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Thread: How the 4 rules saved my skin-- OR-- How my Rock Island tried to kill my car!

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    So, after having a great time at the BBQ today (thanks Steve for a great time!), I decided to go to Portland to open carry with the resident wiretappers

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/

    I realized during the event, that the Fobus holster I had was not up to the task of long-range carrying, since it was cutting into my side. I tried to go to Lightning Arms as was recommended, but they aren't open on Saturdays to the public, so I went to Dual Smoking Guns, because they have a decent collection of holsters. I decided on a Galco suede lined holster, and a 2 magazine holder. All are pictured here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/
    Upper left is the bad fobus, lower left is the new mag holder, upper right is the new galco holster, and the hand gun in question on the lower right. Another picture of the holster:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/

    This is a pretty good holster by the way, extremely comfortable, and fits nicely despite my lack of a good belt.


    ANYWAY:
    I got back out to my car, and went to chamber a round. I placed the round into the chamber (i know, it can cause wear, but I was kind of being lazy and I was sure the round was all the way in the chamber), pointing the gun in a direction that would not intercept my leg, I closed the slide with the release, and the hammer apparently followed the slide, firing the round, INTO my center console of my car! I looked down, and the casing was on the floorboard, with a distinctive hammer-hit. The hammer was stuck in the middle-catch position.

    I went back into the store to see what to do (afraid I might have to call the police or something :/). Oddly, the didn't hear it, even though I was right in front

    Pictures of the center console:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/

    The path that it took:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/

    And from another angle:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/

    Fortunately, the round missed the part of the wiring harness that is about 2 inches back from where it went through, and it bounced off of the metal floorpan underneath the plastic. I did see the bullet in there right after it happened, but I couldn't get it out, and it moved before I could photograph it.

    HOWEVER, that isn't all the damage! In that little tray, is where I was keeping my spare magazines! It hit one of the magazines, fortunately not causing any rounds to go off.


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/


    Another picture:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/

    As you can see, the three rounds there, the round that it DID make contact with got seated a little much... see:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29395648@N07/

    The left round is a brand new one, the center is the one that got over-seated, and the right is a snap-cap I have. I spot checked the height of a few of the other rounds from the same box, and here are the heights:
    New: 3.22cm +/- .03cm
    Snap cap:3.02cm
    Depressed round:2.90 cm

    as you can see, it depressed more than 30 mm!

    All in all, the damage was minor. It is a hole in the console of a car I care very little about, no damage other than the plastic that broke out, and the magazine, and a single round. It definitely could have been worse! I went to a gunsmith here (beavercreek amory) and the guy told me to just send it back to Rock Island.

    What I have discovered:
    -It was NOT a result of a finger on the trigger, every time I hit the slide release, it drops the hammer to the 2nd notch, hitting the firing pin in a semi-open situation.
    -The position of the grip safety doesn't matter
    -If I pull back the slide and release it, it will not drop the hammer
    -If the round is loaded from a magazine, it will not drop the hammer
    -The presence of the magazine is meaningless. Only when there is a round in the magazine will it not drop the hammer.


    Video of the malfunction to come.






  2. #2
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    Update:

    Here is the video. I'm sorry about the brightness, its just my little digital camera, and I dont have any good lights. As you can see, I started with the slide locked back, and just pushed the slide-release. The hammer ends up hitting the firing pin, and finishes resting on the 2nd catch.
    [flash=425,344]http://www.youtube.com/v/-3c5dYFrCBI[/flash]




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    Thats not good

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    How many more senseless automobile console shootings until we enact reasonable gun laws. :P

    Seriously Keane, glad you are alright.

    Even if the slide release is the problem, the hammer shouldn't followed the slide when it went into battery. This is more than just a slide release problem. As you said when you called me "send it back to RIA".

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    So apparently two other people on THR have had similar problems:

    Code:
    I had some trouble with my Rock Island because of the hammer following the slide and some double-taps on this account.
    
    On disassembly, I found some burrs on the disconnector right at the parting line which occurs with investment-cast or MMC(?) production. These burrs interfered with proper action of the disconnector.
    
    I polished off these burrs and  slipstoned some other sliding surfaces and had no trouble henceforth.
    Code:
    I had the same thing happen to me with my RIA last year. I was at home and I usually change out my mags on a weekly basis and I had just put a fresh mag in the gun and released the slide lock and the gun discharged just missing the cats and putting a big hole in the wifes cedar chest. I got rid of it ASAP.

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    Holy crap.

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    Another person with the same problem:


    I also have the RIA 1911, and funny thing, I also shot my vehicle. Exact same situation, except I was shooting at my place and standing in the open drivers door of my F-350. Was packing up and found a round on the ground, dusted it off, dropped it in the pipe, pointed it in safe direction, well not safe for my front seat, and clicked the slide home. Bang, cuss, cuss... Found bullet under front seat after it had bounced off the control arm to move the seat. It now is glued to the top of my gun safe and every time I touch a weapon I remember. It doesn't matter to me now, if it was an Accidental Discharge or Negligent discharge, and I am a better shooter/carrier for it I never have carried the 1911.....never will. Matter of fact the RIA doesn't get out that much any more. Thanks for sharing, I guess I'm not the only one.
    Its strange, its like its a manufacturing defect... I called RIA, and am sending the weapon back. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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    Something to keep in mind is that it's not recommended to load one in the chamber and drop the slide onto it. I have heard it causes extra stress on the extractor. Best way to chamber a 1911 is to feed from the magazine, then top off the magazine. Less convenient, but possibly healthier for the equipment.

    That said, the hammer should never follow the slide upon release, no matter what is in the chamber. Once the slide is pulled back, the hammer should be cocked and STAY cocked until you pull the trigger.

    Good job on following the rules and not shooting yourself, Keane! Hope your ears aren't still ringing; I imagine a discharge inside a car would be a pretty painful noise.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Something to keep in mind is that it's not recommended to load one in the chamber and drop the slide onto it. I have heard it causes extra stress on the extractor. Best way to chamber a 1911 is to feed from the magazine, then top off the magazine. Less convenient, but possibly healthier for the equipment.

    That said, the hammer should never follow the slide upon release, no matter what is in the chamber. Once the slide is pulled back, the hammer should be cocked and STAY cocked until you pull the trigger.

    Good job on following the rules and not shooting yourself, Keane! Hope your ears aren't still ringing; I imagine a discharge inside a car would be a pretty painful noise.
    Yep, I was being incredibly lazy, and instead of feeding from the magazine, just tried to take the quick way out. BTW, when I took it to beavercreek armory to have it sent back to RIA, the guy tried it and it dropped the hammer when loading a round from a magazine! So its obviously a mechanical issue getting worse.

    As for the noise, it wasn't bad. I heard a soft bang, like a car backfiring, and one of my ears rang lightly for a few hours. Otherwise, it really wasn't bad. I was having a perfectly normal volume conversation immediately afterwards.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Good job on following the rules and not shooting yourself, Keane!
    Definitely not a safe direction, considering a magazine stopped the ricochet bullet& there's a hole in the car...

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    CharlesAFerg wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    Good job on following the rules and not shooting yourself, Keane!
    Definitely not a safe direction, considering a magazine stopped the ricochet bullet& there's a hole in the car...
    The magazine stopped the immediate bullet. If you can visualize it, it made the initial hole in the plastic, then hit the magazine, then went through the bottom of the tray, then hit the metal floorpan. The bullet ended up right on the path through the plastic.

    I know that it wasn't the BEST place to point the weapon in this case, but it ended up being the cheapest shot possible, lol! The hit ended up costing me a 15 dollar magazine, a 23 cent cartridge, and a 20 dollar piece of plastic. If it had damaged the carpet, or worse, went through the floor pan, I would have been out a bunch of money.

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    CharlesAFerg wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    Good job on following the rules and not shooting yourself, Keane!
    Definitely not a safe direction, considering a magazine stopped the ricochet bullet& there's a hole in the car...
    Pointing in a safe direction to me means in a direction where nobody is likely to be killed or injured. The only truly safe place to point a weapon is toward a berm on a firing range. But I am curious to know how you get such confidence to be sure of not even damaging any property if you were to have an ND.

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    asforme wrote:
    Pointing in a safe direction to me means in a direction where nobody is likely to be killed or injured. The only truly safe place to point a weapon is toward a berm on a firing range. But I am curious to know how you get such confidence to be sure of not even damaging any property if you were to have an ND.
    an "ND...?"
    Unintentional discharge?
    Well, I wouldn't be pointing my weapon at my vehicle. I mean, it's filled with combustibles... :what:
    My only point is...
    To not admit this is negligent in it's own, even if it's just admitting to ones self.

    I guess Keane has it easy, 20 dollars for a piece of the center console? I've never seen a console segment cost that little, but that's not what it's really about.

    I'm just glad he wasn't hurt. :/

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    Ya, the local junk yard quoted me 20 bucks for the part, and it was my beater to begin with, so I'm just not going to fix it. As for pointing it at a vehicle, only parts of it are full of combustibles, namely the gas tank, which is nowhere near the center console.

    Where do YOU point your firearms when in the car? Or do you not transfer firearms at all? It is more dangerous to put the firearms in the trunk than where I was pointing it, due to the vicinity of the gas tank.

    In this case, I made sure to point it toward the passenger side floor board, and even when dropping the slide, away from my person, or anything dangerous.

    I'm quite sure I followed all 4 rules to the T, and the gun malfunctioned. The 4 rules saved my butt in this situation.

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    Keane wrote:
    Ya, the local junk yard quoted me 20 bucks for the part, and it was my beater to begin with, so I'm just not going to fix it. As for pointing it at a vehicle, only parts of it are full of combustibles, namely the gas tank, which is nowhere near the center console.

    Where do YOU point your firearms when in the car? Or do you not transfer firearms at all? It is more dangerous to put the firearms in the trunk than where I was pointing it, due to the vicinity of the gas tank.

    In this case, I made sure to point it toward the passenger side floor board, and even when dropping the slide, away from my person, or anything dangerous.

    I'm quite sure I followed all 4 rules to the T, and the gun malfunctioned. The 4 rules saved my butt in this situation.
    Well not yet, actually! I'm the new guy, remember? :celebrate

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    UPDATE:

    I just got the 1911 back from RIA, and it seems to be fixed. I think they did some 'tuning' as well, since the trigger and seem smother.

    They were pretty good for support, though I still would have rathered this didn't happen.

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    CharlesAFerg wrote:
    asforme wrote:
    Pointing in a safe direction to me means in a direction where nobody is likely to be killed or injured. The only truly safe place to point a weapon is toward a berm on a firing range. But I am curious to know how you get such confidence to be sure of not even damaging any property if you were to have an ND.
    an "ND...?"
    Unintentional discharge?
    ND = negligent discharge. They used to be AD, accidental discharge, at least for us, but then some one decided that nothing is an accident, everything could have been prevented, except maybe for this post :P

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    DenWin wrote:
    ND = negligent discharge. They used to be AD, accidental discharge, at least for us, but then some one decided that nothing is an accident, everything could have been prevented, except maybe for this post :P
    I see I'm not the only one who noticed this. Gun owners trying so hard to look hyper-responsible that we went politically correct and decided that we can never have accidents; rather we must choose the individual involved and brow-beat him because he failed to go to the factory and notice that the robot which made his malfunctioning gun part deviated slightly from accepted tolerances, which would cause an unintentional discharge some months or years later. Smells kind of NRA'ish to me.

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    Keane wrote:
    UPDATE:

    I just got the 1911 back from RIA, and it seems to be fixed.* I think they did some 'tuning' as well, since the trigger and seem smother.

    They were pretty good for support, though I still would have rathered this didn't happen.
    You really shouldn't carry any 1911 until you've done the safety checks. One of which is dropping the slide a few times by releasing the slide stop to make sure the hammer doesn't follow (don't overdo this if you value your locking lugs and your trigger job).

    Also, you really shouldn't drop the slide in this fashion to load a round, unless you've got the weapon pointed at your target during a reload. It's just not a good practice with a 1911 pattern pistol. If you ever do have hammer follow (which can happen on any 1911 that hasn't been confirmed to be properly functional, although it obviously shouldn't happen on a new one), it's most likely to be after doing this.

    FWIW, I have two RIAs and they don't hammer follow. I also use my pistols the way they're meant to be used. 1911s are perfectly safe if they function properly, and you should always fully function test any pistol before you carry it.

    With all that said, accidents happen, and that's why we follow redundant firearms safety rules. As you've found out, if you follow the rules, nobody will get hurt even if things go unpredictably wrong.

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    Thanks for the post. It shows us not to trust any mechanics of a pistol because things canfail. Good you are ok

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    marshaul wrote:
    Keane wrote:
    UPDATE:

    I just got the 1911 back from RIA, and it seems to be fixed. I think they did some 'tuning' as well, since the trigger and seem smother.

    They were pretty good for support, though I still would have rathered this didn't happen.
    You really shouldn't carry any 1911 until you've done the safety checks. One of which is dropping the slide a few times by releasing the slide stop to make sure the hammer doesn't follow (don't overdo this if you value your locking lugs and your trigger job).

    Also, you really shouldn't drop the slide in this fashion to load a round, unless you've got the weapon pointed at your target during a reload. It's just not a good practice with a 1911 pattern pistol. If you ever do have hammer follow (which can happen on any 1911 that hasn't been confirmed to be properly functional, although it obviously shouldn't happen on a new one), it's most likely to be after doing this.

    FWIW, I have two RIAs and they don't hammer follow. I also use my pistols the way they're meant to be used. 1911s are perfectly safe if they function properly, and you should always fully function test any pistol before you carry it.

    With all that said, accidents happen, and that's why we follow redundant firearms safety rules. As you've found out, if you follow the rules, nobody will get hurt even if things go unpredictably wrong.
    I HAD done a function test before then. This wasn't a new gun, it is almost a year old. This was the first time this particular malfunction occurred.

    As for loading a round that way, it was something I had seen done before, so I figured it was OK, but I know now. RIA sent it back, and it seems to work fine now, and passes the function test fine for now.

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    I see a lot of these posts refer to the rule 'always point the firearmin a safe direction.' I've always been taught this version, though:

    Never point the firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.

    Although I would rather not destroy my center console, if that's the best place at the time, then that's where it is going to be pointed. If you're really concerned about it, you can get small sheets of level IIA kevlar specifically for this purpose.

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    Keane wrote:
    UPDATE:

    I just got the 1911 back from RIA, and it seems to be fixed. I think they did some 'tuning' as well, since the trigger and seem smother.

    They were pretty good for support, though I still would have rathered this didn't happen.
    I think that RIA owes you a $20 console for your pimped out ride. They should be pretty happy that nobody was hurt. They clearly need at least one new quality control person. I mean its one thing if the thing jams all the time, but that kind of malfuction is inexcusable. That should have been caught when they test fired the weapon if they fed it from a magazine. It should have been caught and was not, and it could have killed somebody. I'll personally never buying a RIA know. I understand that stuff gets though, but it was doing the same thing at the factory too most likely. I have never heard about anything this major getting bye any other maker like Glock or whoever. Sorry....end of rant

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    Well, the OP claims it passed the function test when he bought it. This means it probably passed at the factory too.

    I hate to say it, but my guess is that the problem developed as a result of repeatedly dropping the slide using the slide lock to load a round. Once again, not an acceptable problem, but it's also one of the big reasons people always say "don't drop the slide on a 1911 by releasing the slide lock".

    FWIW, that's why I installed an EGW sear in my carry 1911, and a Ed Brown hardcore hammer to match. With hardened tool steel, the sear should last a lot longer, especially when "abused". Only problem is this usually requires fitting a new safety as well.

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    marshaul wrote:
    Well, the OP claims it passed the function test when he bought it. This means it probably passed at the factory too.

    I hate to say it, but my guess is that the problem developed as a result of repeatedly dropping the slide using the slide lock to load a round. Once again, not an acceptable problem, but it's also one of the big reasons people always say "don't drop the slide on a 1911 by releasing the slide lock".

    FWIW, that's why I installed an EGW sear in my carry 1911, and a Ed Brown hardcore hammer to match. With hardened tool steel, the sear should last a lot longer, especially when "abused". Only problem is this usually requires fitting a new safety as well.
    I'm not famaliar with 1911 function, so bear with me...

    Unless you ease the slide down when you manually rack it, how is manually racking the slide less brutal than dropping the slide lock?

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