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Russian Mak went full auto, shot my hand.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BamBam-31, May 14, 2005.

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  1. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Member

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    Last weekend, I put five rounds through my new (to me) Walther P1 (which shot very accurately, BTW), then loaded up five rounds in my Russian Mak's mag. As soon as I slapped in the mag (pistol's slide was locked back), the slide slammed forward by itself and fired off all five rounds full auto. God knows where the other rounds went (downrange, fortunately, thanks to the four rules), but one round went through my left hand. Ouch.

    I remained calm throughout the whole thing, surprisingly. I remember looking at the pistol, thinking :cuss: , then noticing that my left hand was shot. Fortunately, there was an EMT shooting at the time, and he noticed the accident right away. He had his emergency kit out in a flash, range workers were already on 911 even before I walked over to ask for it. The EMT guy (gotta go back and get his name) had my hand wrapped up and elevated in an instant and started asking me all my info just in case I couldn't answer later on.

    Cops came, took a report and my Mak. Ambulance came about the same time. By that time, adrenaline had worn off, and the pain was kicking in high gear, so it seemed like the ambulance took forever. My buddy said they actually came pretty quick. Everyone (range workers, shooters, EMT's, etc.) was pretty helpful, and most were amazed that I didn't pass out from the pain or sight of the wound and accompanying blood.

    Long story short, the bullet hit the base of my left thumb and exited out between the thumb and the index finger, taking a good chunk of protein with it. Needed surgery to patch things up. Fortunately (at least that's the word I kept hearing, although if I were really fortunate, the bullet would have missed me), the bullet missed tendons, ligaments, bones, etc. Mostly soft tissue damage, although one bone did break from the force of impact. I have surprising range of motion in the hand right now, even with all the damage, so the prognosis I keep hearing is that I'll regain 100% function in the hand eventually. Won't be pretty, though. Right now, it kinda looks like a baseball with all the stitching. I'm typing pretty good, however. ;)

    A few thoughts:

    Mortality. I got shot, and the first thing that went through my mind at the time was that I didn't get enough time with my newborn son. Didn't know the extent of the wound yet, just saw lots of blood. Although it's a bit painful, I hold my son as much as possible now. First night I got home from the hospital, I was awakened by a 5-shot burst nightmare. No more nightmares now, but that one tells me I was pretty shaken by the incident.

    Gunshy. I'm not the type to fall off a bike and not get back on, especially with all the progress I've made with my pistol shooting, so I'll be back at it again eventually. I went back to the range today to let the workers know I was doing well, and the gun shots didn't rattle me any. I actually missed it a bit. Guns in general, however, I've lost a bit of passion for. I'm the most Gun-Ho guy amongst all my friends, and I'm afraid they'll think this is the end result of all that. It isn't, just catastrophically bad luck, but they'll think it anyways. I thought it a few times myself these past few days. :(

    Fire sale. I put my wife and mom through a pretty bad scare. "Mrs. BamBam, are you sitting down? There's been an accident with your husband at the gun range." My father passed away this March (after a long battle with cancer), so I know when my mom first hears, she's thinking she's gonna have to bury both the men in her life, back to back. She wants me to sell all my guns, period. My wife's more reasonable. She wants me to sell all the old milsurp-type guns because they're worn and thus more prone to accidents. At this point, I'm actually willing to oblige with my wife's request simply to ease her fears. I can't sell ALL my guns, however. Be on the lookout for my Classifieds (C96 Mauser, Persian Mauser, FN49, FR8, Bulgie Mak, etc.). Maybe I'll buy something from Tiffany's with the $$$. It's not that I believe I need to sell them, it's that selling them is the least I can do to make up for what I put them through.

    I dunno. Maybe I need to put some distance between me and the incident first, let my hand heal up a bit for a while. Something's wrong when I pop in "Black Hawk Down," "Band of Brothers," and "Equilibrium" and I don't get excited. I watch each gunshot and think how much damage each bullet would do. PTSD, man. :scrutiny:

    I try to keep a sense of humor about it. When my friends ask me what happened, I tell them, "I thought I was The One. Guess not." I tell them I'm gonna apply for G-Unit (50 cent's rap posse where you have to be shot in order to be a member). I tell my wife if our son misbehaves, I'm gonna show him "The Hand." That's me. The doubts, the moments of mortal navel-gazing, maybe that's the pain meds talking. I wish they'd shut up. :banghead:

    My wife wants to know if I can sue the guy I bought the pistol from. She thinks he may have known that it was unsafe to fire. I bought it on consignment from a local gunsmith's, and she thinks they, too, should have known that the gun was unsafe. Again, I just think it's bad luck. Or good luck, since I still have all ten digits and a whole head of hair.

    Alright, enough. Sorry for the epic melodrama. :eek:
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2005
  2. pangris

    pangris Member

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    I'm glad you are OK. The sad fact is the guy who sold the Mak probably knew it was unsafe/kitchen table smithed. I hate people who foolishly endanger others for the sake of recovering some $$$ on a gun they screwed up.

    The problem is proving he knew that would be very problematic. If you go after the FFL, that sets a precedent that FFLs are responsible for the condition of used guns - not bad in theory, they should check them out - but in practice it would open them up for lawsuits in an unbelievably horrible, 2nd amendment slaughtering way.

    The whole situation sucks badly. Glad you will recover to 100% though.

    It can always be worse.

    Look on the bright side - now you can say you need high dollar 1911s because you take comfort in their quality, and you don't fear they will malf on you :)
     
  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Sounds like a slam fire. Check the firing pin and see if it's stuck in the out position. If so, sorry but that's not the gun shop's fault. That's why everyone says you need to clean the cosmo out of your new curio pistols or semis. Those old floating firing pins have their advantages, but they can also get jammed up in hardened cosmolline or grit. I've heard of such incidents with Maks, FN-49's and similar semis.

    I wouldn't lose any sleep over the Persian Mauser, though by all means sell it if you so desire. Your wife should know that that old Mauser is safer and tougher than any firearm out of a modern factory.

    Otherwise I'm stumped. I've never heard of anyone modifying a Mak to go full auto. Though clearly if it is an altered Class III firearm the shop should never have sold it.
     
  4. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Geezuz! What kind of ammo were you using? I know a guy who had a semi'd Uzi that'd rock and roll using reloaded cast bullets. How did your hand get in front of the muzzle? Why did the cops confiscate your property? Will you get it back?
    "...Won't be pretty, though..." That's ok. It works.
    If you think you were sold a defective firearm, you'd have to prove that the seller knew it. If you used handloads, I'd almost bet you're SOL.
    "...they're worn and thus more prone to accidents..." Nonsense. Excrement happens. No need to panic over one, albeit painful, episode. You won't be happy without your toys. Milsurps, of any kind, are no more inherently dangerous than any other firearm.
     
  5. Tag

    Tag Member

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    I'm glad your OK, and it does sound like you will be OK.

    When I was working in AK I saw a guy on my boat loose his right ring finger in our powerblock, ripped it right off. Crazy things happen all the time. Again, I'm glad your ok.

    From now on I would, and I will, only load one round into new (old) semi-autos.

    Take care, you'll have a good cautionary tale from now on :)
     
  6. Cortland

    Cortland Member

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    I don't really understand how you got shot -- your right hand was gripping the pistol and your left hand was on the bottom of the grip when it went off, right? I'd have thought the gun would just climb upwards... :confused:

    You were very lucky to have an EMT on site. At my club we only have two items in our first aid kit -- a box of bandaids and a shovel.
     
  7. Horsesense

    Horsesense Member

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    What kind of ammo? Was this the first time that you fired the gun? Why did the cops take your gun and can you get it back?

    The Mack has a floating firing pin and I suspect that the firing pin was frozen forward… uh… I hate to Monday morning quarterback but if that were the case, you should have disassembled the gun and done a thorough cleaning before shooting it. Then again someone could have gotten carried away with "lightening the trigger pull" that should be easy to determine and the parts are readily available for a fix.

    Did you ask the Dr. if you would be able to play the piano? :D :D

    I'm sorry about your accident and hope you have a speedy recovery.
     
  8. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    I'm glad you'll be okay.

    Load one, shoot one, do that 5 times, load 2, shoot two, do that 5 times, etc., until you get to a full magazine 5 times without malfs... Break it down upon purchase and do a few function checks... etc.


    Sorry if I sound harsh, not meaning to.... These same rules were drilled into my head along with the big four for any newly obtained firearms.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2005
  9. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

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    Glad you're okay.

    Will you get the Mak back?

    Wes
     
  10. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    I'd be more concerned when the cops showed up to take a report on a guy who had shot himself with a full auto. Hope they don't find anything that would suggest you tried to modify it to shoot auto (from the previous owner).

    Sounds like a slam fire, though. Sorry bout the hand.
     
  11. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Glad you're OK, be sure to register your Makarov with the ATF ;) Just on the odd chance you actually get it back, you'll probably want to have it gone over by gunsmith. You'll probably find the stuck firing pin as Cosmoline said, and a worn disconnetor. Is this the first time you fired it? If so, you should have done an inspection disassembly, before you took it to the range. Probably would have saved the pain.
    Don't give up your guns for the reason given; If you want to sell them,fine, but if you are selling them because you think your wife and mom want that.... :uhoh: Can you say Neville Chamberlain?
     
  12. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    So will you be changing your name to Bambambambambam-31 now? :p

    just kidding :eek: , a little levity to help you get through the pain, eh?

    Sorry about your accident. Thats rough. :(
     
  13. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    sorry to hear of your injury. Hope you heal up well.


    You might feel better shooting revolvers for awhile. I prefer them for several reasons, tho I think I have a new one to add.
     
  14. longspurr

    longspurr Member

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    My sympathies to your hand and your situation. Don’t do anything about the firearms right now. They can’t hurt anyone if they are sitting in a cabinet. Wait 6 months – 2 years before doing anything that can’t easily be undone. I have sold guns when it seemed like a good idea and later reallllly kick myself for doing so.

    Guns malfunction, I’ve seen a FN49 slam fire 1 round and I’ve seen a Airforce match shooters 45 go full auto. 5 round went downrange and no one was hurt except the shooters score- he was a little shaky the rest of the match with a different 45.

    For those pointing out the possibilities of cosmoline problems - yes that can happen but the only full auto handgun I’ve seen was well maintained by a military armorer.
     
  15. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    wishing you the best in your recovery and sorry to hear about the loss of your father as well
     
  16. Kevlarman

    Kevlarman Member

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    Dude! Glad to hear you're OK and not totally put off on guns.

    Eveybody has bad luck once in a while, but you've gotta get back on the horse and keep at it. Don't let this incident mess you up for the rest of your life.
    :)
     
  17. PromptCritical

    PromptCritical Member

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    Sorry about the accident. Glad you're ok.

    And people ask my why I complain when one of mine closes the slide when slapping the mag. This is exactly why I don't like it.

    Why is it always phrased this way? Doing that scares the hell out of people. How 'bout "Mrs. BamBam, your husband injured his hand at the range today, but he'll be alright." No reason to panic at that.

    Now you have an "incident" to refer to. As in "I used to like Maks... Until the 'incident'." ;)

    Edited to add: Oh, did you find the offending bullet? Neat souvenir.
     
  18. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Rough experience...

    It makes me think about some of the "close calls" I've had, and puts them in perspective.

    I've had the slide of an auto-loader slam shut on its own upon vigorous insertion of a mag before as well. A round chambered. Only the fact that my finger wasn't on the trigger may have saved an ND at that point.

    I had an AR double on me once. I believe it was either a slamfire or inadvertant bump fire, as it never did that again, before or since. I have sold the gun though, for other reasons.

    The range I shoot at most often is unregulated, on DNR land. No range officer. No cell phone service. It only really gets crowded at the start of a hunting season. When I go there to shoot, I am there alone as often as not. I always considered this a safety advantage (fewer people there to shoot me in the back during a target check). However, in your situation, given that no one else was there, I would have to drive myself out of there without passing out. In a manual transmission car, no less. Something to think about.

    Hope your recovery is full and fast. Good luck.
     
  19. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Member

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    Whoa. Slow down with the questions, eh? I don't type as fast as I used to. :p

    I bought the Russian Mak almost a month ago. Fired it the week previous to The Incident. About 50 rounds of Barnaul FMJ trouble-free (which was the same type of ammo I shot myself with, crappy Commie econo-plink crap, I'm surprised I didn't get gangrene). I clean ALL my firearms thoroughly after purchasing them AND after firing them. I removed the pin and cleaned out the channel with GunScrubber and Q-tips. I cleaned it again after the first session, so the pistol was clean, clean, clean. Both the slide lock AND the firing pin had to have malfunctioned simultaneously for the full auto accident to have happened, eh? Either one on its own, and I've no story to tell. Poop happens, indeed.

    Cops took my gun. I wasn't there to ask why, how, who, etc. Range workers said it was SOP, and that it'd be REAL HARD to get it back. Dunno why, there was no crime committed. I'd like to get it back if for no other reason than to find out if the pin was stuck, slide lock worn, etc. I didn't examine the pin hole or the pin head very closely during the cleanings. I'll call the cops first thing Monday and see what's what. I used this week mainly to get myself back into the swing of things.

    Regarding the sale of guns: You know and I know that my unissued LE #4 Mk. II is just as good as, if not better than, my Savage 10FP in terms of being bomb-proof. If stuff gets sold, it's not from lack of understanding. My wife and mom have been through a lot lately, and if it means peace of mind for them and some sort of compromise between us, then off they go. Family before guns, especially if it's family AND guns if I sell off some of them. I'll put one or two up for sale initially, see if it'll be enough to appease. Keep the others out of sight (and out of mind using my Jedi powers). I'll bemoan and lament the loss of each as if it were a digit on my wounded paw. See how that plays out.

    Anyways, thanks for the thoughts. I'll recover. I'll also get back out to the range. All in good time, eh? :)

    :D
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2005
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Well that puts a dent in the slam fire theory. My next guess would be bad ammo with primers not set far enough in. But while that might cause one slam fire, it's unlikely to set off a string.

    In light of that, I'd really push the police to give the firearm back ASAP and not to mess with it. It would be worth while to get a lawyer to write a formal demand if they give you any trouble. If they have no valid reason to keep your property, it could give rise to a spoliation of evidence suit. You always threaten them, anyway. They're cops--given the chance they'd be more than willing to threaten you.
     
  21. Antjo

    Antjo Member

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    Wow, that's terrible, glad you're ok and noone else was hurt.

    Makes me question my Mak a little bit. Mine has never given me a problem of any kind and I love shooting it. I spent days cleaning that cosmoline crap out of every crevice. That stuff will never be completely gone.

    by the way, Equilibrium is the best movie EVER!! :D
     
  22. No_Brakes23

    No_Brakes23 Member

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    I have had weak moments with my new Yugo M59. Moments of thinking, "Would it really be that bad if I fired it without cleaning all the cosmo out?"

    I will be cleaning it all before firing.

    Sorry to hear about your hand. Hell of a way to find out about a problem.
     
  23. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Member

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    Dude, I cleaned my guns. Still got tagged but good. :cuss:

    You should by all means clean yours anyways. Brake cleaner works well on cosmo.
     
  24. Tag

    Tag Member

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    Good call on keeping the women happy, may the force be with you. :D
     
  25. larry starling

    larry starling Member

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    Wow! I guess it goes to show accidents can happen at any time! I would trash the MAK after it was torn down to see what the real problem was! That is one reason why I try to avoid Military surplus guns! After spending time in the military and seeing the abuse that firearms are given I avoid them! Im also sure that things in eastern europe are worse than here, as far as quality control and abuse that the firearms recieve in there respected services! The one bright spot is that you will recover and continue to enjoy your firearms! Godspeed on a healthy recovery! :)
     
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