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Ammunition vs. components.

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  • Ammunition vs. components.

    Throughout the course of my daily duties, questions occasionally form in my mind as I contemplate various matters and this question seemed to be a likely candidate for this forum.

    Primers and powder NOT assembled as a part of a cartridge require a hazmat license and extra S&H to ship, however, those same components in the form of a loaded cartridge do not. Why?

  • #2
    From an old thread at www.thehighroad.com

    "Primers and powder are both Class 1.4 Explosives. Smokeless powder and black powder for small arms can be reclassified as Hazard Class 4.1 Flammable Solid if packed in individual containers not greater than 8lbs and shipping packages no greater than 16lbs using type 4 fiberboard PG type 1 class box.

    "Ammunition is a Class 1.4 Explosive but allowed to be reclassed to ORM-D Small Arms Ammunition if packed tightly, primers are protected, and packaging is less than 66lbs.

    Carriers such as UPS incur extra costs for handling hazardous materials. Part of that is employee training. The HazMat charge covers the costs and probably provides a good profit.

    According to 49 CFR 172-174, you as a Haz Mat employee (any person who is responsible for handling, packaging, labeling, inspecting, or transporting hazardous materials) need to be trained on:

    General awareness training
    Function-specific training
    Safety training
    Emergency response training
    Security awareness training
    In depth security training
    Any other training required by OSHA, EPA, or other government or international agency

    Once you complete the training, you then submit an application for haz mat shipping with a contract carrier, ie UPS or FedEx. You fill out the one page form, submit training certificates showing you are trained in accordance with the federal laws, and submit a sample record form for all the hazardous materials you will be shipping. They forward this to the security and haz mat division which approves the application. You are then approved to begin shipping hazardous materials with that shipping provider.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it used to be primers and powder had to be two shipments. Now they can be combined with certain restrictions. I think the fee helps buy the insurance for the load and maybe the extra miles it may have to go to avoid a tunnel or other restricted areas.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Red Angus View Post
        Throughout the course of my daily duties, questions occasionally form in my mind as I contemplate various matters and this question seemed to be a likely candidate for this forum.

        Primers and powder NOT assembled as a part of a cartridge require a hazmat license and extra S&H to ship, however, those same components in the form of a loaded cartridge do not. Why?
        Good question!
        Since I'm not part of the ICC who decides what's dangerous to ship and what's safe to ship, I can only make suppositions.
        I can only surmise that powder in containers may be more "volatile"(?) than powder contained in cartridges.
        Conventional "smokeless" powder doesn't explode or detonate, it burns. When contained (i.e. chambered round) that burn rate accelerates....rapidly!
        The primer?
        That's even a better question.
        It would be interesting to drop a primer into a fire to see what happens. 🤔?

        The ICC is really good about testing items in scenarios outside what they may normally endure to be prepared for the unexpected.
        They (the ICC) are more interested in possibilities than probabilities.
        It's "possible" a primer may initiate an explosion. They've proven in extreme tests that it's "possible".
        The "probability" of those conditions is extremely low.


        Comment


        • #5
          Interesting. Thanks for chiming in y'all.

          Comment

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