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Long guns not drop safe

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by squeaks, Dec 26, 2005.

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  1. squeaks

    squeaks Member

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    I am reading up a lot on shotguns because I want to buy either a Remington or Mossberg (Mossberg 500 Security combo) this weekend at a gun show.

    I read that long guns are not normally drop safe? This concerns me because what if you're at the range reloading and drop it while fumbling around? Another concern is when at home like propping it up in a corner for home defense use.

    Does anyone else find this disconcerting?

    Sources:
    http://www.bullseyepistol.com/safety.htm
    http://members.tripod.com/~jth8260/870.html

    Side note: I also will need to somehow adjust the stock on the gun that I buy. I held a Remington at walmart and my eye was not in great alignment with the sights. Do I really need an adjustable comb, or can I buy a stock that fits me? If I need a comb, what is a good source of basic ones?

    -Squeaks
     
  2. Taurus 66

    Taurus 66 Member

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    Sorry, I'm not a Buffalo Bill. I don't fumble around with guns at the range or anywhere else.
     
  3. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    I normally don't keep a round in the chamber in long guns inside the house (nor in vehicles either - which is illegal in most states). If you have time to grab a rifle or shotgun, you have time work the action. You can always leave the bolt (or whatever) open so that all you have to do is close it.

    Handguns are meant to be carried all the time while most rifles are not. Still the 4 rules apply regardless.
     
  4. squeaks

    squeaks Member

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    It's so easy to get torn apart around here. Your remark implies to me I am not safe in my gun handling.

    In context, I meant fumbling around as in any form of loading a shotgun. You only have one hand on the shotgun so, to me, it seems like you have no redundancy of grip.
     
  5. kudu
    • Contributing Member

    kudu Moderator Staff Member

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    If you plan on fumbling your gun, don't get one. (no disrespest intended) In the 20+ years that I have been shooting, I have dropped a gun once, more of a sacrifice, when I tripped. Even then I made sure which direction the barrel went. I have 200K+rounds shot in shotguns alone, so I am not the average weekend target shooter. I think I have seen maybe two other guns dropped on skeet and trap ranges, and never while loaded.

    As far as fit goes, I would get the gun that you like best. Take some mole skin or other material and build up where you think you need it. Or better yet get it fitted to you by a professional. As far as fitting is concerned, I would wait until you had put a few thousand round down range out of your particular platform. This may need to be in the shotgun section, or you can do a bit of search there on gun fitting.
     
  6. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    I hear you man, some times the smartass factor is a bit high around here. As for long guns for home defense (for me):

    Remmy 870 - full magazine, empty chamber.
    AR15 Carbine - Full mag + 1 chambered with the safety on.

    Not saying your concern isn't legit, but I've never heard enough about "drop safe" guns to be worried, whether a gun is loaded or not I figure it's common sense that dropping it would be a bad thing (especially loaded :eek: ).

    The guns I would consider most dangerous drop-wise, are mostly guns I would not use in home defense anyway, such as antiques or cowboy action type deals.

    There are TONS of Remington stocks out there, as well as shims and pads to make them fit right, probably same for the mossberg
     
  7. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Being drop safe isn't as high a factor in long guns as it is in pistols.

    The drop test involves dropping a pistol ON IT'S MUZZLE to test whether inertia can cause the firing pin to move forward with enough force to fire the primer.

    Very few, if any modern firearms in proper working condition will allow the hammer or striker to "jar off" if dropped from the hands.

    In order to have an AD caused by the action "jarring off" the drop would have to be from a considerable height.

    While it's easy to drop a pistol on it's muzzle, it's nearly impossible to do so with a long gun, so being "drop safe" isn't really a factor.

    While I'm sure there have been shotguns or AR-15 rifles that fired when dropped these would be truly freak accidents, or defective fire arms.
    I'm sure that over the 50 years-plus that the police have been using the 870 shotgun a good many have been dropped, but I've only heard ONE UNSUBSTANTIATED case of a AD of a dropped 870.

    In military use, I'm sure a good many M-16's have been dropped with some force.
    I've never heard a case of one firing.

    Bottom line: Drop safe really isn't a legitimate issue with most long guns.
     
  8. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Most long guns do not have all the safety devices (e.g., grip safety) that many pistols do, but they are "drop safe" unless they have been tampered with. It is one of the standard tests applied to any gun design before the gun could even reach production, and also applied by gunsmiths any time a trigger is worked on or parts replaced.

    The normal test is to cock the gun, then bang the buttstock on a solid surface at different angles. Other tests include dropping the gun on its side, and on its muzzle on a hard surface. (Manufacturers don't care about condition - they often drop the guns on concrete.)

    But all bets are off if the owner or an incompetent gunsmith alters the sear and hammer notch angles, reduces spring tension, or swaps parts for after market parts that have the wrong geometry.

    Jim
     
  9. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    Only failures I have seen is when modifying triggers. This does not only apply to bolt actions but all long guns. I have seen varmit rifles go off when the bolt was slammed hard. Hunting rifles with triggers of less than 3 LB's can go off by the weight of the trigger if hit on the butt plate. If you carry a long gun like that be careful.
    Jim
     
  10. jondar

    jondar Member

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    Yes, in Frank de Haas's book "Bolt Action Rifles, which I bought to get instructions on lightening the trigger pull on my Model 70 .220 Swift, he cautions you that after getting the trigger pull you want that you slam the bolt home (on an empty chamber, of course) several times to make sure the trigger hasn't released. .. . Don't let the "pouncers" bug you, take them for what they are, just blowhards. They put you down to inflate their own ego which could stand all the inflating possible.
     
  11. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    Don't overlook the importance of this

    A long gun with the chamber loaded should never be propped up against anything. If it leaves your hands, open the action first. They fall sometimes, and when they do, it can make for an unpleasant surprise.

    Also remember that the action on many semi-autos (like the AR15) will often unlock themselves and close when knocked to the ground. Magazines should be removed if these rifles are to be left leaning against anything.

    If you really need to walk around with a cocked, loaded gun (such as when hunting) then by all means apply the safety. It won't forgive bad gun handling but it will help protect you if you trip and fall.
     
  12. Taurus 66

    Taurus 66 Member

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    I was more or less poking fun at the Buffalo Bills (the team of western NY).

    If you're in the sitting postion while loading (safety on), one hand on the shottie with the shoulder stock resting on your thigh is good safe handling, not fumbling. If you're standing while loading (safety on), wrapping your arm around the shottie, as to give a one arm hug, ensures your fingers will be far away from the trigger. This again is not fumbling. I never made any remark about you. I only said what I don't do, and that I'm not a Buffalo Bill.

    I have never mishandled any such dangerous firearm device - ever! Now notice how you make it look like I'm a potential problem at the range and that my actions concern you. Read it again:

    Better smart ass than dumb ass. :p
     
  13. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I assume every safety mechanism except the one between my ears is always broken.
     
  14. carebear

    carebear Member

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    squeaks,

    One other thing to visualize is that on the range, even when loading, the muzzle has to be downrange, right? So if for whatever reason the weapon drops, if you don't try to catch it, it should land pointed in that same safe direction.

    Don't let this valid but statistically insignificant question bug you or keep you from investing in a long gun of your choice. Find something you shoot well and practice, practice, practice the same good gun handling you'd use with anything. Learn the manual of arms unloaded so when the weapon is live "fumbling" is a word that would never apply.

    :D

    Oh, like tallpine stated, I keep my Mossberg 500 chamber empty with a loaded magazine, just rack and go. It can fall over all it wants with an empty chamber.
     
  15. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

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    Some rifles come with safteys that block the striker and prevent it from falling. These will pass a drop test unless the safety is defective, as there is no way the striker can impact the primer. Others work on the trigger and possibly could fail but shouldn`t if in proper condition. The issue as noted above isn`t really important to most, as the rifle or shotgun won`t be dropped on it`s muzzle from any distance. The major issue with any firearm is the users practices and safe handling. Man made devices can and do fail.
     
  16. JMusic

    JMusic member

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    I should have qualified my answer better. I have not seen an AD with safety applied. I have seen a gun discharge though as soon as the safety was released. I like varmit rifles around a 1.5 lb. hunting rifles around 3. I do the slamm test with the bolt and whack the butt stock on the floor some but they can and sometimes do go off.
    Jim
     
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