Had a close call, and I can say I'm lucky.


March 22, 2011, 04:59 AM
Well guys, after six (6) years of gun ownership, I have had my first Accidental Discharge (AD) at 2:30 AM Tuesday March 22, 2011, and it scared the S#!% outta me.

I dropped the magazine out of my pistol (Astra A-90 9mm) but forgot to rack the slide to empty the chamber. I was doing some draw/fire drills out of my shoulder holster (Uncle Mikes Horizontal). Apparently it must have manipulated the safety on the draw, because I leave the safety on during these dry fire drills so the two-piece firing pin doesn't get damaged.

Well, as you can imagine, it went bang when I was practicing with one hand draw and fire, into the ceiling at a 45 degree angle, ricocheted off of the floor board of the upstairs, and landed in the laundry room (next room over). Thankfully, no one was hurt, though two sets of ear drums are now ringing (mine and my brother's), and both had an interesting wake up call. Amazingly enough, it didn't wake up my parents or my sister... Interesting.

All in all, I'm thankful for this, because now I am reminded to empty the gun completely every time, glad I never point at anything I don't intend to destroy, and glad to know that everyone walked away a-okay.

Here's a picture of the round recovered.

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March 22, 2011, 05:14 AM
Glad know one was hurt. Must have been very scary. Thanks for the reminder of being extra sure the gun is empty.

Ala Dan
March 22, 2011, 06:05 AM
Ditto~! glad no one was injured; all else can be fixed. :uhoh: :eek: ;)

March 22, 2011, 06:15 AM
You are very lucky indeed and thankfully nobody was harmed. Another reminder that we must not ever become complacent when dealing with firearms.

What did you tell your parents?

Again glad no one was hurt.


March 22, 2011, 07:12 AM
wow. that could have been bad. glad things turned out ok.

March 22, 2011, 07:17 AM
I wish to ask about your other methods of safety you use in case something like this happens. NDs happen, no doubt about it but it seems that most folks have many different safety strategies stacked one on the other so even when a ND happens no one is hurt.

For example, when I prepare to dry fire I will unload the gun then check it again then I will never pull the trigger in the direction of anybody.

Do you practice similar techniques?

March 22, 2011, 07:39 AM
To someone less a-retentive than I am I might look like one of those obsessive/compulsive types with my chamber/cylinder checking, but it's all for the good. You ever hear that pot smoking song? I check it twice before I check it twice, and then I check twice more. No kidding. I'm very glad no one was hurt.

March 22, 2011, 07:51 AM
I had an accidental discharge w/ 20 guage about twenty years ago. ...very scary...

Friendly, Don't Fire!
March 22, 2011, 07:53 AM
Unfortunately, we all sometimes need a reminder about gun safety.

Thanks for sharing that, I am glad no one was hurt.

March 22, 2011, 07:58 AM

just consider that (HOPEFULLY SHORT-TERM) tinnitus (constant noise in the ears) as your wake-up call & reminders.

March 22, 2011, 08:37 AM
Little lesson I learned a few years back... nothing 'good' happens at 2:30 in the morning... you should have been in bed asleep.

March 22, 2011, 08:49 AM
First - I am glad that nobody was injured ( beyond the damage to your hearing however severe that may be in the long run).

Second - HUGE SLAP ON THE WRIST because you were a doof and you know you deserve it! (just like I would if I had done something boneheaded).

Third - Thank you for posting because I firmly believe that we all can benefit from these "wake up" calls. I know that every time I read one of these I step back and do a little review of my firearms handling techniques to see if/where I've become complacent.

March 22, 2011, 09:02 AM
forgot to rack the slide to empty the chamber
Why? Distracted, interrupted, multitasking? It's not enough to say you did something wrong--figure out why, to avoid it?
into the ceiling at a 45 degree angle
Did that represent the safest possible direction for the gun to be pointed when you pulled the trigger? Would you consider buying or constructing a "bullet trap" and do ALL your dry fire into that.

You've been given a gift. An AD/ND is not an opportunity to change one thing, to lessen the chance that this might happen again. It is a wake-up call to change as many things as you can think of, so that the risk of this ever happening again goes as close to zero as you can get--and an opportunity to review your precautions every so often (I hope without another discharge as reminder) and see what ELSE you can do.

Consider AD/NDs as sharks swimming around out there somewhere where you can't see, just waiting for you to let your guard down. One more time.

March 22, 2011, 09:24 AM
It happens. You never forget it. I had one and I have never forgotten the fear that I might have hurt someone as I shot out onto a busy street through a window. It is not one of my better moments. I won't preach safety because you have already spanked yourself over and over again already.

Parents seem to know things. Your sister, well, if she is like many kids you can't even wake them up unless you drag them out of their beds because they were up late on the internet or playing video games.

March 22, 2011, 09:25 AM
Just use this to your advantage...

I am a "gun-guy", and spend alot of time teaching new shooters.
In fact, I probably watch other people shoot ten rounds through my guns for every one I shoot.

In this case I was "teaching" a young lady how to use firearms...
Covered the "rules", ad nauseum...
Described and reviewed the different calibers we would be using that day...

Then, seated at the dining room table and explaining the different types of actions...

No ammo anywhere nearby at this time, of course.:rolleyes:

Reviewed lever, bolt, pump, and semi- rifles, ...great...
We covered single and double action revolvers, ...okay...
Did SAO and striker-fired pistols, ...uh-huh...

I realized that I didn't have a TDA pistol on the table...:what:

Opened a nearby cabinet, retrieved a Sig Mosquito...

(Yes, I have loaded guns all over the house.):neener:
(Please no comments on whether this is a good thing, or not:))

Screwed off the can, removed the mag, emptied the chamber and proceeded to explain the differences in trigger pull...

It seems some bonehead decided that this particular model would be safer if the action didn't work without a mag in place...:barf:

So, of course, I picked up the mag, inserted it, pulled the slide back, released it, and then demonstrated that the gun will fire in single-action mode, putting a .22 hole in the ceiling .:cool:


She was unimpressed, as was my loving wife, who was seated across the room.

Needless to say, it won't happen again.


March 22, 2011, 09:31 AM
Glad to hear no one got hurt. I'm sure it really got your attention. I've seen someone's negligent discharge first hand...I still remember the sinking feeling. I wasn't as lucky, the round hit me.

It was a negligent discharge, not accidental. Best to look at it that way as it was your fault, not the equipment's fault due to failure. I'm not criticizing, just stating the facts brother. :)

March 22, 2011, 09:47 AM
Needless to say, it won't happen again.
First, thanks for honestly (bravely) sharing your story. But the above phrase sounds more like a hope than an action plan.

Teaching/demonstrating while handling a loaded firearm is one of the most dangerous things one can do (as a certain DEA agent demonstrated some years back). Our minds are on explaining while our hands are doing what they are used to doing. Bad, bad recipe.

Terminology: this discharge was accidental in the sense it was an accident, not deliberate. It was negligent in the sense that proper safety precautions to prevent it were not followed, and the shooter "owns" the result. I'm happy with either terminology, or even "unintentional" discharge. We all know who's fault an AD/ND is. (Yes, I'm aware that "accidental" is often jargoned into meaning "due to mechanical failure" in this context, but that's not how accidental is usually understood. We might consider the clearer "discharge due to mechanical failure" for those, but I suspect that's too straight-forward.)

March 22, 2011, 09:48 AM
230am hmmmm drinkin?

March 22, 2011, 10:27 AM
One idea might be to invest in some snap caps. I'm paranoid about dry firing, and always use a snap cap since they have such a distinct color. Even then, I'm always double and triple checking to make sure it's a snap cap in there.

March 22, 2011, 12:12 PM
Thanks for sharing that on here. Knowledge is power, and the more info we get that will help all of us to be more careful, the better.

I gave my own negligent discharge account on here a few years ago, and it was embarrassing, but I hope it helped others.

And, yeah, I said 'negligent discharge' as someone else mentioned above.

My middle kid went through Cavalry Scout training with the U.S. Army two summers ago and he said there is no such thing as an 'accidental discharge' in the Army anymore. It's now called a 'negligent discharge'. He knows, because he had a 'negligent discharge' during training. With a .50 cal machine gun. While the Captain was inspecting the Troop. As you can imagine, what happened to him next wasn't pleasant. But he graduated and will never forget the lesson.

Just like I will never forget the lesson learned from my negligent discharge and I am sure you will not either.

Again - thanks for sharing it, and stay safe.

March 22, 2011, 12:33 PM
First, thanks for honestly (bravely) sharing your story. But the above phrase sounds more like a hope than an action plan.

Stuff happens...
I wouldn't even begin to attempt to place the blame elsewhere...

It was not an accident, the gun performed exactly how it was designed to.

My "action plan" is to not load and fire a gun at a time when it is inappropriate.
Hope this is sufficient.;)

...and I'm not scared of y'all.:neener:


March 22, 2011, 12:39 PM
Playing with a loaded gun at 2:30am? Shame on you.

March 22, 2011, 12:51 PM
"[I am a "gun-guy", and spend alot of time teaching new shooters]"

I hope you don't make it a habit of teaching new shooters to dry fier rimfire guns,as it will hurt em ; )

March 22, 2011, 12:54 PM
As has been pointed out by other posters, yours was not an accidental discharge; it was negligence. BIG! difference.

March 22, 2011, 12:56 PM
Glad you and everyone else are ok. But, if there ever was a definition of a negligent discharge (ND), this was it. That was no accident discharge.:eek:

March 22, 2011, 12:57 PM
230am hmmmm drinkin?

Not necessarily, I've been up till about four every day for the last week and haven't been drinking any of those times. Sometimes you just can't sleep.

March 22, 2011, 01:21 PM
I hope you don't make it a habit of teaching new shooters to dry fier rimfire guns,as it will hurt em ; )

Indeed, and
Nope, not a habit, just happened to be the closest one at the time...


March 22, 2011, 02:41 PM
I'm up at 0230 all the time, it's a great time to clean the my guns, wife and cats are asleep, no distracting phone calls. 'Course it helps that I work graveyard too. :cool:

March 22, 2011, 06:00 PM
First of all, I want to say thank you for all the concern, it's greatly appreciated.

Secondly, it was my screw up, I got distracted and didn't completely empty the gun. I dropped the mag, then had to use the restroom (I carry at home) so I put the mag back in. Then resumed by emptying the magazine but got distracted by a commercial on TV and forgot to rack the slide.

My action plan to help prevent another Negligent discharge?

Practice in my room. No distractions. Clear myself of bodily waste before hand. No sounds what-so-ever to distract me, and keep the gun pointed at the brick wall in front of me. Stringently checking the gun to make sure that is empty before any of this commences.

Sorry about my terminology, I've never had one until now and never truly understood what each meant until now.

I am still unsure what to tell my parents. I've already purchased the wall patch kit and paint. I am repairing my screw up.

Since I work a full-time job welding, I don't drink during the week. No matter what time it is. I just fell asleep really early and woke up at 1130 pm.

Fortunately, the 45 degree angle WAS the safest direction, even pointing it at the west wall the way I was was the safest direction for the room I was in. The 45 Degree angle was because of the limp-wrist i had suffered during the shot.

But the reason I posted this was to inform everyone how much a person can take for granted, and that everyone makes mistakes, and it doesn't matter how long you own a gun. It also shows that someone isn't invincible to this kind of thing because of going 6 years without a situation like this.

I posted this because I deserve to be harped on and called a dumbass, dip****, all the words in the book for stupidity. I let myself lapse on safety standards, and thank Almighty and Powerful GOD HIMSELF that he was watching over me and my family and didn't allow anyone to come to harm. I'm going to start going to church on Sundays.

March 22, 2011, 07:28 PM
You survived, your family survived, and you learned.

Now get some snap caps. I practice dry fire drills alot and I have a magazine with red paint on it that is ONLY for snap caps and has never seen any live ammo. When I practice, I get the red magazine, then I take all the snap caps out and look at the red-painted follower. The I put the snap caps back in.

OF course I have already cleared the pistol and locked the slide back to allow light to shine all the way through, after sticking my pinkie in the barrel as well as looking IN the barrel.

I know, I'm nuts, but I still have all 10 fingers and no holes in the ceiling.


March 22, 2011, 08:56 PM
Even with all clearing procedures done, your finger shouldn't be on the trigger until ready to shoot. Doing unholstering drills don't require a finger to be on the trigger. Indexed along the frame would be proper for acquisition, then moving your finger to position when ready to engage.

Maybe invest in Magpuls Art of the Dynamic Handgun. Great video for handgun owners.

March 22, 2011, 09:06 PM
I was doing unholstering/dry-fire/holstering drills, trying to improve my speed from draw to first fired round.

March 22, 2011, 09:45 PM
My "action plan" is to not load and fire a gun at a time when it is inappropriate.
That sounds like the same plan you had before, the same plan that allowed this ND to happen. Maybe you should think bigger?
Practice in my room. No distractions. Clear myself of bodily waste before hand. No sounds what-so-ever to distract me, and keep the gun pointed at the brick wall in front of me. Stringently checking the gun to make sure that is empty before any of this commences.
Now that sounds like an action plan! May it always be sufficient to keep you and yours out of harm's way.

It is a smart man who learns from other's mistakes, and a lucky one who survives to learn from his own. I've been lucky myself, but luck is not something I want to depend on.

March 22, 2011, 09:54 PM
I didn't really have an action plan other than make sure the gun was empty.
but last night made me realize that I needed more than just that, so that's what I came up with.

March 22, 2011, 10:20 PM
Barney Fife....LOL.

March 22, 2011, 11:05 PM
Had a very similar situation with a Ruger MKII. But mine seemed to have one of those "mystery rounds".. as the clip was empty, and the chamber was never cocked.

Went through a speaker, and then the wall. Was stopped from traveling across 2 other occupied rooms by a bathroom sink that seemed to lead based, and coated in porcelain. Left a nice dent in that. Was scared of that gun for a while after that, but kinda inferred my own ideas that a roomate that knew I was going to boot out soon probably cocked it, and was hoping for something. Seriously.

Glad everyone is ok. Always double and triple check!

March 23, 2011, 12:20 AM
Use a bullet trap.when you clean the weapon. then you don't have a stupid discharge.
A 5 gallon bucket full of sand will work. And it will not go anywhere as it will be around 100 pounds. Put a lid on it and cut a small 4 or 5 inch hole in.

March 23, 2011, 12:45 AM
Thanks for the advice guys, I'll definately be putting all of this infor into practice. However, I'm not going to let an incident deter me from anything, and it is still on my side loaded to capacity, round in the chamber and safety on. I definately have more respect for the pistol now.

March 23, 2011, 12:51 AM
Some people will say they are very safety conscious and will therefore never have an AD. I used to be one of those people before I had my own AD. I learned that I was being smug and unrealistic in thinking I was immune.

What I learned is that guns can be very dangerous at any time and especially when you least expect it. They require very careful handling at all times. Don't be like I was and be over confident. It can bite you real quick.

March 23, 2011, 12:57 AM
I never assumed that I was immune to it, I just thought I was less prone. It just goes to show, no one is perfect, no matter how great you think you are.

March 23, 2011, 02:55 AM
I never assumed that I was immune to it, I just thought I was less prone. It just goes to show, no one is perfect, no matter how great you think you are.

That's right, and thanks for the reminder. Be sure to read every reminder that others post as well. I hope that I won't have to return the favor, but I will if something ever does happen and I live to tell about it. :uhoh:

Ignition Override
March 23, 2011, 03:03 AM
Glad nobody was hurt.

I tried the partially-engaged safety on my Enfield (.303) Jungle Carbine two days ago, but had it aimed about ten feet away onto the ground above the river.

Just wanted to try the trigger with the lever just a bit forward.
It only blasted sand all over two gun cases.

March 23, 2011, 12:40 PM
Ok you put it out there so let me just add one thing to all the advice you already got. There is no reason to be playing with a gun at 2:30 AM. Your brain gets "burned out" as the day wears on, and usually if you are going to have an accident of any kind, it will happen late at night. Taking guns out of holsters and moving them around before retiring is a bad idea also. They should be loaded holstered and placed in their respective defensive positions earlier in the evening, or at least holstered so that they are not able to fall slip or hit the trigger, aside from someone picking up yous gun when your out of the room or your back is turned. Of course all this depends on your set up. But the worse thing you can do is to try to put your gun in its bedtime position with the lights low or off. Being married some of us can relate to this. The guns should be left alone when the body and mind are tired. All should be done earlier when you are alert. Glad you weren't hurt, don't forget that feeling when that sound went through your whole body, sometimes we take things for granted.

March 23, 2011, 06:39 PM
Indeed, but I was wide away, as i had just woken up about 2 and a half hours earlier fully rested.

March 23, 2011, 10:39 PM
Happy to hear there were no casualties! All it takes is one brain fart for stuff like that to happen. You will now remember to rack the slide -- two or three times -- and look into the chamber before you proceed. Thanks for sharing a story that could -- and can -- happen to anyone!

March 23, 2011, 10:59 PM
It was a negligent discharge, not accidental. Best to look at it that way as it was your fault, not the equipment's fault due to failure. I'm not criticizing, just stating the facts brother.
Not to beat a dead horse, but that was the defintion of a negligent discharge, NOT an accidental discharge. Very negligent, in no way accidental.
ok, down from the soapbox. If it's a lesson well-learned and no harm done, then thank Heaven and do not repeat. Sounds like you've taken a good lesson from it, good for you!

March 24, 2011, 03:34 AM
When I was a new gun owner, I was scared of my gun. No kidding it took a lot to get over the fear of it going off by itself. In fact the first 2 weeks I owned my Beretta, I refrained from touching it at all! :D Apparently with good reason because as anal as I was with safety, (yes even more so than I am years later! - like overboard crazy about double and quadruple checks.) the damn gun did go off by itself!!!:confused: Yes it really did on one of my earlier trips to the range. Till this day I have not a clue what actually happened. In addition to my heart jumping into my mouth and back, all I remember was Bang, bang!! :what:
No idea where the damn rounds went, and yes my hand was on the gun, but lucky me, I observed all safety rules and it was pointing in a safe direction. DA/SA Beretta fired itself twice in rapid succession without any deliberate action on my part. I have guesses as to what happened, but I still couldn't say. Years later, same gun has still not repeated said antics. :D

March 24, 2011, 03:37 AM
Thanks for being brave and sharing your story, glad to hear everyone is okay, and sorry about the mess you may have left in your pants :P
Maybe it's time to invest in some snap caps?

March 24, 2011, 07:47 AM
nothing 'good' happens at 2:30 in the morning

That is one of my dad's sayings. I didn't like it when I was a teenager. I say it to my teenage boys all the time now.('cept I say midnite)

March 24, 2011, 06:48 PM
This taughtme more about myself than i would think.I told my parents about it. They were'nt upset, because I did pay for and repair the damage, and that they were happy that I was taking my personal protection seriously enough... I work in a shadier part of town, so yeah.

March 24, 2011, 11:08 PM
Glad no one was hurt, but I've been shooting for about 50 years, and there are certain protocols that just don't get ignored... making sure the weapon is "clean" is one of them... no mag and nothing in the chamber for practice drills. If a mag is in the gun, then it is cleared first, and the mag re-inserted just before the exercise.

You were lucky... if for nothing more than the fact that no one was hurt and that you were actually attempting a legitimate exercise. I had a different experience today...

I work in a gun store, and one of the employees is a former city cop who's more smart ass than smart. He's constantly doing things to irritate everyone, and todays exercise in stupidity was to point a rifle at me and track me as I walked across the room.

I let him know in no uncertain terms that unless he wanted the rifle to become a suppository, he had better never do it again. Fast forward about an hour, and he made some snide comments about what he had done, and I told him very simply that if he pointed another firearm at me, he'd better be ready to get shot, because while he views his actions as "cute", I view it as a threat. He even went so far as to say that if I was going to take that attitude, he might just "load one up" to point at me next time...

He toned it down after that, and then left this afternoon with a "migraine"... so at least your problem was one of simply not applying a safety rule to your training... mine is getting more serious with the passage of time. I could have him arrested already for pointing a firearm at a person, but it happens inadvertently in the store quite often... even though we try to prevent it. This was deliberate, and heading toward some real consequences... whether someobody getting fired, arrested, or hurt.

Rule number 1 of firearms is "Keep all firearms pointed in a safe direction"... and at your fellow co-workers isn't that direction. Hopefully, this problem will get solved tomorrow, because if it happens again, I fear the consequences will be much more dire.


March 24, 2011, 11:26 PM
I would prefer to call what happened with you and your weapon ....an ND negligent discharge...!!! Why because you were negligent in executing the proper gunhandling techniques to insure that your weapon was indeed empty. The pistol functioned exactly as it was designed. It did nothing wrong or improper. "Operator error"...agreed..?? Treat this experience as a "teachable moment" and you will become a safe and responsible gun owner with the advance of years. By the by, ALL of us (atleast the vast majority of us) here have had an ND or two in our times of handling and shooting firearms...!! Good luck with your future shooting events...

March 24, 2011, 11:31 PM
you want to get this corrected before starting work tomorrow. It sounds like some lines were crossed. I,( would not ignore it and wait for a convient time to bring it up). I would file a report with local law enforcement just in case he does to protect himself, "knowing the law", he knows the first one to get it on record has the edge, he may have done that already today. Unfortunatelly you can't trust people anymore unless you have some history together. Hopefully it will go away but things like this usually come back to haunt you. good luck. An watch yourself.
Bringing this to your boss just as a precaution isn't the worse thing in the world either. better safe than sorry, Yopu aren't "ratting on him you are preventing a possible catastrophic event. There are a lot of loose cannons out ther looking for someone with a fuse and a match. He needs some anger management and therapy. And sorry to say unless he mans up and apologises, he should not be handling guns.

March 24, 2011, 11:32 PM
It seems some bonehead decided that this particular model would be safer if the action didn't work without a mag in place...
I hate that. That is so stupid. I can't believe they make guns with that dangerous of a flaw. I nearly did that same thing the other day. I realized what I was doing when I picked up the mag, so then I unloaded the mag, and went on, all the while realizing the close call that was. The irony is that I think the intent was for this feature to be MORE safe, but it is LESS safe for this particular reason.

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