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Old September 15, 2008, 01:37 AM   #1
Smith66
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Just had an ND

Well, it finally happened. I grew up around guns and hunting, and I was taught by several people who always drilled saftey into my head. Gun saftey has always been rule number one with me, and by this time it's become an ingrained habbit....or so I thought. After shooting my G17 today, I cleaned it when I got home, and put the empty mag back into the well. About two hours ago, I went upstairs to bed, G17 in tow. I keep that pistol in the night stand in close proximity to a partially loaded magazine, and rail mounted light. Before I'd put everything away, my phone rang, I got up to answer it, and then came back to bed and the open night stand. I took the glock, and what I thought was the empty magazine and put it into the mag well. I used the slide lock release to drop the slide, and as per usual, pulled the trigger to put the spring at rest. Instead of the harmless "click" of dry firing a glock, the pistol BARKED and I put a DPX through my bedroom ceiling. Needless to say, I couldn't hear very well, and I'm still a little bit shook up. There is a round .355 hole in the plaster above my bed, the room smells like gunpowder, and I'm really thankful that I had the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. I know things could've been worse, but my self confidence has been shaken. My training over the years has always emphasized the basic points of gun saftey. For example, always visually inspect the chamber!!! I'm kicking myself for being so blatantly careless right now, because I feel like the mistakes I made were so simple to avoid. I shouldn't have had an empty magazine and a loaded one within 10 feet of each other, and knowing that I had both at the same time, I should've made absolutley sure that I put the empty one in the the magazine well before I pulled the trigger. Thank God, the bottom line tonight is that no one was hurt (besides the ringing in my ears), and I am born anew in my comitment to gun saftey. Don't ever get complacent folks, or it could happen to you!

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Old September 15, 2008, 02:20 AM   #2
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No need for me to preach to the choir.
We are all human beings.A wake up call can happen.While you are "debriefing" yourself,you were successful in having your muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Thats good
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Old September 15, 2008, 02:21 AM   #3
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First, a good post and owning up to your own stupidity is a good thing.

Second: Welcome to your first "humility lesson". Make it your last!

But... where did the round go? Did it exit the exterior roof and fly off to hurt someone? Damage a car? Land in some swimming pool? Since your place has an "upstairs", I'm presuming no one lives above your bedroom. If so, did you check on their well being?

Now, in the aftermath of this incident, I hope you will change your procedures.
First, lock the slide back and make sure the gun itself is unloaded.
Then lower the slide and release the striker tension if you must.
Lastly load the correct magazine.

Your pennance:
1. For ten minutes you must walk around the house with your Glock empty, slide back, grip up, held over your head while chanting "All guns are always loaded! Never put your finger on the trigger until ready to shoot!" -- and be sure to take at least one trip via the stairs every minute.

2. Before securing your weapon at night you will verify the chamber is empty before closing the slide. Then chant "All guns are always loaded" before physically inspecting the magazine to be empty before inserting it. Then put it away and let the striker compress the *$@# spring and don't worry about it.

Oh... and I've BTDT and had the ringing in my ears to prove it too.
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Old September 15, 2008, 02:47 AM   #4
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i've never understood that whole "release the spring tension" bull****. springs don't wear while compressed or decompressed. its the action of compressing and decompressing that wears the spring. simple physics. don't "ease the tension" and this never happens.
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Old September 15, 2008, 02:58 AM   #5
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Here's another remedy if you will...

A new Glock striker spring = $3, and it takes a Loooooooooong time to wear one out like 10,000 rounds. So what's the point?
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Old September 15, 2008, 03:12 AM   #6
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A Revolver?

Sorry that happened but that no one was hurt. Don't quite get the slide sequence but it's unimportant. I get the picture.

I ccw my one Semi-Auto: Full Size Glock .45 Gap. Rather than fiddle with slides, checking if there's a live round etc., test-trigger-pull, I drop the slide open at he range at end of shooting, really check it there for live rounds, and test-trigger it pointing right at the range. Leaves the range, locked slide open no mag in it, is taken home cleaned, a loaded mag put in, and the loaded gun goes bye-bye in the safe. It comes out again when I carry it, then back in the safe loaded. And to the range the same: loaded. There I switch to range ammo, and do all the checking downrange. In other words, at home I handle it as little as possible. It's not in the safe loaded to be available, but to locked up and not used.

I keep my revolver loaded and partially accessible (my own reasons), and feel 10 times as comfortable checking that, just swing out the cylinder. Want to walk with it from loading area to your bedroom? Just open the cylinder with a finger between it and the gun, point the gun down, and walk into the bedroom. Gun can't fire. So I suggest if you want a gun nearby, you're going to be moving around at all with it, or loading, unloading, whatever, get a revolver. Much simpler, easier to load and unload, check, make safe etc.` If you want to handle one gun at home, a wheelie avoids the type of accident you had, and many others - simple and safe. Good home gun. CCW the Glock of course if you like as well. But the revolver becomes the at home weapon. My suggestion.
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Old September 15, 2008, 05:17 AM   #7
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You describe a very common ND scenario involving handling a gun, an interruption and then a return to handling the gun without carefully checking it first and/or "getting into the proper frame of mind for safely handling a gun".

Most NDs are the result of intentionally pulling the trigger because the person believes the gun is unloaded or won't fire for some other reason.

It's an interesting paradox that the practice of leaving a gun unloaded (often for safety reasons) can actually contribute to having an ND as in your case.
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Old September 15, 2008, 05:45 AM   #8
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This is why I'm so careful when handling my firearms. I follow all the simple rules. I never put finger inside the trigger guard until I'm ready to shoot. I never point the weapon at anything unless I intend to kill it (except in training when I'm 100% sure the weapon is unloaded)...etc, etc. I don't want to say it won't happen, because it can happen to anyone, but I seriously doubt I'll have a negligent discharge as careful as I am. When I'm about to handle my firearm, I check the chamber, then check it again, and sometimes even a third time to ensure it's not loaded. Even if it was sitting in my safe, and I know it was unloaded when I put it away, and I was the last one to touch it or have access to it, I still double check it. I'm just too afraid of having an ND, therefore I'm overly cautious.

Bottom line is, get in the habit of ALWAYS checking your firearms chamber to ensure its not loaded before handling your weapon. If it goes out of your sight for more than 5 seconds, check it!
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Old September 15, 2008, 06:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
It's an interesting paradox that the practice of leaving a gun unloaded (often for safety reasons) can actually contribute to having an ND as in your case.
I'm not advocating this, it is just that JohnKSa's above comment made me think of it.

Elmer Keith always kept all of his handguns loaded, that way he, his family members and friends, always treated them as if they were loaded.

I'm guilty of pointing and dry firing my revolvers and pistols in the house, which I also don't recommend, however every time I put the weapon down and then pick it up again, I check to make sure it is empty.

Years and years ago, I was drawing and dry firing my Beretta Model 1951 at a mirror. I was getting ready to leave and loaded it, about that time I got a phone call from a young lady; and was on the phone for quite some time. Then I went back to my bedroom, picked up my Beretta holstered it, drew it and fired a 115 grain Win Silver-Tip Hp through the antique lead glass mirror. Fortunately the mirror was the only one hurt.

I don't expect it was to hard to see where that story was headed. I had completely forgotten that I had put one in the chamber and I had previously had a loaded mag in the well for the weight, but it could have been prevented, if I would only have looked.

So since that little incident I never, ever, put my finger on the trigger without checking the chamber. If I lay one down and pick it right back up, I check it. If someone thinks I'm too careful or over careful, all I can say is when it comes to firearms there is no such thing.
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Old September 15, 2008, 10:52 AM   #10
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You can have all the rules and guidelines you want and one day, it WILL happen. It's called an accident and not all are preventable.

Back in my youth of gun handling, I had a ND, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I had ONE and it taught me a good lesson. There hasn't been another in almost 30 years.

BillCA, you need to back off that word "stupidity". It could happen to you, ya know. It's call a NEGLIGENT discharge. The two are different - look'em up.

OP, I'm sure you learned a valuable lesson. I'm glad no one was hurt.
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Old September 15, 2008, 11:12 AM   #11
.22lr
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Boggeles the mind how some people think this is an eventuality

Quote:
Well, it finally happened.
Quote:
You can have all the rules and guidelines you want and one day, it WILL happen.
Do some people think its just a matter of time before your car ends up in someone's living room? Its it an eventuality that will happen whether or not you are a careful driver?

Gun safety "rules and guidelines" need to be followed EVERY TIME. I plan on never having a negligent discharge. And for those who snicker and think "just a matter of time"... I just can't think of anything to say to you.

Quote:
Bottom line is, get in the habit of ALWAYS checking your firearms chamber to ensure its not loaded before handling your weapon. If it goes out of your sight for more than 5 seconds, check it!
DING DING DING! we have a winner! what's the prize? Well, the winner never has to worry about who he/she accidentally shot! As an added bonus, the winner gets to avoid the guilt, shame and lengthly legal battle that could well deprive them of the liberty and their children of a parent!

Way too many people are shot with "unloaded" guns. We need to stop thinking that negligent discharges are a fact of life, they aren't.
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Old September 15, 2008, 11:14 AM   #12
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I think BillCA said:

"Oh... and I've BTDT and had the ringing in my ears to prove it too."

An accidental discharge is when the gun physically malfunctions when correctly used by the operator.

A negligent discharge is preventable because it focuses down to the operator manipulating the gun such that it fired when it wasn't supposed to be fired. That is not an accident. Those are preventable and yes, even the best have them and then they call themselves 'stupid'.
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Old September 15, 2008, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Do some people think its just a matter of time before your car ends up in someone's living room? Its it an eventuality that will happen whether or not you are a careful driver?
You're absolutely right. I should have said, "it STILL might happen."
Quote:
Gun safety "rules and guidelines" need to be followed EVERY TIME. I plan on never having a negligent discharge. And for those who snicker and think "just a matter of time"... I just can't think of anything to say to you.
What a useless statement. No one ever PLANS to have a ND, but it MIGHT happen. You might forget, or get distracted, or be tired, or any number of other reasons.

To those of you who think they're perfect (Jesus complex) and above having a NG some day, I just can't think of anything to say to YOU, either.

"It might happen" is the phrase that will really help it NOT happen.
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Old September 15, 2008, 11:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
I never point the weapon at anything unless I intend to kill it (except in training when I'm 100% sure the weapon is unloaded)...
Thereby guaranteeing that when you make a predictable human mistake, and the gun is loaded when you don't expect it to be, you will put a hole into someone you love or at least whom you don't intend to kill.

The first rule is all guns are always loaded. Some people state it as treat all guns as if they are loaded, and that's perfectly fine too. What that first rule simply means is that the safety rules always apply to every gun and in all circumstances, no matter who has "checked" it, no matter where you are, and no matter what you intend to happen when you handle the gun. It doesn't mean "if I think it's unloaded, then I can carry it around with my finger on the trigger while it's pointed at my toddler." It doesn't mean, "if I think it's unloaded, then I can point at my own left hand while pulling the trigger so that I can look cool while disassembling the gun."

The rules are designed to prevent this kind of thinking -- not encourage it!

Sorry to come down on you so hard, but it's important. Because so many people seem to misunderstand rule one, rule two should probably be stated, "Never allow a gun -- any gun, loaded or not -- to point at anything you are not willing to destroy."

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Old September 15, 2008, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvf
Sorry that happened but that no one was hurt. Don't quite get the slide sequence but it's unimportant. I get the picture.
What don't you get about the slide sequence? If you're carrying a semiauto, it might be important that you understand the reason behind doing things in that order... (or did I misunderstand your comment?)

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Old September 15, 2008, 11:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22lr
Gun safety "rules and guidelines" need to be followed EVERY TIME. I plan on never having a negligent discharge. And for those who snicker and think "just a matter of time"... I just can't think of anything to say to you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keltyke
What a useless statement. No one ever PLANS to have a ND, but it MIGHT happen. You might forget, or get distracted, or be tired, or any number of other reasons.
Stop! You're both right.

Seriously, guys, listen to each other for a minute.

22lr is saying that he plans to do the smart, safe thing and follow the rules every single time he handles a gun. He's absolutely correct: if you follow the rules scrupulously, habitually, religiously, you VASTLY reduce your chances of having an ND. That's because the rules comprise a complete safety system, interlocking and overlapping, with multiply-redundant layers of safety placed between the shooter and a tragedy.

But Keltyke is saying (also correctly) that human beings make mistakes. There's absolutely no arguing with this. It's absolutely true. Every human being on the planet makes mistakes -- through laziness or foolishness, through tiredness or distraction, through inattention or simple forgetfulness. Everyone makes mistakes. There are no exceptions to this rule (and there are no exceptions to the rule that everyone wants to be an exception to the rule).

22lr, following all the rules won't prevent you from making a completely predictable human mistake. The ND can still happen. But your habit of following the rules will prevent a tragedy from happening when that mistake is made. That's because there are multiple safety layers built into the rules, which means it will take more than one mistake to cause a tragedy. When you habitually follow all of the rules, all of the time, that tragedy simply won't happen even if the ND does.

For those who habitually throw away one or more of the rules, figuring that it doesn't matter and you'll just be extra careful: for you, it takes only one mistake to cause a tragedy. And since all human beings make mistakes, you're flirting with tragedy rather than with simple embarrassment, every time you handle a gun.

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Old September 15, 2008, 12:01 PM   #17
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Fair enough,

Keltyke, Pax
I can concede both points and have no problem admitting you both are right.

I just cannot fathom how some profess the inevitability of an ND, and that ALL shooters will *Eventually* have one. I refuse to allow this. I pray to god that I am successful.

I am human (though the wife doubts this at times) and will make mistakes, but cars, knives, guns and the like deserve respect, even a slight degree of apprehension. They are sneaky and are out to get me, so my paranoia is well founded.

My wife is a saint by the way.

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Old September 15, 2008, 12:24 PM   #18
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Good posts, "pax". A ND is an eventuality, not an inevitability.

Hopefully, none of us will ever have one.

As for gun handling, you make a VERY good point. Just because you know a gun isn't loaded is NO excuse to point it at anyone or anything - much less point it and pull the trigger.
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Old September 15, 2008, 12:31 PM   #19
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Thanks, pax, for the reality check. Welcome to the club, Smith66. In my case, familiarity bred contempt, and it wasnt long before gun safety demanded the respect it commands.

I hope to see that, when a ND does happen (God forbid), that whoever commits it writes about it. These threads always bring it back home to me when I start to become complacent.
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Old September 15, 2008, 12:39 PM   #20
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I want to thank the OP for sharing. There can never be too many reminders that ND can (not will) happen to anyone, even those who claim to be scrupulously careful.
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Old September 15, 2008, 12:41 PM   #21
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The safety issue is being beat to death. Suffice to say.

1. Following the four rules perfectly will result in NO NEGLIGENT DISCHARGES EVER.

2. Humans are fallible! That is why there are FOUR rules. Should you mess up on ONE of them the other THREE will prevent you from doing irreparable harm.

3. It takes cajones to step up to the plate and admit error. Thanks to the OP for doing so.

That all said THIS is what peaked my interest...

Quote:
I used the slide lock release to drop the slide, and as per usual, pulled the trigger to put the spring at rest.
There is absolutely no reason to do that. The weapon is designed to be left in the ready to fire state. If you wish to leave the chamber empty then fine but DO NOT PULL THE TRIGGER.

Mechanically you are accomplishing nothing since with properly designed springs it is CYCLES which result in fatigue far more than STAIN in any one position within design limitations.

From a human elements standpoint you are conditioning yourself to "Drop Slide, Pull Trigger." You have probably done this time and time again and the basic neuro-impulses are burned into your brain. Hence when you went through your "routine" as you always do your body did exactly what you had trained it to do on autopilot in that situation (going to bed), "Drop Slide, Pull Trigger."

Never pull the trigger when you do not have a valid reason to. Relieving strain on the spring is NOT a valid reason.

In addition to the safety advice you have already been given you need to immediately "re-train" yourself to NOT pull the trigger on that Glock when you put it to bed each night.
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Old September 15, 2008, 12:44 PM   #22
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When doing an "administrative" load or unload which is conducted under anything other than hostile conditions, we were taught to add two steps that might be of assistance to some who currently don't do it.

1. Lock slide to the rear and then physically (with a finger) and visually inspect the chamber to make sure nothing is lodged in there. The finger part helps if it is low light.

2. When loading the weapon watch the round,or no round, depending on what you are doing, go into the clear chamber.

I am not talking about combat reloads, tactical reloads, etc. Those should obviously be executed as quickly as you can. When you are doing and administrative upload/download, you have all the time in the world.
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Old September 15, 2008, 12:59 PM   #23
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I almost had a ND a few weeks back, which would have ended quite badly if it happened...
Friend of mine wanted to take a picture of his Israeli chick friend with my AK47, god knows why... So I started emptying rounds from the magazine. Unfortunately, either being distracted by those around me or from the double column design hiding one of the rounds from view, the magazine still had one round in it when it was inserted into the weapon... Luckily for me I make a habit of pulling back the charging handle at least 3 times and then visually inspecting the chamber before I hand it off to anyone... Should of seen my surprise when a brass 7.62x39 came flying out of the ejection port on the second pull... Had my "system" of checks not been in place, someone could very realistically have been hurt cuz those round laugh in the face of common household walls... Ive been mentally kicking myself ever since...

I guess the point of this is, as others have said, set a system down for handling your weapon... Making a few mistakes in sequence is a lot harder to do than only making one... Mistakes will happen, and I made mine...
And dont ever let your friend take pictures of his girl with your gun at a party full of anti-gun liberal hippies... That just ends badly :P
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Old September 15, 2008, 01:16 PM   #24
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Scary. Personally, as a rule I never dry fire a pistol with a magazine in place. When I put my "nightstand" pistol away after cleaning, I lock the slide, inspect, release the slide, pull trigger and then insert fully loaded mag. And when I take it out to go to the range, the first thing I do is drop the mag, lock the slide and inspect. Been doing it for years and, to me, its a very safe process.

I don't understand what the point is of inserting an empty magazine while at rest. Better to just know that every mag you insert is loaded. No confusion then.
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Old September 15, 2008, 01:20 PM   #25
.22lr
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Please understand.

I commend the OP for using his event to educate and remind. Admitting fault is something that people weak of character rarely ever do, and I feel that the OP's post speaks very well of them.

My only point is that we need not accept that everyone will eventually have an ND, regardless of carefulness.

I apologize if I seemed to imply anything else.

VR

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