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Old December 18, 2009, 07:10 PM   #1
Deaf Smith
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Just let it drop

How sad.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story...Z00_MTpeg.cspx

"LAREDO - Investigators are looking into what caused a Border Patrol agent's weapon to discharge killing his brother.

Police say it happened in South Central Laredo. The victim, an 18-year-old man, was shot once in the back with the agent's service weapon."

** according to it, the Agent fumbled with his gun and it started to drop and he grabbed for it. His brother was 18 years old.

I understand they use HKP2000 pistols in .40 S&W.

Did he carry it cocked-n-locked? Or do they use DAO?

Accidently killing my brother just before Christmas would, I don't know, might push me over the edge. My heart goes out to the family members.

So guys, let it drop if it's a modern drop safe pistol. The finsh of the gun isn't worth a life. If it starts to drop... let it drop!
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Old December 18, 2009, 07:54 PM   #2
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So guys, let it drop if it's a modern drop safe pistol. The finsh of the gun isn't worth a life. If it starts to drop... let it drop!
Very sad, indeed. A heartache for one family they will never recover from.

The question that must be asked is, what was the gun doing out of the holster? We can only surmise and the answer for now and it just validates the argument for insuring a weapon is not loaded if it is going to be handled by anyone other than yourself or if it is being handled with other people in the room. A very sad lesson. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the family.
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Old December 18, 2009, 08:37 PM   #3
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I worked a case several years ago in which a man claimed a Marlin lever action rifle accidentially discharged and struck his wife in the back of the head. At the time of this accidental shooting, he said he was pulling the rifle from it's hiding place under a couch.

I was brought in on the case about a week later. The coroner said the bullet entering the back of the head was at on a level trajectory. I measured the man and what would be the height should he be aiming the rifle and it was 5'4 inches off the floor. She was 5'8" with her tennis shoes. I replaced the rifle under the couch and removed it as he said with it cocked and could not get it to discharge after over 100 attempts. In order for the bullet to enter her as he claimed, she would have had to be laying on the floor at the time of being struck. Using a model of the same height, we determined his shooting height was consistent with her standing up and walking away from him.

It took seven months to get all that was needed to get a conviction but he will not be shooting anyone for the next 40 yrs or so.

Crime scene reconstruction is much more of a science than it was when I began many years ago. We can determine things now that was not possible years back. When a fatal injury is involved, it no longer gets covered up.

If there was something fishy in this situation, it may take weeks or months but it will be brought to light. I think there is a lot more to it than what the guy said.
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Old December 18, 2009, 09:10 PM   #4
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I know personally of a situation where 2 brothers, 1 handing a shotgun to the other, let go before the other one apparently had a good hold on it. They both grabbed for the falling gun..... someone apparently hit the trigger in trying to grab it as it went off, shooting one of them point blank in the chest.

Lesson I learned, if you are dropping one, let it fall..... chances are that it will not go off. Grabbing for it increases the chances for accidentally catching the trigger and that it will go off.

The one brother had a hard time ever living with the 'accident' that occurred and the death of his brother. I'm sure this Border Patrolman will have no easier time either. Sad.
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Old December 18, 2009, 09:21 PM   #5
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More than one person I know has suggested that the Unspoken Rule #5 should be "Don't try to catch a dropped gun."
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Old December 18, 2009, 09:26 PM   #6
jad0110
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So guys, let it drop if it's a modern drop safe pistol. The finsh of the gun isn't worth a life. If it starts to drop... let it drop!

An excellent lesson for all that I'm pretty sure many of us don't think about as often as we should.

I made this mistake with my S&W 642, fortunately the gun was empty, and I didn't pull the trigger by mistake. It was an eye opener though.
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Old December 18, 2009, 10:48 PM   #7
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More than one person I know has suggested that the Unspoken Rule #5 should be "Don't try to catch a dropped gun."
The problem is, with most of us, it's an automatic reflex to catch something we dropped. Kinda like jerking your hand back from a hot stove.

Honestly, I don't know how you'd counter such a fast-acting reflex .
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Old December 18, 2009, 11:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Capt Charlie
Honestly, I don't know how you'd counter such a fast-acting reflex...
After working around guns and knives for so long, I have the opposite problem; twice recently I've let breakables hit the floor due to having suppressed my "catching" reflex.
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Old December 18, 2009, 11:07 PM   #9
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After working around guns and knives for so long, I have the opposite problem
So muscle memory isn't the answer either. It would seem that you have to consciously think, "Do I catch this, or let it drop?". Trouble is, thinking takes more time than reflexes .
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Old December 18, 2009, 11:49 PM   #10
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I shudder because my BIL dropped a Glock 17 and my FIL grabbed it, successfully. I like my wife's family so all ended well.
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Old December 19, 2009, 12:18 AM   #11
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I try to catch them on top of my foot like a hacky sack. That never works but it does break their fall. Catching one in my hand makes about as much sense as grabbing at a falling knife.
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Old December 19, 2009, 12:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Capt Charlie
Trouble is, thinking takes more time than reflexes
I don't know that it's reflexes at all. Look at any little girl on the playground who drops a toy or any adult who drops a cup of coffee or a bowl of soup: The hands fly to shoulder level and the feet do a little hop backwards. We're just doing the same thing when we drop a blade or a gun...
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Old December 19, 2009, 06:51 AM   #13
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The H&K P2000 used by the USBP is a .40cal DAO weapon, with LE triggerpull.

What was he doing with it out of the holster? Obviously something he shouldn't have been doing. What was that I heard? RULE #1: Treat every weapon as if it is loaded.

The HK P2000 was selected, in part, due to its "safe drop" test results.
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Old December 19, 2009, 08:01 AM   #14
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My heart goes out to the family. It is always a tragedy when ever someone loses a loved one, but this time of year, even more so.

I never thought about a dropped weapon and the grab. Something else to think about and pass on when we teach or train others.
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:04 AM   #15
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I try to catch them on top of my foot like a hacky sack. That never works but it does break their fall. Catching one in my hand makes about as much sense as grabbing at a falling knife.
I do the same thing, it usually breaks the fall enough. It has saved my cell phone and ipod more than once from shattering all over the floor. I think it would also be adequate for a dropped gun.
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:33 AM   #16
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Same here with the foot, I don't know where that reflex came from except maybe dropping machine tools, eyeglasses, or automotive parts, etc and wanting to minimize damage. Hopefully I don't drop a gun or anvil.
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:37 AM   #17
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I don't know that it's reflexes at all. Look at any little girl on the playground who drops a toy or any adult who drops a cup of coffee or a bowl of soup: The hands fly to shoulder level and the feet do a little hop backwards. We're just doing the same thing when we drop a blade or a gun...
OK, I'll buy that, (although in that analogy, the adults tend to say things that little girls shouldn't hear .)
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:40 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Tamara
I don't know that it's reflexes at all. Look at any little girl on the playground who drops a toy or any adult who drops a cup of coffee or a bowl of soup: The hands fly to shoulder level and the feet do a little hop backwards. We're just doing the same thing when we drop a blade or a gun...
Yeah, I agree. I think the reflex is to get out of the way. We get trained to catch things because they cost money and then we have to work to restore our reflexes when it's appropriate, like guns and knives.

Yours, on the other hand, are apparently working fine.
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:48 AM   #19
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I try to catch them on top of my foot like a hacky sack. That never works but it does break their fall. Catching one in my hand makes about as much sense as grabbing at a falling knife.
i did that accidentaly with my 7.5" ruger sbh. i limped for about 3 days! lol
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Old December 19, 2009, 01:56 PM   #20
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Here is another nasty one. The gun was leaned up against the 4 wheeler he was standing on. The gun started to fall and I'm not sure if his buddy grabbed it, or something on the bike caught the trigger. Either way, he caught a 325 grain .45-70 round right under the collar bone. Fortunately this guy lived and I hope he was in church the following Sunday.



Someone I know had significant damage done when he try to prevent a knife he had dropped from hitting the floor. He stuck his foot out to deflect the knife and as Murphy's law would have it the knife stuck right though his footwear and severed a ligament in his foot.

The lesson in both is as has been mentioned, just let it (knife or firearm) fall.
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Old December 19, 2009, 02:37 PM   #21
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I don't know that it's reflexes at all. Look at any little girl on the playground who drops a toy or any adult who drops a cup of coffee or a bowl of soup: The hands fly to shoulder level and the feet do a little hop backwards. We're just doing the same thing when we drop a blade or a gun...
Somehow I seem to have both reflexes. If I drop something heavy or potentially dangerous I do the hands in the air and hop back, but other things I try to catch. Hopefully my reflexes will be accurate and only catch "safe" things. haha.
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Old December 19, 2009, 02:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara
I don't know that it's reflexes at all. Look at any little girl on the playground who drops a toy or any adult who drops a cup of coffee or a bowl of soup: The hands fly to shoulder level and the feet do a little hop backwards. We're just doing the same thing when we drop a blade or a gun...
Yeah, I agree. I think the reflex is to get out of the way. We get trained to catch things because they cost money and then we have to work to restore our reflexes when it's appropriate, like guns and knives.
When I was about 20, I had this drummed into my head:
"Never try to catch a falling tool. It might be your soldering iron, and you might catch it."

I did that catch-on-the-foot thing with a 4' pipe clamp once, because I wanted to keep it from damaging my client's floor. It worked, but I thought my foot was broken. Fortunately, it wasn't, and I just limped for a week or so.

And only this morning, the soup ended up on the floor; it made the dog very happy, and no one was burned...

Yah... just let it drop.
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Old December 19, 2009, 10:54 PM   #23
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When one breaks the basic rules of firearm safety, the odds are that something tragic will eventually occur. Playing with a loaded gun, or displaying it to someone is a very bad idea. This is not the first time someone in the Border Patrol has accidently shot someone. It happened a few months ago across the highway from where I live. At least it was not a fatality. And again, it was an act of displaying a loaded weapon. If those weapons had been in the holsters where they belonged, no one would be hurt or dead.
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Old December 20, 2009, 12:04 AM   #24
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I don't know that it's reflexes at all. Look at any little girl on the playground who drops a toy or any adult who drops a cup of coffee or a bowl of soup: The hands fly to shoulder level and the feet do a little hop backwards. We're just doing the same thing when we drop a blade or a gun...
Don't know that I can agree with that. My reflexes save me a bit of trouble and get me into a bit of trouble.

I work with my hands. I drop wrenches or spark plugs, or what-have-you from time to time. I instinctively try to catch them, and far more times than not, I am sucessful. This caries over into other things---I caught a ceramic cup of very hot tea this week. Spilled very little. Burned the crap out of my hand, though...
I also caught a knife I dropped once (one of those Leatherman deals that was quite heavy in proportion to it's size. Dropped it point-down and caught it the same way. It was very sharp and I still have a scar to prove it about 11 years later.
I'm sure I could come up with other examples.
Every time I read a thread like this I wonder: can I actually decide in advance to stop myself from trying to grab the gun out of mid-air? My history points me toward: probably not. So... maybe the best thing I can do is to exclude "trigger safeties" from my collection.

Let me add that in about 30 years of gun ownership, I have dropped exactly one gun. It fell out of my holster when I dropped trou to...oh well, you get the idea. As both hands were on the waistband of said trou at the time, I did not catch it. But I tried. That was a number of years ago, and my ...procedures have been refined to, ahhh, preclude a recurrence, if you will.
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Old December 20, 2009, 01:16 AM   #25
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Yup, saved my hide. I hadn't been carrying longer than a year when my CZ fell out of the holster in the ice cream aisle as I bent over to get some Vanilla. In a split second I fought the urge to catch the damn thing and let it skitter across the floor. Didn't go off, didn't shoot someone in the head. Just made a clacking sound, that's it.

This guy insisted the Kahr went off when it hit the floor.



I contacted Kahr, they made it very clear there is zero chance of that happening unless the gun was altered or he grabbed at it.
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