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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 January 3, 2009, 06:00 PM   #51
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<< would argue that this is an oxymoron. If you are practicing proper firearms safety, it's impossible to negligently discharge a firearm. >>


I was shooting a Ruger Single Six, which is a single action 22 revolver. I had cocked it to shoot when for a reason I don't recall (this was years ago) I decided not to fire. I pressed the trigger while holding the hammer with my thumb to lower it. It was a hot day, my hands were sweaty, the hammer got away from my thumb and the revolver discharged - right into the berm because I had it pointed safely down range.

I was practicing proper firearms safety while lowering the hammer on a live round, which is sometimes part of operating a single action handgun, and I had an accidental/negligent discharge.

Not an oxymoron.
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Old January 3, 2009, 06:16 PM   #52
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Thanks everyone for these posts. I have not had a ND, but this thread is a very valuable reminder that will hopefully make me safer.

- Sr.
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Old January 3, 2009, 10:47 PM   #53
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I had an AD once with a lever action. Opened the back door of the truck and the rifle fell out butt first, kinda caught it just as it hit the ground. Didn't think much of it, but when I went to action a round in, as soon as I had one in the chamber, BANG. Luckily no one got hurt
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Old January 4, 2009, 02:51 PM   #54
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Just for my education: what was the mechanical reason for the discharge (I don't understand)?
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Old January 4, 2009, 11:08 PM   #55
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I was practicing at the range with my double action revolver when I decided to cock it for some single action shooting. In my mind I was thinking about how in a real confrontation, my nerves would be high and adrenaline would be going, and the revolver fired into the berm.

Just thinking about being hyped up, I'd pulled the light single action trigger before I was completely on target. I don't suppose most people would call that a N.D., but it made me realize that high tension situations are probably "double action only" encounters.
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Old January 5, 2009, 12:18 PM   #56
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I have not had a negligent discharge due to my own error but did have an accidental last year that scared the hell out of me...shooting clays with some friends and decided to take out my fathers old side by side 12guage just to see how well I could do with it. This shotgun was old and of unknown origin, the barrells had been cut down a bit and my dad kept it hidden as a HD gun. Im not sure if he had ever fired it but I took it out, chambered 2 rounds and clicked it shut..the second it clicked BOOM both rounds went off hitting the ground about 10" infront of my feet. :barf: I wont be firing it again and he replaced it with a more competent HD gun.

Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum
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Old January 5, 2009, 12:18 PM   #57
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Old January 5, 2009, 12:25 PM   #58
Dirty Bill
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I've had 2. Both with my .45 acp,and both while doing an unloading drill. Not dangerous to anyone,as it was pointed into the dirt,and my buddy was trying to instruct me,and was behind and to the side of me,knowing that it could happen. I have shot thousands of .45 acp rounds and that was the only ad's I ever had. That had to be more than twenty years ago too.

I felt really stupid too,when it happened..:barf:
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Old January 5, 2009, 12:29 PM   #59
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I've never had one. Accidental or negligent. I'm very anal about the four rules, especially the finger.
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Old January 5, 2009, 01:26 PM   #60
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Thank you all

The closest I've ever come to a negligent discharge is failing to clear a handgun that a store clerk failed to open before handing to me. I opened the weapon in the stall 45 seconds later before loading its magazine, so no harm was done; however, this is a perfect example of why we have redundant safety rules -- because everyone makes mistakes.

I realize how embarrassing it can be to admit your mistakes in a public setting. Your posts send an appropriate chill down the back of this shooter and, hopefully, everyone else who reads them. Said chill will serve as a potent reminder of what can happen when one fails to follow the safety rules at all times. This chill cannot be nearly as potent as the first-hand experience of a negligent discharge must be, but everyone who reads these posts learns valuable lessons. They are especially good for new shooters to learn from without the scary and sometimes painful first-hand experience.

Even a negligent discharge can have a benefit - the reinforcement of the importance of redundant safety rules. Thank you all for maximizing this benefit.

Stay frosty.

Last edited by Zaelryn; January 5, 2009 at 01:45 PM.
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Old January 5, 2009, 01:39 PM   #61
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I do recall negligently discharging someone else's gun. I was about 15 and few of us were at the beach. The other guys left me there while they went for more beer. One guy left me his .38 snub nose. I dropped it in the sand and when I was trying to brush the sand off it went bang. The guy was not happy with me and actually emptied a couple of cylinders in my direction later that night.

That'll teach me!
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Old January 5, 2009, 01:42 PM   #62
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If it counts...

I recently had a gun go off unintenionally at the range... I took one of my 1911's, put a mag in, and dropped the slide, and the thing went off immediately... scared me pretty good. I'd argue this was not due to any negligence on my part (the ones that say there's no such thing as accidents, in my opinion, are wrong, if this is what they mean by accident), in fact, thanks to the fact that I had the weapon pointed in a safe direction, downrange, and toward the ground, all's it did was make me jump. I did think at first that I must've had my finger in the trigger guard (I assumed it was my fault first), but I've always been careful of that... further testing with a single round in the mag, and at home with dummies, revealed that my sear spring had gotten a little weak... glad it happened at the range and not when I was loading it to put in the nightstand.
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Old January 5, 2009, 02:00 PM   #63
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Many years back I had one "close call" where I had my finger on the trigger and dropped the hammer on a snap cap. Nothing went "bang" of course, and the rest of the rules were in play so there would have been no critical damage had it been a live round, but it still caused me to sit there for a good long amount of time considering what I'd done wrong and how to change my gun-handling so that it would not happen again.

Great reminder thread by the way.
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Old January 5, 2009, 03:24 PM   #64
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I have accidentally double-tapped on a short SA trigger, when I was trying to line up on the target again. It'll scare you.

And I will say that there is such a thing as an accidental discharge. Whether it be accidental due to negligence or malfunction, it is still accidental, in that it is unexpected and unintended.

I suppose a better term would be unintentional discharge.
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Old January 6, 2009, 12:13 AM   #65
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1 AD-I was at the range, cocked the pistol, and the hammer followed the slide--BLAM!
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Old January 6, 2009, 12:18 AM   #66
chris in va
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Yes, but fortunately both times I was exercising at least one of the four safety rules and it went off in a harmless direction.

First time was an unintended double tap with a rental Sig 226. I was a new shooter and not used to the DA/SA transition.

Second time wasn't even me, but I'm at fault regardless. Handed a new-shooter friend my CZ carbine and I forgot the set trigger was ready. He brushed his finger against it and the rifle went off about 3' from my ear, up in the air. Fortunately I had gone over the four rules and he was following at least two at the time.
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Old January 27, 2009, 03:35 AM   #67
G-man 26
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ND with a Glock a few weeks ago. My first one (first glock and first ND). I was breaking in the trigger and other controls. A noise in the back yard, and I loaded it and went to investigate. No problems, but did not properly unload the gun. Went to do some more wearing in of the trigger and bang. Should never have loaded a gun that new to me. Should never have messed with the damn thing without clearing the chamber. Also "umpteen" years of safe gun handling w/no problems, but it only takes once.

The four rules always apply, but more care should be taken with any new-to-you formats. +1 on the near misses comments. We all have lapses, and we may be shocked to know how often, and how serious.
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Old January 27, 2009, 01:44 PM   #68
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1 for me too. A Ruger Mk2. I was used to revolvers at the time and trying to disassemble the darn thing. All I lost was a 350 dollar computer monitor (which had cost more than the gun ) and I never point a weapon at anything living. I learned my lesson the hard way and am now much more careful.
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Old January 27, 2009, 07:42 PM   #69
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Have you ever accidentally discharged your handgun?
No. Not yet. And I hope never. But I have come close.

I was cleaning my Ruger P90. It was my first gun and I was a gun noob. I knew enough to always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

I was done cleaning and reassembling the gun and began working the slide, hammer, and safety/decocker to make sure it all still worked right. I then loaded a magazine with a single round in it to make sure it chambered and ejected correctly (remember, this was my first time field-stripping and reassembling a handgun ever).

The round chambered fine and just before I ejected it I realized in horror that my finger was on the trigger and applying pressure. I gingerly removed my finger and ejected the round. I then put the gun away and went to have a glass of water

In hindsight, I'm glad that the P90 is a DA pistol. That first trigger pull was heavy enough that it resisted my idiocy. If that had been a DAO pistol with a fairly light trigger pull I might have put a hole through something or someone.

What is that saying about keeping one's boogerhook off the bang switch?

My concealed carry gun is a revolver which I got much later. I have never even come close to an ND with that one because I rarely handle it except in and out of the holster and into the safe.
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Old January 27, 2009, 07:56 PM   #70
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Arguments and stories aside... Look at that statistic!

Better than 26% HAVE had a gun go off when they were not intentionally trying to fire it!!!

That number scares the hell out of me. There's no way it should be this high...
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Old January 27, 2009, 07:57 PM   #71
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No to handguns
one time my shotgun(my fault)
one time semi auto rifle(never touched the triger"malfunction")as I loaded a round
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Old January 27, 2009, 07:59 PM   #72
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Better than 26% HAVE had a gun go off when they were not intentionally trying to fire it!!!

If you read each post it is less scary. Several of these incidents were mechanical failures where tragedy was prevented because of safe gun handling. So the actual rate of "negligence" is lower than the number would suggest.
Nobody plans to screw up their lives...
...they just don't plan not to.
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Old January 27, 2009, 08:13 PM   #73
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Better than 26% HAVE had a gun go off when they were not intentionally trying to fire it!!!
And I'll bet near 100% of drivers have run a red light or stop sign.
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Old January 27, 2009, 08:21 PM   #74
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some years back I was camped out on private, remote land w/a shooting buddy and we were stting around the campfire area. there was a large bug crawling along the ground in between us and I drew and trained my .45acp on it. I thought the thumb safety was on but it wasn't and the pressure I put on the trigger - well, BOOM!
you talk about haveing egg on your face.
I'm just glad no injurys.
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Old January 27, 2009, 08:23 PM   #75
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I've had one ND myself....I was playing with a new Ruger SP101 I had just bought, dry firing it for a while, cleaned it, dry firing it some more, loaded it and set it aside (I was gonna go out back and shoot it in a minute). Some friends came over to visit and by the time they left it was dark so I wasn't able to go out a fire it. I picked it up, forgeting that I had loaded it (and didn't check it ) and went to dry fire it. Well, it didn't dry fire but I had a nice hole in the wall, it went outside...never did find where it ended up.
I did the something similiar. I was dry firing a new gun, a Colt Combat Commander XSE. I inserted a loaded mag to feel the full weight of the loaded gun, and than set it on my desk. A few minutes later I forgot it was loaded and did not check; I racked the slide and fired a round. It was in my office. :barf: It went through my desk, through my cubicle-like wall and into the floor at angle so that it skimmed along the floor before stopping. I was so ashamed as I have taken great means in the past to be safe and followed the rules. I could not believe what I had just done. Now I follow them much more closely.
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accidental discharge , negligent discharge

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