Thank God...Safety Habit Pays Off! What happened, though?


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Tribal
August 23, 2008, 05:57 PM
I'm not entirely sure what just happened.

Having just bought a new pistol, I took it to the range to try it out. After emptying the second mag and having the slide lock back, I dropped the mag and fired a few mags through another gun. Cleaning up, I stuck one of the empty mags into the gun (so it would fit into the case), released the slide, and took my guns home to be cleaned.

Getting back, I pulled out the new gun and, according to the habit I've developed, immediately pulled the slide back to check to make sure it was empty...and out flew an unfired, undimpled round.

I'm really not clear as to what went wrong. After the second mag went through, the slide locked back and there was nothing in the chamber. Both mags had nothing showing at the top. It's true that I didn't double- or triple-check, but a brass round shows up pretty clearly against a black gun and black magazine. Part of me wonders if perhaps the last round got hung up in the second magazine, jarred loose when I re-inserted it, and chambered. At the same time, though, I'm pretty sure I closed the slide before re-inserting the magazine. There's obviously not a secret pouch where a bullet can hide, and so I'm mystified and I'm also thinking that I need to re-evaluate my safe handling habits. Somehow I left a pistol that I thought was empty with one round chambered, and I don't even know how.

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Redlg155
August 23, 2008, 06:26 PM
Things happen, that's all that can really be said. Sometimes in the rush to leave the range, and by then you are tired and probably a bit dehydrated, any number of things can happen. I've even seen folks attempt to load the wrong rounds in the magazine..something that can happen when shooting 9 and .40 caliber weapons at the same time. I've personally had instances where a round was chambered and I have no recollection of doing so in the past. I usually keep a full magazine inserted into any weapon that I may potentially have to rely on for home defense, but do not chamber a round...so how it got there, I know. When, I don't.

Either way...It's a good thing that you have good safety habits. Had you not have had good habits and attempted to disassemble a Glock, we'd be having a accidental discharge conversation.

JoeSlomo
August 23, 2008, 06:33 PM
I'm really not clear as to what went wrong.

IF, and this is a BIG if, IF you PROPERLY inspect a magazine to insure there are no rounds in it, the magazine WILL remain empty until rounds are loaded into it.

IF you PROPERLY inspect your firearm to insure there are no rounds in the chamber or ANYWHERE else, the firearm WILL remain empty until rounds are loaded into it.

Period.

Any, and all, "surprises" are a direct result of failing to do the above tasks.

It is easy to get lazy and simply glance at a mag, or a chamber, but the stakes are too high NOT to do a thorough job of inspection.

Everybody makes mistakes.

But there are certain kinds of mistakes we just plain shouldn't make. You caught the mistake you made before it could have turned into one of those we just shouldn't make, ie, an ND.

That is why there is more than one rule for safe weapons handling, and if we abide by those rules, they serve as mutually supporting safeguards against ND's, and injuring that which we do not want to injure.

Edit:

So while you didn't properly inspect the status of the mag or weapon, you applied proper safety measures by inspecting the condition of the weapon when you got home.

robctwo
August 23, 2008, 06:56 PM
Our range has a cold range policy during shooting events. That means we must unload and show clear and dry fire the gun, pointed down range, then put it in the bag or holster. I have developed that habit with all my handguns. I still treat them all as if they had a round in the chamber until I verify that they do not when I pick one up.

Semi-autos are very easy to get fooled by. Putting a magazine in and closing the slide is a sure way to inadvertently load a round. I did it with a BAR on a hunting trip. Pulled the trigger before putting the gun in the car and kaboom. It was pointed in a safe direction, but scared the s*it out of me and my buddy. Drop the slide, pull the trigger, THEN insert the magazine is the safe method.

VegasOPM
August 23, 2008, 07:00 PM
Checking EVERY time that you handle a weapon is a very good habit. I rarely leave a weapon unloaded- even if I'm leaving the range (an unloaded gun is an unbalanced club). For that reason, I check EVERY time that I handle a gun.

brett30030
August 23, 2008, 08:37 PM
Welcome to safe gun handling, you made a mistake that probably most have as well. The only failure that can happen under the circumstances you describe is human. I speak from experience, hopefully that scares the dog squeeze out of you so you remember to check next time.

wristtwister
August 23, 2008, 08:49 PM
I was shooting this morning and "emptied" a clip at the target. Funny thing was, the slide didn't stay open, but I dropped the clip, and just to be careful, I racked the slide. Out popped a bright shiny 9mm round. Turns out that I miscounted when loading.

I shoot high capacity guns, and when I'm practicing, I usually load 10 per clip. This time, I loaded 11.

Had I gotten lazy, or just gone ahead with what I was doing, it could have gone really wrong... so just be careful. This hasn't happened to me in a LONG time, but I'm always erring on the side of safety. Now, you know why...
It's easy to hurt yourself if you go "math challenged"...:what:

WT

Sagetown
August 23, 2008, 10:22 PM
Tribal; a new pistol can do strange things until its been broken in. Not all, mind you, but some do. The slide being a little tight may lock open with a round hung in the gun. Probably never happen again.

New User
August 24, 2008, 02:34 AM
Thanks for the reminder.

I am quite a stickler for safety, but in the back of my mind I sometimes think, "That'll never happen." Again, thank you for reminding me that yes, sometimes THAT does happen.

usp9
August 24, 2008, 08:42 AM
Note to self:
Yes it can happen. Don't get sloppy. All guns are loaded.

Thanks for sharing. I'm guilty of getting complacent, which equals sloppy and sure. Good wake up call.

tinygnat219
August 24, 2008, 12:58 PM
Tribal, are you absolutely sure the mag you put into the gun for it to fit in the case didn't have a round left? What I will sometimes do is when I have those 1-2 loose rounds out of a box of 50 is instead of firing them off is put them in a loose magazine and then simply top it off when I get home. What it sounds like is that you put this "collection mag" into the gun and then when you released the slide, the gun was loaded.

Still, I do the same thing, I always check for a loaded round. Haven't found any yet, but your post is proof enough that I will continue this practice.

Pat-inCO
August 24, 2008, 02:10 PM
While your habit may have saved you a ND it is not enough of a habit.

1) Bench the gun only after checking the:
- - - Slide is fully locked back (look for early lock back)
- - - Chamber is empty
- - - Magazine well is empty
2) Keep all loaded magazines separate from the gun.

When cleaning up to go home:
1) Verify the chamber is empty
2) Release the slide and close it slowly
3) If you carry an empty magazine in the gun, place an empty magazine in the gun.

At home, as you pick up the gun:
1) Drop the magazine and verify it is empty
2) Pull the slide back and verify the chamber is empty

Tribal
August 24, 2008, 02:27 PM
The best I can figure is that perhaps I only fired 13 of the 14 rounds loaded (some of my other guns use 13-round mags), the slide locked back with one left, and that perhaps I closed the slide and then removed the magazine, leaving the final round chambered.

It's not something that should have ever happened, but it's proof that Every Gun is Always Loaded is a crucial rule to follow. That I (nearly, apparently) always check the chamber when I pick up a gun, even after having just set it down a moment before, was a good thing, along with always keeping the safety engaged and keeping my booger hook off the bang switch. I could have pointed the gun in a better direction when opening the slide, but at least it was pointed at an outside wall and not at one of my neighbors'.

Still, it scared the heck out of me. I had to sit down immediately because my knees had gone weak. It's time to go over and re-evaluate my safety procedures: that the rules provide multiple failsafes is good, but I shouldn't need them to.

pax
August 24, 2008, 02:32 PM
Cleaning up, I stuck one of the empty mags into the gun (so it would fit into the case), released the slide, and took my guns home to be cleaned.

And there's your clue, right there: if the slide went forward while an "empty" magazine was in the gun, the magazine wasn't empty.

On a semi-auto, the empty magazine itself is what locks the slide back when you run dry. Unless your magazine is worn out, it's just not possible to lower the slide while an empty magazine is seated in the gun.

pax

ktd
August 24, 2008, 04:42 PM
or on a lighter note, you can blame it on range faeries.

seriously though, good habits and being always vigiliant helps, but stuff does happen, though following good muzzle handling will help you out a lot.

my friend has a crater in the concrete wall near his workbench with his signature, date and description of the round he accidentally fired into it to remind himself about that sort of thing. He did the chamber check, close slide, then dry fire, and for the life of him could not figure out where that round came from.

pax, you can usually release the slide on many guns by pressing down on a slide release against the pressure of an empty mag, thereby closing it with an empty mag.

stolivar
August 24, 2008, 05:01 PM
You did release the slide after putting in empty......not the other way around.:what:



steve

CK
August 24, 2008, 07:15 PM
Murphy always sneak up on you when you least expected it.

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