accidental firing of gun

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by pipegold, May 29, 2013.

  1. pipegold

    pipegold New Member

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    Hi, I'm writing a novel. There is a scene where I need a gun (revolver) to go off accidentally, resulting in someone else (who is held hostage) in being shot and killed. I've got a couple of unsatisfactory ways that this could happen, so wanted to try and get some inspiration from people who really know guns (I don't - I wish I did, but I'm a Brit and we've been mostly disarmed, tragically). So a couple of questions...
    How difficult is it to actually pull the trigger on a (circa 1940/1950) revolver? Does it take some effort or is it only slight pressure that could easily be accidentally effected to result in firing?
    and...
    Has anyone accidentally fired a gun, or know someone else who had - how did that come about?
    Thanks for your help folks.
    Pipegold.
     
  2. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    The trigger pull on a double action revolver (meaning that pulling the trigger pulls the hammer to the rear and releases it) is pretty stout. That's why you don't hear of many negligent discharges with them.

    However, if someone were to cock the hammer first, such as to intimidate someone (seen in movies all the time), the trigger pull is greatly reduced. My old revolver had approximately a 1.5 pound trigger pull in single action. This is considered a "hair trigger", or close to it, by many. I only adjusted it that light in an attempt to get the double action trigger pull as low as possible.
     

  3. pipegold

    pipegold New Member

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    Thanks, trip286, that's very interesting - and helpful
     
  4. rifleman77

    rifleman77 New Member

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    I actually have had this happen a long time ago I accidentally fired a .357 trying to manually decock the hammer and it slipped off my thumb at the range.
     
  5. thdrduck

    thdrduck New Member

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    Wouldn't some of the older revolvers go off if the hammer was resting on a live round and was bumped or dropped?
     
  6. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Yes. Takes a pretty sharp rap to set it off, but not implausible at all.
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Agree that attempting to lower the hammer manually (and being a big enough doofus to still be pointing the gun at someone) CAN- with some gun designs- result in an unintended discharge- if the hammer slips, and you are holding down the trigger.

    As Trip described, a single action revolver (such as the Colt single Action Army) has a fairly light trigger pull WHEN IT IS COCKED. When it is NOT cocked, pulling the trigger does nothing.

    A double action revolver (such as the Smith & Wesson Liberty Models we loaned to Britain in WW 2) has a fairly stiff long trigger pull when not cocked. However, once cocked, the trigger moves only a short distance to fire, and the pull is MUCH lighter.

    There have been unintended discharges when one attempts to reholster a gun and having your finger on the trigger- holster pushes finger, finger pushes trigger, BANG.

    It is also possible to get an UB (unintended Bang) by grabbing the barrel of a gun being held by someone else, and pulling it toward yourself. If cocked, you are pulling the trigger against the finger on it.
     
  8. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    And yes, the original Colt Single Action was made to be carried hammer down on an EMPTY chamber. Blow to hammer=Bang. Same for the older Ruger Singles- have been reworked due to lawyers.
     
  9. pipegold

    pipegold New Member

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    Thanks for all this, everyone. I've tried to find something on this S&W 'Liberty' model loaned to Britain in WW2, I can't find anything on it. It would be a good contender for me, timewise, as the gun belonged to the shooter's Brit father which he could have 'appropriated' from/after WW2. I can only find 'N-frame' loaned during WW1. Got any links on the one that was loaned during WW2? Cheers.
     
  10. pipegold

    pipegold New Member

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    C3Shooter, did you mean the Victory M10 model?

    If you did, can you clarify... If I had all safety off, and finger off the trigger, but pulled back the hammer to cock, and it slipped - could it discharge from the hammer hitting?
     
  11. purehavoc

    purehavoc New Member

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    there always the possibility of a cocked hammer and a dropped gun to set it off and cause a discharge , Crazier stuff happens all the time
     
  12. pipegold

    pipegold New Member

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    ... and while I'm at it, I'm assuming that the S&W Victory M10 would have to be manually emptied of spent cartridges? Forgive these basic questions.
     
  13. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    S&W "S" series handguns will not fire unless finger pressure is applied to the trigger. You may cock an M&P in single action and tap the trigger with an object. The hammer will fall, but the striker can not fire the cartridge in the chamber. This is do to the S&W transfer bar safety. Dropping a S&W can break the hammer and not fire. And of course check this without using live ammunition. :D
     
  14. PanBaccha

    PanBaccha New Member

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    There's also a term called: 'Slamfire,' which is usually reserved for long guns accidentally going off due to faulty firing pin cloaked with rust, fouling, or cosomoline.
     
  15. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

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  16. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Slam fire and manual safety failures are not issues with a DA revolver. I would look at the early British "Bull Dogs" which did not have transfer bars. These powerful .44 Caliber handguns were accident pron. :)
     
  17. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Much earlier British piece the Webley Fosbery was a single action auto revolver, very light pull...
     
  18. pipegold

    pipegold New Member

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    I'm reluctant to go too early (due to the shooter using her father's gun in both 1970 and 2006). I just found a useful table on wikipedia 'service pistol' page for the UK guns. Three best contenders seem to be Enfield No2 Mk I, Webley Mk IV, Smith & Wesson M&P or Victory Models. I'm assuming from what folks have said so far that the trigger would HAVE to be pulled for any of these to go off even if you cocked it and let the hammer spring back towards the cartridge on its own - ie they would all have some trigger operated mechanism to protect the cartridge from being struck by the hammer otherwise? Any idea which of these would have the lighter trigger resistance once cocked?
    Thanks again all...
     
  19. Rocky7

    Rocky7 New Member

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    This reminds me of the odd newbie who comes on Canadian hunting forums asking for antlers and/other animal parts for their artistic work.

    Sure.;)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  20. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Don't be rude, this has actually happened several times. The latest was a guy needing help on some terminology that seemed lost in translation with some Filipino pirates.