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I post this as a teachable moment not only for myself but for anyone else that happens upon the post. This past weekend I had what may be the scariest moment personally I've yet to face, and hopefully god willing ends up being the scariest I'll ever have to deal with. It involved a Glock 19 loaded with a Speed Gold Dot 124gr JHP

While at home with my wife and a few family members, I was demonstrating a holster drawing technique I had been practicing for defensive action to show as an example for a new shooter in the family interesting in CCW. I was using my Glock 19 and had unloaded my magazine and replaced with snap caps. What I failed to do was observe rule #3, "ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use," and by extension check and verify that the chamber is empty before any kind of practice. I also failed to observe as a hard lesson learned I realized after the face that even while practicing, you should ALWAYS know what is beyond your firearm when pulling the trigger, whether in training or life fire.

The result was an accidental discharge into the living room exterior wall of my house that had at least a small penetration through the exterior of my home. I live in a suburb and there are houses across the street from me, and my living room faces a down hill direction, so the remnants of the round may have traveled quite a distance, but were not found. Luckily everyone was accounted for in the path of the round and there were no injuries or damages that could be found. By only the grace of God was no one injured, either in the house or outside the house

The bullet hit drywall, and then a two by four frame piece of the house that was on the corner of a bay window, and then the siding that was on the outside. The hole it created started large and narrowed until it was the size of the metal of a coat hanger. What actually made it out of the house would have been no larger than about 3/4 the size of a .22lr bullet, and the funnel it made as a hole in the wall thankfully showed it didn't penetrate as a full intact round exiting the house the way an FMJ likely would have.

The sound made was intense and caused a few seconds of complete ringing in the ears, as well as an obviously shaken wife and few family members. It was by the following of the other safety measures, meaning not pointing at anyone else and pointing in a "safe direction" that no one in the room was injured. It was by pure luck that no one outside was injured. I called the local police department, and they were very professional and understanding. They decided as an accident no to arrest or have any charges, and said they would let me know if anyone reported anything locally on damage or injury. It was absolutely the most tense moment I've had in my life. Worrying that someone may have been injured or killed by a purely accidental discharge I do not wish on anyone, ever.

I can now personally attest to 9mm JHP 124 gr. Speer Gold Dots being able to penetrate an exterior wooden frame wall in the home, even with drywall and stud framing as well as siding in it's way. It won't leave with much left and may only be fragments remaining, but it can make it through. It has caused me to realize, after my heart slowed below "holy crap" speed, that my previous thought for a home defense situation if I have to fire in my living room is simply not a risk I want to take. If I miss, the round can make it outside my home and off down a hill toward neighbors houses. I now will adjust so that if at all possible in that scenario, I will be firing from a bedroom into the kitchen that is a downward angle small staircase, where the exterior wall is a brick one after drywall. I don't believe the round would make it through, and if so, the house on the other immediate side is brick and would necessarily be at a downward angle based on house they line up.

I personally will be purchasing a training barrel for my Glock that I will use every time I wish to train or practice, and will never again be using snap caps without it. I also will be doing all practice in my basement toward a concrete wall that is all underground as avoid any possible situation as this again. I will NOT be practicing anywhere else in my home with a live barrel again regardless of what the circumstances are.

I hope this story helps someone else in the future understand the real responsibilities and dangers of firing a firearm in not only a defensive situation, but also the safety involved in practicing with a firearm. Being too confident, too calm, too careless, and not applying all of the safety rules when handling a firearm can absolutely lead to a dangerous and potentially life altering accident. Take it from someone who said it will never happen to them, observe the rules of firearm safety at ALL times, no matter the few extra seconds it takes or what others may think of you and if you are good with a firearm or not. It is paramount to observe the safe rules for handling a firearm at all time.
 

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Thanks for posting your incident and glad no one was injured. Experience is the best teacher but the most unforgiving.
 

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Thank you for having the courage to post this up. Extremely glad to hear everyone is ok. Now, prepare for the onslaught of "There's no such thing as accidental. It's a negligent discharge." :wink:
 

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Respect for putting this out there. Its a great reminder to practice safe handling techniques, no matter the situation.

There is no doubt you will take you some lumps from some of the more 'perfect' members of the board. Take them, but not too personally. Those members often take a moment of weakness by one as an opportunity for bravado. To me, that's an even greater sign of weakness, both in mind and spirit....to kick a man when he's down.

I'm glad everyone is OK and that you won't face any charges. Hopefully it doesn't deter those interested family members from getting into firearms or CC licensure.

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the encouraging words, and hopefully it is a lesson that can help others new and experienced from making the same mistakes. I would not argue with this incident being called an accidental or negligent discharge, as it was my personal negligence in firearm safety practice that caused it to happen. It was also an accident that hopefully I never in my life repeat again. I'll take all the lumps from all that choose to do so with a smile on my face, as I feel grateful that I can post and share these experiences and take those lumps and not be facing something much worse.
 

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Glad nobody was hurt.

For the record, training barrels won't work with snap caps because there's no place for the snap cap to go, so you pretty much have to choose training barrel or snap caps depending on what you are 'training' at the time. For drawing and presenting practice, the training barrel will work. If you want to do any tap/rack or mag change drills, you'll have to forego the plastic barrel so you can use mags loaded with snap caps.

Don't take your accidental discharge too hard. Nobody was injured and you have a much greater respect for why every rule should be followed explicitly every time. It sounds like you've learned and I'm guessing that you won't make the same mistake twice.

Thanks for posting up your experience. It's always good to be reminded of how important every rule of gun safety is and no matter how long we've handled firearms it's examples like this that help cement the idea that checking and double checking is always a must when doing any work with firearms.
 

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Thanks for the encouraging words, and hopefully it is a lesson that can help others new and experienced from making the same mistakes. I would not argue with this incident being called an accidental or negligent discharge, as it was my personal negligence in firearm safety practice that caused it to happen. It was also an accident that hopefully I never in my life repeat again. I'll take all the lumps from all that choose to do so with a smile on my face, as I feel grateful that I can post and share these experiences and take those lumps and not be facing something much worse.
Yup. Lesson learned. Now get back on the horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
First, nobody is perfect - this isn't the first ND and won't be the last we hear of, none of us are immune to human error.

That said;



Sounds like you should get the basics down first, especially when in front of others.
Starting with 'slow is fast'.

Did you ND drawing or did you intentionally pull the trigger - if so, I'm curious as to why?
I discharged when intentionally pulling the trigger. I was attempting to show the logic of extend, touch, press, and doing so with snap caps. The goal was to show the concept of how that works in a way I had practiced hundreds of times before, and do so with snap caps first myself and then allowing the person to do so as I walked them through it. I wanted them to get the feel of doing so along with the trigger pull. What I was doing was actually in very slow motion, explaining step by step, it was the oversight before even getting to this point that caused the ND. I should have not only checked the chamber myself, but asked him to verify the chamber was empty first, which I did not, and led to this discharge.
 

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I bet everyone about crapped themselves. I bet the new shooter can't wait for the next lesson.
Yes, and yes. :embarassed:. Let's just say another thing I learned was that your stomach goes crazy when in a real tense and stressful situation. It was better than detox for the night and day after.
 

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Swatpup, I'm going to have my wife read this. Reason is because as she is a new shooter this one of the things we are trying to drill in her head. That always always always check the chamber and then recheck it.She is doing good but I think a story like this along with what we seen on our class the other day will be very informational. Glad no one was hurt.
 

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I know a lot of people who mock me and give me a hard time because I always do the "visual and physical" chamber check. "You just looked in there, you know it's empty" they say.

The physical check is not about overruling your eyes, it's about muscle memory. If you force yourself to do it each time, it becomes 2nd nature.

Glad no one was hurt.

I can't let this one go though, I hate the term "accidental discharge". It's a "negligent discharge" anytime you discharge a firearm without intending to do so. I'm not beating anyone one up, just realize that it is what it is, and learn from it.

God bless


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I am one of those individuals that occasionally feels silly for the obsessive checking and rechecking of the chamber in a firearm I'm handling. Stories like this are good reminders for me not to relax discipline in safe handling.

Thanks for posting.
 

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So glad nobody was hurt. Let me add some things you might add to procedures.

1. ALWAYS store the ammo somewhere ELSE when dry firing.
2. Check the gun immediately before every use but also have wife or other person verify it before starting.
3. Any interruption, doorbell, phone, always recheck to make sure you didn't reload for carry and forget, this really does happen.
4. Dry fire at a nice backstop such as brick fireplace.


I prepared my 9mm Sig for carry the other day after having it unloaded and dry firing. Then went back to do one more thing to the gun after being interrupted. I came very close to snapping a chambered round with the magazine removed. Thank GOD I checked with a glance and saw the nickel plated casing in the tiny indicator window. I should have NOT stored the ammo in the same room.

If anyone here thinks they are so smart, slick and well trained this can never happen to you. Well you're living in a fantasy. This can happen to the most highly trained people.

You are a brave person for posting this and risking the flames.
 
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