Has Anyone Actually Seen A Gun "Go Off" By Itself?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by vtail, Jun 2, 2013.

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  1. claiborne

    claiborne Member

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    20 years ago I did a trigger job on an SKS. With the safety off, pulling the trigger, that rifle would not fire a round. But put the safety on and bounce the butt on the ground, it would empty the magazine in the blink of an eye.
    My gunsmithing skills have improved since then.
    Another time I had an old and well used Mossberg 500 12g. My buddy and I were walking through the tullies with our dogs looking for pheasants. I was holding the butt in my right hand with the barrel over my shoulder, chambered and safety on. Next thing I know shotgun goes off next to my ear and right over my buddies head. Thousands of rounds finally wore that thing out. And my buddy pitched in to help me buy a new shotgun since he refused to go chase birds unitil I had a new one.
    I have yet to see a firearm that has not been monkey'd with or worn out fire on its own.
     
  2. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I have some beach front property right here in central Arkansas for sale if any one is interested.
     
  3. Chuck53

    Chuck53 Member

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    I've had it happen, sort of

    I was pond jumping some ducks with a buddy once using a semi-auto Frachi 12 gauge. We snuck along and when we jumped up so did the birds and we started shooting, the first shot went of fine but when I pulled the trigger for the second it didn't go off, I pulled it again and when it didn't go off again I turned it on its side to make sure the bolt had closed (the barrel pointed in a safe direction still mind you) and as I did, with no finger on the trigger it went off. Scared the bejeezus out of me! So...it wasn't just sitting there untouched but it did go off on its own. I have always been overly cautious I thought but that did make me realize that barrel direction and being aware of your surroundings is NEVER something to take lightly with a firearm, EVER!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  4. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Note the Sheriff doesn't say it did malfunction.

    There is really very little information in the article on which I could draw any conclusions other than that someone was shot and died. They don't mention the type of gun. They don't mention who the witness was who verified that no one was handling the gun when it "went off" or if there was a witness or anyone else in the room.

    If the gun was examined by a competent gunsmith and found to be defective the article doesn't mention that this happened.

    If the gun was sitting on the table and "just went off" at the moment that the sister bent over to pick something up, there will be powder burns on the table that back that version up.

    So I don't know in this case.

    No gun just "goes of by itself". They only go off due to human intervention, mechanical breakdown, or dirt that impedes proper functioning.

    tipoc
     
  5. SDC

    SDC Member

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    Not without someone manipulating it in some way (banging, dropping, cycling the action, etc.) I once had a cheap Eastfield pump-action shotgun that (unbeknownst to me) had a broken firing pin, and while I was pumping some shells out of the tube, a loop of the firing-pin spring jammed the firing pin in its forward position. On the next round, BAM! Scary as hell, and an effective reminder to exercise muzzle control ALL of the time.
     
  6. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Random Guy

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    I have seen it

    I used to have a "ducks foot" black powder pistol. It had 3 barrels that all fired with the pull of the trigger. I was a teenager and almost never cleaned it. A time or two I fired it, sat it down, and then it fired again. One of those times it was probably over a minute later, I was walking away from it about to go inside when it fired. A slightly delayed fire wasn't to terribly uncommon, I would always hold it pointed in a safe direction for a few seconds after it fired.




    Now with all that said, I have never met a person that hasn't told a lie, and I have met several sheriffs. I do not believe what he said happened is what did happen. He is likely either willfully ignorant or a liar, I would be willing match any bet that is wrong.




    I blame all typos on iPhone's auto correct.
     
  7. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I sure have. I see it at least once a day with news organizations saying "it just went off" or "accidentally fired." So this story makes my daily quota.

    Now personally, have I ever actually seen a firearm shoot by itself? Only on belt fired weapons doing what is called "runaway gun." Other than that, no.
     
  8. Texshooter

    Texshooter Member

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    Not sure what the OP's definition is of "going off by itself."

    But I was at the ACC basketball tourney several years ago. An off duty LEO, as a spectator, was sitting in the stands and started to "shift" around when his concealed Glock discharged. Obviously the trigger was caught on part of the holster, but his finger did not release the trigger.

    I had a SIG P220 that fell out of a defective shoulder holster (the pistol was in DA mode) and when it hit the floor it discharged.

    In both cases there was "movement" involved, but no human digits pulled the triggers.

    SAFE means absence of risk. There is no such animal as no risk.
     
  9. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Me personally, no. Never experienced such a thing.

    I did read an interesting account once though. Seems this guy was duck hunting, it was raining/sleeting, then got cold enough to freeze. A shot at a duck came up, and he tried to fire his shotgun, but it was soaking wet through and through and had frozen up completely solid. So the firing pin didn't release and the gun wouldn't fire. Action frozen too. Later on, either in the vehicle/cabin/home, don't remember where....the gun thawed out enough that the firing pin finally released and BOOM! I can't remember where I read this story, was a long time ago.
     
  10. GrOuNd_ZeRo

    GrOuNd_ZeRo Member

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    Remind me not to buy a glock :p J/K

    I had a certain inexpensive striker-fired pistol that went off with cheap wolf ammo, i'm not excluding that I COULD'VE pulled the trigger but I wouldn't be suprised if it didn't need that.

    The firing pin aparently doubles as an ejecter on that particular firearm and I was racking the slide to test function...bad mistake...esspecially with wolf ammo...learned my lesson either way.
     
  11. gym

    gym member

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    When dealing with machines, anything is possible. Although I have never seen it happen, I am sure it is possible. Metal rubbing against metal can cause a delay in a spring or perhaps moist powder or an otherwise compromised or broken part, stuff happens. It's like brakes failing on a car, it happens every so often unless you really keep up with maintenence and sometimes it can happen anyway.
    That's why we follow the 4 rules.
     
  12. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    "Cook-off" with a flintlock.....
     
  13. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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  14. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    When I attended my first training session many years ago, the instructor made several examples, and in the end, his first question when a firearm discharges is "what dummy's finger was on the trigger?"

    In all the years since then, I ask the same question. Although most find it a very uncomfortable approach, it seems to get to the root cause pretty quickly..... :)
     
  15. Life During Wartime

    Life During Wartime Member

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    Never seen it in anywhere but in Hollywood. That said, my grandfather was a police officer and for awhile some of the undercovers were using 1911's concealed carried on them. They stopped because they had an interesting habit of shooting their butts off. This was way before I was even alive so I don't know on specifics, but my thought is that they had the hammer forward on a live chamber and when they sat down the hammer would push? idk just thought Id throw that out there.
     
  16. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    The affected Remington triggers haven't been in production for some time now, and the major culprit in the guns going off has been traced to lack of proper oils and lack of maintenance. The guns go off because part of the trigger mechanism is stuck by old grease against another part, which creates the malfunction.

    It's impossible to determine what actually caused the discharge, the main clue has been a very high probability they were racking the bolt to unload the gun. Did they have their finger on the trigger in the process? No way to tell, you just take their word for it, right? Blame the gun.

    As for an old worn out gun, or one improperly modified, the higher probability exists. For a NEW gun, no, especially if they are much new designs. In fact, that's the problem, there are so many interconnects it's a wonder they go off at all.

    Take the Ruger LCP - great case to highlight the issue. Why were the first guns recalled, like mine? Because a few - less than a dozen - negligent discharges occurred, and the majority were when the gun was being handled or holstered.

    Up to you to determine was that operator neglect or a "bad" gun. I take the view that all too many citizens won't take responsibility, just like the lady who sued McDonald's for her coffee being "too hot." Well, don't pour it in your lap.

    Take a look at the guns in your security container, how many have gone off all by themselves over the months and years they were sitting there? Not as many as the guns that go off during or 60 seconds after being handled. If it's loaded, it can and will go off, that's the whole point of the rules of safety. Saying otherwise isn't a real good defense in a court of law.
     
  17. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    It is rare, and absent some external force, breakage or malfunction, all but impossible.

    But, as soon as anyone says something is impossible, the odds increase.

    September 13, 2000, Borg Imaging at 200 White Spruce Blvd., Brighton, New York. Thoroughly investigated by Sgt Benwitz, Rochester Police Department and written up in the American Journal of Roentgenology. A stock series '80 Colt .45 Semi-auto fired, with the safety on and the gun in good mechanical condition. Of course, this occurred under the influence of 1.5 testlas of magnetic flux. That might have had something to do with it.

    The story surrounding the unfortunate girl is, shall we say, incomplete. Whether the uncertainty is out of kindness or some other reason is open to question and awaits a deeper-probing investigation.

    Withholding judgement: Lost Sheep
     
  18. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I read of a guy that used to carry a Colt 1903 32 in his coat pocket. One night as he was in bed, it fired in his coat pocket as it hung on the wall. The hammer notch or sear sheared, I forget which. He reported that he stopped carrying it.

    I've seen a Browning Hi Power that fired with the safety on, tho it was dropped and hit concrete. The dent in the slide from the safety was clearly visible, a were the concrete marks from the drop.
     
  19. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I've seen several rifles double fire. I suppose that counts. They were pretty much all SKS's with firing pins that were either damaged or just so dirty they wouldn't slide back and forth like they need to do.

    I also saw a Sig P220 cook off a round after firing about 500 rounds in an hour or so. That puppy was "hot" and when I racked the slide to load a round from a fresh mag it went off about 2 seconds later. It's a good thing I was practicing safe firing procedures so the pistol wasn't pointed at my brother or me or the house across the river about a quarter of a mile away. That was the first and only time it ever did it but again, I was working it out pretty well.

    I've seen other guns that would bump fire if banged against something hard enough but I never saw one actually fire. They were mostly old revolvers where people had monkeyed with the triggers to make them super light. Having a "hair trigger" was something people picked up from Hollywood movies and too many people wanted triggers that were just too light.They essentially ruined their revolvers that way.
     
  20. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I believe that's a known recall issue.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/manufacturing/2010-10-20-remington-700-trigger-cnbc_N.htm
     
  21. Archaic Weapon

    Archaic Weapon member

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    One of my best friends had his grandpas Winchester 1897 pump out one day, and when he went to set it down, it went off.
     
  22. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    The more important question is how many Ga-zillions of times guns DON'T fire on their own.

    I've had a G23 (knock on wood) loaded continuously for many years. Same with a G35. And lots of other pistols and rifles sitting around loaded and no issues. No slamfires in the probably tens of thousands of racking rounds...

    So as a percentage - these mechanical tools have an impressive track record of perfection in my experience.
     
  23. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    Yes, that is worth remembering, though the take away for some may be "some guns are so perfect they can't fail, and if anything happens, it must be the users fault". The take away for others may be "yes, guns can be extremely safe, but bad things can possibly happen. The first may lead to poor habits, and trusting a mechanical device made by men (not gods) too much. The second, perhaps to a more sober approach to potential safety considerations, with heed to the thought that mechanical devices can indeed fail at times.
     
  24. gym

    gym member

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    My pistols are loaded and chambeded in the safe for 20 years, "in this safe", and none ever went off. I never gave it a thought as to why they would, unless someone pulled the trigger. Several times one has rolled out, or been put back after cleaning, never gave it a thought. I always figured what good are they if I need one and it's not loaded.
     
  25. gspn

    gspn Member

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    Closest I've seen is that on two occasions I had the same .22 cal target pistol fire a round immediately after I dropped the slide to chamber the first round on a new mag.

    Finger was never on the trigger...slide drops...wait a second...bang.

    Twice in the same range session.
     
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