Bullet To Propane Tank

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Tried on other threads..seems no one has tried this. What would happen if someone fired a round into a propane Tank?

-- James (Don'twanna@blowup.com), December 12, 1999


The following is pure conjecture. .22LR nothing unless they hit the regulator or pipe. .223 Rem probably nothing if at a glancing angle and normal ammo. .308, 30.06, etc. hmmm, depending on load, grains, bullet, angle etc. could get interesting, std deer round probably nothing. .50BMG with API *boom*.

-- Clint Eastwood (bigstar@hollywood.net), December 12, 1999.

OK...Guess no one really knows for sure, so I'll assume that those of us who have preped to the extent of having a generator fueled by propane have accepted the risk of having a "Bomb" right outside of their back doors. Gens can be heard and it will be obvious that you have lights therefore you probably have other goodies...isn't this a fairly obvious and extremely hazardous risk we have assumed??!

-- James (Don'twanna@blowup.com), December 12, 1999.

Why would any one want to blow the tank up. If they don't like that you have it and they don't have it but need it (assuming they'd like some hot food), they'll just take it and anything attached to the hose while they're at it along with a polite knock on the door asking for you food while you face the business end of some weapon.

So the question is what I posted, i.e. how do you stop it from getting spotted and stolen in the first place, and where will you store your extra tanks so they don't get stolen as well.

see my post at


for my idea. Any other suggestions or comments about it?

-- Jeff Sanders (JeffS@ibm.net), December 12, 1999.

I've seen video footage of a 150 gallon tank punctured by a stray round of .308. Amazingly enough it didn't explode but sat there like a tea kettle on the boil with a plume of gas under pressure. The slightest spark would've given birth to a 250 foot fireball, so someone got mighty lucky that day. Don't count on having the same luck. If you're worried, sandbag it.

-- Choirboy (choirboy@hellzchoir.edu), December 12, 1999.

I have no experiance with large propane tanks, just little benz-o-matics for soldering. Using them NOT shooting at them! Sounds like choirboy's idea of sandbagging makes a lot of sense, or just build a permanent berm around it so that any round coming from shoulder height 50+' away wouldn't hit the tank. I assume you would want to leave enough room for access to fill the tank and enough perimeter around the tank to clean out weeds and leaves and stuff? Also the berm would tend to deflect anything nasty coming from the tank.

I think it is like a lock on a door, it will not keep out the really determined, but is a good idea for the other 99.999% of the time.

"seems no one has tried this" maybe they have and have been written up on http:\\www.darwin.com it's just that they're not around to type it in themselves?!

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), December 12, 1999.

I have a video tape of guys shooting stuff with a various asst. of guns, up to .50 cal.

They didn't shoot at propane tanks, but one thing they did was fire at a partially filled automotive gas tank.

Nothing happened. they even fired some tracer rounds at it.

the tank just leaked gas all over the ground. Now if the gas caught fire, THEN you'd have a problem.

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), December 12, 1999.

Unfortuneatly we are only concerned with really determined at this time because that is all we will have if things go sour over y2k and they will be the 99.999%

So lets take this seriously. How are we going to prevent fuel supplies from being stolen. I thought this board was full of people who don't shy away from issues we are facing and stick their heads in the sand, but so far nobody has provided any real solutions to this problem which is a big whole in everybody's plans. If our fuel is stolen, then that means no heat or cooked food, and that means we are not much better off than the havenots.

-- Jeff Sanders (JeffS@ibm.net), December 12, 1999.


Hang in there fella. I think it means you should have fallbacks of fallbacks, basic skills under that & still hope for the best.

And remember, besides the intentional, there's alwys Murphy's law.

-- flora (***@__._), December 12, 1999.

Simple answer, all the propane will leak out.

Now, if something ignites the propane once it is well mixed with air. It will only burn if mixed with the right amount of air. To much air (windy day) no explosion. Too little air (settling into a depression) and no explosion. Just the right amount of air, then you have a fuel air bomb. So it depends on where the propane tank is located and whether the wind is blowing. Can the propane (heavier than air) flow to a distant location or will it accumulate somewhere dangerous?

I guess it just depends.

-- LM (latemarch@usa.net), December 12, 1999.

Concur with LM based on numerous conversations and respectable reading. Regs require service-station storage tanks for gasoline and diesel to be underground, but presumably in your area the propane tanks are positioned outside on streetcorners, etc. like they are here. Safety's the reason. A bullet would puncture the tank and allow gas to leak out. Period. The jet of gas could be ignited, but it would burn "just like any other propane flame". It is the misture of propane and oxygen gases mingling in enclosed quarters (like that basement story posted yesterday) that becomes dangerously explosive.


-- SH (squirrel@huntr.com), December 12, 1999.

Ok now that everybody is satisfied that a bullet won't blow up a tank, can we address a real issue not some hypothetical (see my earler reply why no one is going to shoot a propane tank), and that is how to prevent your fuel that is kept outside from being stolen or just leaked away because some idiot got pissed because you locked up the canisters so he just opened the valve and let the gas out.

All the back plans have the same flaw, the fuel is outside and you're inside so you can't keep your nose over it to make sure it doesn't walk off.

So lets see if there is a way, like my garage idea to get the fuel safe.


Thank you

-- Jeff Sanders (jeffs@ibm.net), December 12, 1999.

ok jeff, we all agree.

We all love the idea of hiding the bottles in trash cans with holes at the bottom for venting.

its perfect. we're saved. thank you.

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), December 12, 1999.

oh wait, the trash cans was Don's idea. Your garage idea is great jeff. great. if you have a garage, its great. Keep em in the garage, vent the garage, great idea.

how do you secure the garage?

-- plonk! (realaddress@hotmail.com), December 12, 1999.

It's like Smokey and the Bandits, or that tv show with the hillbilly girl with the tight demin shorts.

The shit blows, trust me. She'll send you ass sky high, believe me.

You put a volitile anywhere near hot lead, and boom!

Just thought I'd straighten this siation out, itsall.

-- Ka boom (A realguy@work.orf), December 15, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ