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How do you recover?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Johnnyb8612, Jun 3, 2011.

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  1. Johnnyb8612

    Johnnyb8612 Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Ozark, MO
    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
  2. ObsidianOne

    ObsidianOne Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    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)
  3. jon86

    jon86 Member

    Feb 14, 2010
    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.
  4. kis2

    kis2 Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    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
  5. PTT

    PTT Member

    Mar 2, 2011
    Safety is more about attitude than rules. Sounds like you had an attitude-improving experience.
  6. BIGGBAY90

    BIGGBAY90 Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    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
  7. Old Shooter

    Old Shooter Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    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.
  8. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

    May 27, 2007
    Why would you choose to involve the police?
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    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".
  10. Johnnyb8612

    Johnnyb8612 Member

    Jan 7, 2011
    Ozark, MO
    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.
  11. LDNN

    LDNN Member

    Feb 26, 2011
    Houston, TX
    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.
  12. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

    Oct 18, 2008
    Brushy Mts, NC, growing feed-crops.
    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.
  13. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    IN between
    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.
  14. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    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
  15. VA27

    VA27 Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    Slovenly Manor, Dungheap-Upon-The-Hill
    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.
  16. Yukonstorm

    Yukonstorm Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    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.
  17. InkEd

    InkEd Member

    Oct 16, 2009
    Parts Unknown
    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.
  18. rhodco

    rhodco Member

    Jun 19, 2010
    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.
  19. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Hendersonville, WNC
    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.
  20. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Member

    May 19, 2008
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    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.
  21. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Aug 4, 2008
    eastern Massachusetts
    I don't want you ever to recover.

    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."
  22. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    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.
  23. TheProf

    TheProf Member

    Jul 1, 2009
    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.
  24. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    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.
  25. Geckgo

    Geckgo Member

    Dec 14, 2010
    Southern Louisiana
    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.
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