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

  1. #1
    Regular Member Outdoorsman1's Avatar
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    ND..It Happened To Me ... Be EXTRA CAREFULL using Snap Caps in a Semi-Auto Handgun...

    Ok.. first off .. I have already thought of and condemned myself in anyway and everyway anybody here could. To the point of seriously considering NOT carrying anymore.... Here's the story...

    I recently purchased snap caps (fake practice rounds)to practice trigger pull without actually firing the firearm. I heard (from instuctors) that they can be used in a Mag combined with live ammo when shooting at the range. Load a combination of both so when shooting you unexpectedly fire a snap cap you can check your reaction compared to firing a live round. So when I got home I loaded a Mag with only snap caps and a second Mag with a combination of both snap and live ammo (for use at the range). 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. I layed both mags on the kitchen table. I then got a phone call from my son in Florida who is dealing with some serious health issues and looking at the possibility of loosing the use of his right arm. After the call I picked up a Mag., put it in my Glock 27 and chambered the snap cap that was on top of the Mag. I went into the living room and preceeded to "practice" my trigger pull with what I thought was the Mag loaded with only snap caps. You can guess the rest.... 1st trigger pull... ClicK... I manuall racked the slide to eject the snap cap and chamber the second... 2nd trigger pull... BANG..... a 40. Cal. hole im my hallway wall... I had MISTAKENLY grabbed the wrong Mag... THANK GOD THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE IN MY HOUSE...

    I checked and made sure the bullet did not exit and exterior wall and spent the next 6 hours paceing in my kitchen and trying to get my heart out of my throat and stop the rapid heart beat that sounded like a bass drum in my head.

    That was four days ago... I have not carried since... Starting today, I will carry again on a daily basis as before but with the KNOWLEDGE and MEMORY of my SEVERE STUPIDITY. I have also drilled a small hole in the empty casing and will wear it around my neck forever as a constant reminder of the day I could have NEGLIGENTLY killed someone...

    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
    Last edited by Outdoorsman1; 03-26-2012 at 02:49 PM.
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  2. #2
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Last edited by Herr Heckler Koch; 03-26-2012 at 02:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Outdoorsman1's Avatar
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    Herr...

    Thanks...

    Yes, I know all the rules you mentioned... No excuses....

    As amatter of fact I have taken multiple firearm saftey classes and up until 4 days ago, prided myself as being a safe firearm handler....

    THATS THE SCARY PART....

    Outdoorsman1
    "On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait - and waiting, died."

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    Regular Member TyGuy's Avatar
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    I won't preach about what you did or didn't do correct. 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! All the best, and everyone out there stay safe.

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    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoorsman1 View Post
    No excuses....
    You are alive. And no one is hurt. And welcome to the club.

    They are called negligent discharges because they actually happen. To real people. Doesn't matter how much training you have. All it takes is one distrac.... Oh look! Shiny!
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    Regular Member TyGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by handyhamlet View Post
    oh look! Shiny!
    lol

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    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    I like your idea of wearing the casing as a reminder. If I may make a suggestion though-cover it in something. Enamel, matte medium, a very tough paint, plate it in nickel-something to keep it from turning nasty. I'm assuming this is a brass case, and not a nickel one. If it's nickel, ignore this whole post. But if it's brass, having it up against your chest will make it dark and nasty in no time and you'll be reluctant to put it back on when it does.
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    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.

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    Regular Member Outdoorsman1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions...

    Yes it is a brass case and I would not have thought of coating it.... I will based on your suggestion...

    As I live in a mobile home (trailer), I have no basement... I will NEVER pull ANY trigger in ANY type of house or garage, etc... ALL my snap cap practice will be either at the range our outside pointed in a SAFE targeted area...

    Edited To Add.. As a matter of fact... Before this I was a firm believer in the firearm NEVER leaves the holster unless self defense is mandatory or at the range... I think I will get back to that way of thinking and practice it to the extreme...

    Outdoorsman1
    Last edited by Outdoorsman1; 03-26-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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    Regular Member 64Impala's Avatar
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    All my practice, dry-fire mags have a different colored bottom plate on them, so i know at a glance what I have. 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.

    Glad to hear nobody was hurt. +1 on the basement.
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  11. #11
    Regular Member ayce2's Avatar
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    opposite problem

    the range master where I just finished a 4 day training suggested throwing all snap caps away because not only can they get you in trouble by going bang when you expect a click, but when you need the bang and just get a click it could mean your life!

  12. #12
    Regular Member jpm84092's Avatar
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    Exclamation May We All Learn From This Incident

    Snap Caps have their place, particularly when used under the direction of a qualified firearms instructor. However, having a pre-loaded mixed magazine, particularly when not at a range, is inherently dangerous. The idea behind cap and dummy is to have another person load the magazine at the range with the muzzle down-range and with a live round on top so you are reminded that there is at least one live round in the magazine. Then, all trigger pulls are done down range. The instructor can then evaluate what the student is doing correctly as well as what is being done incorrectly.

    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. The Yellow Cat teaches dry fire with no ammunition in the room. It appears that one of my students has had a memory lapse.

    What happened was avoidable, but I am sure that any browbeating that I might give you would be far and away less than you have already given yourself. I hope the members of this forum will view this as a teaching moment.
    My cats support the Second Amendment. NRA Life Member, NRA Instructor: Pistol, Rifle, & Personal Protection - NRA Certified Range Safety Officer, Utah BCI Certified Concealed Firearm Permit Instructor.
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  13. #13
    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
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    Wow, that's quite a story! Yes, we are all relieved to read that nobody was injured. I too believe in snap caps as training tools, but I never have a magazine with both live rounds and snap caps anywhere but at the firing range. Elsewhere, my magazines have only live rounds, snap caps only, or are empty. The same is true of my revolver speed loaders.

    Knowing the safety rules is important, but probably few unintended discharges happen to people who are unfamiliar with the rules. For that reason I always emphasize that "attitude" is the most important factor in gun safety. Being able to recite the rules in your sleep does little good if one does not continually resolve to follow them at all times. One mental lapse is all it takes to get bad consequences, no matter the level of experience or skill.

    Yes, thanks for having the courage to share this so that others may benefit from the lessons learned. It could not have been easy for you to admit the mistake, but that you did shows that you care about your fellow shooters. For that I applaud you. Stay safe!
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    OP, you should probably watch this:


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    Quote Originally Posted by 64Impala View Post
    All my practice, dry-fire mags have a different colored bottom plate on them, so i know at a glance what I have. 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.

    Glad to hear nobody was hurt. +1 on the basement.
    64Impala, Good advice and protocol.

    Yellow Cat's suggestion to always have at least one live cartridge on the top of the mixed mag is a great idea, to make sure that the entire magazine is to be treated as if every cartridge was live.

    For those who don't have enough mags, to dedicate one permanently to dry-fire use, with/without snapcaps, I suggest the brightly colored poster hanging putty from an office supply store, and flatten out a section to completely cover the bottom of the magazine. Nothing but snap-caps are loaded in that dry-fire magazine, if I ever had a need to put any live rounds in it, I would first peel off the turquoise putty on the bottom of the mag.

    A mixed mag, of snap-caps and live rounds, can be useful in some training for jam/misfire clearing practice. The mags should only be loaded in that fashion, AT the RANGE, and if you have done that, before leaving the range, you should empty every mag you had out, to make sure none contain snap-caps.
    Last edited by E6chevron; 03-26-2012 at 06:48 PM.
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    Regular Member AaronS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TyGuy View Post
    I won't preach about what you did or didn't do correct. 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! All the best, and everyone out there stay safe.

    I would like to have gone off about this, but I would agree with what Ty said.

    In the end, I am just happy everyone is ok.

    I cant say that you should not feel bad about this, it was a real bad move.
    Same time, you are not the first, and will not be the last to do a thing like this. I had a "bad" day once as well. Not the same as yours, but still dumb.
    Just remember what you did (I know you will), and move on.

    Bet you are even "more safe" today!

  17. #17
    Regular Member Outdoorsman1's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the good advice....

    My apologies to the Yellow Cat for not being a better (safer) student... You DID teach me to know better...

    I am learning a lot today...

    Outdoorsman1
    "On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait - and waiting, died."

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  18. #18
    Regular Member wild boar's Avatar
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    I scared the hell out of myself...

    chambering a round in my Beretta M-9. The safety is a decocker, when I chamber a round I never let the slide close hard, I control it. In doing so the hammer didn't strike until I removed my hand, man I know the beating heart. Even though I had just placed the safety on one second prior to the chambering I was shaking. Unloaded, dismantled the pistol, that's just the way it is. Let it close a little harder and you don't even notice it. boar out.
    Last edited by wild boar; 03-26-2012 at 07:34 PM.
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  19. #19
    Regular Member sawah's Avatar
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    Actually that's pretty classic. Storing live and snap cap mags on the same table/room, emergency phone call, then forgetting what you were doing.

    Glad no one was hurt. Don't beat yourself up over it, i.e. wearing the casing - that's silly.
    A firearm is a tool of convenience, not effectiveness - Clint Smith, Thunder Ranch

  20. #20
    Regular Member Da Po-lock's Avatar
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    Glad to hear no one was hurt especially that it happened in a mobile home. We lived in one for a few years and luckily the bullet didn't hit somebody outside or have someone hear it. Those walls are pretty thin and weak.

    Not to get snarky here or anything but postng an incident like this on the internet makes me cringe for several reasons.

    1. Obviously could be seen as reckless by the firearm fraidie-cat antis who would have a field day reading this. (We all know they are always lurking around here) More fuel for their fire. Admitting negligence with a firearm EVER will prove their point that even with the manditory training we are still not competent to carry guns in public.

    2. Possibility of one of your neighbors reading or even hearing about this.

    3.The remote possibility (depending upon where you live) of being tracked down through your IP address and questioned or fined for discharging a firearm within a city limits.

    4. Having your license revoked because of this somehow.

    Seems with the anti-gun sentiment anything is possible.

    May want to consider deleting or wiping out what you posted all together.
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  21. #21
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Holy cow.
    Quote Originally Posted by TyGuy
    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!
    Quote Originally Posted by 64Impala
    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.
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  22. #22
    Regular Member Snake161's Avatar
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    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.

  23. #23
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outdoorsman1 View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by HandyHamlet View Post
    And welcome to the club.
    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. And be careful.

    Quote Originally Posted by amaixner View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by jpm84092 View Post
    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
    Last edited by marshaul; 03-27-2012 at 03:12 PM.

  24. #24
    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Shouldn't this read..

    "Be careful about which magazine you choose and pickup to install into your weapon?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady
    I am no victim, just a poor college student who looks to the day where the rich have the living piss taxed out of them.

  25. #25
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    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.

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