The Evil Princess and I wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day. On our end, we’ve gotten a little bit of competition shooting in for the first time this year. (First time in a few months, really.) It’s good to be on the road again with the fox and her box o’Glocks. Nothing says love like gunfire, right?
Our home workspace has become so overcrowded with books and casefiles that the place looks like something out of one of those documentaries on hoarders. We needed more space, and her photo studio was getting crowded.
So I just bought her a new building that will be her expanded photo studio. Gotta put something on the walls, so…bookshelves.
Meanwhile, my doctor had told me to cut down on potassium and I’ve been off potatoes for a while. The medical world has very slightly relented and told me I can consume a spud once or twice a week. So, my Valentine’s Day gift will be loaded and baked, dripping with butter.
What does all this have to do with what should be the most romantic day of the year?
I gave her a new building.
She gave me a potato.
“Seems fair and balanced to me,” she said.
You know what they say, Mas:
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
Unfortunately, she’s a retired nurse who carries a gun and a knife and thinks the way to a man’s heart is through his ribcage. 🙁
I can sympathize Mas, being in a very similar situation. Baked potatoes for us tonight as well. She also knows anatomy quite well – glad I’ve been on her good side for almost 46 years …
This is off-topic but I just came across a strange news report about a freak firearms accident. Here it is:
My question: How on earth does a MRI fire a handgun?
It might have pulled out the firearm and drawn it to impact on the walls of the MRI unit. However, most modern handguns are fairly drop safe and should not be set off by a low velocity impact.
My guess is that the man felt the gun being drawn out by the magnetic field. In panic at losing the weapon, he then made a “grab” for it. He grabbed it awkwardly so that one of his fingers entered the trigger guard and pulled the trigger. The gun discharged and he ended up shooting himself.
However, that is just my guess. Do you have any other ideas about how such a negligent discharge could happen?
Here is an analysis of a similar incident:
That is an eye-opening article – I can see how it happened, but what are the odds? I guess this would be a combination of ‘accidental’ and ‘negligent’ discharges – the latter due to bringing the gun into the MRI suite in the first place, the former due to the method by which the gun fired. Wonder if the incident in Brazil had a similar cause, including defeat of any safety mechanisms?
Fascinating. I never thought about the magnetic field being so powerful that it could override the firing pin block safety and allow the firing pin to move freely, under inertial forces, so as to strike the primer with enough force to discharge the round.
I should imagine that this effect is very dependent upon the design of the handgun. I would think that it would be much harder for a revolver, equipped with a solid hammer block safety mechanism, to be so fired by a MRI field.
Unfortunately, the type of handgun was not listed in the story of this fatal accident in Brazil. It was likely some kind of semi-automatic pistol equipped with a spring/plunger type of firing pin block.
There is always something new to learn in the field of firearms. Clearly, one can never be too careful when handling them. Looks like we need to add a fifth rule for safe gun handling:
5) Never walk into a room with a functioning MRI machine, or any other equipment generating strong magnetic fields, while carrying a firearm.
Do you think decocking the hammer would have made any difference in this case? Would that have made any difference with the firing pin movement?
MAs, wasn’t there an incident in which an MRI unit was found to have deactivated two officer’s guns? I seem to recall an article to that effect. It was discovered during firearms training soon after the two cops had checked the building on a burglar alarm.
More than one. The pistols’ striker mechanisms were magnetized to the surrounding steel of the slide in which they were embedded, and couldn’t move forward. Not discovered until the involved officers’ next live fire qualifications.
@ David Rodgers – “Do you think decocking the hammer would have made any difference in this case? ”
I doubt that it would have made any difference with respect to the gun firing the first round. According to the analysis, the single-action semi-automatic was “cocked and locked” when it fired. The empty case was found still in the chamber. Therefore, the hammer did not fall, the slide remained locked and did not cycle and eject the fired case.
It seems to be a case where the magnetic field deactivated the firing-pin block safety. Then, when the gun was drawn by the magnetic field, it struck the wall muzzle first. Since the firing pin was no longer locked, it was free to move under the inertia forces generated by the impact on the muzzle. So, it flew forward and struck the primer with enough force to cause it to detonate and fire the cartridge.
Therefore, the position of the hammer would seem to be unrelated to the incident. The hammer did not strike the firing pin as in normal operation. Instead, the firing pin flew forward (independent of the hammer) under the inertial force generated by its own mass.
This would have happened even if the hammer was down. In fact, if the hammer was down and the safety was off, the slide might have cycled and tried to load a second round. Whether it would eject cleanly and load a second round is unknown. In theory, the gun might discharge multiple times!
So, it was a good thing that the gun was “cocked and locked” since this prevented movement by the slide and the possible firing of two or more rounds. It limited the handgun to a single shot.
Great, I’ve been looking for this case since I saw the news report on this latest incident. My first thought was an inertia fire. On an even further unrelated topic, I just watched your latest Wilson Combat channel video on disparity of force. I may have to claim that next time one of these flaming bomb trains comes through my town. I’m a few miles down the road from East Palestine. I might move down your way in the near future, PA has gone blue anyway.
Come on down, Louie. We accept refugees…:-)
I’m not sure I agree with the analysis’ assertion that the case would have been ejected had the manual safety not been applied. If no one or nothing was holding the gun against the recoil, perhaps the slide, barrel, and frame would have stayed relatively stationary to each other while the whole gun was flying around in there. You know, a massive limp wrist.
When the thumb safety of a 1911 Colt is engaged, it locks the slide in place.
One thing to look into might be possible ignition of a primer through some kind of electrical shock generated similar to that which a copper magneto coil produces. A brass case tickled by a strong magnetic wave might possibly produce what amounts to a strong spark. Maybe too much like leaning over a car battery and making contact.
@ Jeff in MS – “…assertion that the case would have been ejected had the manual safety not been applied.”
As Mas notes, having the safety applied in “Cocked and Locked” condition functioned to mechanically lock he slide. Therefore, the handgun was absolutely prevented from even trying to eject the fired casing.
Would it have ejected otherwise? If the handgun had the safety off but still had a loaded round in the chamber (not the best way to carry a 1911 BTW even if the hammer was down), would the pistol have cycled? It was not gripped firmly by a human hand so your “limp wrist” condition might have some truth to it. However, the pistol was in the “grip” of a powerful magnetic field. This might have held the handgun firmly enough to allow the slide to cycle. We just don’t know but it would be fascinating if someone could do an experiment to find out if semi-automatic pistols can cycle when gripped only by strong magnetic forces. As far as I know, no one has experimented in this direction.
As to Strategic Steve’s idea that the magnetic field might have generated a spark to ignite the primer, I suppose it is possible but can be ruled out if the empty case, found still chambered, showed a firing pin strike to the primer. If a spark had fired the round then the primer would not show a strike. I assume that the primer (in the above referenced case) did show a pin strike mark.
If the firing pin was made of steel, then it is possible that the magnetic force augmented the inertial forces. In other words, the firing pin might have been pulled forward, by the magnetic force, in the same direction that inertial forces carried it. If it struck muzzle first, then the magnetic force was in front of the pistol and would have also drawn the firing pin forward if it was made of steel (some firing pins are made of non-steel alloys). So, the magnetic field might have not generated a spark and yet contributed to creating a strong enough firing pin strike to ignite the primer.
Who knows? Certainly, it is a very interesting theoretical topic. The one thing we can say is that firearms with steel components and strong magnetic fields do not mix well! 🙂
How did you and the princess do at the recent Glock match. I wasn’t able to get to spend time with you as I were working the range sign in shack
She done good. I believe she was high female in the Major Sub division for the small .45s and 10mms. I didn’t do spectacular but at least stayed in the top ten in all four of the divisions I shot. See you at Tallahassee, Don?
Two thumbs up. Happy Valentines Day to you and the Evil Princess.
Happy Valentine’s Day. The real celebration for me will be on Sunday in Tallahassee, GSSF style!
When I first read, “It’s good to be on the road again with the fox…” I stopped there briefly and thought “Mas drives a VW Fox?”
Then I read the entire line which concludes “… and her box o’Glocks.” Then I “got it.”
Sounds great! And nice touch on Valentine’s Day: not many can combine romance and firearms so seamlessly.
P.S.- We had a GREAT VW Fox (circa late 80’s, 1990?)- discontinued here in ’93 I believe. Manual transmission (still love it when it can found), power assisted steering, and as reliable as your fox’s Glock!
Stay safe and be well!
Happy Valetines Day to all you & yours Mas.
potassium? spuds? i call BS. the amount of potassium in one spud is negligible in terms of “over doing it” and a balanced diet. you may have underlying conditions like GOUT or others, but spuds really don’t spike your potassium levels unless your breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner and dessert has spuds in it. or, if you eat a literal BOATLOAD of bananas and spuds.
married my wife on Valentines day, today marks our happy 22nd year of our journey. she watches her sugar and carbohydrates, but not potassium.
pretty sure the Evil Princess is happy…
Actually, potatoes are generally considered to be a high potassium food, but it depends upon the variety of potato and how it is prepared. See this article for further information:
It is one of the downsides of growing old. Eventually, even eating becomes hazardous to your health! 🙁
I feel your pain, Mas. My own A1C levels have been climbing and I have to watch my diet too. Basically, my doctor has told me to spit out anything that tastes good! 🙂
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