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View Diary: Gun Safety: What Just Happened in My Family (235 comments)

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  •  It's very easy to unaware that a gun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    is loaded. With semi's it's really especially easy. Older actions like pump, bolt, or breach loaders are easier to clear with certainty.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:12:58 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  How is it that guns that allow this are legal? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snowwoman, LilithGardener

      Is there a "reserve" compartment in some guns before the chamber but after the clip or magazine that's hard to check? Isn't that what safeties are for?

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:15:54 PM PDT

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      •  With pump action, all rounds are expelled pretty (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, LilithGardener

        Clearly. With bolt action, it would be bizarre, but perhaps possible, for a round to be stuck in the chamber, but you'd still be able to see it. Breach guns like mine are demonstrably to the eye either unloaded or loaded. There are a lot if experts here, and they can better explain.

        “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

        by jeff in nyc on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:22:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  tube fed guns can have a stuck cartridge (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc

          that can get loosened and then loaded without notice, but still one has to be making major errors in handling, such as dry firing without checking the breech every time, some dumbass foolishness still needed....dangerous to dry fire at any time, but it also weakens the firing pin.
            .iirc there may be several semi auto designs that hide the breech from a very clear view, could be wrong...but the tube loaders I have handled never had that problem...... one would have to have a lot of dirt get in there.
          fatigue, distraction, all the problems of humans operating all manner of machinery.

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:39:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A bullet typically HAS to be fully (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee, kovie, ER Doc

        encased in the firing chamber because it is supposed to be a contained explosion to propel a projectile. A vision hole or something to let you know there's a bullet loaded would allow the explosion/hot gasses to escape, and would actually make them far, far, far more dangerous.

        About the only firearm that avoids that is the revolver, where you can see the shells in the cylinder by sight, for the most part.

        •  And to avoid accidental discharge (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KenBee

          you either empty the chamber and remove the mag/clip, or engage the safety? That's it, there are no other ways except locking the gun in a safe?

          Dumb question from a VERY non-gun person. Isn't it basic gun safety that if you're done with your weapon for the day and want to fully disable it, you:

          1 - Remove the mag/clip/drum/etc
          2 - Remove the round/shell from the chamber, if there's one there
          3 - Remove any extra rounds/shell from any internal "reserve" compartment (sorry I don't know the tech term for this)
          4 - Apply the safety
          5 - Store the weapon on its side, pointed away from anyone, preferably in a case or bag--or better yet, in a safe

          Anything else? Are there barrel plugs, blocks you can insert in the chamber to block the bolt, etc.? Obviously I don't know what I'm talking about, just guessing.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:22:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  For the most part, you got it right, although (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kovie, KenBee, ER Doc

            I'm not sure I understand the "internal reserve compartment". You may be thinking of the chamber and just using a redundant term for it, since you already mentioned it in step 2.

            But, yeah, remove the source of ammunition, remove the one that is probably in the chamber, and preferably leave it open for someone else to check it and confirm visually, if available.

            In the Army we typically stored rifles in a rack that had them pointing up. We'd also do the above things as mentioned and cycle the action in front of the armorer to ensure there was nothing left, then put the bolt (the part that "carries" the bullet from the magazine to the chamber) forward, click the trigger (to release spring compression so the trigger spring wasn't left compressed) and then closed the dust cover (that was just to keep dust out, not a safety function).  

            Then it was put in the rack (serial number recorded) and locked in place, which is a security precaution, not a safety one.

            •  Someone here recently mentioned (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee

              that there are some semis made with an internal compartment that can hold several rounds apart from an external clip or magazine. I thought shotguns had this, thus the pump action to discharge the spent shell and load a fresh one, but I think they meant rifles too. Maybe I misunderstood.

              Also, like everyone I've seen where rifles are stored butt down barrel up, either against the wall or with several others rifles as a tripod, maybe with a helmet covering the barrel ends, but I always assumed that was poor practice.

              Although I've never handled guns, I respect gear and equipment of all sorts, whether dangerous or not, and try to follow responsible use, storage and maintenance. With firearms this is obviously infinitely more important.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:56:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  don't know about any extra compartments (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ER Doc, kovie

                never seen anything like it,,

                a shell can be in the firing chamber ( safest to assume there is one)
                the rest are in:
                *ready to be cycled bullets usually carried in a magazine of various designs that may or may not be removeable
                *a tubular magazine that feeds from a port of entry somewhere, either end or the middle even, it may feed thru the stock, or a tube thru the foregrip
                *a removeable magazine seems usually referred to as a clip
                * there are some drum magazines holding many more bullets..not really for the usual hunter or target shooter and too ungainly for self defense use.
                *some guns only have a single shot capability so only have bullets in the firing chambers..and there are 2,3,4 barrel single shots...a single shot per barrel that is..
                *the revolver has a rotating magazine, either easily removeable or not..

                in the centuries of gun mfg and design it is hard to find an idea that hasn't been tried.

                the only other compartment referred to may be a small area in the butt that can carry tools and/ or bullets, but they won't feed the firing chamber from there.
                hope that helps..

                This machine kills Fascists.

                by KenBee on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:00:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is probably what I meant (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KenBee
                  *ready to be cycled bullets usually carried in a magazine of various designs that may or may not be removeable
                  The non-removable kind. I assume that if it's not removable, it has to be fed manually and one has to make sure when storing the gun that all rounds remain in the magazine and haven't been chambered, right?

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:00:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  yes, an M1, the ww2 military rifle had bullets (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kovie

                    held in a 'clip' that were shoved down into the fixed magazine from the top..while on the ground in the mud, people yelling, screaming, bullets and shells coming at you..absolutely terrifying..

                    I used to field strip one, grr, no I can't exactly remember details except with pictures..anyway, iirc the bullet's shell casings and clip parts exited up in the air, you have to work the action (cocking the rifle 'incidentally' to remove the bullets and leave the action open so as to see nothing either in the fixed magazine or in the firing chamber.) (This is the part I don't remember, there may have been a lever that lets the ammo out without cycling the action one bullet at a time..oh well..)
                         Anyway, yes a fixed magazine with a removable clip, in this case little actual little clips that held a stack of about ten shells, no covering metal..the removable magazines also called clips that people are concerned about look exactly like the M-1's fixed magazine, they just also call them clips..confusing yes...IIRC heh. Other rifles use similar looking fixed magazines and those bullets are usually inserted one at a time, unless the squirrels are shooting back..

                    Obviously even experienced shooters make mistakes, get tired, the dog shows up and and and...

                    Many designs...many possible mistakes.

                    This machine kills Fascists.

                    by KenBee on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:23:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I feel like I should take a course (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      KenBee

                      just to know what the hell I'm talking about in these gun debates. Thanks for the info and personal experience. It's helpful.

                      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                      by kovie on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:22:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Leaning against a wall is a bad habit (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kovie, ER Doc

                to get into, as demonstrated in the diary, bu people get so hung up on not letting the weapon be place din the dirt that they rationalize the wall-lean instead... but they'd be better off letting it lay down gently, since that's where it will inevitably end up anyway.

                If you have a rack, then butt-down/muzzle-up is the best practice, and a small plastic cap for the top will help keep dust from settling in the barrel, especially for long-term storage.

                The stacking, with anywhere from three or more weapons, is common in places where there is no rack; we did it in Basic Training a lot but it is meant to be a temporary storage while a platoon or more is traveling during the day from one classroom to another. Done correctly it is actually quite stable, relatively speaking, but done wrong it is a mess waiting to happen.

                •  I'm guessing that there are tent designs (0+ / 0-)

                  with little loops or velcro strips on the wall of the tent you can use to secure rifles. But even then, it just seems safe practice to lay them down in the most stable position, unloaded, safety on, pointed away from people.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 07:02:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nope, tents don't have such amenities, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kovie

                    and I suppose it would put a strain on the supporting structure... for large tents we either bring in a proper storage rack or designate a spot for safe storage where they are laid down with the muzzles pointed in a low-traffic area.

                    In the small pup tents (rarely ever used) they are laid on the foam rubber sleeping may next to the sleeping bag, or in the bag itself for security sake. Otherwise, it is slung over the soldier's shoulder and carried at all times in the field.

      •  Re: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jeff in nyc

        Because guns that allow this have been around since before your grandfather was born.  Autoloaders by definition chamber the next round.  That's what they're supposed to do.

        Some of the most common causes for ADs I've seen or heard stem from crossing drilled reflexes aimed at improving safety.  In most semiautos, the same action to clear is the action to load, the difference being whether you run the slide over a fresh mag or a spent one.  Rule of thumb is if your fixing to shoot, don't worry about it, but if you're safing the weapon, you've got time for a breather and make sure.  Doesn't always work that way, and a brain fart is a brain fart.  Multiple precautions mitigate against that, but there remains a small but non-negligible risk of accidental discharge.

        When God gives you lemons, you find a new god.

        by Patrick Costighan on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:06:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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