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Old December 19, 2005, 02:16 PM   #1
springmom
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ND and wallboard penetration

Well, as somebody said not too long ago, if you have firearms long enough, it's likely to happen. And today's that day.

Youngest son wanted to show middle son his deer rifle. I opened the safe, pulled out the shotgun that was there in the front. Handed it to youngest son, thinking that one was his (both he and hubster have Mossberg 500 shotguns, but son's is 20 ga). Turned back to get the 30.06. Youngest son racked the pump action, took off the safety, and blew a hole in our bathroom ceiling.

He is 17.

It also blew about a 2-3 inch hole in our roof (one-storey house).

He is extremely shaken, as well he should be. The only good thing is that he did at least have the thing pointed UP. I have a call in to the roofers to fix the exterior hole before it starts to rain tomorrow. The roofers will apparently also do the other repair (not just the shingles, but the hole in the wood). I will have Youngest Son do the bathroom ceiling repair himself (just sheetrock and paint.)

So: what have we learned from this?

1) I bear responsibility for not having checked that the shotgun was cleared before handing it to him.

2) He bears responsibility for racking the pump, taking the safety off, and pulling the trigger.

3) It might behoove us to not keep a shotgun loaded..... Youngest son's is actually a wooden stock, and hubster's is a composite. Still, easy to get that muddled (obviously) when thinking about a different gun altogether.

4) We are smart to make sure we're the only ones with the combination. It isn't even written down so that he could find it and be tempted.

5) This is a less than stellar way to celebrate your 24th anniversary.

Still, all are ok, if unnerved.

Springmom, whose bathroom reeks of gunpowder smell....
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Old December 19, 2005, 02:32 PM   #2
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Most importantly, no one was hurt. Second most importantly, you know what happened and why, and you're not making excuses, so it's extremely unlikely to happen again.
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Old December 19, 2005, 02:35 PM   #3
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All I can say is thank God no one was hurt, and I'll bet the lesson never has to be taught again! You were both very lucky, it could have been a much worse anniversary. As it is, nothing a little mud and paint, and a shingle or two won't fix!
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Old December 19, 2005, 02:38 PM   #4
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Glad that no one got shot.

I'd have him pay for all the repairs for violating the fundamental rule of firearms handling (All guns are to be handled as if they were loaded).

Uhhh, do you have your safe in the bathroom?
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Old December 19, 2005, 02:39 PM   #5
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No, the safe is in the walk-in closet that opens onto the bathroom that opens on to the bedroom.

But that would put a whole new spin on the "keeping your guns by the shower" thread, wouldn't it?

Springmom
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Old December 19, 2005, 02:59 PM   #6
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How are everyone's ears?

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Old December 19, 2005, 03:02 PM   #7
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what was the purpose of the attempt to dryfire the shotgun?

you know all this springmom, so in the future, i know you'll be sure to only hand off a gun that has the action open.
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Old December 19, 2005, 03:06 PM   #8
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Youngest son may be a bit deaf in that one ear for a few days. I consider that a cheap lesson.

Spiff, very true; that was one of my what-did-we-learn points.

Springmom
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Old December 19, 2005, 03:14 PM   #9
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Blessings

that no one was hurt.
The LGS (where, as a new shooter, I've learned what little I know) has a policy of when they pick up a gun, check that chamber is empty (visually, not by pulling the trigger) hand it to customer, who does the same, when customer hands it back, same drill.
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Old December 19, 2005, 03:21 PM   #10
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What was it doing loaded in the safe, anyways? Chances are, if you have time to get to the safe and put in the combination, you have time to load it as well.
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Old December 19, 2005, 04:31 PM   #11
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Also very glad everyone's OK, Springmom. I'll bet a steak dinner though, that it's happened to a lot of people here, even if they won't admit it .

All of my guns are loaded all of the time. Nobody else there except my dog, & she can't get her big paw in the trigger guard . My reasoning is this: A. An unloaded gun isn't going to do me any good if I need it in a hurry, and B. Even though you tell yourself to treat every gun as though it were loaded, your sub-conscious is whispering "but I really know it's unloaded" (if you remember which one's loaded and which one ain't ). With my guns, both my pesky sub-conscious and me know they really are loaded, and we both handle 'em accordingly.
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Old December 19, 2005, 04:50 PM   #12
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Had a ND when I was alot younger with a 30-30 Winchester playing with the hammer and the trigger. Luckily the muzzle was pointed at the ground. Stck with the 4 rules ever since.
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Old December 19, 2005, 07:07 PM   #13
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Nevermind

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Old December 19, 2005, 07:20 PM   #14
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Not a good thing and I am not sure I would tell anyone

This is a sad and serious thing that happened. When you rack a shotgun with a round into it, it makes a very distinct sound, not like one that is empty.

The damage is what I have always said would happen with a shotgun.
(I wonder where Lead Counsel is now?) Shotguns are very dangerous.

I would not let that person handle another gun until he went to a NRA course.
In fact all of you should. Total I will say it again, Total negligence on the part of the shooter. Training is needed here.

I am very happy for you that no one was hurt. But do the right thing and take an NRA course before it happens again.

Happy Holidays, you were lucky.

Harley
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Old December 19, 2005, 07:34 PM   #15
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Whoa. Glad everyone's ok.

Guns do make a distinctive sound when being chambered as opposed to cycled empty. Someone should have caught that. Nevertheless, things happen. At least everyone is ok.
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Old December 19, 2005, 07:34 PM   #16
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That reminds me of when my brother was about 16. Dad sent him upstairs to get the shotgun to show to a friend that was thinking of getting one. When he picked it up, he pulled the slide back, looked into the chamber, and it was empty. Pushed the slide closed, and decided to drop the hammer. BOOM!!!! The chamber had been empty, but he didn't see the shell that had slid back onto the loading ramp, and the ramp doesn't flip up until on the forward stroke, and he wasn't looking in the action as he closed it, so didn't see the round go in.

From downstairs it sounded like a door slamming. Gun shots are way different indoors, when there is no echo or anything. Anyway, when dad and I ran to the stairs, he was standing at the top of the stairs, white as a sheet. He just kept saying "But it wasn't loaded!" over and over again. Nice hole through the wall and into the attic. Later he said the biggest shock wasn't that it went BOOM, but that it didn't just go "click."

Problem was lack of knowledge of the guns operatation, and not a close enough visual inspection. Technically, he did follow the rules. Upon picking up a weapon, he opened the bolt to check and clear the chamber. He did keep it pointed in a safe direction, (up, instead of down where there could be people) and after verifying an empty chamber, (granted not well enough) he went to drop the hammer while still in a safe direction. Granted, with the circumstances being that he was getting it to hand to another person, he should have just left the action open. But it does show that mistakes can happen, but if the rules are followed properly, they will still work, even when mistakes happen.

Glad everyone was ok.
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Old December 19, 2005, 07:44 PM   #17
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The problem is he should have never got it in the first

Place. He was not schooled right or he would have known. Both of the above incidents are with teenagers in the middle teens, if they are not around firearms enough to know that is something you don't do. They should not handle them. No excuses. Sorry.

Harley
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Old December 19, 2005, 07:56 PM   #18
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Damn, PythonGuy.

I don't think she's treating it as a "right-of-passage"... as much as she's thanking the good Lord everyone is alive, uninjured, and learning from this very negligent, and very inexcusable mistake.

I don't think her candor deserves your snide reprimand.

PS- Springmom - My suggestion: I say you and your son(s) attend another (giving you the benefit of the doubt that there was a "first") firearms safety course as a sort of "punishment". Additionally, you two can get up in front of the class, recount the ND, and hopefully everyone in the class can learn from a real ND incident not to relax their safety around firearms. That's not too sadistic, is it?
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Old December 19, 2005, 08:19 PM   #19
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Enjoy life

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Old December 19, 2005, 08:26 PM   #20
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Sounds similar to what happend to me a couple of months ago. I was in my room showing a friend of mine my USP45 and a glock 20. I had the G20 magazine in my hand and thinking that it was the USP mag I racked the USP's slide to clear it, not knowing that I had just chambered a round. I pointed it at a downward angle to the outside wall of my house and squeezed the trigger.

It was a pretty decent shock when it went off, pretty loud too. It was pretty stupid, and luckily nobody got hurt. The round entered the ground about 8ft from the side of the house.

PythonGuy,
Back off!
I guess I shouldn't be allowed to own or touch a firearm for the rest of my life god knows that if I were to simply be around one I will turn into a violent ND causing machine.

Following your reasoning we shouldn't allow 80% of people to drive a vehicle. You ever been in a fenderbender? Maybe it the local PD should come over and impound your car. I guess in your perfect world, people that make mistakes are inferior specimens that should be irradicated.

Have a nice day,
Maarten
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Old December 19, 2005, 08:47 PM   #21
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Oh geez.

Look man, PythonGuy is right. We shouldn't let the possibility of 'hurting someones feelings' get in the way of truth & what is correct.

Springmom dropped the ball at least twice, and her son thrice. It's good that she realizes it and is big enough to talk about it...but lets not let the age of the wimp get it all twisted around to where PG is the boogeyman here just cause he laid it out a little too plainly for your comfort. Eh?
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Old December 19, 2005, 08:53 PM   #22
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Most accidentals or nds are just that a shooting that

was not ment to happen.

I knew a guy who was shot by his brother when he was 15 they were messing around with an 8mm mauser.
He never walked again in his whole life. I knew him when he was 40. He shrugged it off and was fairly accident prone. He never blamed his brother because he loaded it and did not tell him. Sad. What a price to pay.

I knew a Sgt that almost lost his job for screwing around the same way. Got his partner shot and another lost his job. Playing around. Guns should all be considered loaded even if they are not.

I had an occasion to push a gun out of my face and it went off into a hotwater heater, would have been me if I did not react like I did.

I hate to see guns pointed at me even when I am looking at one to buy, really irritates me. Play with fire you get burned same with firearms.

Harley
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Old December 19, 2005, 09:13 PM   #23
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What was it loaded with. Sorta dispels the myth that a shotgun is a better home defense weapon because it won't over penetrate. ceiling plus the roof It would probably go through 3 or 4 interior walls.
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Old December 19, 2005, 10:08 PM   #24
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Springmom, bad day, it could have killed someone. You know that and you are going to be more attentive in the future. I would place some respponsibility on pop, he loaded it and put it in the safe. Communication. I am like Capt. Charlie, they are ALL loaded. That reduces the chances of a negligent and possibly fatal error.
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Old December 19, 2005, 10:24 PM   #25
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I agree with Harley, the NRA has basic Shotgun courses that will go over the proper checking, loading and unloading process specific to the shotgun.

I am not going to be one to throw a stone at the glass house. Mistakes happen, mistakes with firearms happen too many times so it seems. Thank God that this one will end up with lessons for everyone, especially the adult. Harsh lesson to be taught, but a lesson neitherless.

I also respect the fact that Springmom had the fortitud(sp) to post of this and to show us all not to become complacent when handling firearms. It should be muscle memory to check each and every firearm before handling it or handing it over to another.

I hope that this isn't taken the wrong way but I believe that everyone in your household should take a refresher class in firearms safety. As a matter of fact I think that ALL of us here should make that a yearly goal, if not every year maybe every couple of years.

I'm not going to come down on Springmom as others have chosen to do, I will just ask that the lesson learned is learned so that it is never repeated. I thank God that everyone is okay and not harmed, and that by posting this thread will drive it into the members mind that the gun rules need to be followed 100% of the time, in 100% of all cases.

Thank you for sharing this with us, I for one have just gone through the four rules in my mind and have put this thread into my mind of little tidbits of information that will serve me in the present as well as the future.

Wayne
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