This Accidental shot really would make me if it would have occurred to me

This Accidental shot really would make me if it would have occurred to me

This is a discussion on This Accidental shot really would make me if it would have occurred to me within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The Grand Forks Harald is reporting: *John “Jack” Hammen, 54, stood waiting for the person who had invited him to do some practice shooting Wednesday ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Dakotaranger's Avatar
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    This Accidental shot really would make me if it would have occurred to me

    The Grand Forks Harald is reporting:

    *John “Jack” Hammen, 54, stood waiting for the person who had invited him to do some practice shooting Wednesday morning. The Grand Forks certified public accountant had his .45-caliber handgun and a box of ammunition.

    As he waited, the box of ammo slipped out of his hand and fell to the floor. Somehow, a round went off, blasting a hole in the carton and sending a slug flying.

    It sounded, Hammen said later, “like a .45 being fired in an indoor stairwell.”



    The entrance of the law enforcement building steps are taped off in the lobby Wednesday morning. Grand Forks police are questioning a man who says that when he dropped a box of ammunition one round went off. Herald photo by Jackie Lorentz.
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    Capt. Kerwin Kjelstrom
    If it had happened anywhere else, Hammen probably would have had a better day Wednesday. But this was the lobby of the Grand Forks Law Enforcement Center, home to the city police and the county sheriff’s office.

    Officers came running, weapons at the ready.

    Police closed the lobby about 10:05 a.m. and used yellow tape to further close off the area near the stairwell while they searched for the spent round. Doors were locked at both the main and Fifth Street entrances until about 11 a.m.

    “We heard a shot go off in the hallway,” said Capt. Kerwin Kjelstrom, one of about five officers who responded. “A number of us ran out and found sitting on the stairwell a gentleman who said he dropped a box of ammunition and one round went off.

    “You hear a round go off, and everybody wonders: ‘What are we going to find when we go out the door?’ Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

    “It sure got my heart started, though.”

    ‘No devious intent’

    Detectives questioned Hammen in an interview room while other officers searched for the .45 slug, which they found behind a row of seating near the center’s main entrance on the west side. It was undamaged and appeared not to have struck anything hard before settling behind the window seating. When a round goes off outside a gun’s chamber, the force behind the slug may be dissipated, officers said.

    Still, the loud report — Kjelstrom likened it to a clipboard smacking the floor flat — got lots of sworn hearts racing.

    “This is a police department, and there are people who are not happy with us,” he said.

    But officers quickly determined that Hammen had no beef and no devious intent. He had a permit for the handgun and an invitation to use the center’s basement firing range. The ammo box with the frayed hole “supports his story,” Kjelstrom said.

    “They told me, ‘It was an accident — what can you do?’ ” Hammen said later. “It wasn’t irresponsible gun handling or negligence.”

    It was a box of factory-produced shells, he said, not hand-loaded, and he had taped the box closed “so the flap couldn’t fly open,” spilling shells.

    “I was flabbergasted” when one went off, he said, and the detectives who questioned him were equally dumbfounded. “They said it’s unheard of” for a round to go off the way it did, he said.

    “They said I should go buy a lottery ticket, because that’s what the odds were like.”

    Hammen, a former geography professor at UND, said he occasionally shoots at a private range and this was — or would have been — his first visit to the police range. He did not identify the officer who issued the invitation.

    Will he try again?

    “If somebody invites me,” he said.

    Kjelstrom said he cannot recall anything like Wednesday’s incident happening at the law enforcement center before, but he said the department plans “a review of how people come in, how their weapons are secured and how they use our range.”
    I would like to know what ammo he was using. I kinda feel bad for the poor guy.
    "[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons.
    They are left in full possession of them."

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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Man......that is a bad start to a range day.
    The only negligence is the box wasn't secured in another container
    or his pocket.
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  3. #3
    Ex Member Array FN1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldshellback View Post
    Man......that is a bad start to a range day.
    The only negligence is the box wasn't secured in another container
    or his pocket
    .
    I can't really call that negligence. Who woulda thunk that dropping a box of ammo could cause one to fire. I would have to classify this one as a AD nut would like to know what ammo it was.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    This sounds like one of those "One in a million" type of things.

    Unless the primer is struck hard, just dropping a box of ammunition on the floor is not going send off a discharge.

    I've racked thousands of rounds out of centerfire pistols and rifles and they hit the concrete deck pretty hard, often on their case lips and have never just dishcharged from falling to the ground.

    I'd be interested to hear where the bullet struck first, then second, and possibly a third strike. That, would tell the tale.

    I'm not buying this story.
    Perhaps your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.

  5. #5
    Member Array Bonesnofoa's Avatar
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    Good thing without a barrel to compress the round the whole thing would just blow up. Still its fortunate that the fellow wasn't hit with the shrapnel.

  6. #6
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    Question

    That's a new one on me and really is one in a million if it happened as reported.
    That being said: without a barrel and chamber the bullet probably would not even penetrate skin though I guess it could go sailing a few feet or more.
    I'm surprised the bullet even made it through the box actually.
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  7. #7
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    It just goes to show: Nothing is impossible, there are only varying degrees of improbability. On that scale, this ranks as only slightly more probably than a giant pickle falling out of the sky and hitting you on the head...

    Glad no one was hurt, either by the round or the response.
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    Hm. Who knew that the containers that military have used had a dual purpose (lug-ability, and reduced risk of detonation). Perhaps it is one in a million, but it makes one more thing to simply do by the book. Ammo now goes in the ammo can, and stays there until on the line and loading.
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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    I have seen a round go off by ejecting the round out onto the ground at an outdoor SO range. The brass opened up like a daisy.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skygod View Post
    I'm not buying this story.
    Then you must be assuming that the police are lying.
    The ammo box with the frayed hole “supports his story,” Kjelstrom said.
    Hoss
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  11. #11
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    It could have a double stack box of ammo in which the top and bottom layers of cartridges are seperated by a thin section of styrofoam. In this type of box, the shells are stacked directly over each other, with the tip of one cartridge pointed directly at the cartridge beneath.

    Did they check for rifling on the slug?

    How about a firing pin mark on the primer?

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by takurpic View Post
    It could have a double stack box of ammo in which the top and bottom layers of cartridges are seperated by a thin section of styrofoam. In this type of box, the shells are stacked directly over each other, with the tip of one cartridge pointed directly at the cartridge beneath. Easier to accept as a possibility if they were pointed rifle rounds. Exactly why you don't use pointed bullets in a rifle with a tubular magazine.

    Did they check for rifling on the slug? I'm guessing that this answers the question:
    It was undamaged and appeared not to have struck anything hard before settling behind the window seating.


    How about a firing pin mark on the primer?
    Unless you are doubting the investigator's honesty, this seems like nothing more than and extremely freaky accident.

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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    Unless you are doubting the investigator's honesty, this seems like nothing more than and extremely freaky accident.
    +1 I kinda think most LEO could identify a round that had been fired from a gun fairly easily.
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Wow. I have to admit, I have never heard of a round of center-fire ammuntion discharging from being dropped. Sounds like that's what happened here though.

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    Shorts, Need some clean shorts over here.

    He really should go buy a lottery ticket.
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