Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Friday, January 21, 2005

Gun Tales

As long as you're on Circa Bellum's page, better read this tale as well regarding accidental discharges.

I've seen a few AD's in my life, fortunately none involved injury. One was a kid earing back the hammer on a shotgun while also holding the trigger back. When his thumb slipped off the hammer, that load of birdshot went into the ground right in front of his toes.

Another one was a kid putting a round through the roof on the summer camp shooting range with a .22 rifle. We then had a nice hole for the sun to shine through that made for a good learning tool.

I've seen a buddy of mine put a round into the carpet between his feet while clearing a pistol. There were 5 of us in that room, it could have been a lot worse than a hole in the rug.

The closest I've come was actually just a few weeks ago. I was never in any danger, but it still sent a chill down my spine. I always keep a snap-cap (an inert plastic round to prevent firing pin damage) in the chamber of my pistols, be it revolver or auto. I do mean always... I don't believe in loading a live round until it's time to start flinging lead. I also have a habit of doing a press-check on the pistol every time I pick it up, even if I just laid it down and walked out of the room for a few minutes. After all, eternal vigilance is the price of keeping your innards from becoming "outards".

I keep the magazine on my .45 loaded, so if there's ever a need for it, I can just rack the slide. The snap cap will be ejected and a live round loaded almost instantly.

I'm wiping the fingerprints off the .45 in preparation for storing it in a case, and I take off the safety to clean around the back of the slide. As I'm turning the pistol around to get the other side, my index finger slides onto the grip safety, and my thumb goes into the trigger guard. My thumb's a LOT bigger than there's room for in the trigger guard! As the gun continues its rotation, the trigger slowly gets compressed, and just when that big gaping barrel is lined up with my neck, I hear that cheery hollow-tube "Ktink" sound of the firing pin hitting the snap-cap. Ruh Roh...

On one hand, I've got my rational brain saying "Snap-cap'salwaysinthechamberSnap-cap'salwaysinthechamberSnap-cap'salwaysinthechamber!!" On the other hand, that lizard brain underneath is having adrenaline shot into my bloodstream, turning on the stomach churner, and is screaming in a lower, but more persuasive voice "You'reDead,Dumbass!You'reDead,Dumbass!You'reDead,Dumbass!"

Believe me, you sit and think for a few minutes after that happens. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do differently, other than keep the offending digits out of the trigger guard and drop the mag out prior to a wipedown. No doubt there's plenty of gun gurus out there huffing and puffing about careless idiots who cause AD's through stupidity. Well, all I'll say to them is this... in a lifetime of shooting, I've met two kinds of shooters. Those who've had a close call, and those who lie about never having a close call.
Sooner or later ol' Murphy catches up to everyone.

Be safe, compadres.