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safely handling a semi-auto

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by crest117, Oct 7, 2012.

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  1. crest117

    crest117 Member

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    Is there any danger of an accidental discharge when cycling live ammunition through a modern semi-auto? In other words, if you load a magazine and drop the slide and cycle by hand repeatedly, is there a danger even if the trigger is not touched? Specifically with a Ruger LCP, but with others also.
     
  2. Arp32

    Arp32 Member

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    Well you definitely run the risk of forcing the bullet too far back into the brass. If you repeatedly rack the same round into battery, set it upright next to a fresh round and compare the overall length.
     
  3. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    I think if you follow the 4 basic safety rules of handling firearms, you should be ok.

    Dunno about an LCP in particular as I've never owned or shot one, but i imagine you should be fine.
     
  4. crest117

    crest117 Member

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    I was thinking more along the lines if when the slide slams into battery, is there any chance, however remote, of the firing pin hitting the primer and causing an un-intended discharge.
     
  5. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I always assume that a slam-fire is a possibility and make quadrupally sure it is pointed in a safe direction before chambering a round.

    However, I believe that virtually ever time this happens the not very intelligent person had their finger where it didn't belong.
     
  6. bds

    bds Member

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    Most modern semi-auto pistols have firing pin block that blocks the firing pin from hitting the primer cup unless the trigger is actuated.

    Unless the firing pin block is broken/dirty/stuck, it should block the firing pin from hitting the primer cup when the slide slams into battery.
     
  7. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    what can set a round off is the ejector pin hitting the primer.

    Under circumstances like cycling the slide and clearing a jam with the stuck round's base angled to the left, the ejector can set the round off while the chamber is open.
     
  8. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    You're describing a "slam fire." No decent semiauto in good working order is going to do this from simple slide cycling. Still, it is just common sense to perform even normal manipulations with the gun facing in a safe direction.
     
  9. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    Assuming your firing pin block safety is in fine working order, then no.
     
  10. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    One thing to be concerned about it bullet set back. Repeatedly chambering the same round can cause enough set back to cause a dangerous increase in pressure for that round.

    There is a possibility of some other part of the gun impacting the primer. Check this Clint Smith video on the "Administrative Handgun Load". Pay attention to the video in the 3:00 to 3:30 range.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntpSu0c-tLo&feature=related
     
  11. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Yes. Depending on the firearm, there's a chance that it will fire. Aside from slam-fires, the sear can also wear down on a firearm - and with some designs, this can result in a discharge if the sear slips when the slide slams home. Most common example is a 1911 with a Bubba'd trigger job.

    Also, it's theoretically possible for a live cartridge to slip as it's being ejected. If you rack the slide hard enough and are extremely unlucky, the ejector could strike the primer with enough force to cause a discharge (completely out of battery, which might send brass fragments and gas into your eyes, but otherwise won't shoot and kill anyone). This is more of a realistic concern in rimfire firearms or Hi-Points (which use the firing pin as the ejector!)

    Yup, this is a possibility with some firearms. AR-15's are a good example. The inertia of the free-floating firing pin is enough to indent a primer upon chambering. A sensitive primer and/or a weak or broken firing pin spring can be a bad combination. Most primer manufacturers make a harder primer cup especially for the AR-15 and certain other military rifles. But if you slam the bolt forward hard enough, you can get indents even with some bolt action rifles. I admit to not totally understanding the inner workings of the gun (yet), but I have put indents on (high) primers of unfired rounds with my Savage model 10.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    First, the Ruger LCP doesn't have a firing pin block, or firing pin safety.

    It does have a hammer block, which prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled to cock & release the hammer.

    Second, anytime there is a gun and live ammo in the same room, somebody somewhere could figure out a way to have a neglent discharge.

    Third, there is no more danger of a round going off when loading the gun then there would be of it firing full-auto every time it loaded itself when you shoot it.

    It just isn't going to happen unless you pull the trigger.


    But if you insist on setting around and playing with loading your gun over & over, buy some snap-caps or function test dummy rounds.

    http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=40860/Product/CENTERFIRE-HANDGUN-DUMMIES

    rc
     
  13. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Don't do it.

    Do not use live ammo as training-dummy-ammo.

    Its OK to do it only as often as required for load/unload protocols for weapons in regular service.
    Even then, you need to be vigilant about bullet setback.

    We hear about "slam-fires" all the time from people slamming bolts on live rounds.
    I've experienced it personally three times. (twice on a FAL and once on a Jennings pistol)
    Always point the gun in a safe direction when letting the bolt fly on a live round.
     
  14. crest117

    crest117 Member

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    Just to clarify things, this is not something I would do, I was just wondering if an accidental discharge was possible. From the answers, a see that it is possible but highly unlikely. Thanks for the input.
     
  15. Kahr33556

    Kahr33556 Member

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    theres always a risk,the firing pin could get stuck
     
  16. Capt. Ct.

    Capt. Ct. Member

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    I reloaded some dummy rounds for testing mags and such. Just to be safe I like to step outside and point the pistol at the ground to chamber a live round. I have never had a discharge from chambering a round and don't know anyone who has but safety first.
     
  17. Drail

    Drail Member

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    There is no reason to be "cycling" live rounds through a gun. Load it. Shoot it. Don't shoot it. Stop cycling rounds through it by hand.
     
  18. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    This happened to me and the pistol did go full auto and emptied the magazine. Fortunately the pistol was pointed downrange when it happened.
     
  19. crest117

    crest117 Member

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    Most people seem to load a full magazine and insert it, then rack the slide to chamber a round, then remove the magazine and add the one more round and re-insert the magazine. It seems that a safer way would be to load one round in the magazine, insert the magazine and chamber that round, then remove, fill and re-insert the magazine. I would be interested in knowing just how many people have experienced a semi-auto going full auto because of a malfunction.
     
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    About any pistol based on the Browning design extractor cannot go full auto with a firing pin stuck forward.
    They are designed to fail-safe.

    The way it feeds, the round is pushed out of the magazine by the slide.
    Then slides up the breech face and under the extractor hook.

    If the firing pin is sticking out of the breech face, it will stop the cartridge from sliding up the breech face, and stop the gun in it's tracks.

    Some guns, such as the Makarov push feed, and the extractor snaps over the rim of the cartridge after chambering is completed.

    And they can go full auto if the firing pin sticks foreword.

    rc
     
  21. tuj

    tuj Member

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    Snap caps are your friend for proofing cycling. Don't use live rounds, just too dangerous. If you absolutely must cycle live rounds, please do it at the range with the gun pointed down-range.
     
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