Anyone here have a negligent discharge with a revolver?


PDA






indie
July 14, 2007, 09:52 PM
I know its probably a somewhat embarrassing to admit, but as a newbie to guns who chose a revolver because of ease of making sure its empty and feeds reliably, i want to know if there are any revolver ND stories?

If you enjoyed reading about "Anyone here have a negligent discharge with a revolver?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Heavy Metal Hero
July 14, 2007, 09:59 PM
I know its probably a somewhat embarrassing to admit, but as a newbie to guns who chose a revolver because of ease of making sure its empty and feeds reliably

Why is that embarassing? I think very highly of that choice.

i want to know if there are any revolver ND stories?

Sure, why wouldn't there be?

indie
July 14, 2007, 10:05 PM
sorry, didn't mean i'm embarrassed to admit why i chose a revolver, or that i have a revolver. I love my choice. And will buy more in the future..

But people could be embarrassed to speak about a negligent revolver discharge.

SJshooter
July 14, 2007, 10:08 PM
I had a friend have a ND with a revolver. He was even more obsessed than I am about wiping down his guns after someone was handling one, and he got into the ridiculously bad habit of wiping down the cylinder by holding the oily rag up to it and then rapid dry-firing so the cylinder turned and wiped itself. Well, as you can already guess, he had a round in the cylinder one time. I am not sure if he failed to fully unload the gun, or what, but there was a round in there, he had a ND, a neighbor called the cops, and he got all his handguns taken away for 10 years. Ouch!

There is nothing to be embarrassed about for buying a revolver because you want a reliable feeder OR that you are worried about a negligent discharge. While due diligence with a semi should ensure that you don't leave one in the chamber and accidentally fire one... the fact is that it does happen, even to experienced shooters. Ease of making sure the gun is unloaded IS an advantage of revolvers, and one I wish more people would consider. Don't feel bad about wanting this feature. I wish more beginning shooters accepted the fact that they were beginners instead of thinking that gun ownership equals gun expertise. It seems to me that every time I see someone mishandling a gun in a way that shows how green they are, they are usually waving around a pimped out 1911 or a brand new Glock. I usually find myself wishing they had started with a 686 or GP-100 instead.

pax
July 14, 2007, 10:08 PM
indie ~

Two old threads for you:

1) The story of an ND with a revolver: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=253509

2) A thread about how NDs, ADs, and UDs happen: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=282550

I hope both of these threads help with your quest to become a safer gun owner.

Oh, can't pass this up:

Ease of making sure the gun is unloaded IS an advantage of revolvers, and one I wish more people would consider.

That's a very dangerous half truth, one that should never be emphasized to a beginner who might already be shaky on following the Four Rules.

The frightening and discouraging truth is that there are too many people out there who think you "can't possibly!!" mistake a loaded revolver for an unloaded one. So they do stupid things with their sure-to-be "unloaded" revolvers, including dry-firing without even opening the cylinder to be SURE the gun is empty. It's as shortsighted as keeping an untrained trigger finger happily rested upon the "long, stiff, DA trigger that CAN'T be pulled by accident..."

In short, yeah, there are some safety advantages to revolvers. But emphasizing those advantages mostly just makes most people shut off their brains and expect the safety features to do their thinking for them. (Which, incidentally, is one reason I love revolvers and all other guns without a user-operated, external "safety." That infernal mechanical device apparently causes utter fools to blurt out, "It's okay, the safety was on" right after they've done something monumentally and inexcusably dangerous with a loaded weapon.)

pax

indie
July 14, 2007, 10:23 PM
Thank you pax. I love your website btw and I even made a thread about how helpful it has been to me a week or two ago.

indie
July 14, 2007, 10:24 PM
Thanks also SJ shooter. Wow 10 years. What state was this?

pax
July 14, 2007, 10:31 PM
indie ~

:) Thanks.

By the way, there's one more way that NDs or UDs can happen with a revolver, which this post (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=3093462&postcount=38) illustrates. Happens when you somehow get the hammer cocked (usually deliberately, sometimes accidentally), then decide not to fire, and must then lower the hammer on a loaded gun.

Many a gunshop employee can tell a terrifying tale about the time some little old lady came into the shop, announcing she had a "broken" revolver that "couldn't be unloaded" -- and then fished through the detritus in her purse before finally pulling out a cocked, fully loaded revolver, 2.5 pound SA trigger and all.

Learn to decock the gun safely before you ever load it, eh?

pax

orionengnr
July 14, 2007, 10:32 PM
Three guesses.

My first guess is CA.

SJ = San Jose?

indie
July 14, 2007, 10:41 PM
Wow Pax. Maybe there is a need for home "gun removal" services.

My first revolver is a 7 shot taurus 66. I want a CCW revolver as well, and to get my permit in the near future, so i am considering Taurus 817 also in 7 shot so i can use the same speed loaders, but also so I wont have any confusion when counting the empty holes.

JohnKSa
July 14, 2007, 11:57 PM
You can have a negligent discharge with a revolver. I've had one and came very close another time.

In one case I unloaded a revolver to dryfire by simply opening the cylinder and letting the shells fall out. I half-heartedly checked to see if it was empty (twice). Nope, two half-hearted checks are not the same as one genuine check. The gun fired the third time I pulled the trigger. I have hearing damage as a result and had to buy a new dining table but the muzzle was pointed in a safe direction so there were no injuries from the bullet.

One shell had stuck in the chamber due to the fouling rings that build up from shooting .38 in a .357.

In the case of the near discharge, I was decocking the same revolver. I lost control of the hammer and dimpled the primer. The round didn't fire, and I was at the range with the gun pointed downrange so the aftermath wouldn't have been significant but it's still sobering.

Negligent discharges are the result of carelessness and inattention, not the result of the type of gun being used.

Alphazulu6
July 15, 2007, 12:02 AM
Wow Pax. Maybe there is a need for home "gun removal" services.

Haha. "No problem Ma'am I will empty out that nasty ole Python and ensure it won't bother another person!"

That post cracked me up.

22-rimfire
July 15, 2007, 12:36 AM
I had one once when I first started shooting handguns. It was a bit embarrassing and I really don't want to give details. No one hurt. Cost me some money to repair the damage indoors. It was a valuable lesson which I will never repeat. All I can say is ALWAYS CHECK TO SEE IF A FIREARM IS LOADED if you handle it. Do not assume anything.

I have a older 22 semi-auto rifle that will ocasionally fire when chambering a round. I pay very close attention when shooting that rifle and always control the muzzle direction even when doing such normal things as chambering a round. I pretty much do that with any firearm though just in case.

SJshooter
July 15, 2007, 01:11 AM
Thanks also SJ shooter. Wow 10 years. What state was this?

California, of course!!! I had another friend lose all his guns for 10 years (and he had a boatload) because he and some friends were off in the desert, miles from anyone, shooting water bottles. Didn't even notice the state ranger coming up on them from the flats for miles. "What are you guys doing?" "Ah, just shooting some bottles." About an hour or two later, his guns were confiscated and he won't get them back until 2015!!!

Back to the thread, pax's points about people thinking a revolver is so simple that they get careless is dead on. That said, when I hear of an accidental discharge with a revolver, I assume the user must have been a major league idiot, while when I hear a semi-related AD, I think "I guess it can happen to anyone."

pdowg881
July 15, 2007, 01:39 AM
How do you safely lower the hammer on a loaded revolver?

KelVarnson
July 15, 2007, 02:10 AM
I have a 638, which has a shrouded hammer. Because it has just a little nub of a hammer, it is fairly easy to lose control of it during a decock. So, I practice that a lot, while I am sitting at my desk reading THR.

I'm doing it right now (unloaded gun, of course!!)

pdowg881
July 15, 2007, 02:12 AM
So is there any really safe way to lower a hammer on a loaded gun, or does letting the hammer slip mean your going to fire it?

Shweboner
July 15, 2007, 02:23 AM
Went shooting with a friend of mine and we were shooting his Vaquero and I handed the pistol back having only fired 5/6 rounds. He dry fired it for some reason that I cannot recall and he put a .45LC in the ground less than a foot away from out feet!

count your shots, and empty the cylinder after every time, and expecially when handing it to another.

busy_squirrel
July 15, 2007, 02:27 AM
I've had one. If you'd searched better, than I could be saved the embarrasment of retelling the story, but no...
;)

Anyways, was being a dumb kid with a revolver I knew to be partially loaded. (Mother was afraid of firearms, so I was never taught safety.) Problem was, I thought the cylinder rotated in the opposite direction, the guns owner had even told me so. :rolleyes: Pointed in a safe direction and pulled the trigger on what I expected to be an empty chamber.

Good thing it was in a safe direction, the bullet went through the wall and floor of my brothers RV and into the water tank. It's still in there somewhere. But it didn't go through the wall into the neighbors house! Proof that obeying some of the 4 rules and not others CAN save you, but might not.

Then I had to fix the water tank. To this day, he's still alittle shy around me when the guns are out. Which is understandable as he was in the room at the time of the ND.

joab
July 15, 2007, 02:45 AM
So is there any really safe way to lower a hammer on a loaded gun, or does letting the hammer slip mean your going to fire it?
With your thumb securely holding the hammer trip the trigger,
As soon as you feel the hammer give remove your finger from the trigger.
The hammer will continue to fall (controlled) but if you have just about any modern revolver it will have a transfer bar safety.
If the trigger is not pulled the transfer bar will not engage so even if the hammer slips and falls it will not contact the firing pin.
With minimal practice it is easy, but you should always have the gun pointed in a safe direction just in case

jkomp316
July 15, 2007, 02:45 AM
i had a buddy shoot a .22 revolver through his kitchen floor. good thing nobody was in the basement, if the round even made it through?

warwagon
July 15, 2007, 02:47 AM
I have taught that with the weapon pointed in a safe direction, control the hammer with the thumb of the off hand, and squeeze the trigger until it breaks. Immediately release the trigger, and slowly lower the hammer. On most modern revolvers the transfer bar, or safety bar will prevent the weapon from firing when the trigger is moving forward due to lack of pressure.

jkomp316
July 15, 2007, 02:53 AM
yes you can decock a loaded revolver, but if its 1950s era, you best not slip.

warwagon
July 15, 2007, 02:56 AM
joab,

You beat me to it, same advice, worded just a bit differently! We must have been writing replies at the same time, but I am a lousy typist!

joab
July 15, 2007, 08:55 AM
That's OK, I'm a lousy wordist especially when it comes to giving direction

pax
July 15, 2007, 10:38 AM
So is there any really safe way to lower a hammer on a loaded gun, or does letting the hammer slip mean your going to fire it?

Decent explanations above -- I just want to comment that there's more than one way to do it, and the description is best accompanied with pictures. I'll try to gin something up in the next few days, if someone else doesn't beat me to it.

Practice with an unloaded gun, many times, until you are sure you know which technique works best for you and can do it without bumbles. And it should go without saying (but being a nag, I'll say it anyway), keep the gun pointed in a safe direction while decocking, no matter how well practiced you are.

pax

Koos Custodiet
July 15, 2007, 10:59 AM
So is there any really safe way to lower a hammer on a loaded gun, or does letting the hammer slip mean your going to fire it?

With my Taurus and Astra 357 revolvers, I can put my left thumb into the gap between the cocked hammer and the frame. Then I pull the trigger, release the trigger, and then remove my left thumb while letting the hammer down with my right thumb.

Both of these revolvers use a transfer bar type of mechanism, where pulling the trigger all the way back pushes a bar up which completes the contact between the hammer and the firing pin. When the trigger is not pulled the hammer hits the frame without the force being transferred to the firing pin. (OK, I lie, on the Astra the "transfer bar" blocks the hammer, but the principle's the same).

In silhouette shooting we also make a habit of keeping your off hand thumb in the gap between the hammer and frame when moving from loading the revolver into the Creedmore position (lying down). This is with five shot single action revolvers, all chambers loaded as per silhouette rules. And very light triggers, and stout loads, as per silhouette standard practice :-)

m.p.driver
July 15, 2007, 11:16 AM
My dad would always bring up how he had shot a .44 mag and how much of a pistol it was,so one year i bought him one along with holster,ammo,and cleaning kit .Stopped by my parents house one day to the fragrance of gunpowder in the air,asked my mom what was going on and she directed me to their bedroom.My oldman decided to wipe the revolver down with a oily rag but felt that he really didnt need to unload it,wait a minute i didnt get that space at the top and bottom of the cylinder,i'll just pull the hammer back a little,blasted a hole right through their water bed.After that i always kept an eye on him when we were grouse hunting.

Cousin Mike
July 15, 2007, 11:18 AM
yes you can decock a loaded revolver, but if its 1950s era, you best not slip.

:D

Well darn... I thought I'd have to re-tell the whole story... but that pretty much sums up how mine (revolver ND) happened.

when I hear of an accidental discharge with a revolver, I assume the user must have been a major league idiot, while when I hear a semi-related AD, I think "I guess it can happen to anyone."

IMO there is no safer platform. Any gun is only as safe as it's user. The fact that my thinking is the exact opposite of the above quote basically proves to me that it's all perception.

The Lone Haranguer
July 15, 2007, 11:44 AM
A fair number of ADs/NDs do seem to happen with cocked revolvers. If you carry one for self defense, master the DA trigger pull. Don't cock it with either the intention of making a "critical shot" (e.g., head shot), or for an intimidation effect.

As we have seen in some of these posts, the revolver is perhaps a little more forgiving of, but not immune from, sloppy handling practices.

SJshooter
July 15, 2007, 12:36 PM
So is there any really safe way to lower a hammer on a loaded gun, or does letting the hammer slip mean your going to fire it?

With a thumb or finger on the hammer so it will not drop, press the trigger just enough to release the hammer. Immediately release the trigger. Then the hammer can go down. On modern revolvers with a transfer bar/hammer block, you can even let go of the hammer and let it fall with full force - so long as the trigger is not pulled the hammer will not come through the window. You can check this on your gun while empty: Cock and press the trigger - see the hammer nose or frame pin come through? Now try to release the hammer without the trigger pulled down - nothing should come through the frame.

CWL
July 15, 2007, 02:20 PM
Former housemate of mine put a .38 bullet thru her bed, we still don't know all the facts but it seems that she was practice aiming/playing with a loaded S&W .38 revolver (gifted to her girlfriend by the CHP when they changed over to .40S&W). Our only guess is that she was testing the pull of the trigger since she knew it was loaded.

I got home to a very quiet house, even the dogs were hiding.

eltorrente
July 15, 2007, 03:57 PM
I don't pull the trigger at home. I don't have a revolver though - but still I don't think I would unless I bought one of those "safe" dry fire targets that are designed to stop and catch an accidental discharge. Too many people who are way more experienced than myself have AD's, and there is just too much at stake. I don't ever want to have one, so I don't pull the trigger outside of the range.

DavidVS
July 15, 2007, 04:44 PM
A fair number of ADs/NDs do seem to happen with cocked revolvers. If you carry one for self defense, master the DA trigger pull.

What The Lone Haranguer says is true for me too. At the range there have been a few times when I was using my S&W 351PD single action and fired before I meant to. I do keep my finger off the trigger until I have aimed and am ready to fire. But I need to restore sight alignment after moving my finger onto the trigger, and a few times I fired earlier than I meant to as I unconsciously squeezed more than I intended.

The result at the time was merely to fire downrange at a target with less than optimal aim. But it did certainly reinforce that single action plus adrenaline would be an accident waiting to happen.

Noxx
July 15, 2007, 05:08 PM
I've had a single AD with a revolver under the same conditions mentioned a few times in this thread. While shooting a string with my 686 I had cocked it, then lowered it and turned my head to address a question from the (at the time) GF, and promptly put a round though the firing table. I shot my keys, but fortunately not my foot, or anything else squishy.

Needless to say, that incident early on in my range days incorporated itself into my own range safety practices, as well as safety lessons I've passed on to new shooters who come with me to the range. Now any weapon in my hand stays up and downrange until it's discharged or safe, regardless of what goes on around me.

foghornl
July 16, 2007, 03:36 PM
I had that happens years back with my "3-Screw Old Model" Blackhawk. Had it loaded with those CCI shotshells.....

Anyway, I was trying the 'old West Saturday afternoon drama TV show block' method of a fake "hand over the gun"....start to pass it over to the bad guy with a finger in the trigger guard, butt first, then snap it up and quickly cock the revolver, in case you had to shoot the BG.

The big mirror and a picture in the living room bit the dust.

If you enjoyed reading about "Anyone here have a negligent discharge with a revolver?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!