"A Harsh Reminder" or "One moment of inattention could have cost me an eye!"

This is a discussion on "A Harsh Reminder" or "One moment of inattention could have cost me an eye!" within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I just want to share a little experience that reinforced the need for good safety practice at all times when dealing with guns/ammo. I recently ...

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Thread: "A Harsh Reminder" or "One moment of inattention could have cost me an eye!"

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    "A Harsh Reminder" or "One moment of inattention could have cost me an eye!"

    I just want to share a little experience that reinforced the need for good safety practice at all times when dealing with guns/ammo.

    I recently picked up a Savage model 720 automatic shotgun. This is my first auto loader so I did a little research and found some good diagrams and dis-assembly instructions before I proceeded to completely dismantle the gun for a thorough cleaning and inspection. After all, it is probably close to 70 years old.

    Now, I ALWAYS wear safety glasses when doing any gun smithing or reloading. ALWAYS!!! Did I mention that I always wear safety glasses?

    I had the gun torn down and cleaned. I inspected it for any obvious damage or extreme wear. I then started to reassemble the shotgun. There is a flat metal, bent leaf spring that operates the shell lifter. This may be common to all auto loaders but I would not know for sure. During dis-assembly this spring required a slight effort to remove. It wasn't difficult but it certainly did not just fall out.

    It was right after I re-installed this spring that my cell rang and I spent a few minutes talking to my wife who had been out of town and was letting me know that she would be hitting the road for the return trip. While talking I put everything down, removed my glasses and stepped away from the bench.

    When I finished on the phone I returned to my bench, reached for my glasses and simultaneously picked up the shotgun receiver. As the receiver rolled up into my hand I heard a "Sproing!" and watched in slow motion as the leaf spring exited the open bottom of the partially assembled shotgun and made a bee line for my face. I got my eyes closed a nano second before I felt the spring hit the bridge of my nose and the bottom of my left eye socket.

    After dropping the shotgun and emitting a few choice phrases that would have scorched the paint if my shop were finished, I felt for the damage to my face and headed to a mirror. I had a small cut on the bridge of my nose and the spot directly below my eyeball was red but not broken. I wiped the blood off of my face and counted myself lucky.

    About six hours later at the club Trap Shoot some one asked me "What the hell did you do to your eye?!". My left eye was extremely blood shot and there was a very angry looking bright red spot on the eyeball just below my iris. I wasn't as lucky as I thought.

    This was few days ago and my eye has cleared up completely. I never felt any pain or discomfort in my eye and my vision was not effected at all at any time. I probably should have gone to the emergency room but it had already been a good while before I realized that there was any chance of serious injury.

    Anyway, the point here is that even when we think we are being careful things can go bad quickly. Never get complacent.
    ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SAFETY GLASSES!
    That split second before I got my glasses back on was all it could have taken to have lost an eye.
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    Amen. Always wear protective glasses and hearing gear!!!!!!!

    I'm very glad it turned out to just be a Lesson Learned. To your health, Sir.
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    Keep an eye out for lightning flashes at the periphery of your vision. If you see then then see a doctor because it could mean the retina is detaching.

    Glad things seem okay for you but watch for anything unusual that may be signs of problems.

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    I always wear glasses when I'm dealing with springs or chemicals. Glad you're ok!

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    Lessons learned without permanent damage are always useful...thanks for sharing!
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    Glad you are going to be Ok.
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    If this just happened a few days ago, go to an eye doctor. You do not want an eye infection, which is a risk with any injury of this nature. There can also be additional injury to the eye that you can't see or feel.
    Retiredonce likes this.

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    Great post and GREAT reminder! Go to an Ophthalmologist and get a check, if you have not already.

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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    I never thought about wearing safety glasses when cleaning guns but I think I will now after reading this story.
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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rammerjammer View Post
    I never thought about wearing safety glasses when cleaning guns but I think I will now after reading this story.
    Same here haha.
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    Great reminder - there's very few second chances - glad you're ok!

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    THANKS

    I have been remiss of late and will correct my habits.

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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the reminder.
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    Distinguished Member Array tiwee's Avatar
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    I know there are sometimes when I must answer the phone for various reasons such as sick family etc. At other times if I am doing anything involving concentration or safety, I turn off the phone. It is the most dangerous implement I have on my person.

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    Reminds me of the time I was welding a new hunk of metal on a car fender. I was wearing safety goggles and the welding helmet when I hit a bad hunk of rusty metal and while on my knees, a spark of metal hit the concrete floor and bounced up, under the safety goggles and bounced off the back of the eyeglasses I was wearing and hit me square in the eye. I flushed my eye out with saline and it felt better. About three hours later the wife says... what is that brown spot in your eye? The metal was still lodged in my eye and was already rusting. Went to the ER and they decided not to operate until an eye doc saw it since they felt the metal was piercing the liquid membrane of the eyeball. Fortunately, it was not and they used a little AAA battery operated device to cut the metal out of my eye...

    All that above and I did everything right and I still almost lost my eye...

    Glad the OP was OK. Bottom line, sometimes stuff happens no matter how safe you try to be... But it beats the alternative every single time...
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