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My First Slam-Fire

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BHPshooter, Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

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    Yep... had my first slam-fire on monday.

    That morning, I had one of our customers call. The conversation went something like this:
    Customer: I have a question for you. I've got a Russian Makarov pistol that I've had for a few years.
    Me: Okay.
    Customer: My buddy just got one, but his is 9x18mm.
    Me: Right, most of those are.
    Customer: Well, I want to know if mine is, because after seeing his, I'm wondering. I've been shooting .380 through mine.
    Me: :what:
    Customer: If I bring it in there, can you tell what caliber I'm supposed to shoot through it?
    Me: Sure, bring it in. :uhoh:

    About two hours later, he brings his Russian IJ-70 Makarov in, unloaded, in a plastic grocery sack.

    So I take a look at it. On the right (starboard) side of the slide, emblazoned in large text is the caliber: Cal. 9mm Makarov.
    So I say, "Yep, you've been shooting the wrong caliber." At that point, my boss and I got down a box of each. She showed him the rounds while I explained the differences.
    He was a little defensive. "Well, if it's that other caliber, how come it shoots fine with .380?"
    We talked back and forth about that for a minute, and he still wasn't convinced.
    So I said, "Okay. If your gun is a .380, then this," I said, showing him the 9x18 Mak cartridge in my hand, "won't chamber. The slide won't close all the way." I slid the cartridge into the magazine, and seated it in the pistol. I pointed the gun down and off to the slide and swiped the slide release... BANG!

    My boss screamed, and I don't think she knew it. I just stood still with a stony look on my face and took a deep breath... I knew right then what had happened. :fire: I stood there for a second, which made my boss think that I'd been shot. I looked into the breech, and that cute little nub of a firing pin was poking out, winking at me. Bingo, I was right.
    She asked me, "Are you okay?" :eek:
    "Yeah, I'm fine," I answered quietly, and then looked at the customer. "How long has it been since you've cleaned this?" :scrutiny:
    "Oh, I don't clean my automatics. I'm afraid to take them apart." :what: :banghead:
    So I take it apart--it took all of a second--and went into the back to clean the ******* firing pin and its channel. :fire:

    My other boss was back there, doing his best not to laugh.
    "Do you need to go check your drawers?" :p
    I laughed. It was nice to get some of that tension out of me. "No, I'm fine." :D That **** **** firing pin channel wasn't, though. That firing pin was gummed up tight. After about 10 minutes I was done and I went back out there.

    He looked up as I approached. "Okay, here's the deal," I said. "I got the firing pin channel cleaned up. You need to get some pipe cleaner and clean this out regularly. You at least need to clean that, and you really should clean the whole thing."
    "Well, I'm just afraid to take my automatics apart." :banghead:

    So then he started talking about the caliber again. "I can't believe this is that Russian caliber. Why doesn't it say so?"
    "Um, it does say so, right here." I pointed to the side of the gun.
    "Well how was I supposed to know what that meant? The Europeans have a different name for everything! I didn't know!" He simmered a minute, and then, "Now I'm just wondering what to do with the 400-odd rounds of .380 I've got."
    I chuckled, "Well, you could always buy a .380."
    "No," he said. He waited another minute. "Can you shoot .380 in a 9mm Luger?" :banghead:
    "NO. Completely different caliber. The .380 is a straight-wall case; the 9mm is a tapered case. Don't do it. You'll always be best off if you shoot the caliber that is written on the gun."

    He left after that, and I had one of my very rare urges to drink.
    My coworkers were all really good about it. The owner has been in the business for 20 years, and has been seriously into shooting for about 25 before that, and he has had slam-fires before. In fact, he had one in the shop, too -- an SKS with the firing pin practically rusted in place.

    We went downstairs to see if the bullet came through... it didn't. If it had, I would have killed a perfectly good pressure-washer. Afterwards, we all sat and talked for a while about NDs and ADs (I would classify this as an AD), and then we poked fun at the situation some more.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd share. Things turned out well, luckily, because I kept the gun pointed in a safe direction, and although it didn't matter, My finger was straight along the frame.

    Wes

    PS -- the next day, the coworkers poked their heads out front to say, "We're going downstairs, okay? Just wanted to let you know." :neener:
     
  2. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

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    And some pics, for your enjoyment.

    Wes
     

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  3. doubleg

    doubleg Member

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    Sounds like you had one hell of a traumatic day. :eek:
     
  4. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    Thanks for sharing!:p We all get our heads "up and locked" every now and then.:eek:
     
  5. PinnedAndRecessed

    PinnedAndRecessed member

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    Never had a slam fire but have had, in about 30 years of shooting, four accidental discharges.

    Figured I was the only one.

    thanx 4 sharing.
     
  6. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    thats definately what scares me most about guns. taking them apart. yep. definately not loosing an appendage because it malfunctions do to crud build up. or having the barrell explode because of gas pressure from grime in bad spots. id rather run that risk than have to ask how to put my gun back together. :rolleyes:

    *end sarcasm*

    i was for certain this post would be about an sks.

    good to know everyone is ok though.

    stay safe
     
  7. skinnyguy

    skinnyguy Member

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    GEEEZ Wes, I agree with your assessment of :what: :fire: :banghead: :confused: :eek: :barf:

    I believe that had I been in your place, I would have been somewhat less than High Road with my comments, and I probably would have been sarcastic enough to call him a future Darwin Award winner to his face.

    Scary stuff man!!! Glad you live by the 4 rules, someone could have been seriously hurt. I'll have to stop in and see the new floor ventilation system!!!

    Later man!!!!
    Paul
     
  8. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Yikes!!! :eek:
    Glad to hear everyone was ok and the mgmt. wasn't ticked about the floor!
    Maybe you should get an assortment of snap caps or dummy ammo for future demonstrations? Of course, then he might have found out the hard way on his own the firing pin was stuck with a worse outcome.
    I accidentally fired a 9x19 out of my Glock 23 a few months back. I keep the fire-formed .40x19 around as a reminder to be extra careful about keeping ammo separate!
     
  9. DMK

    DMK Member

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    At my job, I spilled some coffee once. It was really hot and coulda left a stain. :uhoh:

    I complain about some clueless gunshops I've been too, but you all have deal with some pretty clueless customers too and you can't just walk out shaking you head. I'm not sure I could be that patient and polite with them.

    Thank God for the 4 rules! Nobody hurt but the linoleum. :)
     
  10. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    ...

    :eek: wow! That's one for the books.. Better than a movie.

    Thanks for sharing that story, add another one for the book_of_knowledge.

    May be one also, for the use of a blank, when the customer is in doubt, and stays in doubt..


    LS
     
  11. quatin

    quatin Member

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    Does that mean if you had a full mag in there it would've went full auto on you?
     
  12. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    Does this mean your shop will invest in a Handgun Clearing Trap now?
     
  13. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

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    Yep. :what: :mad:

    A member here, BamBam I think, had a Mak slam-fire full auto and was hit in the off hand. The threads (complete with pics :eek: ) are somewhere here on THR.

    Wes
     
  14. meathammer

    meathammer Member

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    Glad everyone's okay. You probably saved that guy's life.
     
  15. American_Pit_Bull

    American_Pit_Bull Member

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    And how did the firearms accidentally discharge... :neener:

    Falling off of a shelf during an earthquake and firing pin safety failing and discharging a round?
     
  16. Hazzard

    Hazzard Member

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    Yes, unless the recoil hammered the firing pin back.

    On the subject of .380 in a mak, I had a similar experience. A buddy wanted to know if I wanted to buy his because it was so innacurate. I said I'd look at it. When he brought it out to me with a box of ammo, I saw what the problem was immediately. He was firing .380s in it. The gun shop where he bought it had sold them to him saying that "they will work just fine"!

    I did buy it from him as there was no convincing him about the wrong ammo. I bought it for $35.00. With the proper ammo it was very accurate and I gave it to my dad for his birthday. Alls well that ends well.
     
  17. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    A good reason to always maintain muzzle discipline.

    I had a slam fire once in a well maintained SKS. The culprit was a poorly seated primer.
     
  18. AFhack

    AFhack Member

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    I still don't get why the heck you were chambering a live round inside a gun store in a weapon you don't own/maintain!!!!!!!


    If I were the owner you wouldn't be working there anymore.
     
  19. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    Thanks for sharing that, the story was well conveyed. I'm also thankful that nobody got hurt.


    As an SKS owner I always have the slam-fire thing in the back of my mind. I've wondered from time to time what that would be like. I guess I am worried about dropping the weapon if it happens, which I consider "worst case scenario". I hope I don't ever have to find out.
     
  20. deanf

    deanf Member

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    So did you charge him for the bullet? You know, like the red chinese do.
     
  21. doubleg

    doubleg Member

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    So if a gun was to be modified to keep the firing pin extended while the trigger is pulled it would override all the trigger resets in result making the weapon a full auto? Just curious. Way too dangerous and illegal to try.
     
  22. Hazzard

    Hazzard Member

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    Doubleleg:
    The problem is that releasing the trigger has no effect in this case as the firing pin will contact the primer each time the pistol chambers a round. It is not associated with the trigger group at all. It will continue to fire if there is ammo in the mag. Very dangerous scenario.
     
  23. GRB

    GRB member

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    There are at least two instances in this story that show the 4 rules are inadequate, and we should go back to the firearms safety rules of yesteryear. Had such be adhered to, then at least two screwups in this story would have been avoided.

    One of the olden rules that was obviously not followed was to:

    The other is to:

    Then there is another that, while not completely overlooked, could have been carried out in a safer manner, especially considering this was a gun shop. That would be one of the so called 4 rules: 'Always point the gun in a safe direction', or how is it said nowadays to be cool - I think it goes like this: 'Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy'. It was not pointed in a very safe direction, as evidenced by the hole in the floor, the fact that had the bullet penetrated it could have hit whatever it was that was mentioned in the original post. I know from experience that even while relatively safe, it would have been much safer to have the gun pointed into an unloading/loading station. To not have one of these in a gun store, at a range, in a gunsmith's shop, etc. is negligent if you ever load ammo into guns in the store such as in this case. I am even thinking of getting one for my home.

    Please note, while you may think I am being critical of the folks in this incident, I am not. What I am doing is reminding people that there are other cardinal rules of firearms safety that are overlooked when you rely on just the so called '4 rules'; and these things are not necessarly common sense, especially for the newbie to shooting. As for the older, more complete, rules - I think the NRA still lists most of them at their site, and you can probably find them in old books on firearms. They make as much sense today as they would have 100 years ago; there is no replacing, for satety's sake, them with an abbreviated version.

    Safe shooting,
    Glenn B
     
  24. default

    default Member

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    Glad to hear nobody was hurt, and that following the 4 rules prevented a more serious incident, but with all due respect I would call it a (less egregious than most) ND, if only for the reason that one should always shake a potentially dirty Makarov before chambering a round to hear/feel the rattle of the free-floating firing pin.

    I'm not trying to be contrary, but that is one of the quirks of the Mak that attention must be paid to in order to shoot it safely. :)
     
  25. American_Pit_Bull

    American_Pit_Bull Member

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    I would agree with that assessment. It was about as accidental as you get. Negligence lead up to it, due to poor firearms maintenance, but the firearm malfunctioned while in your possession.
     
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