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Old March 14, 2014, 12:32 PM   #1
Bartholomew Roberts
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Man Responding to Burglary Shoots Off Own Leg - GRAPHIC

I came across this link and thought it was an incredibly valuable lesson in how serious firearms are and why it is important to develop good firearms handling and manipulation habits before you are thrust into a stressful situation. The content is quite graphic:

http://ryanjarcy.wordpress.com/2013/...tgun-part-one/

Summary: The author was responding to a man attempting to steal scrap from around his trailer. He confronted the man with a pistol-gripped shotgun and the man fled back to his vehicle. Unsure if the man was retreating or fleeing, the author retreated back to his doorway and began to dial 911 while resting the muzzle of the shotgun on his leg just above his foot. Before he could dial 911, he accidentally discharged the shotgun and fired a load of 7.5 birdshot into his leg at contact distance.

For that one understandable lapse of safety in a moment of high stress, this man lost his leg below the knee and incurred $45,000+ worth of medical bills.

I shared the link because although it is gruesome, I thought that it was a very compelling example of the importance of the four rules and good firearms manipulation, especially in stressful situations. The man's recovery from the extremely serious gunshot wound and his tale of survival and recovery offer a lot as well from a Tactics and Training perspective.

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; March 14, 2014 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Correct sloppy grammar and facts
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Old March 14, 2014, 12:54 PM   #2
Glenn E. Meyer
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That is awful. However, thanks for the link. I think it is a must read for folks who blithely recommended long arms and esp. shotguns for the wonder weapon for the untrained in a recent thread.


I specifically recall one person saying manipulating a long arm and dealing with the phone is NO problem at all.
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Old March 14, 2014, 02:25 PM   #3
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Poor technique is poor techique, regardless of the platform. A .45 down the length of your shin would probably have a bad (though, probably not AS bad) outcome as well.

Sounds like another zero-training-user.
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Old March 14, 2014, 02:45 PM   #4
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Very sad, but the rules of Safe Gun Handling are IRON rules that must
ALWAYS be followed, whether at home, at the range, in competition or in combat. They must be practiced until they are second nature.
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Old March 14, 2014, 04:38 PM   #5
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I've trained several young folks including my Daughter how to handle weapons before they intered the Military and I always include the part about . Slow is smooth and smooth is fast . My Daughter ended up doing a tour in Iraq and spent more time outside the wire than most Men I know that went . Armored Calv . Delivered the SF guys to do their thing and waited and drove them back . While in basic they made her coach on the shooting range when they asked her how she knew how to shoot she said MY Daddy taught Me . My point was Slow is smooth smooth is fast when in a tactical situation .
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Old March 14, 2014, 04:55 PM   #6
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Well, that certainly puts the lie to the old myth, "Just get a shotgun – you won't have to learn how to use it!"

There is no tool that keeps you safe. Safety is a myth, a legend, a chimera. It does not exist in the real world. But, with intelligent training followed by good practice, you can be safer. That's all anybody can ask in this world.

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Old March 14, 2014, 05:15 PM   #7
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The fellow made a bad mistake but he didn't try to pass the blame. I hope we can learn from the mistake and his grit in dealing with the aftermath.
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Old March 15, 2014, 04:17 PM   #8
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wow, horrible! That teaches us a lesson in always treating your gun safely - in and out of combat!
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Old March 15, 2014, 06:46 PM   #9
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I've always disliked pistol grip shotguns. It transfers the recoil directly into the web of the hand. He demonstrated the necessity of using two hands in handling a pistol grip shotgun. He should have held it by the forearm (trail arms). Even then, it is too easy to allow it to swing down toward the foot.
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Old March 15, 2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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This is an easily avoidable situation and occurred as a result of recklessness.
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Old March 15, 2014, 07:53 PM   #11
NotMeNotYou
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No snide comments, no "woulda, coulda, shoulda", this poor guy is going to live with the result of his actions for the rest of his life. Very, very sad story.
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Old March 15, 2014, 08:46 PM   #12
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Broke a few rules. Would have been a disaster with any platform.

Finger off the trigger, and safety engaged (if applicable), and don't point it at something you don't want to destroy. AR15, or shotgun, or AK, or .45... he would have been in the same boat.

I was doing an OP4 in the Army once, and several of the Soldiers would frequently stop and sit, resting either their chin on the end of their barrel as they sat with the buttstock in the dirt, or they'd lean on the buttstock with the barrel on their foot. Morons...
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Old March 15, 2014, 10:18 PM   #13
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I read most of the story, I feel bad for the guy. It really did sound like an unfortunate accident and he is clearly a brave and strong person.
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Old March 15, 2014, 11:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model12Win
...It really did sound like an unfortunate accident ...
Unfortunate? Absolutely.

But not exactly an accident. He violated two cardinal rules of gun handling: (1) he let the muzzle cover something he was not willing to destroy; and (2) he had his finger on the trigger when not on target and intending to shoot.

Good training and diligent practice can help us understand what to do and how to do it, and help assure that we do things correctly all the time -- even under great stress.
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Old March 16, 2014, 07:47 AM   #15
Bartholomew Roberts
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According to later comments he posted, he believes the shotgun started to slip as he was dialing the phone and thinks he did a reflexive grab that caught the trigger.
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Old March 16, 2014, 09:20 AM   #16
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For many years I taught Hunter Safety Course here in Texas.

The Texas P&W send me material every year with the breakdown in firearms accidents.

Quite a few of them would rest the barrel of their long gun on their foot and play with the trigger, with obvious consequences.

Most were .22 wounds, but a few were shotgun. EVERY YEAR folks!

KYFFOTFT is no joke. Neither is the rule to not point it at anyone or anything you don't want destroyed (including your foot.)

But now and then someone has to repeat the process and become a poster child for gun safety.

And one more thing... if he slipped while dialing and hit the trigger, why was the safety off? It was a pump Mossberg with a tang safety.

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Old March 16, 2014, 11:14 AM   #17
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wow....so many violations of safe handling.... this will be used in all upcoming training.

must build muscle and unconscious good habits....like never point a firearm at anything you don't intend to destroy.
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Old March 16, 2014, 09:03 PM   #18
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Rethink a sling

For HD shotguns the story has been avoid a sling so you don't get caught up on anything. In this case a sling may have saved his leg.

Also a reminder to keep your finger on the side of the weapon. If you tighten your grip in a reflex it will keep it off the trigger.
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Old March 16, 2014, 10:54 PM   #19
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I don't run a sling on my HD pump shotgun. Take a knee and dial, or use the kitchen table, etc. Not rocket science.

Also, here's a great argument for "Cruiser Safe" (i.e.- hammer down, empty chamber, mag full. No need to manipulate safety or slide release.)
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Old March 16, 2014, 11:22 PM   #20
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I hope everyone reads the article before commenting. The guy seemed to be very experienced. An adrenaline dump can make you do some weird things.

From the article:
And to clarify: the gun slipped from my hand as I dialed 911 (or I knocked the muzzle against the ground and dropped it, who knows) and in my hopped-up adrenaline haze I instinctively clenched my hand shut, putting my finger through the trigger frame, pulling the shotty about halfway up my calf and BOOM! Bad time to have a careless reaction.
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Old March 17, 2014, 03:26 AM   #21
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NotMeNotYou
"No snide comments, no "woulda, coulda, shoulda", this poor guy is going to live with the result of his actions for the rest of his life. Very, very sad story."

Thanks man. As on another forum I belong to I'll play W/C/S for a moment, but I want to say that I appreciate what you said

Was my accident entirely my fault? Yup. Was it due to poor weapon handling and outright clumsiness? Absolutely. Preventable? Of course. However, I do like to think that it could be a situation anyone could be in: tense as a rattlesnake because it's a robbery to begin with and didn't end as expected, nervous with energy and trying to handle a cell phone to call the police. If I had been carrying my .32-20 Colt PPS, maybe things would have been different, or maybe I would have scratched my head with the muzzle and wound up a vegetable at best- in any case, I had my PGO Mossberg 500 (well, a Sears-Roebuck clone) and too little brain function to safely organize myself. I could have sat down, or put the safety on, or set the gun down before calling 911, or an infinite amount of other things, but I didn't. I was as preoccupied and mixed-up as I ought not to have been and I wound up unable to do the moonwalk ever again.

I was and am an example of less-than-stellar firearms safety, the four rules and all else, and if I'm going to be a bad example of all that and live on as "that shotgun guy" then I want the firearms community to understand a momentary lapse in judgement can result in some outstandingly crappy consequences. "If you screw up you gotta own up" is a good summation of what one must do when things like this occur, and I screwed up in the most dramatic, look-at-this-freakin'-guy way I could manage. Let it be a warning against using a PGO- unless you're a high-speed low-drag moto operator you probably don't need one- and a good story to remind folks of the power we carry in our weapons.

Also, try an keep your health insurance. If you do lose it, don't pick up a shotgun for the first 12 hours. Personal tip :P
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Old March 17, 2014, 06:51 AM   #22
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I'm sorry the accident happened but I'm glad you had the determination to do what it took to survive.

Maybe others can learn from this and have a plan ahead of time for what they will do in similar circumstances.
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Old March 17, 2014, 10:38 AM   #23
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MisfireMcCoy ~

Thanks for coming to TFL and for being brave enough to share your story.

The only thing worse than a bad mistake, is a bad mistake nobody learns anything from. Thanks for helping others stay safe.

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Old March 17, 2014, 11:20 AM   #24
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I am grateful you shared your story and I have passed it along to others I feel could learn from it.

Crap happens plain and simple.

After the fact you can second guess the events of what happened or what could have prevented the incident but bottom line accidents do happen, even to the well trained and prepared.

Misfire McCoy IMHO you are a very brave soul to stand up (no pun intended) take responsibility and to share this life altering event so other can learn from it.

That take guts and my hat is off to you young man.

May your recovery be swift and your heart filled with the joy of knowing that sharing of this although tragic event may have saved a life somewhere down the road.
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Old March 17, 2014, 02:22 PM   #25
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Misfire McCoy

Thanks for sharing and giving us a graphic reminder of the dangers of the weapons we use.

Hope you will heal quickly and completely.
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