Perhaps some of you ballistically-gifted gents can help settle small debate. We were camping a few weeks back and while we sitting round our campfire two tipsy boar hunters came out of the woods and invited themselves to sit down at our fire. No problem thought we and we offered them some whiskey. They were surprised we all spoke Japanese and were eager to show us their guns (we were equally interested as they are a fairly rare sight in Japan). One guy (as I said they'd obviously been drinking) pulls the clip out of his rifle and is holding it directly over the fire and shakily taking rounds out to show us. Luckily none actually dropped into the fire and we oohed and aahed over the cartridges and handed them back. They finished their whiskeys and left into the darkness.
Now begins our own tipsy conversation. "Those things could have gone off if held them over the fire any longer", says one friend. "Not in a million years", says I. "Well if one had dropped into the fire I was ready to bolt", says a third friend. "They would have just gone 'poof' and wouldn't have actually gone anywhere", says a fourth. We continued on like this for some time and never really came to any agreement over the matter.
My questions are:
1) Would a cartridge ever go off by being exposed to a small amount of heat?
2) Should one have fallen into the fire would it have just gone 'pop' or would it have actually 'shot out'?
I remember in elementary school this kid telling us that he put a bullet in his dad's vice and hit the primer with a hammer and pin and shot a hole in the workshop...and I also remember our teacher calling 'bulls%&t' and saying that in order to actually travel a bullet needs an enclosed space like a rifle barrel to propel it forward. A cartridge out in the open might explode but the casing would just blow out and the bullet wouldn't go anywhere.
I know, who cares right? Well me and my mates do naturally!
Any experts out there?