Originally Posted by thedudeabides
A 1.5 Tesla magnet is strong enough to launch a four foot oxygen canister clear across the room, lift a four hundred pound hospital bed, and rip shrapnel out of people's bodies--or burn them.
I would totally believe that the firing pin block was disengaged by the magnetic field.
That's one of the two theories I have. Firing pin lifted by electro-magnetism or by inertia/centrifugal force or igniting the primer by some other means.
I was fascinated by this several years ago when I first heard about it. It was beat near to death back then. It was investigated by the Rochester Police Deptartment. The gun was found with the safety on, the empty casing still in the chamber and the hammer still fully cocked. The only unasnwered question I could find was whether or not the primer had a firing pin indent.
I spoke to an MRI tech to see if an MRI could set off a primer (through heat generated by eddy currents or by a spark caused by electrical interference of anything. He did not know the mechanism, but did say that when he was taking his training that he was told that ammunition could be set off.
If you are interested, there is another article in the publication Radiology in 1994, 193:875-876 indexed under terms "Firearms" and "Magnetic Resonance (MR), safey" and entitled "Firearm Safety in the MR Imaging Environment" written by Emanual Kanal, MD and Ali Shaibani, MD six handguns were tested to see if they could be induced to fire by being near or in the bore of a 1.5 Tesla MRI machine. That is the same strength of the machine we have been discussing here.
These were the six guns.
Smith & Wesson Model 66 2.5" .357 Magnum revolver
North American Arms 22 Magnum mini-revolver
Taurus PT-92C 9mm Semi-auto
Glock Model 19 9mm Semi-auto
Browning BDA-380 380ACP Semi-auto
Star Model M-43 Firestar 9mm semi-auto
Not a lot of other stuff I have been able to find.
It happened Sept 13, 2000
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 and, according to Brighton police, was told to keep it with him. But as soon as the officer entered the room holding MRI equipment, the heavy-duty magnet yanked the gun from his hand. Even the bullets
If I wanted more of the articles, I would have had to have broken out my credit card with no promise that a few more paragrpahs would reveal more evidence, so I didn't.
Go to the web site of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
If you REALLY want to get to the bottom of it, contact William Benwitz. He may still be employed by the Rochester PD, so if anyone wanted to call or email to ask if he inspected the back of the primer for firing pin marks... He might respond better to a fellow policeman (if there are any attending this thread) than me, just an idle curiosity seeker.
But make no mistake, tampering with the gun has been ruled out. Malfunction of the gun has been ruled out. It WAS a series '80 with the firing pin block. The muzzle DID hit the inside of the MRI tunnel (but it is uncertain about the angle and if the discharge happened from the impact or some other instant.