Mistakes we have made.

Mistakes we have made.

This is a discussion on Mistakes we have made. within the Basic Gun Handling & Safety forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; Mods please move if this is in the wrong board. We have all seen the threads about superior caliber, best holster, best knife, and the ...

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Thread: Mistakes we have made.

  1. #1
    Member Array zdinnd's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    North Carolina

    Mistakes we have made.

    Mods please move if this is in the wrong board.

    We have all seen the threads about superior caliber, best holster, best knife, and the countless 'what ifs'. But what about the 'don't do this!' Other than the 4 rules and by some, what is considered common sense , there isn't really a lot of literature of what NOT to do.

    Ive found that people learn best by making mistakes, although when firearms are involved mistakes turn from learning experiences to hospital visits and encounters with law enforcement. So I think we should share our less than flattering experiences for the greater good.

    Truth be told I made a doozy today. If anyone has ever read Ted Nuggents book "Guns, God and Rock&roll" then they can recall the chapter were he goes over all of the AD's he has had. Today in my apartment, I was trying to outdraw the TV cowboy and I learned the extremely hard way that 4 is not 5. The shot shook the small room and the TV crackled and went up in a hot flash of smoke. In an adrenaline fulled daze I grabbed the fire extinguisher from under the sink and let loose. I grabbed the cord and yanked it out of the wall, although in hindsight that was a poor choice. After any immediate danger had passed I stared at the absolute mess and at the pile of 4 gold dots on the couch cushion next to me. My weapon lay on the coffee table, and as I popped open the cylinder in disbelief, there was indeed an empty round.

    I cleaned the mess and waited for my wife to return home. Safe to say she was not pleased. So I hope that someone can learn from this. Check, check again, then use your finger and touch where a bullet would sit. Count the chambers out loud as you touch them. What ever! Just please please be careful! As my father told me when I was a kid, "No matter how bad you want to, you can never take that bullet back."

    So what mistakes have you made over the course of your lifetimes?
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  2. #2
    Member Array JohnHenry's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Willis, TX
    Glad no one was hurt. How did you empty the gun but only get 4 rounds out instead of the 5?

    As a corollary to the carpenter's rule of "measure twice, cut once", I like to "check twice, pull the trigger once".
    Harley rider
    Kimber CDP II Compact, SA XD SC40, Ruger LCP

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  3. #3
    Member Array zdinnd's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    North Carolina
    I swung the cylinder open and turned it up, 4 rounds came out into my hand and i didn't do anything more than glance at them.
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  5. #4
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    Array limatunes's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    I really wouldn't call it a mistake, but at the range I had a double-feed. I cleared the dropped the magazine and racked the slide and a round fell out like I expected. In my mind, my firearm was empty.

    I have a rule. My gun never get's put down without the chamber being open, muzzle down range, so that myself and everyone around me can see that it's empty.

    I racked the slide and another live round fell out. Somehow it fed that second live round into the chamber even without the magazine being in place.

    It was a very sobering moment for me. In my mind the firearm was empty and that is the most dangerous place to be. That is why it is safer to assume that all firearms are loaded ALL THE TIME, whether you BELIEVE they are empty or not.

    While doing dry-fire exercises, in our home, we insist on only pointing the firearm in safe directions (of which the TV is NOT one of them..) and never at anything that we do not wish to destroy, being conscious of what is beyond.

    And the reason that a lot of people don't talk about the mistakes is because while we DO (hopefully) learn from our mistakes, it's better training to concentrate on doing things right, every time.

    The saying, "Practice makes perfect," is incomplete. In actuality only PERFECT practice makes perfect.

    To obsess and talk about the mistakes is to relive them. To obsess and talk about the perfect practices is to get them right.

    Most of us have heard that our brains can't process negatives very well. Someone says, "Don't look," we all turn around and look. I've seen it again and again on the range. Someone says, "Don't hold the gun like this.." and they waste twenty seconds showing a new shooter how "not" to do it.

    Ten seconds later, there they are, holding the gun wrong.

    We humans just have a brain-filter malfunction when it comes to processing negatives and so we try to keep things on the positive (since that's all we seem to process anyway).

    All guns are loaded, ALL THE TIME.
    Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
    Point the firearm in a safe direction.
    Be aware of your target and what is beyond.

    Hopefully you'll never have a repeat of your experience and the television will remain your only casualty.

  6. #5
    Member Array boss mustang's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Fort Worth

    Mom was not happy!

    1983, I was home on leave from the Navy. I had been out shooting my Mini-14. Rifle had a fresh Mag in the well. I get home and get set to clean the rifle. Instead of taking the mag out and cycling the action to ensure it is clear, I start manually pulling the bolt back and letting it slide home. I count the rounds laying on the bed. Yep, there are 30 of them. Rifle must be clear. I point the muzzle at the mattress and pull the trigger.

    Ever fire a .223 inside of a bed room? That thing was darn loud!

    The bullet travelled through the mattress, out the side board of the bed. Did I mention that this bed was an antique?
    Next the bullet entered the wall of the bedroom, passed completely thru the wall exiting into my moms closet. .223 rounds make pretty small holes when they enter something, not so small holes when the leave.

    The bullett continued to travel and proceeded to make some nice .223 sized holes in 5 of my moms dresses. It then enters the opposing wall of the closet, passes thru it and slams into an antigue steamer trunk where the bullet disintegrates.

    For anyone that says a .223 is a weak round here is the count:

    1 Mattress
    1 1.5 inch thick piece of oak side board
    4 sheets of drywall
    5 dresses
    and a nice dent in a steamer trunk.

    Luckily no one else was home when it happened. An hour or so later my parents come home. I hear my mom say, "I smell gunpowder" They find me in their closet patching the holes in the dry wall. Suffice it to say they were not amused.

    That was my wake up call to my poor gun handling. I have been extremely consious of safety ever since.

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    First, let me say that what happened was probably one of the best things that could have ever happened to a television.

    My worst so far (by God's grace) has been repocketing with my DA/SA pistol still cocked after shooting a varmint in the chicken house. I don't believe I had anything else in the pocket, but a SA trigger and no safety is a lot riskier than I like.
    Recently updated website: http://www.damagedphotorepair.com

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array shooterX's Avatar
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    I have had two AD's since owning firearms. The first was when I was fairly new to gun ownership. My Dad had given me a Argentinian copy of the 1911 without a grip safety, it's a piece of junk, but I didn't know that then. Anyway my folks were in town visiting and staying with me. My brother and his family were over for dinner, and my Dad returned one of my brothers Hi-powers to him. We were comparing the two guns and commenting on the similarity of the two designs. Once finished, I was going to put mine up, and reinserted the mag and hit the slide release. The gun discharged, right into the carpeted floor, shell casing still in the breach. Needless to say, I cleared the room in seconds flat. The gun now resides in the safe, as I wouldn't let anyone else ever own this piece of junk. I took my a safety course the following month, and purchase a Walther P99.
    The seond discharge happened at home alone, was putting a pocket pistol away in the safe, removed the magazine, and then the phone rang. I put the gun down and went to answer the phone. When I returned, I picked up the gun and pointed it in a safe direction to easy the hammer home, thinking to myself that I had cleared the chamber before getting the phone, well the gun of cousre had not been cleared and I proceeded to put a .25 caliber hole through a mirror and the wall into the attic,, my wife was not pleased. Leason learned, triple check to make sure the gun is empty!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    upstate new york
    If you don't count the holes it's loaded....

    That finger (thumb) that unlocked the cylinder has a nasty way of hiding one chamber.


  10. #9
    Member Array Roland of Gilead's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    SE Pennsylvania
    Couple months ago I was at the range (outdoors) and had the 12 ga. on the portable table pointed more or less downrange (maybe 30 degrees off of the backstop). No one else around except my 16-year-old son.

    As I was looking directly down at the shotgun and starting to eject the #4 buck shells to load up with slugs, I suddenly noticed that my son had walked around the table and was almost directly in front of the muzzle. No finger on the trigger, no AD, but I'm pretty sure the safety was off.

    I almost felt sick to my stomach a couple times over the next few days when I thought about it.

    So, always look around more that you think necessary, and always keep the safety on until ready to fire.
    Freedom ... must be fought for, protected, and handed on ... or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. -- Ronald Reagan, 1967

  11. #10
    Member Array Cycler's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post

    I racked the slide and another live round fell out. Somehow it fed that second live round into the chamber even without the magazine being in place.

    It was a very sobering moment for me. In my mind the firearm was empty and that is the most dangerous place to be. That is why it is safer to assume that all firearms are loaded ALL THE TIME, whether you BELIEVE they are empty or not.
    Holy Carp!! A very good piece of advice for anyone who owns guns that you have to pull the trigger to field strip them.

  12. #11
    Member Array billfromtx's Avatar
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    May 2008
    South Texas
    I was 15 and my buddy had an old 38 revolver that he kept under his mattress (for some reason)...He showed it to me and left the room...I swung open the cylinder making sure it was unloaded. I swear to God I looked at the holes and it was unloaded!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Closed the cylinder and pulled the trigger for some unknown reason, Hey it was unloaded...Well you guessed it. It went boom! the thought of it still sends shivers up my spine...
    1 hole thru the wall
    1 Dryer killed

    To this day I never ever ever ever ever ever pull the trigger unless I want the gun to go bang!!!!!!!!!!
    USMC 1984-1992
    To err is human.
    To forgive is divine.
    Neither of which is Marine Corps policy.

    "It's all about shot placement."- David (Slayer of Goliath)

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    My only ND was in the Army - with an M60 machine gun! Fortunately, it was only loaded with blanks for training.

    It was my turn to hump the "pig" even though I had very minimal training on it. We settled into a defensive position, and I put the safety on what I thought was the "Safe" position (the markings had long since been worn away). I lightly pulled the trigger to be sure, expecting to feel resistance. Instead, I got a 5 round burst.

    Got my posterior chewed really good for that one!
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    No mistakes as of yet, YET. It makes a big person to admit their mistakes.

  15. #14
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    Array Pistology's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    South Coast LA Cty
    Mistakenly, I put a .40 shell in a .45 mag at the range where I took both guns to practice. They are both M&P compacts - similar but different. For the curious, the shot was dead on target, but the shell didn't eject. It sat cracked and expanded in the breech end of the barrel.

    It took some digging at the casing and blame shifting before it dawned on me my mistake. It was the mistake that I didn't think that I was wrong.

    The barrel has no apparent nicks.

    I take only one gun at a time to the range now and check the ammo before I leave the house. The switch of barrels from .40 to .357_Sig in the same frame is a problem that my zero-degrees-of-freedom plan upon leaving the house should resolve.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
    -Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

  16. #15
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    Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    10mtn - I laughed my butt off reading that, good thing they were blanks. Imagined I was there - platoon whispering and using hand signals, slight "clinging" of sling keepers and web gear, a click, everything settles down, dead silence, then "DAT DAT DAT DAT DAT". Worse than farting on a wood pew in church. Hey, go big or go home, right?

    Time to fess up - messing with a conversion barrel and shot a 9mm in a 40 barrel. Just a weird sound and very belled case mouth. When I first started hunting (family wasn't into hunting so I wasn't brought up around guns) I was quickly unloading the cartridges w/o the safety on by working the bolt on my Rem 700 and apparently somehow got a finger on the trigger. Scared the piss out of me - still don't see how it happened, but it definitely went off.

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