Trap Shooters: Stop Resting Your Barrel On Your Foot! [NSFW Image]

Image courtesy Wikipedia

As much as we try to minimize risk as gun owners, the shooting sports can still be dangerous. Accidents happen — I’ve treated at least one gunshot wound at a shooting competition, and can remember countless other instances of Garand thumb and slide bite.

All of us want to go home with the same number of holes as we arrived at the range with and in general, we take steps to make sure that happens. But it seems like one practice by one specific group of shooters might be unnecessarily risky.

Shotgun Foot Rest Trap Shooter

courtesy amazon.com

If you’ve ever been out to a range with trap fields you’ll notice something…strange.

Despite the constant to maintain the four rules of firearm safety that you’ll hear preached throughout the gun community, trap shooters, by and large, have a nasty habit of resting the barrel of their shotgun on their foot while not shooting.

It’s become such an accepted thing at this point that there are even special accessories designed to make it easier and protect your shoe. But a story I found this morning is a great reminder why this practice is a very, very bad idea. And be warned: this next image is not for the faint of heart.

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From what I can find (via medizzy.com), the patient had been trap shooting and resting the barrel of their shotgun on their foot (as one does) between turns. Maybe they loaded for a double and forgot to unload an unused shell. Maybe they loaded their gun prematurely.

Either way, they were violating the second, third, and fourth of Jeff Cooper’s rules when they discovered a 12 gauge hole had opened straight through their foot.

Bad habits breed bad outcomes. Even with a break action shotgun, don’t be that guy.

comments

  1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

    Bet he won’t do that again. Looks like he blew through a couple of metatarsals.

    1. avatar Kevin says:

      New nickname: Lefty.

    2. avatar arc says:

      Had a dumb dumb clear his rifle on his foot in Afghanistan. He got the tongue lashing and at least didn’t punch a hole in his foot.

  2. avatar FedUp says:

    If rested on the flat area as shown in the first pic (toes), it wouldn’t have put a hole there.

    How do you comfortably stand a trapgun that far back on your foot?

    Either way, OUCH.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Maybe the same thing that caused him to pull the trigger caused him to flinch the gun back a bit. Who knows. If he wasn’t resting it on his foot at all we’d have no story at all unless he managed to Dick Cheney someone.

  3. avatar Echo5Bravo says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  4. avatar Greybeard says:

    Wow, impressive. Can not wait to see the NSFW pictures from an appendix carry mishap!/sarc

  5. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

    It’s split open like my tomatoes have done at the stem this year cause all the rain.

    Mom still managed to get blue ribbon at the county fair, but I think iffen I was that feller, I’d just go ahead and sauce that foot the way it’s lookin.

  6. avatar Ken says:

    I cringe every time I go clays shooting and see this. If you watch olympic clays events (not just trap but skeet as well) you’ll see the highest level competitors do this as well. Granted, it’s primarily done by folks shooting over/under with the action open, but still, as you say, bad habits breed bad outcomes. I watched a student in a carbine class doing this. He answered in the affirmative when I inquired as to whether he shot clays. He was told politely, but in no uncertain terms, that he’ll quit doing that crap or he’ll be asked to leave the class. And this was after all the usual classroom safety admonitions.

  7. avatar jwm says:

    Thats gotta sting a little. Just remember, birdshot is no good for self defense. He could slap a band aid and some iodine on that and still kick your ass.

    1. avatar Greybeard says:

      Reminds me of Clint Smith at Thunder Ranch talking about terminal balistics. “Shotguns with the right load at the right range will physically remove a chunk of sh*t off of your opponent and throw it on the floor.”

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b4sVQ_ZwI04&t=3s

      1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

        Haha…I can picture Clint Smith saying that!

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Been there, heard that.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      I take your sarcasm but birdshot is still not a good self-defense round. Any round that loses its effectiveness to incapacitate shortly after being in contact with the body is not a great choice given there are so many better out there.

      Yes, if you shoot yourself in the foot with birdshot from less than an inch away you’ll do some impressive stuff. Same is true if you hold onto a firecracker. Doesn’t mean throwing one at someone is a good method of self defense 😀

  8. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    As interesting as the link proved to the large daylight hole in the trap shooter’s foot was I found these stories interesting on their own merits:

    “The world’s first penis and scrotum transplant has been performed by US doctors.”

    “Man with a knife embedded in his head came walking to the hospital!”

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I saw a guy walk into an ER with a knife stuck in his chest all the way to the handle. Was talking matter of factly to the staff and didn’t appear to be in too much stress over it.

      1. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

        The cool thing about most penetrating wounds that aren’t from gunshots is that they provide their own plug.

        1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

          Yeah, as Steve Irwin found out the hard way…

      2. avatar Mike says:

        I saw a bullet lodged in penis. NO not mine!!!
        Would make for some interesting chat up lines “my penis is big enough to stop a speeding bullet”

        Seen a shotgun point blank to a hand, now half a hand.

  9. avatar Gralnok says:

    That’s one hell of a piercing! No wonder they measure such things in gauges! 😋

  10. avatar Sian says:

    You don’t do this with pumps and autoloaders. For the above reasons.

    Perfectly safe to do with a break-open, as you can 1: see the empty chamber(s) and 2: the action is nowhere near the chamber.

    1. avatar Rich Gun Guy says:

      This is definitely from a fully automatic semi-auto or pump action. A break action is not an issue whatsoever as long as the action is open.

      Horses for courses. Clays should only be done with a break action. For one thing, it’s a two shot game — hence the double barrel. But the other thing that these numbnuts with fully automatic semi-autos and pump actions do is walk between stations with their gun over their shoulder with the muzzle pointing horizontally straight backwards. If you happen to be walking behind one of these said numbnuts, you’ve got a shotgun pointed right at you and no way to know if that action is empty.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        “fully automatic semi-autos”

        Fudds. *sigh*

        1. avatar HP says:

          I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he was being satirical with that one.

        2. avatar arc says:

          I think hes just missing a comma.. but a full auto shotty? Taz expensive.

        3. avatar Sian says:

          Fully Semi-automatic Shotgun

      2. avatar Ken says:

        “Clays should only be done with a break action.”

        BS.

      3. avatar GS650G says:

        Very little of what Rich Gun Guy said makes any sense at all.
        I don’t think he’s been to a trap shoot before.

      4. avatar Sian says:

        I sometimes shoot clays with a Super-X 1. the autoloading action sucks up a bunch of recoil and makes for an easier second shot.

  11. avatar Stew says:

    I could be wrong but that looks more like a pipe or something went through it. I’ve never seen a shotgun wound make that clean of a circle.

    1. avatar Forward Assist says:

      You must be new to point blank shotgun wounds. The pellets were still in the shot cup and the whole thing when through his foot like a metal cylinder.

    2. avatar John in AK says:

      Then you’ve never seen a shotgun contact wound, have you?

      Shotgun patterns at the muzzle are virtually EXACTLY bore diameter; The pattern expands at the rate of approximately 1″ per foot of range. Thus this one’s ‘hole’ being .729″ or so. A foot further away, and the pattern ‘hole’ is now roughly 1″. Two feet, two inches. And so on. Granted, at more than a foot or so, with fine shot, there may not be a ‘hole,’ but the meat and bone within that circle will be hamburger, and about the same at two. Within a foot or so of the muzzle, the elongated ‘tube’ of small shot is virtually a solid ‘slug’ of metal, and does the same damage as would a slug load.
      Note also the split and exploded skin and meat on the bottom of the foot; That’s gas pressure rupturing things.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        I think you’re mis-remembering the spread; I expect an inch pattern spread per yard. When I pattern guns on a pattern board, that’s what I’m looking for – ie, at 30 yards, the vast majority of the pellets should be inside a 30″ circle around the point of aim.

        That said, I’ve seen the new combined wads go into game or leave a heck of a mark on game (eg, pheasants) at up to 7 yards or so. Different loads with different shot wads/cups tend to start expanding at different points in flight. In Ye Olde Days, there was no shot cup – the lead shot was running along the inside of the barrel directly, followed by a felt wad.

        1. avatar John in AK says:

          Feet, yards, meters, spans, fortnights, furlongs, arshins, cubits. . . it’s all so CONFUSING!

          You’re right, though. 1″ per yard. More-or-less. It’s not a standard, but it’s a fair guideline.

  12. avatar Tumbles says:

    Why was his finger on the trigger?

  13. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

    “It’s become such an accepted thing at this point that there are even special accessories designed to make it easier and protect your shoe.”

    Yeah, he’s not gonna walk that one off.

    Someone really ought to attach that pic to the review of every one of those sold on eBay or Amazon…

    1. avatar jsallison says:

      It’ll buff out.

  14. avatar Rambo Shopper says:

    Dude missed the target because he was about a foot short on his lead.

    1. avatar Ed says:

      HA!! 😀

  15. avatar Arandom Dude says:

    I can’t believe people do this. I’ve seen a few stupid things at the range, but this takes the cake. Those accessories… WTF?!? I’m not a hardcore clay shooter, so I’ve never seen this before.

  16. avatar barnbwt says:

    Kevlar shoe pads; they’ll sell a millyun un um!

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      Kevlar would keep it from penetrating, but it won’t do shit about the impact pulverizing those bones below into gruel.

      That blow has got to be like someone holding a one-inch steel rod on top of your foot, then someone taking a serious swing with a sledgehammer at it.

      Can anyone with a medical background care to speculate what that dumb-ass can expect for a life going forward, after the Demerol and Jim Beam wears off?

      1. avatar Casey says:

        I haven’t blown a hole in my foot, but I did suffer a wound that resulted in three borked (but not atomized like this guy) metatarsals, severed tendons, and related issues. End result, one toe is calcified solid, one moves enough to let me experience gout, and the other three just sort of flop around (because there’s no tendon to pull them back up).

        I would imagine that if they can rebuilt/reattach everything, he could actually be pretty okay except for when there’s a storm a’brewin’.

        Otherwise, I would guess he’d be like me. If I am wearing proper shoes, I can move well enough to run a 5K, but I’m not going to be sprinting around at 3Gun any more. Without shoes, I imagine it’s like a prosthetic. I can still feel everything, but the front half of my foot just sort of does its own thing. Stairs are a PITA, and I use cruise-control a lot more than I used to, but otherwise you get used to it.

        There is an upside – When those storms are a’brewin’, I sometimes need to lean on a stick. So now I have license to carry a large pole weapon around with me and nobody complains. Even on planes! I was challenged once, but one look at my foot cleared up any objections.

  17. avatar HP says:

    I don’t trap shoot, and was completely unaware that resting the barrel, business end down, on your foot, was something people did. Man, that’s dumb.

  18. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    You see people do this all the time with break-action guns at trap ranges. The above-pictured accessory (the leather muzzle pad) is seen plenty at trap matches. Even if they’re not resting the muzzle on their foot, if they lit off a round while it’s pointed at the cement beside their foot, there’s going to be some lead spray that penetrates your hide.

    There’s a reason why break-action guns are favored in the clay games. Just break the gun open and everyone knows it isn’t going to fire, and everyone can see the chambers.

    People who run semi-autos or pumps should not pretend that they have the same margin of safety that break-actions have.

  19. avatar GS650G says:

    A break open gun that’s opened can be rested on your foot unless you know of a way for it to fire.
    A semi or pump model no.
    I always held my Beretta A391 with two hands.

  20. avatar John says:

    The picture is that of a woman’t foot. Her name is Eileen.

  21. avatar wayne says:

    I heard this guy got a job at IHOP. Alright, here’s your pancakes.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      Or Long John Silvers

  22. avatar J.D. Fowlerton says:

    Reminds me of that picture from a while back of a guy’s hand after he broke a vertical fore-grip off his KSG.

  23. avatar Done in Dallas says:

    The first time my dad took me to the skeet range, probably about 1970, as we arrived, they were hauling a guy out on a stretcher who had just done this to himself.

    Made a big impression on an 8 year old….

  24. avatar ACP_armed says:

    One of the thing I’ve learned shooting trap is you don’t have a closed action on the line until it is your turn to shoot. It’s a good step, so to speak, to avoid making new holes in your self or the ground.

    Also, given the only time in trap you load two shells is doubles, this person most likely loaded the gun and closed the action waiting for their turn. I’ve had the opportunity to see a semi-auto SKB slam-fire after the peace of the hammer that catches on the sear broke. A very good reason to not close the action with the muzzle on your foot, close the action with the muzzle down range.

  25. avatar Anymouse says:

    This picture should be on permanent display in the clubhouse of every trap, skeet, and sporting clays range

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Along with the pics I had of a shooting club in Reno, NV, and the 3/4″ hole in the ceiling above the gun rack alongside the clubhouse. Someone racked their shotgun, and it discharged through the ceiling/roof.

  26. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

    Which side of that do you stuff the Quikclot in?

    1. avatar bontai joe says:

      Just shove two or three tampons thru until they are centered. I have seen this at trap meets too. I “stupidly” mentioned to a competitor that it wasn’t safe to do that, and got told I didn’t know what I was talking about.

  27. avatar Jimmy james says:

    Skeeters i shoot with do it all the time WITH ACTIONS OPEN. But even so i do not do it. Local sporting clays range owner walks with a limp from having done this years ago. Same reason i do not appendix carry. Its not my appendix I’m worried about.

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