Michael W. was shopping at a Georgia Walmart when his lack of a holster changed lives.
Around noon, Michael was carrying his concealed gun and shopping. But he didn’t have the gun in a holster.
According to police, “The gun was in his waistband, not holstered and loaded.”
Then, while walking the aisle shopping, the gun slipped down Michael’s leg, and he attempted to grab the firearm.
It’s unclear if the gun hit the ground before Michael grabbed it, but either way, a single round discharged from the handgun.
And due to his negligence, Michael ended up getting shot in the leg.
To make matters worse, the bullet ricocheted around the store hitting three other shoppers, who were all hit in the lower extremities.
They were all treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
After getting medical treatment Michael was arrested for reckless conduct.
Now, Michael’s incident brings up the question of gun’s firing if they’re dropped.
Can it actually happen?
So, here are a few factors that come into play when a gun hits the floor.
Firing pin block:
When it comes to changes in firearm designs one of the biggest factors is safety.
In the Wild West, it wasn’t uncommon for a cowboy to accidentally shoot their gun through their holster.
But firearm designs have come a long way since then. Gun makers don’t want their guns to accidentally go off. It’s not good for business.
So, most modern handguns come with a firing pin block. This blocks the firing pin from hitting the primer and causing the gun to go off.
Overall, if your gun is maintained and was made in the past twenty years, it has a small chance of firing when dropped.
However, if you own antique guns with worn-down parts the gun is more likely to fire if it hits the ground.
Gun makers test their guns for safety before they start mass production.
But this testing can be complex.
For instance, the gun will likely hit the ground at a different position or angle every time.
If the gun hits the ground at the right angle to bypass the firing pin block, then the gun could go off.
Plus, it’s hard for the gun makers to create the perfect and same conditions for every test.
It’s not 100%:
There is no way to guarantee that a gun won’t fire if it’s dropped and hits the ground.
For example, Sig Sauer’s P320 pistols were tested and believed to be completely drop-safe.
But someone eventually found out that the P320 could drop fire if it hit the ground at a specific angle.
Every gun has its own design, features, and flaws. But, you might not know of the safety flaws until you create the perfect drop angle.
So, the best prevention against a drop discharge is to follow gun safety rules.
You shouldn’t carry a firearm unless it’s secured in a quality holster that will keep it from dropping.
When it comes to drop safety, gun manufacturers are doing the best they can to make firearms that don’t accidentally fire.
So, the chances are very, very slim that your gun will go off if it’s ever dropped.