Indiana County man dies when gun discharges in apparent accident the headline at post-gazette.com proclaims. Condolences to the family and all, but at least the gun discharged itself accidentally, rather that intentionally. The truth? “Allen J. Troyer, 21, grabbed a black powder revolver [not shown] that his 12-year-old cousin was holding, and the gun discharged around 9:30 p.m at Whitaker Road in Smicksburg, according to the Indiana County coroner.” Back powder revolver? Hmmm. Let’s try that again . . .
The two were sitting in a room with other male relatives when Mr. Troyer asked the boy to hand him the gun. When Mr. Troyer grabbed the barrel, the gun discharged and a bullet struck him in the chest.
Yeah, not quite there yet. How does grabbing the barrel of a gun set-off the trigger?
Noah Byler, a member of the same Amish community and the owner of Byler’s Harness and Shoe Shop nearby, described the revolver as a flintlock.
A flintlock gun has “what you would call a hair trigger,” Mr. Byler, 34, said. “If he would have bumped that trigger at all, it would have went off.”
I’m not familiar with the hair triggerness of a flintlock firearms, which have numerous other safety issues. While no one expects a primed and ready flintlock to be drop-safe, I don’t see how grabbing the barrel would generate enough force to release the flint on its journey into the pan. Perhaps a TTAG reader would like to opine. Unless . . .
The young ‘un had his finger on the trigger at the time. What are the odds? Also, the gun would have had to have been primed, loaded and cocked in order to discharge. Equally, muzzle discipline. Who hands a pistol to someone business-end first? Who accepts a pistol business-end first? I know you should never ascribe to malice what can be attributed to stupidity, but really?
Anyway, kudos to the post-gazette’s headline writer. He or she almost made up for the passively constructed headline by deploying the word “apparent.” I wonder if the coroner picked that up . . .