Stories sent to me by my readers

Paul's story

Just wanted to drop a line about a negligent discharge. Nobody was hurt (thank God) and it was a mechanical failure but I obviously pulled the trigger so I am responsible.

Two months ago, I purchased a Kimber Super Carry Ultra, new, from a local Kimber dealer. I had taken apart the pistol to clean it, per the manufacturer, and had subsequently shot about 50 rounds of factory ammunition. The pistol shot accurately and flawlessly and I detected no malfunctions. After qualifying, I again field stripped the pistol to clean and oil it.

Last week, with the pistol on half-cock, I pulled the trigger, and it fired. Again nobody was hurt and the scary thing is I don t remember consciously pulling the trigger, but obviously I did. After calming down and ensuring several times that the pistol was unloaded, I tried to recreate the event. I found that intermittently, the pistol would allow me to cock the hammer to half-cock, and then the hammer would drop when the trigger was pulled. The times when the trigger would not drop the hammer, it felt as if something was dragging inside the mechanism.

I have documented what occurred and have returned the pistol to Kimber. When I first contacted them by telephone, their employee commented that the pistol had left the factory in August of 2010. He asked if it was a display model, and I explained that I didn t know how the pistol was handled at the dealer, but that I had purchased it from a display case.

While I am not proud of this, I wanted to remind people to check their single action style pistols for safety so this doesn t happen to someone else with tragic results. My full size Kimber doesn't drop the hammer from the half-cock position; but I have a Colt Officer s Model that does. Maybe it is common knowledge among the 1911 world that each model is different, but I thought all pistols were safe at half-cock.

UPDATE I received a call from Kimber today that my firearm is being returned. According to the person who called (not the gunsmith), the hammer was replaced. After receiving the pistol and conducting a function check I will contact Kimber to try and speak with the gunsmith and ask specifically what was broken. If he will talk with me, I will send you that information as well.

Simon's story

How are you feeling man? I've been reading your updates and its really encouraging for me. I was involved in a similar accident but I shot a 357 magnum fusion hollow point through my hand. I have really bad nerve damage in my hand now and reading your page and seeing how strong you are about it really makes me feel like i can get through this. I'm 26 years old and my doctor tells me ill never be able to use my hand the same again. I hope he's wrong. I hope your better now and make a full recovery. Thanks for the updates it makes me feel better knowing I'm the only one who made such a bad mistake.

 This happened 2 weeks ago today. I feel like its been a month. Time goes so slow now. I didn't hit any bones but the hollow point basically shredded my hand. Its feels good telling you this as I have no one else that's actually been through this to tell. They have my hand in a cast so I can't tell how its healing. This sucks because I'm 26 years old and I do construction and my doctor says that I won't be able to much of that anymore. I really really hope he's wrong. Thank you for taking the time to email me back it really means a lot.

Yeah, it feels sore. The bullet entered just under my pinky and came out at the profile of my palm ( if that makes sense). The muzzle blast ripped up most of my hand as you can see.
I'm not starting to move my fingers more. The doc gave me some exercises to do until I see the physical therapist. My pinky I cant feel at all. My ring finger is about 50 % and my middle finger about 50% also. My index and thumb are fine. I went to the doctor today and I was told that there is no need for a skin graft which was a relief. He also told me that it was healing nicely even though I didn't think so. But I guess its only been 2 weeks but I was expecting better results when he removed the cast. Now I'm in another cast but he split it so I can take it off to clean it in the shower. Pain is going away. Other then the uncomfortable swelling it feels ok. I cant wait to go shooting again. More then that I cant wait to go to work.

 I can move my fingers a little bit but I'm able to move them more and more everyday. I still cant make much of a fist which is a big concern for me. All in all I think its healing well. I lost a little bit of muscle under my pinky in my palm. The pain is not so strong anymore just bothersome. I'm starting physical therapy next week.

I got an update from Simon. "It's healing pretty good. There are two wounds that are taking a little longer and one of the two may or may not need a skin graft. Doc wants to wait about three more weeks. I can almost make a fist with all my fingers except the pinky which feels like it's locked at about half way down. Doc wants me to force it down with the other fingers, no matter the pain. Pain isn't too bad all around but I've been using that hand for very minor things like putting jeans on or socks ect... So that makes it a little sore. I weened off the stronger pain killers and went to a lighter dosage which work just fine. So all in all I'm feeling ok about my hand now. Hearing doctor tell me it's healing good was nice.


Hey, how's it going? My hand is getting a lot better. Still one wound that's a little open but that's getting better, too. My pinky is loosening up a little more every day. All in all it's doing good. I've returned to work, sort of. Just supervising lol but I think that in a month or so I'll be back full time. Still haven't had a chance to go shooting, but I am back to carrying my revolver, which was the one I shot myself with. Kinda scary, but I need to get over it somehow. How's everything with you? Hope all is well.

A reader's story

I don't know if you would call this negligent or accidental, but either way it was a wake up call. I want to share this as an example of how an accidental discharge could happen to anyone.

I have been around weapons my whole life. I shoot sporting clays regularly and make it to the pistol range about every other month.

Last week I purchased a new CZ SP01 for my wife for home protection. I wanted the double action/single action feature for safety so that the first round could be fired double action thereby requiring a deliberate action to make the weapon fire. While trying the weapon out for the first time, I lowered the hammer on to a live round in order to try out the double action feature and the weapon fired. I got a nasty bite on my thumb, but the weapon was pointed downrange and no one got hurt.

A good friend of mine who introduced me to sporting clays a decade or so ago once told me that "if you hang around guns long enough, one day one will go off when you don't want it to. The only difference between that being an embarrassment and a tragedy is where the end of the gun is pointed". For the first time in my life a weapon has gone off when I didn't want it to. Fortunately it was just an embarrassment. However, I have renewed respect for the possibility that it can happen, and a renewed commitment to remain ever vigilant to prevent it and to ensure if it does, it remains an embarrassment and not a tragedy.

Please don't use my name. I'm too embarrassed - but fortunately, my wife and I are still alive.

Denny's story

I came across your story and just wanted to say thanks for having the guts to tell it. It is an embarrassing one, and I can relate at least somewhat. About a year ago, I was cleaning my 1911 in the kitchen, wife wasn't home, she had our oldest with her and our baby was upstairs taking a nap, he was about a 16 months old then. I, for some reason, thought I had it emptied out, but never the less I aimed it at the floor, in a direction where I knew that even if I was wrong the penetration of the floor would only lead to the basement and a concrete floor. I even think of back stops when I am '100% sure' it is empty. I pulled the trigger, and it went off. Scared the hell out of me, and I imediately tried to figure out where the bullet had gone. I was sitting at a weird angle to where I was aiming and realized it had actually ricocheted off the carpet, through the let of the high chair, and into a wall. Exactly the direction I did NOT want it to go. Then I realized that our baby didn't cry upstairs, and went ice cold trying to figure out why the noise hadn't woken him. I can't even tell you the terror realizing that the wall the bullet had entered was right below his crib. Where it entered the wall I could see no way possible that it could have deflected again to an angle that would have gotten it up to him, but I didn't think it would have changed trajectory so badly off of a carpet either, so I wasn't ruling anything out. I went upstairs, more scared than I had ever been in my life. Went into his room, and hovered over him, he was sleeping soundly, little chest rising and falling as it should be, I even moved him a bit to hear him just start to wake to be sure, then let him settle back down to continue his nap.
I went back down to the kitchen, checked the outside wall of the house, no exit hole, dug around inside the wall from the inside and could see the bullet lodged in a 2x4 and was satisfied that it had gone no where that it could have hurt anyone.

Then I sat down realizing what COULD have happened, especially to one I love SO much, and I just cried my eyes out. Writing this now brings tears. I told my wife when she got home, cried again and told her I would only clean and handle at the range from there on out (unless of course there is an intruder). Talk about a wake up call. I felt like such a fool. Always thought of the folks who do this sort of thing as idiots who just arent thinking. Pride comes before the all I suppose, just as the bible says.

So anyway, thanks for your story, I can relate, but sure glad I didn't shoot my leg :)

 

W.S.'s story

Yeah whoa, not woe.

Background:
I've been shooting for 42 years. Pistols since college - .22, .38, and .45 while in college. Rifle and pistol teams. My first police job was 1977 and carried concealed on and off since then. I currently have my CCW permit and have owned over 73 weapons.

Back in the 1980s, my last department ran a semi-auto transition class. 5 days, 40 hours. They taught us NOT to use the safety (for several reasons), so I got out of the habit right then and there. I used to carry a locked & cocked M1911 but was now carrying a 9mm with the safety on the slide. I never used a safety again. (WARNING)

Fast forward to February 2008:
I am a civilian computer programmer. I had been up all night and got maybe 2 hours of sleep in the morning. I was home alone and I decided to get a haircut. Normally in cold weather my pistol would be in a pocket holster in a nifty pocket in my coat, but I really didn't want to leave it unattended while getting the haircut.

I had a Taurus PT145 - .45 ACP with hollowpoints. The safety was so small and stiff that I never used it. The trigger was a double-action. I had a DeSantis "tuck this" IWB holster which had a plastic clip to hold it to your belt, secured by one screw and a plastic washer at the BOTTOM of the holster.

(1) I should have had the safety on
(2) I was tired
(3) The holster was strange and I hadn't practiced with it.
(4) I should have put the gun in the holster and then put the holster inside my pants, or just left it at home.

So, I loosened my belt, put in the holster and tried holstering the gun. My trigger finger started outside the trigger guard. The plastic washer gave way and the holster rotated forward and down. As the gun started to fall down inside my pants, I think my belt pushed my trigger finder off the trigger guard and inside.

When the gun fired :o it was fairly quiet. Both my dogs who have been hanging around vanished. I felt a bad burn on the outside of my right thigh. I thought all I did was burn myself. I looked through the carpet but could not find the bullet hole. Thinking maybe I shot one of the dogs I started looking for them. Found one who was OK but not the other. I was worried about her.

Then it really started to hurt. I opened my pants and reached down/behind and it was wet. Whoa there ! :shock: I felt around, and my finger went into a hole. Oh Crap ! No way I am going to get away without the family knowing this. :oops: I figured that was the entrance wound and the bullet was still in my leg. It was a contact wound with hollowpoints after all. It wasn't gushing, so I locked the gun in a safe, grabbed a clean pair of jeans, and drove myself to the hospital 1.5 miles away from my house.

When I got to the hospital, I wiped the blood off the car seat and limped into into the ER and told them I shot myself in the butt. For once I didn't have to wait for service. :twisted:

Basically they had me strip. They looked and the wounds. The hole my finger went into was the exit wound. The round entered the outside of my right thigh, right above the hip joint, possibly nicked the hip bone, and came out of my right cheek. Right where the pointy bottom of my jeans rear pocket ends. They didn't do anything but call the police, and cycle any and all hospital employees through my room to look at my butt. I should have charged 50-cents admission or something. :roll:

They finally started an IV, gave me a tetanus shot, and left me there to bleed. The female police officer showed up, and I explained everything. She had to check out my butt and take pictures. Then she called her SGT when also show up to check out the big butt. :D

I asked if the doctor was going to stitch it and they said no. They had called downtown for advice and were told to put some 2x2 and 4x4 on it and send me home after an X-ray. Calling downtown for advice did not leave me with a great feeling that I was in the best hands. They pushed 2 bags of antibiotics in me, took some x-rays after the 2 x-ray technicians had a look at my butt. (I should have collected nearly $50 in admission charges by now.)

I called my wife and explained - she was already at home and using the carpet cleaner on the blood. She kinda forgot to call me about the blood. ( WTF? :x ) The police went over there to make sure I hadn't committed a mass murder, found the slug after it went through me, then through 1-inch plywood, hit the phone line, and bounced around the basement for a while. They also verified the holster had a big hole in the forward side/edge. The officer showed up at the hospital asking for the gun, which was in the safe. I said she couldn't have it. Then she told me they probably wouldn't file charges. (Huh? What charges?)

I called my manager and said I would be out for a week or two. It was a tough call since my employer is very anti-gun. Can't have them around work. Not even locked in your car. My manager was fairly cool. The company is self insured, so all of HR and who knows who else all know I suffered "a self-inflicted gunshot wound". Hopefully they won't think I tried to kill myself, and fire me during the upcoming layoffs.

Since they were going to send me home, and my car was at the ER, I refused any pain meds so I could drive myself home. The Doctor ran the coldest water on the earth though the wounds to flush out some of the crap, slapped a couple of bandages on me and sent me home with a Vicoden prescription. Vicoden is not very strong. I ended up a cripple for a couple of weeks, then did a lot of hobbling with a cane.

Basically, the gasses burned the inside of the wound, making it take 3 months to heal shut and I had to fight an infection for a few weeks. I was on 3 antibiotics. I was in pain for 3+ months, and still have some residual pain, especially in the cold. No other lasting effects now that the nerves have awakened (that was bad and took 5-6 months - ouchie ). There is some crap still in there. I think the label from inside the holster may be in there, because every month or so it tries to work its way out.

4 days after the incident, I sold that gun. I threw the holster away after sending DeSantis a message explaining the design faults of a flimsy mechanism attached to the bottom of the holster, rather than the side or top. (At the bottom, if the washer breaks, it is top heavy and will rotate) DeSantis declined to reply, the bums. I currently carry a Glock in the summer and a Beretta in the winter. And I use the Beretta's safety.

This is from the day after the shooting. You can see the imprint of the skin pressing against the folds of my boxers and the material of the jeans. Now you can check out my butt like the millions of others..... You can't tell by the photo, but that is from my right hip, and down to where the butt ends and the leg starts. Later, that bruise was all colors, 12 inches long and 6 inches wide.

An unknown reader's story

'I bought a P228, my first gun, soon after getting married at 32. So, I'm pretty
much on my own with this thing. I had learned all the safety rules, and had also developed the practice of regularly dry firing the gun so as not to flinch at the range.

Typically I\'d do this while surfing the net, reading the news, watching a movie. One day I\'m practicing, got finished, reloaded for carry, and then noticed an interesting story I\'d missed. So I "unloaded" by committing the classic mistake of racking the slide BEFORE dumping the
magazine. I clicked the mouse, rested the pistol on my thigh, began reading, and "practiced".

When the shot rang out I immediately checked myself and was not wounded. I had a burn mark on the bathrobe where the pistol rested, and the bullet had to have barely missed my left arm where it rested on the chair armrest.

Looking where the gun had been pointing, I realized the round had gone out the open window! It HAD to have gone into the house next to mine. So, of course, I dig out the binoculars and start frantically searching for the bullet hole. Best case scenario is it\'s in the siding and no harm done.
Worst case is the tree hugging soccer mom next door is dead on the floor.

I searched for about an hour: nothing. I went back upstairs and then saw the bullet hole: it had hit below the window sill. The bullet had traveled inside the wall and gone between the exterior brick and the aluminum window framing. After that, it had literally "pooped out"
of that juncture and fallen below the window. I found it outside on the ground. I keep it in a jewelry box upstairs as a deep reminder that God looked out for that day. Nowadays I ALWAYS LOOK into the chamber hard enough to SEE inside and be certain she\'s empty.')

Ted's story 3-12-2008

'Ted wrote to me privately via email. He has kindly allowed me to post his story here. Here it is.

I recently got shot in the right leg by a shooting buddy of mine of 15 years unloading and disassembling his gun. I drove over to his house with my brother the
day after Thanksgiving 2007 to pick up a rifle my brother ordered through him (as he has an ffl). I have shot with this guy numerous years and he has ordered
me numerous guns over the years. brought over my Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm for him to look at as it ejects brass straight back at me. He
wanted to compare it with his 40 M&P to see if the barrels were interchangeable like he had heard. He uses his as his CCW, which he is licensed to carry. He
carefully unloaded disassembled his and my guns and swapped the barrels. We had no intention of loading or shooting the guns with the swapped barrel just
checking to see if the dimensions were the same. He re-resembled the pistols and loaded his again, and I wanted him to compare the diameter on the case head,
because I thought the extraction would be an issue due to the 1mm difference in the case head around the extractor. He is sitting down at his kitchen counter
facing west, I am 90 degrees from him facing north but looking over his shoulder. There were 6 people milling about lots of distractions, me, my brother, my friend,
his wife, his daughter, and his 2 year old grandson.

Any way he proceeds to unload his handgun and start to take it apart, I am looking over his shoulder and remembered seeing loaded magazine is still in the gun.
Best I could tell he was disassembling the gun because you have to pull the trigger on the M&P to get it to release the slide completely when taking it apart.
Next thing I hear a bang and my right shin felt like it had been hit with a sledge hammer. I look down and my leg and it is bending at mid shin where it should
not be bending. My tibia was shattered and buckled under my weight, and my fibula sapped in two 3/4 the way up my leg as it could not support my weight and
take the torque and the leg was bending and I was falling to the south.

I hit the ground clenching my fists shouting ďmy leg is broken; I have been shot call 911.Ē There was a lot of confusion as to what had happened; I just kept
yelling 911. Well 911 put his wife on hold, so my friend got through on his cell phone. They got there in 10 minutes. The mean time my friend was clinching
down on my leg to stop the bleeding. I told him to let me bleed as it was hurting like mad with him pushing down on my leg. I don\'t think I bled much, but he
says I did. The ambulance and the police arrived by then there was not much blood coming out of the wound but my ankle was purple. They dressed the wounds and
stuck my leg in an inflatable splint. Cops kept asking me what happened, I just said I got shot me, it was an accident. The pain was more bearable with nobody on
top of my pushing down on my leg. I was able to crack a few jokes to the paramedics.

My friendís daughter called my wife and she arrived slightly after the ambulance got there. My pastor called me and was asking me some question I told him I
could not talk as I was shot and they were loading me into the ambulance so I handed the phone to my wife. Since I was conscience and not in shock they did not turn on the lights on the way to the local hospital.

I got to the hospital around 12:30pm and it was dead as they are not to busy on the Thanksgiving holiday, even the paramedics had mentioned they were slow. I
was fine after they shot me up a couple of times with morphine on route there, it did not take the edge off until the got like 20ml\'s in me. I was ok until they
took X-rays and moved me from one gurney to another. That hurt. My shin was on fire but everything lower was then the bullet hole felt kind of a dull achy numb
feeling to it. I could barley move my toes. They were not going to operate on be till 3:00 since I had ate breakfast at 11:00, but I can't remember if they
waited till 3:00 or decided to take me in sooner, because they were performing some sort of massage on my throat or something and gave me a shot of something
to help me avoid me regurgitating while under anesthetic. I thanked them for shooting me full of valium. The operating staff mentioned that I was
acting ok with the surgery; I told them I was looking forward to getting knocked out cold and asked them to speed the process up.

My next recollection was waking up and having a lot of hands remove stuff off of me and wheeling me up to my room around 8:30. I was on a morphine drip for 4
days. I had a second surgery 3 days after the first to clean up the wounds more and remove dead bone and tissue. They had put a titanium tibial spike that
runs 90% the length of my tibia; it was inserted at the knee joint. Allot of bone was removed. I saw the X-rays in the operating room the first time when I
asked them to show it to me, my leg was a mess. The tibia was just bone chips, and the fibula was broke in two and curving out at the break. They called the
fracture in my tibia a butterfly fracture, I called it a mess. I don\'t think any nerves were hit as I can feel all my toes now and my foot is moving better. But
one of the 3 major veins that feed the lower portion of the leg which branch off from the femoral artery one was blown away. It still swells up like a balloon
if I have it down for long. Also a good portion of the bottom of my calf muscle where the bullet exited got blown away, there was a good inch exit wound. Their
biggest fear for me was infection for the first 6 weeks; I was to watch for signs of infection and to watch for any flesh turning black. I was also to watch
for signs of blood clots, which would show up as a sharp pain behind the knee. The entrance wound did more muscle damage to me then the exit, as it hit the
muscle that runs down the outside off of center on the tibia. That muscle was hit dead center. This muscle is used to lift you foot upwards from the ankle. I don\'t
know how much I bled with the initial gunshot, or in surgery, but I got 2 pints of blood pumped into me in at the hospital and still left with a very low
hematocrit level around 20, when I left 6 days later. I was pale and light headed when I stood up for about a month after I got out of the hospital. My vision was
also very blurry for about a month after getting shot. I was unable to read without glasses for that time. My skin was dry, cracking, and flaking because of the
constant swelling and shrinking of my leg and foot for a good 2 months. The skin around my toes continue flake off today.

I found out the bullet was either a 165 or 155 grain hydra shock (which the cops took as evidence and the friend is not sure of the wieght) they found it in the
pant leg of my jeans when they cut them to dress my wounds. The bullet went completely through my leg but not out the back of my jeans, which was fortunate for
the 2 year old grandson standing directly behind me. The bullet was in a classic mushroom shape and not broken up.

I was out of work for like 3 weeks but on the second week they let me work from home for 2 weeks as I got my work laptop at home and a cable internet
connection. I work as a software engineer so me not walking is not a big problem. On Dec 18 I got to go in and get the hard cast removed and the stitches and
staples out, I included pictures of the front of my leg before the stitches came out, and the same day after the exit would after the stitches came out. Only
the cops took pictures the day it happened in the emergency room. I have yet to get a copy of the police report as I cannot drive, as I would like to see the
pictures of the initial shooting wounds. The incision on the knee is they drilled to put the tibial spike in my leg. There are 4 smaller incisions where they put
in 4 screws (2 by the knee and 2 by the inside of my ankle. The middle incision near the middle of my shin is the entry wound and where the pulled the dead bone
and flesh out.

I am on my third week of physical therapy and responding well even though it hurts like hell. The Doctor as of Feb 5 gave me permission to start putting
working up to putting 100% weight on the leg, so within a few weeks I should be able to ditch the crutches. I am surprised that this whole mess did not
hurt much as should have after the surgery. See the accompanying x-rays as of Feb 5. The worst pain I felt was in the emergency room getting x-rays moving
shattered leg around. After they took morphine drip they kept they kept trying to shove pain pills down my throat but I kept telling them I did not need them. I
would rather hurt. I was sore but could take the pain. I don\'t like being drugged normally, except for the day I got shot, and to help me sleep at night.

I really have gotten a deep appreciation for my wife as she has put up with my shooting hobby which is probably more of an obsession for me. She has to help
me get dressed and bathe. And drive me everyplace I need to go. Through all this she has stood by me never wavering. Doing all that I do around the house, and
taking care of me on top of it. I did wait a long time to get married but I wanted to make sure I made the right choice and I did. I give a lot more credit to
people being nicer then I did before. Having unknown people opening doors for a gimpy me on crutches. My friends and family driving my butt to Doctor
appointments, physical therapy and home from work, or shoveling the walks with foot of snow on them to relieve the burden off my wife.

I am not mad at my friend, but I am not sure about how I feel about shooting with others around me now. I will continue to shoot, but it will take me a while
before I go shooting with anyone, or go shooting where anybody else is shooting nearby. Iím still freaked by the whole thing. I still consider it a freak accident.
I totally trusted my friend when he was unloading his gun, and I still trust him more then anybody else with a gun. I was unaware that it was pointed at me. If it
had been anybody else I would have immediately ducked behind them. He has served as a part time police officer, and has been to allot of classes at one of
the more predominant shooting schools around the US that train cops, swat, and civilians. He felt like hell and could not stop apologizing for a month, and
visited or called me every day the first month. Like you said you can never be too careful, and take safety automatically. I used to pickup a gun and look at it
like a tennis player would pick up a tennis racket. I too had become very complacent. Being too comfortable with guns over the years it could have easily been me
on the trigger and my friend on the floor shouting 911. The law of averages figures into it. The more time you spend shooting the more likely you will have
or be involved in a shooting accident, just as much as the more time you spend driving the more chances you will get involved in an driving accident (by your
doing or by another). I have gained allot more respect for guns and the damage it can cause, even a handgun. I am not about to give up shooting or get rid
of the guns I own, as my wife would like me too, but my outlook on shooting as recreation for me has changed. Maybe that will change some time in the
future. But the lessons learned will not. I have a CCW and will continue to carry and practice as it is a God given right. I am an avid hunter and plan to keep
hunting. I just don\'t know if shooting will ever be a recreational sport for me anymore. As for others shooting I believe that is their right and their
business and not mine or anybody else including the government as stated in the constitution.

He later told me this on November 10, 2008

Doing really good. I hope to be able to run again one day, the muscles still aren't 100% yet. I still swell bad up around the ankle. I really hate life when it rains still, it makes my leg hurt. I am coming up on the 1 year anniversary here in 2 weeks. I never did get a copy of the 911 call. Fortunately my wife did not have to make it. She was about 10 minutes away from my friends house. The ambulance beat her there by 2 minutes. Of course my wife beat the police there. Which goes to prove when seconds counts the police are minutes away. The moral of my story is never get complacent with your guns. 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin's Story

I will start off by saying that I am a avid gun collector and I have over 60 in my collection right now. I am also a reserve deputy in Oklahoma


On August 5, 2010. I bought a brand new Ruger P944th. Semi-auto pistol chambered in .40S&W. After I bought the pistol I went home, took the pistol and did a complete cleaning. After it was clean to my satisfaction, I reassembled it. I then put it back in the box and took care of some things. Later that night around 11PM I was getting ready to go to bed. The Ruger I just bought was to be a dedicated night-stand pistol, so I then go to load it, I drop the mag, load the mag and then put it in the pistol, and then load a round in the chamber. I then drop the mag again to add another round. I put the mag back in.

Now if you know about the Ruger P series pistols, it has a thumb safety that doubles as a de-cocker. So this is when I start getting careless. I am laying on my bed the loaded and chambered pistol in my right hand and my left propped in the air. I go to de-cock the pistol and I had my finger on the trigger and inadvertently pulled the trigger. The shot startled me, causing me to drop the pistol. And then a couple seconds later my hand felt like it was on fire. I look over to see nothing but blood oozing out of my hand. I jumped up and tucked my hand into my shirt and wrapped the shirt around it, I lived alone in an apartment at the time, So I grabbed my cell phone and called 911 as I ran outside. I went outside just in case I might have passed out. I talk to the 911 operator telling that I have shot myself in the hand and was bleeding really bad.

Ambulance finally shows up  and I get put in. The officers were able to get my door locked up before we left. So the ambulance starts a IV and wraps my hand and then takes me to the emergency room. They are extremely busy, no rooms were available, so I get put on a bed in the hallway. I called my parents and they come after about 30 minutes. I wait in the hall for about 2 and a half hours before I finally get some morphine, pain medication. and then x-rays. That ER decides that they are not equipped to handle my gun shot, so I go back into an ambulance and go to a different ER. They were expecting me and had a hand surgeon waiting on me to get there.

I arrived at the 2nd ER at about 2:30 AM, and go directly to surgery. The surgery lasted 6.5 hours. After I woke up in recovery I got taken into a regular hospital room, and shortly later the surgeon comes in to tell me the damage. The bullet was a Speer GoldDot JHP. It went in my hand just below my index finger, it was traveling at a angle and it hit the middle bone in my hand and shattered it, it then exited on the top side of my hand right in the middle. In that surgery all that he did was try to remove all of the bullet and bone fragments, and dead tissue, and stitch it up. This was on a Thursday late night/early Friday. I stay in the hospital trying not to be in pain until Monday, when he does a second surgery to drain my hand out and try to line up the two ends of the bone to see if it might start to grow back. I stay in the Hospital until Wednesday.

When I finally get to go home, I've spent a week in the hospital, and at least 2 more weeks away from work. I go to the surgeon's office once a week for 6 weeks, and it looks like the bone is not going to grow. So it is time to schedule a bone graph. He decides that he wants to use a cadaver bone to put in my hand. He does the bone graph, and puts a plate and 12 screws to hold it all together, Now Dr.'s visits go to once every 2 weeks. 4 weeks after the surgery, It looks like my hand is rejecting the cadaver bone, so if it does not start to take in another month. It looks like I will have to have a surgery to take a bone from my hip, and then a surgery to put that bone in my hand.  I guess I will find out in a month If I am gonna have at least 2 more surgery's

All of this happened because I got too comfortable around firearms, in my few seconds of carelessness I cause myself a lot of pain and possibly ruined my law enforcement career, I have shared my story on other forums hoping that my ND will be a wake-up call to others, that no matter how comfortable you are with firearms, things like this can happen.
 

This is the entrance wound, picture taken at the first ER

This is the exit wound taken at first ER as well

This is just a picture of my shirt that I wrapped my hand with

This is a picture after the first 2 surgeries and after I got released from the hospital, while at the first follow up Dr. visit. Entrance wound

This is the exit wound taken at the same time as the previous