How do you recover?


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Johnnyb8612
June 3, 2011, 10:42 PM
When I think about this, I start shaking all over again. I'm hoping some people will have tips on how to put this behind me.

I bought a surplus Cz-82 a while back in bad shape, and my dad and I made it our summer project to restore it. We took it completely apart, new spring kit, stripped and blued it, wooden grips, etc. It is now a sweet shooter. It is also my current nightstand gun, so it stays loaded with one in the chamber and the hammer down. It was, however, having some subtle trigger differences since I bought it, so sometimes I unload it and test the function. This time, I broke my own rules and did not remember to unload the gun before testing the trigger. The bullet (Hornady XTP, 95 gr) went through the wall of my living room, and lodged itself in our neighbors' (who are our relatives) Suburban, near where the windshield meets the hood. Nobody was in the vehicle, and nobody was injured. I ran out immediately to make sure everyone was ok, and apologized until I was hoarse. Our neighbors (aunt and uncle) have a son in law who is with the local Police Dept, so we called him and he said that a police report wasn't necessary, we just had to deal with the insurance for the Suburban. Our relatives/neighbors weren't angry, and simply thought it was amusing, unlike me.

Now, I consider myself to be a very decent picture of firearm safety. I am the guy that goes to the LGS and says, 'please put your finger in the chamber and show me that it's not loaded before you hand it to me.' I have never done something I consider unsafe with a gun. Now this happens. I can look back and trace every rule that I broke to get to the point of shooting a hole in my wall, but that doesn't change the fact that I made this mistake. I realize that I'm incredibly lucky that I'm paying for a hole in a car and not a funeral, and I take full responsibility for what happened. I love shooting, it gives me satisfaction, and is a skill I value. Please, I need advice on how to get over this incident so I can move on and continue to enjoy firearms and shooting them. I appreciate everyone here on THR, I value the opinions of those here wiser than I, and I've learned much.

Thank you

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ObsidianOne
June 3, 2011, 10:47 PM
You made a mistake. You're human.
You're also pretty lucky, remember how terrible this memory is when you handle a firearm in the future and I promise you'll never forget.
Glad you and everyone else are safe (aside from your pride :P)

jon86
June 3, 2011, 10:49 PM
I've never had a ND so I don't know. But you already realize the severity of the mistake. I'll let you in on a little secret. You'll make more mistakes. Learn from it and move on. Thank you for your honesty.

Also of course I'm glad it turned out ok.

kis2
June 3, 2011, 10:53 PM
Maybe it's not something to necessarily get over, but rather a reminder to be vigilant on the safety rules you know.

They say in motorcycle riding, there are those that have fallen, and those that will. You still pick your bike up and keep riding. You just do so with a renewed sense of caution.

Don't let it destroy your passion (everyone is human), just give it time.

Best wishes

PTT
June 3, 2011, 10:53 PM
Safety is more about attitude than rules. Sounds like you had an attitude-improving experience.

BIGGBAY90
June 3, 2011, 11:01 PM
Consider all guns are loaded-- rack,look at chamber, rack again,look again. Mistake happens and with guns it can be very costly, but thank god no one got hurt. Be safe and it will probably never happen to you again.
take another safety course

How do you recover-----WITH TIME

Old Shooter
June 3, 2011, 11:02 PM
I am the guy that goes to the LGS and says, 'please put your finger in the chamber and show me that it's not loaded before you hand it to me.'

If that LGS sales person sees this posting and knows it's you, you'll never hear the end of it.

Glad it all worked out to the good, now you know you are mortal just like the rest of us. Things like this kind of make me think of AD's and ND's in a different light.

Owen Sparks
June 3, 2011, 11:04 PM
Why would you choose to involve the police?

hso
June 3, 2011, 11:06 PM
No, it wasn't a "mistake". It was negligence.

Trying to relieve someone of the personal responsibility of an incident that could have resulted in a fatality doesn't do anyone any good.

You became complacent and as a result a negligent discharge occurred that could have injured or killed someone.

Take it as seriously as it was. Amend your behavior based on this failure. Put controls in place to prevent this recurring.

Either never practice dry firing ever again OR put some other controls in place so that a negligent discharge won't ever occur again or that it won't go where you don't want it to go.

You can get a 5 gallon bucket of sand and only dry fire into it. This will prevent a negligent discharge from ever escaping the house.

You and follow a protocol of sticking your little finger into the chamber as well as visually checking it before dry firing without a magazine.

By taking personal responsibility for the incident and then establishing controls to prevent it from happening you can "move on".

Johnnyb8612
June 3, 2011, 11:08 PM
Why would you choose to involve the police?
We live in the middle of town, with neighbors around, and 'involving the Police' was us checking with my uncle (the LEO), to get his opinion. I realize that this was a very serious incident, like I said, I take full responsibility for my negligence.

LDNN
June 3, 2011, 11:12 PM
Thank God no one was injured and thank you for posting it and help reminding all of us that it could happen to anybody and with much worse consequences. When I was on my ship a guy in my division was killed due to an ND. As his Division Officer I, and my Chief Engineer, had to go to the morgue in Norfolk, VA to identify the body. I still think of that incident now and then when I handle my weapons.

wrs840
June 3, 2011, 11:27 PM
My 9 year old daughter likes me to give her a guided show-and-tell through my gun safe occasionally. She's interested, and I like that. She shoots a Daisy and a .22 and knows the rules. A couple weeks ago we were going through this exercise and I handed her a .40 auto without checking it (stupid). She handed it back to me and asked me to open the slide (smarter than dad). I did, and a live round ejected. She and I both knew that daddy had just screwed up big time, and I'll never forget it, and I suspect she won't either. Protocol lapses can and probably will eventually happen. Just always, always, watch your muzzle direction.

Onward Allusion
June 4, 2011, 12:13 AM
Johnnyb8612 (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=139771)
How do you recover?

Crap like this does happen, be thankful that no person was hurt. Learn from it and be extra careful moving forward. Also, sticking around here and hearing about other people's ADs/NDs will keep you on your toes, at least it does for me.

Claude Clay
June 4, 2011, 12:31 AM
a gun goes off cause someone intend it to or they were negligent, careless, ignorant or did something stupid

harsh...just as harsh as the almost that happened--a unintended death

the good part is, all this can be rectified
so long as you can get away from the concept that 'things happen', 'mistakes happen', 'your only human'. guns are special machines in that they have no reset or cancel capabilities. unlike air bags in a car there is no recall for a bullet.
i could go on for pages as a 1st one on one class is 3.5 hours to impart safe handling and the why & how a gun works. knowing the innards of your gun empowers you--you KNOW why it works and have a deeper respect for the machine.

for you i suggest finding a local instructor who is known for his insightful nature--and knowledge. take a short time out from the guns while you find this person and rediscover your confidence along with your new knowledge.
good luck to you

VA27
June 4, 2011, 12:43 AM
Shouldn't take more than a coupla years for the nightmares to stop, though you'll still have the occasional flashback.

Some especially safety-conscious people have a difficult time getting over something like this.

The first step on the road to recovery is to stop busting the chops of the folks in the LGS.

You can 'what if' yourself into a nervous breakdown, or you can choose to never, ever forget a lesson hard learned and let the 4 rules be your mantra.

Yukonstorm
June 4, 2011, 12:50 AM
Yes, you are human, and you made a horrific mistake. That mistake could have taken the life of another human. If you feel at this time your not comfortable with a firearm, unload it, and lock it up. There is absolutely no room for a second mistake.

InkEd
June 4, 2011, 01:02 AM
It was an accident. Everyone is okay. Pay for the vehicle to get repaired. Lesson learned. Don't let it happen again. Move on and stay safe.

rhodco
June 4, 2011, 01:23 AM
I had an AD once. Fortunately, I am in the good habit of always pointing the muzzle in a safe direction so the bullet simply went into the dirt. Aside from some powder burns on the web of my hand, no harm was done.

If you have an AD and the bullet actually destroyed something. You actually made two mistakes, not one.

All guns are loaded.
Finger off the trigger
Muzzle always pointed in safe direction.

Say this over and over until you obey it without even thinking otherwise. It must become more than a good idea, it must become an ingrained habit.

Snowdog
June 4, 2011, 01:26 AM
Well, at least you now know first hand why some folks are wary of centerfire rifles for home defense. Unfortunately, just about anything that has the potential to punch through an assailant has the potential to exit your home and enter another.

This is the primary reason my first go-to long gun is a 12 gauge with #4 buck. It will certainly punch through a wall or two, but from most angles within my home, I don't see any pellets leaving the house.

A very sobering experience, I'm sure.

LJ-MosinFreak-Buck
June 4, 2011, 03:30 AM
I've had this happen to me too, with my brother in the room. I'm glad I wasn't pointing it anywhere near him. I was practicing my draw from shoulder hoster and forgot to clear the chamber after dropping the mag. Round went into ceiling at an angle, hit the upstairs floor boards, and ricocheted down into the laundry room, where I collected the slug. I still have it to remind me how... stupid... I was and it will be my token to never let that happen again.

It takes time go get over something like that. I still shiver when I think about it, but take it as a learning experience. You are right, at least you're paying for repairs instead of a funeral. It'll ease with time.

Loosedhorse
June 4, 2011, 07:32 AM
I want you to think of that negligent discharge forever. Everytime you pick up any gun, for the rest of your life. Every time you see someone else pick up a gun.

I don't think you understand yet: you have been handed a gift. For free. Treasure it!

The above is meant in the best way. It happened to me, and convinced me that being "a very decent picture of firearm safety" (as you put it) wasn't close to good enough. I am a firearms instructor, and when I encounter a hesitant pupil, I say, "You seem to be scared of guns. Good. So am I."

1911Tuner
June 4, 2011, 08:13 AM
The older I get, the more I believe that all things happen for a reason. I believe that unintentional discharges that don't result in injury or death make us more keenly aware of just how suddenly a tragedy can take place...that they make us us more focused...more careful in the future...and possibly/probably keep us from making another mistake with more grave consequences.

I've had two. One was a malfunction, and the blame for the other lies squarely on my shoulders. Nothing of any real consequence was damaged, other than my pride...but they served notice that I need to remain focused on what I'm doing whenever a gun is on the scene.

One of my standard cautions in response to one of my pet peeves:

"It's not a toy, and it damn sure ain't your little friend. It's as dangerous as a rattlesnake, and you should regard it as hostile every time you pick it up."

Take the lesson for what it is, and resolve to never let it happen again.

TheProf
June 4, 2011, 08:46 AM
Here's the important thing AFTER making a ND...

What procedures are you now adding to prevent such a thing from taking place again?

It's not enough to just say... "man I'll try not to do that again".... but rather a new "policies and procedures" need to be added to your gun handling routine.

For me... I have added the following rules: "Don't every dry fire at home, when others are home" and "Keep your loaded gun holstered until ready to fire."

For me this has been added to the venerable "FOUR RULES". I now have my own "SIX RULES" of safety.

MachIVshooter
June 4, 2011, 08:56 AM
ND's/AD's happen. That's why muzzle control is paramount. IMO, this was your biggest mistake.

I've had 3 unintentional discharges;

-One was with a series 80 Colt without the series 80 firing pin block. Fired when the slide slammed home; The gun was pointed downrange.

-The next was the result of a broken firing pin. Same thing as the first, except this was in my kitchen. Bullet into floor, ears ringing, but no other damage

-The third was with a single action that had a tansfer bar safety. I was lowering the hammer on a loaded cylinder and lost my grip. This was in the basement. Tore the carpet a little, hurt my ears.

What do the three of these have in common? Because the muzzle was always in a safe direction, no one was ever in danger and damage was minimal.

This is why, above all, I drill home muzzle control. Every other rule can be violated without injuring someone as long as this rule is followed.

Geckgo
June 4, 2011, 09:27 AM
Haven't had an ND - knock on wood, but I try to read about them as often as possible to remind myself that things can go very wrong if a firearm is handled carelessly.

Sometimes I dryfire at home while at the computer desk. When I first take out the gun for dryfire, I drop the mag and rack the slide to clear the chamber, catch the bullet (most of the time) and put it in the mag.
Then I rack the slide twice more, lock it back, and visually inspect the chamber.
Dryfire as needed.

If I set the gun down to go back to the internet, even though I know it's unloaded, I lock the slide open when I pick it back up and visually inspect the chamber again before I resume dry fire. I don't trust my hands to not fiddle with things while I'm doing something else, I'm sure other smokers here can relate.

When I'm finished with my practice, I reloade the weapon and put it back in the drawer in my desk or in it's holster if I'm wearing it. I mentally tell myself (sometimes outloud) that the weapon is armed and don't touch it again.

My #1 safety rule is finger outside the triggerguard. If I do put my finger in there for any reason, I make darn sure beforehand that the weapon is in the state that I want it in, and that the gun is pointed where it needs to be pointed. IE all other safety steps complete, then finger goes in trigger guard.

This is the SOP that I live by.

onebigelf
June 4, 2011, 09:44 AM
You can follow a protocol of sticking your little finger into the chamber as well as visually checking it before dry firing without a magazine.

This is one of the things I was taught to do. An old Korean War era Gunny taught me, drop the mag, rack twice, visually verify the chamber is clear, stick your pinkie in the chamber in case there is an invisible bullet there. Like every single other part of gun safety, do it every single solitary time.

I have one of the yellow plastic practice barrels for my Glock. It's very visible and I ONLY do dry-fire practice with the yellow barrel and the blue magazine. Without that, and I don't think they are available for the CZ-82, unload the weapon and leave the magazine and ammunition in another room. I used to lay mine out on the kitchen counter, then leave the room and dry fire practice in either the bedroom or living room after RECHECKING that the weapon is empty. Dry-fire practice is one of the best practices you can do. It is extremely valuable. It's also one of the most likely times to have an ND (Negligent Discharge, there is no such thing as Accidental Discharge -AD- of a weapon, just NDs and Malfunctions.)

How do you get over it? Learn from it.

John

mrbro
June 4, 2011, 09:48 AM
I have had an ND. Circumstances are irrelevant, it was due to a combination of errors, fault is irrelevant, the responsibility was mine because the gun was in my hands. No one was hurt.

Personal lessons learned:
1. Never, ever, ever become complacent in safety matters
2. Every gun is always loaded, all the time, unless proven otherwise and it has been disabled
3. Safeties are mechanical devices that can fail or be disabled
4. Any cartridge with a live primer in it needs to be treated with respect
5. Dummy rounds are the only way to function test off the firing line

Stupid mistakes can be fatal.

M-Cameron
June 4, 2011, 09:55 AM
if you havent had a ND yet.....its only because you havent been around firearms long enough....

thats why there are redundancies in the safety rules, so when one inevitably fails....you are 'covered' by the redundancy.

we are only human, slip-ups happen.....

so long as you realize the mistake you made.....realize how serious of a mistake it was.....and learned not to make that same mistake again......and most importantly, no one was hurt.........theres really no reason to continue to beat yourself up about it.

shockwave
June 4, 2011, 10:13 AM
If you havent had a ND yet.....its only because you havent been around firearms long enough....

Allow me to disagree. Among aircraft pilots, there's a "belly landing" club - the guys who forgot to lower the landing gear before touchdown. And for them, this is the equivalent of a ND. Listen to these clowns talk, and they always say, "sooner or later, it will happen to you."

Which is not true. Most pilots finish their careers without making this error, and most shooters manage to avoid firing a bullet by mistake.

There should be no conventional wisdom such that negligent discharges are some kind of badge of honor - no, they are a mark of shame.

What a ND means is that the owner has not internalized the Rules of Safety. He "knows" them, but he hasn't made them automatic habits. Neurological programming takes about 2 to 3 months of constant repetition and reinforcement. So to the OP: Practice safe firing every day for the next 60 to 90 days.

1. Clear the gun.
2. Inspect the chamber.
3. Rack the slide.
4. Reinspect.
5. Point the gun in a safe direction.
6. Dry fire.

Do this until you have made it a part of your DNA.

Loosedhorse
June 4, 2011, 10:23 AM
If you havent had a ND yet.....its only because you havent been around firearms long enough.... Allow me to disagree. +1.

I believe in my heart that I can, with each of my students, give them the knowledge, skill, and attitude to never let it happen. I do not ascribe to the attitude that they cannot be prevented if you handle guns "enough."

And to me, preventing AD/ND/UDs is almost the most important goal of teaching. (The most important goal is making sure the students always have the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.)

One of the other very important goals is, of course, "Have fun!" But there is no fun without safety.

Live2offroad
June 4, 2011, 10:31 AM
There should be no conventional wisdom such that negligent discharges are some kind of badge of honor - no, they are a mark of shame.

What a ND means is that the owner has not internalized the Rules of Safety. He "knows" them, but he hasn't made them automatic habits. Neurological programming takes about 2 to 3 months of constant repetition and reinforcement. So to the OP: Practice safe firing every day for the next 60 to 90 days.


I agree that there is no "badge of honor" element to this.. But.. But, stuff happens. I look at it along the lines of the old adage, from my other hobby "There are only 2 kinds of motorcycle riders - Those that have crashed, and those that will crash".

I have owned and maintained firearms since about age 8 and I am embarrassed to say that I have one (1) ND in my past. I simply, stupidly, failed follow proper safety procedures once. I hate that memory, but I can tell you I own it. To me that is the key, own the mistake and learn from it and move on. I am, as all with an ND are, damn lucky no one got hurt. I carry that with me always as I move forward.

JVaughn
June 4, 2011, 10:32 AM
I only dry fire after cleaining to be sure everything is re-assembled and in place before I reload. I have not had a ND and hope I never do so I don't know how you recover from it. In you case, I would say call it a lesson in complacency and never forget it. I'm glad for you and your neighbors no one was hurt. Don't let this change your enjoyment of guns, let it enhance it and make you more aware. Best of luck.

M-Cameron
June 4, 2011, 10:45 AM
Allow me to disagree. Among aircraft pilots, there's a "belly landing" club - the guys who forgot to lower the landing gear before touchdown. And for them, this is the equivalent of a ND. Listen to these clowns talk, and they always say, "sooner or later, it will happen to you."

Which is not true. Most pilots finish their careers without making this error, and most shooters manage to avoid firing a bullet by mistake.

There should be no conventional wisdom such that negligent discharges are some kind of badge of honor - no, they are a mark of shame.

What a ND means is that the owner has not internalized the Rules of Safety. He "knows" them, but he hasn't made them automatic habits. Neurological programming takes about 2 to 3 months of constant repetition and reinforcement. So to the OP: Practice safe firing every day for the next 60 to 90 days.

1. Clear the gun.
2. Inspect the chamber.
3. Rack the slide.
4. Reinspect.
5. Point the gun in a safe direction.
6. Dry fire.

Do this until you have made it a part of your DNA.

its really not a question for debate(not trying to sound like a jerk.....let me explain)

its a simple fact that humans cannot do everything perfectly 100% of the time.....its just not going to happen, it what makes us human, and not robots.

say you have a 99% "perfection" rate..........there is still 1% chance that you will "screw up"......

now if you only shoot once a month......you may go your entire life with out a ND......you may get lucky and slip by........but if you shoot 2x a month......your chances of a ND just doubled......3x a month, tripped........ect.

you increase your exposure...you inevitably increase your chance of ND......its really only a matter of time before the averages dont play in your favor.

you shoot 1x a month and live till the age of 30....chances are good you wont have a ND......

but if you shoot several times a week, and live till 80.....its bound to happen eventually.

AKElroy
June 4, 2011, 10:52 AM
"It's not a toy, and it damn sure ain't your little friend. It's as dangerous as a rattlesnake, and you should regard it as hostile every time you pick it up."

Best quote of this thread. I have posted regarding my two ND's, one was reloading a 1911 and lowering the hammer post cleaning with an oily thumb. It slipped. Cocked & locked is the safest path, my friends. The second was a Glock I was CERTAIN I had just cleared, pulling the trigger prior to take-down for cleaning. A dumb as nails design, but still my fault. Both were in the middle of a sleepless night, and were about 10 years apart, the last being over 12 years ago. Now, I never clean my guns when I can't sleep. Having been "bitten" (no injury, even half-asleep rule#1 was practiced), I always treat my weapons out of respect for the destructive devices they are.

If this has not happend to you, you are fortunate to not have the imprint of the look on your wife's face at two in the morning jumping out of bed rushing into the kitchen to determine if I had innadvertantly offed myself.

Ben86
June 4, 2011, 10:59 AM
You move on by realizing you are human, and naturally capable of serious mistakes. Take solace in knowing that you realize what your mistake was and how to correct it. Teach others about your experience so that they are less likely to repeat it.

vito
June 4, 2011, 11:16 AM
The good part of your experience is that it is unlikely that this will ever reoccur. Even less traumatic mistakes can permanently change awareness and prevent repetition. Once, shortly after moving into my current home, I left the garage door open all night. The next morning when I saw what I had done I felt a bit sick since I had just bought a new motorcycle and a new expensive lawn mower. Both were still there, untouched, but to this day (about 6 years later) I check the garage door every night before going to bed and I mean every night, even if I just came in and closed the door a few minutes earlier. I had a similar incident with trying to ride off with a disc lock still on the brake disc of my motorcycle. $800 damage and a bruised leg later I learned my lesson and now check EVERY time I get ready to ride. I am not comparing my incidents to the seriousness of yours, but just noting that sometimes the good that comes out of a careless mistake is eternal attention to detail.

Chuck Dye
June 4, 2011, 11:24 AM
Why would you choose to involve the police?

While a cursory search has not found it in Oklahoma law, many jurisdictions require body shops to report bullet holes. Preemptive checks are in order.

As to "recovery," if you are not in some way incapacitated by the experience, embrace it and make it part of your gun handling consciousness. If the event is causing you psychological problems, there are ways to deal with those. Caution is advisable, though, as official record of mental issues, gun purchase, and gun ownership often don't mix well.

EddieNFL
June 4, 2011, 11:45 AM
The 4 rules of gun safety

The 1st Law of Gun Safety - The Gun Is Always Loaded!

The 2nd Law of Gun Safety - Never Point A Gun At Something You're Not Prepared To Destroy!

The 3rd Law of Gun Safety - Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

The 4th Law of Gun Safety - Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

You can violate one rule and nothing horrific happens. You violated all four. Very, VERY lucky.

Johnnyb8612
June 4, 2011, 02:00 PM
Thanks for all the responses, this is why I appreciate THR. I wholeheartedly agree that complacency played a big role in this most sobering situation. And yes, it has made me permanently change my practices regarding my handling of firearms, as the horror of the smoking gun and the hole in the wall is burned into my brain. I have decided that (FOR ME) there is no reason to leave a round chambered in the gun when it goes to the nightstand. It will be just as easy for me to rack it if some thug decides to break our door down (and we have had a few incidents around our area recently). When the gun was on the nightstand was the only time the gun ever had a round chambered, so now I have resolved NEVER to chamber a round unless I am going to fire the gun. (I'm also considering leaving the loaded mag next to the gun, but I haven't decided on this one yet. I don't want to be fumbling with the mag in the dark while BG is rushing me with a tire iron.)

I've also decided that there isn't really a good reason for me to dry fire the gun. I know this gun well, and I practice with it at the range often. That is better practice than dry firing.

In a sense, I am thankful that this happened now, and without more serious consequences, as it possibly saved me from continuing in this negligence and experiencing something disastrous down the road. My attention to detail, the seriousness with which I take handling a firearm, strictly adhering to the standard rules of firearm safety as well as working to develop personal ones, and my sense of responsibility have all been extremely heightened, and I am going to ensure that it STAYS THAT WAY from now on. I have come to realize though, that if my negligence had resulted in the loss of a life, the 'I'm only human' argument would not have cut it. The responsibility is mine for the gun in my hand, and while it is true, and mistakes do happen, that doesn't seem to fit with the seriousness with which I now must take the handling of my firearms.

I also respectfully disagree that simply shooting more often increases your risk of ND. Wouldn't shooting more reinforce your habits of safety, as it makes your safe habits 'part of your DNA' as others have described?

Chuck, thanks for your concern, I think my 'mental is stable.' =) My wife was verrrrry upset at first, but now mainly just thankful that everyone's OK. Thankfully, she agrees with my new safety precautions, and isn't going to make me sell my precious 82 or any other of my guns.

MachIVshooter
June 4, 2011, 02:06 PM
My #1 safety rule is finger outside the triggerguard. If I do put my finger in there for any reason, I make darn sure beforehand that the weapon is in the state that I want it in, and that the gun is pointed where it needs to be pointed. IE all other safety steps complete, then finger goes in trigger guard.

I'll respecfully critique your approach here. 2 of my 3 unintentional discharges occured without touching the trigger.

Rule # 1 and by far the most important is POINT IT IN A SAFE DIRECTION!

If you havent had a ND yet.....its only because you havent been around firearms long enough....
Allow me to disagree. Among aircraft pilots, there's a "belly landing" club - the guys who forgot to lower the landing gear before touchdown. And for them, this is the equivalent of a ND. Listen to these clowns talk, and they always say, "sooner or later, it will happen to you."

See above. While not necessarily an ND, unintentional discharges will almost certainly happen to someone who is around guns long enough/often enough, just as a pilot who flies enough for long enough is more likely to land a plane with malfunctioning landing gear. Of course, planes are inspectd and maintenanced much more frequently than any privately owned firearm, so the odds of that equipment failure are inherently lower. Nonetheless, my point remains.

mrbro
June 4, 2011, 05:01 PM
there should be no conventional wisdom such that negligent discharges are some kind of badge of honor - no, they are a mark of shame.

+10000

Loosedhorse
June 4, 2011, 05:13 PM
I've also decided that there isn't really a good reason for me to dry fire the gun.Your call, of course. But dry fire teaches you things that live fire cannot.
I also respectfully disagree that simply shooting more often increases your risk of ND. Wouldn't shooting more reinforce your habits of safetyIt is often said that "Practice makes perfect." That is wrong, IMHO. Perfect practice makes perfect.

You can check the statistics on this, but if something has a 1 in a million chance of happening, and you give it a million chances to happen, it has about a 63% chance of happening. So if you're planning on handling the gun a million times, your techniques have got to allow less than a 1 in a million chance of negligent discharge. Preferably, a lot less.

thefamcnaj
June 4, 2011, 05:33 PM
I had a situation sort of like this at the gun range with my wife. I had taken a few glocks to the range for a fun little outing. My wife doesnt care to much for semi auto's. I had loaded up four of my Glocks and put them in their cases on the bed of the truck. My wife ask if she could driy fire the g19, I told her yes but let me "saftey check it first. I racked the slide and ejected the bullet from the chamber. But stupid me I didn't drop the mag so it just chambered another round. I handed her the gun and said, "now its safe, point it down range and dry fire it." She pulls the trigger, BANG. That was the loudest gun shot I've ever heard. Its scared the life out of both of us. I felt bad because she trust me to do the right things and keep her safe, and I failed her.
Now I'm even more saftey conscienc than I've ever been. I'll saftey check a weapon numerous times (ocd now i think) before I feel comfortable. You made a mistake buddy just like me and alot of other human beings. All you can do is learn from it and know that your were a safe firearm handler before this accident happend and you will be still now that its over. Than God everyone was unscaved in your accident as well as mine.

SharpsDressedMan
June 4, 2011, 05:35 PM
"Let he who is perfect cast the first stone (lecture)." It won't be me. :)

MikeNice
June 4, 2011, 11:06 PM
I had an old man tell me one time, "there are two types of shooters, the ones that have had an accidental discharge and the ones that are going too."

People make mistakes. I know a guy that qualifies as a "master" every quarter. He is also a range master for a police department shooting range. He is a hard case for gun safety. Even he has had an AD/ND.

He heard a banging on his front stoop. He went to investigate. He threw open the door and a black bear slammed in to the storm door. He jumped back and fired his service weapon through the couch. It went through the couch, through the floor and ended up in the barell of the dryer, in the basement.

His wife was washing clothes and he only missed her by about 8 inches. An incident like that is scary, but it makes us take the weapon that much more serious.

Weevil
June 4, 2011, 11:31 PM
Hey at least you're honest and admit you caused the whole thing.


A lot of people try to blame it on the gun and use that most famous of all lies when an ND happens.


"Gee I dunno what happened it just went off".

pa4445
June 5, 2011, 01:48 AM
I have had several scary things happen in my time, but I think the most important rule is keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

Redundancy in the safety rules has probably saved many lives.

rwilson37643
June 5, 2011, 01:50 AM
several years ago I was preparing to clean my Glock 19. After clearing the weapon I left it on the coffee table while I attended to another more immeadiate concern( I had to go to the bathroom). when I returned I immeadiately removed the slide. pulling the trigger is required, the bullet that had been placed in the chamber by my father passed through 3 walls before lodging in the furnace.

I dealt with this by becomeing an NRA instructor. I was safe and as a former Marine knew how to safely handle a firearm but teaching keeps meon my toes.I also made a neclace out of the spent casing and wore it for about 8 years as a reminder. now it is used as a zipper fob on my range bag.

Ben86
June 5, 2011, 06:24 AM
several years ago I was preparing to clean my Glock 19. After clearing the weapon I left it on the coffee table while I attended to another more immeadiate concern( I had to go to the bathroom). when I returned I immeadiately removed the slide. pulling the trigger is required, the bullet that had been placed in the chamber by my father passed through 3 walls before lodging in the furnace.

This is why I practice an "out of sight rule." If the gun is out of my sight for any length of time, even if I just checked it, I re-clear it. You just never know.

1911Tuner
June 5, 2011, 11:25 AM
There's a saying among pilots.

"Any landing that you can walk away from is a good landing."

An unintentional discharge is a little like that. As long as nobody got hurt and nobody died...turn it into a positive thing, and let it be a reminder to remain focused on the task at hand.

Loosedhorse
June 5, 2011, 06:21 PM
There's a saying among pilots.There's another saying: There are old pilots, there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.

My advice: get timid. I wasn't born a coward, but I've been working hard at it ever since. :D

22-rimfire
June 5, 2011, 06:29 PM
You make amends. You address and fix the cause of your "mistake" and you move on never to do anything like this again. End of story...

Ignition Override
June 5, 2011, 09:13 PM
Very glad to read that nobody was hit.
It happened at a gun show in Bloomington, IL a few months ago, but sadly lots of people were around.

Maybe the Mini 14 rifle was brought in the night before by the seller; there was no info on this.

A visitor at the table either did not check the chamber, or the magazine(?), and when his finger pulled the trigger the .223 round caused fairly minor wounds to two other visitors but seriously injured a third bystander.

I always thought that at least two/three people checked each chamber at gun shows.
Over a week ago I carried my Yugo Mauser into a very small gun show at a Memphis Flea Market.

Despite paying the entrance fee, nobody sent me to the table by the regular entrance, to put on a plastic strap, and I'm the only person who ever checked it: once when leaving home and the second time when pulling it from the car trunk at the Flea Market.

SharpsDressedMan
June 5, 2011, 09:16 PM
I just heard a rumor that a guy shot himself in the hand at the Indy gun show this weekend. Anyone there to verify?

Ryanxia
June 5, 2011, 09:20 PM
One night I was speaking with an older man (in his 90's) and he was talking about a pistol he had. I said I'd like to see it sometime and he removed it from his pocket and handed it to me cocked, loaded, with no safety or trigger guard (NAA PUG-T .22 Magnum). I carefully made it safe and looked at it and said I liked it.

I told him with all due respect he was being extremely unsafe.

Later that night he had an Accidental Discharge and it went through the kitchen window into the neighbor's wall, no one was hurt thankfully. His wife yelled at him and said 'Ryan liked that gun, you're giving it to him tomorrow!' :) I paid him a fair (actually over) price for it and was a happy camper. We all make mistakes.

Reasoned1
June 5, 2011, 09:20 PM
I, too, made a mistake that I won't detail (no one was injured). It made me realize that my brain WILL make a mistake if I rely on memory. Instead, I must follow the strictest protocol that GUARANTEES no mistake can EVER happen. I suspect this is true for everybody.

GLOOB
June 5, 2011, 09:32 PM
The problem with the 4 universal gun rules is they don't apply to dry-firing. Here are my own personal additional rules I came up with after having a couple close calls with my first gun... as in about to dry-fire a loaded gun and barely catching myself at the last second.

5. When dry-firing in the home, visually check that the chamber is empty.
6. Dry-fire in a safe direction.
7. If gun ever leaves shooting grip, it must be chamber-checked again each time you pick it up.

and most importantly:
8. If you choose to dry-fire guns in the home, you must NEVER again intentionally take a shooting grip on a loaded firearm in your home, except to immediately unload it or if you actually need it for self defense.

Ryanxia
June 5, 2011, 11:34 PM
I have two additional rules that I personally observe and have never (as of yet) had an AD.

#1 Anytime a gun leaves my grip I check it again. Even if I've already checked it 20 times.

#2 When dry firing, go outside and point in safe direction.


I'm not saying these are new but I do them (pain in the @$$) just to be safe. I find that it's people like us who are familiar with firearms that tend to cause ADs because we're so used to being on top of things it's automatic.
It helps that I have OCD :D

GLOOB
June 6, 2011, 02:57 AM
^^ your rule #1 isn't enough. If you pick up a loaded gun when you don't intend to dry-fire, you'll check it and say, yup. It's loaded. Then you might get distracted and have a loaded gun in your hand - and FORGET. And if you have a habit of dry-firing in your home, this is a bad situation. This is why I have rule #8. Simple, yeah. But when I got my first gun, it wasn't so obvious. I had a couple close calls.

MachIVshooter
June 6, 2011, 03:09 AM
There's a saying among pilots.

"Any landing that you can walk away from is a good landing."

"And a great landing allows the plane to be used again"

I have always liked some of those

22-rimfire
June 6, 2011, 07:30 AM
Before dry firing always check if a gun is loaded... period. Don't rely on your memory or what you should have done the last time you handled the weapon. It pays to be a little uncomfortable dry firing a weapon.

Loosedhorse
June 6, 2011, 09:58 AM
The problem with the 4 universal gun rules is they don't apply to dry-firing.Why not?

As I said, when I dry-fire I use a backstop that can absorb the baddest bullet that the gun can deliver. So the only thing I'm doing differently than live fire is I don't have hearing protection.

Massad Ayoob is obsessive about dry fire. He has a bunch of dry-fire rules that make a lot of sense, including announcing you're about to start dry fire, excluding other people from that room while you're doing it (unless you're both doing it), no interruptions, etc. I don't see them compiled on the internet anywhere.

But Cornered Cat (http://corneredcat.com/Practice/dryfire.aspx) has most of the same rules, and a few of her own I think. I use them; as she explains, they allow you to dry-fire while obeying the 4 Rules.

merlinfire
June 6, 2011, 02:12 PM
I have thankfully not had an ND yet, but the possibility is always there in the back of my mind.

I need to make a special effort to make sure my wife never messes with my guns.

GLOOB
June 6, 2011, 03:15 PM
The problem with the 4 universal gun rules is they don't apply to dry-firing.
Why not?
I agree they still apply. What I mean to say is they're not enough.
1. Every gun is loaded.

You're essentially throwing the first rule out the window when you decide it's ok to dry-fire in a place where a gunshot is not acceptable. If you make a habit of treating an unloaded gun as if it's unloaded, then you open up the possibility of accidentally, one time in a million, treating a loaded gun as if it's unloaded. You can no longer safely handle a loaded gun in the same setting, because you are not following all 4 rules, anymore. You can't follow rule 1 when the gun is loaded and ignore it when the gun isn't loaded. That completely defeats the purpose.

Since you are now completely ignoring rule 1 in your dry-fire room, you should make your best effort to keep any firearm unloaded when in that room.

Sure, as long as you adhere to the other three, it's just a backstop at stake. But that's still something to be avoided for sake of your hearing, legal reasons, and clean underwear. Not to mention possibility of eviction, if you're a renter.

ny32182
June 6, 2011, 06:17 PM
Mathematics tells us that in any given system, given enough time/chances, every possible outcome WILL eventually happen. Therefore anyone claiming they COULD never have an AD is claiming they are perfect. I don't think anyone would do that.

However that is obviously no excuse for bad gun handling. I dry fire all the time because I think it is the second best practice there is, and it is available and free.

I check the gun every time before I start, and not just with some automatic motions I've done a thousand times; I make the actual effort to really concentrate on what I'm looking at when I clear the gun. I want to see an empty chamber, and light through the magwell. I'll take liberal application of some actual common sense and real attention to detail over ability to recite four rules any day of the week. Its all about making YOUR system good enough to avoid mistakes. My walls have no holes in them and I intend to keep it that way.

aka108
June 6, 2011, 06:34 PM
You learned a good lesson thru actual experience which is the best teacher. You are most likely a safer person in the handling of a firearm than someone who has never experienced a AD. Be thankful that no one was harmed by the incident. I had that experience one time. Fortunately it was a 22 handgun that was pointed at the floor. Guy I worked with had a 44 mag SA revolver he dropped. Hammer struck on the top of his dresser and the gun fired. Bullet when up thru his armpit. Arm was saved but it withered up into a dried out looking little thing. Anyhow, no matter how many times you've checked your weapon, alway treat it just like it's loaded.

Loosedhorse
June 6, 2011, 09:32 PM
Mathematics tells us that in any given system, given enough time/chances, every possible outcome WILL eventually happenYou must use a different brand of mathematics.

Given an infinite number chances, even the lowest-probability event will occur. As it turns out, most of us will not get an infinite number of events. So, we just have to turn the probability down enough to get through our allotted finite chances.

NDs do not happen when we are "due for one." They happen when we are not careful enough--when we let them happen.

Yes, I'm in "the club." But I won't have another. Has nothing to do with being perfect, just with being careful enough. I changed my practices a little, and my attitude entirely--and I can hardly believe how I used to handle guns. As I said, being "a very decent picture of firearm safety" isn't close to good enough.

Dreamcast270mhz
June 6, 2011, 09:43 PM
There IS such a thing as accidental, such as you drop open bolt gun on floor and it fires. Happened in WWII all the time. Negligent results from user error, accidental is, well accidental

ny32182
June 6, 2011, 09:50 PM
You must use a different brand of mathematics.

Given an infinite number chances, even the lowest-probability event will occur.

I'm pretty sure you just said exactly the same thing I did.

Yukonstorm
June 7, 2011, 12:22 AM
Carelessness has nothing to do with an accident. be thankful you didn't harm, or kill anyone. You broke every rule in the book, and you want to recover, would a dead person recover from your carelessness.Get realistic, go get some quality training before you think of handling a firearm again.

Loosedhorse
June 7, 2011, 10:39 AM
I'm pretty sure you just said exactly the same thing I did.Then I misinterpreted you. I thought you were implying that NDs should be considered inevitable, even with the best safety precautions, because "nobody's perfect." I believe strongly that they are NOT inevitable.

If my sensitivity on that point caused me to misunderstand you, then I appreciate your setting me straight.

45_auto
June 8, 2011, 09:17 AM
I believe strongly that they are NOT inevitable.

Which is exactly why you've already had one and will have a good chance of having another.

You believe that you have done everything possible and it can't happen to you. Unfortunately, the real world is anxious to prove you wrong.

My philosphy is that an ND is always just about to happen to me, I believe it's inevitable. So I'm always aware of basic safety rules and do everything I can to prevent it. Been shooting over 40 years and it hasn't happened so far, but I'm sure it will the very next time I touch a gun .....

Ole Coot
June 9, 2011, 10:30 AM
I guess you check, recheck and check again. After around 60yrs of having guns I was going to dry fire to check myself balancing the coin across the sight. I had dropped the mag and thought I had checked but I knew it wouldn't hurt to check again. Racked it and a 40 S&W popped out. Get over it and recheck every time. I did.

Hocka Louis
June 9, 2011, 10:26 PM
Thanks so much for sharing this. Truly.

The things that go thru your head in something like this are awful. The worst case scenario goes thru your head and you break out into a sweat. Over and over again. For some time. But time heals all wounds. And maybe your sharing is part of your catharsis. I know as I've had a few AD's. You learn, well, and move on as soon as you can.

dmazur
June 9, 2011, 10:49 PM
I do a lot of dry-firing. No ND's (yet).

I like to unload the gun I plan to dry-fire and put the magazine in another room, such as on a kitchen counter when I'm in the living room.

Then the procedure is to get up and walk to that room and insert the magazine before the gun goes back in the safe.

I still check the chamber every time I pick it up before beginning a "session", which can last a few minutes at a time.

So far the magazine hasn't been able to transport itself from the kitchen... :)

ObsidianOne
June 9, 2011, 11:14 PM
No, it wasn't a "mistake". It was negligence.

Trying to relieve someone of the personal responsibility of an incident that could have resulted in a fatality doesn't do anyone any good.

You became complacent and as a result a negligent discharge occurred that could have injured or killed someone.

Take it as seriously as it was. Amend your behavior based on this failure. Put controls in place to prevent this recurring.

Either never practice dry firing ever again OR put some other controls in place so that a negligent discharge won't ever occur again or that it won't go where you don't want it to go.

You can get a 5 gallon bucket of sand and only dry fire into it. This will prevent a negligent discharge from ever escaping the house.

You and follow a protocol of sticking your little finger into the chamber as well as visually checking it before dry firing without a magazine.

By taking personal responsibility for the incident and then establishing controls to prevent it from happening you can "move on".
When you crash your car into another car because you were texting, is it a car accident or a car negligence?
He didn't mean to, thus it's an accident. I'm not saying there wasn't some negligence involved, however, I don't think he should be scared of his own firearms to the point that he is over thinking everything and thus making another mistake.
I agree that arrogance breeds contempt, but it's better to just keep oneself aware, rather than paranoid.

I think you're being just a tad bit harsh.

Bucket of sand is a good idea, and so is using your finger, though I like my odds using a plastic Bic pen :)

wrs840
June 9, 2011, 11:18 PM
When you crash your car into another car because you were texting, is it a car accident or a car negligence?

Negligence. Almost everything labeled an "accident" is a predictable event that is the direct result of someone screwing-up.

It's not harsh to ask people to try hard to not screw-up. I ask this of myself constantly.

mr.trooper
June 9, 2011, 11:33 PM
This is why you just DON'T mess with guns when you're not using them or cleaning them.

You said yourself that you had 'tested' the trigger many times due to some perceived inconsistency. WHY? What purpose did that serve? It obviously didn't do anything for you, or your wouldn't have needed to keep doing it.

Here is how I would get over it - this worked for a relative of mine who had a similar ND - STOP handling guns when they are not necessary. If you carry, then you put it in your pocket/holster when you get dressed in the AM, and leave it alone until you set it on the dresser at night. Leave the gun alone until the next AM. If you feel the need to have a gun close by when you're home, then keep it secured in a holster, no handling necessary.

al123
June 9, 2011, 11:41 PM
I was at the range with a rented SA/DA revolver when after aiming at the shooting target, I pulled the hammer back to SA. After pressing the trigger ever so slightly, the weapon fired unexpectedly. It hit close to where I was aiming, but I was startled. The trigger was much more sensitive than other SAs I've shot.

For me if I discharge a firearm in a way that I didn't expect, I need to review carefully what I'm doing regardless if something went badly awry. I've always treated setting a revolver to SA as the same as pulling the trigger. What I learned from this, is with an unfamiliar firearm to be especially vigilant and do not make assumptions.

Loosedhorse
June 10, 2011, 09:22 AM
Which is exactly why you've already had one and will have a good chance of having another.You have no idea what you are talking about, because you are talking about me. Someone you don't know.

But I guess we all appreciate your revealing yourself as willing to comment about someone about whom you are ignorant.You believe that you have done everything possible and it can't happen to you.Wrong again.Unfortunately, the real world is anxious to prove you wrong.
Bring it on.I believe it's inevitableI hope you're wrong, but enjoy it when it happens. And your 40 year experience has almost proved you wrong--they are preventable after all, aren't they? :D

Kilgor
June 10, 2011, 12:37 PM
The same way you'd get over a non-fatality auto accident. Just be more careful from now on and say thank you to the man upstairs.

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