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Old February 14, 2017, 06:20 PM   #1
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Click goes the gun. Have any of you ever done this?

Ok I'm from South East GA and this afternoon I went out to the branch by my house to hopefully shoot some squirrels. I got home from work rushed in the house grabbed my Remington 597 in 22 LR and went to the woods. I got out there and saw some squirrels pretty quickly but I had to wait for a shot. Finally one got close and I waved off several times because I didn't want to shoot that close to the ground for safety reasons. He got up on a limb behind a tree where all I could see was his hind legs, all I needed was for him to move about 6 inches. I waited for probably 5-7 minutes and he finally moved, I sighted him squeezed the trigger and my rifle went CLICK. In my haste I put the mag in but forgot to rack the slide.

How many of you have ever done this with any kind of game? Please share your stories.
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Old February 14, 2017, 06:38 PM   #2
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Probably about anyone that has hunted a lot in their life has done something similar. I cleaned a Glock 22 a while back and when I went to shoot a coon in the middle of the night....I had forgot to chamber a round. Makes you want to slap yourself in the forehead and tell yourself how stupid you can be.
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Old February 14, 2017, 06:41 PM   #3
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A few year ago a friend of mine bear hunted all morning with no bullets in the gun.
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Old February 14, 2017, 06:59 PM   #4
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I popped a couple caps at a nice deer, once upon a time. My nipple was plugged.
Freedom is not free
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Old February 14, 2017, 08:31 PM   #5
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Marlin 336.

Someone put the safety on (I never touch it, except to occasionally make sure it's off).

Drew down on the animal. (Elk or antelope. Can't remember.)


Son of a...!
(Mad at myself for not checking. Not mad at someone else for trying to do the right thing.)


One of my brothers got lucky a few years ago. Hunted all morning with a .444 Marlin, assuming it was still good to go from the night before. On the way back to camp for lunch, he realized it was empty and his pockets were full of .270 Winchester ammo.
Must have had a few too many beers the night before.

I popped a couple caps at a nice deer, once upon a time. My nipple was plugged.
Better than me.

I forgot to cap it.

Riding in back of pickup to get to another area. Driver pointed out some deer on the way, and stopped. Went to cap before dismounting. Remembered it's illegal, and ill-advised. Put capper in my pocket and jumped out. Sat on the ditch bank, braced against a tree, cocked the hammer, eased the sights onto the target, pulled the set trigger, and touched the main trigger. CLICK!!

Cap. Bang. Clean miss.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old February 14, 2017, 08:50 PM   #6
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Deer, because I forgot to chamber a round after climbing into the stand. Dumb deer let me bolt the gun and shoot him anyway.

Turkey, because I didn't let the bolt slam on a benelli. Turkey didn't let me get away with it.

Skeet and doves more times than I can count.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.
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Old February 14, 2017, 08:52 PM   #7
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I watched one of my friends take a great shot on a pheasant after his dog worked hard to flush it. Click and the bird got a few more yards and I dusted it.

On the other hand I bough a Mossberg 500 12 gauge about 20 years ago for goose hunting. It was mid season so instead of shooting it first I just went. Crawled 50 yards across a field and sat up and fired. Click. Racked in another shell and click. Geese didn't know what was going on so I got down and crawled more after adding a few more shells. Got up again and still click.

Then I got up and went home. Took about 10 shots and started getting light primer strikes. Dry fired about 30 more times and it was working just fine. Must have been dry grease or rust. Since then it has been cleaned very well and never happened again. Now I go through all my new guns and even after cleaning I run a primer less dummy round with scotch tape on the back to make sure the firing pin is good to go.
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Old February 14, 2017, 09:52 PM   #8
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I climbed into the stand before daylight and got situated and ran the bolt on a Savage .308. A few hours later, a jet black coyote came sneaking by. I waited until I had a perfect shot and SPROING! No cartridge in the chamber and the coyote lived.

Another time, I had an easy shot on what was then the biggest buck I had seen in the woods with an inline CVA muzzleloader. I pulled the trigger and click! The cap wasn't all the way on the nipple. The buck heard the noise and changed direction but I cocked the gun again, took off the safety that automatically engages and killed the biggest buck I'd ever seen at the time.
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Old February 14, 2017, 10:33 PM   #9
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Hunt both modern rifle /B/P rifle deer seasons and small game. Don't remember any such non-firing events.
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Old February 15, 2017, 12:17 AM   #10
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I've been very lucky. I've never failed to have a round in the chamber when I needed it. Forgetting to chamber a cartridge is far less serious than forgetting you have chambered a cartridge.
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Old February 15, 2017, 01:27 AM   #11
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Oh sure, once .......and I know some LEO's who failed to load/reload their sidearm on duty, and another who failed to even carry/holster a firearm after dressing out and attending squad meeting. As follows.....

-I'd descended from a high shooting house and unloaded/lowered my rifle to do so. I hunted on foot at another stand all afternoon, and at twilight had a group of deer appear. (doe season). I lined one up and pressed I'd reinserted the magazine, but not chambered a round. I slowly worked the lever as the deer split away in two's and three's, when I got one chambered, there was one critter left....and I made a dandy shot. Lucky.....and that was the last deer I killed while hunting with my Dad, he laughed at my story all the way home.

-at one duty post I worked, a Ranger and a State Cons officer had a bad experience with a pack of dogs. When the shooting was over, the Ranger, who only did LE as a collateral duty, failed to fully reload his revolver. Error was discovered a day or so later when he took time to clean the weapon.

-on another assigment, I was standing a traffic post, waiting to be relieved. Every thing at this big urban park was foot patrol. I could see my relief man ambling up the busy street a couple of blocks away....big tall lanky fellow. He really stood out with the classic Ranger flat hat on his noggin. As he stood on the opposite side of the street, waiting to cross to me, I noticed that his holster ( duty belt, full dress uniform) was empty. When he walked up, I pointed out that he was not in full uniform. He never said a word. We walked back together to the gun lockers, where he drew his sidearm. It was a strange arrangement. That park, at that time, did not allow You to carry the gov't firearm off duty. Firearms were prohibited in the locker room. You dressed, then went to the gun lockers and retrieved your revolver from where you'd deposited it the shift before. The gun locker was not big enough to hold a full duty belt, just a drawer arrangement big enough to hold a K frame.
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Old February 15, 2017, 07:48 AM   #12
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One of the old time African hunters commented that "The loudest sound in the world is a click when you're expecting a bang".
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Old February 15, 2017, 09:27 AM   #13
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Never had a malfunction because I did not load the gun. I have pulled at the trigger before and nothing happened because I had not taken the safety off, thinking that I had already done so.

I once had a unique situation with an inline muzzleloader. I was in a tree stand one time and a big doe comes in right under me and I am thinking, yes we have fresh meat. I ease the safety off and pull at the trigger and nothing happens. I thought to myself, take the safety off you dummy. I visually look at the safety and I can see that it is off. I take aim at the doe again, pull trigger and I cannot get the trigger to move rearward, its like something has it jammed. After trying 3 or more times and getting frustrated the doe sees me messing with the gun and runs off. I thought well ole girl it was your lucky day. At that point I am still wondering what the heck is wrong with my muzzleloader, thinking that could have been the trophy buck of a lifetime. I immediately climb down and go to deer camp to investigate my muzzleloader problem. I take the barrel and action out of the stock and work with the trigger. Next thing I know it is working just fine. Only thing I could think of was that the day before a fellow hunter killed a deer and I had helped him drag it out. While dragging the deer out I recall a small branch catching my muzzleloader around the trigger area while I had it slung on my shoulder. Yes I know you are going to ask, I did not have a primer on it at that moment. There is a possibility a tip of the branch could have broke off behind the trigger and had it jammed maybe. I never noticed the limb particle when I tore the gun down but it could have fell out when I removed the stock from the action and barrel. Heck it could have just been a fluke thing, I don't know, the gun never did do that again and I later sold it.
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Old February 15, 2017, 10:21 AM   #14
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Oh yeah. I short stroked my .270 when trying to take a second doe about 10 years ago. My son and I were hunting this year and has a magazine in but did not load the Winchester 88. He clicked on a 4 point on youth day. Lol. Oh well. I am glad he lived to get bigger anyway. He got a nice fat doe about a month later. My fault for being overly cautious with two of us in the blind.
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Old February 15, 2017, 10:47 AM   #15
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I stood on a deer stand one day for about three drives. Then when the day was over and I went to unload my shotgun, I realized I had never loaded it.

I thought to myself, "You really don't care about this anymore, do you?"

The next day I hooked up the bass boat and went fishing. I haven't seriously hunted since.
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Old February 15, 2017, 03:46 PM   #16
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Many years ago, Peter Hathaway Capstick, who spent more than a few years as an African PH and Cropping Officer wrote something like this (paraphrase)

"the most terrifying sound in the world is not the roar of an exploding shell or a bomb, but the sound of a "click" from your rifle, when you expect a "bang"!

Considering he hunted things that would cheerfully hunt him right back, I always thought this was spot on.

While I cannot recall any instance where I ever failed to load the gun, or chamber a round, I did get a (harmless) lesson one time with a borrowed shotgun and a pheasant.

A friend showed up, with his Browning Sweet 16. Said he had spotted a deer up the canyon, wanted to borrow a rifle. I loaned him one, and he asked me to tag along with his shotgun, in case we spotted some birds.

No deer seen, but on the way back, we did flush a pheasant. Simple shot, bird lined out straight away from me. Mounted the gun, punched off the safety, pulled the trigger. NOTHING.

Punched the safety off and pulled the trigger again.

Tried it a third time, as the bird sailed out of sight.
Nichts, Nein, and Hell no!

I was doing everything right (and running on autopilot), and would have had the bird, if the gun in my hands had been my Winchester model 12. The Browning's safety is at the back of the trigger, not in front, like my Winchester.

The lesson I took from this was, when you are going to be in a situation where you might be doing things "by instinct" you best have the gun you are practiced with in your hands. And it doesn't apply just to hunting!
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old February 15, 2017, 03:52 PM   #17
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Some years ago I was hunting with my Dad and after a LONG day of nothing we were heading back to the campsite. Not 50 yards in front of us a buck just strolls across out path and just stops in front of us. My Dad in his rush to get a shot off forgot to turn off the safety and pulled the trigger to no avail. By the time he got the safety off that buck was long gone......
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Old February 15, 2017, 03:53 PM   #18
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A few year ago a friend of mine bear hunted all morning with no bullets in the gun.
The same thing would have happened if he had forgotten to load cartridges in the gun also.
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Old February 15, 2017, 04:12 PM   #19
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I had a misfire with my sporterized 03-A3 Springfield, on a Maryland, 8 point whitetail buck {on state forest public hunting land} about 20 years ago; using factory 30-06 ammo. The buck was mortally wounded by a hunter that was across the mountain crick about 100 yards from me --- but he was still alive and on his feet when he ran down to the creek to cross. He stopped at the far edge of the crick, giving me a broadside shot about 20 yards away from me, when I pressed the trigger an "heard the loudest shot in the woods." Probable cause of misfire: I left to much oil inside and outside on the surface of the the bolt, causing the oil to penetrate the primer pocket.

The other pair of hunters could not see the see the wounded buck down by the crick. The buck slowly walked across the crick and dropped dead about 5 yards away, and 10 feet below my perch on top of boulder; near the base of a 100 foot high rocky mountain cliff face.

Meanwhile...the other hunters --- thinking that the buck is still alive and running --- accidentally, illegally neck shot one of the buck's doe's that was on my side of the crick; about 40 yards away from me and left her lay.

The two hunters sauntered down to the creek's edge...and I told them where the dead buck was. They told me they were from Cumberland, Maryland. I was there first, before first light --- I tried to flash them off with my flashlight...since I thought they were too close to me --- But they stayed put, to my consternation.
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

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Last edited by Erno86; February 15, 2017 at 04:28 PM.
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Old February 15, 2017, 04:29 PM   #20
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Winchester '94 with that blasted "lawyer safety". Only a lawyer would want a safety that is a hammer block instead of a trigger lock. 20 yd broadside shot at a nice pig. Hammer goes "CLICK" and the hog smiled and walked off before I could pull the hammer back again and shoot.
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Old February 16, 2017, 01:32 PM   #21
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"...shoot that close to the ground..." Better and safer to shoot towards the ground than into the air. However, I was out shooting ground hogs with a 10 shot semi-auto .22, long ago. Had a terrible day of it. Missed ever friggin' shot. Including the one where I was literally standing on top of the hole(it went down a couple feet then went right) when the chuck stuck his head around the bend and looked up at me. "Gotcha!", thinks me. CLICK! says my rifle. that had no last shot hold open(Cooey M64). Both the ground hog and I started to laugh.
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old February 16, 2017, 03:20 PM   #22
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The last moose I shot, I rested my rifle over my hand on a boulder and shot it at 320 yards. I heard the bullet hit, but as usual the moose was less than impressed. When I pulled the trigger a second time, click! Must be a bad primer, I thought. Ejecting the cartridge I tried again. Click! Oh oh! My last cartridge went bang and the moose finally figured out that he was dead.

I found one of the ejected cartridges and the primer was barely dented. That evening I took the bolt apart and though it looked clean, I ran a patch with solvent all the way to the front of the bolt and gave it a good scrubbing. The patch came out covered with gunk which had prevented the firing pin from fully striking the primer. Lesson learned, you need to clean the inside of the bolt from time to time. I fired more than a dozen shots while checking the sights and fowling the barrel before the hunt with no problem, but Murphy's law kicked in on the moose. I have discovered since that a .410 shotgun brush is perfect for cleaning most bolts.
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Old February 16, 2017, 05:00 PM   #23
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NOPE, such a thing has not happened to me. at least not today.
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Old February 16, 2017, 05:20 PM   #24
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Hasn't happened to me YET...but this year I was deer hunting with a friend and on our way across a field to the truck we had 2 does run out of the woods in front of us. They stopped just before the thicket and turned and looked at us. He got his rifle up faster than me and when presented with a shot he got the dreaded "click" I heard his rifle xlick. I hear him loudly whisper "crap" and "shoot er shoot er" I got my rifle up put her in my sights pushed the safety off and BOOM. Off handed weak sided and in a hurry I hit her right where I aimed at ~75 yards she went 20 yards before she fell. His bad luck was my gain lol. And he's a great friend because he didn't get upset he was very happy for me.
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Old February 16, 2017, 06:54 PM   #25
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Never had a gun go click, but I have gotten out of the truck only to discover I left my ammo at home a couple of times. I've gone for a walk with an unloaded gun once, got back in the truck and went home the other time.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

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