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Old 08-01-2005, 07:28 AM   #1
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"Accidental Discharge"

Anthony has posted a very cogent piece under safety that I completely agree with. Almost all firearms "accidents" are really the result of negligence on the part of the person operating the weapon.



There are however some rare exceptions that prove that rule. Accidents do happen. Usually they result from some mechanical failure.



I shoot and handle firearms a lot (dare I mention and for a Long, long time :-/). I can think of two true accidental discharges I have had (there might be more but my photograpic memory ran out of "film"):



1. Long ago I was hunting with a newly acquired but well used Remington Model 11 12 gauge autoloader (Browning A-5 patent). I had only fired it a few times. During lunch I had unloaded it and dutifully put it in the back of the pickup. When we started back out, I pointed it in a safe direction, dropped a round into the chamber and, with my firing hand (I was not trained in combat shooting at that time) hit the bolt release.... Kaboom!!!!! I don't know who was more surprised, me or the guys going about their busines behind me. Fortunately, I did know about Rule 2 and all the damge amounted to was large patch of grass and a brusied rib from where the "hump" of the receiver hit me. Later I found that gun would go full auto on rare occasion...this did not show up on initial inspection - I gues those too were "ADs" but they at least were pointed in the right direction and I started it when I purposesly pressed the trigger. I was pretty young at the time (paid $50 for the gun and it was not a real bargin if that helps on the date)... I should have quit using it when the weapon dicharged on loading and gotten it fixed!!!!!



2. I can disavow responsibility for this I hope ??? A friend and I were testing various pistols for accuracy in a Ransom Rest. The shooting with my 1911s went fine. My friend however wanted to see if his "softball" bulls eye gun would group any better with ball (it was a wonder with 185 SWCs). In order to not abuse it we installed a standard recoil spring in place of the 10 lb spring he used for target loads. We placed the weapon in the rest, made sure the trigger depressor lever was no where near the trigger and inserted a magazine of ball ammo. We oriented the weapon toward the target (at least we did one smart thing) and dropped the slide... we were rewarded with not one but two unintentional discharges!!!! This thing had a very crisp 4 lb trigger (perhaps it was worn a bit down to 3.5 but no lighter)...the key word is "crisp". Apparently it had never been tested for following with a full recoil spring (it worked famously with the softball setup).



Very fortunately that range is backed up against a mountain (well OK a big hill) because I have no idea where the second bullet went!!!! The first one hit the X.



Lesson learned...take NOTHING for granted!



Onward...safely,

Jim
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:09 AM   #2
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"Accidental Discharge"

It can happen. This only makes, as you've proven, strict adherence to the other rules that much more important.



Drive on,

Anthony
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:02 AM   #3
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"Accidental Discharge"

Hi there Jim,



A long time ago, in a place far, far away, I was shooting a newly purchased Taurus PT-92 9 mm pistol. It was the first semi-automatic pistol I owned that I had foolishly traded a S&W Model 56 .41 magnum revolver for, but I opined for a semi-auto.



While dropping the slide on a full magazine, with the Taurus pointed at the ground, BANG!. The pistol discharged and launched a 115 grain Winchester Jacketed Hollow Point about 3 inches from my right foot. I had kept my finger in the trigger guard and near the trigger. It was the first and hopefully the last time that it had happened. The experience shook me up considerably. I was not trained in any handgun firearms safety at the time.



I believe that it only takes once for this to happen and I am fond of saying that "complacency is the mother of all firearms accidents".



I do share this experience with novice and beginning shooters openly. There is no substitute for safety training.



Chris
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Old 08-04-2005, 06:10 AM   #4
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"Accidental Discharge"

Thanks Chris, I like that line. I will probably steal it! With permision of course.



Jim
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Old 08-04-2005, 10:03 AM   #5
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"Accidental Discharge"

Hi there Jim,



If it saves one person from having an accident, than by all means use it!



Best,



Chris
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:55 PM   #6
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"Accidental Discharge"

I second Chris.



Like car collisions, they get called "accidents" but usually are caused by negligence. Case in pt: Shooting a friend's 1920s mfr. P-08 Luger, observing the "chiseled in stone" rules, the pistol fired twice when I pulled the trigger once. That was an "accident" that led to the pistol's retirement until whatever mechanical defect caused it was remedied.



"A long time ago..." when I was quite new to firearms, I did not observe the corollaries to "All guns are always loaded." Using an unfamiliar S&W .22 that had the mag-release button on the front of the frame under the trigger-guard, I used my middle finger to hit the mag release while stupidly and unpardonably leaving my finger on the trigger. The fingers work together in sympathy, both push, mag falls out, pistol went "bang!" It was pointed down range, and the only harm done was the knowledge that it was no "accident" just careless, sloppy and dangerous gun handling because of the bad habit (since broken) of not leaving the trigger finger out of the trigger guard until actually shooting. It goes without saying that understanding the rules and actually applying them rigorously, consistently, uniformly, every-single-time simply has to be enforced until they become automatic! It is of the utmost importance for the rules that y'all have repeated here to become utterly axiomatic!



--D.
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Old 08-07-2005, 04:18 AM   #7
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"Accidental Discharge"

Hi there all,



When I took my CWP class back in the mid 90's, I thought the most important part of the class other than learning "the rules of engagement and retreat" under the law was the part of the class that delt with handgun safety.



I honestly believe that every firearms owner should be exposed to "firearms safety" and most particularly new owners.



Often times and when I go to the range, I have a lingering doubt about how attentive the guy in the next stall is when it comes to firearms safety.



Chris
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