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I am 54 years old. Began carrying a pocketknife by the first grade to school, bought my first .22 rifle by age 13, first handgun by age 21. Got my CCW in 1998. I have never had an accident or incident when the gun went off that I did not intend. Some friends have shot the ceiling, floor, exploded the glass pig coin bank, shot a toe off, etc. I assume others go a lifetime without accidents also??
 

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I'm a bit younger, but grew up around guns, owned my first one in my early twenties, served the country, and no, I've never had an accident.
 

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I'm always careful and practice safety. My age or how long I've been handling firearms doesn't matter. I learned a long, long time ago to never say never. Just sayin'.
 

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I try to be safe. I have been trained to handle firearms safely but still I find myself doing something that is not so safe. I am not going to lie, I have had a negligent discharge. One of the laws of firearms safety turned the ND into an embarrassment instead of an accident. if you think you are perfect you are probably going to have an accident, not an ND. Almost everyone that shoots IDPA has been DQed for a safety violation. When I was DQed everyone laughed and said it's not if you get DQed, it's when. In this area we have rough pits that are a challenge. But this challenge has brought national/regional championship matches to most of the ranges I have visited. They have real cars to shoot into and real shooting houses. Not a net on a nice manicured lawn with all the targets lined up like a shooting gallery.

What I am seeing is people go to ranges where the ground is level or covered with concrete. They only shoot a static target at 15 yards. They never put themselves out there where things are not so safe. They step in a hole or trip on a root instead of throwing the gun away from them they hang on to that gun and have an accident. Keeping your finger off that light trigger without a safety is easy under carefully controlled circumstances. Safety becomes a challenge when you find yourself sliding into a ravine or falling face first.
 

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If you never had an "oooooppppps moment"...add the word "yet" to the story.
 

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Righteous Dude
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So far, so good. I am careful and keep my wits about me. Prevention and safety is key. I still have much life ahead of me, but I plan to remain incident free.
 

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I fired M-16s back in the 80s but a first time gun owner three years ago. Still accident-free and I want it to stay that way.
Safety device #1: My trigger finger
 

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I live in a log house. Doing dry fire practice, I would get a pistol or revolver, unload and practice shooting at knots. Click, Click, BANG. What a surprise, one round stayed in the revolver. Didn't look. Missed the knot. The bottom line is don't drink and mess with guns.
 

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I did have an unintended discharge one time, and it scared the bejesus outa me. I hope it taught me a lesson. I was out in the yard plinking with my Henry lever action .22. I had a live round chambered, and the hammer was cocked, when I decided to walk somewhere else to shoot. I started to lower the hammer so I could put it on half clock, but I started walking before I finished. The hammer slipped and the round fired.

No harm was done, except to the ground in front of me.

The lesson learned? It is very, VERY important to follow ALL of the rules of firearms safety. Why? Well, because if you are an idiot and break one of the rules, the fact that you are still following the remaining rules can save you or someone else's life.

I did something dumb, but because I had the muzzle pointed at the ground, no damage was done, and no one was hurt.
 

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Put me in the ND/accident category. It happened once. I learned two things from it.

First, no matter how trained, diligent and safety conscious you think you are it can still happen to you. All it takes is one little slip or one moment of inattention. If you handle firearms a lot it doesn't necessarily make you safer. It just gives you more opportunities to screw up.

Second, firearms safety is a multilayered process. The basic gun safety rules are designed to overlap and build on each other. Even if you do nothing whatsoever to cause a gun to fire yet it still somehow mysteriously fires nothing bad will happen if you already assumed it was loaded and were already pointing it in a safe direction. Even if you pulled the trigger on what you thought was an unloaded weapon nothing bad will happen if you had it pointed in a safe direction. The point is even if you screw up on 1 of the basic rules of gun handling you'll probably get away with nothing more than a bruised ego provided you are employing at least one or two of the other rules. This doesn't mean you get to disregard any of the rules. It simply means that if you diligently apply the safety rues and happen to make a mistake it probably won't be catastrophic.

In my case I pulled the trigger on what I thought was a cleared and unloaded weapon. I was the one that cleared it. Obviously I wasn't paying close enough attention. In fact I was chatting with someone as I did it. I pointed it at the ground and pulled the trigger. BANG! Scared the crap outta me. At first I was badly shaken and in denial. It couldn't have been my fault! What happened? Well, it was my fault. Plain and simple. I wasn't paying attention. Fortunately, I was keeping the muzzle in a safe direction.

It CAN happen to you. I hope it never does. Pay attention. Always.
 
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So far the only mistake made was forgot to put ear protection on. That Colt 45acp is really LOUD. Especially in a indoor range.
 

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opos said:
If you never had an "oooooppppps moment"...add the word "yet" to the story.
I have to agree with that statement. Every one of us have had or will have
one of those oversights, "senior moments", or what ever you care to call it.
I did mine when I was sixteen and put a hole in the bedroom wall. The
memory of that one has saved me more than one since. Ever since then
I say to myself, "by the numbers" and that process has been well worth the
tiny (.22) hole I got to patch. (52 years since then) ;)

:D
 

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It doesn't even have to be negligence, I had a hang fire with some .357 reloads once.
Thanks to the knots dad put on my head back in the day about being muzzle aware, at all times, all that suffered was my pride.

One of his favorite sayings was "accidents don't just happen, they are caused".
Every time I remember that incident I say another silent thank you to him for the knots. ;)
 

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So far (50+years of shooting) rigid attention to the rules has prevented me from participating in a negligent discharge. Several times just barely. But in those few times - a last second re-adherance to the rules stopped me from having an accident.
I pray that I shall always remain vigilant.
 

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Currently I'm a NRA certified RSO. I have been shooting since I was a boot at Parris Island in 1963. The first day on the range at P. I. we were given instructions to get in the prone position and fire one round. My Marksmanship instructor gave me a magazine with 10 rounds. He figured what could wrong. At the command to fire, I released the safety and got a good sight picture and began my trigger squeeze. I don't remember much what happened next. It turns out the sear on my rifle was broken. Instead of one round going off 10 rounds fired in the blink of an eye. All eyes on the range were focused on me. My drill instructor came running over and he wasn't happy. Helped to my feet with my riffle pointing down range the D. I. grabbed my rifle in one hand and me in the other. He quickly checked the rifle and found the cause. From that point on, I have been very conscious of gun safety.
Since that time, I have had two incidents that could have been much worse. The first one involved a 45 LC. While shooting at the range, I had a squib load that lodged the bullet. Not realizing what happened I fired the next round. The barrel bulged and the recoil was much stronger than expected. That cost me a new barrel. It could have been much worse.. The second occurred while hunting. My rifle was a 270 Cal Remington BDL. During the hunt I spotted a 10 point buck about 200 yards away. I carefully sighted in the buck and squeezed the trigger and nothing happened. The recall horn went off to call us back. It spooked the deer. I went back to the gathering point. Reaching the area, I pointed the rifle in a safe direction and put the safety to the fire position. The rifle discharged, the two people and I were startled. I got some evil looks but after emptying the magazine and verifying the chamber was empty I closed the bolt and squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened as expected. I then moved the safety to fire and the hammer fell. I put the rifle in its case and gave to a local gunsmith to repair. Again the outcome could have been much worse.
Last year a local hunter was killed while removing his rifle from the back seat of his truck. It turns out the trigger got caught on something and when the hunter continued to pull the rifle it discharged killing him instantly.
Safety doesn't end at the firing line. You have to follow safety protocols and always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. You can never lose sight of what is a stake.
 

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I once dropped the magazine and 'cleared' the chamber of a 10/22 in pitch darkness. Then as I like to do I pulled the trigger. I was pointing the rifle to the ground when the BANG came. Nothing hurt but my pride. Up until then I thought I had perfect safety practices. But at least I relearned that there is NO cleared chamber without visual confirmation.
 

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How did you clear in the dark? Finger in two directions?

I once dropped the magazine and 'cleared' the chamber of a 10/22 in pitch darkness. Then as I like to do I pulled the trigger. I was pointing the rifle to the ground when the BANG came. Nothing hurt but my pride. Up until then I thought I had perfect safety practices. But at least I relearned that there is NO cleared chamber without visual confirmation.
How did you clear in the dark? Finger in two directions? I have this habit - I try not to trust my eyes, since it may not be well-lit some day and place when I need to clear, so I like to put a finger in the chamber and feel into the magwell, and into the barrel direction.
 

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How did you clear in the dark? Finger in two directions? I have this habit - I try not to trust my eyes, since it may not be well-lit some day and place when I need to clear, so I like to put a finger in the chamber and feel into the magwell, and into the barrel direction.
Well, that would have worked a lot better than my method of cycling the slide.
 
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