Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shooting big-bore revolvers

A man who allegedly lost his thumb due to the hot gases escaping from the barrel-cylinder gap has sued the revolver's maker, Smith & Wesson:
A man whose hand was seriously injured the first time he fired a revolver in the field is suing the weapon’s manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, in federal court in Texarkana.

In response, the gun manufacturer said there are no problems with the design of the weapon, a 460 model revolver, and that the man caused the accident by not heeding its warnings.
"... Todd [the shooter] had to support this very heavy gun entirely with the strength of his hands and arms while trying to steady the cross-hairs of the scope on the deer, and in doing this, Todd held the pistol grip with his right hand and placed his left hand under the trigger guard of the revolver and also braced the gun against the window of the deer stand,” the complaint states.

After firing at the deer, blood began “spurting up in the air and on his gun and clothes.” Brown’s left thumb was severed by the gases escaping from the barrel cylinder gap when it was fired, and a deep gash was left on his palm, the lawsuit states.

Article here.

For those shooters of semi-auto pistols who use a two-handed "thumbs forward" hold, this incident may counsel against using such a hold for those who also shoot, or plan on shooting, big-bore revolvers. Under stress (or the excitement of the hunt), a shooter will typically revert to their "preferred" or most used hold / hand placement. If that hold is one where the less-dominant (support-side) thumb extends forward of the barrel-cylinder gap, bad things may happen, and serious injuries may occur, when the shooter fires the revolver. Something to think about.

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