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Unsafe Moments

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by School Teacher, Jul 15, 2008.

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  1. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Louisville, KY
    It is always tragic when one shooter accidentally injures another (combat excluded). IMO, all it takes is a brief moment of confusion, inattention or lack of judgment. Fatigue, enthusiasm or simple stupidity can be factors in a tragic accident.


    In my life, I have experienced a few “there except for the grace of God, go I” moments and witnessed others. What follows are some moments in my life that I remember where a tragic accident could have happened. Basic safety instruction and perhaps “Divine Intervention” prevented a tragic outcome.


    I repeat them here in the hope that they never happen to you.


    1. While rabbit hunting alone, as a 14 year old, I was in a low area adjacent to a country road. A car stopped and the occupant got out and started shooting a .22 rifle across the field. We did not wear hunter orange in those days and I guess that the shooter did not see me. I heard the bullets go over my head. I yelled something and discharged my .22 in the ground. The shooter got back into his car and took off.


    2. While in basic training at Ft. Benning in 1966, a recruit’s M14 was cleared by a drill sergeant by inserting a cleaning rod down the muzzle s we left the range. We left the firing line at port arms; actions open, and lowered the muzzle for the inspection as we passed the DI. He would see that the magazine was empty and would observe the tip of the cleaning rod protruding from the breech to ensure that the M14 was empty. Somehow, this technique was not followed for the trainee next to me. It was hot and this act was repeated hundreds of times each day. While in the next formation and at the command of “order arms”, the trainee released the bolt, pulled the trigger and shot the DI’s Smokey Bear hat off his head. The trainee was a klutz with many other problems and was later discharges as unfit for service.


    3. Later in the Army, I was cleaning a .50 cal M2 Browning. I forgot to close the bolt before removing the rear plate with the butterfly handles. If you have ever cleaned a M2, you know that this is dangerous because there is a rod surrounded by a powerful spring that if removed, can fly rearwards and penetrate your gut. I was in the process of trying to pry the rod/spring loose when an Angel whispered in my brain “you dumb a**, the bolt is rearward.” I replaced the rear plate, released the bolt and proceeded to clean the M2.


    4. While shooting informal trap in the 1970’s with a manual trap placed behind hay bales, it was my turn to shoot. I was standing to the left of the trap and holding for an extreme left hand bird. Suddenly the trapper, without using the warning flag, emerged directly into my line of fire as he was being attacked by a wasp. I lowered the gun and opened he action on my 870 but briefly the trapper was in front of me with my finger on the trigger.


    5. While rabbit hunting in the 1980’s, a friend handed me a new Browning BPS and commented that it had a smooth trigger and felt just like a model 12. I did not look for a round in the chamber (a BPS is bottom feed), closed the action and pulled the trigger. The gun was pointing in a safe direction which was fortunate as it was loaded and it fired. He felt stupid because of the round in the chamber and I felt stupid for not seeing an empty chamber.


    6. While deer hunting in the 1990’s in a bottom, a hunter on an adjacent farm discharged 20 or more rounds from an AK type weapon that went over my head.


    7. Last year, I had a poorly resized shell stick in the barrel as I closed the action of my 870. We were shooting at night under lights and it was winter. While trying to remove the shell, I kept the muzzle pointing downrange but reflected on how easy it would be to point the muzzle in an unsafe direction while trying to open the action. I have corrected the resizing problem on my MEC Grabber.


    I offer these experiences as I reflect on them when I hear of an accidental shooting. Following basic safety rules will prevent accidents. However, fatigue, stupidity, over confidence or simple human error can result in a tragic outcome.


    Ed Ward
     
  2. Beacon

    Beacon TS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
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    36
    Thank you for the post. Everyone makes mistakes and it is only luck that keeps us from hurting someone else. At a registered shoot marking the opening of a new club 2 weeks ago, the scorers were high school kids and new at the job. It was my turn to shoot. I closed the barrel, mounted the gun, and called 'pull'. At the same moment the shooter next to me turned and hollered 'what the hell are you doing?' But he wasn't talking to me, one of the kids decided he was going to go load the machine. He never made a sound. He was walking out right next to me. Scary.
     
  3. skeezix

    skeezix Member

    Joined:
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    I was getting ready to call pull on a high 1 this weekend, when a bald faced hornet landed on my leg. I hate those things- burns like fire when they sting. I was able to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and swat the thing. What I learned from this and other experiences, is that you may be perfectly safe under normal circumstances and routines- its when something slightly out of the ordinary happens that jumps up to bite you.

    I was deer hunting once upon a time about 15 years ago, and had my sako .25-06 over my left shoulder on a sling. It was winter and it was cold. I thought I heard a click, so I reached back with a gloved hand to check the saftey- but managed to tap the trigger instead- booooom. Can't bring myself to hunt with that gun to this day - I hate those side safeties.

    I think the dumbest thing I've done happened years ago. We had a Japaneese exchange student staying with a for a few weeks. I decided to take him with me deer hunting near Ojai, CA. I was using a single shot .45-70 with a tang safety. I had the bright idea of taking a picture of the young man on top of a ridge in the early morning. So I handed him the rifle and got out the camera. I hadn't unloaded it (dumb, dumb, dumb) and when I looked up he had it pointed at my nose at a range of about 10 feet. I still get goose bumps thinking about that one.

    jh
     
  4. ismah

    ismah Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    517
    I'm starting to get real nervous around shooters with release triggers. Several times in the past two years a gun has gone off "accidently" by someone getting used to their new trigger function. It happened just last week with an old time shooter. He was on station five and his gun went off while I was getting ready to shoot on station two. He shouldn't have been chambered and knew it. The muzzle was pointed down range and the blast hit the ground between us and the traphouse. This man is a good, experienced shooter. But I will always be leery of him now when I see him on my squad.
    Bill B.
     
  5. pb

    pb TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    With all of the trap “help” that have never shot trap I am always afraid that they will get out of the house or walk out to load at the wrong time…….. Most kids today spend their time with video games, and have no real idea of what is going on around them.

    The good news is kids who shoot today because of hunter education, the NRA, and SCTP are very safe.

    Jon
     
  6. Rum River

    Rum River TS Member

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    Messages:
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    Speaking of trap help.........

    Several years ago at our local club. A shooter on the line calls for the target, nothing. "Pull" again, still nothing. Shooter is now VERY keyed up, VERY ready to shoot whatever exits the far side of that trap house. Right then the trap boy in the house abruptly stood up. No lifting of the orange sign first or anything. The shooter managed not to shoot the kid in the head, and we all made sure our guns were unloaded. The kid in question was then subjected to a broadside of various comments and curses. Turned out something major was wrong with the thrower.

    Almost turned out to be something major wrong with that kid's head.........

    Dan
     
  7. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    "6. While deer hunting in the 1990’s in a bottom, a hunter on an adjacent farm discharged 20 or more rounds from an AK type weapon that went over my head."<br>
    <br>
    You were able to verify this was "an AK type weapon" and that it was a hunter? You actually saw this? I don't doubt that some idiot sent a lot of rounds your way, but most states that allow semi-autos for big game hunting have magazine capacity restrictions. Was he just plinking? Or could it have been some radical PETA type who didn't want you to hunt deer? We've actually had that happen here. A fire watcher on a fire tower near the Mt. Jefferson area used to spray the woods whenever he saw hunters near his tower.
     
  8. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
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    Location:
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    At a trapshooting class in May, we had a problem with a trap. Five shooters on line, one with a closed chamber, and the trap boy stands up in front of the trap house with no flag, cone, etc.

    Needless to say, he got a nice lecture from an assistant instructor.

    What was nice, though, was that there was a chorus of "cease fire" from the five active shooters, as well as the instructor and observers.

    Best,
    Dennis
     
  9. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Brian:

    It was opening morning. The shooter was using an illegal for hunting high capacity magazine. I did not see the hunter but I can differentiate the report of an AK 47 round from that of a .223. Other hunters in our party made similar comments. The farm on which this person was hunting was adjacent to our leased land and the farm had a reputation of a lot of immature hunters on opening day. The owner ran a business and had a big party for his friends each year.

    Ed Ward
     
  10. COBIGGUNJR12

    COBIGGUNJR12 TS Member

    Joined:
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    While wathching somone shoot handicap I noticed a newby on the 27 yard line and when his gun didn't go off he took it down like any shooter would do but, he still had his finger on the trigger and the gun went off when he had it down and pointed to the right when a guy was and no one did anything about it except glare at him. Not to mention that it was at the Wyoming state shoot
     
  11. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Some of us remember the late 70's at Elyburg when the "Snake" rested a loaded Perazzi on his foot and proceeded to remove a toe when it discharged.

    It was kinda funny watching him dance (he was an excellent dancer) at the time!!
     
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