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Can a Lead Bullet Make a Spark?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by eliduc, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. eliduc

    eliduc Active Member

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    Up at the top of the page is a warning that Public Lands might be closed to shooting because of fire danger. Can a lead or copper jacketed bullet cause a spark upon impact?
     
  2. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Generally, no.

    But a lot of FMJ ammo has steel cores or jackets or tips.
     
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  3. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    If one shooter shooting something that makes sparks, and nineteen shooters shooting lead projectiles all get booted from a popular forest area, who started the forest fire that gets everyone booted, and is it fair?

    If the nineteen lead projectile shooters shoot against a rockpile, and smashed rocks spark, starting a forest fire, who or what gets the blame, the rocks or the shooters?

    If two lead shooters shoot exploding targets in a dry brushy area, starting a forest fire...
     
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  4. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    No, but you know what (only) throws lead slugs that'll burn the forest down lickety squat? Well, a black powder gun stoked up proud! Pretty much the only thing that'll make a spark, projectile-wise is something with a steel jacket or core.. or a tracer, or a magnesium specialty round.. or..
    Lead won't make a spark, per-se.
     
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  5. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'd bet, it's more the case of shooters who smoke, being careless about their butts or flicking ashes.
     
  6. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The flash from smokeless powder could theoretically start a fire too, just not as probable as black powder.

    Why chance it?
     
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  7. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    If you smashed some igneous rock comprised of sulfer, iron ore and chert with a lead slug.. yawnola
     
  8. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    per-se...
     
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  9. decklin

    decklin WA Well-Known Member

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    I can tell you from personal experience that shooters absolutely can cause a fire.
    I've seen it multiple times on ranges and training grounds all over the place.
    Last time was in Yakima. We were doing movement drills and set the grass and scrub on fire. No tracers were used either.
     
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  10. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    At camp Pendleton too
     
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  11. rdt

    rdt SW Portland Active Member

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    bullet can drive rock against rock making spark

    also, the heat of the bullet might be enough to set somethjng to smoldering?

    what about the fireball out the muzzle of certain guns and certain rounds? or the heat of a barrel after a rapid fire episode?

    not trying to troll, just thinking that "spark" is not the only way to ignite.

    that said, how many fires this weekend will be started by careless smoking/cooking/dirt bikes/fireworks?
     
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  12. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'd bet a beer, if you read Huffington Post and listen to the anti-gun and anti-tobbaco lobbies, your answer would be "all of 'em." :mad:
     
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  13. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Ditto on the rocks driven into other rocks! Saw it in Nevada, my folks were shooting lead, RN .38spl! Least that's what my dad said!

    We'll be at home this weekend, with our hoses stretched out and our best/longest range nozzles attached!
     
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  14. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    yes.

    led and copper jacketed bullets can cause fires without sparking but from the deformation on impact can generate enough heat. USDA did a study back in 2013: http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_rp104.pdf
    I read it a long time ago, IIRC it was a controlled experiment letting bullet fragments fall into a bullet trap with dry peat. I don’t know how that would correlate to out in the woods, what are the odds?
     
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  15. JustShoot

    JustShoot Oregon . Hillsborito area Active Member

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    this --> what koda said .

    Put on the NV and shoot plate steel @ night with Lead jacketed bullets and watch the hits . Bullets material ( lead & copper ) are non Ferrous metal ( no Iron ) .
    But .. Copper & lead hit objects . Combine this with ( high velocity ) that the projectile is being pushed . Molted & vaporize along with throwing spall . So YES you can cause combustion ( FIRE ) , if all the dots line-up in the right order . High Vel. object of bullet Impact energy produces Heat .
    Or old saying ..." What can happen. Will Happen ".
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  16. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Book Paper burns at only 451 degrees. Super dry tinder in the woods would not be much different. Its pretty easy to imagine a bullet of any composition reaching 451 degrees.
     
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  17. eliduc

    eliduc Active Member

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    A patch from a muzzle loader would certainly do it. Good posts. Things I never would have thought of. My son has a 5.7 that we were shooting as the sun was getting low in the sky. The muzzle flash was about three feet long.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  18. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    The pistol range at Tri-County had a grass fire near the firing line in the last couple years. They have a different designated black powder range, so it is likely the igniting gun was smokeless.
     
  19. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    I accidentally caused a fire way over east shooting .50 bmg.. I grabbed a APIT round and didn't realize it!! Good thing we had shovels, water and burlap sacks... Or else I would have been on the news.
    We were shooting at 1500 yards and by the time we got to the target , an area of about 100'x100' was burning!
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
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  20. YOURSUPREMECOMMANDER

    YOURSUPREMECOMMANDER Raleigh Hills, Or. Active Member

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    Scary Stuff.
     
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