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Old 01-09-2009, 09:12 PM
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Default SIG accidental discharge



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Here's a question for people more knowledgable that I am about pistols.

I took a pistol newbie who is a neighbor to the range 2 weeks a ago, and really stressed safety throughout the 1.5 hours we spent there. We were shooting a Ruger 22/45 and 38 revolver. There was only one other person at the range, and we talked a bit. Near the end of our time there, this guy, who was shooting a sig sauer .45 that looked "compact" laid his pitol down on a bench, with his hand NOT on the trigger, and we saw that as it was laid against the bench it discharged 1 round.

My first question is: how the hell does this happen, given the guy set it down reasonably softly?, and 2) is this a specific problem with this brand, or is every semi-auto .45 subject to the same problem.

Needless to say, my friend and I were really freaked out and were happy that the muzzle was pointed downrange when this happened.

Tom.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:42 PM
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that dude must have been a pistol "newbie" also
Old 01-10-2009, 01:34 AM
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cook-off? no integral safety?
Old 01-10-2009, 02:24 AM
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Did the owner need to change his underwear after?
Old 01-10-2009, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HippieSurvivalist View Post
Here's a question for people more knowledgable that I am about pistols.

I took a pistol newbie who is a neighbor to the range 2 weeks a ago, and really stressed safety throughout the 1.5 hours we spent there. We were shooting a Ruger 22/45 and 38 revolver. There was only one other person at the range, and we talked a bit. Near the end of our time there, this guy, who was shooting a sig sauer .45 that looked "compact" laid his pitol down on a bench, with his hand NOT on the trigger, and we saw that as it was laid against the bench it discharged 1 round.

My first question is: how the hell does this happen, given the guy set it down reasonably softly?, and 2) is this a specific problem with this brand, or is every semi-auto .45 subject to the same problem.

Needless to say, my friend and I were really freaked out and were happy that the muzzle was pointed downrange when this happened.

Tom.
Sounds like a slamfire, or cooked round. Not too experienced with pistols, so can't be sure.
Old 01-10-2009, 06:03 PM
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I vote slam fire. Many guns will leave an imprint on the primer when a round is chambered. M16's come to mind. Look at your firing pin spring and see if its still good, that would be my first place to look.
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:12 PM
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I am guessing there is a problem with the weapon. Possibly with the sear. Maybe a bad trigger job. Even poor quality weapons should not do that. The SIG is a pretty good weapon.
Old 01-10-2009, 08:08 PM
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From the sounds of it, the "guy" wasn't your buddy, right? It was the other dude downrange? If so, my point is, unless you went to ask him what was up, then we won't know what happened afterwards!?!?!

Unless you know him too?
Old 01-10-2009, 08:17 PM
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Personally I know Sig quality and I have to say that my first suspect is operator error. It doesn't take much force on the trigger to fire a weapon, and I can tell it was a newb because the weapon was not cleared and safe before setting it down. It was loaded and hot, classic newbie. The guy pulled the trigger, somehow.

Without more details it is hard to actually come to a proper conclusion. Two things I can pretty much guarantee is it didnt cook off, and it didnt slam fire, Sig uses a firing pin block. SOOO...... we are left with parts breakage (or a smith who needs a swift kick in the face) OR (and the one I feel it is) Operator error.

This is why gunranges have holes in the ceiling and walls. Perfect training makes perfect.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:26 AM
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Don't know the guy, and he was really surprised/embarrassed, so I didn't bother him about it. Having thought about it some more, I think it was porbably a "slam fire" although I don't think the pistol was set down with much force, which was surprising to me. From my angle, it did not appear the guy touched the trigger as he set it down.

Was he a newb? Maybe. I'm a newb but I don't think I've ever set my pistol down when it still had a round chambered.

Tom.
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:10 PM
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Default More Than One Cause?

No matter when or where it happens, an acidental discharge is spooky. Is it possible that several things may have happened? The gun may have been dirty, the spring may have been weak and a seag may have not been fully engaged.

The only way to truly know would be to have inspected the gun righ then and there.

The best part is, nobody got hurt.

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Old 01-11-2009, 09:41 PM
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Sig is SA/DA, with a variety of internal safeties which make this highly unlikey that this was a jar or bump of setting it on the table. I would vote for a bad smithing/polishing job or operator putting his finger where it shouldn't be.

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All modern SIG-Sauer handguns share a number of internal safeties, which work in concert to assure the gun does not fire unless the trigger is pulled. They are detailed below, along with a short hands-on exercise demonstrating their function. First time readers, or those without a SIG-Sauer and manual handy may wish to skip over the exercise. All exercises are to be done with unloaded firearms; do not attempt them (or handle the gun in any way) if you do not know how to determine if the firearm is loaded.

Safety Intercept Notch
If the gun is dropped directly onto the hammer while the hammer is in either the single-action or double-action position, the safety intercept notch on the hammer is engaged by the sear, and prevents the hammer from contacting the firing pin. Decocking (using the decocking lever) lowers the hammer to the safety intercept notch, completely out of contact with the firing pin.

To demonstrate the function of the safety intercept notch, unload and decock your SIG-Sauer and apply moderate thumb pressure to the hammer. Observe that the hammer is not free to travel forward to contact the firing pin since the sear has engaged the safety intercept notch.

Firing Pin Safety
Located within the slide, a firing pin safety blocks forward motion of the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled. When the trigger is pulled, the (unfortunately named) "safety lever" pivots upward and disengages the firing pin safety.

To demonstrate the function of the firing pin safety, unload and field strip your SIG-Sauer as described in the manual, separating the barrel from the slide. Place the slide upside down on a table in front of you. Press on the rounded end of the firing pin where it emerges from the breech block and observe that the firing pin does not emerge from breech face. Repeat, this time while pressing downward on the firing pin safety, and observe the firing pin protruding from the breech block. Lastly, examine the frame and locate the stamped steel safety lever located just forward of the hammer. The safety lever pivots upward and disengages the firing pin safety when the gun is fired. Since SIG-Sauers should not be dry fired when field stripped, cock and hold the back while pulling the trigger. Observe the safety lever pivoting upward.

Disconnector
Protruding just above the right grip panel, the disconnector is part of the trigger bar. When the slide is out of battery (ie: not locked fully forward) the slide presses the disconnector downward and the trigger is literally 'disconnected' from the sear. This prevents the SIG-Sauer handguns from firing unless the slide is fully in battery.

To demonstrate the function of the disconnector, unload and field strip your SIG-Sauer as described in the manual. Locate the rounded top of the disconnector just above the right grip panel. Using your thumb to press downward on the disconnector (as the slide would do when it is out of battery) pull the trigger. The trigger pulls easily, the hammer does not move. Lastly, note the rounded cutout in the right slide rail which permits the disconnector to move upward only when the slide is in battery.

Hammer Reset Spring
Perhaps the least commonly understood safety feature employed by P220s manufactured in or after 1994 (serial numbers above G219166), as well as all P225, P226, P228, P229, and P239 models. The hammer reset spring is a small spring attached to rear of the hammer and concealed by the plastic hammer stop. The spring actually pulls the hammer away from the firing pin. If the hammer is lowered incorrectly by using the thumb and trigger (and an accidental discharge does not immediately result), the hammer reset spring will pull the hammer away from the firing pin back to the safety intercept notch.

To demonstrate the function of the hammer reset spring, dry fire an assembled and unloaded gun and hold the trigger back. Press the hammer forward until it contacts the firing pin. When the hammer is released, the hammer reset spring pulls the hammer back to the safety intercept notch. Release the trigger, and again press forward on the hammer. The safety intercept notch prevents the hammer from moving forward and contacting the firing pin.

Thus, a hammer reset spring is essentially unnecessary if the user only and always uses the decocking lever to lower the hammer. Are P230s and pre-1994 P220s any less safe for lacking a hammer reset spring? Only if the decocker is not used! I have what I believe to be a valid report of an accidental discharge resulting from a blow to the hammer of a pre-1994 P220 which was not properly decocked using the decocking lever. My conclusion is that under some circumstances, the firing pin safety alone may be insufficient to prevent an A.D. if a pre-1994 P220 is improperly decocked. Again, this applies only to pre-1994 P220s which lack the hammer reset spring and were improperly decocked without using the decocking lever. One last time: only and always use the decocking lever!
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:52 PM
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Most likely the cause was a slow primer. AKA Hangfire.

I'd almost bet the shooter had what he thought was a dud or empty chamber on the last round and was setting the weapon down when the cartridge finally let go.

It's almost impossible to get a handgun to cook-off in normal shooting situations, and most indoor ranges won't let you fire that fast to be able to do so, even if you had that much ammo.

As one who has tried to get this to happen with several designs, as well as having performed in several 'mad-minute' shoots (as many rounds as you can fire in a minute as "covering fire") I can say that I've never seen an actual cook off with a handgun.

An M-16 and several other closed bolt full-auto designs, yes. But never a handgun. (Yet)
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:39 PM
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Whirlbird is probably right. I don't see a pistol "cooking off" and it couldn't have been a slam fire if the slide was already forward. Chances are it was the ammo.
Old 01-12-2009, 07:55 PM
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From the info given I'd agree hangfire is most likely the culprit.
Old 01-27-2009, 01:56 PM
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From what you describe it is not the gun. It sounds like a round that did not fire and had a delayed discharge. I have seen this before. Most people will hold the weapon down range for at least 20 to 30 seconds before laying it down with barrel pointed down range.

Don't blame the gun. Accidental Discharges are almost always the shooter at fault. There are two kinds of people in the world, those who have had an Accidental Discharge and those who will have one.

a lot of the ammo i am seeing imported these days is suspect in quality. before buying a lot of bulk ammo try out some of a particular brand first.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:23 PM
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He should have never laid it down with out the safety on and a bullet in the chamber..I own a sig and it is a quality fire arm. He was probably new to shooting a pistol. He should have been embarrassed. He could have killed someone! Public shooting areas are scary..

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Old 01-27-2009, 02:55 PM
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I agree with Pops, POOR RANGE MANNERS!

Rule Number one, action open BEFORE it is laid on the bench.

Rule two, no mag and inspected for cleared chamber before rule one.
Old 01-28-2009, 01:04 PM
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The two reasons that come to mind for me are:

# 1. The guy had the gun modified or worked on by an amateur gunsmith. Because of the bad work, the gun became too sensitive or trigger mechanism too soft.

# 2. A high primer on the cartridge. A high primer on a cartridge is one that is not fully or properly seated in the case. A high primer sticks up above the level of the rear of the cartridge bottom/case. There are times when a cartridge loaded with a high primer will cause the gun to sometimes go off when the slide picks it up and forces it into the chamber. If you couple a high primer with a modified trigger mechanism on some guns and you will have a sudden and unexpected discharge.
Old 01-28-2009, 08:21 PM
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Most sigs are single action after the first shot... if he didnt decock the hammer before laying it down itll go off from the wind :P
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