Thursday, December 31, 2009

Honest, honey, it just went off!

The tales that some folks concoct to explain their ND's can get amazingly fanciful...


Anonymous said...

he re-incarnation of Gecko45, maybe? That 1946 guy tells some whoppers, don't he?

Jon B.

Anonymous said...

That would be "The", not "he".


Unknown said...

The devil did it.

Non of my 1911's know how to shoot themselves.

See Ya

Jay G said...

Great, as if I didn't have enough trouble keeping .45 ACP in stock, now I have to worry about my 1911s shooting themselves...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, try selling that in court

Gregg said...

and who, with any sense, lowers the hammer on their loaded 1911? That is just asking for an accident and an injury.

Just sayin

BobG said...

Damn, my bullshit detector just overloaded and went up in flames...

Jeffro said...

If he starts ranting about his tactical wheelbarrow the jig is up.

Mikael said...

My BS detector went off too.

The only possible explanation besides the obvious that I could think of would be substandard and very very old powder that might "sweat" like old dynamite(and the temperature change can make nitroglycerin go off by itself), and I find that ridiculously unlikely.

Crucis said...

More likely a pre-70s colt that fell off the nightstand and went bang! Even then I'd have trouble believing it.

Schmidt said...

My 2 cents:
For static electricity to arch, there would have to be a voltage difference .. and gun is all metal. No way for it to build up, since it's all pretty well connected.

Anonymous said...

I'm aware of two specific instances in which a SIG P229 discharged when dropped, and one Glock (don't recall which model) which actually went off when just sitting on a table with no one around it. The two SIG events were identified as debris in the firing pin block channel. The Glock simply had a faulty striker that broke forward of the block and, contrary to conventional wisdom, had enough energy in the spring to set the gun off.

All three events were bizarrely unusual and occurred to pistols that had previously succeeded in many drop tests, etc. Freaky things happen.

However, for a pistol to fire without a mark on the primer and cycle completely while sitting untouched on a table is a pretty incredible series of already incredibly unlikely events.

Tam said...


"The Glock simply had a faulty striker that broke forward of the block and, contrary to conventional wisdom, had enough energy in the spring to set the gun off."

Easy explanation there: The spring had less striker mass to accelerate.

When you bob the hammer on a Smith, you can get by with a reduced power mainspring and still get good licks on the primer for the same reason. :)

Revolver Rob said...

"The 1911 was decocked and loaded"

Well, that's how the damn thing went off then...I've seen people lose control of the hammer or a loaded 1911 before, which is not that flippin' hard to do, considering the grip safety has to be depressed. I guess the static electricity that works his brain is what really caused the 1911 failure.


WV: Press. Remember it is front sight, press, front sight.

BC said...

So, this is the same guy who shoots 6000-8000 rounds per month, and doesn't shoot any reloads anymore?

pax said...

That sure is an in-credible story.


Montie said...


I'm afraid I'd have to call BS on this too. In looking at the photos, it certainly looks like the gun fired while laying on its side as the elevation of the hole above the surface of the nightstand is just about where it would be if fired from a 1911 laying on its side, but that does not preclude a finger being in the trigger.

despite the link provided by one of the commenters to the "limp wrist" video on Youtube, I don't believe that a totally unrestrained 1911 would fully cycle (even a "limp wrist" provides some resistance).

The commenter who stated that the recoil energy would be converted into rotational force is correct, and there certainly wouldn't be enough recoil energy to send the gun some 10 feet off the nightstand (while fully cycling in mid-air no less). The electrical discharge theory is totally out of line as the metal of the cartridge, primer, chamber and slide would all be connected closely enough that there would be no gap presented for a charge to jump.

Exactly who is oldman1946? I know he claims to be a well known and respected, retired LE, who has been extensively published and is a prized "expert witness", but you have recently linked to a couple of things he has posted that has made me wonder about his much vaunted(by him)credibility.

I have some experience with an unrestrained 1911 being induced to fire. Several years ago, we were serving a search warrant on a residence. At that time, I was one of only two people authorized to carry a 1911 on the department I was working for. One of the detectives decided (without authorization) to carry a 1911 on that search in a nylon thigh rig. While climbing a ladder into the attic from the garage, his gun slipped out of the thigh rig as he raised his leg to the point that the muzzle was pointed up about 15 degrees from horizontal (he had failed to re-snap once we made entry and he re-holstered.

The gun dropped about 8 feet and hit the concrete garage floor exactly muzzle first. Inasmuch as this was a pre-series 80 Gold Cup, the firing pin went forward with enough inertia to fire the gun. The gun was then propelled about 5 feet into the air(at least I remember it rising to about eye level after it hit the floor and fired).

When the bullet struck the concrete, the muzzle was still in contact with the floor. The force of the bullet impacting the floor caused it to expand while still in the barrel, and belled the muzzle so that the slide would not go forward by about 1/2 an inch. while the slide partially retracted, it did not fully cycle and stovepiped the empty casing without picking up the next round. Two officers received minor leg injuries from bullet and or concrete fragments. Not being a 1911 type of guy, the detective had the hammer down and the thumb safety off. (The important part of the story besides being familiar with your equipment is that the unrestrained 1911 did not fully cycle. Incidentally, I replaced the barrel in that gun and it worked perfectly thereafter.

Hey, I can even speak to the electical theory somewhat. On that same department, one of our corporals was struck by lightning while exiting his patrol car in a thunderstorm (he survived). Oddly enough not a single round in his Model 65 S&W or any round on his duty belt went off.

Sorry for the super long post.

Heath J said...

Oldman is loquaciously full of shit. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Only ever had two AD's in my life, one was with my 10/22 when I was 15. I stupidly chambered a round, inside the house and took out a tall double-pane window. Lesson learned: do not chamber rounds unless the firearm is outside and pointing in safe direction

Second time, almost took my foot off with my 12-gauge. While loaded, and with the safety off. I pointed the shotgun down at the ground for a moment, while leaving my finger on the trigger. My hand grip relaxed just enough for the weight of the firearm to trip the trigger. BOOM! Lesson learned: Keep finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

One other thing I like to mention, the use of decock levers on pistols. Do not chance it! While decocking your pistol, they can and do go off at times.

We're only humans, proper safety training and continual education of the use and implementation of firearms concerns everyone.

The world is full of amateurs.


Anonymous said...

After re-reading the persons article, it is feasible however VERY unlikely that the powder inside the .45 round became wet. Do I believe this? NO.... have I heard something like this before? Yes...

A man is out black powder rifle hunting, all day in the damp air, man brings in said rifle indoors without clearing it, at 11PM the thing discharges through the roof.

Happy New Year!


og said...

When I read 'Honest, honey, it just went off!" I was thinking something altogether different than firearms

Did involve guns, though.

The places my brain goes when given the right stimulation... are pretty predictable, actually.

Tam said...

Boy, he just has hilarious ND's all over the internet.

Montie said...


You know, I am intrigued by this new scenario. I don't think it could happen if the 659 was functioning properly. When I get home in a couple of hours, I'm going to try to duplicate this latest ND revelation by "oldman 1946" with an empty primed case. The closest I can come to a 659 is my 5903, but the fire control system should be the same.

I'm pretty sure that if you draw the hammer back on an S&W semiauto just far enough that it doesn't catch, then release it WITHOUT PULLING THE TRIGGER it won't fire.

But then, he just has all kinds of miraculous mechanical goings on with his guns. Since both incidents were at home what do you think, poltergeist?

Sarah said...

The odds of this mall ninja having two "mechanical, not human, error" NDs with two different firearms are lower than the odds of the Internet going out of business for lack of interest. He'll keep having NDs as long as he's convinced that he didn't do anything wrong.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a tough time believing that if the pistol went off the slide would cycle completely without having some force to work against. I'm thinking BS on this

I had a couple bring me an AutoOrdance Tommygun they claimed went off when bumped. They left us 500 rounds to play with. The only way we got it to fire was if we had our finger on the trigger.

Burning up other folks ammo to shoot the gun was rough duty. I did clean it for them.


TJP said...

I'm not claiming expertise on the level of Internet Expert, but...

I've shot hand loads with primers that were insufficiently seated. There's still a dimple--primers just aren't that hard.

If there was no dent, the most likely cause is slam-fire. This requires a moving slide.

Any propellant made in this country (and every imported one I've worked with) has coatings applied to control the accumulation of static electricity. If this were not the case, UPS trucks across the country would be exploding on a daily basis, because hundreds of thousands of hand loaders have their bulk propellant shipped in plastic containers.

You know that gray dust that builds up inside your powder hopper? Yeah, that's graphite. When you buy a new powder measure for your reloading set-up, it's usually made of PVC, and it's a good idea to run propellant through it to coat all internals with graphite. Observant hand loaders will note that with a good graphite dusting, granules no longer stick to the PVC, and flow easier through the metal parts. You can also dust it on from a tube of ultra-fine graphite, which is probably safer and faster.

Real black powder granules don't have these coatings; that's why you have to buy a metal hopper for doing BPCR.

Lastly, no auto-loader that I've ever owned would be able to completely cycle without proper support. I can limp-wrist all of them into a jam, and there is no way any of them would function completely unsupported.

Also: why would a static charge arc through a lead salt disc and from the tiny surface area of the anvil, when it's in direct contact with a conductive brass shell that's touching a conductive steel chamber, with thousands of times the surface area?

Tam said...

"If there was no dent..."

If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon.

I'm just filing the whole thing away as fibalicious.

jbrock said...

If he starts ranting about his tactical wheelbarrow the jig is up.

I thought Tactical Wheelbarrow Guy was back in the slammer.

Then again, the slammer might have Internet access these days ...

PresterSean said...

This is also the guy who was against carrying more then one mag, isn't it?

Tam said...

Why, yes. Yes it is. :D

TJP said...


But Tam, did you have the matter investigated in a crime lab? They might be able to discover evidence that she is, in fact, a wagon.

I forgot to nitpick one last point:

"I had the shell casing examined in the crime lab. They determined the primer was not fully seated..."

Primers do not remain stationary during discharge, so there is no way to determine seating depth after the fact. This is described in many loading manuals that are easily accessible to anyone. If you chamber primed, empty cases in a revolver (especially with "magnum" primers), and fire them, there is a pretty good chance the gun will jam (cylinder hard to turn or swing out), because the primers aren't reseated by the recoiling case of a fully loaded round with a longer pressure duration.

Jeff said...

A great example of why not to use condition #2.

I think he's a troll.

Will said...

Don't think I've ever seen a Galco shoulder rig that didn't have a thumb break strap that constrained the hammer position. There are other brands that retain the gun in a different fashion, but they are not common, and most are for smaller guns.

Montie said...

By gosh Will you are right, and it didn't occurr to me until I got home last night. I have three Galco shoulder rigs of the type that were popular in the time frame described by "oldman1946" (well, actually one is a Jackass Leather rig, but same company). All have thumb snap retainers. the one for my Commander goes across the back of the slide under the cocked hammer. The one for a K-frame snub and the one for my 5903 go over the hammer. There is no way it could be cocked with the snap engaged. Also, try as I might, I could not induce my 5903 to fire a primed case last night from being partially cocked.

But then, none of my guns are as "magical" as those of "oldman1946".

JohnKSa said...

ToddG says "The Glock simply had a faulty striker that broke forward of the block..." Before posting this I got out my cutaway Glock and a firing pin to look at.

The explanation given doesn't work. There's almost no striker forward of the block--just the striker nose and a maybe a few mm of the body. And there's no way for the striker spring to bear against that part of the striker. The striker spring bears against the striker well behind the block. So even if the striker broke forward of the block it wouldn't go anywhere--there's nothing pushing on it.

What MIGHT have happened was that whatever was holding the striker (or the striker lug) broke releasing the striker forward to hit the block. When it hit the block, a bit of the front of the striker could have broken off and continued into the primer. There are multiple problems with that explanation, however. 1. There's not much energy in the striker unless the trigger is pulled. 2. There's even less energy in the little tiny bit that is forward of the striker after it breaks off the end of the striker. 3. That would be a really weird place for the striker to break since it's pretty thick at that point. 4. There would be clear evidence of other breakage upon disassembly/inspection. 5. Requires multiple essentially simultaneous failures.

Sounds to me like someone cranked off a round and tried to come up with an explanation as to how it wasn't his fault to me.


Kristophr said...

Well ... I can see why he is such an "Only One".

Classic case of projection:

He has managed to ND all of his firearms at one point or another, therefor firearms are so inherently dangerous that only trained LEOs can be trusted to carry one in his mind.

Non-LEOs should only handle firearms under rangemaster supervision, because all mere civilians are not as well trained as he is.

The fact that he has all of these NDs because he is too fucking stupid to be trusted with a firearm is something that he is just too fucking stupid to comprehend or admit.

Tam said...


I think he was claiming a blow to the rear of the hammer at rest caused the 659 to go bang. Which still doesn't wash, of course.


It's funny, because I've detail stripped a Glock or two and actually have one of their armorer's pads under my hand as I type this (who doesn't use one for a mouse pad?) but I'm not intimately familiar enough with their internal workings to envision them without holding one in my hands. What you say makes sense, however; someone may have told Todd a tall one.

Anonymous said...


No, you're right. I should have provided a picture. Here's an attempt at one.

Anonymous said...

If a 1911 ate electrically-primed ammunition, I probably still wouldn't believe it. Such ammunition is of course sensitive to static discharges, but if the weapon, case and primer are all in direct contact, then there is no way a potential could build up.

But then I'm pretty sure I'm not the first to say that.


Montie said...


In re-reading oldman1946's post on the 659 ND, he said that as he was raising the holster to put it on his right shoulder that the hammer snagged the bottom of the chair.

I was understanding "snagged" to mean that it partially cocked the gun, but maybe he meant, as you say, that a blow to the BACK of the hammer fired the round, which as you pointed out, should not happen on a properly functioning 659.

Rick R. said...

This reminds me of the Big Scary Safety Alert that went out many moons ago (mid 1980's? I ran across it in more than one gun rag back in high school) how one should be careful not to drop a loaded round, because if it landed base first, it could go off, citing one officer's reported incident in his basement with a 9mm round. Supposedly, he simply dropped a single round, and it went off, sending the bullet straight up into the ceiling.

Years later, it came out that the officer admitted that he was getting his Quick Draw McGraw Foo on in the cellar, and cranked a round off, Charlie's Angels style, and needed to account for the missing issue round to his department and the hole in the floor above to his wife.

Personally, I'd have found another box of that ammo, replaced the missing round, fixed or hidden the floor hole, and never said nuffin'.