Range safety reminder


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ASM826
September 1, 2008, 03:07 PM
I got a reminder about the 4 rules yesterday.

I had gotten my 1911 back from the gunsmith. It is my regular gun for single stack IDPA and action pistol shooting, and gets a fair amount of use. So, I sent it in for springs, inspection, etc. While it was there, I had aNovak lo-mount rear sight installed, which involved having the slide milled. It was gone about 3 weeks.

No problems. It had been test fired, functioned fine. Except...

1911 open, at slidelock. I load a magazine. Factory 230 gr. ball. Insert the magazine, and depress the slide stop. Slide goes forward. Hammer follows.:what: BOOM.

My shooting buddy, who had come along to try the gun and shoot some test loads over a chrony, turns to me after a pause and says, "Sure glad you didn't do that at home."

I had done every function check, dropped the slide, checked the grip safety, checked the thumb safety, tried the trigger, everything except load ammo. In fact, it only did it if I had a round in the magazine. Drop the slide on an empty chamber (I know, I know, but it had to be tested) and it didn't happen. The trigger only followed when it was loaded.

So.
#1 All guns are always loaded
#2 Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy
#3 Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target
#4 Always be sure of your target

I was at the range. I knew the firearm was loaded, I had loaded it.
During the entire process, the firearm was pointed downrange.
My finger was nowhere near the trigger.
I had a high berm in front and on both sides, and again, the firearm was pointed downrange.

So the gun is back in the hands of the gunsmith. He is a fine, professionally trained, smith and armorer. He feels much worse about this than I do. All of us know that these are mechanical devices and as such, they can fail. I am not even claiming it was anything he did, it's just what happened.

The gun malfunctioned. The rules worked.

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CWL
September 1, 2008, 03:10 PM
Armorer didn't do his job and check his work. Glad you did yours by keeping to the Rules of Safety.

ArcherandShooter
September 1, 2008, 03:13 PM
They do indeed. Thanks for the reminder.

Professor Gun
September 1, 2008, 05:39 PM
Excellent reminder which we all need periodically. Thanks for sharing this.

Tom488
September 1, 2008, 06:34 PM
Same thing happened to a buddy of mine one lane over from me. We both shared a momentary "oh ****" look, then I remarked, "sure glad that was pointed downrange".

Our rules keep us alive, even when our hardware attempts to kill us :)

Sackett
September 2, 2008, 03:43 AM
Thanks for the reminder, and I'm glad you were at the range (and following the rules) when it happened.

When I went to shoot my first semi-auto, a wise gun shop guy told me to only load 2 at a time for the 1st 20 or so shots. If there's a malfunction and it goes full auto on you it will be easier to control 2 than a full mag. Nothing untoward happened, but I still follow this advice for each new pistol.

contenderman
September 2, 2008, 10:48 AM
The rules are there and yet again have been proven to work. However, there are also rules (practices) that armorers/gunsmiths follow, and your didn't. For whatever their reason they did not fire the pistol as you've stated that the condition repeated each time you inserted a loaded magazine.

I don't doubt your word that your "smith" is competent, etc., probably just a "brain fart" and I'm sure they feel like crap about it. And that brings us back to the basic safety rules.

Folks may want to look into the ballistic packs/mats that are available. They work and are valuable to have for home or range use.

ASM826
September 2, 2008, 11:07 AM
Contenderman,

It only did it when loaded with the slide locked to the rear and then the slide dropped by pressing the slide stop.

He fired it, but he lowered the slide by pulling back and releasing the slide, and it didn't malfunction. It also cycled ok, didn't double. He included a test target he had shot a magazine of ball ammo at.

ZeSpectre
September 2, 2008, 11:38 AM
You know I'm glad I read this post last night. Shortly after I was working with a pistol and I inserted a magazine loaded with snap-caps, "slingshotted" the slide, and realized I had the gun pointed right at my dog (who'd wandered into the room).

My brain briefly said "hey, it's just snap caps" and the rest of my brain promptly beat that part senseless with "AND THAT'S NO EXCUSE FOR SLOPPY GUN HANDLING".

I'm not sure I'd have even noticed except that I had just read this thread. Thanks for the reminder!

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