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ND..It Happened To Me ... Be EXTRA CAREFULL using Snap Caps in a Semi-Auto Handgun...

MKEgal

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
4,386
Location
in front of my computer, WI
:shocker: Holy cow.
TyGuy said:
All I will say is that I'm glad no one was hurt and that you, and everyone else, can use this as a teaching moment. I'm sure you'll never make the same mistake again!
64Impala said:
I don't have any live ammunition in my practice area (basement) and my firearm gets cleared in a different room, the live round mags are left in that room until I'm done practicing. I never mix-match practice and live fire mags.
What they said.
As I was reading your post I mentally tagged places where the problem could have been avoided... Sure you've found them all by now, too.

You could set up a safe direction inside even a trailer by using a stack of phone books taped together, & aim at them long-ways (point at one of the covers, so you'd be shooting through the longest measurement of the stack).

And you can check yourself at the range by mixing in snap caps with live rounds & loading with your eyes closed so you don't know the order. But either keep a live round set aside for on top or insert the magazine without looking at what's on top.
 

Snake161

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Messages
78
Location
Wisconsin
Yes, you are on lucky guy. I am the same way. When I make a mistake, I make sure that I never forget. Now, don't get too scared of your firearm or you will debate longer what you have been, to not carry. You simply need to take steps. I never put one in the chamber in my house, or anywhere for that matter, unless I am carrying or at the range. Not even snaps.

Now on the flipside, you would think that I would shy away from firearms after what happened with me. A good friend of mine at the time was playing around with his bushmaster ar-15 in his house, which I might add, is generally lax in respect for firearms. Don't worry, I was always vocal about it. Whenever he would get to fondling his rifle or pistols I made him safety check it in a safe direction.

Anyway, on this day, he had a mag in it and hence forth ejected it. Apparently he thought that there wasn't a round in the chamber, and went to release the firing pin.

And bang goes a .223 ballistic tip that his father had given him (they were LEO rounds from his department) probably not more than a foot over the top of my head.

I was sitting on the bed in front of him and he was pointing the firearm up talking to me about 6 feed in front of me. I was almost killed that day.

However, I realize how much of a dumbs*** that guy is, and have since stopped talking to him for reasons like that. He made it out to be no big deal, just let it roll off your back he said. Nobody was hurt.

I don't think I talked to him for weeks after that.

But anyway, point being, it is very scary, but now you know for next time to NEVER let it happen again.
 

marshaul

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Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
11,200
Location
Fairfax County, Virginia
I made the MISTAKE of putting a snap cap as the last "round" in each Mag so to look at them all you seen was the (purple) snap cap.
What was your line of reasoning there? Not trying to be snarky, just curious.

And welcome to the club. :uhoh:
What he said. That's why there are four rules of gun safety, and they are redundant. You have to break all four before someone can get hurt. Accidents happen.

Truth be told, most gun accidents cause far less damage, or risk to life and limb, than do most car accidents.

Just learn your lesson. Most of us have. :uhoh: And be careful.

For a suggestion, I have decided that the place to practice dry-fire is in a basement, where the wall has nothing behind it but dirt.
Also, standing square to a brick/concrete wall (or a chimney, say) will do a damn good job of stopping a handgun bullet cold.


Snap caps are not necessary to dry fire a modern center-fire handgun (rim-fire is another matter). I personally limit their use in my class to teaching safe loading practice with no live ammo in the room - or cap and dummy practice at the range.
+1
 
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Ken56

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
368
Location
Dandridge, TN
Humans are creatures of habit and routine.....thats what training is, make something routine and habit. you broke your routine. Humans are also highly susceptable to complacency. We do something for a long time without incident, like our jobs, and we bend the rules on saftey some.... till one day it bites you. I am glad no one was injured or worse. You will beat yourself up over this more than anyone else can so I just say learn from it...and all who are reading this too.
 

Captain Nemo

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
1,029
Location
Somewhere, Wisconsin, USA
Outdoorsman1: Experience can sometimes be a harsh teacher but usually an indelible one. Your experience was more than likely such. The very fact you are shaken by the experience testifies that under normal conditions you are a safe gun handler but one that let hisr guard down for a second. You will get a lot of shoulda, woulda, coulda on this forum but my opinion is that your experience is a valuable lesson to all of us. It has even more value because it comes from one of our own. To admit your error and post it on this forum of cynics took guts and pushed you up the man ladder in my accord. Learn from it and suck it up and move on. Final advice; Throw away those damn snap caps they are nothing but a crutch. What do I do? I tie a rubber baand to something stable stick my shooting finger in the other end stretch it back and then stretch it furthur by flexing my shooting finger. As for curing flinch by using snap caps. Flinch is a mental condition not physical. Snap caps may work for a while but eventually many people find themselves flinching from the anticipation of the snap cap. There are no shortcuts to curing flinch on practice, practice, practice with live ammo.

When I was in the Air Force untold years ago we had to quailify with a 1911 .45ACP sidearm and a M1 carbine. As an experiment they took pictures of the airmen on the firing line. When shooting the .45 75% of the airmen had their eyes closed at the moment of fire. The trainers exchanged the .45s with High Standard Duramatic .22's. The results were nearly the same. Flinch is mental. Snap caps are a crutch.

Sorry jpm. Just my opinion.
 

TyGuy

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Joined
Mar 19, 2010
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Shouldn't this read..

"Be careful about which magazine you choose and pickup to install into your weapon?"
Maybe, if you dare, but like others here have stated, when I dry fire I make sure I don't have live ammo anywhere near where I am. I am not willing to deal with the possibility of grabbing a magazine with a live round in it. I keep the ammo in one of my safes (quick access safe on every floor cause I don't want the kiddies or their friends getting into them, yes I will teach my kids proper firearm safety when they grow up, but for now controlilng access is the key for me). I take the firearm and mag out of the safe, completely unload the mag, put the live rounds in the safe and close it. I grab my snap caps from my main safe, load up, and train.
 

sawah

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
437
Location
Virginia
Another part of the problem is answering the phone. I'd say, perhaps, that when you are practicing with your firearm you never stop to answer the phone. Turn the phone off, as you do in a theater. Don't answer the door, don't let there be any interruptions besides one of your kids having their hair on fire. If there is an interruption, stop the practice session completely for the day, don't try to 'remember' where you were and pick it back up.

My friend is so accustomed to being on the phone while driving I had to tell her four times (we were sitting in the driveway on park) not to put it in gear and go when the phone rang. She tried to drive off while answering, then again while talking was engaged, and then when she tried to call someone else. I just said "STOP!" do the phone thing while safely stopped in the driveway. But her conditioning was such that she kept putting the car in gear like some kind of 'telephonically induced zombie-ism'.

FWIW.
 

TyGuy

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Talking on the phone while driving = zombism? Sweet, let's go hunting.
 

jpm84092

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Mar 5, 2010
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Location
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Sorry jpm. Just my opinion.
I do not think we disagree. To clarify, I do believe snap caps are useful in teaching the novice how to safely load and unload a firearm. This is done with no live ammunition in the classroom.

Snap caps are also useful to firearms instructors to diagnose flinch in a student's shooting technique, but I agree that they have little utility in treating it. Once the student's problem is diagnosed, flinch can be treated by increasing concentration and practice with trigger control so that the Bang is a genuine surprise. I concur, flinch is a mental thing, but it can be treated and reduced or eliminated.

Snap caps also have utility in practicing malfunctions.
 

sawah

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Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
437
Location
Virginia
Talking on the phone while driving = zombism? Sweet, let's go hunting.
Haha. Yeah. No, it was as though the phone ringing was a cue to start putting the car in gear. Pavlovian response. I had to keep saying 'no, just stay here, finish your biz then drive'.

It was definitely weird.
 

Helorob

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Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
34
Location
S.E. WI
I HAD to post this here to help me in getting past this as well as WARN EVERBODY about the unexpected DANGER of using snap caps in a semi-auto...

Outdoorsman1
I have been out of town and just got to reading the new posts. Warning taken. I will be separating my Mags and snap caps this evening. I can see this scenario happening to me and it's scary. Good advice in the posts here and I will change my practices accordingly. Thanks. Your pain is my gain :cry:.

Rob
 
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May 25, 2017
Messages
1
Location
austin,tx
Thanks for sharing, this is my nightmare, it's hard to admit something like that.

I practice with snapcaps at home and without fail the first time I pull that trigger, I'm not 100% sure i didn't mess something up. I don't leave my snapcaps in my mags. If I'm practicing I rack them, when I'm done, I go through them or take them out. I keep one mag with HP in case I need it, not in the firearm, and they are both in a safe. When I shoot I take my other mag and load it with either snapcaps for at home, or when I'm at the range with live ammo.

I'll likely get pounced on for beeing too conservative, for me, it's layers of safety. If you look at who gets injured with firearms, it's mostly suicide, and then accidental. It usually takes 5-8 mistakes for an accident like this to happen, so steps like this, while seeming excessive, hopefully, keep mistakes from happening.
 
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