Question of the Day: Have You Ever Dropped Your Gun?

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“Rochelle Jackson, 21, and her brother, Rondrick, were going to a family picnic around 5pm. Police say Rochelle was standing in the driveway and Rondrick was walking into the house, holding a holstered pistol in his hands,” Houston’s abc.golocal.com reports. “‘The pistol fell out of the holster. When it hit the ground, it discharged one time, hitting the sister in the head and it killed her instantly,’ HPD Homicide Investigator Bart Oxspring said. “Right now we’re treating this as an accident, but we’re still interviewing anybody.'” As you might expect from the less-than-entirely-gun-savvy mainstream media, the report makes no mention of the fact that the vast majority of modern handguns are drop safe. Have you ever dropped a gun?

comments

  1. avatar Chris Pearson says:

    I’ve never dropped a gun myself, but I was showing my 1911 to my dad and he bobbled it and dropped it… on my bare foot. It was cleared and at slide lock when I handed it to him. By the time I stopped cussing, he had almost finished laughing. I learned a valuable lesson: No shoes, no guns.

  2. avatar John says:

    Once, about 3 months ago after 30 years of handgun shooting. Unzipped a pistol rug at the indoor range and my beloved Ruger MKII government target model .22 slid out and hit the concrete floor. A corner of the front sight and the rear of the bolt is dinged. I may never recover.

    1. avatar Bsr says:

      I feel ya john on that i dont know if i have truly recoved from my glock 22 gen4 barely a month old sitting on my safes self and i went to move some magazines out the way and it bumped the glock(unloaded of course for all u gun safeties out there) and the gun fell and hit the metal lip of the safe on the floor and left a nice sized dent in pistol grip 🙁

  3. avatar matt says:

    I had mine fall off the bed, on to a tool. There was only a snap cap in the chamber. It landed on the optic, which survived with only a dent to the rear near the LED.

    I thought guns were generally drop safe from 5 or 6 feet, I know there is a testing procedure on SAAMIs website.

    1. avatar virtualjohn says:

      Really none of my business, but since you mentioned it; what kind of tools do you keep at bedside, Matt?

      1. avatar matt says:

        I normally dont keep them there. There were some wrenches, sockets and ratchets. The bolts in my bedframe were lose and I hadnt bothered to put them away.

      2. avatar matt says:

        It was a FNP45 Tactical with a early 2000s Doctor optic.

    2. avatar Anonymouse says:

      California’s gun laws are overly ridiculous in many ways, but the ORIGINAL “safe guns” roster has ensured that basically any modern pistol is tested drop-safe, because unless it is a single shot or single-action revolver, it is a tested as drop-safe design.

      (The intent was to screw up the saturday night special manufacturers, but those manufacturers made their guns drop safe easily enough. So yes, a gun control measure with HORRIBLE intent that has actually had overall good results.)

    3. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

      And Matt, how did an inanimate object accomplish that action all by itself, falling off the bed?

      1. avatar NR says:

        This made me laugh out loud.

        You’re a riot, Mike. I disagree with most of the other stuff you say, but it’s unfortunate that not many people around here appreciate your humor.

      2. avatar matt says:

        I either bumped the bed, or because it is a pillow top with 6+ inches of down with a curved edge, it slid off. I dont recall which.

        Please try harder next time with your trolling.

        1. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          No, Matt, you need to try a bit harder with your honest and accurate description of your clumsiness.

      3. avatar HSR47 says:

        It didn’t do it by itself, gravity helped.

  4. avatar Tom jones says:

    My berreta was thrown out of the trunk getting t boned at 40-60 mph. Couple cosmetic scuffs but the tank still works I found it like 50 feet away in the grass

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Yes, twice, once with a revolver and once with a pistol. Both loaded, both rated drop safe, neither went off but I was still just about as scared as I ever want to be.

    My first instinct was to try to catch the guns as they fell. My second instinct was not to try to catch the guns as they fell. I acted on my second instinct. Sometimes second instincts are better than first instincts, yes? BTW, no gun was injured in the making of either of those unforgettable moments.

  6. avatar great unknown says:

    I can never get over the improbability of such an event. The solid angle subtended by the victim’s head as a fraction of the entire possible hemisphere of possible trajectory cross-sections is so small… Even if you take the entire body of the victim into account, how much of that is one-shot, one-kill territory?

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      My thoughts exactly. Just doing a back-of-the-envelope type calculation, I’d figure a less than 0.05% chance of an accidental head shot at 10′.

  7. avatar Wiebelhaus says:

    I have not, no.

  8. avatar Jason says:

    Sure. If you spend enough time around guns, gravity’s going to take effect at some point. This is why you don’t buy Ring of Fire pistols. And why holsters with thumb breaks are a damn good idea.

    1. avatar jkp says:

      Wow…had never heard of “Ring of Fire” pistols until now. You aren’t kidding…

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/ring/hazard.html

      1. avatar Anonymouse says:

        That was an old report from 1997.

        The “Ring of Fire” guns were the specific target of the California roster requirement: forcing anything sold in the state to be drop safe.

        Much to the state legislatures’ chagrin, the manufacturers were able to tweak their designs to make them drop safe. Still junk, mind you, but at least they no longer went bang when being tossed on the concrete.

    2. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

      Gravity is to blame, not the uncoordinated and negligent action on your part.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        And yet all manufacturers that I know make drop safe guns for the past, what, 30 years? And the manufacturers did that without the Consumer Product Safety Commission attacking them legally.

      2. avatar Levi B says:

        So anything that can hurt you if you drop it should be illegal?

        Your arguments are always specious.

  9. avatar Steven says:

    As a young gun owner, yes I have. One terrible reason though. I keep my toddlers unknowing of my handgun owning, and when I was still toting my first handgun, I had an OWB holster. If you guessed blackhawk serpa, you’d be right. That’s a different discussion though. Because of the holster being big and clunky, I sometimes take the holster out of my side while I drive so I’m not terribly uncomfortable. Well as I pulled the holster out of my pants, it fell. No discharge, nothing bad. It had a scratch on the plastic mag tab on the bottom, but picking at it with my thumbnail and then sanding it worked just fine. All is well, and a new holster came soon after.

    1. avatar Big John says:

      hmmm… not the holster’s fault.

  10. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Not yet.

    My 10/22 fell over once when it was leaned against the table post-cleaning, but I’m not sure that counts.

  11. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    why don’t the articles ever state the model and manufacturer? That might help others in the future. A public service.

  12. avatar Catahoula Cave Man says:

    Yep. It’s happened a few times sadly. Everytime has been in a duck blind with a trusted 870. Icey, wet and muddy. Perfect trifecta to have a slip. Never had one accidentally ‘go off’ though. Neither have any of the benellis, Brownings, or mossbergs I’ve seen fall either over the years…

  13. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Never dropped one yet. Seen a few rifles launched during rifle drill on the old Parade Square, but they were unloaded, of course.

    Worst thing I ever did to a gun was dry fire a SAW without the bolt. Not good for the little spring.

  14. avatar ObviousAnonymous says:

    Kept a SP101, loaded, on my nightstand in an outside the waistband holster. One night I was fast asleep when i heard a good sized bang at around 2am. (Not a bang as in a gunshot 2 feet from my head, but as if someone had kicked in my front door).
    I immediately get up, and reach for my pistol – it’s not there. I panic, wonder where I left it and get up to hit the light switch, and hit my foot on something on the floor.

    I turn on the light, and there is my SP101, out of its holster and laying on the ground.

    What had happened is that I laid the holster just on the edge of the nightstand – close enough to the edge so that it could very slowly creep off during the night. The loud sound I had heard was it hitting the floor and jumping out of the holster.

    Luckily, it didn’t go off, as it is drop safe. Taught me to get a safe and place it securely inside each night (but in such a way where I can quickly and easily get at it).

  15. avatar Mechman says:

    I’ve had a loaded AK break a carry strap and fall before. I just let the damn thing go, no point in making things worse.

  16. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    Yes. At a range. On purpose. To prove it was drop safe. It is.

  17. avatar DaveM says:

    Cheap holster and even cheaper Jennings 22.
    Full mag, no round in chamber
    Many moons ago on motorcycle camping trip, bent over to place more wood on camp fire, pistol fell to the ground.
    Picked it up real fast and put it away
    Hardly ever went off pulling the trigger, still happy that no round in the chamber because thats when it would have fired.
    Have upgraded handguns and have used retention holsters since that time.

  18. avatar theOtherDarren says:

    Yep just last week. Complacency got the best of me. Had put my carry (sig p232) in the glove compartment to pick up the kid (daycare in a church) and was getting back into the house with groceries and random toddler crap. Toddler was not present fyi.

    When I need to disarm I keep the carry in a galco pocket holster in the glove compartment. This gives me a trigger a guard and protects the gun. If I’m moving back into the house and don’t feel like putting it in the holster for a short trip inside I just wrap my baseball cap around it to not freak out my liberal neighbors, don’t worry the baseball cap is tactical cause its mine.

    Anyway it fell out backwards landed right on the hammer with one in the chamber and decocked. My heart skipped a couple beats. Left a nice ding on the tang.

  19. avatar Anthony Meruelo says:

    I was practicing transitions to pistol and the cheap sling I had on my rifle broke sending the barrel straight into the marble floor of my house. Nothing happened to the floor or my rifle but I was scared that the barrel had been damaged or something. None of the firearms were loaded.

  20. avatar jkp says:

    “Rondrick was walking into the house, holding a holstered pistol in his hands….”

    This part doesn’t make sense to me. Why was he holding a _holstered_ pistol instead of wearing it?

  21. avatar Matt Berry says:

    Last summer at a practice for a local 3 gun league, I fumbled the draw of my Beretta 92A1. I grasped it and just pulled it up and forward without actually having a firm grip on it. It landed in the dirt facing downrange. Nothing happened.

    The RO smirked and said, “Eventually, it happens to everyone. Don’t do that again.”

  22. avatar Accur81 says:

    I bought a brand new Benelli shotgun, and placed it unloaded in a wooden shotgun rack at a trap range. I took a few steps back to arrange some shooting supplies on a nearby table. A massive wind gust came, and literally blew the gun out of the rack. Knowing it was unloaded, I tried to catch it, but failed. The scratches on the stock are still there.

    I would attempt to catch a loaded long gun, but not a loaded pistol or revolver. Your mileage may vary.

  23. avatar Ralph says:

    The real question is, has anyone had a drop fire?

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Nope. Buddy slipped on ice while deer hunting with a loaded Savage 110 .308. He fell on the gun itself (nasty fall), and knocked the scope so badly that it needed replacement.

      Saw some loaded M16’s, drop without going off in the Corps as well, and a few 870’s dropped in botched 3 gun transition. 0 misfires.

      I tend to blame operator error for any negligent discharge unless the totality of the circumstances indicates otherwise.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        My mistake. I absolutely blame operator error for a negligent discharge, unless there is irrefutable evidence that operator error was only partially to blame. I also respect TTAG for keeping it real by showcasing and examining negligence, and wish it wasn’t so damn many LEO’s on the negligent side.

    2. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      No, but I did see something crazy on a military range once. I young lady had a malfunction, went through her remedial actions and ejecting a live round out. When the round hit the ground, it fired. Must have hit a piece of gravel or something just right. No one was hurt but it sure freaked everyone out!

      1. avatar APBTFan says:

        Possibly a cook-off?

        1. avatar Steve133 says:

          Yeah, sounds like a hang-fire. I would guess that there was no malfunction at all and that she got a good strike on the primer, but the powder charge in the round didn’t ignite immediately. It happens.

          I’m probably paranoid, but that always made me a little wary of malfunction training with snap-caps – I don’t want to develop a reflex to dump a potentially-live round for non-FTF/FTE scenarios where the weapon goes to battery with a good hammer drop. It would probably be acceptable in a combat scenario, but could make for a bad day at the range.

        2. avatar matt says:

          There is a thread on AR15.com where some guy was loading .357 SIG, dropped a round in to a bucket of loose rounds, and had it go off. The primer managed to strike the rim of another cartridge at just the right angle.

        3. avatar matt says:

          It was a small primer too.

      2. avatar 40&2000 says:

        I’ve had an irrational (?) fear of this for years. I was beginning to think it couldn’t happen. Thanks.

  24. avatar APBTFan says:

    No full-on drops. Closest I’ve come is fumbling the slide on my Browning Hi-Power Practical while cleaning it. It hit the concrete floor. Result? Slightly boogered up on the bottom front part of the slide and I’m still pissed over it ten years later.

  25. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I call bullshit on this story. The odds of a pistol going off when you drop it are extremely low — and basically impossible with modern pistols. And then the odds that it just happens to be aimed at the women’s head? The much more likely explanation is that the brother was doing something stupid and accidentally shot his sister — or maybe even did it on purpose — and then claimed that he dropped it so it “wouldn’t be his fault”.

    1. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

      Ya think the detectives might suspect foul play?

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      I’m with you, uncommon_sense, although there are some pistols that have a reputation for being pure, unadulterated, unsafe crap. Also, older revolvers may not have a transfer bar and can fire if dropped.

      1. avatar matt says:

        New revolvers of a old design too like a Single Action Army.

    3. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

      “extremely low” and “almost impossible” is what we keep hearing and it supports your bizarre adoration for “the gun.” But the fact is there are modern pistols that are crap, do you discount them?

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        Don’t you have better things to do, mike, like give your cat a bath?

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          That’s not mike; that’s Dog Gone, who is apparently incapable of using her own alias.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        I have no knowledge of modern handguns that suck to the point of being able to go “bang” when someone drops them. Which brands? References?

        I have recently purchased handguns from Smith and Wesson and Ruger and they are all explicitly designed to not go “bang” if a person drops them.

        1. avatar nonnamous says:

          by asking Mikeb for a reference you have guaranteed he will never reply. Good work.

  26. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Nope, never dropped one (knocking wood).

  27. avatar Rich says:

    Had a 4″ Kimber stainless slip out of a half-zippered rug. I had developed a habit of moving my foot under anything I drop. (I don’t pick up heavy things, so I don’t drop them either). Instead of falling some 3′, it only actually fell 1-2″
    This saved wife’s Kimmie. I only had to touch up a few very tiny scratches on the night sights. Esmeralda’s grips were left unscathed.
    This is MY trick, I don’t recommend it for anyone else.

    1. avatar nonnamous says:

      I’ve got the same habit, no idea how I developed it.

  28. avatar gabba says:

    My wife once dropped a cobray M11 down a flight of stairs, it went off a few times. nobody got hurt except for a few jihadists.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      An actress dropped an UZI in a comedy-action flick. As the UZI dropped down the stairs end over end it fired killing a dozen bad guys.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        True Lies, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnie The Terminator. Curtis did one of the best pole dances I’ve ever seen in a movie.

        1. avatar APBTFan says:

          Jamie Lee is one in a million.

        2. avatar Ralph says:

          I saw Jamie Leigh Curtis topless in Trading Places. She’s two in a million.

    2. avatar APBTFan says:

      Older open-bolt designs are notorious for that.

  29. avatar Aharon says:

    RIP. If this happened in California, Nancy and Diane would demand a new law requiring all handguns to be secured to the owner’s wrist by a lanyard prior to being handled and even while it is in a holster.

  30. avatar Matt G. says:

    Yup, dropped my 1911 once being stupid at the range. It was loaded, didn’t go off.

  31. avatar Phrederick says:

    When I first started carrying I hadn’t realized that extra caution must be taken when dropping trou to use the restroom when you’ve an extra pound and a half on your belt. The ding on the beavertail of my satin finish CZ75 still pisses me off even though I never carry the CZ anymore.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I dropped my pistol when I loosened my belt in the loo. A Remora hangs in there pretty well, but it can’t defy gravity. No harm done, except for taking a year off my life.

  32. avatar Plumbump says:

    Excluding the handfull of ocassions where my ar-15 upper tilted off my table during cleaning. Even considering my time in the Army, in a combat mos. I have only ever dropped a firearm once. I was drunk, just getting back from walking the dog, came home to an ajar screen door. Pulled out my p3at, let the dog off-leash in the yard there, and at the same time realized that my inner door was still secure. Attempting to multitask, I tried a reholster and handle the dog at the same time. My keltec has an attached pocket clip on its right side, to answer the door, or for other rare ocassions, I clip it on the outside of my right pocket, backwards.. Instead of reholstering it. I went for that, missed, and dropped my baby 4 feet onto a concrete stairwell. My first instinct was to catch it (or try to), somehow within that split second, my brain said DANGER DANGER, and I let it drop. The reason my brain allowed me to supress that instinct was in no small part due to the content and commentary on this site.

  33. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    I hope you guys realize this comment thread will be used to disarm the negligent if and when the winds change with regards US gun laws. I’m surprised how secure you feel in your gun rights to talk so openly about these terrible breaches of the rules. Surely, for every admission there are a dozen or so who did not comment. With a readership as wide as this one, just imagine what’s out there. You’ve probably got guys who’ve “accidently” killed with their guns and gotten away with it. Naturally they’re reluctant to fess up, unlike all you responsible guys who simple drop your weapon every once in a while.

    Great post and thanks for the priceless video. I love the biblical justification guys.

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      Mike you are so inane. Mistakes are a human condition. Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Do you expect any more of a gun owner than the many parents that lose track of their kids? I live in Phoenix and every damn year there are way too many kids that drown in pools because people in trust weren’t watching them close enough. Its a horrible thing but almost to a person they are good folks that simply lost track. Mistakes of all sorts happen despite the best diligence and best of intentions, even with guns.

      1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        That’s true as far as it goes. But many mistakes, whether it’s lost kids or dropped guns, are the result of preventable negligence.

        Why are you so defensive about gun owners who fuck up? Why are you so afraid of a higher standard?

        1. avatar Utah_Rob says:

          I dropped my Beretta pistol one time at the range. Nothing happened. That makes me the moral equivalent of a murderer, I guess.

      2. avatar APBTFan says:

        I also have to ask of you Mike, out of curiosity what exactly compels you to post here? Don’t get me wrong, post here all you want but I simply don’t get it. I’ve cruised Huffington and Politico but posting my views there is pissing in the wind. I’m confident enough in my views that I don’t have to bother injecting myself into those forums. What tangible feeling do you take away from posting your nonsense here? Do you feel like some sort of visionary that will change hearts and minds? Obviously you derive some sort of positive reward posting here so please explain it to me. Maybe I’ll see the light and follow your lead to post on liberal sites.

        1. avatar KWAL says:

          APBTFan I wondered the same thing and then went and took a look at Mike’s blog. There are virtually zero comments about any of his writings that don’t reference back to this blog, so that answers your question. He’s a parasite. Like a leech, a mosquito, a tapeworm, a maggot, etc. He needs TTAG to lend credence to his own dismal efforts and he’s lucky RF continues to let him troll here.

        2. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          “He’s a parasite. Like a leech, a mosquito, a tapeworm, a maggot, etc.

          Hahahahahahaha

        3. avatar RuffRidr says:

          MikeB, I noticed you dodge the question: “I also have to ask of you Mike, out of curiosity what exactly compels you to post here?”

          If it’s not a troll for attention, then what is it?

        4. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          I’m a troll for attention, you caught me, Ruffy.

    2. avatar jkp says:

      Dear Little Alan Colmes,

      I am surprised how secure you are in your own persuasive skills. For every person who posts here, objecting your comments, there are a dozen or so who were on the border on the issue, but have been convinced by your ineffective posts to take the opposite side.

    3. avatar GS650G says:

      Mike, consider using hand creme instead of going dry.

    4. avatar Ralph says:

      this comment thread will be used to disarm the negligent if and when the winds change

      So you expect to publish posthumously?

  34. avatar counihan says:

    I’ve dropped one gun in my life. In basic I dropped my M16. I realized quickly just how heavy an M16 is, after doing several hundred up/Downs and power squats with that damn thing over my head. Lesson learned.

  35. avatar Lt Dave says:

    Never try to catch, grab, or interfere with a dropped gun unless it is an older model Smith and Wesson 39 or 59. In the late 70’s, my agency was thrilled to be on the cusp of innovation by supplying these guns to the troops and they were deathtraps. No firing pin safety, nothing to lock it down and when dropped muzzle down, they went off with alarming frequency – locker room, DUI breathalyzer room, range house everywhere.
    I got so used to dropped guns going off in the locker room I stopped ducking after a while realizing it would be a one shot wonder.

    Smith and Wesson later came out with the 439 and 459 pistols that had better safety measures included.

  36. avatar cz82mak says:

    Never dropped mine, but I dropped on it. I was “practice” carrying my cz82 cocked & locked, IWB. Was walking around the woods, hopped up on a wet rock and slipped, landing directly on the gun. So the gun was between my 230lbs of falling weight onto a large boulder. Safety stayed on, hammer stayed back, not a scratch on it.

    I did have a mean bruise at 3:30 though. Fortunately there were no witnesses.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I got hit by a car last year, knocked off my bike and landed on my pocket-carried 642. I had an interesting-looking bruise on my thigh for about a month, but that’s all.

  37. avatar KWAL says:

    That reminds me of the old joke about Italian battle rifles on sale cheap: only dropped once!

  38. avatar Dogman says:

    Yes.

  39. avatar Davebsr says:

    No, and glad of it. Still thankful to Gaston for all those internal safeties though.

    I’ve dropped almost everything else that I carry every day though, including my iPad. It still works though.

  40. avatar Jake F. says:

    I dropped my 10/22 on a concrete floor from maybe 6 feet. It was unloaded of course, I had been working on a rifle rack in my dad’s shop when it fell while I was checking the size of cutouts for it to rest in. Marred up the bull barrel a bit but the scope seemed OK; I’m sure I need to re-sight the thing but haven’t had a chance to go to the range yet.

  41. avatar Van says:

    I guess this counts. I went to the range and placed my cased gun on the shooting bench. The bench summarily folded like a taco, sending my gun to the floor. The previous lane user had folded the bench down (probably to sight in a rifle) and not properly locked it back in place upon leaving.

    After a few second of surprise I collected my gun case and range bag from the floor, reset the bench and carried on.

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