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.40cal
September 27, 2010, 05:07 PM
I recently came across an article that read: a man that was cooking in his kitchen was shot in the torso when one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun to the floor, causing it to discharge. The article did not specify what type of handgun this was or if he was fatally wounded or not.

The only gun I ever dropped was my ruger sp101 and needless to say I was quite upset. I dropped her on the concrete, right on the front sight.:eek: I never carried / transported it cocked so I dont think I had to worry about it firing when it hit the ground but you still cringe (sp?) that split second before you see your baby hit the ground, especially if its loaded.

After reading this I was interested in knowing how many of you have had your gun go off when dropped. If you have, please share your experience and specify what the make / caliber was.

ZeSpectre
September 27, 2010, 05:17 PM
I have never had it happen to me personally (not that I make a habit of dropping firearms) nor has it happened to anyone I personally know.

Back when I was working with a lot of LE I used to hear about this on occasion but most of the officers seemed to be of the opinion that either
A) the gun was a crappy POS that was unsafe to own/fire anyway
or
B) someone was making excuses for messing around with a firearm like an idiot

LaserSpot
September 27, 2010, 06:01 PM
B) someone was making excuses for messing around with a firearm like an idiotThis is most likely, or he was covering for someone. I'm surprised that the cops bought his story. Very few 9mm pistols are not drop-safe; you're more likely to have one go off if you try to catch it and pull the trigger. Some rifles have very light triggers and might discharge if dropped with the safety off.

Looks like the cat guy disappeared when he was transfered to another hospital (in 2005): http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,150007,00.html

.40cal
September 27, 2010, 06:27 PM
Yea, I was kinda thinking the same. I knew someone personally that had a rifle discharge when it was dropped from a tree stand but I have never actually known someone to have a handgun go off.

I knew it sounded kind of strange but you never know. . . his cat may have just really hated what he was cooking:rolleyes:

Dfariswheel
September 27, 2010, 06:43 PM
"A 9mm handgun" covers a lot of territory.
That could mean anything from a well worn Luger to one of the crappy Spanish guns, to who knows what.
In some cases, a substandard, or worn pistol can fire if dropped.

However, in most cases of a "dropped" gun firing, there's a bit more to the story then gets admitted to.

CMichael
September 27, 2010, 06:48 PM
A Glock has a safety against it going off if dropped.

TenRing
September 27, 2010, 07:11 PM
Regardless of the circumstances, we all need to refrain from trying to catch a falling gun unless we KNOW that it is unloaded. Remember the Plaxico Burress incident? I think he tried to catch his Glock when it slid out of his waistband.

Beside the fact of carrying in the wrong place, he made some serious mistakes and the most telling mistake was when he tried to carry a loaded gun in a loose waistband without a holster. Another mistake was when he tried to catch that gun when it slid out of his waistband. Evidently, he snagged the trigger and fired the gun.

LaserSpot
September 27, 2010, 07:14 PM
"A 9mm handgun" covers a lot of territory.It's possible (but doesn't seem likely) that he was letting the cats play with a loaded, antique Luger. I'm pretty sure that if he had a currently produced pistol, and it happened the way he said, there would be a vague follow up story about settling out of court with the manufacturer for an undisclosed amount.

Sport45
September 27, 2010, 08:25 PM
Maybe it was a Nambu and they meant to say 8mm. :rolleyes:

Bart Noir
September 27, 2010, 08:58 PM
My best friend was at a range with his buddy, who dropped a Colt Commander. It did not have the Series 80 firing pin block. It may have had a tired old firing pin spring.

The gun fell inches from my friend's foot, muzzle down, on the concrete.

And it fired :eek:

Since then my friend and I have a real preference for firing pin blocks in Colt 1911 models.

Bart Noir
Who at least wants a strong new firing pin spring in any 1911 that doesn't have the FPB.

.40cal
September 27, 2010, 09:08 PM
I'm pretty sure that if he had a currently produced pistol, and it happened the way he said, there would be a vague follow up story about settling out of court with the manufacturer for an undisclosed amount.

Legally, could a manufacturer be held liable for this?

lamarw
September 27, 2010, 10:36 PM
This is prevenatble. I never keep a round in the chamber.

This should be the first precaution unless you are in a very very bad situation to where you really need a round in chamber. I would say a round in the chamber is comenserate to the high expectation of attack. When the danger becomes evident then chaber a round.

Day to day activities do not justify a round in the chamber. The biggest concern might be a danger of firing off your own weapon vs safety consideration. Just my view.

WVfishguy
September 27, 2010, 11:01 PM
I recently dropped my loaded 9mm Walther PPS about five feet on a concrete floor. The muzzle was pointing directly at my face; a 147 grain hollow point was loaded in the chamber.
http://i850.photobucket.com/albums/ab64/WVfishguy/000_0059.jpg

The gun did not discharge (DUH! I would not writing this if it had!) :eek:

In fact, nothing happened. The gun was not damaged in the least. It struck the concrete on the back of the pistol, just above the grips, where you would expect it to cause a discharge.

Before passing judgment on me, let me just say in 30 years of handling guns, this was the first and only time I've dropped one, and I never thought this would happen to me.

To those who will chime in and say it will NEVER happen to them, I say just give it 30 years, then get back to me.

In that millisecond before it connected with the floor, it certainly caused concern. I thank God that:
(1) I had enough control over my panic / emotions that I knew NOT to grab for the gun, and override the safeties with my trigger finger.
(2) I bought a quality pistol (A German-made Walther [not to denigrate American-made Walther clones]).
TO lamarw: I understand your reasoning, but I would not even consider keeping the chamber empty. But, as I had no military/law enforcement training, it took me at least a decade before I felt confident in keeping a fully-loaded gun. So I fully support your decision to keep an empty chamber.

LaserSpot
September 27, 2010, 11:04 PM
Legally, could a manufacturer be held liable for this?Probably not, but they might still send out a check in exchange for a signed non-disclosure agreement and closing the case.


This is prevenatble. I never keep a round in the chamber.Modern pistols and revolvers are safe even with a round chambered. Not that I approve of all the extra red tape, but California requires that all handgun models have to be dropped onto a concrete slab as a test before they can be sold.

You can find out if your handgun is CA approved: http://certguns.doj.ca.gov
Be sure that they tested a model that's the same color you own. I see that all the olive drab Glocks had to get a separate certification. :confused:

Mosin44az
September 28, 2010, 01:35 AM
I would bet it was a cheap 9mm, like a Jennings. As I recall they are not drop safe.

JohnKSa
September 28, 2010, 01:53 AM
Legally, could a manufacturer be held liable for this?Ever wonder why Ruger guns have a big notice stamped on them warning the user to read the manual before using the gun? And why the warning also says that the manual is available free from Ruger?

A person stole a Ruger pistol and accidentally shot himself with it. He sued Ruger and Ruger lost. Now they print the warning right on the gun so even if you steal one you have been warned that you need to read the manual before using the gun.

The answer is yes. The manufacturer could be held liable and that is why virtually all modern firearms made by reputable manufacturers will not discharge from being dropped.

Lost Sheep
September 28, 2010, 01:55 AM
I know of one instance where a series 80 Colt had an accidental discharge. Of course a whole series of unlikely events and circumstances had to come together to produce this event, but it happened. It is one of my favorite stories demonstrating the fallacy of any "perfectly safe" machine..

Brighton, New York on September 13, 2000.

A cocked and locked Model 1991 (series '80) Colt .45 ACP pistol was pulled from the hand of a Rochester N.Y. Police Officer and the round in the chamber was accidentally discharged. Immediately after the accident, the pistol was still cocked and locked with the spent round's empty cartridge still in the chamber.

The story was reported in the Sept 14th and Sept 15 issues of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. It was also investigated and reported in The American Journal of Roentgenology in their Volume 178, Issue 5 in May of 2002.

The gun was pulled from the officer's hand by and into a Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine and discharged when it made contact with the bore of the machine. A pretty much classic case of "slam-fire" typical of the pre-'80s series guns, but which was supposed to have been cured in the series '80 pistols by the firing pin block. Thus is proved the adage that no system can be made 100% effective.

I pulled these two partial articles from the web site of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

find them through http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives

1. DAILY DIGEST
September 15, 2000 •• 406 words •• ID: roc2000091510092197
Test too risky for magnet-pulled gun It would be too risky to test the gun yanked out of an off-duty city police officer's hand by a heavy-duty magnet this week, a firearms expert said yesterday. The magnet, used for magnetic resonance imaging tests, might have changed the molecular structure of the .45-caliber handgun, said Sgt. William Benwitz, who runs the firearms training unit at the Scottsville Road training academy. "Until we send this gun back to the...


2. DAILY DIGEST
September 14, 2000 •• 347 words •• ID: roc2000091410192034
MRI `disarms' police officer Just call it a really magnetic attraction. An off-duty Rochester police officer went to Borg Imaging at 200 White Spruce Blvd., Brighton, yesterday for a magnetic resonance imaging test. The officer asked an office worker about his handgun...

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/.../332107195/p/1

http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/178/5/1092

If the links don't work, paste these (below) into your web browser. The newspaper articles were cut off by their web site. I did not feel that paying for the entire article was called for. The article in The American Journal of Roentgenology was quite thorough and included pictures as well as drawings of the internal works of the series '80 safety.

accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7611043/m/332107195/p/1

ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/178/5/1092

The one piece of evidence I felt was lacking was the report of an examination of the primer in the spent cartridge. A firing pin dent would be absolute proof. I suspect that sparks from magnetic eddy currents carried a remote possibility of setting off a primer. Unlikely, but it would be nice to rule out.

Check out this thread:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3829399


The other favorite story is General Patton, as a junior officer having, an accidental discharge of a 1911 tucked into the waistband of a dress uniform. He was fond of revolvers for the rest of his career. I can only guess why.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
September 28, 2010, 02:11 AM
It struck the concrete on the back of the pistol, just above the grips, where you would expect it to cause a discharge.
With an inertial firing pin gun, it is being dropped on the muzzle end that may cause a discharge.

The gun is moving fast, muzzle first, The gun stops abruptly. The firing pin does not stop so abruptly (against the firing pin spring) and smacks the primer.

Not to say it cannot happen as you imagine it, either, and the way I describe results in the bullet initially heading into the surface that was hit by the muzzle (likely downward, not up).

Dropping a pistol with an exposed hammer and shearing off the sear will do a very good job of setting of a chambered round, but most guns have a half-cock notch that is supposed to prevent that. Of course, if that was weak or had been previously broken, all bets are off.

My point is that there is no 100% safe gun. You have a small explosive device device on your person. Along with the safety and security it brings, it also brings some risk.

It behooves us all to understand as completely as we can, that risk, and minimize it with proper holsters, handling and maintenance.

Lost Sheep

JohnKSa
September 28, 2010, 02:11 AM
It's true. One should always strive to avoid having a safety mechanism be the only thing between them and disaster. Safety mechanisms can break or malfunction and even when they work as intended they may simply run up against things that they weren't intended to deal with as in the MRI machine anecdote.

ZeSpectre
September 28, 2010, 08:21 AM
I would say a round in the chamber is comenserate to the high expectation of attack. When the danger becomes evident then chaber a round.

To me that's a lot like saying "oh I'll just buckle up my seat belt when I see that I'm about to have a traffic collision."

Crisis situations happen FAST

Jim Watson
September 28, 2010, 08:46 AM
I conducted my own drop tests with my own 1911. Fresh firing pin spring and a primed case in the chamber. I dropped it several times from head height, call it six feet, on a viny tile floor in different orientations and conditions of readiness. The primer did not pop and ended up with a tiny mark about like you see when you eject an unfired round from an AR.

I think that a dropped gun going off is either
defective, an obsolete design, or a cheap and nasty make;
or
was grabbed at in the air and caught by the trigger
or
is a coverup for carelessness or malice.

I know of one report of a gun dropped and fired with injury that was most likely a coverup for a domestic dispute that everybody is really, really sorry about. The report was placed by a knowledgeable party and described a gun that is known to be dangerous if dropped.

ZeSpectre
September 28, 2010, 09:23 AM
I know of one report of a gun dropped and fired with injury that was most likely a coverup for a domestic dispute that everybody is really, really sorry about. The report was placed by a knowledgeable party and described a gun that is known to be dangerous if dropped.

The cops I've talked to about this sort of thing laugh. He had a scene where a bullet passed through a cabinet and then a wall and it was really easy to take a string and find the line of sight and realize that the "dropped" gun had to be several feet in the air when it went off.

I'm not saying this is the case every time but forensics does tend to tell the tale.

.40cal
September 28, 2010, 09:24 AM
A person stole a Ruger pistol and accidentally shot himself with it. He sued Ruger and Ruger lost. Now they print the warning right on the gun so even if you steal one you have been warned that you need to read the manual before using the gun.

This is absolutley ridiculous. I've never heard of such a case before, but it doesn't surprise me either.

The problem with this is . . . it makes guns in general look terrible. People out there that have no expierince with firearms what so ever, now believe that all guns are bad and are capable of discharging at any time.

There are guys at work that have said " I would love to buy a gun but I have kids in the house" What kind of logic is this? To me, this is more of a reason to own a firearm. . . to protect my family.

Mello2u
September 28, 2010, 10:53 AM
About 45 years ago my oldest brother and I were doing some informal shooting. He had a .357 magnum Ruger three screw Blackhawk.
http://www.gunblast.com/images/Hamm_357-Flattop/DSC00352.jpg
I was looking downrange to shoot the .22lr rifle I was shooting when I heard his handgun unexpectedly (to me) discharge. It was my turn to shoot.

He had missed his holster and dropped the handgun. We were standing about two feet apart. He was standing to my left. He was right handed and had his holster on his right side. The handgun dropped between us and discharged when it hit the ground.

I have no clue where that bullet went, but it missed both of us. I assume the gun fell in such a way as it landed on the hammer. That model allowed the hammer's firing pin to rest directly on the primer if a round was positioned in-line with the barrel.

I think that may have been the last time I ever went shooting with him.

rtpzwms
September 28, 2010, 11:11 AM
Quote from Lost Sheep
MRI `disarms' police officer Just call it a really magnetic attraction.

Just FYI a MRI machines magnet has enough power to lift a 747 according to some of the training information that I've seen.:eek:

Where was the MRI tech that is suppose to make sure that there is no medal in the area? I've seen pictures with all kinds of things stuck to these machines but none in person. I guess we had some better MRI techs.:D

temmi
September 28, 2010, 11:54 AM
lucky for him it was a 9mm

KyJim
September 28, 2010, 07:29 PM
This is prevenatble. I never keep a round in the chamber.

This should be the first precaution unless you are in a very very bad situation to where you really need a round in chamber. I would say a round in the chamber is comenserate to the high expectation of attack. When the danger becomes evident then chaber a round.

Day to day activities do not justify a round in the chamber. The biggest concern might be a danger of firing off your own weapon vs safety consideration. Just my view.
I couldn't agree more. That's why I keep an appointment book so that burglars, robbers, muggers, and general pond scum can book with me in advance. Now, I only started this because a burglar broke into my house without an appointment. Then, a thief walked right into our secured building, past a room filled with cops, and stole a co-worker's purse from her desktop and absconded.

If I only had the appointment book, none of this would have happened. I would have been prepared and stood guard with a chambered round in a 12 gauge shotgun. The book works. I have had no similar incidents since getting the appointment book and am still alive.

But, maybe it's not the book. Maybe its the "No Thieves Allowed" sign I have posted on my front porch.

Eagleks
September 28, 2010, 09:17 PM
OP : the article I read about the cat messing with the gun and him getting shot.... when he was told the gun would not fire from being dropped, the guy changed his story and claimed the cat put it's paw in the trigger guard and pulled on the trigger .... which fired the gun. In other words, he had a AD and shot himself and was trying to blame the cat and not stupidity on his part.