Negligent Discharges


September 17, 2004, 04:38 PM
I'm curious as to how many of you have had ND's and how long you've been carrying/shooting. What were the circumstances, damages, etc.

I, myself, have been carrying for about 2 years--shooting for about 4. I've never had a ND as I'm very careful.

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September 17, 2004, 05:08 PM
Picked the the pistol from its storage container, aimed at the floor and pulled the trigger to de-cock it for breakdown/cleaning and the thing went off!

Fortunatly it was a paintball pistol, so the only damage was some paint on the carpet, me, the wall, the ceiling...

I'd loaned the pistol out to another player the day before, and it had been returned to me in case. I'd just did a cursor exam of the case contents to insure all the parts were there in the evening, planning to clean the next day. Totally my fault, I'd assumed the pistol was empty of pellets and gas, no good way to ensure the chamber was empty on the pistol and I had removed the barrel plug.

No ND with a firearm to date, and with though and care none to come. (I hope) That lesson with the paintball pistol further reenforced the four rules to me, and what can happen if one lets their guard down even once.

September 17, 2004, 05:26 PM
I've got a .223 hole in the ceiling of my office.

Long story short, 2 friends and I were in my office, they wanted to check out an AR and I took it out of the safe, checked to make sure it was empty (racked the charging handle) and then pulled the trigger to drop the hammer.


Needless to say, a visual inspection is key. No wonder we were taught that, eh?

Anyhow, of course I had the weapon pointed in a safe direction, so everything was basically alright; well, minus the fact that we were in a 12x12 room w/ the door closed. Loud doesn't even begin to describe it.

Funny thing was, the gun was "checked" twice before it was put into the safe.

Remember, always visually inspect. I have been super anal about visually checking since that happened two years ago.

September 17, 2004, 06:08 PM
For me, it's been 27 years since I got my first gun. I've never had a "negligent discharge", as it's called these days, and I don't intend to. To me, there's just no excuse for it. Don't pull the trigger if the gun is loaded, unless you mean to fire. Its as simple as that. I have to admit that I'm somewhat disturbed by all these ND confession threads I see on this forum. Do a search, you'll see what I mean. I'm sure the antis just love that stuff. "Look at all the gun nuts who admit to accidently shooting off their guns".

I really don't get it. To me, there are just some things I will never do. Pouring gasoline on a fire is one of them. Putting my car's transmission in "park" while driving down the highway is another. Accidently firing a gun is another.

I'm sure I'm gonna get blasted for this by the folks that think NDs are acceptable/inevitable, but that's just how I feel. Have at it.

September 17, 2004, 06:13 PM
Always check visually and physically- look and probe around in there with a pinky. I might get careless and "see" an empty chamber when I want to or "feel" a cartridge and think it is the barrel hood, but it is less likely that i would be mistaken twice at the same time. Dont count on one sense when you can use two.

I also work the action several times. I expect a round to be ejected the first time, the rest ensure that the magazine either was, or is about to be, removed.

I have not had a ND. i am one of those people who believe that a rigorous observance of the Big 4 can lead to never having one. Claiming that "there are those who have, and those who will" is a pre-emptive apology for future stupidity and a cop-out. I expect, and demand, better. If you believe you will screw up, you are probably right. You will not be doing it in my company.

September 17, 2004, 07:14 PM
Skunk and sendec,
I agree w/ you two. I was in a gun shop this afternoon w/ a buddy and I said something about Glocks and safeties. He was adamant that ND's are unavoidable. I disagree completely. I hope to never have one and I'm very anal about 1) All guns always loaded, 2) Check, check again, and check one more time before cleaning, inspecting, etc., and 3) Keep your stupid finger off the trigger.

Old Dog
September 17, 2004, 08:06 PM
NDs are gonna happen. For somebody, somewhere, sometime. Not everybody. We can only be responsible for ourselves. Personally, I plan never to have one and I take the precautions everyone else already covered. But, I've seen too many people over the years have brain farts at the worst times ...

Anywhere folks handle firearms frequently and routinely, especially in the course of their jobs, work under great stress and sometimes don't get enough sleep -- NDs are going to happen to someone. Not to everyone; not to most people. Nor will they necessarily happen often, but they will happen. Can we control the rates of NDs within our families, units, departments or agencies? Of course. Training. But can we do away with 'em completely? That's the goal, of course, but ...

Had a buddy who was a USMC rangemaster who'd spent a lot of years on the range -- he told stories that were almost unbelievable, but sadly, too true. Worst one I ever saw was a new female (not that gender was the issue here) m.p. candidate sweep a range NCO with an off-safe 12-gauge during a practical fire ... then pulled the trigger and sent 00-buckshot into the range cover. Needless to say, she was looking for a new career field the next day.

It's easy for the average gun owner who doesn't carry/use guns every day for 12 or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, doesn't have mandatory qualification every month, only takes his/her guns out for recreation, and then only after a full night's sleep on an easy day off to say: "It'll never happen to me." But the reality is that, unfortunately, sometimes fatigue, adrenalin, alcohol use, lack of training, lack of knowledge about a particular gun, just plain stupidity or one of those totally inexplicable brain farts followed by an uncharacteristic physical reaction will cause an ND. And in occupations such as law enforcement or the military where very high volumes of personnel are being trained, shooting high volumes of ammunition and often under less than optimum circumstances, the odds are against doing away completely with the phenomenom of the ND.

September 17, 2004, 08:28 PM
I never expected to have and "accident" either, but I did. Twice in one day. I had lowered the trigger pull on my Rem 700 22-250 to about 1.5 lb. I tested it. I slammed the bolt closed. I pounded the stock against the floor. I tried every combination of safety position and trigger pull I could think of and it never failed. I had shot about 1000 rounds through it. Then one day as I was loading it, it made the strangest loud BOOM. Scared the daylights out of me. I thought that I had bumped the trigger and thanked God that I had been carefull with muzzle direction. Later that afternoon it happened again! This time I knew that I had not had my finger anywhere near the trigger (funny how those loud noises get you focused on safety!). I adjusted the trigger back up to around 3 lb and it hasn't happened again.

36 years of previous gun ownership and no accident. Four years since with out an incident. But that one day will forever be burned into my memory. Don't say it "can't happen to me", because it can. The fact that it went off was an accident. The fact that I had the muzzle in a safe direction wasn't. There are somethings you can control and others you just have to be prepared for. As someone once said "A catastrophic accident isn't usually caused by a catastrophic failure, but rather a series of normal failures."

September 17, 2004, 08:46 PM

I dont consider what occurred to you to ba NDs, assuming that the trigger job was properly done. Mechanical devices fail thru no fault of the user. You are an example of why following the rules works-by being concious of your muzzle the mechanical failure was'nt able to harm anyone - kudos

September 17, 2004, 09:00 PM
I've had three, in something like 30 years of handling firearms. However, because I was at least pointing the gun in a safe direction, I've never hurt anyone, or shot anything valuable or important.

All three were at times when I was extremely tired, emotionally drained, psychologically exhausted, and worn down to a nub after being in situations of considerable danger for an extended period of time. They taught me a lot!

September 17, 2004, 09:02 PM
One ND when I was about 20 yrs old. I shot myself in the left hand with a 25acp. My buddy had a 25 and didn't know how to take it down for cleaning. Full mag & chambered. I cleared it and could not figure out how the slide came off. Most of them you pull the slide back and lift up, but not this one.

So I loaded it back up, chambered it, safety on, topped off the mag...and then noticed a curious button looking thing on the left rear of the slide and pushed on it...BOOM! Had it cradled between my two hands, it entered my palm, skipped off my palm bone and exited my wrist to strike me in the thigh and fell on his floor.

My mind went slow motion. I came up off the chair and remember thinking I don't feel shot...I heard the bang, saw the flash, saw blood splatter, why don't I feel shot? I raised my hand and looked...with each heartbeat blood squirted across his kitchen. I quickly applied pressure and went to hospital. No pain par se, it itched like mad. 6" diam bruise on leg from where it struck me. I spent 4 days in the hospital cause it was a perforating wound and they thought I may get gangrene. My buddy ND it again between his legs into his couch trying to figure out how I did it while I was in the hospital. No ND's since for me, dunno bout him, fell out of touch.

I still have the bullet & casing, and still don't know what that button thing was on the slide. Nothing like shooting yourself to learn to be careful.

Brad Johnson
September 18, 2004, 03:08 PM
Here's the ND compilation thread I put together not too long ago (after being shaken up by my first ND).

Click here to see the thread. (


Old Fud
September 18, 2004, 06:26 PM
Night maneuvers during Basic Training back when the draft still worked.

They had issued each of us one clip of blanks, with the warning that even blanks are lethal out to about 20 feet and can do damage beyond that. I had shot it up before 10:30 in the first exciting "ambush".

About 2:30, I was bored out of my skull and started fooling around with the trigger guard. I pulled the trigger.
Why not? It was my Rifle, I KNEW it was empty, I had personally emptied it!

A blank round of .30-06 makes an 18-inch jet of flame.

If you stack arms during a break, it is possible you might not get your own weapon back afterwards.

The soldier six feet in front of me merely grumbled about the noise I was making.
I may have blown rule #1, but had obeyed #2 -- and it saved both of us.

One of our gurus (Farnam?) said, "You will have an ND sometime in your life. How well you obey the 4 rules will determine what you will have to live with afterwards."

He was right. Anybody who thinks otherwise will be sorry someday.

September 18, 2004, 08:22 PM
I capped off a round out of the BUG waking up about 19 years ago. None since. I hope I learned my lesson. It was pointed in a safe direction.

September 19, 2004, 01:23 AM
None with a real gun, and shooting over 10 years.

Brother once had one duck hunting. He wasn't allowed to hunt the rest of the day.

But, every now and again with a paintball gun. In my defense, the thing has about a half ounce trigger. It usually remindes me that I haven't been applying proper gun handling tips to it.

September 19, 2004, 11:49 AM
When I was about 15 I had loaned my 20g bolt action to a friend of mine. When he brought it back I pulled the trigger to release the firing pin. Blew a hole in my hardwood floor. Once dad got over being glad I hadn't blown that hole in something non-fixable he informed me my hunting season for that year was over. This was the first weekend of dove season, there was still alot of seasons left. I didn't even argue. That was 20 years ago and I haven't been that stupid again.

September 19, 2004, 02:21 PM
I had one. Was dry firing my G27. Rendered the gun safe by taking out the mag and laying it next to me. Got done dry firing, reflexively returned the mag to the magwell. Got distracted, came back, picked it up and started dry firing again. Click. Rack slide. BOOM.

Always make sure there's no ammo whatsofreakingever in the same room when dry firing now.

September 19, 2004, 03:02 PM
I confess, I have had one.

I had awakened at 3:00 am to go fishing with a friend. My friend kept a big bag of balloons on board, and we would shoot at the balloons in the water when the fishing was slow.

This particular time, I decided to bring my 870.

Got it out of the closet, and opened the action (as I always do when I first pick up a gun). At that moment, the dog signified to me that he had to go out, and right this second. So, I went to let him out and stood outside with him until he was done, and went back in. When I got back in, I proceeded to get dressed and gather my stuff.

Got all my stuff by the front door, and began to do a mental checklist.

Dog out? Check.
Coffee pot off? Check.
Windows, doors all secure? Check.
Fishing gear all ready? Check.

Hmm, I guess that's it.

Oh wait, my 870.

Not realizing all I did was opened the action and not checked for shells, I closed the action and threw it to my shoulder. I remembered thinking it felt funny closing the action, but before I really thought about it...


I had only meant to decock it.

I really don't even remember the sound or recoil. I remember thinking "That didn't just happen, did it?" I started looking around on the floor for the wad, but couldn't find it. I found it embedded in the wall about six inches, and pried it out. Thank god it was birdshot and not magnum buck, and thank god for solid old construction.

Thank god no one was hurt.

Shaken up doesn't describe it.

I am anal now about checking. And double checking.

I mounted the shell on a board and have it hanging from the wall as a reminder.

Oh, yeah, i have been shooting for 25 + years.

September 19, 2004, 11:55 PM
Glad you call them negligent discharges. Sick and tired of hearing them called accidental. Yeah, I had one too. Early on in my shooting career, I had a Crosman .357 air pistol. Place I worked let us shoot rats in the barns and garages. Had the hammer cocked and nothing to shoot at; thumb slipped off the hammer while decocking. Never done it with a real gun. I think a lot because that one scared me to death. As for accidental, I had a decocker break on a Sig copy air pistol. But in both of these cases I had the muzzle pointed away from me and in a safer direction. No one got hurt. Stay safe.

September 20, 2004, 03:26 AM
ND i had....

i call it negligent cause it was.

Was depressed - lot of stuff going on in my life then - stuff that i have sworn since will never effect me in the same way again.

At any rate - was contemplating el capo of selfo...

finally got out of that line of thinking... and was going to put gun up when i pointed the gun at myself in the mirror.....

I'm VERY familiar w/ this particular gun - knew (or thought i did?) where the sear break was.... well - went a bit to far and sent a .40 federal hydrashok through a mirror, 2 sheets of sheetrock to imbed the frags of what was left of the bullet in the laundry room cabniet doors.

Sad part is in "normal thinking" mode... i'm very anal about locking slide/checking chamber, double and tripple checking revolver cylinders, visual confermation of any rifle/shotgun's breach.... I was in a different frame of mind this time.

I hope it never happens to anyone - but to say they will never happen "if" is basically to say "it can't happen to me" and we all know where that line of thinking goes.


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