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Thread: MRI machines and firearms

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I read this story and found it amazing. A police officer going to get a MRI took his 1911 pistol to close to the giant magnet in the machine. From 3 feet away his condition 1 pistol flew out of his possession and stuck to the machine. In doing so the pistol's safety mechanisms were overridden and the chambered round fired. Fortunately the round struck the machine and doing no serious damage to anything. After powering the machine down to detatch the pistol the pistol was found with the thumb safety engaged, the hammer cocked and the spent shell still in the chamber.

    For the full story:
    http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/178/5/1092

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    It must've been a Series 70 1911, with a steel firing pin and no drop-safety... If it'd had a titanium firing pin (not magnetic)or a Series 80 mechanism, it likely wouldn't have discharged.

    Veeeeery interesting!

    Could have been worse...

    molonlabetn

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    That's crazy:shock:
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    MRI magnets are VERY powerful. Some years ago I had an MRI and everyone overlooked that I had a steel belt buckle, the little sheet metal ones from a military style web belt. When they turned the machine on, the belt buckle began to pull me up off the slab. Incredible!

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    It was a Colt 1991 A1 Compact, I don't know which series that falls under.
    The article said this.
    "The gun likely discharged as a result of the effect of the magneticfield on the firing pin block. The firing pin block was probablydrawn into its uppermost position by force of the magnetic field.The firing pin block has to overcome only light pressure froma relatively small spring to release the firing pin. The pistolwas likely drawn into the magnetic field so that the muzzlestruck the magnet's bore first. With the firing pin allowedto move freely in its channel, the force of the impact on themuzzle end was sufficient to cause the firing pin to overcomeits spring pressure and move forward to strike the primer ofthe chambered round."

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    It surprised me that this 1911 had a firing pin block and still fired. That is amazing. It would be interesting to have someone try to duplicate this scenario (in a controlled environment of course) to see if it was just a fluke thing, or if this is what can be expected whenever a gun comes in contact with such a strong magnet.

    This is one for the history books!

  7. #7
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Well Col. Cooper said never rely on mechanical safetys because they could fail, this is just an unanticipated way for most folks. Although it seems like the MRI people had an idea that it might happen, I wonder if that was an educated opinion or just gun phobia.

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    longwatch wrote:
    Although it seems like the MRI people had an idea that it might happen, I wonder if that was an educated opinion or just gun phobia.
    After seeing what has come out of the medical establishment, I would say that it was gun phobia. Although, I will admit that I have a phobia of people who have gun phobia

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Heres a fun question who is more likely to kill you, a doctor or a CHP holder?

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    longwatch wrote:
    It was a Colt 1991 A1 Compact, I don't know which series that falls under.
    The article said this.
    "The gun likely discharged as a result of the effect of the magneticfield on the firing pin block. The firing pin block was probablydrawn into its uppermost position by force of the magnetic field.The firing pin block has to overcome only light pressure froma relatively small spring to release the firing pin. The pistolwas likely drawn into the magnetic field so that the muzzlestruck the magnet's bore first. With the firing pin allowedto move freely in its channel, the force of the impact on themuzzle end was sufficient to cause the firing pin to overcomeits spring pressure and move forward to strike the primer ofthe chambered round."
    Interesting... Well, I was wrong then! Colt's 1991models are Series 80... But if the magnet was powerful enough to disengage the firing-pin block, then ANY pistol with a floating, captive or sprungfiring pin would have discharged. A striker-fired pistol may have prevented the AD, but with the magnetic forces involved, who knows whatother mechanisms in the pistol's actionmay have been potentially affected?

    It's time to ban MRI machines!

    molonlabetn

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I think in general its probably a good a idea to keep firearms away from large magnets. If for no other reason than to avoid the socially awkward situation of trying to free the weapon and possibly yourself when it gets pulled in and stuck to the magnet. So stay away from junkyard cranes, MRI machines, Maglev train tracks, particle accelerators, etcetera.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Here a video to show how much trouble it is to get something off an MRI machine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uzJPpC4Wuk

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    molonlabetn wrote:
    It must've been a Series 70 1911, with a steel firing pin and no drop-safety... If it'd had a titanium firing pin (not magnetic)or a Series 80 mechanism, it likely wouldn't have discharged.

    Veeeeery interesting!

    Could have been worse...

    molonlabetn
    article said it was a series 80

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