Well....I've always heard it's not
a matter of "if", but "when".
My number came up and I paid a
Last Friday I was preparing to go
shooting the next AM with a buddy of mine.
I had just put a new a-grip on my
Glock, and was going to clean it after my wife and I
finished our movie. Crash is an awesome movie BTW.
I put the weapon back together and
inserted the mag. I did not pipe a round because I knew
I was going to strip it later. I went upstairs and put
the weapon in the tool box in the garage.
About and hour later (mid-night or
so), I returned to the garage to finish cleaning and
getting gear together for the morning. I picked up the
Glock, dropped the mag and prepared to remove the slide.
I done this literally thousands of times in the last
fifteen years, but this times things were a little
different. I grabbed the slide getting ready to push the
take own pins and pulled the trigger......BANG!!!!!
Apparently I DID pipe a round an
hour prior. My shooting bud attributes it to force of
habit, but why the hell didn't I check the chamber
before pulling the trigger? Should that be force of
Not only did I set off a .45 in my
garage, but it passed right through my left
hand......Yep....I *******ing shot myself point blank.
I'm still having a hard time getting my head around what
I did. I was SO angry at myself.
I have always been uber safe with
any firearm, but one lack of procedure changed
everything. I'm really taking this hard, and all the "it
could have been worse", "accidents happen", and "thank
god you didn't lose your hand statements really don't
help. I guess I'm getting over it, but it still seems
very surreal to me.
Here are details....I know you all
are morbidly curious, and I don't mind telling...it's
kinda like therapy for me. I DID NOT hear the shot (nor
did my ears ring afterwards), and it felt sorta like
catching a fastball right in the palm of your glove. I
have a very clear image, and suspect I always will, of
the hole in my hand...perfect .45 diameter not
bleeding....yet. I took a few seconds, and then the
arterial arch in my palm cut loose.
Blood like you wouldn't believe. I
think the fact that I was a Paramedic in a former life
helped me out here. I walked into the laundry room and
grabbed a towel to wrap it up, call up the stairs for my
wife to come down. I remember thinking "if I go get her,
I'll mess up the carpet on the stairs". No lie.
She came down half asleep and kind
of grumpy, and I told her "I just put a bullet in my
hand". Said she was calling 911 and according to her I
responded "That would be a good idea.." My wife is
neo-natal RN, and can remain cool as a cucumber. This
helped me out too I think.
I went back into the garage, put
my blasted hand on the floor kneeling on the towel and
proceeded to open my ever present jump-bag with the
I opened a US issue trauma
dressing with my teeth, and proceeded to wrap my hand.
Those dressing are the schiz nit by the way. My wife
later told me it was very "Die-Haredesque"......I do
remember cussing at myself the entire time...I have
never been that angry before.....
Four cops, the shift sup., a
pumper truck and an ambulance later I was off to the ER.
I didn't feel any pain until I got in the ambulance. The
endorphins shut down and it hurt like nothing you can
imagine. No tickets from the cops, but did have to ask
which weapon I did it with. My garage looks like
an arsenal pre-range trip.
The bullet (a Black Talon no
less..) shattered my ring finger meta-tarsal, and
'removed' two others. It destroyed the flexor tendon of
my ring finger, almost separated my pinky tendon, and
exited the right side of my wrist just above my watch
band. There was a definite exit hole, but the blast
force blew the side of my palm WIDE open about three
inches in length. I didn't even see the exit wound until
I removed my watch for the FD. Anyway, nine hours of
surgery, three screws, a tendon graft from my forearm
and about two-hundred sutures later I was put back
together. My surgeon said if anyone has to get shot in
the hand, this was how to do it. No nerve
damage....whew. Physical therapy twice a week for God
knows how long, and the surgeon expects at least 80%
I've included a pic of the round.
Snap-On tool boxes are quite literally bullet proof. The
jacket separated from the slug when it hit the box,
that's why the slug is flat on one side. If the mods
permit, I'll post pics of my hand too.....it's pretty
burly, and will drive the point home.
Thanks for listening. My wife
thinks I'm crazy to post this, but it really does help
me feel better. Remember....check the chamber twice,
then check it again.