Gun guru john Farnham received an email from a friend who works at a commercial, indoor pistol range.
“Last Friday, we experienced an injury/accident at our range. It is not our first, but it is the most serious to date.
A father, and his sixteen-year-old, son were shooting in a booth. Upon finishing, the father placed his 45ACP 1911 pistol (brand unknown) into a hard, carrying case. Father claims that he manually ‘decocked’ the pistol (on a live round) prior to putting it away. He further claims that when he closed and case, the pistol discharged while still inside.
I was not an eye-witness, but I can’t imagine how that is possible! So, in my opinion, his “version” of events is dubious, but police are still investigating. In any event, here is the object-lesson:
The single, errant bullet struck the son in his pinky-finger, then went on to enter the kid’s abdomen. For a teenager, the kid was big and pudgy, in excess of two-hundred pounds. The round, a 45ACP Winchester Silvertip, is a good, high-performance, defensive pistol round. It penetrated a shirt, an undershirt, and then six inches of fatty abdomen before stopping. It did not exit.
Upon being thus struck, the kid was able to walk, without assistance, out of the range and into our lounge area, where he sat down and quietly waited. Police and EMS arrived within minutes, and the young man was transported to a local hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery, and the only apparent, permanent disability will result from trauma to his finger!
Here is the lesson for all of us:
This mild-mannered teenager, not belligerent nor under the influence of any drugs, absorbed a full-power, hollow-point 45ACP bullet, at point-blank range, and subsequently displayed scarcely more than moderate discomfort! He was able to walk under his own power, never lost consciousness, never collapsed, and reportedly joked with ambulance attendants on his way to the hospital!”
John Farnham comments:
The foregoing is, of course, anecdotal, but it emphasizes an important training axiom: A pistol, any pistol, is a poor fight-stopper! We carry pistols because they’re convenient, not because they’re effective.
In order to gain the most/best effect, we need to shoot with surgical precision, striking vital organs, and do it multiple times, in rapid succession. Even then, we dare not expect miracles, even with “high-performance” ammunition!