A fellow who organizes and runs various competitive shooting events at the Midland Shooters Association rifle and pistol range circulated an email about an accidental discharge of a Glock handgun, with gruesome pictures no less.
Glock handgun are designed so that they can be shot fast. There's no cumbersome external safety to fumble with before shooting. And when there's a bullet in the chamber the hammer is almost fully cocked so there is only a minimal amount of trigger pressure needed to shoot it. They are popular handguns, and many if not most police officers use them throughout the United States.
So when a handgun that easy to shoot is in such common usage there are bound to be accidents. Some call them accidental discharges. Others call them negligent discharges, because with every accident there was some inattention to detail by someone.
Glock owners need to be extremely careful, because in my opinion, their design, specifically the lack of an external safety, the inability to see from the outside whether there's a bullet in the chamber, the partially cocked hammer (which you also can't see), and the ease with which it can be fired make it more dangerous than most other brands.
If I didn't know it before, I certainly learned from reactions to those entries that Glock owners are very loyal to the brand. But there is one thing on which Glock owners and I can agree: they need to be very conscious of what they are doing when they handle a Glock handgun. Daydreaming can be deadly.
I can't verify the truth and veracity of what that email writer says -- Snopes.com is silent about this. And I don't know where this happened. But it sounds plausible. And the photos are very convincing. So here's the email:
Not only did I set off a .45 in my garage, but I passed right through my left hand ...... Yep .... I *******ing shot myself point blank. I'm still having a hard time getting my head around what I did. I was SO angry at myself. I have always been uber safe with any firearm, but one lack of procedure changed everything. I'm really taking this hard, and all the "it could have been worse", "accidents happen", and "thank god you didn't lose your hand statements really don't help. I guess I'm getting over it, but it still seems very surreal to me.
Here are details....I know you all are morbidly curious, and I don't mind telling...it's kinda like therapy for me. I DID NOT hear the shot (nor did my ears ring afterwards), and it felt sorta like catching a fastball right in the palm of your glove. I have a very clear image, and suspect I always will, of the hole in my hand...perfect .45 diameter not bleeding....yet. I took a few seconds, and then the arterial arch in my palm cut loose. Blood like you wouldn't believe. I think the fact that I was a Paramedic in a former life helped me out here. I walked into the laundry room and grabbed a towel to wrap it up, call up the stairs for my wife to come down.
I remember thinking "if I go get her, I'll mess up the carpet on the stairs". No lie. She came down half asleep and kind of grumpy, and I told her "I just put a bullet in my hand". Said she was calling 911 and according to her I responded "That would be a good idea.." My wife is neo-natal RN, and can remain cool as a cucumber. This helped me out too I think.
I went back into the garage, put my blasted hand on the floor kneeling on the towel and proceeded to open my ever present jump-bag with the other. I opened a US issue trauma dressing with my teeth, and proceeded to wrap my hand. Those dressing are the schiz nit by the way. My wife later told me it was very "Die-Haredesque"......
I do remember cussing at myself the entire time...I have never been that angry before.....
Four cops, the shift sup., a pumper truck and am ambulance later I was off to the ER. I didn't feel any pain until I got in the ambulance. The endorphins shut down and it hurt like nothing you can imagine. No tickets from the cops, but did have to ask which weapon I did it with. My garage looks like an arsenal pre-range trip.
The bullet (a Black Talon no less..) shattered my ring finger meta-tarsal, and 'removed' two others. It destroyed the flexor tendon of my ring finger, almost separated my pinky tendon, and exited the right side of my wrist just above my watch band. There was a definite exit hole, but the blast force blew the side of my palm WIDE open about three inches in length. I didn't even see the exit wound until I removed my watch for the FD. Anyway, nine hours of surgery, three screws, a tendon graft from my forearm and about two-hundred sutures later I was put back together. My surgeon said if anyone has to get shot in the hand, this was how to do it. No nerve damage....whew. Physical therapy twice a week for god knows how long, and the surgeon expects at least 80% function back.
I've included a pic of the round. Snap-On tool boxes are quite literally bullet proof. The jacket separated from the slug when it hit the box, that's why the slug is flat on one side.
If the mods permit, I'll post pics of my hand too.....it's pretty burly, and will drive the point home.
Thanks for listening. My wife thinks I'm crazy to post this, but it really does help me feel better. Remember....check the chamber twice, then check it again.
Update 12/01/05; 5:40 pm. Gun sportsman John Krenik, who forwarded the above email, cordially disagrees with my points about Glock:
Quite frankly, I think that you are wrong about Glocks. Of course we have dicussed that before. I'm afraid that this would have just as easily happened with a springfield XD, 1911, or virtually any auto pistol. Please remember that the guy intentionally pulled the trigger, had this been say a S&W 5906 he would have released the safety to fire it and the results would have been the same. The gun did exactly what it was supposed to do. Like any good firearm, a Glock fires each and every time the trigger is pulled when the gun is loaded, it will not fire unless the triggger is pulled. The gentleman in this situation is, I feel, to be commended for telling us his story and also for not blaming the gun and putting the fault were it lies, with his poor operation of it. My point in sending it on was to emphasize how inportant it is to be careful and attentative to what you are doing wh! en handling ANY gun. I do realize that the anti-Glock people will point out that there are a lot of unintentional discharges with Glocks. To a certain extent that's true, but mostly because ther are a LOT of Glocks out there, I read recently that the Glock 22 (just that one model) account for almost 50% of police duty sidearms in existance. Of course when there are that many pistols out there, they will be involved in a lot more situations just because of sheer numbers. the same reason that there are a lot more car crashes involving Fords than Ferraris. While we may have to agree to disagree on this issue, I do encourage you to send it on, since we and many of our friends do handle loaded guns on a regular basis, it always helps to remember the possible repercussions of a moments inattention. Thanks for writing and I'll see you soon. John
Thanks John. You are correct in saying that with so many Glock handguns out there that there is a good chance that any accidental discharge will involve a Glock. And handlers of firearms should always exercise caution regardless of the brand.