Lead contamination is dangerous situation that we shooters all worry about – or should be worried about! I work at an indoor range. We go to great pains to make sure that exposure to lead is as minimal as possible. Every day we clean each range bay, and we use state of the art HVAC and air filtration systems to keep the air clean. Not just to make the range comfortable, but to keep everyone safe as they enjoy their experience.
Lead particles can get everywhere. In your hair, your clothes, all over your guns, and all over your hands. We always encourage our patrons, guests, and friends to wash their hands after shooting. But there is one area that gets neglected, that we don’t think about.
Our Range Bags.
Think about it. It’s right there on the firing line with us. We go into the bag all the time for ammo and magazines… and it’s catching some of everything we throw down range. Powder and Powder Residue, Brass at times… and lead particles.
As dirty as your hands can get, you grab that range bag. Then, you go and wash your hands, and then you grab your range bag again to take it to the car. At home, you wash your clothing, shower, and then you grab your range bag. Your hands could be getting contaminated with lead even before you shoot for the day.
Let me ask you this; when was the last time you cleaned your range bag? You don’t have to answer that. I’ll be honest. I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned my range bag! How much lead have I been bringing into my home?
Make cleaning your range bag a part of your shooting schedule.
At the shop I work at, we wear 2-Way Radios and use ear pieces. This made apparent a problem was aware of, but didn’t know just how much of a problem.
If I put the earpiece in my right ear, I can turn up the volume and it’s just fine. If I put my earpiece in my left ear, I can’t hear anything unless it comes over the radio. I am dang near completely deaf in my right ear. I knew I had some hearing loss in it… but it’s a lot worse than I ever realized.
If I had to attribute this to any one thing… it’s 5.56mm NATO and me not wearing good earpro while shooting it.
This has caused me a lot of grief that last couple of years. Misunderstandings and such… Angry wife who was talking and I didn’t know… things like that.
Guys, you don’t want this.
Please… If you don’t keep a set of Earpro in your Range Bag, put a couple sets in there. Good Muffs and some plugs. If you are shooting with a young one, let them use the muffs and protect their hearing. Get some Earpro, mark them as yours, and throw that in with your gear and never shoot without it. Same with Eyepro. It’s not worth what you’ll lose if you don’t.
It turns out the Amish Girl was killed by a horrible incident of negligence. Pretty much it was an accident, but one based on a negligent action. This is a horrible thing, but the man never intended to kill the girl. I’m sure that gives comfort to the family of the young woman slain – Okay, not even close. My heart goes out to the family.
Firing a gun into the air is incredibly stupid. As we can see the potential for tragedy played out to the fullest in this case. Doesn’t get much worse than this. This is why we don’t fire a rifle – of any type – into the air. Ever. Even a muzzle loader, 1.5 miles away from anything. Just don’t do it. For a muzzle loader, you can’t just unload, which is why the man fired it. So what you do is you fire it into something that can take a hit. Like a bucket of sand. Or a barrel of sand or water. Whatever you can come up with. Just don’t fire it into the air.
A friend of mine has a little brother who was is interested in shooting so he was brought along for enjoyment and learning… Little Brother is not so Little. He’s pretty much a grown adult. He just didn’t learn anything and almost killed someone because of it. This wasn’t an Accident. This was his Negligence. Pure negligence and it almost killed my friend.
He was informed that he needed to get some formal and professional training. He refused. He doesn’t need it.
This was a couple years ago. Recently the same thing happened. Little Brother “Had an Accident” again… and again, almost killed someone.
An “Accident” is when a Child wets the bed. When a gun goes off unintentionally, that’s a Negligent Discharge which is a result of Negligence. So now we have a Strike Two. We have a situation where once again Negligence – his negligence almost took a life. But it wasn’t his fault, it was just an accident, and again he refuses to accept that he needs formal training. When you almost kill people TWICE because of the same thing – this takes a step beyond negligence. This is Willful Disregard for the Safety and Lives of Others. This makes one a Dangerous Jackass. And to refuse to accept responsibility – I’m sorry… Your Done. You should not have any firearms. You are an ignorant and arrogant child that shouldn’t even be allowed to handle guns under Adult Supervision. I’d even say that you shouldn’t even be allowed in a Training Class – unless you are fully accepting that YOU are the problem. No – don’t blame the gun. The gun didn’t Malf. If you were squared away and followed the Gun Safety Rules – Malf or not – you wouldn’t have almost killed a guy – again.
So I may need a new helmet now. I took a 5 gallon bucket to the face at 75MPH. It almost took me off my bike. I was/am unhurt. It blew out of the back of a truck and nailed me. It happened so fast, I didn’t see it coming. If I had got a half helmet type – I’d be dead. I’m sure of that. As it is, I’m just fine, because God loves Ogres and I live right and the well wishes of my friends and family all worked. So, no worries.
Well, the impact was pretty good and I’m concerned about the integrity of the helmet now. I think I need a new one.
Congratulations to UDOT for creating the most dangerous road that I have ever ridden on. Highway 40, going through Strawberry. A few weeks ago I rode through and watched a couple on a motorcycle go down. That was due to the uneven layering of the road surface, and they way that UDOT directed traffic through it. Now the road is finished. And UDOT managed to create a surface that is not just slick, but also collects water and doesn’t allow it to run off. Sunday I rode through during a thunderstorm. It was absolutely scary. But I made it. I posted this on Facebook:
The hariest part of the ride was going past Strawberry with it’s newly refinished surface. Water doesn’t run off there. It collects. So to avoid hydroplaning, I threaded my tires in the track of a truck in front of me that was doing 75-80 MPH and I was going through where his tires splashed the water out, before the water came back in… if you know what I mean. It was either that, or go 40 MPH and risk getting run off the road. So it was dicey.
Guest post: How to Not Shoot Yourself. By Daniel Shaw
Shooters who subscribe to the Ogre’s blog or social networking sites were likely to have seen, in late June, the YouTube video of a gentleman who was doing some training that resulted in him shooting himself in the leg. From his language and the way he handled the pistol after shooting himself, I gathered that he was not a novice. His main purpose of posting the embarrassing video was to let viewers know that negligent discharges could happen to anyone. Even the most skilled and experienced shooters can make bad decisions through complacency and those decisions could lead to an accidental discharge.
We see many videos like this on YouTube. Here’s another one.
The people on this range are very lucky. Someone could have killed right there. Having this happen with a revolver is unusual. Granted. But there was a case years ago in Virginia where the novice shooter was trying a Desert Eagle and the gun gun recoiled up, pointed at the instructor behind her, and fired again… killing the instructor.
Let me be clear… this isn’t funny. Giving a novice shooter an overpowered gun for whatever reason isn’t funny. It’s serious, because bad things can happen and you can take someone interested in shooting and make them all the sudden not interested in shooting. So forget the Macho “This is my gun and you can’t handle it” bravado and stuff it. If you have a novice shooter that wants to try it, prepare them, make sure they use a good stance and they have a good grip. And only load 1 round. Just one. If they want to try it again, load another one. Once they get the handle on it, then you can let them roll off a whole mag or cylinder full.
I used to be a fan of the Serpa holster. However, the more and more I used them the more problems I had. I don’t recommend them to anyone and suggest just about anything else over the Serpa. A brown paper sack is preferable in my opinion.
Problems I’ve personally seen:
1. Failure to depress lock mechanism completely, which results in the pistol not releasing during a quick draw.
2. The gun being jerked out of the hand somehow, resulting in a draw stroke that ends with the gun being tossed away from the shooter.
3. The lock failing and ending up with the gun being stuck in the holster.