Had an AD ejecting today.... Ouch!

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Mark Barr's picture
Mark Barr
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Had an AD ejecting today.... Ouch!

Ouch!  While practicing IDPA with my Springfield 1911 in .40 S&W, I finished a string, removed the magazine, went to eject the live round with a slingshot grip on the front slide serrations.  I wracked it back briskly (caffiene on board, don't ya know) and BANG.

It was an ejection AD (accidental discharge).

I was shocked.  I knew my trigger finger was nowhere near the trigger, so how had it happened?  This is one of those "one in a million" accidents, where the round slips left out of the extractor hook just enough for the nose of the ejector to hit the primer.  My weak hand wrist and base of thumb were closest to the ejection port, and they were both bleeding from superficial cuts...  I consider myself lucky. I was able to wrap my bleeders with IDPA tape and resume shooting.   If my fingers had been cupped over the port, they would have been mangled or worse.

I did a little reading on this issue.  It happens most often with .40 cal guns, and Glocks in particular. 

Lessons learned? 

  • Once you've finished a given course of fire, don't let down your guard. 
  • Make certain you get a firm grip on the slide with no part of your hand or fingers in front of the ejection port.
  • Pull the slide back slowly and do not let go until you are certain the round is fully ejected
  • Do not try to catch the live round in your weak hand.  Let it fall to the ground. You can wipe the dirt off later.

I've been playing IDPA almost 6 years, and I'm still learning lessons..  I hope some of you can learn from MY lesson, so that you do not have to experience this first hand ...(pun intended).

There has never been a match won by unloading or holstering quickly..  Take your time with these steps and do them correctly!

Mark Barr

Accidental Discharge Ejecting Round

 

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That's one reason you'll

That's one reason you'll never front serrations on my firearms... never use the front of the slide for anything so I have no need for 'em. I do chamber checks and ejects the 'old' manual of arms way I larnt in Infantry School at Ft. Polk many years ago. Glad ya dint get hurt seriously... but I'll also bet you'll never make that mistake again, ayuh?!

The ability to shoot straight is that part of national security which affects the individual more than any other. - Merritt "Red Mike" Edson; CMOH-USMC

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Glad to see everything is OK.

Glad to see everything is OK. I don't know if I will change my technique. I use the hand over port to retrieve my chambered round. .Being left handed I simply place my right palm down the left side of the slide and slowly pull back with my fingers down the right side of the slide. The round usually falls in my hand before reaching the ejector or just lightly hitting it to rock it out. There is no force or speed involved in my method.

Does your firearm require the quick speed with force to get the round out or is is just your technique? I would enjoy showing you how I do it but without a pistol at any event for 11 1/2 more months it might be difficult. We may just have to wait for me to tire of this revolver shooting stuff before I can show you how to properly do it.

I am super stoked you are OK. See you soon.

"Unnecessarily restrictive engagement requirements by default is the hallmark of a lazy or flat out terrible stage designer." ~ unknown

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Thanks Ty. Even a revolver

Thanks Ty.

Even a revolver can hurt you...  Just try positioning your support hand with a finger forward of the cylinder...  There can be instant carnage, as lead fragments spray laterally, (slicing to the bone), quickly followed by the smell of cooking bacon (when the white hot flame cauterizes the wound.

My Dad always warned me.  "If you play with fire, you WILL eventually get burned". 

Mark Barr

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That is OK Mark. I would

That is OK Mark. I would rather keep my digits. It would be nice if you could warn everyone that you are initiating the "unload and show clear" so we can all take a step back. #smile.

Just kidding my friend, however in all seriousness that is 2 times in the last 6 months that you have had a surprise. I applaud the fact that you keep that muzzle pointed safely down range but two is all you get, let's not go for three.

"Unnecessarily restrictive engagement requirements by default is the hallmark of a lazy or flat out terrible stage designer." ~ unknown

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I have seen this happen a

I have seen this happen a couple times and heard of it many more.  All that I have seen or heard of were 1911 style guns in .40, 9mm or .38 super.  it is caused by the the primer hitting the ejector.  In these caliber the extractor is set loose to make the guns run.  If the round slips off the extractor it can move out of position as the slide is pulled to the rear.  The ejector will then hit the round in the center (primer) of the case as opposed to the outer edge.  In the ones I have seen you could see the square outline of the ejector.

While it's ALWAYS better to keep your hand clear of the ejection port.  Pulling the slide back slower, with gun canted to point the port toward the ground, and let the round fall to the ground prevents this.

Also while you may think it looks cool to flip a round into the air and catch it, but consider that you are yanking the slide back with even more force to get it to fly into the air and now the ejection port is facing up to your face. 

I've ejected (and picked up off the ground) thousands of rounds and never had one blow up while unloading.  Knock on wood!

 

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I started off shooting IDPA

I started off shooting IDPA with you guys a couple of years ago now, and remember quite early on how my "unload and show clear" technique was commented on. Both Marie-Laure and I learnt the "cup and save" technique from Front Sight as the unload command there was designed to put the unused round in your pocket out of the way rather than dump it on the ground. Our muscle memory picked up there transitioned to IDPA. However, 90% of the time (unless muscle memory creeps back in) we now keep hands well clear and not worry about dumping the round into the dust. Each method has its merits based on your circumstance. For IDPA where there is no rush at the end of the string, a dump is fine as you can pick it up later.   We are returning to Front Sight this fall and will have a conversation around the two techniques and see what they say about the merits of each.

"In England, if you commit a crime, the police don't have a gun and you don't have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say 'Stop, or I'll say stop again.'"
- Robin Williams

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Glad to hear you're OK, Mark.

Glad to hear you're OK, Mark. You're right, your injuries could have been a whole lot worse.

FWIW, a similar incident occurred at one of the Lincoln multi gun matches last fall. The guy was shooting a tricked out STI 1911 in .40S&W. When he was finished shooting, the SO instructed him to clear his handgun. He dropped the mag and did a fast "over the top" rack of the slide to eject the chambered round. The gun went bang. His hand, which was directly over the ejection port, sustained a number of pretty nasty cuts.

At first, several of the spectators thought that the shooter had his finger on the trigger, but he was certain that he did not. The SO and the ASO agreed that the shooter's finger was nowhere near the trigger.

Since I was match director at the time, I was advised of what had taken place. The SO, the shooter, the club president and I  put our heads together to try to figure out what happened. We had no idea until we found the cartridge casing. It was badly damaged, and the primer had a large rectangular-shaped indentation in it that matched the profile of the ejector.

Our conclusion was that when the shooter racked the slide, he brought it back far enough to partially extract the round. But, we believe, he let loose of the slide before the round was fully extracted, and the slide slammed forward. The round must have been oriented in a manner that allowed the ejector to strike the primer. Since the cartridge case wasn't supported at all by the chamber, it burst.

Upon further examination of the area where the incident occurred, we found a pristine .40 cal bullet with no rifling marks on it lying on the ground. Since the round wasn't chambered, when the case burst, the bullet simply fell to the ground.

This is the only instance of this sort of thing that I have ever seen happen.

Jay

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...the next question.. Should

...the next question.. Should this kind of AD result in a DQ? I think not, but is it truly a "discharge" if the bullet didn't even go down the barrel? Maybe the NVSA should have a policy in the event that this happens during a match..

Mark Barr

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Sorry Mark... If it goes bang

Sorry Mark... If it goes bang at any time other than as a conscious act of aiming at a target and pressing the trigger it is, by definition an 'Accidental Discharge' and is cause for a DQ... In My "Humble" Opinion, of course.

The ability to shoot straight is that part of national security which affects the individual more than any other. - Merritt "Red Mike" Edson; CMOH-USMC

John Allen (not verified)
Sorry Charlie,

Sorry Charlie,
but I must, respectfully, disagree. As there is no actual 'discharge' of a round through the barrel, the term "Accidental Discharge" does not really apply. This would be more accurately described as an Accidental Detonation which is a mechanical malfunction that cannot be reasonably anticipated. Therefore, not a cause for a DQ. With that said though, I would address the issue at the shooters meeting and, without actually admonishing, strongly 'recommend' to a shooter that does this to change their technique.

John

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Disagree. It went bang

Disagree. It went bang because of what has now been shown to be unsafe firearm handling. Another reason for a DQ. If it happens to a shooter that I'm running, I'm awarding a DQ. This situation would not occur if the proper manual of arms had been adhered to. Regardless of the terminology... It went bang at a time not determined by the operator

The ability to shoot straight is that part of national security which affects the individual more than any other. - Merritt "Red Mike" Edson; CMOH-USMC

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No! it does not result in a

No! it does not result in a DQ. Since there are several ways to get the round out of the gun. I might advise this shooter using that gun to work on another method. If it is determined that the gun is safe, I would allow that shooter to continue shooting. I would also not DQ someone who detonates a primmer that falls and lands on a sharp object/prop and detonates. We cannot take corrective measures for each and every possible issue. This reminds me of NVSA disallowing a holster due to to the fact that the technique the manufacturer recommends is the same method that causes the finger to meet the trigger. This is evident by holes in thighs of some of the Country's most trained individuals. It has a flaw that when used as the manufacturer recommends and trains for, will encourage a finger on the trigger. The issue here is one that has many alternatives to the one method used. If this shooter decides that this technique is prudent in the future then so be it.

My opinion in no way is the opinion of the club or its officials.

 

"Unnecessarily restrictive engagement requirements by default is the hallmark of a lazy or flat out terrible stage designer." ~ unknown

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I like that diclaimer at the

I like that diclaimer at the end of your post, Ty.

I wonder if the new IDPA rule book will define AD clearly enough to differentiate an ejection detonation from a true AD... We will have to wait and see. Perhaps a note to the Tiger Team Forum would even be warranted.

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According to IDPA Tiger Team

According to IDPA Tiger Team Kitty Richards, Range Log is developing a bit of software for the new Member Only area on the website. It will allow its members to have a peek at the proposed rule book prior to it going to the BoD for final approval. Interesting listen. 

Download the audio from Here

http://proarmspodcast.com/

 

"Unnecessarily restrictive engagement requirements by default is the hallmark of a lazy or flat out terrible stage designer." ~ unknown

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The opinion of other NVSA

The opinion of other NVSA Safety Officers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of all Safety Officers. Remember if a Safety Officer disqualifies you for erroneous made up rules not stipulated in the IDPA rulebook or NVSA Standard Operating Procedure then your DQ will be overturned by the Match Director. The Match Director has the final say. His or her decision is final.  

On another note. It is good to hear in Kittys podcast that Safety Officers will ALL be required to retrain. Current SO's will all loose their current SO status. yes

"Unnecessarily restrictive engagement requirements by default is the hallmark of a lazy or flat out terrible stage designer." ~ unknown

John Allen (not verified)
I can see this becoming a

I can see this becoming a logistical quagmire. If ALL current SO's lose their SO status, including those who have done the SO training in the past, who is going to provide the new training?? Mind you, I'm not against retraining and recertifying but, at the very least, there is going to have to be some sort of 'grace' or 'transition' period.

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They had better be careful

They had better be careful with this recertification requirement. We have too few range officers as it is...

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I am very excited about the

I am very excited about the new qualifying system. On IDPA forum there is discussion of either annual or bi-annual qualifications. The SOI's will receive the new training material and they will then train New SO's. Not much different than what we have. Im all for it. This should weed out the members that don't give a crap and hurt the sport more than help.Ignorance of the game does not help our sport it hurts. Bad calls or the appearance of unexperienced SO's just runs folks off. In turn if there is not enough help then do we even deserve to play? Just remember. I am but one person. Your opinion may vary.

"Unnecessarily restrictive engagement requirements by default is the hallmark of a lazy or flat out terrible stage designer." ~ unknown

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I see benefits of

I see benefits of Recertification requirements but drawbacks too. This game we play is supposed to be fun. If they required annual retraining, I think I would call that excessive. It would be tempting to let my RO certification lapse and go back to just showing up to shoot. I imagine a large percentage of IDPA members would feel the same way.
This is not a religion to me... just a fun leisure activity. I already have a career that takes up 40 hours a week. :-)
Just my humble opine. Does anyone else fear an overzelous RO training protocol?

John Allen (not verified)
My thinking is inline with

My thinking is inline with yours Mark. Bi-annual recertification seems reasonable. I'd also like to see a provision for officiating at a certain number of sanctioned matches counting for or towards recertification.

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I have not listened the

I have not listened the podcast, but here are my 2 cents anyway! surprise

There must be a recertification process for existing SO's once the new rules are implemented!  By all accounts the new rulebook will be very different than the current book, there will need to be formal training.  Let's face it there are many current SO's that haven't bothered to read the "addendum"  why would we think they would read and learn a new book?

As to the Annual or biannual renewal, I believe at this point we have no idea what these will be?  So, why get worried about it yet?  For all we know this could be a multiple choice 10 or 15 question quiz done via email or the internet.  Considering how much time we all put into this, would that be so bad?  Believe me, as a Safety Officer Instructor the idea of re-training everyone annually doesn't appeal to me either.  But, maybe we should wait and see what involved???

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As to the question of a DQ on

As to the question of a DQ on the AD while reloading.  There is no rule to support it.  However, if your gun goes off during the unload and show clear because a round hits the ejector  while I am the SO, Match Director or Club President that gun is done for the day.  If you have a back-up (or loaner), great you can keep shooting.  This would be the same situation as a shooter who has “slicked up” his Glock and it doubles, the shooter wouldn’t be DQed but his gun is done for the day.

While that gun may be back at the next match with nothing changed (because there isn't much that can be done to the gun), something tells me the shooter will have changed his or her technique.

 

 

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This would work for me.

This would work for me. Though I DO think that an arguement can made that a discharge/detonation, whether occuring in or out of battery, caused as a result of the human interface be considered unsafe handling of a firearm. Which is, I believe, covered by rule.

The ability to shoot straight is that part of national security which affects the individual more than any other. - Merritt "Red Mike" Edson; CMOH-USMC

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I'm on a roll, going for 3

I'm on a roll, going for 3 posts in a row!  lol

On the subject of the logistical quagmire cheeky I'm not sure that there needs to be a big deal made over the fact that there won't be "official" SO's for a period of time.  In the past when there has been a new rulebook released there was a delay in it taking effect.  This will allow training.  Also, it would only be an issue at sanctioned matches, at club matches you would just work through it like every other rulebook change.

 

 

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I agree, it's no big deal.

I agree, it's no big deal. Anyone who has, or has held a professional license, especially in California, knows this process well. Pass a board for the initial permission, continueing education units evry year and renewal at specific intervals. It is the price paid.

The ability to shoot straight is that part of national security which affects the individual more than any other. - Merritt "Red Mike" Edson; CMOH-USMC

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Interesting?   http://www.you

"Unnecessarily restrictive engagement requirements by default is the hallmark of a lazy or flat out terrible stage designer." ~ unknown

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Yep! You DID notice that the

Yep! You DID notice that the demonstrator was uncomfortable demonstrating the 'Barr Method' of unload/show clear with a live round? And that there was no detonation/discharge? I like the Big Guy's method of... just let it fall clear.

The ability to shoot straight is that part of national security which affects the individual more than any other. - Merritt "Red Mike" Edson; CMOH-USMC

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For me as an SO I would

For me as an SO I would prefer if the round is going to detonate , that it is shielded with someone else's tissue.  To have it blow up in an open ejection port pointed at my face, or on a rock at my feet would not be my first choice.

My unload method of slowly pulling the slide to the rear and letting the round fall into an awaiting hand is 99.999% safe. Even if the ejector bulls-eye's the primer there is not enough force or velocity to detonate it. YMMV.

"Unnecessarily restrictive engagement requirements by default is the hallmark of a lazy or flat out terrible stage designer." ~ unknown

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As long as the slide doesn't

As long as the slide doesn't slip from your sweaty fingers, eh? While it mighta happened at some time, I have never heard of a round detonating on ground impact post-ejection. Might be why the Big Guy's technique is taught by the military (or was, BITD)

The ability to shoot straight is that part of national security which affects the individual more than any other. - Merritt "Red Mike" Edson; CMOH-USMC

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