If you shoot often at all, especially at an indoor range, you’ve probably experienced it. A hot empty case ejects from your pistol, bounces off the lane divider and right back at you. Sometimes it hits you and caroms off. Sometimes it finds its way between your glasses and your cheek (ask me how I know). And occasionally one will worm its way down inside your shirt.
This is why, when taking new shooters to the range, we always caution them not to wear sandals. Women shouldn’t wear v-neck or low cut shirts. Hot brass in the cleavage or between your toes isn’t fun and can cause a new shooter to react dangerously while holding a firearm.
But no matter what you’re wearing, Murphy has a way of asserting himself and you can end up with a chunk of hot metal between your clothing and your skin. An unidentified man was recently shooting in a northeast Ohio indoor range when a scalding hot casing found its way inside his shirt. That’s when the real problems began.
He reacted poorly, to say the least. Maybe it was the first time he’d experienced that. Or maybe he’d been lucky in the past. Whatever, he began to dance around, trying to dislodge the hot case and apparently forgot he was holding a handgun.
Fox8.com reported and had the video . . .
“The video shows that he is shooting a 9 mm automatic and when he shot, he ejected the shell and it went right down the back of his shirt. So, because that’s hot — it’s brass — he started to move around and his other hand just came and the gun discharged and went through his cheek and out the top part of his other cheek,” the sheriff said.
It all happens pretty quickly in the video above. As the sheriff notes, the unidentified man lost all control of the gun in his hand once he felt the brass inside his shirt. His only thought was dealing with the casing that was burning him. Meanwhile, he failed to keep the pistol pointed down range, left his finger on the trigger, muzzled himself, and, ultimately, pulled the trigger.
According to the report, the man was incredibly lucky. The bullet apparently entered through one cheek and exited trough the other. It’s a miracle he wasn’t more seriously injured or killed.
While all of the four cardinal gun safety rules are important, probably none is as critical as maintaining muzzle discipline. If your gun is always pointed in a safe direction — even with hot brass in your shirt — a negligent discharge may be embarrassing, but it won’t ruin your day. Or your life.