Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Boomsticks: Remember, kids...

...the Series 80 firing pin block in a Colt 1991A1 is not as strong as the magnet in an MRI tunnel.


(H/T to SayUncle.)

12 comments:

phlegmfatale said...

Nice. My favorite line from the article: "The decision was then made to power down the magnet to remove the gun."
Good call. I suppose the continued presence of the gun might have unsettled the next already too-tightly-wrapped MRI patients, and he probably wanted his gun back. Too bad Barney didn't leave that bullet in his shirt pocket.

MarkHB said...

I guess I'm mainly glad that this turned out funny rather than tragic. Pretty sure that techie won't be letting anyone else bring a gun anywhere near his Tesla-and-a-half toy again any time soon.

triticale said...

I'll bet the gun is now unuseable due to components having been turned into magnets.

Ben said...

Nahhh, just tie a rope to it and pull up interesting objects from nearby bodies of water.

JPG said...

Pretty interesting. The only time I ever needed to undergo MRI, I went in carrying a pre-1980 .45 Commander, without benefit of the firing pin block. The technician was very businesslike in his statement that all ferrous metal should be left well away from the gear. I followed instructions and left pistol, with spare magazine, pocket knife, and keys in a large envelope. This was stashed in a lockbox, and there was no drama.

I must admit I never envisioned such a possible outcome.
JPG

Anonymous said...

I would be leary of using that weapon again. Imagine all the stress on the slide rail du to the slide being locked when the round fired.


jeff

Rabbit said...

Well DUH!

There are several well-documented reports of items as large as chairs, gas cylinders and even a floor polisher pulled into the magnet chamber of a MRI apparatus. I've seen tattoo ink and shrapnel/metal shards pulled out of the dermis of patients as well.

http://www.simplyphysics.com/flying_objects.html for a look at some documented cases.

Regards,
Rabbit.

cfortin said...

Ya know, they never actually say that the safety was observed to be on when the gun was retrieved. They count on the empty shell in the barrel. It seems a strange thing to leave out.

Why couldn't it have been the mag field that prevented the slide from operating enough to actually eject the round?

And who thought up the idea of trying to pry the weapon off of the machine with the magnet on?

Jeff said...

Yikes! I'll bet that cop almost filled his pants! Aside from the AD/ND it was probably fairly comical though, I can just see him setting it on the table and diving after it as it tried to get away.

I'd imagine that the gun could be degaussed and still used, I doubt the slide being locked was that big a deal, A slide lock on a .45 or 9mm is not unheard of for suppressed weapons.

Sigivald said...

cfortin: They said the thumb safety was observed to be on when it was removed, thus:

"When the firearm was removed from the magnet, the gun was still in a cocked and locked position."

And the caption for Fig. 2C:

"Gun is in cocked and locked position with hammer cocked and thumb safety turned on to prevent hammer from striking firing pin. This is condition in which gun was recovered from magnet."

Matt G said...

I wouldn't be leery of using the pistol again, but I would be leery of leaving in the firing pin block that has obviously been fatigued.

This is virtually the only instance in which I can think of the necessity of a firing pin block, and it failed. Take it out, and don't bring your pistol around MRIs again.

It would have been interesting, academicaly, to find out if the pistol would have cycled had the safety not been engaged. I rather doubt it; given that the incredible magnetic force that drew the firing pin into the primer was also applied to the slide of the pistol, and given that the pistol was still holstered and against the side of the tunnel, I rather imagine that a FTF or FTE would occur.

One wonders what would happen if the ammunition were ferric.

comatus said...

The notion of electronic cartridge ignition has begun knocking around again after 35 or so years of obscurity. I don't run magnetometers under high-tension lines or anything, but you've got to figure that the increasing number of casually (and causally!)generated mag fields is a possible drawback to that system that ought to be considered, especially for duty or carry arms. I zeroed all my credit cards in my computer room back in the 70's. Glad I didn't have my Tom Swift Electronic Pistol on me.