Monday, November 3, 2008

Careless or Stupid?

Ok, I've been hesitant to write this entry. The incident I'm about to describe happened a while ago but it's taken me a some time to get the nerve to write publicly about it. And I only do so to help give you one more reason to use absolute caution when handling a deadly weapon.


It's not a big deal in and of itself, but the end result could have been beyond my most horrific nightmares. My friend Doug and I were at an outdoor range shooting my brother's Springfield Armory XDm for this blog (see that review here). I reached down, picked up the gun and it went off shooting a hole through the plywood range table. 


How did it happen? That's the scariest part of this whole short story. I'm not really sure. I'm a stickler for keeping my finger off a trigger. I'm a freak about checking the condition of a gun. The XDm has a loaded chamber indicator. All of this failed in a split second. Luckily, the gun fired through the table and into the dirt - no one was hurt.


I was so mad at myself that I had a hard time acknowledging the incident for several days. In a split second of stupidity, carelessness and cockiness I let myself down, I let my friend down and I let the private range down (I owe them a piece of plywood). 


I could have very easily shot myself or my friend in that momentary lapse of consciences. Keep your guard up. Don't get cocky handling guns just because you do it a lot. And practicing good muzzle safety can help you avoid tragedy if your finger and brain let you down.


Thank you for reading.


13 comments:

  1. I think it is great that you brought the incident up to help others to see 'stuff' happens and to be careful always is a very important thing to do. Getting comfortable and or cocky with dangerous equipment - firearms, vehicles etc. is not good but can happen to us all - not just the young - if we let it. Thanks.

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  2. scary indeed. I dred the possibility of my own lapse and have to constantly remind myself to be vigilant.

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  3. As the underwriters for an insurance company correctly predict, the more any type of behavior takes place, the greater the likelyhood of something going wrong.

    About 27 years ago, I went to check out a friends gun collection. He kept ALL of his guns loaded (maybe he believed that condition one would make him more cautious).

    As I asked to see each piece, he unloaded the gun. After perusing the piece, unknown to me, he reloaded the gun. I asked to see am M1 carbine that I previously viewed and guess what happened. Well, that was the first and hopefully the last.

    ALWAYS, always, ALWAYS remember rule 1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

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  4. Without your finger on the trigger, I would seriously think about having a competent gunsmith or Springfield look at your XD before ever chambering another round. If Xav has recommended your blog, you bet I'll be checking in regularly.Keep us updated.

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  5. Safety cannot be stressed enough and we all need constant reminders of the basic rules of gun handling.

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  6. Glad to see your story. Many of us have similar tales - mine only too recent. It was the first and hopefully last time this will ever happen. I was sitting in my tv room, dry firing my Makarov. I had the loaded magazine out of the pistol and while seated on the couch was practicing chambering it and shooting quickly (i.e. pulling back the slide and squeezing off a round, as if I carried it unchambered and needed to shoot quickly). But I was also getting absorbed in the movie on TV (you would too, it was Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johannson in 'The Other Boleyn Girl') when I must have loaded my magazine into the pistol, without thinking, pulled back the slide and fired. KA-BOOM! I was so shocked and shaken. The room was filled with cordite smoke, but I could see no immediate damage until I saw the slug went right into and through the DVD player. Fortunately no kids or wife were home at the time, no cat or dog in the room, and no body part of mine in the line of fire. I thought this could never happen to me; like you I am always (or so I thought) careful. But a gun is a dangerous thing, and we should not be distracted by TV or anything else when handling a firearm. I think I have learned my lesson.
    Elliot

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  7. I'm 53 and a new pistol shooter. I'm familiar with rifles but handguns are new to me. Raising three sons I never wanted one in the house. They are grown now and I'll be taking my concealed carry course in a week. I appreciate the candor some of you have shown concerning letting your guard down. It will help me to be more careful knowing these things can happen in a moment. Thanks!

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  8. Thanks for sharing this. As some wise man (Jeff Cooper?) once said, there are only two kinds of shooter: Those who have had an accidental discharge, and those who are going to. It hammers home that most important lesson: ALWAYS keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.

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  9. after over 40yrs of gun use and many youngsters shown proper safty and use. i shot an "empty" 22 through the floor of my porch checking it before entering the house.keeping it pointed in a safe area prob. saved a life that day. i will never forget the sick sick feeling that fallowed and thank god no one was hurt or killed. a man that never makes a mistake is a lier.J.D.V.

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  10. did it too! like you thankfully nothing hurt but my pride. ruger mark 2 .22 dropped the mag not paying attention - forgot that i chambered a round pulled the trigger and just sat there stunned. could'nt believe i had been so careless.
    everyone please be aware 100% of the time.mistakes happen but a mistake with a fire arm can ruin lives.

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  11. Had a ND while a member of the crew on a low budget movie set. I chambered a blank round in a real gun and, for some retarded reason I cannot fathom, I then pulled the trigger. BOOM! It scared -- and stunned -- me big time. It could easily have been a real round, of course... Another time on-set, when I wasn't the armorer, the star of the film was firing a real MP-5 machine gun (with a blank adapter on the end of the barrel) when this GIANT BOOM went off. Seems the armorer forgot to check all the empty magazines for that ONE real round left in one of the mags -- BEFORE loading up all the blanks. The blank adapter was blown clear off the piece, with shrapnel flying everywhere.

    -Bill

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  12. Guns will only discharge with a depression of the trigger. Any modern pistol has internal safety blocks when dropped unless it was jarred and it failed which I have never seen in all my years.

    Add to it the fact of the XDM having the addition trigger safety & grip safety. It was a simple ND having gripped the pistol correctly and trigger depressed without realizing it. Glad noone was injured.

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  13. I've had a ND - most embarrassing moment of my life. Like J.D.V., I thought I was check-clearing an empty .45, so luckily I had it pointed safely at the floor. Unfortunately, I was only 18 at the time and in my friend's kitchen @2AM. Needless to say, his dad was furious. He told me to get out of his house. 18 years later I still feel the pain and shame like it was yesterday. I was already pretty safe when it happened, but now I'm practically a safety-Nazi. It will never happen to me again.

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