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Negligent discharge, something to learn from

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Bellehood, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Bellehood

    Bellehood Bellevue, WA Member

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    On friday evening, I left the majority group of gun owners who, lets all admit it, mock those who have had a negligent discharge, and became one of those who has. It was a simple mistake, which will stick with me for quite a while.

    Situation: On friday, my best friend purchased a new glock 19, a weapon I already own. His came with a fresh duo-tone finish, and we spent about an hour comparing the differences, sights, and trigger pulls, as mine has the 3.5# trigger disconnect. During that time, we had obviously unloaded both guns. Later in the evening, I decided to disassemble both guns, to observe the differences in internal finishes.

    Unbeknownst to me, my friend had put my magazine, loaded with powr'ball, back into my gun, and loaded one in the chamber. I put NO blame on him for what happened next. I stripped his glock, and continued onto mine. I dropped the mag, and then made an error, in something I have done 1000 times. I forgot to rack the slide, and check the chamber. A combination of my incorrect belief that it was empty from the last handling of it, and talking to my friend, allowed me to skip one small, incredibly important step. I continued the disassembly process, moving me right thumb and index finger below and in front of the gun, to catch the disassembly slide. I pulled the trigger to release it, and it went bam.

    I felt nothing at first, but looked at my right hand, to see a sizeable chunk of my right index finger blown off, in the fattest section, between the hand knuckle and the middle knuckle. Fortunately, my military training kicked in. Yes, I have been an infantryman in the US Army for almost three years, coming up on my second deployment, and prior to that, I had 8 years of competitive shooting experience. And yet, I still had an ND. I tight wrapped it immediately, and we had paramedics and police there in minutes. Sorry, I dont have any pictures of it, I will take a few when i get the cast/splint off. After a 2 hour surgery, It was discovered that I managed to miss the bone, and all tendons, only removing a large chunk of flesh, nerve, and "digit artery". I have a cast-like brace up to my elbow for 10 days, and then hand bandages after that. Every doctor has told me how extremely lucky I am, to have removed so much flesh, and yet no bone or tendon damage.

    So, thats my story. Its not my friends fault for loading it again (although he is suffering as well, the bullet went though my finger, and into his laptop). Its not the glocks fault for not having a standard on/off safety, as one of the police officers told me (carrying a M&P??). It is solely my fault, despite my years of strict safety training. Hopefully everyone takes away from this, that even taking your eyes off your gun for a second, means you gotta check it again, and even once that has been done, and it comes time to depress the trigger to strip the weapon, make SURE it is pointed in a safe direction.

    Typing with one hand sucks, so im closing out. I'l be fine, just gunna have a sweet scar. Stay safe guys
     
  2. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Junction City Active Member

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    Being unfamiliar to glocks...you have to pull the trigger for disassembly?
     
  3. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    Yes you have to pull the trigger for disassembly. No you don't have to put your finger in front of the muzzle.
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  4. jdub75

    jdub75 PNW Well-Known Member

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    lucky it was a minor injury
     
  5. Nutty4Guns

    Nutty4Guns Portland ADHD Superstar

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    Well, I am happy no one was more seriously injured. Thank you for owning up to the mistake so that we all may learn from it and remember our safety rules.
     
  6. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Thank you for sharing that story. I have got in the habit of checking the mag/chamber of every gun I am handed or pickup. Even if I set down my own gun minutes before. A friend of mine put an old .22 rifle in my back seat and swore it was unloaded. When I got home I found it loaded. I will also never trust anyone else telling me a gun is unloaded.

    I hope you get better sir. What was the financial cost of something like that - $8-$9k w/o insurance?
     
  7. Bellehood

    Bellehood Bellevue, WA Member

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    I have no idea what the cost would have been w/o insurance, betweeb my tri-care, and my dad's military retirement coverage, which I grt until im 24, the only thing i have payed thus far is $27 for meds. I'm very fortunate, at the age of 22, to have a mom who was willing to come to the hospital and handle all the paperwork, and just have me sign things. I'm sure w/o insurance, the surgery cost would have bent me over, as they had to rebuild part of my finger, and graft in a piece of nerve from my forearm.

    I'm getting better, right now its just a pain having this huge cast on my right arm, as I am right handed. I shoot lefty because Im left eye dominant.
     
  8. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    I'd say you got lucky. Make you glad you didn't have a 10mm Glock?

    You are correct in accepting the blame. The police officer saying that it is the fault of the weapon's design is absolutely wrong.
     
  9. Bellehood

    Bellehood Bellevue, WA Member

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    I guess I am haha. It was interesting though, the paramedics, the OR nurse, and the hand surgeon all asked if it was a .40, as they said it looked like it was. I talked to the surgeon for a bit, and he said the vast majority of ND injuries are in the hand, and that 75% of them are LEO's.
     
  10. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Junction City Active Member

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    Not that it really matters, but what kind of ammo was it?

    Were you in an apartment or house? Where did the round end up?

    Now that you can say you've been shot maybe you've earned some street cred around your homies? Gotta look at the lighter side!
     
  11. Bellehood

    Bellehood Bellevue, WA Member

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    it was corbon pow'rball, 100 grain. went through my friends laptop, and into the apartments concrete floor. the police dug most of it out of the floor, and gave it to us.
     
  12. Working 4 U

    Working 4 U Eugene Active Member

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    Bellehood - sorry to hear about your misfortune - but even we don't know each other, we are fellow gun enthusiast and I am proud of you for telling your story.

    I also think this will be able to be used as a good lesson when teaching others, yes I said teaching! It sounds as if your an upstanding guy and because you put your story out here for everyone to learn from gives credit to that. Learn from it, don't every forget it. This incident if used correctly and taught to others can save a life in the future and nobody will every no it because you will have instilled in them the importance of gun safety.

    Thanks for your service.
     
  13. SmellsFishy

    SmellsFishy Hood River, OR Member

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    Thanks for sharing your story. Many stories like this end in tragedy. Glad yours didn't. I've been handling firearms for over 20 years, and am a former LEO, and firearms instructor. It's very easy to become complacent, which I believe to be the root cause of many LEO ND's.
     
  14. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Any criminal charges? My stupid moment cost me a reckless endangerment charge (which was later dropped) and a few months without my gun (which was banging around in a metal evidence drawer) beyond the embarrassment and stupid feeling.
     
  15. gearchecker

    gearchecker Kootenai County, Idaho Member

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    You are right handed I take it? Sound like your recovery will be long and uncomfortable. Take care, get well soon and have a good time out at the range the next chance you get to go.
    Really soyry to hear about this incident. I've been aound guns nearlyu all my life and I had an ND as well. I checked teh pistol, racked the slide, removed the mag and double checked it was empty. Everything looked good. Had to pull th trigger to dis assemble the pistol as well and it went bang. It was a .22 compact pistol. The round had been in the chamber for nearly 30 years. It didn't eject. The casing was tarnished and dark. Honestly, I guess didn't look hard enough or long enough for that load in the pistol. The bullet ended up somewhere in the mountains 1/2 mile away from me.
    I've slowed down considerably and like you am much more carefull everytime I handle my firearms. ND's can and do happen. If somebody says it can't ever happen to them they're not honest to themselves. If it never happens they'll have much to be proud of.
     
  16. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    On a lighter note, since you are 22 you probably really need that hand. I know I did when I was 22 LOL. Take better care of it.
     
  17. joken

    joken Corvallis Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It is not a bad idea to stick your pinky finger in the chamber as well as a visual just in case a round does not eject. Ken
     
  18. Generator

    Generator Bend Member

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    A great reminder, and I am glad to read a post of someone who is honest about their mistake, and doesn't push blame.

    I hope you recover well.

    When I am done checking an empty gun visually, I aim it down range and let it 'click' Dry fire isn't great for all guns, but it is a nice extra check for me.
    At home, I double and triple check guns, even when no ammo is in the room and I'm the one who has cleared a gun, before I disassemble/pull a trigger (did it today on my G22. I also do the first dry fire pointed at the floor, as if it is loaded, just in case I am blind for a second.
     
  19. shayne

    shayne port townsend Active Member

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    that is a crazy story dude .i am so sorry that happened to you man.we all can learn a huge lesson for sure.i am a talker of bubblegum about discharges.i have buddies that have shot there houses .
     
  20. mat33

    mat33 Portland, OR Active Member

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    I really appreciate you sharing that Bellehood. This is definitely a lesson I'd rather learn from your mistake than my own.

    That being said, I had a decocker fail on a Makarov yesterday. When I lowered the safety lever, it dropped the hammer right on the pin and fired a round. Luckily I was at a range and had the gun pointed down range.