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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well... I was in a stand with deer approaching close enough for a pistol harvest and decided against the shot for the moment and let the hammer down.. I holstered the pistol where it hung on the corner of the stand cause the leather squeaked a little now and then when I moved... I picked up the rifle again and turned to aim at an oncoming buck in the distance... I shifted a bit in the stand to sneak the rifle out and my elbow brushed the butt of the pistol... the next thing I noticed was the sound of my 475 4 3/4incher discharging in the 3'x3' stand at the floor and some little splinters of 2x4 showering me and all else in the near proximity of the weapon...
I share this because although I am embarrassed, it was obvious that I did not let the hammer down to the half cock position though I thought I had... and I could have died or been seriously injured for the oversight.. I was also thinking that it is probably dangerous to put the retaining loop on the hammer if I had not hit the safety notch position... or if the loop slightly tripped the hammer coming off of it had I put it on when I holstered the gun... I had it pointing away from the inside of the stand, but it fell and the shot angled upward at a 45 degree angle penetrating two vertical two by fours, cutting the plywood wall like a buzz saw as it went straight through it edge on... then through a horizontal window 2x4 before striking the last upright about three inches from the roof... I kind of wonder if it took out a satellite or something afterwards but cannot be sure...
I will be more careful in the future but wanted to share my bad experience with those of you out there who like me used the ruger products with transfer bars and who could make the mistake of missing the safety notch letting down after passing a shot... and who could have the shot discharge like I did and they could not be blessed with another day of hunting and life as we know it..
be careful out there folks... I did not think I was creating a problem I just overlooked the missed notch in the heat of the moment of wanting a shot at a buck... IT IS NOT WORTH IT TO MISS BEING MINDFULL FOR EVEN A SECOND... TAKE IT FROM ME... I WILL TAKE THE TIME TO BE SURE NEXT TIME AND AM GLAD THERE IS A NEXT TIME..
I am embarrassed but it is the truth and you do not need to die for my vanity... consider every scenario and how easy it would be to not put the thing on the notch when engrossed ... at the range, etc.. letting others handle the gun... you name it.. think about it ...
I will think about it more closely I assure you... I was even glad to have my old arthritic knees and my gout swollen toe after the sound of the shot....
Hope this helps one of you to re evaluate your handling of these fine firearms... it is worth it to be sure the notch is securely hit when you lower it down..
dk
 

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So....did you or did you not shoot the buck? Just hackin' on you, buddy, glad to hear you're OK. Pretty cool feeling when you know God's not done with you yet.
 

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Your procedure was improper and flawed to begin with.

The PROPER procedure on an FA83 after the hammer has been cocked and you chose not to fire is to fully lower the hammer all the way down. Then you can bring it back to half cock if you wish. But DO NOT attempt to stop it at half cock on the way down. FULLY LOWER the hammer after bringing it full cock position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
that darn deer had me hypnotized ... tried to kill me... yes sir !
You are both right Master Weasel and Graybeard... must not be ready for any lawyers up that way... and
I thought I had put that baby on the notch but did not look or feel it ...
that will not happen again.. the gun discharge demon missed me this time and will not get another shot at me... so to speak...
I just want other folks to know you cannot take your mind off it for a second regardless of the situation, or bad things can occur.
dk
 

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Hey kennisondan. Sorry that happened and I'm glad to hear you're OK.

You did a good thing by sharing. That took a ton of courage. Although this is not a good thing in the least, "reminders" like this do help us all.

You're also to be commended for taking responsibility. As we saw in not so distant news regarding this particular model, someone else wasn't man enough to accept full responsibility for his actions.

Again, glad to hear you're OK.
 

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Thanks for sharing that. It does take a big man to admit a mistake for the sake and safety of others. Another reminder that Single Actions were meant to have the hammer carried over an empty chamber.
 

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I am not sure you are using the right terms in your description, but I have a feeling you wanted to be in the hammer safety position after you decided not to shoot, not half cock. Half cock is used for loading and unloading ONLY and can be located very easily from the full cock position if that was what you were going for (which you shouldn't have been). Do you have a manual? Have you read the manual? I especially like this part...

1. FULLY UNDERSTAND THE OPERATION OF
YOUR FIREARM BEFORE LOADING AND
FIRING IT. As with any precision tool, you must
respect it and thoroughly understand its proper care and
operation before use. If you do not fully understand the
functioning and handling of this firearm, seek help from
a qualified instructor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
correct Hammer safety position.... terminology wrong... I stand corrected, thanks... I did read the manual ... it just vanished when the deer appeared, and had not become the habit that safety needs to be... it is and will be now... I have practiced letting the hammer down completely and picking it up only to the hammer safety position by feel and touching the gap / hammer position to verifiy ...then visually checking the gun ... unloaded of course and in the living room...... if I had a discharge in the house I would not survive to tell others to be careful... I would just disappear.... after much suffering... at the hands of one whose name I cannot mention ...
I just thought I had it down, but I did not under the stress of the moment.. and I would hate to know someone else got hurt assuming they were familiar enough with this powerful weapon..
I love and respect it .. and now I try to not to take safe handling for granted... hope others read it and remember it can happen the first time you do it wrong.. or half way, etc.

dk
 

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Kennisondan, I appreciate your willingness to share your experience with others in the hopes of reducing the chance someone else would make the same mistake.

The best thing to do in that situation is to lower the hammer to the full down position, release the trigger, then pull the hammer back to the half cock position. Then you can rotate the cylinder so the empty chamber is back under the firing pin, lower the hammer to full down, then pull the hammer back until you hear the safety engage. All this only takes a moment.

Something to keep in mind is even a transfer bar can be defeated plus a transfer bar isn’t as reliable as the safety bar. This is why we recommend carrying both the M83 and M97 with an empty chamber under the firing pin. From my experience, I won’t carry any single action revolver with a live round under the firing pin, regardless of what brand it is.
 

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Dan

The failure was yours and I respect you for having the guts to post it. Anyone who has handled firearms for any length of time can probably relate an incident where a lapse of concentration or poor judgement could have led to an accident. Your experience may cause some of us, namely me, to review our own gun handling. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am pledged to practice the procedure Bob indicated, I like that the best... no big surprise there, I guess..
it is impressive that everyone is supportive and that encourages others to report what goes on and to promote safety.. that is a healthy thing to do overall for the sport and the site members..
Bob : I must say I am impressed that you take the time to participate in several aspects of the sport on this site... it is reflected in the general operation of the company it seems... and that is best accomplished from the top down; you evidently lead by example...
I realize that my opinion is a small thing.. but it is one of the basic building blocks of general public opinion and I would not hesitate to come to the defense and support of the company, the product and the man...
I do hope others that have done it a long time take heed... I have also stopped the practice of dumb blind trust in a transfer bar as well... and am considering what to do with the single shot hammer rifles and pistols each in thier own right...
I just keep learning stuff.. and keep re evaluating my own procedures and techniques in all things : that is a good way to keep it fresh and safe.
NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU HAVE DONE THIS GUN AND SHOOTING THING, KEEP IT FRESH.. RE EVALUATE... LOOK AT ALL ASPECTS LIKE YOU WERE WATCHING A BEGINNER YOU WERE SHOWING THE ROPES TO AND ... BE SAFE TO ENJOY OUR SPORT AND KEEP AMMUNITION OF GUN RELATED INJURY OUT OF THE HANDS OF THOSE THAT WOULD LEGISLATE OUR INTERESTS OUT OF EXISTENCE... I SCREWED UP... IT WAS BAD... I AM LUCKY TO LEARN FASTER THAN I DIE...
dan kennison
 

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That is a good reminder and I am glad you are OK. Sounds like you did not engage the manual safety, and left the hammer directly over the firing pin....so that when your gun fell off its hook or whatever and landed on the hammer, your gun discharged. That is a safety issue inherent in the single action design, I reckon.

The thing to keep in mind here is that it is not only important to keep an empty under the hammer - or the safety engaged, if you choose to rely on the safety - but it is also of critical important when shooting single actions to LEARN HOW TO GET THE GUN "BACK" TO A SAFE CONDITION IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO SHOOT AFTER YOU HAVE COCKED THE HAMMER. That is obviously more than just letting the hammer down, since it will no longer have an empty chamber under the hammer. If you want to rely on the hammer's safety position, practice engaging it until it is second nature ... and practice letting the hammer down from full cock, pointing in a safe direction, with as minimal risk of dropping the hammer as is possible. I like to stick my thumb between the hammer and frame until the hammer is pretty low.

Get some snap caps and practice getting the empty chamber back under the hammer, too ... easy enough to figure out by putting just one snap cap in, or marking it a different color.
 

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Well at this point I will sound like a broken record. Good on ya for telling your story and reminding us all to never get complacent with guns or hunting! Our lives can be ended just as quick as the games life we are trying to take, it only takes a slit second! Glad it all turned out ok!
 
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