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Posted: 8/19/2001 7:54:10 PM EDT
Today I was very quickly reminded of the importance of safe gun handling... Myself and a bunch of friends went to an abandoned quarry to do some shooting. We've been here many, many times, and theres never been any problems... Today was no different, other than the fact I had a 12 guage shotgun discharged into the air about 6 feet from me... Luckily, the gun was pointed skywards, otherwise it would have hit me or any of the other 6 guys standing within 10 feet of it. We were all taking turns shooting at clay pigeons being launched from a portable thrower. Each of us would step up, take a shot, and rotate around until it was our turn again... Well, we were all 'kinda standing in close proximity of each other, and my buddy Bill was behind me a few feet away, fiddling around with the safety button on his Winchester pump gun. I was watching him, (thinking he had an empty chamber) and without warning... " BOOM ", the gun goes off !!! He must have bumped the trigger or something... We all jumped, and looked at him thinking... "What the f*ck did you do that for!!!???" He said: " OH SH*T !!!, I thought the gun was empty!!!" He felt like such an idiot and was so upset, he put his guns away, apologized, and went home. Later, after I got home, he called me and apologized for his stupidity, and said he was going to call each of the other guys to apologize also... I've been out shooting with this guy before, and he's never pulled a stunt like this before...It was just a dumb accident, and LUCKILY nobody got hurt... I guess this stuff can happen to anybody... It just goes to show how easy it is to be careless, and how lucky all the rest of us were to come home alive today... It could have EASILY been a tragic day today... Word to the wise... SAFETY FIRST !!!!
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:56:32 PM EDT
Wow thqt sucks but at least no one was hurt. And, at least your friend realized the gravity and stupidity of the situation. I bet he never fouls up like *that* again. Haven't had a situation like that in 25 years of shooting, don't need one now.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 7:56:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:01:28 PM EDT
If that is almost getting killed, then I almost get killed just about every day. Not from a gunshot though, of course. I'm sure the guy felt pretty bad, from the sound of his reaction. Accidents have been happening since the beginning of time and I doubt they ever stop. Luckily nobody was hurt and hopefully he learned something from this experience and it won't ever happen again. Michael
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:09:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:12:20 PM EDT
WHEW!! Should have given Bill a blanket party!!
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:12:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2001 11:06:01 PM EDT by dragracerart]
I realize just crossing the street you can get hit by a bus... But this was the first time I actually was put in a position to reflect, and think: Wow, that could have been bad,...REALLY bad. If he would have just leaned over a little, or one of us would have been standing a little closer, somebody would not have gone home today... I failed to mention, the gun he was shooting trap with was a Wincester 1300 defender, with the SHORT barrel...(Not a good trap gun)(DUH!) He had his knee bent and was holding the gun with the buttstock on his upper thigh. SO, the muzzle was about level with his forehead...Who knows maybe he could have even killed himself... (edited for spelling)
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:17:31 PM EDT
Ya Know: Thats why it's important to have "layers" of safety for want of a better term. One layer of safety is always treat every gun as if it were loaded. Another is always keep it pointed in a safe direction. That way if we screw the pooch and have an ND, our next layer of safety should spare life and limb. Q
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:35:44 PM EDT
dragracerart: Good post. Thanks for posting your accident. It reminds everyone handling a firearm to always remember the safety rules. One slip of the rules could me unfortunate misery.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:39:00 PM EDT
Even though there was a AD, he was smart enough to keep the barrel pointed upwards. So all of his gun safety was not lost. I'm sure when he was playing with the safety, he thought enough to keep the barrel pointed upwards and away from his face and other people, I hope so anyway. He sounds like a good guy to me, I wouldn't get down on him to much, after all he did show concern. If he was a idiot that could not be trusted he would not have felt so bad. He learned a important lesson, It's people that think they are mistake proof that scare me, their arrogance eventually catches up to them.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 8:51:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 9:12:50 PM EDT
FWIW... This guy Bill is a good guy... He never "horses around" like some of my other buddies, so we all just gave him a little 'razzin, and let it go... I think he was more bothered by the accident than any of the rest of us were... And I did come to his defense, to try and make him feel a little better about it... I told him, THIS is why we have many rules about gun safety... Layers I think was the term used earlier... I said it was a good habit that he ALWAYS keeps the muzzle up, or pointed in a safe direction... Otherwise we wouldn't have been so forgiving... (One of the other guys suggested he sits in "TIME-OUT") [:)]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 9:30:16 PM EDT
MAJOR pucker factor...... ND's happen, not so much from negligence, but from that momentary loss of concentration. This is a (luckily) cheap lesson in what can go wrong. BTW, Art, if you are not so lucky next time can I have your Bushy? [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 9:37:41 PM EDT
Holy $hitballs. My buddy was chambering a round in his Mini-14 right there at the tailgate, instead of going to the firing line we'd set up. He turned around and shouldered the gun, checking the safety, and BOOM! I looked at him like WTF!!! Yesterday, another friend and I were at the range, his 1st time there this year after a rather serious sugery. He was checking his Springfield .45 Compact (with USA mags!!!; yes, I said something about them...) when the mag became jammed in the well. He starts farting around with it. I watch him do this and that and say I'll try it. I didn't like the way he was handling the gun! I said the chamber might be loaded, Dude! Watch out! He hands me the pistol and I released the mag with the button. Why he hadn't done that I don't know. I hand the gun back and say, now shoot downrange! The chamber is probably loaded and it'll fire without a mag in place. It WAS LOADED. About that time we started packing to leave. I think he may have been a bit rusty...
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 9:41:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2001 11:00:13 PM EDT by dragracerart]
Originally Posted By paspecops: ....BTW, Art, if you are not so lucky next time can I have your Bushy? [rolleyes]
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Sorry Em...You'll have to stand in line... All my buddies with AK's want it...[:)] I had it out today also... MAN, that Bushy shoots nice... I WILL have to be dead to part with it...[:)] I also took the FAL out for a little exercise...I thought I had a few bum mags, BUT, It works 110% now that I polished & de-burred the feed ramps...9-mags/180 rounds, No jams. AWESOME rifle...A definate keeper too...I guess the mags are OK...
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 10:07:22 PM EDT
Art, Glad no one was hurt. That's why its important to not only watch yourself but everyone else also. I stopped shooting at an indoor range near my house because of the casual attitude some of the people there had about gun safety. I often saw people standing around talking while pointing guns at each other. Its good that people share these occurances to remind us that you can never be too careful.
Link Posted: 8/19/2001 10:59:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Q-Ball: Ya Know: Thats why it's important to have "layers" of safety for want of a better term. One layer of safety is always treat every gun as if it were loaded. Another is always keep it pointed in a safe direction. That way if we screw the pooch and have an ND, our next layer of safety should spare life and limb. Q
View Quote
Yep. You always hear about people being killed by unloaded guns, but you never hear about people being killed by guns pointed in a safe direction.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 12:10:53 AM EDT
Was visiting my buddy, a deportation agent with the INS. He pulls out a Marlin 9mm Camp Carbine out of his bedroom closet and hands it to me, wanting me to check it out. First thing I do is pull the bolt back, and out of the chamber comes a Winchester Silvertip. He thought it was unloaded, so he was about as shocked as I was. And you know that a natural reaction of the untrained when handed a firearm is to just pull the trigger. Chris
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 2:05:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 12:27:43 PM EDT
I am impressed that your friend took the situation seriously, and accepted responsibility. The ones you have to be afraid of either laugh such things off or get defensive.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 1:34:50 PM EDT
Art - I'm glad to hear no one was hurt. Nothing will scare the hell out of you like an AD. I'm sure he'll never make the same mistake again. Thats something you never forget. I was at a shoot a few weeks ago and a guy had an AD and wasn't quite so lucky. He had run a couple mags through a subgun (an MP5k as I recall) when a round got stuck in the chamber. He locked the bolt back, got a rod and started to put the rod down the barrel to figure out if the shell stuck in the chamber was live or not. Just as he got the rod in the barrel, BANG! Gun went off and blew the rod clean out of his hand. Then his hand started pouring out blood. The bullet passed between his fingers and didn't do any permanent damage, but broke the skin and the force of the blast also tore the skin. His hand was burnt and bloody and needed stitching, but no permanent damage. A half centimeter in either direction and he would have lost a few fingers easily. There were a few more stuck rounds that day, but after that, everyone was damn sure to give the guns a good half hour, pointing in a safe direction, to cool off before doing any work on them.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 2:00:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2001 1:59:30 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]
I was crouched down holding a 12 gauge pump and I blew one off RIGHT next to my ear. Straight up in the air. I was dropping the trigger on an "empty" gun - so it would be safe when I set it down. LoL. I was POSITIVE this gun was unloaded. Heck, it had never even been shot before. Turns out the gun was empty when I started carrying it, but I had loaded some shells into the tubular reserve a few months back. While carrying the gun, it racked the slide, chambering a shell. Accidental Discharge? No. I was a dumbass. I violated a basic rule, I didn't check the chamber.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 3:02:46 PM EDT
Thanks for relaying a story that stresses the importance of all four of the FOUR GOLDEN RULES OF FIREARMS. We can't hear them often enough. At all times, Treat EVERY firearm as if it were loaded. Never put your finger on the trigger unless you're 'on target'. Be aware of your backstop and what lies beyond it. NEVER point a firearm at anything you're not willing to DESTROY!! Live 'em, learn 'em, love 'em. Sorry to preach to the choir but.... CB
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 3:46:34 PM EDT
Last fall my new shooter wife was shooting Trap with a 20GA auto. I was pulling, full line. She got a shell jammed and I went over to help her. She was holding gun with each hand at arms length pointed down range. I pulled bolt back, got round chambered as she decided to put her finger on the trigger. small KABOOM. No one was hit because she remembered at least one point in her safety lesson "barrel pointed down range". She now remembers the second one "finger off trigger unless you are ready to pull trigger".
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 4:23:52 PM EDT
Once I owned a Jenning J-22. I never thought anything bad of it(unlike some people I knew) until I had it out and was working on it one night. It had a problem of jamming(surprise!) and I was trying to figure it out. Luckily for me, I was paying attention to my safety rules and 1)had my finger off the trigger, and 2)had it pointed in a safe direction. While hand-cycling a few .22 rounds through it, it decided to fire. I didn't touch the trigger, nor did I smack it around. It just up and let the firing pin fly forward! It put a hole through the wall of my apartment right between two friends and right above the TV. No one was hurt, but we were definitely pissed! It went right back to the factory to get fixed with the next days UPS shipment. I wonder where that P.O.S. is now.... :)
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 4:24:57 PM EDT
You are lucky. At least he had the gun pointed in a safe direction. I have been around people with absolutely no muzzle awareness. Needless to say, I do not hang out with them.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 7:04:27 PM EDT
Friend of mine, whom I call the absent-minded professor (great guy, do anything in the world for me, totally inept at anything requiring memory or common sense), was showing me his "unloaded" Mini-14 in his upstairs office, and promplly ponits it at the ceiling and pulls the trigger with the muzzle about 8 inches parallel with my Right ear. Before I could even say "wait, asshole!" He pops one off into the ceiling via the light fixture. I grabbed the rifle from his dumbfounded ass and proceded to give him an asschewing that I couldn't hear. To this day I still don't hear as well in that ear, but boy did that ever teach me a lesson.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 7:26:44 PM EDT
Thanks for having the nerve to share this here. A lot of people wouldn't for fear of getting flamed. I think it is a good idea to tell these stories, we do it at safety meetings at work and call them near misses. It makes everybody a little more aware of what they are doing. From what you said about the way this guy reacted I bet he will be the safest guy in your group now.
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 7:59:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 03shooter: ...From what you said about the way this guy reacted I bet he will be the safest guy in your group now.
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I AGREE... Today, me and another friend who was with yesterday, took Bill down to our local gun club... The three of us shot-up 2-boxes of clay pigeons (180)... We needed to get him behind the trigger again to settle him down... He was still pretty upset... He's better now that he knows we still trust him... We all agreed that this incident was a wake-up call, to remind us of gun safety and carelessness... We are ALL safer shooters because of it... I've always believed, things happen for a reason... Maybe this incident prevented something worse...
Link Posted: 8/20/2001 8:02:47 PM EDT
glad no one got hurt I shredded part of my range bag the other day sighting in my bushmaster. I was using the bag as a rest and after repositioning myself didn't notice the muzzle was slightly behind the edge of the bag. I think it was just the muzzle blast going into the open pocket, but the bullet might have gone in too, ripped teh whole pocket to shreds.
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 6:54:38 AM EDT
I am really glad to see these posts. Just last week, I had my SKS out to fit a new stock on it. My 11 year old son who I have always felt showed pretty good awareness and safety around guns, pulled the trigger without checking the chamber. The gun was empty of course but when I heard that click as the firing pin slammed home. I looked up to see a startled look on his face. Although I didn't yell at him, I had a very long discussion on what the consequences of his actions could have been. He knew full well he had screwed up and was on the border of crying before our conversation was over. I will give him credit of making sure the barrel was pointed away from anyone but he did assume the rifle was not cocked and he did put his finger on the trigger without intending to "shoot". I think the experience actually helped him to understand gun safety a bit more. I also plan on having him read this string this afternoon when I get home from work. Thanks for the experiences guys.
Link Posted: 8/21/2001 7:07:46 AM EDT
damn, art, glad everyone is ok! i'm also happy the way it all worked out, he seems like a stand up guy with quality friends.
Link Posted: 8/22/2001 9:04:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2001 8:20:53 AM EDT
I had one of the NDs or ADs years ago. My father had given me a Marlin .22 with the tubular magazine. I was unloading it to transport it (still inside the house), pulled the tube out, dumped the cartridges out, cycled the bolt at least 5 times with the tube out. Put the tube back in, pointed it at the ceiling, pulled the trigger, and *BANG*. Lucky no one else was home. I had visually checked the chamber with each bolt cycle, but one was still chambered. Someone on this board once used as a .sig file "Beware the ammo fairy." I believe in it, and am paranoid about checking the chamber every time I pick up a weapon.
Link Posted: 8/23/2001 8:33:36 AM EDT
My father taught me a very valuable lesson when I was about 6 by way of his own carelessness. My folks had another couple over for dinner and drinks and my father decides to show them his Colt Combat Commander. He pulls the mag out and is showing them how the gun will not fire when pressure is applied to the muzzle (he's doing this with the palm of his hand and pulling the trigger). He then points the gun at the ceiling while he is talking to them. Then the gun goes off into the ceiling. He was dumbfounded! He simply didn't check the chamber. He was always very safety conscious and taught my brothers and I how to shoot safely. He broke three rules that night. He did not confirm that the gun was empty, he put his finger on the trigger and, most importantly, he mixed alcohol with his firearm. 24 years later I still remember the ringing in my ears and the hole in the ceiling and it reminds me to ALWAYS have safety in mind when handling a firearm or when around others that are handling firearms! Be safe.
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