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Old December 6, 2005, 01:27 PM   #1
kesserman
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Statistically, do Pistols or Revolvers have more AD's

I'm having a hard time finding a straight answer on this in the forums. From a strict numbers perspective, does anyone know which style (Pistol or Revolver) of gun has more Acccidental/Negligent discharge?

Of course you assume the four rules - but they're 'accidental' and 'negligent' for a reason.

I assume it's the Pistol because a revolver is easier to clear.

Thanks.
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Old December 6, 2005, 01:31 PM   #2
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I think you find it hard to sort out the ADs from the NDs statistically speaking.

I'll venture a guess that since there are WAY more pistols (BTW, a revolver can still be called a pistol in the classic sense) that there naturally would be more ADs and NDs from that variety. If you are asking for a ratio instead of raw numbers...I'd agree that with your assumption as well.

I almost forgot, welcome to the line.
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Old December 6, 2005, 01:39 PM   #3
kesserman
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If you are asking for a ratio instead of raw numbers...

Fisherman,

Thanks for the clarification. Ratio is a better way of looking at the question. I am asking from the standpoint of how each gun's design plays into the resulting AD/ND.
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Old December 6, 2005, 01:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
I am asking from the standpoint of how each gun's design plays into the resulting AD/ND.
OHHHH man, you just made the process alot hairer. There are sooo many different designs.

Revolvers have top break, single action, double action only (incidently I think will have the most NDs for revolvers due to people trying to use in single action configuration), and D/S action; oh, and also autorevolver.

Pistols are just as diversified if not more so.

Then you have the phenomenon of culture play into the mix; young kids seem to gravitate to pistols. Young kids tend to read less directions and perhaps move to quickly into a comfort level with firearms (note the abscence of just plain doing stupid things.)

Gosh, you really need to reduce the variables in your query to just pistols vs revolvers.

Interpeting that data will be hard enough.

This is why I think polls suck.
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Old December 6, 2005, 02:08 PM   #5
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I would guess that the reason no one knows is because I doubt there's ever been a formal study done. And if there hasn't, then it's all just conjecture.

My own conjecture/guess is that pistols have a higher incidence of NDs, even adjusted for ratios, than revolvers, just because *most* revolvers are 'rested' in the DA mode, whereas *most* semi-autos are 'rested' in the SA mode, with safety on or not (I'm including pre-sprung triggers in my definition of SA for this analysis). Safeties coming off accidentally, or left off intentially, combined are going to be more common than an accidental full DA pull, and with safeties off, bad things can and do happen. OTOH, once a revolver is cocked, there is no way to 'make safe' without lowering the hammer on a live round, so that fact is one factor which I'm sure bumps up the revos AD/ND numbers.
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Old December 6, 2005, 02:16 PM   #6
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I think that any gun that you put your finger on the trigger has the potential for AD.

Adam
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Old December 6, 2005, 02:20 PM   #7
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Of all unintended discharges

The vast majority are Negligent

Most modern weapons will only go bang if/when you pull the trigger

Very few people will own up to their negligence
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Old December 6, 2005, 02:36 PM   #8
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I agree with OBI, and after looking at it from that view point I am left wondering why it would be neccessary to sort the data. All it would do is confirm that autos are more complicated, but it would not fairly state that it's only more complicated for the duffuses who refuse to learn appropriately. Anyone willing to learn how to safely handle firearms and follow the simple guidelines have the most remote chance of having an Unintended Discharge (and if all the guidelines are being followed, there should not be an injury short of a possible recochet or hearing issues.)
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Old December 6, 2005, 02:38 PM   #9
kesserman
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To make life Easier....

I'd like to compare Double Action only.

If you havent guessed by now, I'm condidereing my first (underline FIRST) handgun.

Thought about the Beretta 92FS -

- I Like the manual safety, concerned about the de-cocking aspects of single action mode. Decocking levers, like anything else, can fail. So I considered DAO. Simple - No single action, no need to learn two trigger pulls.

Then I thought...

You can never trust a saftey, so why bother? One more thing to go wrong on the weapon, one more thing to remember you did or didn't do.

So I considered the Sig 226 in DAO - By all accounts, a beautiful piece. Rock solid.

Then the voice in my head -

'You're new to this - Keep it simple stupid'

It seems most ND's I read about happen when the mag is released and there's still one in the chamber. A cylinder is easier to inspect - the weapon can be made safe in one motion rather than two.

I know the four laws, and will be taking classes. The only true safety is between my ears, but I'd like to stack the deck so I can enjoy shooting and still be safe.

I'm new so if anything doesn't make sense, I apologize.

Thanks for the advice,
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Old December 6, 2005, 02:45 PM   #10
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Lets abandon the gross data collection for a moment and focus on your needs.

How do you expect to use the firearm? CCW? Field gun? Hunting? Nightstand gun?

Will other family members be expected to use it in an emergency?

Do you have other firearms? Are you comfortable with their workings?

That influences the decision (at least in my mind) more so than a AD/ND poll.
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Old December 6, 2005, 03:00 PM   #11
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This is a topic that gets people excited, evidently, judging from replies to a post of my on the subject of accidental discharges. But please don't make comments about my use of the word accidental. If it goes off either by machanical malfunction, being dropped, or you pulling the trigger when you didn't think it was loaded, it is an accident, either unintentional, negligence or whatever. I have had a rifle discharge upon a round being chambered, which I would take to be a mechanical fault. It was a very old .22 rimfire. I have also had an unintentional discharge with a revolver but never with an automatic pistol. So it is only a theory that a revolver is safer.

Be that as it may, don't fall into this trap, so beloved of those who would limit or prohibit entirely private firearm ownership. You don't need a reason to own a firearm and it not irresponsible to own one without taking an advanced firearms course from an NRA certified instructor, much less a course at Gunsite. I have got the impression that many "gun people" believe you should only own a gun if you can fire expert on the range.

This is not to say a little instruction would not be useful. In fact, it would be very useful sometimes but you will quickly discover that there are different shooting schools that are, frankly, competitive in their teaching. Anyhow, this is to me reflective of a certain trend at the moment of only allowing professionals to do anything, and there is a certain amount of that behind the anti-gun movement. The general trend is that no one should be allowed to do anything for themselves (or anyone else) without a license and permit.

That about that for a moment.
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Old December 6, 2005, 03:13 PM   #12
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Reply to Fisherman

I have never owned a gun.

Mainly for use on the firing line.

No CCW (I live in California, good luck)

Nightstand? No. I'm not really worried about that. I'd keep it locked in a box.

I don't hunt.

My wife might use it. But I doubt it. She's not that interested.

I think being able to shoot is a good skill to have, and I'd like to learn.
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Old December 6, 2005, 03:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
I have also had an unintentional discharge with a revolver but never with an automatic pistol. So it is only a theory that a revolver is safer.
I don't think you have enough data to refute the theory. One partucular semi milsup is netorious for slam fires. DAO revolvers will fire when attempting to fire SA. The difference is one is mechanical and the other is a product of poor training. DOAs are very safe when handled properly. I'm in no way saying your experience was a product of negligence, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one.

Quote:
This is not to say a little instruction would not be useful.
I say it's dangerous to not have a little instruction. I agree that it is not neccessary to be an expert marksman, but one should be VERY well aquainted with the nuances of their firearms.

I also think the line between UDs should be deliniated. Training can remedy that issue.
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Old December 6, 2005, 03:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Mainly for use on the firing line.

No CCW (I live in California, good luck)

Nightstand? No. I'm not really worried about that. I'd keep it locked in a box.

I don't hunt.

I'm interested in guns, and I think being able to shoot is a good skill to have.
Then the world is yours (metaphoically speaking). I'd not let a query about accidental discharges sway your decision. If you were interested in a gun for protection reasons I'd perhaps offer a suggestion in format.

I will suggest you aquire a 22lr first. Great, cheap fun; and a wonderful learning tool. Conversion kits allow some firearms to shoot both your "big" bullet and 22lr.

Good luck and be safe.
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Old December 7, 2005, 01:51 PM   #15
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Design Features

NDs in automatics seem to usually be the result of leaving a round in the chamber after dropping the mag. For some reason, Glocks require pulling the trigger as part of stripping the gun, you can imagine the results.
Single action revolvers could fire if they were dropped and the hammer was resting on a live round. Modern double action revolvers seem to have a guard that covers the firing pin until the hammer is cocked.
But what someone said above, almost always pilot error.
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Old December 7, 2005, 02:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
I have never owned a gun.
Mainly for use on the firing line.
No CCW (I live in California, good luck)
Nightstand? No. I'm not really worried about that. I'd keep it locked in a box.
I don't hunt.
My wife might use it. But I doubt it. She's not that interested.
I think being able to shoot is a
good skill to have, and I'd like to learn.
haha take her shooting, minds change.

Welcome my fellow Kamifornia friend
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Old December 7, 2005, 02:27 PM   #17
Jim Watson
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I don't have a source for real numbers but rather suspect there are more ADs with autos than revolvers. This at least partly because there are more autos sold these days.
I agree with Svtruth that the main source of an autopistol AD is failure to clear chamber or "reverse clearing" - rack slide, then remove magazine.

However, I know of a number of revolver ADs, all caused by cocking a DA revolver and then walking around with it or by trying to decock it. Two such by women of my personal acquaintance. So think about that the next time you see a revolver recommended for a woman because she is too weak to rack an auto slide. She might be too weak to pull a DA trigger, too.
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Old December 8, 2005, 06:27 AM   #18
WESHOOT2
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common fallacy

An "accidental discharge" is when the gun fires with NO human intervention; all other unintended discharges are negligent, ay?

Autos.......'cause you can't remember to drag the mag out first......
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Old December 8, 2005, 11:56 AM   #19
fisherman66
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A mechanical malfunction could occur during human interaction. Gooed up firing pins (or pins inserted backwards) is a common mechanical malfuntion. You could make an arguement that an occurance like that is still due to negligence (improper assembly or poor maintenence.)

A spring that slips during use would be a mechanical malfunction with absolutly no fault to the human. Human intervention...I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I'd agree if you mean "all unintended discharges except mechanical failures are negligent."
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Old December 8, 2005, 12:55 PM   #20
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Kesserman,

This is a subject that people get worked up over, as you can see, to the point that they find it hard to keep their eye on the ball--i.e., your question.

Your instinct is sound. A double action revolver is the best first handgun for most people, both:

A) for reasons of safety (That an accidental discharge is less probable with a revolver should be fairly obvious to an openminded observer familiar with all the platforms. No, I don't have the data to support this; nevertheless, I am confident it's true, and will remain so until it is empirically proven false--which I'm sure it won't be); and

B) because shooting a revolver in double action will make you a better shot with any handgun you subsequently take up--while the reverse is not nearly as true.
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Old December 8, 2005, 01:12 PM   #21
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First, I have no data to support my hypothesis.

My hypothesis is pistols, no matter what type, have more unintended discharges than revolvers.

I support this hypothesis thusly:
The pistol, through lack of user understanding, is more likely to be loaded when the unexperienced handler believes it is not. The classic remove the magazine and thinking it's unloaded mistake.
Novice shooters tend to have more unintended discharges. If this axiom is accepted, then you must look at the type of pistol most novice shooters choose. What is it? A plastic fantastic slide gun in tactical black.

The one thing that can prevent this is training. Following the Four Rules. Never deviating from the Four Rules.

Now, for kesserman, I just want to say that an old man with an old SA Colt revolver can be safer than the man with the latest uber safe Walther/S&W/HK wonder gun if the later lacks training or respect for what he is holding in his hands. Safety comes from understanding the piece of machinery in your hand. It comes from obeying the Four Rules. You will be the one who is safe or unsafe. The weapon of choice has very little to do with it. Do not blame the gun for unintended discharges. Go to the source, the person who holds it.
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Old December 9, 2005, 05:44 AM   #22
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ad, nd, od, m-o-u-s-e

I'll go along with it, too.

Any unintended discharge is at least a cheap thrill........
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Last edited by WESHOOT2; December 9, 2005 at 05:46 AM. Reason: 'cause i screwed up the joke portion
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