Guns are Dangerous, But So Is Life

By John Farnam

Smoking 45
Guns are dangerous! Some degree of danger will always attach to serious training with guns. I don’t know how else to put it.
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- “Unlikely” doesn’t translate to “Impossible!”

From a friend and colleague:

‘Last week on our outdoor range, while setting-up a pistol (G19) for a stoppage-reduction drill, it unexpectedly discharged when the instructor released the slide. No fingers anywhere near the trigger.

Of course, this pistol was pointed down-range.

The cartridge case in question fired while half-chambered. The bullet itself was in the chamber and went on down-range, impacting into the berm. The case (mostly unsupported) split-open and discharged hot gas out the ejection port.

The instructor handling the pistol received some singeing of his arm, but no serious injury. He was, of course, wearing safety glasses. The pistol was not “totaled,” but did suffer some damage.

As near as I can tell, and it is just a guess, the corner of the slide struck the primer and, in effect, functioned as a firing pin, although it is hard for me to understand how the two came into contact with each other.

It may have been something else entirely, but I can’t imagine what!

In any event, there was no significant injury, as noted above, and the pistol can be repaired and returned to service, so there was a “happy ending,” or as happy as it could have been.”

Comment:

We teach competent gun-handling protocols and practice them assiduously on the range, and we expect our students to learn and adhere to them also.

However, I passionately explain to students and instructors alike that, no matter how “safe” we all try to be, no matter what protocol we follow, and no matter how competent I am in running a range, risk attaches to every moment guns are in our presence, and not all risks are “foreseeable,” as the above narrative illustrates.

Our job as trainers is to “manage” risk, and, of course, avoid extreme risks, but some risk is always present, no matter what we do or don’t do, and cannot be eliminated.

Our current generation of serious guns, particularly pistols, are about a “safe” as it is ever going to be possible to make guns, and still have them reasonably useable for their intended purpose.

Guns are dangerous! Accordingly, some degree of danger will always attach to serious training with guns. I don’t know how else to put it.

Who cannot abide the thought of personal exposure to even the slightest danger had better pass on gun ownership, and gun training!

/John

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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Eric
Eric
4 years ago

Doesn’t appear we have ALL the details on this. The first paragraph states,”‘Last week on our outdoor range, while setting-up a pistol (G19) for a stoppage-reduction drill…” would lead me to believe (and I could be wrong) that the instructor was setting up the pistol with a “jam” scenario, i.e. artificially inputting a malfunction to demonstrate the proper way to do “immediate action drill” to clear the malfunction? If this is the case, he may have manually inserted the round in such a way as to simulate a “jam” so that when he released the slide, the round went off.… Read more »

Common sense
Common sense
4 years ago

Hey, FYI I don’t wear gloves when I shoot. I also work in the drilling and mining industry. Still have all my fingers. When I go to the range I train for as close to real world conditions as possible, that includes defensive and hunting situations. I car speak for anyone else but when I do to the movies or the bank or store etc I don’t constantly wear tac. gloves. As for a freak incident, what shooter honestly strips and checks there entire weapon and magazines before every shoot, also who checks every single round for saami level specs,… Read more »

Curious in Colorado
Curious in Colorado
4 years ago
Reply to  Common sense

OMG now you’ve done it!! DJ is NOT going to be pleased with your performance. UNACCEPTABLE!

And as a side note to DJ – the only one who has “deficient comprehension” is YOU. In no way was I implying that your system of flags could have prevented the incident outlined in the article. How about you go back and reread my post REALLY slow you Gil wanna be.

dj
dj
4 years ago

To curious again, So you should REread what you initially posted about “And how your flags would have prevented it?” I never said that. You did. AND implied it, too. And now correct your post as above. Obvious to any gil wannabe even with “deficient comprehension”. Point taken. Forgotten. Saw a couple of situations that were PREVENTABLE. Fatal consequences with one. Not forgotten. And to hopefully NOT to experience them or relive those circumstances again. For the record, I would rather NOT get in a pissing match. Wasted effort. Counterproductive. Hope you can appreciate my “enthusiasm” for prevention of tragedy.… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 years ago
Reply to  dj

Man, dj, now you know how I feel.

Stuart
Stuart
4 years ago

The Center for Disease Control says that Heart Disease is the biggest killer of Americans every year. 600,000 die from obesity and/or smoking. The most dangerous weapons must be a knife and fork or a Bic lighter.

Vanns40
Vanns40
4 years ago

From how the story is worded I don’t believe the words “stupid, careless” or any other adjective are appropriate here. It was a training exercise and with the millions of people trained every year there are bound to be a minuscule number of what I would call true “freak” accidents that no one could foresee. As happened in this case, the proper safety procedures were taken regarding muzzle direction so the round went exactly where it was supposed to, down range. True accidents can and do happen. We have squib loads that very rarely slip through the factory safeguards. That’s… Read more »

dj
dj
4 years ago

All guns are LOADED whether they have bullets in them or NOT. All accidents no matter what type or circumstances can ultimately be traced back eventually TO human error. When anyone is shooting my firearms, there is a mandatory run through on its controls AND all chambers are flagged with the yellow Sinclair safety flags when not in hand. No 2nd chances or guesses. Particularly with multiple calibers and hardware on the table. And enthusiastic shooters and little helpers KNOW that it HAS to have a chamber flag. And little kids at my table can and will correct the adults… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
4 years ago
Reply to  dj

you failed to READ and comprehend the text of the artiicle. At the time of this incident, since the handgun was IN THE HAND of the demonstrating instructor, the bore flag would have already been removed. The prepped bagazine was inserted into the mag well preparatory to firing for the demonstration. HOW the slide caught, then touched off, the top round from the mag before closing into battery is unknown…. I don’t see how stupid, more rules, extra careful, etc, would have changed a thing. Muzzle control WAS maintained properly. Thus, even in the face of a freak mechaincal malfunction… Read more »

dj
dj
4 years ago
Reply to  Tionico

At tiontico, I did NOT fail to read or COMPREHEND the text of the article. That apparently was lost to you. The detonation of the pinched round out of battery is why shooting glasses and the operators evident forgotten gloves are protective equipment. Fingers are precious,too. Even if they got a powder flash burn or two in this case. And hair grows back eventually. And this outcome mostly reflected THAT. The chamber flag still demonstrates SAFETY equipment. There is a difference, see? Especially when there MAY be UNKNOWN errant loaded chambers from hundreds of guns pointed downrange on the firing… Read more »

Curious in Colorado
Curious in Colorado
4 years ago
Reply to  dj

Hey DJ, since you read and comprehended the article please tell us how the incident was human error? And how your flags would have prevented it? Actually, how this flag system has any relevance to the article you’ve commented on?

dj
dj
4 years ago

At curious, As before, all incidents are somehow related and traced back to human error. The instructor somehow pinched the primer apparrently with the slide. Manipulating while it was cocked sideways on the feed ramp evidently out of battery forcing it to chamber may have come into play. The brass could have had a HIGH primer. The loaded brass could have been checked prior to loading in the magazine with a case gauge for out of specification dimensions. (I always check all rounds after the Dillon 650 SPECIFICALLY for THAT reason). As before it WAS operator error to some degree… Read more »

ArtP
ArtP
4 years ago

Guns are not dangerous. Stupid is dangerous.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
4 years ago
Reply to  ArtP

@ArtP, I agree guns are only inanimate objects. Guns are as dangerous as a rock. Our Second Amendment civil rights enemies are going to say “See, they admit guns are dangerous!”, based on this article’s title. And I agree that Stupid plus almost any other ingredient equals dangerous. Stupid plus a cotton ball can equal dangerous.