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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The title says it all. Some folks have gone their entire life handling guns and never made a mistake and then there is the other side that have had it happen to them and have lived to laugh at their stupidity.

I have had 1 in 30 years of military and law enforcement. Back when I was a young new Reserve Deputy, I had to re-qualify for first time at the range since the academy. The night before I was a little nervous so I cleaned my duty sidearm (S&W Mdl 66 SS) and oiled it ensuring that just in case the Range Master wanted to inspect me it would be clean, what can I say, I was new and dumb.

Anyway, I was checking the action and dry firing, both double action and single action. Then halfway through a cycle my wife called me for something and I stopped, put the gun back in the lock box and locked it.

The next morning I overslept, like you didn't see that one coming :biglaugh:, and I was in a big hurry to get dressed and out the door. The last thing I always did was grab the gun, load it and holster. I was on a tight budget back then and only owned one gun, so it doubled as both my duty weapon and off duty weapon. So, after opening the box and grabbing the gun I luckily decided to go into the kitchen to load it and holster so as not to wake up the wife and son.

I go into the kitchen and swing open the cylinder, drop in a speedloader of .38 SPEER +P JHP ammo, and close it. As I place the gun in the holster and try to snap the break closed it doesn't fit. "What the hell?" I take it out and look, the hammer is cocked. "What the hell?"

Now this is where I have to caveat this story with a statement about the need to always be caffeinated prior to handling machinery :dope:

Before my mind could tell my stupid hand to not touch that trigger, I did. BANG! Right into the kitchen counter top. No one hurt, just my pride. Wife and son coming running into the kitchen, see the smoke and my dumb expression.

For years after that, until I replaced that counter top, it was both a constant reminder to stay vigilant about safety and was the source of a lot of jokes and ridicule from other deputies and friends :biglaugh:

My wife never skipped an opportunity to show them the hole and tell them the story, now matter how much I begged her not to.
 

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How did you open the cylinder with the hammer cocked?

OK, my story...
Had two Ruger P85s in my possession. Was doing a trigger job on mine, preparing to do the same on my son's.

Finished reassembling mine and dry-fired it at a mark on the wall. Trigger was fine. Was going to check and compare to the unmodified trigger on my son's gun.

Now, since my gun had been apart and was unloaded my mind said Ruger P85 is unloaded. But I had left it loaded because mine was out of service and you do want to be able to de3fend?:dope::eek:

Anyway, aimed at the same spot, boom. A p mm 147 grain Federal HP will penetrate 6 layers of 1/2" dry wall and make a dent in the 7 sheet. The bullet also made a nice track in teh ceiling dry wall. The bullet came to a stop 1" above the bathroom mirror.

Lessons learned, if you must keep a gun loaded, make it a different model than the one you're working on.

And always check every time anyway.:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How did you open the cylinder with the hammer cocked?
Apparently the first series of model 66's, the combat series with Pachmayr grips, had the ability to open the cylinder with the hammer cocked back. I think later versions can't be. But I switched to a S&W 645 .45 auto about a year later and never have carried a wheel gun since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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Apparently the first series of model 66's, the combat series with Pachmayr grips, had the ability to open the cylinder with the hammer cocked back. I think later versions can't be. But I switched to a S&W 645 .45 auto about a year later and never have carried a wheel gun since.
Every S&W made since 1905 [?] has the latch blocked by the cocked hammer, you can't open the cylinder while it is cocked and you can't cock it while it is open unless you pull the latch back.

Bet you closed the cylinder and cocked the hammer to check rotation and had a brain freeze [was going to use the other word].

At least I've never landed an airplane with the wheels up.:eek:
 

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I've had one as well. My father passed away a few years ago and my brother and I went to the home of he and my stepmother. My brother and I get along great but that was not the case with the step-mother. She left the house so he and I could go through dad's stuff and load our vehicles with things that he left to us. Leaning in a corner in the kitchen was a rifle that was to become mine. Like a dummy (no it was not a lack of caffeine:)) I picked it up and squeezed the trigger. You guess it, the rifle went bang.

The Good Lord watches over dummies so at least I didn't point it at my brother. After we performed CPR on each other, we opened the windows to flush the smoke out of the house. That took care of one problem but we still had a big hole in the kitchen floor. After looking the situation over, we decided to move a rug over a couple of feet and hit the road. Never heard anything from my stepmother, thank goodness. Didn't relish the idea of replacing the flooring.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Every S&W made since 1905 [?] has the latch blocked by the cocked hammer, you can't open the cylinder while it is cocked and you can't cock it while it is open unless you pull the latch back.

Bet you closed the cylinder and cocked the hammer to check rotation and had a brain freeze [was going to use the other word].

At least I've never landed an airplane with the wheels up.:eek:
You know, that could be. This was 1988 and my memories are getting fuzzy. The report taken was more for a source of humor then discipline, the first Deputy couldn't wait to borrow the phone and call the WC and tell him "guess what happened to the newbie" :biglaugh:

But in retrospect, I was lucky. But that is the purpose of this thread, to remind folks to stay safe and learn from other peoples mistakes, if it happened to me it could happen to anyone.
 

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Lessons learned, if you must keep a gun loaded, make it a different model than the one you're working on.

And always check every time anyway.:eek:
Yup when cleaning I am either working on a 9mm and have a .45 on or vice versa. (22s it doesn't matter.

Mine, I shot a razorback at about 18 feet or so marlin 60. shot at it 7 times as it started running went running after it. 2nd step tripped fell finger went into the trigger gaurd and round went off. Thank God I didn't kill my dad. I was 11 at the time I think. Never had another.

Did test the drop safety of a ruger P944DC once, it fell loaded on the hammer on tile, I literally dove out of the way seeing as it was going to be pointed at my head when it hit... broke the doorframe to the bathroom. (I then learned to be careful when doing your business carrying a gun)
 

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I have one that hopefully will help someone else. My shame has already forced me to look at every aspect of gun handling and shooting.

Been shooting for nearly 20 years but found out three years ago that I really didn't know squat about guns, gun handling, or shooting so I've taken four classes to improve my skills.

Took a close range gunfighting class earlier this year and after seven hours of drills I drew, caught my shirt on the gun sights twisting it in my hand, and shot off the belt clip holding my IWB holster. Thankfully, the belt clip was metal and deflected the bullet or it would have hit me in the leg. Not something I needed with a .45. I identified a couple of really important points;

1. When drawing quickly I was not keeping my finger on the frame. It was next to the trigger so when the gun twisted my finger went into the trigger guard. When drawing slowly my finger stayed on the frame but I didn't realize that I had developed a really bad and dangerous habit during the draw stroke.

2. My holster did not allow me to get a full firing grip because of the sweat shield. If I had a full firing grip the gun probably would not have twisted in my hand. The gun was also too low and had too much cant to allow me to get the best grip possible.

3. When pulling up my shirt for the draw I was not getting my shirt up high enough and was placing my hand in a location that was not optimal. Again, when going through the motion slowly everything looked fine.

At the end it was all bad technique and set up. I've done some serious gear adjustments and dedicate a lot of time to practicing the draw (slow and fast) and even had my wife tape me to ensure that I have proper finger discipline. Arrogance told me that decent box range shooting and 40+ hours of professional instruction meant that I had all the basics down. In the end, only a little strip of metal kept the bullet out of my leg.

Definitely a humbling experience and hopefully reading this will help someone else prevent an ND.
 

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I was dove hunting with my father when I was about twelve or so. We were sitting on different sides of a large round bale of hay. He was at about nine o'clock and I was at six. As I tracked a dove with my 20 gauge, I neglected to take into account my father. I fired as the barrel was passing his head. I don't remember if I hit the dove, but the wadding hit the back of my dad's head. I still don't know how the shot did not, but he didn't realize what hit him and I did not feel inclined to tell him. That little incident has prevented any tendencies for tunnel vision that I may have developed.
 

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The title says it all. Some folks have gone their entire life handling guns and never made a mistake and then there is the other side that have had it happen to them and have lived to laugh at their stupidity.

I have had 1 in 30 years of military and law enforcement. Back when I was a young new Reserve Deputy, I had to re-qualify for first time at the range since the academy. The night before I was a little nervous so I cleaned my duty sidearm (S&W Mdl 66 SS) and oiled it ensuring that just in case the Range Master wanted to inspect me it would be clean, what can I say, I was new and dumb.

Anyway, I was checking the action and dry firing, both double action and single action. Then halfway through a cycle my wife called me for something and I stopped, put the gun back in the lock box and locked it.

The next morning I overslept, like you didn't see that one coming :biglaugh:, and I was in a big hurry to get dressed and out the door. The last thing I always did was grab the gun, load it and holster. I was on a tight budget back then and only owned one gun, so it doubled as both my duty weapon and off duty weapon. So, after opening the box and grabbing the gun I luckily decided to go into the kitchen to load it and holster so as not to wake up the wife and son.

I go into the kitchen and swing open the cylinder, drop in a speedloader of .38 SPEER +P JHP ammo, and close it. As I place the gun in the holster and try to snap the break closed it doesn't fit. "What the hell?" I take it out and look, the hammer is cocked. "What the hell?"

Now this is where I have to caveat this story with a statement about the need to always be caffeinated prior to handling machinery :dope:

Before my mind could tell my stupid hand to not touch that trigger, I did. BANG! Right into the kitchen counter top. No one hurt, just my pride. Wife and son coming running into the kitchen, see the smoke and my dumb expression.

For years after that, until I replaced that counter top, it was both a constant reminder to stay vigilant about safety and was the source of a lot of jokes and ridicule from other deputies and friends :biglaugh:

My wife never skipped an opportunity to show them the hole and tell them the story, now matter how much I begged her not to.
Outstanding story my friend. Not so many people would be so willing to step up and admit thier faults.
I do have one suggestion, if it's not too late... I would have saved that piece of counter top and placed in an area that it would remind me of how vigilant one must be at all times.

Dutch1911
 

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in '65, as a college frosh at Nebraska, and newly married, bought one of the first Ruger 1022's, very low serial number. Still have it. First wife and I, being penniless students, used to drive our MGB out to distant farms and rivers, and shoot off 50 cents worth of long rifle. Four years later, went off to Europe then Vietnam (while there she ran off with a lawyer), then back round the world again, only returning home to Lincoln about five years after having put the little Ruger on a gun rack at my parent's place.

Came home probably 5 years later, went to the rack, and as my extensive military weapons training had taught me, cleared the action. To my utter suprise a live .22 flipped out.

All those years, that rifle had lain in the wooden rack, with a round in the chamber, just waiting for someone to pick it up and pull the trigger.

Coulda been a tragedy.

All the best....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Took a close range gunfighting class earlier this year and after seven hours of drills I drew, caught my shirt on the gun sights twisting it in my hand, and shot off the belt clip holding my IWB holster. Thankfully, the belt clip was metal and deflected the bullet or it would have hit me in the leg. Not something I needed with a .45. I identified a couple of really important points;

1. When drawing quickly I was not keeping my finger on the frame. It was next to the trigger so when the gun twisted my finger went into the trigger guard. When drawing slowly my finger stayed on the frame but I didn't realize that I had developed a really bad and dangerous habit during the draw stroke.

Definitely a humbling experience and hopefully reading this will help someone else prevent an ND.
Great observation. Keep your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard. In the agency I volunteer for I run the handgun qualification program. Officers are required to qualified every quarter with the duty sidearm and most get plenty of practice in between. But there are a handful that have that same bad habit of wanting to ride the trigger in anticipation of gaining some small advantage of time on the course.

The reality is that we are talking less than 1/100th of a second to move your finger from the frame to the trigger. Not worth it if you ask me. Thanks for the story and be safe.
:rock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I do have one suggestion, if it's not too late... I would have saved that piece of counter top and placed in an area that it would remind me of how vigilant one must be at all times.

Dutch1911
Great idea, but unfortunately I didn't have enough forethought to save it and it's long gone. It would have been a great visual aid and discussion starter at safety classes.
 

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Back in late 78 or 79 I had been to a little shooting spot with a Colt Pre-Woodsman (1926 made) .22lr. They don't lock back on the last shot. I was always checking the chamber, but got lulled and complacent. I was firing a last mag and the gun went "click." Just like it always did after the last round ejected. I had racked the slide to be sure it was empty? or so I thought I checked. I packed the gun away and apparently did not pull the magazine or check the chamber this time.

I get home and I have the gun out. We're in the dining room and my dad is standing right in front of me and we are talking. I have the gun in hand and start to pull the trigger, just to make sure it is uncocked. I am being careful not to point it at him, but it is pointed between his feet at the floor. At the very last moment sense kicks back in and I say to myself, "better check the chamber." OH CRAP! There is a round in the chamber and a couple more in the mag still. That last click must have been a dud and when I checked, but apparently wasn't paying attention at the range, I had just loaded in a fresh round. I had put it on safe at the range at least before packing it away.

I don't think my dad realized what I'd almost done and I wasn't going to tell him, at least not for many years later. Taught me a very valuable lesson about making sure you double check a chamber before you touch the trigger. I still have guns around and ammo in them, around them, etc.. However, I don't hesitate to check a chamber a second or third time to satisfy my concerns. I figure another quick check is not really much trouble considering what the alternative is.
 

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I've been shooting since as far back as I can remember, and can say from day 1 that the 4 safety rules have been a part of my life. That being said, I've not had an ND in my life, but am surely not going to believe I'm immune to them. Funny, considering how many people in the unit I was attached to in Iraq had ND's.
 

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"bullets are slippery things"

The old saying that "there are two types of gunowners, those who have had an accidental discharge and those who will" would probably be true if we all lived long enough and shot enough to prove it out. Complacency is the enemy here.

I know an experienced handgunner who was always very careful and conscientious about firearm safety. But he got in the habit of double-clearing his pistols by automatically pulling the trigger in a "safe" direction after he was finished with them and visually checking the chamber. The problem was that his double-clearing, trigger-pulling routine became too automatic and too routine until one day he shot his computer monitor with a 9mm round that "couldn't have been in the chamber" but was. Thank God he only shot his computer monitor since he was always careful with where his guns were pointed. His wife in the next room never woke up, but he had to explain the shot-out monitor and hole in two walls to her the next day. He said his ears were ringing for two days since the room he was in was tiny. He was so traumatized by this event that he didn't even touch his guns again for months, and then seriously decided to sell them. His mortified expression when he told me about it, and the change it brought about in him really left a mark on me, and I think of him often whenever I handle a weapon. He had been a real handgun enthusiast, but has stayed away ever since because of that experience. He said he came away from that with the sense that "bullets are slippery things" and he no longer has any desire to "fool with them".
 

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I learned at an early age to not trust unloaded guns. My brother & I and two cousins were playing with their single shot BB gun. We were in the area of 7-8 years old. We were each taking turns & when it came my turn I cocked it, pointed it at my cousin & pulled the trigger. Apparently, the last time it was shot, the BB didn't go anywhere. I don't know, to this day, how that could happen, but it hit her on the cheek about a 1/2" below her eye. Didn't hurt enough to even make her cry & just barely a little red mark. Somebody up there was looking out for me & her that day. Since that day, I have never pointed a gun of any kind at any person I wasn't ready to shoot. Even when I absolutely knew for sure that it was unloaded. I even have a funny feeling when dry firing at objects in my home.
 
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