Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Botetourt County Man

Who says guys can’t be bothered to stop and ask for directions? Or fix things when they break? Or read instruction manuals? Bunch of sexist blather, am I right? Case in point: here’s a guy (we don’t know his name, but wouldn’t lie) from Botetourt County, Virginia, who is such a safety-firster that he actually pulled over on his way home from the gun store to read the manual for his new Rock Island Armory 1911 . . .

Which probably means he was fondling his shiny new heater as he was driving. And he just couldn’t wait to get the gun home (let alone give it a good cleaning) before loading her up with some .45s.

A Botetourt County man accidentally shot himself Friday while reading the instruction manual for a gun he’d just purchased.

The 28-year-old sustained injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening after shooting himself in the left leg with a .45-caliber Rock Island Armory 1911 pistol, county dispatchers and officials said.

County Sheriff’s Deputy T. Francis said – apparently with a straight face – that the new gun owner “was unfamiliar with the operations of the firearm.” For RIA’s sake, we’re hoping their manual clearly states that you shouldn’t put your finger on the trigger of your new gun and point it at your leg.

Thankfully, the injury wasn’t life threatening and the proud new gun owner should make a full recovery. To help keep his spirits up while he’s on the mend, he’ll be receiving a freshly minted IGOTD trophy in short order. And we can assure him that it comes with complete, illustrated instructions  – which we know he’ll appreciate – detailing how to properly display it in such a way as to let everyone know about his singular achievement.


  1. avatar ST says:

    The question of why the Double Action trigger was invented has now been answered.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that this idiot would have had the same accident with any handgun.

      1. avatar ST says:


        But a DA trigger keeps the tort attorneys away. I don’t want RIA paying morons like this millions in a lost lawsuit.

  2. avatar Aharon says:

    Should have started out with a bow and arrow.

    1. avatar Derek says:

      I don’t know… I think we should error on the side of caution and give him a Nerf Gun.

      1. avatar Tarrou says:

        No, 12-guage. The only thing the matter with this story is that he survived. Darwin weeps.

  3. avatar GS650G says:

    We need real trophies made up with the 4 rules on the bottom

    1. Hold that thought.

      1. avatar psmcd says:

        You won’t be able to afford them all.

    2. avatar Ben Eli says:


    3. avatar GS650G says:

      How about a small statuette of the revolver with it’s barrel tied in a knot?

  4. avatar Tarrou says:

    Who knew an instruction manual had such a kick? I swear, who needs guns? Apparently, a small booklet of paper can shoot holes in things!

    On a more pertinent note, a brand new gun with a round in the chamber? Methinks our little genius here is being less than forthcoming. Loaded up his brand new heater and popped himself in the leg. “Why did you have the gun out?” “Oh, I was trying to read the manual officer!”. Five will get you ten he tries to sue someone.

  5. avatar TTACer says:

    Good thing it wasn’t a Lippard .45 or he would have been thrown clear out the car.

  6. avatar Air Force TSgt says:

    How about doing a review on one of these. I hear good things about them… for a bare bones no frills 1911, I have heard they are a good value. At the start of the review you can show us how not to shoot ourselves with our brand new .45.

    1. avatar APBTFan says:

      I’ve also heard the RIA’s are an outstanding value. Gunnuts had a positive article a while back on theirs which is a rental.

    2. avatar DaveM says:

      Owner already did the review, first round reliability is excellent

      1. avatar American Gun Guy says:

        LOL 🙂

    3. avatar Lance says:

      I have a 2010 (bought fall 2011) RIA 1911 tactical. It looks identical to the one pictured above but has a few differences: beavertail grip safety vs the above, “combat” sights (novak-style cut, no white dots though), and the full length guide rod. Other than that, it’s the same thing. Mine’s been reliable (I won’t say perfectly, if you’d like me to go into detail I will) but it’s been reliable enough through the 800ish rounds of ball and 100ish rounds of hornady critical defense I’ve put through it. The major reliability issue is with the crappy ACT magazine it shipped with. The Chip McCormick (sp?) mag I bought at a show runs much better. I’ve modified mine a little by polishing off the black paint from grip safety, the barrel, barrel bushing, spring plug and end of the guide rod. I’ve installed hogue rubber finger-groove grips under the VZ grips I put on it. It’s been a great shooter for me and will be on my hip all week next week during wheat harvest, loaded up with cheap CCI shot shells for possible snake encounters.

      1. avatar Lance says:

        Here’s a shot of it next to my great uncle Lewis Walt’s M1 Carbine.

        Should’ve thought to include that in the earlier reply.

      2. avatar Totenglocke says:

        How’s the parkerizing on the gun? I’ve read a few complaints about it on various forums.

        I’d like to get a RIA 1911 in 9mm (I’m saving the .45 for a Sig Sauer 1911 Nitron) since I already have a few 9mm pistols and it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to feed.

        1. avatar Lance says:

          The parkerizing leaves something to be desired. On sharp edges it seems a little thin (I can see bare steel right at the sharp edge corners around the ejection port on the slide) Also, the parts (safety, slide lock, grip safety, sights, barrel bushing, barrel, etc) are black painted rather than parkerized, I think. Mine has what looks like fingerprints in the parkerizing on the right side of the slide (as viewed from shooter’s position). It’s a little annoying but not a deal killer at the price point. I believe the newer ones are finished a little better.

          The parts fit is decent, but it’s not what I’d call super-tight. The grip safety on mine wiggles side to side a little bit, and the ambi safety was an absolute pain to remove when I did a full dis-assembly for the first time (A little prying and filing on the groove in the pin fixed that though).

          My .45 feeds just fine, at least every thing I’ve fed it so far. It dosn’t hand-cycle the Hornady critical defense worth a damn, but it feeds it fine during shooting. It won’t cycle those CCI shot shells very well either, but that’s not exactly something I’d consider critical. I’ve not read very much about their 9mm version as far as reliability goes. For $450-ish though it’s hard to pass up.

  7. avatar bontai Joe says:

    In my neck of the woods of northeast PA, we used to have a local chain of dept. stores that sold guns. But they would not sell you any ammo on the same day, probably because they had some nitwit do something similar to this guy.

    1. avatar sdog says:

      interesting idea there.

  8. avatar Pyrotek85 says:

    What I don’t understand is why you would load it if you were unfamiliar with it’s controls. If I’m going to fiddle with something that I just bought and don’t know how to use, I’m not going to put live ammo in it. Did he think the gun would ask him if he really meant to shoot after he pulled the trigger?

    1. avatar sdog says:

      come on now, everyone knows that when you pull the trigger a little flag with a sound effect printed on it pops out of the business end.

  9. avatar Tyler Kee says:

    $20 says he was told that you could push the gun out of battery and it wouldn’t fire, so he put it to his leg and tried.

  10. avatar Avid Reader says:

    I actually lived there for a number of years in the late 60s and early 70s and still have friends and family there. Even then, the gene pool could have used a little chlorine. Some things never change. . .

  11. avatar Paul M says:

    See….they work. Right out of the box.


  12. avatar Rokurota says:

    The Roanoke Times (whose website is wouldn’t lie, but they would publish your name and address if you have a concealed carry permit!

  13. avatar Aharon says:

    He’s lucky it wasn’t a .22 since if it was then he’d probably be dead.

  14. avatar Alan Rose says:

    That whole “still one in the chamber” thing is a real beyatch. I bet they found a half finished text message in his phone too. “Hey I just bought a new 45 and…”

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