Thursday, December 10, 2015

Gun Safety

Its been a long time since I posted on gun safety... so I think its about time we have a refresher.  And as usual... this is actually inspired by a tragedy.  I'm not going into a great deal of details here... I'm just gonna say someone I know was cleaning a handgun and shot himself.  

When I first heard about it, I'm not going to lie, my mind went straight to Glock.   For one thing it is always a handgun in this situation.  Its really hard to shoot yourself with a rifle.  You can do it.  but its not nearly as easy as with a handgun.  Second... cleaning means disassembling and to do that on a Glock you actually have to pull the trigger.  That just seems wrong to me.  No... not wrong...  stupid.  So stupid as to be borderline insane.   Yet there it is.

Turns out it wasn't a Glock.  It was a cheap Raven 25 caliber pocket pistol.  These pistols are known to have a problem where they accidently discharge when you release the safety.  At this point its unclear if the weapon actually did malfunction... but I am deeply skeptical of these junk handguns (George Jennings is a useless piece of trash) and I am assuming that's what happened until proven otherwise.

That said... as always these things are preventable.  The rules exist not just to keep you from shooting yourself... but to keep you from getting hurt in the case of weapon failure as well.  So... one more time...

1) Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.      all of them.  The only time you should consider a firearm unloaded is you see the slide/bolt locked back.   If you can look as see the chamber is empty... only then is the weapon unloaded.  Dropping the magazine does not unload a firearm.  Always remember that.  Dropping the mag still leaves the round in the chamber... and that's the round that is going to kill you... or someone else.  Always check safe.  Always lock the slide back.  Always remember to drop the mag AND rack the slide just in case.

2) Never point the muzzle at anything you don't want to destroy.  When we are familiar with a firearm it often starts to feel like part of our hand. It isn't. Its a deadly weapon meant for killing people and breaking things. Respect it. Always make sure it is pointed in a safe direction when you are handling it.

3) Never put your finger on the trigger until you have your sights on your target.  We call this trigger discipline. I cannot tell you how many people have a habit of keeping their finger on the trigger at all times when handling a firearm. Go to any gun show and you will see some dumbass carrying around an AR with his finger on the trigger. If you know someone like this... you should slap them every time you see them do it. The term "Glock leg" exists to describe all the men limping around out there from shooting themselves while they were trying to draw their Glocks with their fingers on the trigger. Don't do it.

There are more rules.. but those three rules right there will prevent every bad outcome.  If there is a bad outcome...  someone didn't follow one of those three rules.

Today... if I was going to mention another one... it would be this...

Don't ever buy a cheap handgun designed by George Jennings.

29 comments:

Russell (106) said...

" These pistols are known to have a problem where they accidently discharge when you release the safety."

What in the--? Why are people even buying these things?

kawaika said...

One of my cousins attends a church where certain people are authorized by the pastor to conceal carry. This came about because an old dude left his pistol in the bathroom... fortunately the child who found it was properly educated and did the right thing. Those authorized to carry at the church train together and attend seminars so that they can actually work together if something ever happens.

Susan said...

First let me just say that I am deeply sorry to hear about that tragedy. RIP to the poor guy. It is kind of surprising how common sense, even just a smidgen of it, can prevent much senseless tragedy.

One of the things that kids should be taught, maybe wives too, is that when the man of the house is cleaning a weapon they do NOT disturb him for anything except to maybe tell him the house is on fire.

Weapons cleaning time is not a time for discussing household business, or arguing about anything.

Susan

Nate said...

yep. when we are reloading or cleaning the weapons we don't even play music. there are things in this world you take seriously... or you don't do them.

Nate said...

As for who buys these cheap pistols... poor people. you can get one of these for under 100 bucks.

Russell said...

Which is even more of a black eye on Jennings. If the poor can only afford your weapons, you best make sure the damn things work properly.

Bill said...

I have never understood the "shot while cleaning" phenomenon. The FIRST thing I do when picking up a pistol is rack the action or pop the cylinder. And shouldn't opening up the chamber be the first step in cleaning?

Nate said...

well... an unintentional discharge when releasing the safety can sort of explain things. when you're dealing with shit products like this... you never know.

Rabbi B said...

OK, Dumb Guy Question about conceal carry:

If I am carrying a semi-auto handgun, is it OK to carry with a chambered round or not? It seems to me IO want to be able to point and shoot and not worry about chambering a round if I find myself in a situation.

Nate said...

Rabbi... if you're not going to carry one with a round in the chamber... there is no sense in bothering to carry one at all.

We always carry handguns with a round in the chamber. Always.

Clint said...

Rabbi, you can chamber a round. That is what the safety is for. The key is to practice drawing the firearm over and over until it is second nature. Know where your fingers go, etc.

On the topic of safety - people forget that any firearm is dangerous. When I was a teenager, one of my little brother's friends was killed by at .22. He was out with some other friends (my bro was not there, thank God), and one of them shot him right in the eye and it entered his brain. He died a few hours later.

jamsco said...

Good Post. Good Reminder.

Rabbi B said...

I never worried about with the wheel gun, and it made sense to carry with a chambered round, or what's the point. Thanks.

Clint said...

I carry either a .357 revolver or a .45ACP semi. Depends on what I am wearing and where I am going. I like the wheel gun, but I get twice as many rounds in the .45.

Nate said...

actually rabbi you can carry with an empty round under the hammer on a revolver... because the cylinder rotates as you pull the trigger. so the round there is not the one that actually fires. Its the one next to it that fires.

Still you've only got 6 shots. You really shouldn't give up a round for the fasle sense of security

WaterBoy said...

Excellent post and great reminders, especially for anyone new to owning firearms.

Res Ipsa said...

Without being there it's hard to say what the cause of the accident was. FWIW most of the time it is operator error. Followed by malfunction as a much less likely reason. I'm not trying to blame the guy but that barrel should never been pointed at his body.

When it comes to "cheap" guns I've got mixed emotions. First, I'm a connoisseur of firearms and I'd rather buy something that exactly fits my criteria (or have it made). On the other hand, I've learned what I like by buying and sell off different guns over the years. A inexpensive gun doesn't have to be an unsafe or unreliable gun.

The two firearms I'm most likely to carry concealed are pricey by some peoples standards. The first, a 45 retails for around $1,300, the second a 9mm retails for $750. I didn't pay that for either of them. Each gun fits a specific niche. Each gun was when I bought it, and still is exactly what I wanted and does what its supposed to.

IF a guy is making $15/hour he can realistically save up $25 per week which means he can buy one in about 9 months and have another $500 bucks towards ammo and accessories by the end of a year, the 45 would take him a little over a year to save for. That's if he wants to buy upper end off the shelf guns. He doesn't have to. There are lots of good solid choices in the $300 to $500 range. There is never any reason to buy a gun with questionable safety or reliability issues.

Nate said...

agree completely res. There are a lot of reliable options out there in the under 500 market.

But these pieces of shit are more in the under 100 market.

Bill said...

"an unintentional discharge when releasing the safety" Yeah, weapon malfunctions can get people shot - I agree with all that - don't buy crappy Sat night specials.

But still, I hear about people getting shot "cleaning their guns". I can't figure what their cleaning protocol is...

1) Unload Weapon - point at leg, squeeze trigger BANG - weapon no longer loaded.
2) Open slide, inspect chamber
3) Clean weapon

Nate said...

I agree Bill.

I think it goes a couple of ways... and before we get to those we have to remember that a lot of "accidents" were not. they just say they were to make everyone feel better. particularly in the case of cop.. suicides are often called accidents.

I figure in the case like the glock... people drop the mag... think its safe... pull the trigger forgetting one is in the chamber.. shooting themselves in the hand, arm, or leg.

or...

in this case... I think he was probably putting the gun into his pocket and had it angled toward himself... released the safety and it fired.

Res Ipsa said...

But these pieces of shit are more in the under 100 market.

I hear ya. My first handgun, bought because I needed it for protection, was a 44 mag. I was working on a ranch in grizzly country at the time. I was making $200 a week on the ranch and a some extra cash as a sous chief at night. I was still able to scrape together enough cash to buy a lightly used 629 S&W, holster and 3 boxes of ammo. I didn't reload in those days so I had to buy all my ammo. I still managed to get out and practice regularly.

Michael Maier said...

This is why the recent Taurus thing was such garbage. Even if he had a major gun fail, the man involved had his pistol loaded and pointed at and shot his wife and kid. Hit the wife and killed the kid. IIRC, he slapped the magazine or something and said it went off.

100% his own damn fault his son is dead... but yeah... let's sue Taurus...

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/11/alabama_man_files_lawsuit_agai.html

thimscool said...

Glock leg is mostly about reholstering, no?

I like a thumb safety.

Nate said...

"Hit the wife and killed the kid. IIRC, he slapped the magazine or something and said it went off."

and yet as far as I've seen... no one has been able to reproduce this effect.

show me your shocked face.

Bill said...

I read the linked article about the guy that murdered his son, and is now suing Tarus. The sequence of events, as described, make no sense. According to the article: He inserted a mag, the mag didn't seat properly, so he hit the mag with his hand, and the pistol discharged.

1) How did a round get in the chamber? He had to have racked the slide.
2) If the mag was not seated, and not seated so much it was obvious to the naked eye, racking the slide should have resulted in a jam.
3) Those pistols have one of those transfer bar things, the firing pin does not rest on the cartridge. Thus, the trigger mechanism has to be engaged for the firing pin to contact the cartridge.
4) Slapping a pistol, even if the firing pin is resting on the cartridge, should not be enough force to ignite the primer, you'd have to seriously whack it.

My guess; The safety was off, he inserted a mag, racked the slide, put his finger on the trigger and tried to manipulate the pistol while holding his finger on the trigger, resulting in an accidental discharge just through his natural gripping action. Then concocted this bull crap about the mag not seating.

They should charge him with murder. His story is totally not credible.

Bill said...

In the article, it's stated that the lawyer handling the case has drop-tested the Taurus pistols in question, and during drop tests the trigger cycles. Ok. If (big if), there is enough mass in the trigger group for an impact to cause it to cycle, that has no bearing on this case. The guy doesn't say he smacked the butt of the pistol, he said he hit the bottom of the mag.

And in the video shown of the pistol firing by being shaken, note that he chambers a round first. The guy in question, according to his description of events, never chambered a round.

AJW308 said...

What in the--? Why are people even buying these things?
MPAI

Michael Maier said...

Nate, I DID type "EVEN IF".

"The guy in question, according to his description of events, never chambered a round."

Which, obviously, has to be a God-damned lie. There's no way to cycle the action to load a round with a safety fail. Hopefully Taurus' lawyers won't have their heads FULLY seated in their own arses.

Wow... I didn't think of that... but I ain't thinking too well lately.

Gunner Jacky said...

Nice post. Gun safety is the main issue in US . Hope so that this will be solved soon as the no of mass killings has increased day by day and govt needs to take some stronger steps.
Regards:
Firearms safety training classes