Thursday, December 11, 2008

Someday You Will Have An ND

It is not "if" but "when;" and what follows "when" is "how bad." Maybe you'll be careful enough. We're all seen the reports from people who were not; the link is to someone who was and it still made for a bad time.

The gun-cleaning/clearing area at Roseholme has not had a sand barrel but it's going to. It's too easy to become careless and every little bit helps.

Also, note that in the linked story, the gun was believed to be unloaded. They never are, not until you have it field-stripped and maybe not even then; but we get casual. The guys that taught me to shoot handguns made a big deal about checking the chamber with both eyes and a finger -- not just to "make doubly sure" but also on the theory that you might, just might, be reminded to slow down and pay attention at that critical step.

15 comments:

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Here, here. Fight against getting casual. I am contantly reminding myself and I still notice over-familiarity creeping in. Bad, bad, bad. I do the finger thing as well as the eyeball thing, too. If I had a glass eye I'd take it out and shove IT into the open chamber. Just for, you know, safety.

OldTexan said...

A few weeks ago I was showing my daughter's boyfriend my new .45 carry pistol. I dropped the mag and racked the slide, confirmed it was empty and handed it over. He, a guy who is 30, and a gun guy racked the slide, checked the chamber and admired the pistol.

He handed it back to me and I guess I thought the slide was closed, I replaced the magazine and set the pistol down. Later that evening I was putting the pistol in the case, I started to wipe it down with a cloth. I was sure the chamber was empty but I dropped the magazine out and pulled the slide back and to my total surprise a live round popped out.

I knew without any doubt that the pistol had an empty chamber but I was wrong. In the process of handing the pistol back and forth, trying to be safe I had chambered a round without being aware of it.

I failed to make a final check before setting the pistol down and I was lucky enough to check it again, out of habit when I picked it up. You can never assume a gun is empty, even when you were the last person to touch it.

I also have a habit of hooking a little finger into the chamber to verify it is empty but screwing up one time might be one time too many.

Carteach0 said...

I do not have a sand box where I clean weapons. I have a well stocked book case backed by a brick wall. My reasoning is: Should I have a ND (and I have had three in my life) with a pistol, the books should be sufficient. Should it a larger boomensplat rifle, the books slow it down before the bullet impacts on brick, and the books deal with back splatter.

I say I have had three ND's. One with pistol, one with rifle, and one with shotgun. Because I followed the four as best I could, none of the ND's were even a minor issue, let alone a tragedy. Two of them were technical issues with the weapons that required repair, and the third was an act of stupidity that I got lucky on.

BobG said...

I've only had one AD; was easing down the hammer on a single-action revolver and had my thumb slip off the hammer, which allowed it to fall. The gun was pointed toward the ground away from anyone (we were out target shooting), so it was more embarrassing than anything.

D.W. Drang said...

A suggestion for a clearing barrel: 25 (minimum) pound bucket of cat litter with seal attached. A 37 pounder is better, if you can find them. I think only clumping litter comes in these; if your fur person overlords don't use clumping, you may have to make a special (usually $10-12.00) purchase. But among other things, they are easy to aim at, hard to knock over, and even if you do, they won't spill.

WV: flyric. What Ingrid Bergman told Humphrey Bogart before he shot Hauptmann Stossser...

Breda said...

Mindfulness.

rickn8or said...

There's them that has and them that will...

Tam said...

I've never had one, but I've been in the room for three or four and believe you me, those count too.

Roberta X said...

I have had several, as I count them -- my 9mm Witness has a nasty habit of not quite fully engaging hammer and sear about once per very three magazines.

It's a highly controllable sidearm and I have shot it only at the range, but there's something unforgettable about just touching the trigger as soon as the sights line up and having the gun go BANG! before I've even thought about squeezing. This is an ND, though the N in question includes that
it's got to go back to EAA -- I've been shooting my CZ 75B instead.

JAFO said...

Well, I am honored to make your blog, Roberta. Juist wish it was under better circumstances.

Learn from this mistake, folks. Be OCD about weapons safety, at all times.

Thank the gods noone was hurt.

Tam said...

JAFO,

If it makes you feel any better, I was in the room when a friend dropped the slide on his carry pistol and it slamfired, due to a malfunctioning firing-pin safety.

The pistol? A kilobuck-plus HK P7M8.

Roberta X said...

JAFO, I thought you handled it better than most -- and it's the kind of lesson the rest of us can learn from. NDs will happen to any of us.

...It is certainly a lesson for me. Because my carry gun moves with me, from holder or purse or safe to bedside, I handle a loaded weapon often and try to achieve the somewhat conflicting goals of safe habits and "mindfulness," safety as conscious act.

Roberta X said...

...Like with toasters, f'r instance. >sigh<

John B said...

I prefer AD to ND. I count 3 myself, two repair, and I'm told the third shouldn't count, 'cos I had the gun pointed safely down range. I remember a chilling story told around military campfires. On shipboard during WWII, a guy at the wardroom table is assembling his .45 after field stripping, he is supposed to go through the steps to unload it, pulls the slide back, drops the mag, then points it at his best friend across the table and pulls the trigger. His friend stands up startled, says, "I think I've been shot!" and falls down dead across the wardroom table.

Total ignorance of three of four of the rules. Nope actually all four.....

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

I've had mine, too. No damage that wasn't repairable. No injuries. No police involvement.

Count me very thankful.