display | more...
A "cook-off" is an unintentional firearms discharge caused by an overheated chamber/barrel. When an automatic weapon is fired for a sustained period of time, the barrel will heat up to the "cook-off point", likely to rapidly ignite the propellant of a round still in the chamber. Obviously, this could have unfortunate consequences.

The cook-off point of an M-16/AR-15 rifle, for example, can be reached by rapidly firing approximately 140 rounds in full-auto. The M-16 user's manual states:

"IF A MISFIRE OCCURS IN A HOT WEAPON, REMOVE THE ROUND FAST (WITHIN TEN SECONDS). IF THE ROUND CANNOT BE REMOVED WITHIN TEN SECONDS, REMOVE THE MAGAZINE FROM THE WEAPON, POINT THE WEAPON IN A SAFE DIRECTION AND WAIT FOR 15 MINUTES."
(quote source: www.lepsa.org)