Sunday, January 20, 2013

ND 1500?

or, The Dangers Of Administrative Gun-Handling

     There was a negligent discharge outside the Indy 1500 yesterday.  About the time Tam and Shootin' Buddy were departing, a man reloading a "45 caliber semi-automatic" handgun put a bullet right through his hand.

     The local firearms community is not impressed.  Neither, I suspect is the guy who did it: when I arrived, a couple of hours later, police at the entry were still talking about it, "Yep, right through the palm of his hand, pow!"  Yeesh.

     There's a lesson here -- past "don't be an idiot" -- about excessive, unneccessary gun-handling.  The 1500 has a blanket "all firearms must be unloaded and peace-bonded*" rule, and that includes the sidearm you carry for self-defense.  Your options are A) keep it concealed and lie to the nice people (not really proper and you'd better be darned sure concealed is concealed, or you go home early), B) lock your loaded gun in your car (bit of a security worry) or C) unload before going in, get the ziptie, then cut it off and reload once you're back outside.  Option C is complicated by the total lack of any sand barrels (etc.) and a shortage of nearby exposed landscaping but it's what most people do.

     For most of them -- Tam, SB and me, for instance -- this has worked just fine.  But any unnecessary gun-handling carries some risk and when you add likely factors of being flustered, inexperienced and/or complacent, the odds of a ND become non-zero.

     There's a local gunshop/range that has a sign at the door: LOADED FIREARMS MUST REMAIN HOLSTERED.  Would that work at the 1500?  I don't know.  I do know the Four Rules are there for a good reason, and are not to be ignored even when it's just you reloading your own gun.
* I'm told this is more of a SF 'con/Renn. Fair expression, referring to the ribbons or zipties used to formally "secure" large bladed weapons and simulacra in their sheaths, but it fits here, too -- those orange tie-wraps are largely symbolic.


Robert Fowler said...

I just took a good look at my carry gun, a 1911. How do you shoot yourself in the palm of the hand reloading it? That has to be some serious talent.

BGMiller said...

Think of one of the more compact .45s out there like the new Springfield XDs. If you grasp the slide at the front cocking serrations with your thumb pointing to the rear and maintain contact as the slide returns to battery you would end up with your palm just above and forward of the muzzle. Not hard to picture muzzle rising and/or hand dropping to bring the palm in line with the bore.


The Jack said...

If they must "Do something" I'd wonder if they don't take a page from the scifi-con and peacebond the gun into the holster.

You can use a ziptie to do that. And that'd "secure" the gun without having to expose the trigger, work the action, or really directly touch it.

BGMiller said...

Lot of gun/holster combos that wouldn't be possible with.

My Walther PPS/Comp-Tac Infidel for example.

Or almost any IWB rig really.


Tango Juliet said...

Leave the damn thing in your holster. There's no safer place for it to be.

Put aside the male ego. Watching 13 seasons of Bonanza doesn't make you knowledgeable about proper gun handling techniques.

And if you're not sure what the hell you're doing, leave it alone until you can get yourself some quality training.

I don't care what Daddy taught you!!

I'm a bit wound up today. :)

The Jack said...

Good point Benjamin.

Now that I think about it, most pocket holsters wouldn't work with either.

Ah well. Again 4 rules, don't catch a dropped gun, and Stop Touching It.

Old NFO said...

This is a quandry, no question. And not a lot of right answers out there... I for one will NOT leave a gun in a vehicle for any length of time (like going to a gun show) unless I have a method to secure the gun (like a small lock box).

The Freeholder said...

My primary gun shop has pretty much that exact sign. That came about after enough of us concealed carriers raised a ruckus about having to leave it in our cars.

I have a GunVault in my daily driver, just so I can secure my gun in cases such as these. I don't like handling it in cramped spaces, but I'd rather do that than trying to unload it in a cramped space, or worse yet, one full of people.

Benjamin, your point is well taken. Every time I do any teaching, I do a quick lecture on the evils of forward serrations. I don't want my hand that close to the business end of a loaded gun. I wish manufactures would stop putting them on the slides.

It's perfectly easy to rack a slide, even on the little guys, from the rear.

Dave H said...

OldNFO: I'm the same way about leaving a gun in the car. I added a U-bolt to the front of a .50 cal ammo box so the lid can be secured with a padlock and a security cable can be attached at the same time. The cable is looped around the seat mountings in my car. It won't stop a determined thief but I hope it'll slow him down long enough for me to notice the intrusion alarm and come to investigate.

I have a Gunvault, but it's barely big enough for my carry gun. I wanted something bigger so I take a target pistol and ammo to the range and stop off for a burger on the way home.

Drang said...

Roger on etymology of "peace bond".

What The Jack described at 11:01 is peace bonding, which is used by
the Washington Arms Collectors at their show here in the Evergreen State, as well as at (as Bobbi alludes in her footnote) at most if not all SF cons I've been too. My understanding was that the subject of this post was leaving the show, and was in the act of removing the cable tie and reloading his piece.

Every single fun show in WA state has a "No loaded guns" rule. So far as I can tell, it's a choice between having insurance or not; doesn't really matter whether it's the promoter/sponsor's insurance or the venue's.

WAC does have bullet traps at the entrance to their shows. Not sure they'd allow someone leaving to use them for reloading prior to going home.

Ritchie said...

My car has the rear seatback secured with bolts and wingnuts accessible from inside the trunk. I did this work on a dead end road far from where I live.

Tam said...

Robert Fowler,

"How do you shoot yourself in the palm of the hand reloading it?"

It may have happened while he was using two hands to wriggle it into a floppy holster.

Anonymous said...

"I just took a good look at my carry gun, a 1911. How do you shoot yourself in the palm of the hand reloading it? That has to be some serious talent."

They do this (have seen it dozens upon scores of times).

1. Insert magazine.

2. Rack slide.

3. Hand racking slide guides slide instead of letting go.

3. Heel of hand or fingers will go in front of barrel.

Shootin' Buddy

Ed Foster said...

Actually, the tied weapon tradition goes back a long way. In early Anglo-Saxon law, 4 men of the accusers family were on the jury, and four from that of the accused, all with swords tied.

The twelve man jury came about in Mersia (around modern day Liverpool), when 4 Welsh merchants were added. The Welsh were respected and trusted to be neutral, and could usually talk the rest of the jury out of an armed brawl after court was recessed.

rickn8or said...

DaveH, if you want to put a LOCK on your ammo can, might I suggest this little jewel from Tractor Supply Company.

I've made a couple for myself, and have photos from the original web article (which I'm trying to locate now) if anyone's interested.

I wouldn't presume on Ms. Roberta's bandwidth to attempt to put the photos up here.

Roberta X said...

Neat, Rick -- just be sure to use two of them!

Dave H said...

rickn8or: Thanks! TSC is where I bought my U-bolt in the first place. I'll give it a look.

Robert Fowler said...

1. Insert magazine.

2. Rack slide.

3. Hand racking slide guides slide instead of letting go.

3. Heel of hand or fingers will go in front of barrel.

Shootin' Buddy

That sounds to me like someone was poorly trained. I can't remember ever letting my hand follow the slide back. I was taught, and taught as a instructor to pull and release. Has training really changed that much since I was a USMC instructor in the 70's?

Sometimes the old methods are still the best one.

Rey B said...

Just a question because I mostly carry a revolver and my experience with the 1911 was back in the mists of time when in the Navy, but what happened to lock the slide, insert the magazine, while pointed in a safe direction release the slide? If you need to top off, safety on, drop the mag, then add a round and reinsert magazine. I realize this may require holstering temporarily but what is wrong with that as long as you pay attention? Not tactical or cool enough?

jdunmyer said...

It's a real bad idea for anyone to become smug and say, "if you're well-trained and pay attention, it can't happen to you". One of the fellas in our gun club who teaches CCW classes, in fact has a brick & mortar office, shot himself in the hand a year or so ago. He isn't at all proud, and admits making a mistake (I forget the details), but such mishaps CAN happen to anyone.

As for unloading carry pieces before entering a gun show, I sure see why it's insisted upon. Very few people can resist the urge to "show me yours and I'll show you mine". No one here, of course, but there's lots and lots of others..

Roberta X said...

Rey: for whatever reason (many are cited, none hold much water) releasing the slide by working the slide release has fallen out of vogue and the kewl kids tend to wrap their off hand atop the slide *behind* the ejection port, pull back slightly and let go. If done correctly, it does keep both hands busy and away from the muzzle.

Like many things, there are lots of ways to get it wrong. Some can get you shot, as the fellow at the 1500 (supposedly loading up a brand new gun for the first time!) found out.

Me, I take new-to-me guns to the range for the first loading and shooting. Guess I'm just timid.