If you have been shooting long enough, chances are that you have become careless and had a negligent discharge or know someone who has. If you talk to self-righteous gun people about it, they will tell you there is no such thing as an “accedental” discharge, but that each one of these incidents are flat out negligent.
Well, the truth is that there are accidental discharges. Mechanical failures happen, aftermarket parts might be installed improperly or have tolerance issues, or you could even have a case where weather conditions or a small burr in the wrong place.
Now honest accidental discharges are rather rare and I have experienced one myself while shooting a 70 year old Type 14 Nambu that had a broken firing pin. Thankfully I was left unhurt as was the shooter in the below video.
While prepping for a match, the shooter slides a magazine into his handgun and chambers a round. It appears that the CZ let the hammer drop as the slide went into battery, launching a round into the
ceiling backstop. The description of the video does go into some detail:
Also, consider all of the things that he did INCORRECTLY prior to the incident:
1. He installed an aftermarket hammer and sear that were labeled “gunsmith installation only”.
2. He disabled the firing pin block safety on his firearm for a shorter reset.
In his defense, this handgun had been tested and run weekly at ranges for roughly 1,000 rounds before the sear engagement failed and caused the accidental discharge.
UPDATE: We have received an email from the RO that was there. You can read Ian’s email below.
I saw your write up on the TFB about the “How to accidentally discharge your pistol properly” video. I’m the RO in that video.
First, thanks for the write up! I hope we can all learn from what happened.
Second, in the article you mentioned that the round hit the ceiling of the indoor range. The angle of the camera might make the gun look like it was being pointed upward, but I can assure you that the round hit squarely in the backstop and no damage was done to any property. While people can interpret the video any way they like, I want to make sure that they know that this was a text book example of how to follow gun handling rules even when you are not expecting the gun to go off.
So, if you feel compelled to revise the article to reflect this info, that’d be cool. If you’re busy or don’t get to this in a timely manner, that’s okay too. I may add some additional details in the video description.