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

ND last night. Listen and learn.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Brad Johnson, Aug 21, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,076
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Guys (and Gals) after 30+ years of handling guns safely I had my first - and hopefully last - negligent discharge last night. The blame is purely mine. Read on and learn...

    I spent the evening at some friends. They are thinking about getting their concealed carry license. Since neither of them has much experience with handguns so I was going over some basic safety tips and showing her how to safely operate a semi-auto. After a while we called it quits. As always, I was going to check the chamber condition of each gun before putting it away. I pulled back the slide on the my friends' Ruger MarkII, noted that the chamber was empty, released the slide, pointed in a safe direction to release the trigger...

    BANG!!!

    After I had a chance to collect my thoughts I discovered that my friend, trying to be helpful, had slipped the mag back in the gun as I was turned to talk to his wife. When I checked chamber condition I failed to tip up the gun and check the condition of the magazine well. Although the chamber was indeed empty when I checked it, releasing the slide chambered a round. Thank God I had the thing pointed in a safe direction, as all it did was punch a quarter inch hole in the sheetrock. Chalk that one up to my "treat it like it's loaded even when you think it's not" mentality.

    After sitting up all night running it through my head, I have come to this conclusion; Since I set the gun down, and it was in the same position as when I set it down, I unconsciously left out the step of tipping the gun so I could see the mag well. Also, all my other guns have an American style mag release, and I always thumb the release as part of my condition check. This particular gun has a European style mag release. Many reviews in my head later I can distinctly recall my thumb pressing on the side of the grip to activate the mag release, but there was none there to activate.

    So, my errors include:

    - An assumption of condition based on my recollection and not a physical check of the gun

    - A reliance on my wrote following of a safety routine that was negated by the operating controls of this particular gun

    - A failure to completely check the physical condition of the gun prior to dropping the hammer

    Lessons learned are:

    - Never, under any circumstances, let yourself fall into an unconscious safety routine. CONSCIOUSLY VERIFY EACH PARAMETER EACH AND EVERY TIME!

    - Never, under any circumstances, assume the condition of the gun EVEN IF YOU ARE CERTAIN YOU WERE THE LAST ONE TO HANDLE IT!

    I'll be up several more nights reviewing it in my head, just to make sure I never, ever, forget that I could have caused a tradgedy last night. My friends are not mad at me, but I am mad enough at myself for all three of us. I just hope someone reading this takes a lesson away from it, and that my friends aren't turned off from firearms because of it.

    Brad
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2004
  2. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    12,879
    Location:
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Greeting's Brad -

    Certainly glad that no one was injured. I'm sure you learned
    a very valuable lesson as well; "every firearm is ALWAYS loaded"!
    I will assure you, it will help in teaching others.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,622
    Auto pistol (and rifle) rule:

    Always remove the magazine before checking the chamber. Had you done that, you would have realized that he had put the magazine in.

    But you get a "naughty boy" for having the magazine loaded, unless the Ruger is either your carry gun or your home defense gun, which is probably not the case.

    Glad no one was hurt, and that your good gun handling in that respect kept things from being worse.

    Jim
     
  4. mussi

    mussi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    213
    Location:
    Somehwhere in Western Europe
    Ah, the good thing about being used to a SIG P220 9mm....

    In the Army, I also had a SIG P220 9mm with a 'Euro' mag release. Big advantage - one gets used to check with the finger reaching into the mag well whether there's a mag inside....
     
  5. magsnubby

    magsnubby Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    915
    Location:
    fresno,ca
    Sounds like a lesson well learned.

    I've never had an n/d but i did have to shoot a matress once that was attacking me. That ole S&W .38 took care of the problem right quick.

    One question:
    What's the reason for pulling the trigger on an empty weapon? To relive the pressure on the trigger spring? Or......?
     
  6. nhhillbilly

    nhhillbilly Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Messages:
    544
    Thanks for reminding us. But use both your eyes and fingers to tell if the firearm is empty. YOu then can check it in the dark. I bet if you put your little finger in the chamber you would have felt the magazine and bell would have gone off not the gun.
     
  7. sendec

    sendec member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    913
    Just to reinforce...

    Checking the chamber and magazine well is both a visual and physical drill, we need to look AND feel.

    Triggers are typically pressed during an unload to "relax" the hammer and springs. The other reason, the reason no one mentions, is cases just such as this - to have the ND in a relatively controlled environment: to wit, if you are unloading at the range the absolute last action before casing the gun is to aim it downrange and dryfire. If the unload was screwed up the round goes into the backstop instead of your spouse who is reading in the next room while you are cleaning your pistol. It is a means of "forcing" the ND sooner rather than later.

    Of course all of this is avoided by a visual and physical inspection of the chamber, magazine well and follower prior to a trigger press.

    Glad no one was hurt.
     
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,076
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Me too, brother. Me too.

    Brad
     
  9. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    12,353
    Location:
    DFW Area
    Common ND scenario 1

    Multiple people handle a single firearm with ammunition in the same area.

    X hands Y an empty gun, Y hands the gun back loaded (trying to be helpful usually). X doesn't check or checks half-heartedly since he "already KNOWS it's unloaded"--gun goes bang.

    Common ND scenario 2

    Experienced shooter unloads gun for display, reloads it without thinking.

    X pulls out carry gun to show someone. X unloads carry gun (drops mag and locks slide back). X goes into autopilot and puts mag back in before dropping the slide--gun goes bang.
     
  10. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,451
    Location:
    Utah
    NDs suck, I can attest to that.

    Learn from it, but put it behind you... the hardest part for me is to not be haunted by it.

    Wes
     
  11. Chut1st

    Chut1st Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    TN
    Thanks for the graphic reminder, Brad.

    When we're around guns every day, even with good habits developed, it's hard to not become complacent.
     
  12. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,085
    Location:
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    Glad everyone is O.K.

    Even though you violated Rule #1 (All guns are always loaded), you followed Rule #2 (never point the muzzle at anything you do not intend to destroy).

    Clear the weapon, lock the slide, mag out, USE YOUR FINGER (pinky) to check it.

    We've had this debate on THR before. I think this settles it: USE YOUR FINGER, NOT JUST YOUR EYES.:what:
     
  13. SAWBONES

    SAWBONES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    The third dimension
    Also, not to add insult to injury, but you should never drop the hammer/striker on an unloaded, unprotected .22LR pistol like the Ruger MkII. You may damage the firing pin or striker tip, since it's a rimfire pistol. Put an empty .22LR case in the chamber or use a snap cap if you feel you MUST drop the hammer.
     
  14. CGofMP

    CGofMP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    573
    Location:
    CCCPalifornia
    It takes a real MAN to suck it up and admit his own failings, especially to those who are not predisposed to patting you on the head. What you did was stupid but posting it for all to see and learn from was courageous. Perhaps you saved a life down the line... Perhaps one of us perfect people who read this site will think twice because of your post and not make the same error.
     
  15. Bainx

    Bainx member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,271
    Location:
    East TN
    Glad you and others are OK

    Bump back to top---newbies please heed this posting.
     
  16. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    I've never had a N/D either

    Once though I had to shoot my radio which was assaulting me with a mattress,I got the radio with a 9mm the bullet went thru and went thru the mattress as well finally stopping in the wall which was part of the conspiracy too.
    The radio has learned it's lesson-no light rock when loaded guns are present!...

    Anyway I am glad everything is OK and that you shared your story here, as we all learn.
     
  17. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    12,353
    Location:
    DFW Area
    SAWBONES,

    The Ruger MK II and the Ruger 10/22 have firing pin stops which allow the gun to be safely dryfired without the possibility of damage.
     
  18. cordex

    cordex Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    2,714
    Location:
    Indiana
    I tend to work the action multiple times in addition to a physical check.

    Just in case.

    It's worked for me so far.
     
  19. YammyMonkey

    YammyMonkey Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    828
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    My ND was with an airgun. Fortunately the BB didn't ricochet off the concrete wall and back to me. Learned that lesson real quick. Beat myself up for it for at least a week as well. Never happened again but it still makes me uncomfortable when I think about it more than 10 years after the fact.
     
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,076
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Bump, in the hopes that it will keep someone from pulling the stupid stunt I did.

    Brad
     
  21. Muzzleflash

    Muzzleflash member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    318
    My ND was with a .410 shotgun while running, years ago.

    Shocked the crap out of me and turned me into an obsessive gun safety person.
     
  22. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Messages:
    2,322
    Location:
    California
    Brad, are your friends still interested in getting handguns and carry permits?

    ~G. Fink
     
  23. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,076
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Yeah, she's still a little shaky, but he and I went to the range yesterday for a couple of hours. No unintentional holes this time.

    Brad
     
  24. Blackcloud6

    Blackcloud6 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    601
    Sometimes experience and familiartiy can work against us. I've heard that some of the most dangerous pilots in the air force are Majors and Lieutenant Colonels with a few thousands hours behind them.

    I once knew of a full bull Colonel fighter jock who was making his pre-flight checks on a F-16C. Like a good boy he was using his checklist book to ensure he did everything as it should be and in order. He leaned down to check under the air intake and place his checklist on the intake. He proceeded to the cockpit, lowered the canopy and started the engine. A cloud of "snow" farted out the back end and the engine warning lights came on. The snow was the shredded pages of his checklist book and the warning lights were warning of compressor blade failures from the nice metal rings the pilots use to hold the checklists together. What impressed me was that the very next day he gathered all the officers of the fighter squadron into the ready room and stood up at the podium and told the whole story. His was a lesson in 'experienced' complacency and what can happen when you loose your concentration. I admired him for that.

    Mr. Johnson, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us and to provide us with the warning that it can happen to everybody and anybody. We must always be on guard.. against ourselves, as we can be own worst enemy.
     
  25. Dave R

    Dave R Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,628
    Location:
    Idaho
    Thanks for sharing that vivid reminder.

    The good news is, that your experience also reinforces the need to follow all four of the rules all the time.

    The violation of just one of the 4 rules will generally cause only embarrassment, not injury. You need to violate multiple rules to generate injury.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page