Man Almost Gets Darwin Award
First rule of gun safety: Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A safe direction is defined as that direction in which should the gun fire no injury to any person will result and no property damage will occur [animals are property]. There are several other rules one must know by heart. While you should never count on it, a violation of one of the several gun safety rules might tempt fate without making you pay the price. When two or more rules are violated simultaneously, disaster almost always results. Below is the story of a man who violated two rules at once, and got lucky. He gets to go on living, but it was close.
There are three basic types of ammunition malfunction: misfire, hangfire, and squib. The video below is a compelling demonstration of a hangfire, the first I’ve ever seen. Hangfires are rare. If you pull the trigger and hear a click instead of a bang, you don’t know immediately whether you have a misfire or a hangfire, because while a misfire is a failure of the cartridge to fire, a hangfire is perceptible delay in ignition of the powder after the primer has been struck by the firing pin. In order to be safe one is advised to wait 30 seconds before opening the action of the gun after hearing a click instead of a bang. If it’s going to happen the click will be followed by a bang within that time. So call a cease fire and wait*, and keep the muzzle pointed safely down range. Then open the action and eject the malfunctioning cartridge, or the empty case if it turned out to be a hangfire.
It goes without saying, one should not look down the barrel to see what happened. That could get you a Darwin award. The man in this video…well, take a look for yourself.
*obviously, if you are under attack and you are defending yourself you don’t have the option of waiting. You need to clear the malfunction immediately and get back into the fight. Life often involves trade offs.