When proper firearm safety paid off

Nothing drives home proper handling safety as a unexpected discharge. From my earliest memory of just holding a firearm the one rule that was driven home was the muzzle never pointed at people, I was taught it was down at the ground or sometimes straight up.

At age 8, much to the horror of people today, I was sitting on the hood of a Ford tractor with a 12ga. Purdy double and some #8’s while my great uncle Joe drove it cutting the hay field.

My job was to dispatch as many of the large field rats as I could when they broke cover in front of the tractor. I had just killed one and broke the action to eject the spent shell and replace it. When I closed the action the gun fired.

I was in total shock and believed I had not somehow pulled the trigger, yet the gun had fired. My uncle stopped the tractor and stared at me. The gun had been safely pointed at the ground in front of the tractor so that part was good. However the doubt was there…had I screwed up. I reloaded again and held the Purdy so he could see the trigger was clear.

When I closed the action the gun fired again. The problem was a broken firing pin. Anyway, that was when I really learned how important muzzle control really was. I retrospect we should have inspected the gun, but with the muzzle safely pointed away and down there really was no other danger. ( I fixed the old Purdy when I was 13. It had sat unused until then)


A side note to this. When my uncle passed I was in another state. The Purdy ‘disappeared’ before I came back to Alabama. At the time my aunt did not know, nor did I, the value of a Purdy. She remember giving that ‘old shotgun’ to one of the people at the dinner after the funeral. I never heard of it again.


Excellent thread,for me I was clambering a round in my 1911, I was at my gun bench (in the basement of a splitlevel house) here I always point all my weapons towards a spot on the outside wall below a window with a dirt embankment directly behind it. Keeping all body parts away from the muzzle I racked the slide and “bang”. Luckily I was wearing my brown pants :woozy_face: lol. I was sure that I did everything correctly, surely my finger wasn’t on the trigger? After making sure the bullet path was a safe one and no real collateral damage and calming my wife down I cleared my weapon ran through a safety check and sure enough, when I pulled the slide back and released it on a dummy round I had " hammer follow through"…long story short worn poor angle on sear. Replaced and checked by gunsmith…weapon 100% functional. But, had I not used good safety measures and Safety discipline…I or someone else could have been hurt! Instead I have a nice 45 cal hole in the wall to remind me safety first always! And, I think that a small clearing barrel at home is maybe a good idea, and not overkill.


I had just bought a 44 magnum Taurus back in 1984 when I was living in Los Angelis. I loaded it with bullets because it was already heavy and I was wanting to check out how heavy it would be with the rounds in it. I held it and was concerned about how fast a person could draw a gun that heavy so, I drew the gun in a safe direction and when it came up I panicked and went for a tighter grip and my finger went on the trigger. I found out that the trigger was very sensitive as a round went off and took out my T.V. It was a big console T.V. with stereo on top and a round table.
This is the time a friend tells another friend to get some training to get better with hand guns. That is a good friend!


One I remember was going to a gun show at the convention center in Dallas, TX. Since I was carrying I went through the line where they empty and zip tie your gun. I handed the guy my gun (dont remember what I was carrying but it was a semi-auto), the guy racked it then removed the magazine. My friend and I looked in horror at the guy wielding the LOADED gun. We told him you just reloaded it before you removed the magazine. Moral, dont trust anybody, pay attention and dont assume just because the person with the gun is a “professional” that they dont make mistakes. The guy was likely just tired and not paying close attention. Luckily we brought it to his attention and nobody got shot.