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Negligent Discharge at Home

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by dk-corriveau, Dec 22, 2005.

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  1. dk-corriveau

    dk-corriveau Member

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    Ok, so about 2.5 hours ago I had my first negligent discharge. To make it worse, it was in my house. Like everyone on this list who has never had an ND, I assumed that it would never happen to me. Well, moderators please forgive the language, that is bull sh#t! It will despite what you think. This was without a doubt my fault and was the result of me being too confident with my gun handling skills and mixing some alcohol into the picture. As a result, I put myself, my family, and a family friend at risk. :cuss: :banghead:

    The incident:
    My wife and I attended a Christmas party tonight and I was carrying as usual, a Para LTC 1911 in an IWB holster. Over the course of about 3.5 hours I had ~5 drinks, 4 beers and a mixed drink to be exact. When we returned home, we talked with our friend who was watching our 17 month old son. After a few minutes of chit chat, and before our friend left, I engaged in what is my normal procedure, drop the mag, disengage the safety, rack the slide with the chambered round ending up in my hand and then drop the hammer (I know you can see it coming).

    I make it a general practice to load/unload my gun before/after leaving the house. I do not feel the need to keep a loaded gun in the house, but I do like to have a gun on hand just in case. We live in a very secure gated community, but I recognize that anything can happen. That being said, I like the security of having a gun on hand when I am out and about. Likewise, I make it a practice to shoot all my ammo when I hit the range, so that I have no rounds possibly in my non-carry guns when I return home.

    Anyway, I surmise that I disengaged the safety and racked the slide before dropping the mag, resulting in a live round being chambered when I dropped the hammer, despite there being a loaded round in my hand, resulting in the ND. :banghead: :cuss: After the round went off, I immediately dropped the mag, racked the slide and placed the gun in its normal storage spot without touching the trigger and checked to make sure that everyone was ok. Fortunately for all involved, including those not in the house, everyone was ok. After some investigating, the round ended up inside an air duct after passing through the drywall. It was at ~30 degree downward angle from my chest, entered an interior wall at about my mid thigh and would have ended up in the basement. There are no exit holes on the other side of the wall or in the basement. I pushed a rod through the hole and can see the rod where it entered the air duct and it looks like it didn’t leave. Unfortunately, I can not track down the bullet without braking down the HVAC to be 100% sure. I am yet to find the spent casing.

    Aftermath:
    My wife and son are safely asleep right now, which I am very thankful for. I do not know what I would have done if anything happened to one of them or any other innocent bystander for that matter. Bottom line, I feel completely terrible and sick to my stomach.

    I am posting this as a warning to everyone new to guns and especially to those who are comfortable with guns. If you would like to contribute to with what you would have done, post ND, please feel free. I do not need a load of posts about alcohol and guns, lesson more than learned. I would also welcome posts from folks who had NDs at home and how you moved on from it. It’s only been a hand full of hours, but I am not sure when I will be able to pick up another loaded gun. The gun in question is currently unloaded, gun and mag are both empty, so I am not concerned about that. But I am questioning my general judgment and if I am qualified to have guns around. Lord only knows what my wife will have to say in the morning.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    Been there, done that.

    Glad you're all OK. Consider it a kind of Ghost of Christmas Future kind of thing, where you got a look into what could have happened.

    jmm

    RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
    RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
    RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
    RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
     
  3. dk-corriveau

    dk-corriveau Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I couldn't agree more.
     
  4. crashresidue

    crashresidue Member

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    Mine was in combat - back at the fire-base. Very similar situation, identicle results - no one hurt, me with a load in my shorts!

    The fire-base got probed that night, so I didn't have long to ponder my actions - hearing "Gooks in the wire" will move you through any ptsd.

    Glad you and yours are safe!

    In my industry - it's "live and learn - or you won't live long!" It also applies to weapons.

    Gentle winds,
    cr
     
  5. gremlin_bros

    gremlin_bros Member

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    a couple of thoughts

    first thank god you and your family are safe and uninjured.
    second is this i applaud you on taking responsability for the nd. it takes a real man or woman to stand up and say hey i messed up it was my fault not the gun or anothers fault. it was mine and nobody else.
    third i would like to thank you for sharing the story with us. on a personal note if i am going to partake in alchol i do not have a gun to much danger of somthing going wrong no mater how incontrol i think i am hence i usaly drink ginger ale at partys and usally my friends know why i dont drink and they support my stand.
     
  6. dk-corriveau

    dk-corriveau Member

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    Thanks for the posts. Gremlin_bros, that is my new rule !00% no questions asked! It's unfortunate that I learned it this way, but I will never forget it! :banghead:
     
  7. torpid

    torpid Member

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    I always assume it can easily happen to me, and therefore I am very focused and deliberate when gun handling, to check my concern of becoming too comfortable, and possibly lax.

    .
     
  8. dk-corriveau

    dk-corriveau Member

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    Topid,

    Please don't get me worng, I am not normally lax abou gun handling. That being said, it still happened to me and it can happen to you or anyone else on the list. I hope it doesn't, but it could.
     
  9. Gordy Wesen

    Gordy Wesen Member

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    I'd say that was and AD not an ND.
    negligent: marked by or given to neglect, especially habitually or culpably.
    accident: nonessential quality, chance. an unforseen and unplanned event or circumstance.
    I think it's important to avoid describing such things with the same language our detractors enjoy using. Having similar experience, tired after a trip, I'd say you probably won't let this happen again.
     
  10. Ryder

    Ryder Member

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    This could not have happened if you'd left it loaded in it's holster. There are other reasons you need to keep a gun loaded besides protection from badguys. You discovered one of them.
     
  11. dk-corriveau

    dk-corriveau Member

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    Gordy,

    I hope that this will not happen again. I uderstand where you are coming from on the terminology, but I would call this a negligent discarge b/c it involved alcohol. If it hadn't I would agree.

    Ryder,

    I have never given any thought to the increased likely hood of such an incident with the repeated loading/unloading of my gun in my house.
     
  12. torpid

    torpid Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with you that it certainly can happen to me. That's exactly why I try to stay very aware when handling guns- because nobody's perfect. Yes, not even me...

    .
     
  13. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    You just learned why muzzle control is so important. Yes, on the one hand...you screwed up. On the other hand, your other handing skilss is what prevented it from being worse.

    And, yes, I've had ND's. Please notice the plural.
     
  14. mcosman

    mcosman Member

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    There are two types of Motorcycle riders, those who have laid it down and those who will.
     
  15. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Member

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    Ditto Byron Quick. BTDT, only with a shotty. Killed some books on a bookshelf. Five pellets were imbedded in the drywall behind the shelf, four went through and ended up somewhere inside the wall.

    Thank God for the FOUR overlapping rules, eh? :eek:
     
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    I've had mine.

    It's important to think things over very carefully to determine everything that may have contributed to the situation. Make no mistake about it, there are always several contributing circumstances. Be brutally honest with yourself about things you did wrong and why. Then figure out ways to prevent those mistakes and avoid those contributing circumstances in the future. This should be done after you've had time to settle down--wait a day or two.
     
  17. ruger270man

    ruger270man Member

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    cant just go through the motions.. always visually inspect the chamber, especially if you're going to be pulling the trigger :)
     
  18. aaronrkelly

    aaronrkelly Member

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    Glad nobody was injured - I havent done such yet but Im sure before they stick me in the ground I will also experience the unexpected ear ringing, sphincter puckering ND/AD experience.

    I think it may have already been said but.......

    the experience you just had is the reasoning behind me leaving my carry firearms loaded. Im not a klutz but Im all for not working the action on a loaded firearm unless its necessary......theres not much reason for it on a daily basis. At the end of the day my gun gets un-holstered then locked up while still loaded.

    If your using a paddle holster (or something similiar) you may not even need to remove the gun from the holster - just take the whole deal off. My holster needs taken off my belt so removing the gun is required. Some people I have spoken to keep a cheapy nylon holster around - take gun out of carry holster, slide into cheap holster. Trigger covered, no working the action - seems pretty safe to me.
     
  19. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Member

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    Glad to hear nobody was hurt.

    Here's a thought for you: Try a little conditioning. I keep a snap cap in my pistol when it's unloaded, and I always drop the magazine and cycle the action when I pick it up. That way, when I don't get the positive feedback of something popping out the ejection port, I freeze, assume that something is wrong, and go to investigate the problem. I use that as an extra layer of protection on top of always visually inspecting. That, and the slide is ALWAYS locked back when I retract it. It's another habit that keeps me from chambering anything at all unless I absolutely want to.

    Also, I only dry fire with a snap-cap in the chamber. There is absolutely no need for me to drop the hammer on my 1911 without a snap-cap in it. It's another step I have to go through, and it rapidly becomes habit. If I don't put in a snap cap, my brain says "no way!" on dropping the hammer.
     
  20. strambo

    strambo Member

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    I second Ryder's opinion. I keep my carry guns loaded. Extra unecessary handling leads to more chances for things to go wrong. For example, my carry gun is on as I type this. When I go to bed in an hour or so, I will just un-snap the holster with gun still inside and put it away. Chance of ND=0%.
     
  21. EZ CZ75

    EZ CZ75 Member

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    0.1% chance, strambo. Absolutes are rarely ever reality. You are right, though, that a covered trigger makes it a touch more difficult for an AD/ND to happen.
     
  22. Ryder

    Ryder Member

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    Then you will forgive me if I give you another reason? :)

    There is a little thing called setback that occurs when a semi-auto loads a cartridge into the chamber. The bullet gets seated deeper into it's case each time. Repeated chambering of the same round is not a good thing. At the least it will affect the internal pressure enough to change your point of aim. At the worst it could blow your gun up.

    My biggest worry about my negligent discharge was that my loved ones would be afraid to be around me. I felt that losing their trust would be as bad as having shot them. They know me better though and it wasn't an issue (thank goodness) but I did keep guns out of sight for a while help lessen the issue.
     
  23. 12-34hom

    12-34hom Member

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    Why were you CCW and drinking? It's arrogant and very dangerous.

    State i live in if your consuming alcohol or wound up on other illegal substances - permit is invalid.

    Some folks have to learn the hard way. Glad you & family are ok.

    12-34hom.
     
  24. strambo

    strambo Member

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    I agree about absolutes, but this is pretty close and I hope you meant "A touch more difficult" to be an understatement.;) I can't think of a scenario where a gun in a holster made for it, covering the trigger guard can be fired in a "taking it off, putting it away" kind of scenario. If you drop it off a building maybe and it isn't CA "drop safe" :rolleyes: approved.

    [rant] What I hated most about being in Iraq (other than the heat) was the constant handling of my weapons. I had to have my weapons with mag in, no round chambered in camp. Locked and loaded on missions. Cleared upon return to base. Re-cleared at the chow hall etc... So much unecessary gun handling and there were still NDs, even with all the clearing barrels and "safety":rolleyes: precautions. I've got an idea, how about if a weapon is slung and/or holstered you just let it be? Why make 300 soldiers and contractors handle their weapons in the chow line at every meal just to verify their unloaded? If I walked in with a loaded, holstered pistol would anyone be in danger? Heck, I carry one every day in peaceful civilian land, heavens forbid I have a meal in a combat zone with a loaded gun on my hip. [rant over:D ]
     
  25. dk-corriveau

    dk-corriveau Member

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    12-34hom,

    I couldn't agree more with your comment, unfortunately it is after the fact. The drinking is the number one contributer to my ND.

    Azrael256,

    My normal procedure was to catch the ejected, previously loaded round in my hand before dropping the hammer. Last night I had that round in my hand when the ND happened. But because I racked before dropping the mag, there was another loaded round in the chamber that went boom. :banghead: Bottom line is that you have to positively check the chamber, not just assume that an ejected round means the chamber is clear like I did. :banghead: If I had done a physical check of the chamber with a finger with the slide back this may not have happened. Furthermore, if I just left the loaded gun in its holster and taken the two off as a pair, this may not have happened as well.
     
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