Loose Rounds In Your Vehicle. Safety Issue?

Just when you think you've heard it all, someone points out another way to possibly get hurt with guns and ammunition. Honestly, if someone had suggested this, I'd have said it was virtually impossible.

Except that Joel in Washington had it happen. Like a lot of us, he had loose rounds rattling around in his vehicle. Heck, I probably couldn't find all the loose rounds in the console, glove box, seat tracks, and who knows where in my truck.

Well a loose round went off in his console. He's how he put it.


I wanted to share a very strange that happened to me last Sunday. LooseRoundI'd say like many gun people, I have ammo laying around in several places, some in my nightstand, some in my closet, and also some rounds floating around in my car, specifically my center console. Well last Sunday I was headed out to go shoot. My preferred spot is up in the woods, so I have to drive for a few miles on gravel roads to get there. As I'm driving up, there is suddenly a loud pop from my center console, quickly followed by the familiar smell of burnt powder. Panicking, the first thing I do is look to my hip, thinking that somehow my M&P Shield miraculously discharged from inside my holster, but I was relieved to see that wasn't the case. I then see smoke come out from the console, and open it to find that one of the loose .45ACP rounds I had in there had discharged. From what I could tell, I believe it was a key that was also in there that struck the primer on one of the bumps I took on the gravel road. I wasn't hurt, of course, since the round wasn't chambered in anything so all that happened was the case blew out and burned some of the plastic inside the console. I just wanted to share this as a caution that it is not a good idea to have ammunition bouncing around unprotected. Just because they're not chambered doesn't mean that something can't still happen. From now on my ammunition will be stored in boxes at all times. See the attached image.

Joel in Washington State

Thanks for the note, Joel.


Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham's Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.