The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 18, 2007, 09:10 AM   #1
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: El Mirage, Arizona.
Posts: 44
Range incident!!!

This was on another forum and I thought I would post it here for a learning experience! Rule one put the gun down and another rule #1 don't point it at something you don't want to shoot!!!!

I had been planning this day for over a week on taking my wife over to the gun range so she get some practice time before she takes a CCW class. Well, I found out that Shooters World offers ladies night from 4-8pm every Friday, this involves free use of different pistols (she’s in the process of deciding what to get) and range time as long as we buy the ammo from Shooters World. Well, we head on over and carefully select two hammerless revolvers with ammo and head over to our lane. I’m instructing my wife on how to handle the firearm (she’s handled a lot of firearms before, but I just want to sear safety into her consciousness) and how to handle it in a gun range, especially since this was her first time in a gun range, we normally go out to the desert. I’ve been yapping away about instructions on safety and handling for about 10 minutes when I hear a woman saying, “owe it hurts” repeatedly and holding her hand. I look at her and her husband removes the firearm from her right hand and holds her hand/arm while calling for a rangemaster. I see an odd mark about 2 inches below her wrist and another close to her elbow. By the time that the rangemaster gets there, those odd marks turn into gushers and several other rangemasters are there to assist. One of them wraps some gauss around the wounds and starts inquiring about her fingers, the injury, how it happened, etc, etc. They make sure that their children, who are watching tv in another room, are not being made aware of the incident until the appropriate time by yet another rangemaster. By this time the entire range is at a cease-fire and bits and peaces of information is starting to leak out from her on what happened. Finally the cops and paramedics get there and clear this section of range so they can investigate and I’ve already been interrogated.

What happened is this:
She was shooting a semi-auto and a piece of hot brass fell into her chest and she quickly went to retrieve it with pistol on hand and fired off a round, thus striking herself. She remarked to her husband, when being treated, “you know how much I hate it when that happens, you know, how it happened last time” (I can only imagine she meant the spent shell). After the investigation from the officers, we were let back inside to collect our things and firearms. Since we were standing right next to her when the incident happened, I asked where the stray bullet had gone, he was kind enough to point it out. It was on the median wall that separated her and us and the hole was about a foot and half to two feet from the point that my wife and I were standing. I asked the officer if these walls were bullet proof, he said that they were not.

I had stopped going to ranges just for the fear of this type of scenario taking place, but instead of the person taking himself/herself out, they would take me out or worst, my wife. This was the first time my wife had been to a range and this happens before she gets a round off. Am I just over reacting by saying that I’m sticking to the desert instead of heading back to another range? (I am aware that if an accident happens out there that it would take a lot of time before help arrives or to get to help) I understand that the range can’t prevent this type of incident from happening, but is this a common or uncommon event? Does anyone know if ranges bulletproof the dividers? Does anyone teach his or her loved ones on what not to do in case of this type of scenario?

I am in no way blaming the range for an individual’s stupidity.
Hansen is offline  
Old June 18, 2007, 09:42 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 2005
Location: Mouth of the Rat, Florida
Posts: 1,778
We were at our local range this past saturday. My wife got hit by a piece of brass at the base of her neck. She observed range safety and kept the gun pointed downrange, to her credit. The range we have been using just added 4 new lanes in a new room. The lane dividers are diamond plate steel on both sides. I really appreciate it, especially when you see the holes in the ceiling etc. that are typical at gun ranges. You can be the safest shooter in the world, but if the person in the next lane doesn't follow the rules, bad stuff can happen. Glad you and your wife are OK.
I grew up in New Jersey, but later moved to Florida and made a complete recovery.
Keltec: The BIC lighter of handguns
Jkwas is offline  
Old June 18, 2007, 09:43 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,276
I've yet to find a range with bulletproof dividers.

Good LORD! I'm really glad nobody else was injured!
ZeSpectre is offline  
Old June 18, 2007, 11:38 AM   #5
Join Date: June 6, 2007
Posts: 48
Guess I'm fortunate to have a nice spot in the country about an hour away from home. The extra drive time and gas is well worth the seclusion.

By the way, since I'm not too familiar with ranges - I'm curious if irresponsible people are somehow blacklisted from ranges when negligent incidents occur.
DavidZ is offline  
Old June 18, 2007, 12:47 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: June 11, 2007
Posts: 102
You are looking at liability from the wrong direction... She will sue the range owner for failure to warn, or protect, or some such nonsense... Next time you go to shoot the range will torn down and coop apartments will be going up...

k8do is offline  
Old June 18, 2007, 12:50 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: August 1, 2006
Posts: 569
I will take grief for this, but the firing range is no place for low cut tops. Anything that hits in the high COM area will funnel right into that cleavage channel. (Including hot brass)
Just a proper dress code would have solved this problem.
What irks me even more is this quote.
“you know how much I hate it when that happens, you know, how it happened last time”
She knew the possibilities and still it did not dawn on her that she was not properly clothed for shooting handguns.
Just my 2 cents
Guns don't kill people, Jack Bauer kills people.
Hornett is offline  
Old June 18, 2007, 05:47 PM   #9
Junior member
Join Date: March 1, 2006
Location: Tampa,Fl
Posts: 4,000
I was preparing to fire a bowling pin match years ago with a friend. As we shot a few warm up shots an empty 45acp brass from my friends 1911 hit and stuck between my safety glasses and the soft flesh below my eyebrow and above my eyelid. I thought I had been stung by a wasp or something and litterally beat myself in the face with my weak hand by slapping my glasses off. My gun still loaded never left safe direction and my finger wasn't in the trigger guard.

My mother OTOH had a hot brass land in her cleavage and she turned endangering others as she attempted to remove the hot cartridge. I took charge of the weapon immediately being only inches away. Thankfully she didn't pull the trigger in those few seconds and all was back to normal.

As a range officer I would say be very careful. Especially with newbies. They are the most prone to make these types of mistakes. I can't tell you how many times I have had to say "sir or ma'am" "that muzzel cannot point anywhere but straight" "if it wanders again you will have to leave for the safety of others". People tend to turn the gun to remove the mag. I tell them to turn themselves and leave the gun straight down range.

Like someone said earlier just look at all the holes in other things at the range...............pretty scary. I have to work RO friday.....bummers LOL. Maybe I'll dawn my vest.
threegun is offline  
Old June 18, 2007, 07:58 PM   #10
Join Date: December 30, 2006
Location: nw arkansas
Posts: 31
I've seen this happen once and it was a small man that had a desert eagle .44mag and the bullet ended up going through 5 divders before hitting the cement wall at the end luckly thier was no one else on the range or it could have been bad. He reminded me of a little kid when he came and told us what had happened and made the comment "maybe the gun is to much for me".
jamesl is offline  
Old June 18, 2007, 09:43 PM   #11
Jim March
Senior Member
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,413
Pain isn't an excuse to do something that'll get you killed.

Closest I've been to this was sucking a wasp INTO my full-face helmet (faceguard open) while doing 50mph on a windy mountain road. And yes, it stung me, but I never lost control over the bike.

You simply have to commit to what you're doing.
Jim March is offline  
Old June 19, 2007, 09:06 AM   #12
Black Adder LXX
Senior Member
Join Date: April 25, 2007
Location: The DEEP South
Posts: 291
What a messed up, unfortunate situation! Maybe it comes from learning to shoot in the military where a BIG instructor would beat the crap out of you for violating the safety rules, but the OP's story makes me upset.

Unfortunately down here in S Fla, there's no option but ranges (I guess you could go 12 miles out in INTL waters...), so I have to keep my eyes open when I go. Most folks aren't as imbecilic as in this case, but from time to time, you have to elect to leave the line to be safe. If I HAD an option, I would much prefer to go out in the woods/desert, etc where the only idiots are back in the town you came from.

By the way, since I'm not too familiar with ranges - I'm curious if irresponsible people are somehow blacklisted from ranges when negligent incidents occur.
Here in S FLA, most ranges will revoke shooting priviliges for those who violate the safety regs.
"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress." - John Adams
Black Adder LXX is offline  
Old June 19, 2007, 09:40 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: June 4, 2007
Location: Shenandoah Valley
Posts: 3,276
(I guess you could go 12 miles out in INTL waters...),
Yeah but getting your brass back is a real challenge <grin>.
ZeSpectre is offline  
Old June 19, 2007, 02:09 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: January 19, 2007
Posts: 2,607
At our indoor action league a female shooter was in the middle of a reload, and stepped on the ejected mag while in motion, and rolled/broke her ankle badly. She kept the gun pointed down range at all times, and cleared it before handing it off to the RO.

She actually showed a lot of composure, and was able to get one of our shooters the phone number of a pretty cute female paramedic...from the glance I got at her injury, I would have cried real tears.
Slopemeno is offline  
Old June 19, 2007, 09:26 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: December 18, 2004
Posts: 1,935
Yeah, she definitely could have handled the situation more safely. I've seen people fall down while shooting and keep control of the gun.

Thank God she didn't shoot herself in the chest or shoot a bystander.
wayneinFL is offline  
Old June 19, 2007, 09:46 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2007
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 124
Again, glad to read a happy ending. I think I'll be printing this out as a reminder for everyone to keep their fingers off the trigger.
DGindlesperger is offline  
Old June 25, 2007, 12:41 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: May 7, 2002
Location: Close on the Elk Fork of the Salt River
Posts: 166
I am also lucky in the fact that I have a range at my home (farm). But I found out that the range in Columbia, MO, I work in that town, is like a bowling alley, not much traffic during the day. I have shot there several times and was all by my lonesome.
When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the
end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.
Rickstir is offline  
Old June 25, 2007, 12:46 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: June 7, 2007
Posts: 396
My NRA pistol instructor warned the women in the class right off about low cut dresses and hot shell casings.

But a hot shell casing does not excuse that lapse in discipline.

I got one down the back of my neck a couple of weeks ago. I left a blister. But I knew I had to put the pistol down first, facing down range.
Sig 226, 228, 229, 232. XD45 Tactical. Smith Model 60 Chief's Special. Smith 1911. Mossberg 930 SPX.

How we behave as gun owners is important. Posturing and threatening does not serve us well in the public eye.
Hallucinator is offline  
Old June 25, 2007, 12:55 PM   #19
Junior member
Join Date: May 28, 2007
Posts: 3,266
Having seen the horrific safety practices of people at ranges, including cops, who are some of the worst for safety, I really wish range owners would do something like at least divide the lanes with salvaged Lexan panels...or even just build wooden forms and fill them with an inch of sand. Something.
Manedwolf is offline  
Old June 25, 2007, 03:28 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2007
Posts: 305
The outdoor range I go to is just a bunch of really wide lanes divided by 12' tall mounds of dirt. You don't have to worry about anyone but yourself (or anyone shooting with you). It is also nice you don't have to wait for a RO to call cease fire to reset your targets, you just make sure everyone you are with makes their weapons safe.
revance is offline  
Old June 25, 2007, 05:08 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: April 23, 2007
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1,913
I'd gotten nicked in the shin with backsplash at an indoor range. It had crossed four lanes. If it had deflected at a more acute angle, it might have caught someone higher.

A woman and her son were shooting what I think was a 40 S&W that they couldn't control - they were hitting the target trolley.

That same range had the far end of the target track elevated so that 25yd targets were above the backstop. You were supposed to tape your target to the bottom of the backer. They'd painted orange lines to delimit the target area. But a lot of people just couldn't handle it and shot at the target above the backstop.

Now I shoot at an outdoor range that's considered busy when there are 5 shooters over 20 stations across multiple ranges
Casimer is offline  
Old June 26, 2007, 08:12 AM   #22
Join Date: March 26, 2007
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 38
I was shooting my G22 at a coworker's farm house once when his wife came out and expressed an interest in shooting it. She was/is a relatively experienced shooter. An ejected shell went right down her shirt into the cleavage area and parked itself. As she spun around with the gun (luckily pointed toward earth), I moved to stay behind her while her hubby safely managed to control the gun and take it from her. He wasn't too happy with her.

I think it's the last time she's shot a semi-auto handgun. And I agree with others here, the range is no place for open-top shirts.
subierex is offline  
Old June 26, 2007, 11:02 AM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: September 20, 2006
Location: California
Posts: 441
My girlfriend was shooting a 92fs when a piece of brass fell right between an opening in here shooting glasses, she had a little burn that eventually went away, but man watch out for that hot brass.

I heard that Eddie Murphy got burned pretty bad by some brass while filming Beverly Hills Cop, even though they use blanks the brass is flying all over those actors.
$6.95 /mo Web Hosting
Freetacos is offline  
Old June 26, 2007, 01:00 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 1,294
My worst incident is hot brass bouncing off the wall and sticking in between my earmuffs and my bald head.

I thought it had bounced off, but it was stuck there. Burned me pretty good.
Duxman is offline  
Old June 26, 2007, 01:07 PM   #25
Junior member
Join Date: May 28, 2007
Posts: 3,266
I always wear a hat at the range because of hot brass.

A hat with a Blue Sun logo, which gets doubletakes from any Firefly fans.
Manedwolf is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14204 seconds with 7 queries