Pistol as Impact Weapon worked; with Unintentional Discharge

By Dean WeingartenPistol Impact Weapon

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Jerry Pierson, burglary and assault suspect

Guns are built to take punishment.  Pistols are most often dense and hard, with a convenient handle.   They make fairly good improvised impact weapons.

That is what happened in Oklahoma recently.   A home invader who is a suspect in several other burglaries in the Ardmore area, was caught in the act by James Collins and his father-in-law.

The suspect, Pierson, had a knife, and had already used it to stab the father-in-law when Collins arrived on the scene.  From kxii.com:

“I didn't know he'd been stabbed when I came out. So my first instinct was just to protect him,” said James Collins.

Police say suspect, Jerry Pierson, had a knife, and at this point, had already used it on Collin's father in law. Collin's had a gun, and used it to hit Pierson, repeatedly, but says Pierson wasn't giving up.

“No matter what I did he kept trying to get away, trying to crawl away, trying to get away, telling me he's going to kill me, stab me. I mean, he was just out of his mind, it was, it was crazy,” said Collins.

Pierson is lucky that he was not killed.  With the knife, the stabbing, and the threats, Collins would likely have been justified in shooting him.  Instead, he chose to use the pistol as an improvised club.   It could still be deadly, especially if applied to the head.   Pierson ended up in the hospital.

One problem with using a pistol as a club is that you have to get really close to the attacker.   Another is that it is not uncommon to have an unintentional discharge while using a pistol as an impact weapon.   That is what happened in this case:

Collins says he had accidentally fired a shot into the ground while hitting Pierson with the pistol.

Collins was fortunate that the shot did not hit anyone or anything that he did not wish to be hit.

It is obvious that Collins was trying to avoid having to kill Jerry Pierson.  Maybe one day, Pierson will thank him for it.  It is unlikely, but it could happen.

A commenter, LibWhacker, on freerepublic.com writes:

In my opinion, Collins is just a guy who hasn’t reconciled himself with the possible necessity of having to shoot and kill someone someday who is posing a mortal threat to him or his loved ones. That’s understandable. It probably makes him a better person than me since I don’t think I would hesitate personally, but… it could also get him killed and he should seriously consider that and get some training to help him come to grips with it.

Another, DesertRhino, added this:

And today, this guy woke up, made his coffee, and is likely having an ok day. He isn’t facing a homicide investigation, and hoping the DA sees it his way. Clearly something told him he could handle it this way and quickly had the bad guy on the run.

That really is the difference between us and the murderers. We do it when it really is unavoidable, not when we can simply justify it.

If you must use a pistol as a club, keep your finger off the trigger.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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jamesMatt HarawayRDNKVanns40anonymous Recent comment authors
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Difficult decision to use lethal force, some say you have to live with ‘taking a life’,
fact is the aggressor FORFEITED his life trying to take the life of you oar your loved ones.


One shouldn’t use a pistol as a hammer. you can get a discharge even if you never touch the trigger. Guns can fire if they are dropped for pete’s sake.


Unless you’re dealing with a firearm with defective design or a very old one, no, it won’t discharge from dropping it.


Modern handguns will not fire if dropped !

Matt Haraway
Matt Haraway

Just to clarify your comment,you are wrong.As a former police officer,I had a police officer friend get up from a meal at a restaurant and his concealed weapon fell out and went off striking a couple of people in the process. This was not an old handgun either.No,the weapons should not go off but do and sometimes there is nothing found to determine why they went bang.So,in the interest of the public,making a statement such as yours that there is something wrong with the weapon may in some sense be true,everyone should treat a weapon as if they will go… Read more »