Handling firearms comes with substantial risk. Unfortunately, the risk doesn't disappear just when we leave the range. Many unintended discharges (UDs) occur when people conduct dry fire practice.
When Dry Fire Practice Isn't “Dry” Part III
What is the purpose of publishing these stories —
For this reason, we decided to reach out to gun owners and peruse the internet for stories of unintended discharges while conducting dryfire practice.
We compiled a handful of stories that fit our criteria.
First, the unintended discharge must have happened while conducting dry fire practice.
Secondly, there must be some detail to the story that paints a picture from which we can learn.
And lastly, we asked that the story include a brief explanation of their experience with firearms.
As you can imagine, not everyone who shared their experience with us is eager to have their name attached to the story. So we agree not to publish anyone's name.
Today's story is the third such post on unintended discharges during dryfire.
Past stories —
In the first story, a person with many years of experience competitively shooting guns had a momentary lapse while conducting dryfire in his kitchen. If you haven't read that story yet, you can find it by clicking here.
In the previous story, the Range Safety Officer (RSO) of a gun store had an unintended discharge while periodically conducting dryfire during a slow shift working in the store. Here is a link to that story.
Sleepy dry fire practice —
After a 24+ hour shift, I came home and watched some shooting shows on TV. Even though I was tired, the shows inspired me to do some dry fire training.
I proceeded to clear my pistol and conduct some initial dry fire reps. After I had completed my initial reps, I reloaded the magazine and chambered a round. Then, after a brief conversation with my wife, I decided to get in a few more dry fire reps.
I went back and became distracted by something as I cleared the gun. While inside my bedroom, I pressed out, aimed my mattress, and broke the shot.
My surprise, fear, and horror were total and complete as I expected the snap of a hammer falling but instead heard the thunderous report of a .45 ACP going off inside of my small apartment bedroom. The round passed through my mattress. Somehow, the bullet fragmented before slamming into the floor of my apartment, coming to a stop. Thankfully the only casualties were my mattress and my pride.
The aftermath —
In my sleep-addled brain, I thought I cleared my weapon when in fact, I had not. Specifically, I failed to re-verify that I had an empty chamber before beginning dry fire again. Therefore, I conclude that I removed the magazine but failed to eject the round in the chamber.
Being severely tired and sleep deprived is not the best time to be handling a firearm. Thankfully the only casualties were my mattress and my pride.
I hope you all are as grateful to the author as I am that he shared his story.
I pray you won't be too quick to dismiss this story as something that could never happen you. No one who has experienced an event like the one in this post intended it to happen.
Therefore we should all guard against complacency and continually assess our systems and processes, even more so if we've been doing the same thing for years and years.
As we've seen in these three stories shared with us, a life-changing lapse in attention happens to people who “would know better.”
We have found a device that blocks the chamber, making it impossible for an unintended discharge to occur. It also provides a visual indicator that the firearm cannot fire. And the device does not affect the mechanical function of the gun.
The simple device is called BarrelBlok. Here is a recent post on the merits of the product.
Please consider using a BarrelBlok every time you conduct dry fire practice. After seeing how to use the product, I think you will agree that the product should be a fundamental safety device for every gun owner.