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Back to basics: a near disaster

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Unread 01-27-2008, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Texas
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Back to basics: a near disaster

A long-time friend and gunsmith had a very prominent sign in his shop. It said "I CHARGE $25. TO UNLOAD A GUN"

The other day, a friend brought me two shotguns to clean. I leaned them against the dining table in my house until I could take them out to my garage. Several hours later, I took them out and put them on my work table to check them out. They are duck and goose guns, and had considerable rust and several frozen parts on them. Just before checking the screw-in choke on the second one, I realized that I had not opened it. You guessed it. When I racked it back, it stood up a live 3" round. After the shock wore off a little, and I changed my underwear, I understood the real meaning of the sign. When his dad picked up the guns, I gave him a baggie with a live 3" steel shot, and a choke that said "FOR LEAD SHOT ONLY" and asked him to remember where all that shotgun had been since the last time it was used.

I always believed that I would never make a mistake like that, but I can't say that any more. One more time: THEY'RE ALL LOADED.

Stay safe, Tom
Texas State Rifle Association Life Member
NRA Endowment Life Member

A big fast bullet will beat a little fast bullet every time

Last edited by specweldtom; 08-20-2008 at 05:48 PM.
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Unread 01-27-2008, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,855
very good point Tom , I make it common practice check and unload a weapon before I hand it over or as soon as i'm handed on.

It always amazes me when guys get offended when I unload my side are before handing it over for them to look at or checking their gun when I take hold of it. To many people are killed every year with "unloaded gun"
Si Vis Pacem Parabellum
Molon Labe
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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:38 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 914
I remember as a young boy, perhaps 10, going with my Dad to the local gun smith with my bolt action .410 for a new magazine follower. The gun was delivered in a case and we picked up when it it was done in the same case.

When we got home, I pulled it from the case and, as taught, opened the action. Out popped a live round! Apparently the smith had been checking it for feeding and left a round in the chamber! :confused:

To this day, I will never except a gun, even in a case, without checking it myself.

I never heard the conversation between my Dad and the smith but can only imagine how it went! We never went back there............................

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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:25 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
19 year old Mn resident killed

Gun safety is so important! A local 19 year old kid was shot and killed last weekend about 3 miles from my home. Four guys between 18 and 21 were looking at a 22 and it went off shooting the young man in the chest.
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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Unread 01-28-2008, 12:36 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,088
Last year, while sighting in at the range, I had TWO different knuckleheads "snap a cap" on their muzzleloaders. TWO live shots! One next to the guys own foot, and the other hit an unoccupied building on a ricochet!

Once a year hunters scare the H@ll out of me more than guys that shoot a lot. But every year folks shoot their ramrods downrange too!

They are always loaded!


PS After doing it and everyone looking at them, they both said that they knew that they were loaded!
Obviously they didn't, and I think that it even made them look more stupid!!

Last edited by edge; 01-28-2008 at 12:50 PM.
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Unread 01-29-2008, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: I live in the outdoors, but ihave to stay in the Houston area so I can afford to live outdoors!
Posts: 165
I guess it been about four year now...my oldest daughter's fiance was shot and killed after a duck when when him and his hunting buddy were in the cabin. The shotgun had been propped up in the corner behind a door, his hunting buddy pick it up by the barrel and it discharged. The load of steel shot hit him in the neck at a range of about 6 feet.

My wife is new to hunting and she got right into it when we got married 3 years ago and she already knows the rule: ALL GUNS ARE LOADED AND NO GUN CAN BE UNLOADED!

We have a large collections of assult style weapons (many are the wifes)that that friends and family like to check out when they come over. If they ask about one being loaded or not my wife is the first to tell them..."every gun we own is loaded!" They look funny at her at first, once she explains why she said it that way they understand.

It sound odd at first, but I'd be willing to bet the people she has told that to remember it!
There is not such thing as too many guns, safes or fishing poles!
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Unread 01-29-2008, 01:56 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
It happens to almost everyone at one time or another.

I have a story similar to those above. Just remember to be doubly careful and diligent when your mind is pre-occupied with other things.

Mine ended with nothing hurt but my pride with an accidental discharge of a 357.

I know of several other stories like those posted above; very experienced shooters that have a lapse or are otherwise distracted.

Practicing gun safety and keeping it foremost in our minds AT ALL TIMES is paramount.

Thanks for the reminder,

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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