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Old 02-21-2021, 05:26 PM
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Default Gun in the sun?

Well, I'm not sure about which Forum, so since a Ruger was involved...Anyways, this past summer, getting out of my car at home, I put my 9mm pistol on the dash of my car "for a second or so." Windows up, hot outside and no clouds. About 20 minutes later, I went out to retrieve it. It was so hot I needed a rag to grab it comfortably, then set it in the garage till it cooled down. Is there a temperature that could be generated inside a car that would make the gun/cartridges unsafe, as to premature discharge?
Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:06 PM
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From what I can find online you need around 400 degrees Fahrenheit to get to where a center fire cartridge might self detonate. I wouldn’t worry about your car getting too hot unless it was on fire in which case your firearm would be the least of your worries.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:21 PM
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My understanding is that in a worst-case scenario, hot temperatures in the summer with bright sunshine, the inside temperature of a car can get up to 60* hotter than the outside temp. That's not going to cause ammo to detonate or discharge.

However, I have read that it's not advisable to leave kydex holsters, especially thin, lightweight ones, in a hot car as they can soften or lose shape. I only have a couple of kydex/polymer holsters and I don't leave them in the car, so I can't say from personal experience if that's true.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:22 PM
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You must not live in Pittsburgh if your gun was on the dash after twenty minutes. Does the mayor know about this?

Don't get mad, I'm just kidding.
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Old 02-21-2021, 06:45 PM
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I can state with absolute certainty a canister of OC spray will explode in a hot car.

I think ammo would be ok. I wonder if a polymer framed pistol would deform from heat.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:03 PM
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I've left guns in cars in Texas heat. Nothing happened. One was polymer. The others were steel. I don't do this anymore for reasons discussed in other threads but the heat never bothered the guns.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:26 PM
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I keep two speedloaders for my J Frame in the center console and have done so for years. It gets pretty hot around here in the summer but I’ve never had a problem.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Old_Cop View Post
You must not live in Pittsburgh if your gun was on the dash after twenty minutes. Does the mayor know about this?

Don't get mad, I'm just kidding.
That's funny! I keep the car parked about 90ft. from the street; most officials wouldn't walk that far!
I really couldn't find any examples online. Pop & beer cans would probably blow up first.
I'm sure our public officials have seen my Gadsden Flag, plus I have a Thin Blue Line flag just in case I need to brownie the police! Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:26 PM
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No . . . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrefrig View Post
Well, I'm not sure about which Forum, so since a Ruger was involved...Anyways, this past summer, getting out of my car at home, I put my 9mm pistol on the dash of my car "for a second or so." Windows up, hot outside and no clouds. About 20 minutes later, I went out to retrieve it. It was so hot I needed a rag to grab it comfortably, then set it in the garage till it cooled down. Is there a temperature that could be generated inside a car that would make the gun/cartridges unsafe, as to premature discharge?
Thanks!
Jeff
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:39 AM
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A squeeze jar of hand sanitizer might catch fire in a hot car.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
I can state with absolute certainty a canister of OC spray will explode in a hot car.

I think ammo would be ok. I wonder if a polymer framed pistol would deform from heat.
As will a can of lemon Pledge. Don't ask me how I know... But at least that smells good!

However, a polymer pistol will NOT deform. There are plenty of plastic pieces inside a car that aren't as good quality as the polymer in a handgun and they seem to hold up pretty good. In fact, much of the polymer used in guns is subjected to Mil-Spec testing and specifications, and heat resistance and the ability to handle a hot pistol with a bare hand is part of that.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:30 PM
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A squeeze jar of hand sanitizer might catch fire in a hot car.
That was disproven.

However, I have seen experiments where a water bottle left inside a car acted as a magnifying glass, causing the interior to ignite.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffrefrig View Post
I put my 9mm pistol on the dash of my car "for a second or so." Windows up, hot outside and no clouds. About 20 minutes later, I went out to retrieve it.
A second or so or 20 minutes, which was it? HUGE difference.

Why would you EVER put a pistol on a dash of a car?
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Old_Cop View Post
You must not live in Pittsburgh if your gun was on the dash after twenty minutes. Does the mayor know about this?

Don't get mad, I'm just kidding.
I thought you were going to point out that there is never sun in Pittsburgh.
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Old 02-22-2021, 01:42 PM
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You must not live in Pittsburgh if your gun was on the dash after twenty minutes. Does the mayor know about this?

Don't get mad, I'm just kidding.
I'm just wondering about the sun, this place is usually overcast and dreary
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Old 02-22-2021, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
I can state with absolute certainty a canister of OC spray will explode in a hot car.

I think ammo would be ok. I wonder if a polymer framed pistol would deform from heat.
You oughta see what happens to a frozen Butter Braid. My Durango smelled like cream cheese for a month . . .
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:52 PM
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Might have been an urban myth but I recall the story of a woman calling the police and telling them she was sitting in her car when she was shot in the back of the head. Said she was holding her brains in with her hand. Turns out a tube of refrigerator biscuits had exploded in her grocery bag in the back seat and some of the dough had hit her in the back of the head.

Probably just a tall tale but I guess itís at least plausible?
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Old 02-22-2021, 04:59 PM
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Might have been an urban myth but I recall the story of a woman calling the police and telling them she was sitting in her car when she was shot in the back of the head. Said she was holding her brains in with her hand. Turns out a tube of refrigerator biscuits had exploded in her grocery bag in the back seat and some of the dough had hit her in the back of the head.

Probably just a tall tale but I guess itís at least plausible?
Sounds familiar. I have a vague notion that Mythbusters tested this one.

Edit: Yup...


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Old 02-22-2021, 05:12 PM
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There was a clown at work that used to leave his loaded mags on the dash of his truck because he was sure it would scare away any potential thief.
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:22 PM
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There was a clown at work that used to leave his loaded mags on the dash of his truck because he was sure it would scare away any potential thief.
I've left an empty holster on the seat of my Harley for the same reason while the bike is out of eye shot. The holster has always been there when I return.
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:32 PM
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You oughta see what happens to a frozen Butter Braid. My Durango smelled like cream cheese for a month . . .
You're suppose to thaw those BEFORE baking.
Now you made me hungry for a Butter Braid, wonder what youth group might be selling them, hmmmm....
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:00 PM
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As will a can of lemon Pledge. Don't ask me how I know... But at least that smells good!

However, a polymer pistol will NOT deform. There are plenty of plastic pieces inside a car that aren't as good quality as the polymer in a handgun and they seem to hold up pretty good. In fact, much of the polymer used in guns is subjected to Mil-Spec testing and specifications, and heat resistance and the ability to handle a hot pistol with a bare hand is part of that.

It is a good thing the plastic in cars does not melt. The way they are built these days the parking lots in Florida would be covered with plastic puddles in the summer time.
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:21 PM
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In the heat of a Texas summer my black truck would peak a tick over 160. The current white truck peaks at 140ish.


One August it was time for the annual testing of the fire alarm system. About 2pm I get a call on the radio asking if I had “the fire alarm guy” with me. I said I did. “I think his truck is on fire, the cab is full of smoke.” Long story short, he had left a can of detector testing smoke on the dashboard which popped.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by GaryHK View Post
A second or so or 20 minutes, which was it? HUGE difference.

Why would you EVER put a pistol on a dash of a car?
I put that in quotation marks because that's what I MEANT to do, while unbuckling and grabbing grocery bag on the front seat. The gun WAS in a small holster I keep in a cupholder while driving. I got distracted by my dog in the back seat, as she was excited to exit the vehicle because wife was outside. (Obviously, I get distracted too easily!) I did the typical things I do when I come home with stuff from the store that needs refrigerated. I usually grab the gun as I get out of the car...no harm, no foul, but the distraction made me forget to grab the gun AND my phone. It may have been 19 minutes. When I went to get my obligatory can of welcome home beer, that's when I went back out to the car. FWIW, my phone had the High Temp on the front, obviously telling me that it needed to cool off, too. I guess I should've been more clear!
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffrefrig View Post
I put that in quotation marks because that's what I MEANT to do, while unbuckling and grabbing grocery bag on the front seat. The gun WAS in a small holster I keep in a cupholder while driving. I got distracted by my dog in the back seat, as she was excited to exit the vehicle because wife was outside. (Obviously, I get distracted too easily!) I did the typical things I do when I come home with stuff from the store that needs refrigerated. I usually grab the gun as I get out of the car...no harm, no foul, but the distraction made me forget to grab the gun AND my phone. It may have been 19 minutes. When I went to get my obligatory can of welcome home beer, that's when I went back out to the car. FWIW, my phone had the High Temp on the front, obviously telling me that it needed to cool off, too. I guess I should've been more clear!
That makes a lot more sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain.
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Old 02-22-2021, 07:53 PM
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I'm just wondering about the sun, this place is usually overcast and dreary
If I still had the pool out back, there would not have been one bit of blue in the clouds!
My cousin in San Antonio had a Pepsi bottle blow up in her hand somehow, when they were real glass, as she was going back out to her car to get it. Her tendons in her hand got sliced pretty bad; several operations, etc. Somehow they determined it wasn't the heat that caused it. I don't know how, but they (law firm) proved faulty bottle. For the record, she said she never called the law firm; her insurance co. got involved.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:11 PM
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If ammunition could detonate from the heat of being inside of a car on a hot Summer day then I would imagine that nobody would have "truck guns" due to the risk involved. Or at the very least, you would hear periodic tales online from folks who had ammo blow up in their car because they forgot to take it out.

In fact, I guarantee you that if there was any risk of such a thing ever happening, then ammo boxes would have warning labels against keeping ammo stored inside of a car.

That being said, be careful never to leave any cans of cola or rootbeer inside your car in the Summer, they will explode, leaving brown stains all over the upholstery which looks surprisingly similar to dried blood as it ages, which is bound to make any friends you might offer rides to extremely uncomfortable. I know this from experience.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:58 PM
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If ammunition could detonate from the heat of being inside of a car on a hot Summer day then I would imagine that nobody would have "truck guns" due to the risk involved. Or at the very least, you would hear periodic tales online from folks who had ammo blow up in their car because they forgot to take it out.

In fact, I guarantee you that if there was any risk of such a thing ever happening, then ammo boxes would have warning labels against keeping ammo stored inside of a car.
Not to mention shipping of ammo via trucks spending several days driving in the summer. I doubt those trailers are climate-controlled.

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That being said, be careful never to leave any cans of cola or rootbeer inside your car in the Summer, they will explode, leaving brown stains all over the upholstery which looks surprisingly similar to dried blood as it ages, which is bound to make any friends you might offer rides to extremely uncomfortable. I know this from experience.
I don't know. I could probably have some fun with that.

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Old 02-23-2021, 08:11 AM
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That was disproven.

However, I have seen experiments where a water bottle left inside a car acted as a magnifying glass, causing the interior to ignite.
When I used to belong to a volunteer Fire dept we did a lot of wild fires. One was traced back to the curve in the bottom of a spray can, which acted as a parabolic mirror. A spray can on your dash could do a lot more than just heat up and over pressure itself.
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:27 AM
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If ammunition could detonate from the heat of being inside of a car on a hot Summer day then I would imagine that nobody would have "truck guns" due to the risk involved. Or at the very least, you would hear periodic tales online from folks who had ammo blow up in their car because they forgot to take it out.

In fact, I guarantee you that if there was any risk of such a thing ever happening, then ammo boxes would have warning labels against keeping ammo stored inside of a car.

That being said, be careful never to leave any cans of cola or rootbeer inside your car in the Summer, they will explode, leaving brown stains all over the upholstery which looks surprisingly similar to dried blood as it ages, which is bound to make any friends you might offer rides to extremely uncomfortable. I know this from experience.
When I was at Ft Irwin Ca in June of 83 I bought a case of Pepsi to take out to the field with me. Summer in the desert gets hot so I wrapped it in my poncho liner and stuffed it in the back of my M113. Well a few cans exploded from the heat and my poncho liner was like a piece of cardboard until I could wash it
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:44 AM
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Glad I live where I can sleep at night without AC.
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Old 02-23-2021, 03:34 PM
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Glad I live where I can sleep at night without AC.
Oh heck yes. I'll take brown bears, wolves and cougars over sticky, stifling heat any day!
Seriously.
The wife and I are gonna be trailer camping in your part of the world this year.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:43 PM
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If I still had the pool out back, there would not have been one bit of blue in the clouds!
My cousin in San Antonio had a Pepsi bottle blow up in her hand somehow, when they were real glass, as she was going back out to her car to get it. Her tendons in her hand got sliced pretty bad; several operations, etc. Somehow they determined it wasn't the heat that caused it. I don't know how, but they (law firm) proved faulty bottle. For the record, she said she never called the law firm; her insurance co. got involved.
Since we are talking about heat, I figured this would make everyone smile. About 3 weeks ago my wife left 3- 2 lt bottles of soda on the outside porch. The nights were around -20 to minus 25 for 3 nights, I mentioned the sodas and she brought them into the kitchen. After approximately 10 min I heard a Loud bang and went running into the kitchen with a gun, I thought my wife had fired a gun. There was soda Diet/ Decaf all over the kitchen along with shards of plastic. It blew apart the dish drainer it was sitting in, I wanted to contact Coke, but figured they would blow it out of proportion and the bomb squad would be at the house. My wife took the other bottle back to the porch where it exploded in about 3-5 minutes. The third bottle had cracked and was leaking into the sink as it warmed. There were brought into an approximately 70 degree kitchen, so why would it go bang? I have seen bottles, both glass & plastic freeze and crack, but never go bang. I think it may be due to the amount of CO2 in the soda? Be Safe,
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:39 PM
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You must not live in Pittsburgh if your gun was on the dash after twenty minutes. Does the mayor know about this?

Don't get mad, I'm just kidding.
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I thought you were going to point out that there is never sun in Pittsburgh.
I was born in Pittsburgh in 1950,, and lived there for the next 20 years,,

I can honestly say I do not remember a 20 minute period during that 20 years when there was not a cloud,,,
seriously,,

I had a friend give up a great job so that he could leave Pittsburgh,, because he wanted to ride a motorcycle,,
Pittsburgh was always too cold.
When I moved to Virginia I was shocked how often people were able to live with a sunny sky.
I did not know that type of sunny sky existed.

Hopefully ,, Pittsburgh weather is better now.
I think most of my lack of sun was due to coal burning pollution,,

As far as ammo on a dash,,
I have a relative that lives on a farm near Williamsburg VA,,
His pickups have had guns, and/or ammo on the dash in one form or another since the late 1960's.
Rimfires, centerfires, shotgun shells,, all subjected to the direct sun for over 55 years,, and nothing has happened.
Trust me,, Williamsburg is WAY hotter than Pittsburgh,,,
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Old 02-23-2021, 06:49 PM
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Since we are talking about heat, I figured this would make everyone smile. About 3 weeks ago my wife left 3- 2 lt bottles of soda on the outside porch. The nights were around -20 to minus 25 for 3 nights, I mentioned the sodas and she brought them into the kitchen. After approximately 10 min I heard a Loud bang and went running into the kitchen with a gun, I thought my wife had fired a gun.


I think it may be due to the amount of CO2 in the soda? Be Safe,
Talking about Pittsburgh,,
back in the 1960's, I had a cousin that got into her car ,, there was one of those giant glass bottles of Coca-Cola sitting on the floor.
(What were they? half gallon? they were BIG!! )
The bottle was in the sun,
well, shortly after she got into the car, the glass bottle exploded from the heat of the sun,,
She ended up with about 25 stitches in her leg where the broken bottle cut her.

Our family was more careful about leaving stuff in hot cars after that,,
even in Pittsburgh,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:46 PM
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There were brought into an approximately 70 degree kitchen, so why would it go bang? I have seen bottles, both glass & plastic freeze and crack, but never go bang. I think it may be due to the amount of CO2 in the soda? Be Safe,
Probably the rapid temperature change from -20/25 to 70 caused the CO2 in the soda to come out of solution and expand quickly enough to explode. Gases expand in volume as the temperature goes up. If you had warmed them slowly, maybe sticking them in the freezer for a while, then move them to the fridge, then to room temperature it probably would've been alright.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:09 AM
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Ammo can be effected by storage in overly warm conditions, raising pressure, but I don't know how long that takes. I think it varies by powder.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:25 AM
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Probably the rapid temperature change from -20/25 to 70 caused the CO2 in the soda to come out of solution and expand quickly enough to explode. Gases expand in volume as the temperature goes up. If you had warmed them slowly, maybe sticking them in the freezer for a while, then move them to the fridge, then to room temperature it probably would've been alright.
As a youngster I have forgotten plastic soda bottles in -30 and they have swollen badly. I remember warming them on the dash and it taking several hours to get it all liquid. The brown liquids would melt out leaving white ice for the last. I think the bottle would be stout enough to handle -25 to 10 easily but -25 to 72 is almost 100 degrees of rapid change. The outside molecules expanded faster as they had the quickest temperature change.
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:08 PM
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I'm no physics major, but I think warming up a 0 degree or so pressurized container too fast may cause the expansion to happen too quickly, also. I know a co-worker of mine had to warm up a cylinder of refrigerant in order to get it to charge a small outdoor condensing unit on a late-night call out. He took the can to one of the deep sinks in the bakery dept., filled a deep sink up with HOT water, (grocery stores keep their water hotter than we do at home) and placed the 50# sized cylinder in the sink and it blew the pressure-relief, in his words, almost instantly! Gosh almighty I wish I had been there to see Mr. Almighty's gift to the Steamfitters' refrigeration servicemen's look on his face! (This dude had one arm longer than the other so he could pat himself on the back.) But, I believe the sudden temp. rise had a lot to do with this "accident".
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:42 PM
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A second or so or 20 minutes, which was it? HUGE difference.

Why would you EVER put a pistol on a dash of a car?
The last determination i read was that is only way to have loaded handgun in your car, if you do not have a concealed carry permit in Wi. Doesn't mean it would be advisable.
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