I almost shot myself this morning

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evan price
Posts: 1842
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:24 am

I almost shot myself this morning

Post by evan price » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:27 am

Last year I took a part time job working for an 01FFL.
The owner buys auction lots of "junk" guns, usually police seized or evidence guns. My job is to assess the guns, determine what can be fixed, what parts are needed, then repair what can be fixed or disassemble the junk into parts kits and demil the frames. He's got thousands of parts in stock.

So this morning after the Smith & Bryco 9mms and a Wingmaster pump, next on the bench was a Bersa Thunder 380.
It needed a magazine which we had in stock and a general cleaning and oiling. Then function check with snap caps. Then test fire. 
Our test fire setup is a 55 gallon drum full of Mason sand in a cinder block cubby with sheet iron to catch the fragments. 

I loaded three rounds into the mag and charged the gun. Eyes and ears on, my first task is test the safety.
I flipped the thumb safety down while calling "fire in the hole" to warn the other people which is our custom. I didn't look at the safety, but I felt the tactile "snick" of the lever as it switched. 
Pointed it one handed into the barrel, saw the hang tag with the stock number was hanging down from the trigger guard and used my left hand to pull the tag up out of the muzzle vicinity... I've shot hang tags before and I get razzed if I do it again. 
I pulled the trigger expecting a click and got a bang instead. 
Felt the heat and a nip of pain on the top of my left index finger. There wasn't any blood, I think I just got the heat and blast on the top of my finger. 

It should not have fired. 
So, what happened? 

The Bersa Thunder 380 safety blocks the hammer so it can't touch the firing pin. When it's decocked it has to slightly lift the hammer. The gun's mechanism was still a bit stiff from neglect and it took a little bit more than usual effort to cock the hammer.

The tactile >snick< I'd felt was NOT the safety moving to the safe position. 
This gun, the thin thumb piece on the safety lever snapped off where it joins the safety shaft. 

Lessons here: 
Follow the 4 rules. Always, all the time
Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc

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Precision
Posts: 4834
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:01 pm

Re: I almost shot myself this morning

Post by Precision » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:32 pm

glad you didn't lose an eye, finger, whatever.
damnable auction guns are always a mixed bag of weirdness. We used to do that at the 01 I worked at. Thankfully, never my task.
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
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