With summer upon us, temperatures in much of the country are hot, hot, hot. A big question many gun owners have this time of year is whether it is safe to store their firearms and ammunition in a hot car. They are concerned that the temperatures in their cars will reach high enough temperatures to cause the ammunition to self-ignite or cause a round to go off in the chamber.
Unless your car is on fire, the ammunition stored inside will not get hot enough to explode. Even in extremely hot climates that regularly reach temperatures in the triple digits, the temperature inside a vehicle will not reach levels that will adversely affect your ammo.
It will have to reach temperatures exceeding 400 degrees inside your vehicle before your ammunition is at risk of cooking off. The bigger problem regarding guns and ammo in the summer heat relates to humidity. If you use quality ammunition, humidity won’t be a big deal. However, when gun owners reload their own ammunition and use inexpensive primers that aren’t sealed, moisture can seep in and cause problems.
Although the heat won’t cause problems in the functionality of firearms or ammo, consider storing them in a closed container that is not exposed to the sun. Touching metal that’s been sitting in a hot car for extended periods of time is not a fun experience. Do yourself a favor and keep your guns out of the direct sun.
When transporting guns and ammo in your vehicle, it important to follow the laws of your jurisdiction (or any jurisdiction you happen to visit). Many state laws require guns to be unloaded and stored in locked containers in the trunk or other areas of the vehicle that are inaccessible from the passenger compartment.