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Old February 7, 2009, 02:45 AM   #1
TheStoutness
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Your input please

Recently, a guy in the military I know was on a training exercise up in northern Virginia. He was in full flak/pack, gun loaded(on safe and holstered though upon entering the boat) with blanks, and military attire when he tripped and fell into one of their small boats. His foot was stuck on one part of the boat, his body wedged between the coxswains seat and side, and his arms forward...essentially he was completely stuck. One of his buddies noticed his perdicament and tried helping him out by trying to move him back and forth. Somehow during the process though the safety on his firearm was flipped and a blank round discharged from it, no one was hurt and no property damaged. Do you think he should get punished for this even though his hands were nowhere near the weapon at the time of discharge? Why or why not?
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Old February 7, 2009, 07:19 AM   #2
TheNatureBoy
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I guess he or his partner could have secured the firearm before attempting to free him/himself...... Punishment? I dunno. This fits the definition of an accident to me.
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Old February 7, 2009, 07:33 AM   #3
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having been in the forces myself I would say they would both get some kind of action for the mishap... since they were both there and prevy to the end result...
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Old February 7, 2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Do you think he should get punished for this
I wouldn't go that far, just the normal "chewing out" would do. The whole purpose of training exercises with blank ammo, is to learn from your mistakes...and not repeat them.
Better to get scolded and embarrassed in training, than to pay a higher price in action.
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Old February 7, 2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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Something does not add up if you are accurate in the description. First, a gun that is not defective will not discharge from the safety being flipped off. And I thought the military generally wore those Bianchi style green synthetic holsters(or black/tan?) with a snap flap covering the butt of the gun. So it seems that someone was wearing a holster that was either an open top design or the flap was disengaged, and the trigger was tripped when the safety was disengaged. If it was a Beretta or a Sig, I cannot see that happening by accident. If it was some kind of .45, well I thought that was one reason they finally switched to a DA auto, but in my experience, normally the guys carried a SA .45 auto hammer down on an empty chamber anyway. Your story does not add up for me!
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Old February 7, 2009, 08:21 AM   #6
alloy
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was the rifle also stuck? kinda sounds like alot of floudering around on top of a loaded weapon, is a chambered round typical dockside procedure?
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Old February 7, 2009, 10:07 AM   #7
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What rifle? Now you are confusing everyone.
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Old February 7, 2009, 10:24 AM   #8
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Something does not add up here. There's no way a properly holstered pistol on safe is going to discharge on its own, even if the person wearing it is break dancing.
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Old February 7, 2009, 10:31 AM   #9
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Punishment? I served many years in the military and I know for sure a commissioned officer will do an investgation because a weapon was accidently discharged. I doubt that there will be any punishment given to either trooper but I am sure they will be given instructions on how to handle a like situation in the future.
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Old February 7, 2009, 10:49 AM   #10
TheStoutness
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Tom2,
It was a standard navy-issue M9 Baretta. The safety was on before he stepped into the boat; the guy and 3 other members of his boat crew double-check all safeties before they load up.
The reason I posted the question is their command is all tied up on weather my friend should get in trouble or the guy helping him out. They are saying that since my friend is a Gunner's Mate (and also brand new to the command...he's been there for 3 weeks), even though at the time he had no control over himself or his weapon that he should have known better. On the other hand some of the command thinks the guy helping must have switched the safety off and they blame him (their reasoning:he's a comm's guy, what does he know). It was a Negligent Discharge either way you go, but the command is all tripped up on it for who to blame and punish.
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Old February 7, 2009, 10:54 AM   #11
TheStoutness
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Quote:
is a chambered round typical dockside procedure?
Yes actually it is, ever since september 11th.
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Old February 7, 2009, 11:15 AM   #12
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If those were my soldiers, I would make their punishment significantly traumatic to ensure that they would never forget weapons safety in the future.
Seriously - the punishment would be dependent on ALL of the facts and the quality of the soldiers - the punishment would range from a kick in the ass to UCMJ action.
My government issue M9 holster can be either worn with the flap covering the M9 or with the flap replaced with a snap strap - either way I don't know how a holstered M9 discharges???
We don't have all of the facts here.
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Old February 7, 2009, 11:19 AM   #13
Sevens
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This is a double action pistol. A round should be chambered, but does the U.S. Govt actually intend for it to also be carried in a holstered COCKED?

I can't understand why a double action pistol was carried cocked. If it wasn't carried cocked, then I sure can't figure out how it discharged.

I would say that someone really needs to figure out what happened, and yes, someone needs their ass chewed.

These are my opinions.
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Old February 7, 2009, 11:49 AM   #14
TheStoutness
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*sigh* What is hard to understand about a Condition 1 weapon...all you have to do is take the safety off and pull the trigger even a booter knows that.
"Condition One. Magazine inserted, round in chamber, slide forward, hammer down, weapon on safe." This is the condition a person on watch has a M9 in and the same condition he had it in.

As far as the holster...he said it was a Safariland leg strap holster, there's no snap you just press down with your thumb and it rotates forward.
As to how it actually discharged...even my buddy and the crewmembers with him at the time are baffled by that. (This isn't his first rodeo he's been in the Navy for several years and has done a tour in Iraq and Afgan, with no mishaps previous to this.) Apparently though they have all made the statement that his hands were nowhere near the weapon when it fired.
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Old February 7, 2009, 11:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Do you think he should get punished
The military is not a democracy. If the CO deems the offense punishable then that decision stands. What we civys think is irrelevant at best and disrespectful and demeaning to our nations and worlds best line of defense at worse.
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Old February 7, 2009, 12:21 PM   #16
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I was a company commander (three differant companies).

I don't know the case so I wont comment. I will tell you how I handle such situations, not just gun related.

Lets say a soldier screws up, has a unententual discharge (assuming no one is hurt). (We're talking accidents).

That individual will instruct the next class covering PMI and firearms safty. Same thing goes with vehicle accidents. No better place to learn a subject then teaching it.

This policy has worked pretty good for me.
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Old February 7, 2009, 12:32 PM   #17
TheStoutness
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Good point Kraigwy. Let's hope for my friend's sake that his CO is like you. He's been a top-notch sailor since I've known him (always gets high evaluations, never steps out of line, aces all of his schools and advancement exams, always goes for orders nobody else wants.) I'm not sure how this will affect his attitude toward the navy if something overly dramatic happens. He's completely freaked out about this whole situation so I figured I would ask around for him. I'll keep you guys posted on what does happen to him though.
I do appreciate everyone's different point of views.
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Old February 7, 2009, 01:40 PM   #18
EricReynolds
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I can't give a definitive answer on whether or not they should receive disciplinary action or not or what that should be, simply because I wasn't there. Seriously though, the military tends to not accept "somehow the safety was flipped", they don't want to hear that. Still just hearing the circumstances as you've described, I would hope their commanding officer will take everything into account and realize it was just a simple mistake and not give them too severe a reprimand.
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Old February 7, 2009, 02:59 PM   #19
alloy
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What rifle? Now you are confusing everyone.
You are right and that was my bad. I read it several times and i guess it didnt register that a holstered pistol would ND or AD. I will rethink wrestling on the floor with the doberman.
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Old February 7, 2009, 04:27 PM   #20
Sevens
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*sigh* What is hard to understand about a Condition 1 weapon
--SIGH--
At what point did you EVER state that it was in condition 1, hammer down and round chambered?
If the hammer was down, they must have dragged the poor SOB back and forth like a windshield wiper to make the pistol discharge.
Sheeeeeesh.

Perhaps my problem in figuring this out is that my pistol which is quite similar (but not exactly the same) does have a de-cocker, and can also be carried cocked and locked, with a round chambered, hammer COCKED and safety on. Can the Beretta be carried in this manner, or does the safety automatically de-cock the pistol when applied?
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Old February 7, 2009, 11:01 PM   #21
Bud Helms
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It's a decocker, Sevens. Sic 'im.
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Old February 7, 2009, 11:10 PM   #22
Sevens
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Lots of different safety systems on different handguns. With my 1911, you can't even engage the safety unless it's cocked, just like all 1911s. With my 3rd Gen Smith, you can't cock & lock it -- if you try, it drops the hammer for you. With my Taurus PT-99AF, you can cock and lock it, or lock it without it being cocked, or you can have it cocked and locked and sweep the SAME lever all the way down and it de-cocks the pistol.

Shame on me for not knowing exactly how the Beretta with it's slide-mounted safety works... but then, I'm not the guy who might have shot his own nads off after getting stuck on a boat.
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Old February 7, 2009, 11:32 PM   #23
globemaster3
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With the M-9, not only does it have a decocker, but also a firing pin block that moves up as you pull the trigger so when the hammer hits the striker which drives the firing pin. Without the trigger pulled, the block stays in a lowered position, blocking the striker from driving the pin. Unless the trigger is pulled, the block should have prevented the discharge, regardless of if the hammer "accidentally" fell.

Now, different service, but standard USAF procedure is loaded, decocked, safety OFF carry.

Unless you were there to observe the incident, unfortunately all you are getting are pieces of the whole picture. There is most likely some key piece of info that we do not have as to why that weapon would discharge.
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Old February 8, 2009, 12:43 AM   #24
Chindo18Z
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1. Assuming that the M9 was being carried in a Safariland thigh rig...

I'm at a loss as to explain how it could have discharged from a hard kydex shell which completely protects the trigger from movement. I've worn variations of this holster professionally for many years and have never encountered or heard of such an event (unless the weapon was first dislodged from the holster and THEN had the DA trigger snagged). If your friend did not have the friction retention set properly (loose holster) or his retention bail secured...he is at fault. BTW, I've been on more than one night boat op while kitted up in similar gear (including what is probably the same holster/weapon combo).

2. Assuming that the M9 was carried Condition One or Two...

There is no way it discharged without the trigger being pulled. If it was being carried cocked (round in chamber, hammer back, decocker/safety never applied), it was being carried Condition ZERO and your friend was an idiot and deserves to be crushed. None of his instructors ever taught him to carry that way.

3. Assuming the weapon was loaded with blank 9mm...

He would be the first servicemember I've run across in over 30 years to be issued blank 9mm for training. Even when we used to occasionally have access to .45 blank for M1911A1s, it was never drawn for training because...US Military semi-autos will only fire blanks single shot. There is no military issue blank adapter provided for the M1911A1 (nor the Beretta M9).

Generally, DOD stocks and issues the following 9mm DODICs:

Cartridge, 9mm, Ball
Cartridge, 9mm, Ball, NATO, M882
Cartridge, 9mm, High Pressure Test, M905
Cartridge, 9mm, Dummy, M917

NO BLANKS.

Nowdays, M9s are carried empty for training or (if available) with Simunition uppers installed. That I'll believe.

9mm Blank AD/ND from a Safariland thigh rig? Your friend's tale sounds like a sea story.
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Old February 9, 2009, 11:29 PM   #25
Chuckusaret
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Punishment? I served many years in the military and I know for sure a commissioned officer will do an investgation because a weapon was accidently discharged. I doubt that there will be any punishment given to either trooper but I am sure they will be given instructions on how to handle a like situation in the future.
The officer of the day would have made a entry in his daily log and the log entry would have required an investigation of some type to close it out. Did the commanding officer think the accidental discharge of the weapon warrant a punishment? In any case I am sure that they received a chewing out at the least and as I stated they will , I am sure, get additional small arms training
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