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My First Accidental Discharge, I am Freaked Out.. Learning Lesson... Need Advice

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by 4Freedom, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. 4Freedom

    4Freedom Boise, Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Tonight was very scary for me. I had my first accidental discharge in my life.. I remember a guy who helped introduce me to firearms warned me that you will have one of these in your life and I shunned it thinking: "oh no, NOT ME!" Well, now I am smacking my head against the wall and I feel thankful to be alive, although I am abit deaf, but my hearing is recovering.

    I was taking my AR-15s out of the safe and going to put them next to my bed, as I do at night. Well, I was pulling out my first AR and then took out my second. I switched the AR from my first rifle to the other rifle that had my AIMPoint site. I always check my guns to see if they are loaded and I know all firearms rae loaded. Doing all the multiple safety checks I did, perhaps saved my life.

    Here is where I was stupid; I checked the chamber and it was empty. AH, ok I felt safe, then I closed the charging handle which loaded the round. For some reason, my stupid brain was not thinking when you close charging handle, that chambers the round. Even though I know this on an average day, today my stupid brain was not registering that. Anyhow, I was confident the gun was unloaded, but I always do a test fire in a safe direction, which was the ceiling of my garage in this case, then I just did a test fire to make sure it was truly empty and BOOOOOOOM. My ears are ringing and I am freaked out to death, wondering what I have done????

    I cannot even go into what fear I had after this. The bullet made a small entrance into the drywall ceiling of hte garage and is not noticeable. My heart was racing and pounding and I was afraid to see where it travelled. I feared when I went upstairs that my computer, light bulbs, electrical wires, etc could have been blown to pieces and parts laying everywhere. Well, PRaise God (or whatever higher power you believe), it turns out the bullet went through the floor of my exercise room. It pierced through carpet that had no furntirue or anything on it and kept travelling at about a 30-45 degree angle (the angle I shot the gun at) to the roof. IT appears the round began to fragment when it went through the floor of my upstairs exercise room and pierced through the drywall ceiling of my upstairs roof in what I can describe is a buckshot like-manner.

    The round I fired was a Hornady .223 TAP LE type ammo with the red ballistic tip. I am happy it was this round, rather than FMJ, as I couldn't tell how far a FMJ would travel, but I was told the TAP type ammo expands and loses velocity quick on impact.

    I hate msyelf truly and have learned one of the most valuable lessons in my life today. The words of that gunsmith who helped introduce me to firearms has haunted me this day. For all of you, who think, cannot happen to you, IT CAN.

    I have learned a lesson.. I will never be so complacent again.. This will haunt me for years to come, even though I am lucky,. I pointed the gun in a direction, when I did my testfire, that I knew there would be no civilians at close range or through walls; however, there is no guarantees when something like this happens.

    Well, now I have a small hole in my floor and about 12 holes in my ceiling that range from 1/10 - 1/2 inch .

    I am going to have to see what I can do to repair it. For various reasons, I am not sure if I feel safe to call a handyman or not to repair this. I am not very handy in these regards and don't think I could do a good enough job fixing up the damage to make it unknown from my landlord. Can anyone give me any suggestions in this regard?

    Thank you.
  2. SavageGerbil

    SavageGerbil Salem, OR Active Member

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    Man, I'm glad noone was hurt. Good luck getting it all fixed up, and I'm sure you'll remember this one for good.

    Glad you're alright and thanks for sharing, we all need that reminder that noone gets through life without doing something stupid, I've got some "oops" scars (non-firearm) to prove I've screwed up too
  3. littlecars

    littlecars tacoma wa Member

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    I am thankful you are sharing this story. It doesnt realy sink in until it happens to you, but hearing a story first hand sure makes me think.....

    I bet you wont sleep right for days.
  4. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo Milwaukie Active Member

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    So you missed the fact that a loaded mag was inserted?

    That'll wake you up.....glad you are ok.
  5. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo Milwaukie Active Member

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  6. 4Freedom

    4Freedom Boise, Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Unka-Boo, on a good day, I would never have pulled a trigger on a gun with a loaded mag. Iwas very stressed out because of my job and in a rush to get the guns out of the safe. I was obviously not thinking clearly at all. I always check and double-check the chamber before pulling the trigger. Then I point the gun in a safe direction and pull to verify its empty; sadly, in this case, it was not empty, because I forget to obey the other rules!

    I cannot undertsand how something I have done over and over again and have been so careful about could slip by me. I never dry fire a gun with a loaded mag ever. This is the first time I ever done it and it was a horrible mistake. Also, seeing that my mind was not working, I pulled charging hand to check if a round was in the chamber, forgetting the mag was in the gun and then, unknowingly, thinking I checked the chamber, actually loaded a round into the chamber. Then, feeling confident the gun was empty, I pointed the gun to the ceiling and pull the trigger, BOOOOM..

    Now, I am in a world of **** wondering how I will fix the dammage. Iam thinking I am going to go in the attic (freaked out, due to possible wasp infestation), to see if I can find any fragments of the bullet there. I am praying to God the bullet did not travel through the roof. ANyone, have any ideas of the probability of a Hornady TAP .223 LE ballistic tip round travelling that far?

    It went through the ceiling of the garage, the floor of my upstairs exercise room and started to frgament at the drywall ceiling of the upstairs room. How far it has travelled beyond that is still unknown.
  7. Dan360

    Dan360 Olympia, WA Member

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    If the damage was to sheet rock, you can probably patch the holes. I don't know if your ceilings are textured. As far as the floor, hopefully the hole isn't too noticeable through the carpet. Either you find out through a leak that the bullet went through the roof or you go up and check. Wait for a good, damp day or night to go up there where you'll see leaking and/or the wasps will have wet wings and won't be able to fly too well. Take a can of RAID.

    You're not the only one that this has happened to and you're not the last. Outdoor/gun writer Wayne Van Zwoll wrote an article about how he had come home from bird hunting and was really tired. He wasn't paying attention and sent a load of shot through the ceiling with his 20 GA.

    Just try to remember the correct steps. Point the gun in a safe direction, drop the magazine, pull back the bolt/charging handle and visually and physically inspect the chamber.
  8. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    go to the store buy some ready made spackle fill holes. if it is textured buy some silly putty or kids clay (not playdough) flatten it to about 1/2 inch thick. place saran wrap on one side and press against a non firearm damaged area of the cieling (making mold) after filling holes with the spackle then press clay against it to match the texture. when dry paint with a close color paint and your done. I use to do fix up work on duplex's for my father in law and filled many holes. The texturing is what will help disguise your learning lesson, nothing sticks out worse than a smooth spot on a textured area.
  9. toobigtofail

    toobigtofail PDX Member

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    You need some black jack to repair the roof. I assume you have asphalt shingles up there. Just figure out where about the holes are, and then apply it over everything that could be a hole. Good luck.
  10. SleepynSeattle

    SleepynSeattle Seattle Member

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    I can't think of a single reason for dry firing your rifle between the safe, and the bedside. There is certainly no reason to leave a loaded magazine in the weapon while it's in the safe. If you have a habit of checking the guns action on any regular basis, (which is not a bad idea) you should NOT do it with a magazine inserted...period. Saying that you will never pull the trigger with a loaded magazine is the same mistake as believing that a gun is unloaded because someone else tells you so. Somebody once said ..."the only gun that's truly unloaded is the one that's been removed from its receiver".
    If you're going to be keeping a rifle by your bedside, I suggest that you insert a mag when you place it there. In the morning when you put it back into the safe, you remove the magazine. There is......honest to god.......nothing going to creep into your house that will occur so fast that you won't have time to work the charging handle. If you reserve that last bit of preparation before firing for when its actually needed, you'll never have this incident occur again. Also....remember that safety's don't always work, don't count on them to keep you safe.
  11. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    One thing I NEVER EVER do is dry fire a weapon to see if it is tryly empty.YOu are ASKING for an ND with that practice.Does not matter where it's aimed when you do it,it's a bad idea. You said this was your test for 'empty'... please never ever do this again,no matter what gun,no matter what period.
    also,get in the habit of operating the bolt/slide/whatever mulitiple times when checking,not once. Then., slide the safety on and assume it's loaded.

    So glad no one was injured..this time.
  12. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    you can just knife a little joint compound into sheetrock holes.. let dry and then wash the excess off with a warm, wet rag.

    the biggest concern is the roof, and especially today. if you have 3-tab, you can buy a bundle of 3-tab shingles and simply replace the effected tabs. or, if it's laminate or anything else, replace whole shingles.

    i'm a contractor.. PM me if you need any tips
  13. Mac37

    Mac37 Oregon Member

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    Aiming the gun at the ceiling is not a safe direction.






    Thanks for sharing your story. We all need a safety refresher course.
  14. oregonshooter

    oregonshooter AMERICA Member

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  15. Martini_Up

    Martini_Up NW USA Well-Known Member

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    Used to drive me crazy in PR when they made you drop the hammer on the chamber to show it was empty. Now they have you insert a chamber flag, which is the best way to ensure it's an empty chamber. Maybe the OP should keep chamber flags in all his weapons while not being shot. Most all mine are (few revolvers sitting in display cases don't)

    And great advice; operate the bolt/slide multiple times. I do this. Looks kinda dumb (it's empty already!!!) but a great habit to have. Had the OP done so, hopefully the live rounds flying out of the breech would have been noticed :bluelaugh:
  16. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    It's a lesson you will remember, I'm sure. You're having your own PTSD attack, it will fade in a few days but the lesson won't.

    Nothing is hurt but your pride, that makes it the best lesson. We can use a refresher, me included.

    Patching that damage is relatively trivial. The good thing about it is if you don't like the repair, you can sand it off and do it again.

    I never dry fire for empty. I do have to dry fire to take off spring pressure on certain of my guns. I use a snap cap if I can.
  17. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I started a thread sometime back regarding accidental discharges, with the intent that it is in the sharing of stories that others might be prevented.

    To my surprise, there were a number of individuals who firmly believed that their human interaction with a mechanical device would never result in a mistake.

    It would not be my surprise if the same individuals might choose to not share with others a mistake.

    You have a number of good analyses here for what you did wrong. Sharing it with us has gone a long way toward making it right.
  18. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Lesson one, always drop the mag before checking the chamber.
  19. caden08

    caden08 washougal Member

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    Glad you made it out ok :)
  20. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    I bet you were gonna do that thing where you clear your house and shoot at invisible bad guys weren't you. ;)

    BTW it is okay to call a handiman, why wouldn't it be? They might laugh at you but who cares.:D

    Actually that's how you are required to show clear at practical shooting competitions. Unload the firearm, show empty chamber to RO, then dry fire down range. It is how I check for empty too (except on rimfire of course). If you are following rule #2, never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy/always point in a safe direction, it shouldn't be too much of an issue.:thumbup:

    What about dry fire practice at the TV? Good incentive to be very meticulous about clearing your weapon first if nothing else.:p

    Nothing wrong with having a loaded mag, round chambered, safety on. I always treat my firearms as if they are loaded unless I *just* beforehand cleared it, mostly because they always are loaded... lol. Not the ones in the safe though I guess, but the home defense ones. Whenever I leave the house I have a habit of checking my carry pistol to make sure it *is* loaded. I knew a guy who didn't always do this and one day discovered that he'd been carrying with an empty chamber for the past few days. :paranoid: