AD or ND: Discerning the Truth Based on Pictures

WARNING1

Warning: Graphic images below.

They appear with far greater frequency than one would hope to see, and although it used to be the original poster would claim the images came from the ever-mysterious “friend” it seems the majority no longer hesitate to claim ownership. They’re pictures of gunshot wounds, and not the kind that take place from a case of self-defense or as the result of a successful hunt. No, these are entirely different kind of GSW. These are self-inflicted either through negligent discharge or accidental discharge; the phrasing often seems to depend on both the person and the situation (the reality is it’s rarely purposeful which might lead one to refer to it as an AD, but it’s also rarely completely random or entirely unavoidable which is where the ND part comes in). Whether they believe these images will somehow imbue them with Gun Guy Credibiity or just want to generate a sizable thread in their favorite gun group is a good question but it is not the one we’re after today. This is a different question: can you deduce what really happened based on a series of cell-phone images?

These particular pictures first saw the light of internet day on the page of a popular gun group and quickly spread from there. The original poster, who we’ll simply refer to by the usual “OP” rather than revealing his real name, told a short story relaying the chain of events: his pistol was holstered at his hip and when he “pulled” it from his hip “somehow she went bang.” The gun in question was a Springfield XD in .45 ACP; all that is known of the holster is that it was a paddle holster. At first, he said, he didn’t even realize he’d been hit when the gun fired. He figured it out within a matter of minutes, though, heading straight for the closest hospital and an injection of morphine. An x-ray was taken to figure out the precise placement of the bullet so the decision could be made to remove it with a local rather than embarking on surgery under a general anesthetic.

According to the OP the bullet entered through his right hip and came to a stop just above his right kneecap. Luckily for him the ER doctors were able to remove the bullet simply rather than taking him to surgery. It was a FMJ round and while some commenters felt this was fortunate due to the wound cavity and potential fragmenting of a defense round the issue of FMJ over-penetration was not raised. OP said he had just been shooting the gun and had not yet replaced his target rounds with his usual defense rounds.

OP said he’d sent the gun back to Springfield to find out why it fired while in a holster. Refresh your memory on the Springfield XD specs including safety features at http://www.springfield-armory.com/products/xd-tactical-model-45-acp/

Take a look at the pictures below and tell me what you think happened. You’ll notice one image in particular stands out. (I realize it drives some of you all crazy when I don’t give my opinion, however, this is not the place for my personal opinions. It’s where I present you all with the facts as I have been able to gather them and allow you to reach your own conclusions.)

One more warning: yes, these are graphic images. You’ve been warned.

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katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


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  • BattleshipGrey

    Sorry if I’m not very quick on the draw here, but why the heck is his left hand injured, other than just fiddling with his gun out of the holster when the shot happened?

    If the OP wants to maintain that the grip-safetied gun was in the holster when it fired, then why would he post a pic of a support hand injury?

    Is this the reason some XDs tell the shooter where the “grip zone” is?

    • ostiariusalpha

      We had an ND in town just yesterday. Some fool bought a new pistol and thought it was a great idea to put a loaded magazine in and chamber a round while he was still familiarizing himself with the weapon’s break down procedure. Which was dumb enough, but he capped it off by flagging his own left hand without paying attention to where his booger picker was while trying to unload it and blew a chunk out his paw. I don’t think even the Grip Zone instruction label would help this kind of person.

    • William Elliott

      I can see it being possible if, as others suggested, he wasn’t drawing it, he was removing the paddle holster or detaching a thumb drive type holster or other clip to belt clip type system and was manipulating it…not that I am at all certain, I would like to see the holster, pistol in question [I am quite familiar with XDs, used to own a pair and never had an ND or AD with one] and then have him demonstrate what happened with a dummy pistol and a similar holster before I made up my mind.

  • M.M.D.C.

    It looks like he grazed his left hand across his index and little fingers. Gun’s gotta be out of the holster to do that unless he’s into interpretive dance shooting.

    Maybe chalk it up to the vagaries of memory (or he’s flat out lying), but (unintentional or accidental) this guy pulled the trigger and shot himself.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Yeah, I mean unless the Ghost of GSW Present sneaked in there he just hit the dumb a-s switch real hard and blasted himself.

      As far as “graphic” goes I had a staph infection that was way more disgusting.

      • Sianmink

        Eww Ewww Oh god no.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Yeah.
          I waited a week to get it looked at and by then there was a softball sized lump in my thigh. Doc gave me antibiotics but that night the pain was so bad I used my swiss army knife to drain it with a small incision. I thought I would black out from the pain. Bath tub was filled with green and black puss but I felt a hell of a lot better after.

          • Sam

            Pics or it didn’t happen.

            Also, do you know who Kevin Randleman is? He recently passed away, and had the P4P gnarliest staph infection ever a few years ago.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Never heard of him and I actually had some pics on a disposable digital (this was before iphones) that has long since been lost.
            Trust me it was gnarly. I havent cried from pain since I was a kid but that had tears running. I bet I squeezed a gallon of yellow and black ooze out of my thigh.

      • iksnilol

        Due to all the weird injuries and stuff you’ve had, have you ever considered going the cyborg route? I mean it worked for me in Xcom.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          I need a brain upgrade.

          • iksnilol

            We all do, comrade… Or do we?

            I mean, what more do you need in life than a drink and comrades to suka blyat and cheeki the breeki with?

            Ah crap, now I’m gonna be philosophying for a couple of hours now :/

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Lately, a drink a smoke and a few buddies has been a lifesaver.

          • iksnilol

            Can agree to that one. Same here, in spite of being struck by that youthfull optimism you get when things are working out (passed math exam, got car and license, got rid of some bad people in my life, lucky with the ladies, job, etc.) you still need that moment to sit back and relax.

  • Division Charlemange

    NICE ONE KATIE! More surgery pics please.

    It works for Vet Ranch.

  • iksnilol

    I can bet that guy had a bad day after that.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Nah, the day after he was probably high as a Georgia pine on Oxy.

      • iksnilol

        You’re right. One of the best days for me was when I had to remove 4 teeth. I was high as a kite.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          I recently had my tonsils, uvula and excess tissue removed to cure sleep apnea and I got a big a-s bottle of liquid oxy. One more week of that and I would have been drinking it on the rocks.

          • iksnilol

            You had your uvula removed?

            That flappy bit in the back of your mouth?

            It’s gonna be weird when you scream and the camera zooms in on your mouth. 😛

            Yeah, oxy is strong stuff. Rarely see it here in Norway despite working in a pharmacy. Probably a good reason they are careful with the stuff.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yep its all gone back there.

          • 2hotel9

            Ik? Here in the States they ain’t careful with oxyies at all, throw them out like candy at a parade.

          • Rick5555

            The pharmacy industry has a very powerful lobby presence in D.C. If you go back two decades ago. Pain Management Groups/Clinics didn’t exist. Now, they’re every where. We’re becoming a nation that’s gotten addicted to pain medications. I’m an advocate for the use or pain meds. However, under a physicians care and monitored closely. These clinics, do MRI’s, CAT scans. And then it’s an industry within an industry per se. Pain management doctors get pain quite well. An though they might do some procedures. A 15 min office visit, to get your meds renewed. And the bill to insurance companies is like $200. Initial consult, cost roughly $350, then the test, and so forth. Pharmacy manufactures are making a fortune off people dependent on narcotics and other pricey medications. It’s unbelievable what I see. I work at a hospital (Vanderbilt University, Medical Center) as a attending physician (gastro-surgeon). Hence, I don’t encounter many pharmacy representatives. However, my friends in private practice. Got a summer cabin in the mountains. Due to reps, handing out samples. Though restrictions were put in place, for kick backs. There’s plenty of creative ways around these purported restrictions. I think it’s disgusting how doctors will push a certain med…all for that creative kick back. I’m sure it’s quite tempting, but I would like to think I wouldn’t play that game. If I was in private practice. It’s not about the money for me. I simply want to help people. And be in environment, that’s on the cutting edge of medicine.

          • 2hotel9

            Sales reps are about sales, very rarely are they knowledgeable about what they sell beyond the sales pitch material given to them by their sales managers. Therein lies a great deal of the problem in the pharmaceutical and medical industries. And yes, they are both industries, a point that sets off the political left like a ham samwich in front of Michael Moore.

          • 2hotel9

            My son, Boy, had his wisdom teeth cut out. They sent him home with a large bottle of oxyies, a large bottle of penicillin, a large bottle of motrin and a 14 day set of prednisone. He woke up the next morning with a small amount of discomfort, I vacum bagged the penicillin, dumped the preds into my ongoing stock and threw the oxyies and motrin in the firepit. No wonder people are addicted to prescript painkilers and their immune systems are f**ked up.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Wait, your sons name is Boy?
            Anyway, yeah I had a two week supply of liquid but I was in legit massive pain. I had my throat cut out and stents placed in my sinus cavities for a month. Oxy works so fast and effectively its scary. Id wake up in agony, take 5mg and in ten minutes I was A-ok. I was also high which became somewhat problematic when you cant leave the house and have nothing to do but take Oxy and play XBOX.
            You probably should have kept it for extreme emergencies. I took it four times a day for two weeks and showed no signs of dependency even when I double dosed just for fun.

          • 2hotel9

            Considered that, I have better pain meds in freeze, oxy is not worth the sides. One of the good things about having “brothers” and “sisters” in the medical profession, when anything I have stored hits throw out date I can restock. They know I am not a junkie lightin’up or selling in the street. Prepper. What the f**k does that word mean, anyway? 😉

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            To each his own but I didnt have any side effects.
            My GF is a doctor so we have a decent batch of stuff just in case too. Anyway, if everything went to hell Oxy could be used as currency if nothing else.

          • 2hotel9

            Know the deal. Got friends who have used oxy and never had a problem. Other people totally lost it over a single prescription’s worth. Just tripped a switch, and these were not “bubblegummers” who could not handle their high, these were people who went through extensive surgeries in DOD/VA and got all manner of painkillers, they cycled oxyies one time. It. Tripped. A. Switch. People are different. Predicting how their bodies will react to different things is vastly complicated. Predicting how their minds/psyches/personalities will react is orders of 10 more complicated. And that is enough philosophy for one night. Gonna go watch NCIS and Vikings on the DVR. Ponder THAT juxtaposition.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            True, it can be a nasty habit in the wrong system.

          • Rick5555

            There’s extensive medical studies regarding people who are predisposed to addictive behavior. Some of the leading researchers/principle investigators. Believe this predisposition of addiction, is hidden in humans DNA. That trigger point you mention. Would be the RNA sending the instructions to the brain. Hence, the addicting behavior. It’s quite fascinating. I believe as the medical community understands more about humans DNA/RNA. We’ll get a lot of answers to diseases and our behavioral patterns.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            you have a nice list of buzz words for a fake

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            PREPAIR that’s what it means

          • 2hotel9

            That is a joke. You get jokes, don’t you?

          • 2hotel9

            Oh, and I call him Boy, everyone else speaks to him by name. Works nicely! In a crowded venue, all kinds of noise, all I do is say Boy in a loud voice and he knows who is talking to him.

          • Rick5555

            5mgs is not that much. You could’ve taken 15 mgs and be fine. Meaning you wouldn’t O.D. I prescribe pain meds many times a day, every day. But then, I’m a surgeon. Morphine time released at 60 mgs a day, with 15 mgs of Percocet for break through pain. And you will feel great ALL DAY. And there’s pain management physicians who prescribe this all the time to their patients. Dependency can occur rather quick. If under the care of a physician you become dependent. If you take for recreational purpose and not under a doctor’s care. Then you’re considered addicted. That’s how the legal systems defines it.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Well mine was liquid oxy and my gf is a rheumatologist so she was monitoring pretty closely. The thing is I couldn’t do anything like work out or go shooting because I was so weak from only eating broth for two weeks so I was stuck on th couch or on the porch. Toward the end of my recovery I was definitely enjoying the side benefit. I was getting high period. But when the scrip ran out I went to Tylenol with no problems. If I was disabled for six months taking the stuff daily I’d have problems. There’s a good book on the subject called Dreamland.

          • Rick5555

            I bet your GF prescribes a lot of Humira, Remicade, Cimza, et. al. in her specialty. In which a lot of gastroenterologist prescribe the aforementioned meds too. They find when mixed with Methotrexate it reduces inflammation in the intestinal track, Rendering Crohn’s disease patients in total remission. Both medications work wonderfully, However, they are medications in which a doctor needs too closely monitor their patients…by conducting monthly blood test. Watching the liver closely too. You’re an engineer? if I recall correctly. If I had to choose an entirely different profession. I would’ve liked to become a mechanical/design engineer. However, all that math would’ve killed me. I wish we would see more of the younger generation striving towards STEM careers. Instead, they want to be rappers, or some sort of entertainer.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Nah I’m just a regular working guy at a small oil company. But I’m working on my degree. She’s the one with the brain.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            An MD with no command of to, too, two or 2? NOT

          • Idget

            Hey Doc – I have been hexed with chronic neuro pain for more than 15 years, and am a RN. Yes I am with a pain practice, and currently utilize Suboxone 3 times a day. Regarding addiction, that word has no use for me, since my goal is to be able to function with the least amount of pain. I have told my MDs if somebody cares to classify it as addiction, well for the time being it still is a free country. No one should pass judgement on chronic pain unless you have lived it. Oh, and as far as the legal system goes, those meat sticks are clueless as well. You judge, you’re wrong.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            he isn’t a Doc, his statement that recreational use is considered addiction alone proves that, not to mention 15 mg oxycodone for breakthrough pain, is insufficient, its only used for pain management because it doesn’t work for higher levels of pain.

          • DeathFromTheShadows

            I doubt that you are a surgeon, for three reasons first being 20MG oxycodone is insufficient for breakthrough pain which is why its only prescribed for management, second recreational use does not indicate addiction Physiological addiction indicates addiction, and third you would ave picked up on the BS story of being shot in the thigh and the projo traveling to the knee and only needine ER care.

  • 2hotel9

    Graphic images? Meh. I have seen much worse in construction accidents. As for that hand, clearly out of the holster, had it been in holster the strike would have been in thigh/calf, possibly the fabled buttocks hit, definitely not either hand. Unless he was holding holstered pistol in hands and pulled trigger. THAT would account for such a “wound”.

    • John

      Speaking of trauma, as a medical student, my second day on Trauma surgery there was a person who came in who was shot 4x, hitting almost all major vessels (Aorta, carotid, Vena Cavae), one bullet shredded the liver and lodged in the spine.

      They had to do median thoracotomy, that is, cut the chest from nipple to nipple, spread the ribs to access the heart and massage it with their hands to keep it pumping.

      The guy died though, no going back from that

  • politicsbyothermeans

    Charitably: I wouldn’t be surprised if he were preparing to guide the XD into the holster with his weak hand and managed unintended ballistic exploration.

    Not-so-charitably: That’s not how you do a press check.

  • Sianmink

    Downward shot right thigh to knee, he was standing with the XD in his right hand, but he injured his left hand pretty well too.
    Could he have ND’d during a completely unnecessary press check? Seems like it would have to be pretty awkward positioning for that though. That’s something to do in your workspace, not down near your junk.
    Re-holstering incident seems likely given the wound location, clearing the holster opening with his left hand, pushing down with right (with thumb over grip safety instead of on back of slide like it should have been) and either clothing or his stupid finger tugs the trigger and now you’re going to the ER.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      the wound does not support the thigh BS he was shot directly to the knee, all views are the knee, none are the thigh.

  • Lew Siffer

    Has he filed a lawsuit against Springfield Armory? If not, you have your answer.

  • Bob

    Hmmmm… Was our boy into cowboy action shooting and attempted to fan it scarcely out of the holster?

    • Bob

      Alternatively, I could see him struggling with both hands trying to get the gun out of an unfamiliar holster…

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      its a striker fired pistol

  • USMC03Vet

    lol @ glock leg with a XD.

    I hope Springfield sends him his gun back with face palm meme included.

    • Sam

      Seems people refuse to accept personal responsibility in these situations. How about “I’m a dumbass and shot myself. Learn from my mistake!”

    • Smedley54

      Twelve pound trigger pull for sure.

  • Joseph Smith

    I would think we can assume it’s a ND unless proven an AD.

    Or it’s a Taurus.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      bottom line, there is no such thing as an AD. That is a myth perpetrated by idiots who shouldn’t touch a firearm and anti firearms fanatics.

  • noob

    when you say he pulled “it” from his hip, does that mean it was in a paddle holster that could be slipped off a waistband?

    I imagine that if it was a leather paddle holster that had softened with age, maybe squeezing the paddle holster with his left hand with the finger of his left hand at the muzzle and his thumb was wrapped around the trigger guard as he removed the holster from his waist might have caused a bit of leather to impinge into the trigger guard and work the trigger, causing the striker to fall.

    a bit like how sometimes when you squeeze a paper coffee cup a crease can go into the circumference of the cup.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      If there was a strap depressing the safety the trigger guard should be covered unless he was carrying in a modifies or home brew holster. A retaining strap wouldn’t work on the slide (the only other place on could be considered on an xd) due to the lack of area to hold on to…And again the trigger is of the “safe” variety so it would take substantial amount of blockage to operate it. Ive been carrying an XD for close to ten years, they just cant be set off without intent or extreme negligence

  • J.K.

    From the angle of the wound and the fact his support hand’s finger was grazed, he was holstering his weapon with his right hand while holding the paddle holster with his left. Something was on the trigger when he pushed down, either bad trigger finger discipline or clothing snagging inside the trigger guard. There was probably resistance in fully holstering, hence his grabbing the holster with his left, and he forced the gun down, causing it to fire.

    • Curious

      Except how does he get the hole in his right arm.

      • J.K.

        At first look, I thought that was his right arm, too. After reading the description and taking a closer look, its his right thigh.

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          not his thigh those are all different angles of his knee. That last leg shot is the un incised view of his knee, showing it is actually the entry wound, as the view moves in closer the hair on the knee becomes more apparent due to the staining of the Betadine solution used to clean the wound and surrounding area prior to making the incision.

          Also of note, the XD has too many safeties to have it go off any way other than for it to be fully grasped so that the grip safety is flush with the grip frame, unlike the 1911 which can simply be pushed down without being held, then the trigger safety must be depressed fully for the trigger to function, out of order, and it wont fire.

  • Aaron E

    OK, here goes for my guess from investigating the facts:

    Facts: Grazing wound to left hand, through and through to right arm, and more serious grazing wound to right knee.

    Subjective Information: Victim claimed his pistol was holstered and he “pulled” it from his hip “somehow she went bang.”

    Conclusion: OP pulled his pistol out of his holster with his right hand and lost his grip and control of the pistol. OP brought both hands inward to catch the pistol. The pistol ends up with the barrel pointing downward at a slight angle to the right, and close to his body.

    OP’s left hand comes into contact with the pistol with the fore finger extended partially in front of the barrel, and his left pinky finger just behind the trigger but partially inside the trigger guard. OP’s left ring finger moves inside the trigger guard in a reflexive gripping motion. OP’s right arm moves in front of the muzzle as his awkward attempt to recover his firearm is failing. OP’s left ring finger activates the trigger causing the pistol to fire. The bullet grazes OP’s left forefinger, travels through his right arm, and then creases OP’s right knee. OP’s left pinky finger gets pinched from the trigger pull causing a blister.

    That’s all I got.

    • Sam

      Where did you get that his right arm is involved anywhere? Entry wound at right thigh, bullet traveled down leg and settled behind right knee cap.

      Here’s my opinion: In practicing a draw (in the article is says he’s pulling the pistol out), a lot of people bring their support hand across their body to meet their dominant hand. So he’s drawing his pistol with his right hand, his left hand comes way across his body, he rushes his finger on the trigger and squeezes a round off as his support hand is almost in position/near the muzzle.

      Exactly like that dumb “I. Just. F*cking. Shot. Myself” cowboy dude, but add in a support hand.

      • William Elliott

        actually Tex explained that. Yes, he screwed up, but watching the video I see how. He HAD been shooting with a Glock in a thumb drive holster [just like the one I carry as a matter of fact], and switched over to a 1911 in a Serpa [I don’t even OWN a Serpa, and given that the professionals slipped up and pulled the booger hook mistake on a pro Serpa vid lately, I do not think they are generally safe]. When he went to draw the 1911, he swept his thumb down to unlock it from the holster [again, he had been training with the thumb drive, so he was keyed up for that motion], which disengaged the safety on the 1911 but did not release it from the holster. you can see him get flustered and then attempt to draw a second time in the video. With the safety now off, the predictable happened and under stress while still applying pressure, his trigger finger slipped from the holster release into the trigger guard and “I. Just. F*ucking. Shot. Myself.” occurred. Operator error pure and simple but it highlights why I do not like Serpas or any other holster that requires you to manipulate a switch or button with your trigger finger while under stress.
        And Tex had the stones to analyze the incident and post it up so that other people could avoid the same mistakes and reduce the risk of doing it to themselves. I give the man kudos for that.

        • DeathFromTheShadows

          Used Properly you are not manipulating any buttons on a serpa holster. Placing your trigger finger in the correct position to draw the firearm passively releases the latch. Your disdain for them comes from lack of familiarity of how the actually work. In the over 40 years that Ive been using side arms professionally, Ive had virtually EVERY type of holster there is and by and far the SERPA the hardest to screw up with. If you do you are mistrained on trigger discipline, plain and simple.

      • DeathFromTheShadows

        If the bullet traveled down the length of his thigh where is that trauma? In addition to a (non existent) entrance wound on his thigh, there would be very apparent “tunnel wounding” leading to his knee that would be raised and heavily bruised. If it were so deep as to not show he would need muscular reconstructive surgery and the bullet would not be this shallow, further you can see the base of the bullet in the wound, this is a direct entry wound. The dumbass was sitting on a chair or similar playing with a loaded gun and shot himself OR someone else did while he had his hand on his own knee. Ive probably seen more GSW up close and personal in my lifetime than any of you (sorry but that’s not bragging, just stating a sad fact) including tunnel wounds, and this isn’t the type of wound he claims, and it sure wasn’t “close contact”, it was at least 12 inches from the muzzle of the firearm. Dollar to a stale donut alcohol and or a female was involved.

        • Sam

          Well, I dunno. That goes against everything that’s said in the article. Article says the bullet entered at the hip (pic 3 is the entry wound) and was surgically removed near his knee (pic 1 pre-removal and pic 2 post).

          The area around the entry wound does looked raised to me, and maybe just hasn’t bruised yet. And it looks like it’s about at the top of his thigh, which would make sense if he was in the middle of a terrible draw when he discharged a round, and it’s give enough standoff to not cause a burn from the muzzle.

      • I mis-interpreted the picture between the knee crease and the finger. I thought that was his arm.

    • DeathFromTheShadows

      Cant happen that way… the XD has 1911 ergonomics INCLUDING a grip safety that has to be FULLY depressed for the trigger’s safety lever to work and the trigger to move. this Nimrod had the gun in a full on firing grip complete with his finger on the trigger and he pulled it, It is the ONLY way an XD can go off. The piece is built around safeties, not the other way around.

      • Ah yeah – totally skimmed over pistol type

  • Idget

    If these wounds were made by an alleged holstered weapon, why is it the entry sites are not angled, but seem as they entered straight away. Lucy, you’ve got some splannig to do!

  • jcitizen

    Springfield recalled the XDS for trigger problems, you suppose this is the same thing? Maybe it isn’t an accident after all? I apologize for not reading all the comments to the end first.

  • ihatelibs

    OOOOOPS … I wear a Cross Drawn Belly Holster for my Taurus Mod 605 357Mag Revolver . Gun is Always pointed AWAY from My BOD ..