Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How common are Range Accidents

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Regen, Mar 28, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Regen

    Regen Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Virginia
    I remember seeing a show on Discovery or one of those channels a number of years ago about a poorly designed range that allowed a bullet to escape the trap and come back at the firing line killing someone.:eek:

    How often nationally are there accidents at ranges? How often are they fatal? I had heard that there has not been any accidents at a range in the USA in many years, is this true?
     
  2. Mikee Loxxer

    Mikee Loxxer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    781
    Location:
    Lincoln NE
    A machinegunner I converse with mentioned that there have been accidents and some fatalities at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, though I have never seen any corroborating information. I would imagine such a place would be ripe with ricochets.
     
  3. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    22,359
    i know of lots of incidents, but i'm not aware of any published statistics, and i'd say proportionally, they're probably in the single-digits per 100,000.
     
  4. waynedm

    waynedm member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    Messages:
    408
    The range I worked at had a few oopsies, maybe 3 in a ten year span. None of the accidents injured anybody. There were a few suicides though. People would come in and rent a gun and go make a mess of themselves.
     
  5. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    2,095
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    IIRC, the last fatality at Knob Creek was a young girl firing some kind of tripod mounted MG. The recoil pushed it over on her and she died of blunt force trauma. :(

    "Firearm related" but not in the way we usualy would think of it.
     
  6. Amish_Bill

    Amish_Bill Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Messages:
    1,543
    Location:
    atl ga
    The only thing that I've seen happen is splatter from close-up steel targets. I've seen this two times. Once gave me a sting on the ankle, the other required my friend to pull the fragment from his hand with tweezers. Neither were particularly damaging.
     
  7. rhubarb

    rhubarb Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    765
    Location:
    South Texas
    The range at which I am a member has been open some 80 years. They say there has never been a shooting injury or death.
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,751
    Thank heaven there are so few accidents. The antis are just hovering like vultures hoping for dead bodies so they can pass legislation to ban all ranges. The idea is that if there is no place to shoot, no one can use a gun, so guns can be banned.

    We all need to keep alert to any danger on a range, to not be a danger ourselves, and to alert the range officials to anyone else who appears to be a danger to himself/herself or others.

    Jim
     
  9. bogie

    bogie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    9,569
    Location:
    St. Louis, in the Don't Show Me state
    Knob Creek:

    gun-related: A guy insisted that the minigun folks allow his young daughter to fire the thing. They eventually relented. It was not bagged in well enough, and she couldn't control it, and it got away. It was out of ammo, but still spinning when it hit her.

    other: A coupla bubbas decided that things were going to be pretty cold, so they fired up a space heater in an unventilated trailer, and woke up blue.

    last fall (non-fatal):

    A 20mm shooter ignored some headspace issues, and continued firing. His gun has a head sep, and blows out the magazine, sending shrapnel into his lower body. He can still reproduce.

    Bubba back at the campsite decides that he wants to add fuel to a coleman gas stove. He opens it while it was on. Mushroom cloud, and 3rd degree burns. He was drunk enough that he didn't want a dustoff - they took him anyway.

    Another bubba decides that people are moving too slowly on the road, and almost runs over some folks. A security guard (Hawk) stops him, and gets drawn on. In the scuffle, Hawk got a shoulder injury (dislocation), and the bubba got jail time.

    Last fall was REALLY weird...
     
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    48,717
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Regan,

    Think about the physics of what you think you remember from the Discovery channel show you think you recall. It is more than unlikely that a ricochet from even a steel plate would be fatal since the energy taken up in the deformation of the bullet would reduce the velocity hugely. A minor injury is a remote possiblity, but a fatal injury would be astoundingly unlikely. I'm very familiar with 2 indoor ranges locally that have been in heavy use for decades. The only fatality involved a suicide. There have never been any serious injuries from ricochets. That's hundreds of thousands of hours of use with millions of rounds fired.
     
  11. News Shooter

    News Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Moonbat Central, MA
    An indoor gun range in Worcester MA

    Was shut down a couple of weeks ago because a woman came in, rented a gun and committed suicide.
     
  12. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    19,285
    Location:
    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    Out of the tens of thousands of rounds that I have personally fired, having spent hours on ranges from one side of this country to the other, and shooting everything from single-shot pneumatic air pistols up to and including belt-fed machine guns, I have never been injured nor witnessed an injury in the manner that you're asking about.

    Ricochets have been known to happen, but I've never heard of one resulting in anything worse than a large welt.
     
  13. Regen

    Regen Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Virginia
    Discovery Show

    HSO -

    If I remember the show correctly, there was a metal plate at angle to deflect bullets into a trap. It turned out that due to an installation error the plate was at the wrong angle and caused the bullet to arc and come straight down behind the firing line kill one person. I'll try to dig up more details about it.
     
  14. migoi

    migoi Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    560
    Location:
    Hawaii
    My experience during..

    gun related activities always makes me chuckle a bit when I read anti-gun literature saying how guns are the problem.

    I've been to many events (range days, training classes, campouts, hunting and fishing days, shooting sports fairs, gun shows) where guns were in abundant supply and participants at time could only be described as very well armed. At none of these have I ever seen levels of rudeness or violence that anywhere near approached the level found at the typical industrial league softball game.

    The level of injuries at gun related events seems to be much lower also. I've seen more ambulances called during one season of my daughter wrestling in high school than I have at all the gun related events I've ever participated in or attended.

    Go figure...

    migoi
     
  15. MikeH

    MikeH Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Messages:
    571
    Location:
    MoCo, MD
    It's possible that, statistically speaking, we're more likely to be involved in a car accident getting to the range and back than being shot.
     
  16. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,699
    I asked the same question before joining my indoor range and was told, most injuries were minor, hot shell case burning neck, eye, etc... I also asked how often someone gets killed they said, "about one per year, and most are not members, it's the man/woman who doesn't own a gun who comes in for their first time who they worry about." Gun owners apparently, rarely go to the range to off themselves. Most gun owners die of: old age or disease not fatal gunshots.

    More injuries occur in the home, or through physical activity than at a gun range. I have found gun owners and regular shooters more safety oriented than non-gun owners shooters. IMHO.
     
  17. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,672
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    A friends father was in town and wanted to shoot. We brought a few pistols to a indoor range. The FIRST round his father shot bounced off the target holder, split his lip, and chipped a tooth. It was the first, and last time, I have heard to this.
     
  18. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    Allentown, PA
    I had one....

    Had a C96 go off out of battery on me- (after lots of $$# spent on making it safe to shoot!) - spent the day getting the casing dug out of my scalp.
    Another range a mile away had 2 guys shooting a Walther PP that one had bubba-smithed. He loaded it and propped it on the shooting bench when they went downrange to change targets. It fell over- score: PPK 1 1/2, Bubbas 0.
    Range is now closed.
    Incredible how often simple common sense range practices are violated.
     
  19. Mikee Loxxer

    Mikee Loxxer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    781
    Location:
    Lincoln NE
    There was an instance covered on a TV show ( Discovery Channel?) where a pistol bullet was either reflected over a berm or was shot over the berm and skipped along a ceiling between two different shooting areas. After freakishly skipping along this ceiling its trajectory became downward and entered a different shooting area striking an individual sitting in a chair (who was not shooting at the time).

    Is this the show you guys are thinking of?
     
  20. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    5,356
    Location:
    Oregon
    There was a similar thread here IIRC and somebody cited sources that showed you are much more likely to get killed/injured in ANY other sport (including golf) than shooting.
     
  21. heypete

    heypete Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    The range near my old house in California (Coyote Point Rifle and Pistol Club -- fun place!) has been in existence since the 1950s or 1960s, and never had an accident when open to the public. Not sure when they're open only to the police.

    I believe some people complained that rounds were getting out of the range, but due to the construction of large overhead barriers at the 30, 60, and 90 yard line, as well as an overhang over the berm, that's not really possible. With police approval, the range staff tested these claims and tried to get rounds out of the range (beyond the berm is a dense wooded area and then the San Francisco Bay) and failed. Turns out the rounds that got "out" were unfired cartridges dropped on the beach. Not sure the story behind it, but that's always fun. (At least that's what some of the older guys who work at the range told me -- I was an RSO, but only joined up about two years ago.)
     
  22. Guido2006

    Guido2006 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    SC
    Its sad, though interesting, that there seems to be a prevalence of suicides with rental guns.

    I remember being confused about the policy of places not renting to individual people until I heard about this. I guess they figure you are less likely to "make a mess" if you are there with a friend.

    I can only hope that the ranges weren't held liable, although I sure there were plenty of attempts and probably successes to sue them.
     
  23. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    3,345
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Think Mikee's got the show right. I saw that too, years ago. The bullet didn't do a 180 - it went over/through the berm and into the roof of the indoor shooting range (I believe it was). Something in the roof deflected the bullet enough to send it down and into the kid's head. Once in a blue moon kind of happenstance.

    I expect that suicides far outnumber any other gun range fatalities. As for accidents in general - ROs generally know Cooper's Four Rules, and generally enforce 'em. I think that codifying those rules probably cut accidents more than anything else.
     
  24. cmidkiff

    cmidkiff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    619
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I have personally seen:

    a .45 slug rebound off of a bowling pin at ~15 feet and hit a guy in the belly... left a welt.

    Shrapnel from a 9mm FMJ hit a lady in the neck, it was sharp enough to barely penetrate the skin... required a band aid.

    A titanium fin from a muzzle brake on a custom .50BMG broke loose and shot back into a guy's chest. Welt, sore ribs, and what looked like a paper cut approx. 2" long.

    That's it... and I've seen a good many rounds go downrange. Probably statistically safer than dancing ballet.
     
  25. Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,486
    How come every time there's a real accident, the range closes!:scrutiny:

    What's up with that?

    Or a suicide, now the range is closed! WHAT!?:confused:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page