allotment of 81mm. We'd been told that this was the last of the 3" stocks (don't know how true this was). They wobbled going down the barrel and in flight, giving off a strange noise.

    I didn't think of clocking the date on them but wonder now when 3" mortar bombs were last manufactured for British service. Presumably 1958?