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View Poll Results: Have you ever accidently discharged your handgun?
Yes, I did. 236 29.80%
No, never. 556 70.20%
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Old February 24, 2009, 04:33 AM   #126
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Yep, shot my grandpa...

When I was around 10 years old I was shooting an old .22 rifle with an odd sort of hammer. The hammer was a knob that you pulled straight out towards yourself. My grandpa was at a 45° angle from me to my right in relation to where my target was. I cocked back the hammer, waited till he cleared a bit more and started to raise the firearm. I believe something happened where the hammer wasn't fully cocked because it flew forward about halfway up to my target and ricocheted and hit my grandpa in the shoulder. No damage was done to him but I was balling like a little girl of course. Even before then my dad grilled proper firearm safety to me and continued to till this day. With my pistol that I own know, the first I have ever owned, I have never had a ND. With the habits I have formed I don't see it happening as long as I am as careful as I should be.
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Old February 27, 2009, 05:59 PM   #127
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How's this for almost an accidental discharge..Was on an Air Force base at an undisclosed base in Europe back in the late sixities. We were on the Victor Alert pad,( thats where they line up about a dozen fighter bombers with nuclear weapons). As I was walking around a plane the load crew dropped a bomb about four feet on to the tarmac, and dented the nose cone. Everybody froze in time for a split could not have pulled a pin out of our collective behinds with a bulldozer...does this count. Sorry for the high jack
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Old February 28, 2009, 12:45 PM   #128
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I have story which, I believe, illustrates the absolute need for safe gun handling habits. I was hunting with my cousin and his son. Now, my cousin is a stickler for gun safety and it's ingrained in his kid. We were walking along and suddenly, the boy's shotgun discharged. By the way, the safety was on. No one was injured because this kid was always conscious of walking with the barrel pointed away from other people. If he was walking behind, for instance, he carried it over his shoulder, pointed back. If in front, pointed ahead and downward, to the left, cradled, pointing right, etc. I guess my point is that good habits can carry some forgiveness of an accidental discharge and give you a second chance.
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Old March 1, 2009, 12:33 AM   #129
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If you haven't, you will!
“I would rather be your friend, but if you are not interested in that, I am prepared to be a capable and efficient enemy.” - Jeff Cooper
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Old March 1, 2009, 01:09 PM   #130
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I haven't had a ND per say.... I was shooting my 20ga Ithaca one time when I was about 11-12yrs old, and I was trying to take out some stationary clays as fast as I could. Well, I left my finger on the trigger once, racked a shell in, and the gun went off. It was my first slam fire. It freaked me out at first, but then I had to do it over and over again....
As far as handguns, though, none at all.
I've been handling firearms for about 20yrs now, and I've never let it happen.
My girlfriend on the other hand, has one. She put a hole in the door of my brand new safe. I only had the safe for 1 day, and she put a 9mm into the back of the door. Didn't even dent the front plate of the door, just dented the back of it. I got an apology text at work, and I think she learned her lesson. I'm glad it didn't scare her off of guns (we just went shooting last week), and all I said to her afterwards was "Keep your finger off the trigger, honey. What did I tell you?".
You can tell she's much more careful now, though.
I think it's very important not to slack on the rules when you're with a relatively new shooter. Every time they handle a gun in your presence, you have the RESPONSIBILITY to remind them of the rules. I've taught quite a few people how to handle a firearm, and unless they're to the point where they automatically follow rules naturally and with very little thought, you need to continue to reinforce them. I used to think I was just being a prick by harping at them constantly because I would get the "yeah,. I know" bit from people. Then, 5 mins later, their finger is back on the trigger.
Now, I don't care how many times they say "I know". If I see even the slightest beginnings of an unsafe practice, I'm all over it. I saw a friend of mine almost take his foot off with a .44Mag. I told him twice, but should have taken the gun from him earlier.
I have no patience any more when it comes to unsafe people.
I also had a kid I worked with who wanted to see my M&P9. I got it out, removed the mag, checked the chamber, and handed it to him. The very first thing he did was pull the trigger. He would have shot my friend in the side with it if it had been loaded. I snapped, but was pretty proud and glad that i did what I did beforehand. (my friend was glad, too). You can NEVER be too safe.
I'm forever grateful to my father for constantly giving me crap while I was growing up. If we went out shooting, and my finger touched the trigger, or my muzzle drifted anywhere other than the target downrange etc., the game was over. He'd explain what i did, and he'd take the gun from me. I used to think he was just being mean, but now I know better and not only do I understand, but I'm glad he acted the way he did.
Error is not an option with guns.
Always keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
Be sure of your target and beyond.
And my dad always wanted guns not only unloaded, but actions open. I think I agree. It's better that you have to physically close the action before the gun will fire. I adopted that rule in my own house for long guns.
"Reach out your hand if your cup be empty. If your cup be full, let it be again.
Let it be known, there is a fountain, that was not made by the hands of men"
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Old March 1, 2009, 01:16 PM   #131
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Oh, and bauer, my grandfather had the same rifle. I forget what it was, but we used to shoot frogs with it.
The hammer looked almost like a valve out of an engine, and it had a couple of red rings around it or something. You had to pull that thing HARD to fully cock it. I remember all my cousins would AD/ND that thing all the time. The hammer could just slip out of your fingers if your hand was wet, and BANG. That happened so many times...
"Reach out your hand if your cup be empty. If your cup be full, let it be again.
Let it be known, there is a fountain, that was not made by the hands of men"
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Old March 1, 2009, 03:02 PM   #132
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I have had one and I chuck this one up to mechanical failure. Let me start out with that for some reason I have always had a hang up with testing my guns safeties while the gun is loaded by simply switching the safety off, then back on. I always do it out side and while pointed in a safe direction. One day back in my high school years 1990's I barrowed my fathers Remington 700 bdl to go deer hunting one evening. After coming home after an unsuccessful hunt I stepped out of my car and proceeded to flick the safety off with the rifle pointed to the sky. It went off! I informed my father of it and he did not know what happened. A couple of months later I saw a news show that was reporting of a problem found in the older models of Rem. 700 rifles. Apparently there was a flaw that caused something to hang up in the safety if the weapon was not properly cleaned. My understanding is that that problem has been fixed. My father now has better cleaning habits and I now have a reason to regularly test my safeties. Research for any potential flaws with your guns and regularly clean them; and always point it in a safe direction.
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Old March 1, 2009, 05:07 PM   #133
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Great thread!

I have to say, even for all the AD/ND bickering, this has been a great thread, as it's taught me a lot of things NOT to do, as well as things about which to always be vigilant and mindful.

I have had one ND so far- I refuse to say "I've only ever had one ND", and I won't say it'll never happen again, although I really hope and pray it never will. About 15 years ago, I broke Cooper's rule #3. I was at a range with my father and sister. He was on the 100-yd range sighting his hunting rifle, so she and I went to the 50- and 25-yd ranges to practice with his .22 semi pistol and rifle, and my .22 bolt Marlin. We were on the 25, each firing a mag, then passing the pistol and empty mag to the other to load and fire.

I don't recall exactly what happened, but at some point I was distracted and talking to my sister. I had the pistol aimed vaguely downrange, but at an angle up and to the left of the target, and my finger was still on the trigger. The pistol fired, just missing the awning over us, and the bullet went sailing off into the farmland sky beyond. I was so embarrassed, I cleared the pistol, gave it to her, and went to sit by my father.

While I can't remember him ingraining the four cardinal rules to us in one sitting at any one time, I do recall them from early memory: Treat every weapon as loaded, even one you just emptied. Never point a weapon at something you don't want dead. Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire. Know what's beyond your target. I broke rule 3, and even though he didn't punish me, knowing I'd broken it was punishment enough, and I knew the consequence of my negligence should be a time-out from trigger work until I had my crap together.

Since then, I've done a lot more homework and study. I took my hunter's safety course. I keep all my rifles either unloaded with the action open, or closed and trigger-locked on a snap-cap. My study will always go on, and reading through this thread was part of it. Thanks to everyone who's taught me today!
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Old March 1, 2009, 06:22 PM   #134
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I have never had an AD, but I have had a ringing in my left ear for 41 years because a buddy did. There are some lessons here. It was an all night poker game - cards, booze, etc. in the kitchen of my apartment. One of the guys came in late because he worked part-time as a security guard, sat down on my left, and joined the game. A couple of hours later (and about 5 beers later) one of the guys across the table asked to see the guard's S&W Chief's Special 38 revolver. He held it up, swung open the cylinder, and dropped the cartridges in his hand. As he closed the cylinder, I thought "that did NOT look like 5 rounds to me" and he then prepared to demonstrate the DA pull by dry-firing the gun pointed at the ceiling. I quickly asked to see the gun (in order to check the cylinder). But as I reached for it I saw the hammer going back. I instinctively pulled my hand back and turned my head - then BLAM - it went off - and my left ear caught the side-blast. Another buddy was in my bedroom upstairs on the phone with his girl, and we all called out for him - and he answered - something like "what the #$%k is going on down there". Whew. The bullet caught a joist or cross member and did not go through the floor in the room above.

Lessons learned:

1) Check any gun THOROUGHLY to be sure it is unloaded. If someone else unloaded it, immediately demand to see the gun yourself if you did not get a good look.

2) Booze and guns do not mix - at all - not even a little bit - never ever.

3) If you think that revolver next to your head may discharge - don't turn your head - close your eyes and lower your head. Better yet - use rules 1 and 2 above to avoid such a situation.
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Old March 1, 2009, 07:21 PM   #135
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I have to say, I'm fairly new to guns (I've gone out shooting a few times), and I know the rules, but this is definitely a good reminder.
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Old March 17, 2009, 03:41 AM   #136
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I hate to admit this but....

a few weeks or so ago I voted no.

I went to visit my brother sunday. My brother has a 28ga single shot shotty sawed off. He hands it to me loaded (first mistake). Of course as always I check it, I break the action and a shell almost hits me in the face. After giving my brother a lecture on unloading before handing a firearm to someone, I throw the shell in my pocket.

While checking the gun periodicly, Im fidgeting with it swinging the barrel back and forth, and the occational dry fire. As we are in his garage I finish playing around with the shotty, so I reload it and put it back on his bench. We return inside the house.

About 30-45 mins later we go back into the garage for a smoke after watching tv for a bit. I pick up the gun without checking it (second mistake).
and continue to mess around with the hammer, cocking it and leting it down slowly. I did this a few times then got the great idea to dry-fire it again(Third mistake) .

Well needless to say it was not a "dry-fire" after all! BANG

We were lucky I had the gun pointed straight at the floor parellel to my leg when it went off. I looked down at my leg thinking I just shot my leg or foot.
asked my brother if he was alright his face literaly looked like this->. I'm sure mine did too.

But anyway needless to say I WILL NOT let that happen again.
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Old March 17, 2009, 08:54 AM   #137
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I have done it once, I am still not sure how it happened, I had just cleaned my .40 sw99 and was reloding it, released the slide and BANG. hole in the low corner of the wall, My wife came in the room and I thought I was really gonna here about it. Instead she says it gave her faith in proper gun safety becuse I had the gun pointed in a safe direction. Go figure, I tore the gun apart and could not ever figure out what happened, I am kind of glad it happened, made me TWICE as carefull as I used to be and only cost me a TAP round and some paneling/siding

Last edited by Housezealot; March 17, 2009 at 11:22 AM.
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Old March 17, 2009, 09:19 AM   #138
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At the range the other day, trying out my new Sig P229. I wasn't used to the light trigger and short reset point of it when in SA. I pulled the trigger and let it up, but apparently not enough for it to reset. When I pulled again, it did not go off. I started to bring it up to look at it, without taking my finger off the trigger. (Big Mistake!) I must have let up the trigger enough to reset, and then pulled it a bit again. BOOM! Fortunately, for everyone's safety, it was still pointed mostly downrange, but up at about a 40 degree angle. Fortunately for my ego, mine was not the only hole in the ceiling.

Won't make that mistake again.
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Old June 2, 2009, 12:20 PM   #139
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Bringing this post back from the dead (Zombie thread!) because it's so very important to read every now and then.

Never had an AD or ND, but I'm knocking on wood as I type this.

Anyone (ANYONE!) is capable of it, no matter how long you've gone without one. I learned along time ago that with regards to safety issues, saying, "I was just being stupid" is just a sorry excuse. The real answer is, "I had reckless disregard for my own life and everyone around me". We've all done it, most of us have just been LUCKY to be in that 75% without a ND/AD.

AD are real, and a good reason to follow the four rules!
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Old June 2, 2009, 12:27 PM   #140
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Yep, thankfully withoutinjuries, except ringing ears!
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Old June 2, 2009, 01:27 PM   #141
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I've carried a gun for over twenty years, and yes, I've had two ND's.

One was with a rifle, while hunting, and the other was with a handgun. I had a safe backstop and was aware of my muzzle control both times. Nobody was injured and there was minimal property damage.

Also, I learned something from both occurances. Those of you that haven't had an ND, please be aware of your trigger finger and muzzle control, because it's easy to make a mistake and I would hate to see anyone make a mistake that they can't recover from, like accidentally shooting someone.

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Old June 2, 2009, 01:32 PM   #142
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I wonder how many just don't want to own up to their AD/ND
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Old June 2, 2009, 02:08 PM   #143
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not accidentally.
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Old June 2, 2009, 02:39 PM   #144
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Well, yes, and I thought we'd talked about that before.

Not once, not twice but three or four times.

The first time, which was coincidentally the first time I fired a handgun, was in the 1950s. An acquaintence of my father owned a building where he worked. My father worked there at night and sometimes I'd go to work with him. I'm pretty sure I was in grade school at the time. This old man had a bunch of firearms, don't know how many, but he showed me a revolver, probably a Colt. Naturally, I promptly aimed it at something on the wall and started clicking away. On about the fourth click, it fired. The old man practically laughed his head off. Later, I mentioned it to my father in another part of the building (which was a garage). He wasn't especially concerned.

I don't know if I hit what I was aiming at or not.

Another time a rifle I was handed to use, which was a .22, went off when I closed the bolt. Even then I knew to point it in a safe direction, which in that case was up, which I know is not safe.

I once accidently discharged a revolver in my basement in exactly the same way as in the first incident. I'm a slow learner. I now tend to think that automatics are a little safer than revolvers.
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Old June 2, 2009, 02:39 PM   #145
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Accidental discharge:

The only thing close to an "accidental discharge" that I have experienced was a 9mm cook off round. I was at the police pistol qualifying range one day and had shot numerous rounds down range in my model 17 Glock. I then loaded another mag and shot two rounds and the third round did not fire when I squeezed the trigger... I kept it pointed down range and called the range safety officer. As he was coming to me, I lowered the pistol and it went off. Scared the you know what out of me when it fired. Also, put a neat hole in my briefcase that was at my feet (held all my extra ammo, targets, etc.). Has never happened again thank God. But always remember to keep your pistol down range for at least two to three minutes would be my suggestion when you experience a misfire.
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Old June 2, 2009, 03:25 PM   #146
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Sounds more like a hangfire than a cookoff. Hangfires are always accidents. They become negligent only when quickly pointed in the wrong direction.
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Old June 2, 2009, 08:55 PM   #147
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I have never fired any firearm unintentionally, whether accidental, negligent, or malfunction. Training, care and good luck. I have, however, had several accidental or negligent releases of any arrow from a compound hunting bow, including a few in my basement.
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Old June 2, 2009, 09:50 PM   #148
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"Cook off round":

Yep, hangfire is a better description Stevie.
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Old June 2, 2009, 10:07 PM   #149
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I have fired guns twice when I wanted to dry-fire - expected a click, got a bang. They weren't accidents, because I pulled the trigger, but I'm not going to call them negligent, because the gun was pointed down a shooting range, both times.
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Old June 2, 2009, 10:32 PM   #150
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Do these count?

I have had two I can recall offhand.

One was during qualifying at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base with a .38 Special. Slow fire. I was not on target, but readying for it. I had my finger through the guard and absent-mindedly applied pressure to the trigger. Completely missed the target. Might have hit the ceiling baffles, I am not sure. Despite the clean miss, I still qualified expert. Proud of that.

One was with a 22 rimfire whose cylinder started binding. I gripped the cylinder with my off-hand and moved it. It moved ok. Since my finger was still on the trigger the hammer moved too. Then the bullet moved. Surprize! Still, the gun was pointed downrange (more or less).

I had a close call in my home. Preparatory to dry firing, I picked up what I thought for sure was an empty revolver. It wasn't empty. I checked before doing anything stupid - more out of habit and paranoia than caution. I was handling it before! I was sure I had not reloaded it! Yet there they were, six little accidents waiting to happen, all snug in their chambers. Good luck favors the prepared? No, good luck favors those who don't depend on luck.

My third AD story is not mine, but the most interesting one I have ever heard. It happened September 13, 2000 in Brighton, New York.

A 1991 A-1 compact.45 caliber semiautomatic pistol (Colt's Manufacturing, Hartford, CT), cocked and locked (condition one), went off. Afterwards, the gun was found to be STILL cocked and locked with the spent, empty, cartridge casing still in the chamber.

How is that possible, you say? Fascinating reading.
or if the link does not work, paste these into your web browser

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accidental discharge , negligent discharge

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