How Do Accidental Discharges Most Often Occur?

How Do Accidental Discharges Most Often Occur?

This is a discussion on How Do Accidental Discharges Most Often Occur? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Been wondering this. I've been carrying a short time. Found it very comfortable this past winter throwing my DAO Ruger snubby in the front pocket ...

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Thread: How Do Accidental Discharges Most Often Occur?

  1. #1
    Member Array martino's Avatar
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    How Do Accidental Discharges Most Often Occur?

    Been wondering this. I've been carrying a short time. Found it very comfortable this past winter throwing my DAO Ruger snubby in the front pocket of my fleece jacket as it has a quality zipper. Now with spring weather hopefully here soon, I won't be wearing that and will be using in/owb holsters with XDM and/or snubby revolver. Thanks


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    Complacency.

    Would be a good idea to get a pocket holster for throwing in the pocket carry. That's another way NDs occur.
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

  3. #3
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Someone pulls the trigger when they shouldn't
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  4. #4
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    Ignorance or Carelessness.. there isn't an AD that can't be put into these two groups.

  5. #5
    Member Array martino's Avatar
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    Anything more specific? certain holsters? certain gun types? which type gun if dropped is most likely to fire?

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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    Accidental discharges are rare and happen with very old firearms that don't have modern internal safeties, or "bubba-ed" guns with poor "gunsmith" work that compromises the drop safety of the weapon.

    Negligent discharges happen when people don't follow the four rules.

    The mass majority of modern firearms (handguns) are drop safe. Many have firing pin blocks or transfer bars to prevent them from firing without the trigger being pulled.

    As far as pocket carry, I'd recommend a pocket holster as well. There have been those who have had NDs because they pocket carried with no holster. Don't be that guy!

    And be careful. It's easy to get complacent. I've caught myself doing it on more than one occasion. It only takes a split second to change yours and/or someone's else life forever. Don't take the chance.

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    Senior Member Array Barbary's Avatar
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    Too much Mexican food?

  8. #8
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    I had one way back in 1975 while unloading my 1911. Rack slide, drop mag, pull trigger in the garage. Bullet went thru a 2x4 and off of a 2x8 floor joist and came to rest in the middle of the shop bench face up. I still have the bullet as a reminder in my range bag. Made a heck of a noise and scared the stuff out of me. It will sharpen your skills immediately and further down the road.
    Praise the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle --- Psalm 144
    NRA Endowment Life
    There are NO Silver Medals for Street Combat
    Blue Thunder, I smell Victory in the Morning!

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Operator Error.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  10. #10
    Member Array Leopard125's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeyeLCPL View Post
    Someone pulls the trigger when they shouldn't
    Kinda covers it in a nut shell!

  11. #11
    Member Array raytracer's Avatar
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    Here's a flowchart you can use to determine whether it's a ND or an AD:


  12. #12
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    99.99% of the dropped guns that discharge do this with a finger from the hand trying to catch it puling the trigger, not bouncing on the floor. Does the person who dropped the firearm admit it? Usually not, much easier to claim divine intervention.

    The other NDs are the bang when a click was expected. Poor or complacent rule following.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array sdprof's Avatar
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    I learned as a Safety Officer in the AF that there are no such things as "accidents". There are mishaps, and they all have a reason or root cause. As noted above, all are caused by people, either not following the four rules, or doing something that makes the firearm less safe than it was designed to be.

    Guns don't cause NDs, people do.
    ~~~~~
    The only common sense gun legislation was written about 224 years ago.

    I carry always not because I go places trouble is likely, but because trouble has a habit of not staying in its assigned zone.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    AD's while training.....here is something I wrote last year

    “Only You Are Responsible For You”

    This is the last sentence inside of the Suarez International videotaped liability release. These are not just words! It should be the very core to your gun safety philosophy. It does not matter what you know or where you learned your safe gun handling habits. It does not matter where you train right now. Only you are responsible for your own safety habits.

    This means that you need to look at what you have been taught or what you do and decide if it is really good enough. Remember, the most likely person that you are going to shoot IS YOURSELF!

    “How good is good enough?”

    Is your gun handling safety habits really good enough? When it comes down to putting unexpecting holes into vital areas of your own body are you really doing the best that you can to mitigate this possibility, all while still learning to be combat effective?

    Gunfighting is dangerous! Training to gunfight is also dangerous. The reality of the matter is that the more advanced that you get inside of your training, the more dangerous your training becomes. When we look at the reality of the fight and the likely issues that will arise inside of a fight, it is clear that we need to learn a lot more than just the optimal skill sets for the optimal situations. The reality of the reactive gunfight puts us in sub-optimal positions that require our safety habits to be the very best that they can be. We need to understand that the whole competition based safety habits simply may not be good enough inside of a fight or inside of fight focused training.

    We all should be at the point where we at least know the Four Basic Rules of Gun Safety.

    (1) Treat every gun as if it was loaded.
    (2) Do not cover anything that you are not willing to destroy
    (3) Keep your finger off of the trigger and outside of the trigger guard until you have made the conscience decision to shoot.
    (4) Know your target and what is in line with your target, behind and in front.

    But these are very general rules that do not nail down specific safety habits.

    In the past, Gabe Suarez has done an outstanding job of bringing a little common sense and reality to these rules. I would highly recommend that you check into Gabe’s take on the Four Basic Safety Rules.

    The point of this article is to talk about overlooked liabilities and bad habits, more so than rules. It is the overlooked liabilities and bad habits that really define your personal safety level. The mitigation of liabilities and bad habits are what allow you to proceed into advanced levels of training, all while keeping yourself as safe as you possibly can. I will be covering the top five overlooked liabilities and bad habits that I see inside of my courses.

    Overlooked liabilities can be fixed inside of a two day course, but as an advanced instructor teaching advance students advanced skill set, I should not have to constantly babysit people through their safety awareness. I should not have to constantly point out that safety issues are being over looked. These are all issues that should be taken care before the course by wrapping your head around the safety concerns involved with overlooking basic concepts. Sure I will remind you, but really, shouldn’t this be something that I should not have to remind people of. The whole “You know that you are jeopardizing shooting yourself because you are overlooking some very basic concepts” conversation gets very old, very quickly.

    Top Three Overlooked Liabilities

    Loose Garments Around Your Holster

    This is by far the most commonly overlooked liability by the students. It feels as if I could spend an entire course reminding people to tuck in their loose garments around their holster. Getting a loose garment caught inside of the trigger guard while reholstering will but an unexpected hole in you. Why would you risk such a thing over something so simple as keeping your under garment tucked in tight and your over garment clear of the holster? All of my under garments tuck in a good 12” past my belt line to insure that that do not come untucked and end up in my holster or trigger guard. When I reholster it is seen as an administrative process that is all geared toward a “Don’t shoot yourself stupid” mindset. My over garment is cleared completely before any reholstering is done. I have zero concern for speed or coolness factor. If I need to look, I look, because it is just administrative. It is my opinion that every time you head back to ammo up, you should take a look at your garments around your holster. A couple of seconds of cheap insurance mitigates your risks substantially. If your under garment is coming untucked, tuck it in. Furthermore, take that lesson to heart, go home and find a garment that will not come untucked. It is not brain surgery or rocket science, it is basic common sense! This is something that an advanced instructor should not have to point out!

    Why do under garments come untucked?

    They come untucked because of the “elbow up” portion of the draw stroke and the pivoting during “the turret of the tank” concept. “A” shirts and Under Armor type garments work very well for me. They are tight, tuck in deep, and deal with the manipulation of the shoulder, without coming untucked.

    Dress around your gun and test your garments before you show up in a course.

    An instructor should not have to show you how to dress.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    Part 2

    Untested Gear Inside of a Course

    When you show up for an advanced course, it is all about the skill sets and the corresponding mental aspect of the fight that are being taught. Your entire focus should be on these two things. Heck that is what you paid for, right? This is not the place to try out untested gear! This is not the place to “try this and try that!” This is not the place to experiment! This is the place that you show up with what you know best and put it to use inside of the framework of the course. It is my opinion that you should plan on working with the one set up that you know the best, plan on working one gun, one holster, and one ammo supply method that you know the best. This is not the place to try out four different guns or four different set ups. You are there to learn what is being taught. Take that knowledge home and dry practice with all of your other gear. Inside of a course, where the learning curve is steep, concentrate on the course…..not your gear. Some of the most unsuccessful students that I have ever had were hardware focused and not software focused. While everyone else progressed rapidly…..they struggled to keep up. While struggling to keep up, their safety levels suffered. An advanced course is a challenge all in itself. Do not make a difficult and dangerous endeavor even more so because you are hardware focused.

    Some will read this and think that it is contradictory to the whole “Dual Appendix” form of training inside of SI’s most advanced courses. That would be a huge misconception! It has been written out many times to not show up in an advanced course expecting to go dual appendix unless you are absolutely ready for this type of training. These courses are not where you learn to go dual appendix, they are designed to take your advanced skill levels to the next level. You learn to go dual appendix in your dry practice, your airsoft training, and inside of the basic courses. If you are not ready to hit the ground running, do not participate in these advanced applications. Just because some students in the course have prepared themselves appropriately, does not mean that you have. And if you have not prepared yourself appropriately, deal with that reality and learn what you can without needless putting yourself at risk by biting off more than you can chew.

    Having the intellect to say to yourself “I am not ready for that” is a positive trait. SI will never force you to do something that you are not comfortable with. We want to challenge our advanced student base, but even more so, we want you to go home with the same number of holes that you showed up with.

    Watch for and get rid of any gear that might impede with your draw stroke. There should be nothing above your holster that could cause a snag on the gun or the hands. Take the lessons that we learned about chest rigs and CCW holsters and apply the same concepts across the board.

    Untested Skill Sets Inside of a Course

    The last topic touched on this issue. It is very common to learn untested skill sets inside of a course. The vast majority of the time this is not a safety issue. The vast majority of time that is perfectly ok and acceptable. It is when we get to the advanced training and the increase safety concerns that these issues need to be looked at more closely. This is the point where we (the instructors) need honesty from our student base. This is the point that we need the student to be honest with themselves and with us on what they are truly and safely capable of.

    Everything that we learn should be run through a natural progression. This natural progression is what keeps us safe and what keeps us from biting off more than we can chew. Let’s look at one single skill set and take a look at the progression that should be involved to reach the advanced levels of the skill set. Let’s look at “Completely Ambidextrous” with the handgun skill sets. This is not something that you look at for a couple of minutes and then plan on jumping into an advanced SI handgun course to put into action. That would be very unwise for everyone involved. Even if you are an advanced student, there are skill sets that require you to step back to the basics, to nail down the skills that will allow you to be safe. I went through a very specific progression to be at the point that I am comfortable with my skill level, to head into completely ambidextrous shooting with a handgun.

    Here is what I would recommend.

    Step back to the basics and run a “secondary hand” Defensive Pistol Skills course. Run the whole two day course with your off hand. All manipulations, all draw strokes, and all shooting with your secondary hand. Take those skill sets and bring them home and dry practice them until you have it down cold. Have the ability to run your secondary hand at, at least 80% of your primary hand. Take a “secondary hand” Close Range Gunfighting course and do the same thing, including the dry practice. Only then, after you have put in the time, step into an advanced course that runs dual appendix. We all need to recognize that it is secondary hand draw stroke and the uneducated secondary hand trigger finger that makes the dual appendix training a very high skill level skill set and high safety risk.

    Put in the work and never bite off more than you can chew!

    Inside of an advanced course is not the place to try to figure this all out!

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