How Do You Shoot Yourself In Your Hand With a Rifle? Just Thought I’d Leave This Here


“A woman was seriously injured when she shot her hand with a rifle near the Confluence Park area in LaVerkin (Utah) Thursday evening,” reports. “Police respond to the Confluence Park area after receiving a call from an injured woman. ‘There was an adult female who had been shot in the hand and was requesting help from us,’ said LaVerkin Police Chief Ben Lee.”

The gun involved was a Remington 700. The Beehive State news org goes on to recap the problems afflicting the 700, in terms of the rifle’s safety recall. Still, as far as I know, I’ve never put my hand in front of a rifle barrel. The four rules of gun safety, folks. No matter what the gun or the situation, violate any one of them at your own peril.


  1. avatar Captain O says:

    “Do not depend on the safety of a firearm. Any mechanical device can fail.”

    Sound familiar?

    1. avatar Tommy Hobbes says:

      My late gunsmith and dear friend for thirty eight years years used to say that there is no such thing as a safety. There is a mechanical trigger block only, and it isnt guaranteed.

      Sad that yet another person qualifies for the Darwin Award.

      1. avatar Alexander says:

        Well, she doesn’t really qualify for the Darwin Award. She only shot her hand, which is not essential to the reproductive process, although sometimes used in training.

        1. avatar lance doggette says:


  2. avatar Phil LA says:

    Tube magazine

    1. avatar RocketScientist says:

      On a Rem 700??

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Not just firearms. I’ve long since ceased to be amazed at the number of ways that people fuck themselves up in their day to day life.

    You want cringe worthy stuff google up nail gun accidents.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      Or angle grinder injuries…

      This comes to mind… [Somewhat graphic]:

      That ain’t no power saw. That’s a 8″ angle grinder. Looks like a Mikita to me. A dirty old Mikita.

      1. avatar strych9 says:


      2. avatar alex says:

        It appears to be a metabo with the guard removed.

    2. avatar waffensammler98 says:

      I survived six years of middle/high school wood shop, and the worst I got was sawdust in my eyes and splinters in my hands. This was probably because dad taught me how to properly use power tools from age seven on. I did, however, witness all manner of self-inflicted injuries due to pants-on-head retarded behavior by other students. Nothing worth a trip to the ER, but plenty to shake your head over.

    3. avatar FantaSea says:

      “You want cringe worthy stuff google up nail gun accidents”

      Cringe-worthy indeed. Really wish I hadn’t googled that.

    4. avatar Ing says:

      I once shot a 2.5″ heavy-duty staple through my thumb. Missed the bone, but went all the way through the fleshy pad of my thumb. Ripped it out and shook my hand by reflex, and blood sprayed everywhere. The shop looked like a murder scene.

      My brother actually nailed his foot to the floor once. Luckily the injury was minor, but the pain wasn’t. My dad had to go down into the basement and pound the nail back out to release his foot.

      Crap happens.

      1. avatar Aaron says:

        lucky you had a basement!

  4. avatar BLoving says:

    When dealing with a reluctant customer at my shop, I’ll often ask, “Do you drive? Can you recite for me -right now- all the rules of driving?” The answers are usually “yes” and “no”, in that order. I will then gesture to the gun displays in front of me and point out there are only four rules, and then I will recite them. “Think you can remember all that? Good. You’re ready to begin!”

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    Cleaning a loaded rifle is my guess. That or extreme stupidity.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      I’ll guess grabbing the muzzle of the rifle to drag it out of the vehicle. Chamber loaded, bolt closed, safety off- damn lucky the bullet missed the rest of her. Fail to learn important lessons the right way and life will teach you the hard way I guess…

      1. avatar John in AK says:

        If this incident did involve a Remington 700, I can add some variables to your scenario, with only two factors certain: the chambered round, and the hand over the muzzle.
        With a 700, or any Remington with a Walker trigger (almost everything between 1948 and 2006), it’s possible for the gun to fire on bolt open, bolt close, safety on OR off, half-way in between positions, or when moving the safety TO the ‘off’ position, or from ‘jar-off’–dropping it, or banging it against something.
        I’m not saying that every Walker-trigger rifle WILL do any of those things; I’m saying that any one of them CAN.
        It’s always a bad idea to put one’s hand in front of the muzzle, or to allow it to cover anything that doesn’t require a permanent hole in it; With a 700, though, it’s also important to remember that the ‘safety’ doesn’t ‘safe’ all that well, that the trigger mechanism is capable of failure to hold the striker cocked reliably, and that even getting a live round out of the chamber can be a risky proposition (on guns with the bolt lock–prior to 1982–and without it).
        Remington isn’t preparing to replace over 7 million triggers out of the kindness of their hearts.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          Exactly. I knew the answer involved a Rem 700 action somehow, and unsurprisingly, it did.

          A Rem 700 can discharge a round at any time. It doesn’t need to be dropped, they’ve discharged racking a round, un-racking a round, just being carried. Forget all the nonsense about modding the trigger, that was a legal smokescreen, it happens on bone-stock guns – read the court cases if you don’t believe it.

          I really don’t understand how everybody on the planet that owns one of them doesn’t know this by now. Old-timers warned us away from them for the same reason in the 1970s.

        2. avatar John in AK says:

          A bunch of modern owner/shooters of M700 guns (and 600s, and 7s, and so on) don’t know because Remington hasn’t willingly volunteered the information (almost certainly on the advice of counsel) to new folks, denies that such things ever happen (“We cannot duplicate this, so you must have pulled the trigger/misadjusted the trigger/let it get dirty and rusty.”) although they KNOW that it happens, and because ‘geezer knowledge’ either dies with the geezers and doesn’t get passed on, or it gets scoffed at by people who say, “I’ve had umpty-six model 700s, and not a one has ever done that to me, nor any of my friends, so it doesn’t happen!”
          After the Colt SAAs and similar were superseded by safer DA guns, and before the Ruger Old Model Blackhawks became popular, there was a period wherein the common knowledge that only FIVE rounds could be carried in an old-style SIX-shot SA revolver died out; It took a whole new bunch of disasters for people to re-learn what had been understood by ‘geezers’ a hundred years before–five beans, not six, an empty chamber under the hammer.
          And so it goes.

  6. avatar YAR0892 says:

    Wasn’t there a guy on Doomsday Preppers who nearly blew his own thumb off with a rifle? I think it was in season 1…

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      I don’t know what he shot himself with but he refers to it as a “malfunction where my thumb went in front of the barrel”.

      TTAG said it was a .22LR rifle.

      1. avatar Ragnar says:

        I remember watching that episode when it aired. I looked at my wife and said, “That is the defining moment that America will always remember when they think of ‘Preppers'”.

  7. avatar Kilo says:

    Remove ALL warning labels!

  8. avatar pwrserge says:

    REALLY agressive costa grip?

  9. avatar Ragnar says:

    “… I’ve never put my hand in front of a rifle barrel. “

    Really? I think we have all placed our hands in front of rifle barrels at some time. Obviously, we verify that the weapon is clear before doing so. I know the four rules, but whether cleaning a bore or changing a muzzle device, there are times when it becomes necessary. Just clear the weapon first.

  10. avatar Rich Keagy says:

    Hand injury? Did the rifle have a laser? Guys do this with handguns all the time.

  11. avatar Mike Betts says:

    This would require the consumption of a HUGE bowl of Frosted Stupid Flakes.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      ‘Toasted’ Stupid Flakes.

      Burnt-out toasted… 🙂

  12. avatar John Gancho says:

    Man, when I was a kid, we were shooting olive head trim nails out of the cross man .177 co2 pistol we all had, my buddy forgot to close the chamber. When he pulled the trigger and nothing happened, he pointed the barrel at his hand to see if air was coming out, feeling nothing, he closed the chamber, returned the barrel to his palm and shot the nail through his hand. The guy is now a wealthy orthopedic surgeon.

  13. avatar JoeG says:

    My problem with people who scream muzzle discipline in the comments always bug me because they forget that they are pointing the gun at people as they drive down the road. The muzzle is always covering something. Some weapons can go off without the trigger being pressed if the gun is in motion (such as a bumpy road).

  14. avatar Ovidio G says:

    Last summer my kids and a cousin of them were playing with nerf guns.
    I told them to be very cautios, to use safety goggles (which I could supply from my stock of range goggles) and to never look into the barrel if something was wrong.
    Well, after just 5 minutes or so, the cousin tried to shoot one of my kids and nothing happened. I instinctively jumped up and started yelling, but being 20-30 meters away the kid just didn’t immediately realize I was calling him, so he immediately looked at the muzzle and pressed the trigger. He got his round in the dead center of his goggle lens, the right one (to be precise).
    I guess that if you’re not used to guns and have not gotten all the safety rules hammered into your brain for a long time, then you’re always a good candidate for a brain-lock situation when handling them.
    Same thing for any dangerous or similar activity.
    The stress involved is, for non experts, too much to handle if they’re not cool headed.
    Same applies to experts. If you don’t have the right character, you’re at risk, no matter how used to something you are.
    Good and repeated training can reduce that risk, but not eliminate it.
    The rest comes from you.
    I’ve experienced similar unbelievable mistakes also skydiving.
    Unexpected emergency or even just potentially dangerous situations could trigger abominable responses.
    That’ the reason I never make any exceptions to any safety rule while handling guns.
    I try to reduce the “fate” to a megligible proportion.

  15. avatar derfel cadarn says:

    Gun safety is always important, with magazines and websites lecturing on it all the time. Then the next article goes on about mounting lights on guns to look for the bad guys, where are those rules then ?

  16. avatar GL says:

    While conversing with others, some hunters instinctively grab the muzzle of their long gun and lean on it. As for this case, it appears to be similar in that she could have been leaning on the firearm with her hand over the muzzle. It’s either that, or as others have mentioned, this woman was retrieving the firearm when the trigger snagged on something. Whatever the reason, no one should be holding a firearm’s muzzle if ammunition is nearby or in the firearm itself.

  17. avatar Charles says:

    This happened to an aquantance years ago. As he tells it he took several business partners hunting, some neophytes. One put the rifle back in the rack on the jeep with a round in chamber. It came loose on the trail and the barrel was tilting towards him he reached out with his hand to grab it. At that moment it went off. Had he had better instincts he would have wrapped his hand around the barrel, rather than put it on top, but he was driving a bouncing jeep with a rifle barrel pointing at him. He didn’t expect it to be loaded or go off, gun instinct is what prompted him to immediately position the barrel pointing away from his body, a little better instinct would have had him wrap his hand around the barrel not catch it with his palm.

  18. avatar Kap says:

    another Democratic proving that they should not own a gun! Just trying to get a few bucks from Remington and then become poster girl with big bucks for moms want some action or something like that!

  19. avatar Pete says:

    The answer is that you have to really, really try.

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