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Old November 07, 2014, 18:02   #1
Brush511
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Mea Culpa

First, I'm 56 yrs. old and have been shooting for at least 50 yrs. I've spent my life being very careful with firearms, have taught my children and many others to shoot and be safe.

Last Sunday afternoon after the "Hell or High Water" shoot, I was at the range with my BIL and cousin. We were checking out targets for repair, etc. When finished I decided to do some more shooting. While unloading my handgun I managed to shoot myself through the palm of my right hand. I am still not clear as to exactly what I did but know I had to have broken multiple safety rules that I've followed since childhood. I was lucky that no one else was hurt and that I ended up only losing the middle finger of my right hand. I am embarrassed at my own negligence and encourage all of you to be diligent and not to become complacent when it comes to handling firearms.

I spent two days in the hospital and two operations. Here are some pics for the "It didn't happen without pics" crowd.

I left the before surgery pic as a link for the squeamish.
http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/a...ps90d39a9d.jpg

After:

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Old November 07, 2014, 18:09   #2
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OMG - so sorry to hear of this

Thank you for sharing with the group.

Heal well
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Old November 07, 2014, 18:28   #3
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with no complications.Oh, man, hope everything heals up quickly and successfully. Very glad it wasn't worse.

A learning experience - it is always easy to point fingers or blame someoen else - or oneself - but shit can happen in a moment of inattention or distraction.

You are to be commended for sharing your experience, it will keep all of us a bit more on our toes and may prevent someone else from experiencing your misfortune
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Old November 07, 2014, 19:16   #4
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Wow - glad you are OK. Thank you for sharing so we may all be reminded how easy it is to become complacent. This can happen to any of us if we're not respectful of the weapons we handle, yet it happens so infrequently we all tend to think of them more as toys (myself included).

Good lesson - thanks again and happy healing!
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Old November 07, 2014, 19:36   #5
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take the meds & say a prayer. can you get a rubber finger? just imagine the fun ya can have with that. glad you are ok.
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Old November 07, 2014, 19:38   #6
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I had my everyday carry gun in the passenger seat beside me the other day on the way home from work. When I got home it was dark and reached over and grabbed my gun as I was getting out the car, I immediately noticed it didn't feel right as it had slipped out the holster and I felt my finger on the trigger. It didn't go off but it got my attention. When you do something everyday you begin to do it without thinking and that isn't good when it comes to guns.
I hope you heal up quickly and just remember to use you left hand when obummer comes to town.
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Old November 07, 2014, 19:59   #7
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Not expecting it to look like that.

Take care buddy.
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Old November 07, 2014, 20:07   #8
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Must have been a Forty..............with a little practice you should be able to
use your middle finger again. It does NOT look like you are OK! that's really
bad and could have been worse. I'm 56 and when much younger had the opportunity to send a round thru a very expensive antique calculator in my office. It's very unnerving. I know others that have had AD/ND's and were lucky that it was only property damage.

For some reason, every single hand gun ND at a gunshow where someone was
injured involved a Forty for some reason.
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Old November 07, 2014, 20:12   #9
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Not expecting it to look like that.

Take care buddy.******** ***************** ***************************************** width="1" height="1">
Yeah it caught me off guard as well. Sometimes shit like that happens to the best of us.

Thanks for sharing your advice with us Dave. Hopefully it will prevent something like that to happen to someone else here.

Take care man.
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Old November 07, 2014, 20:16   #10
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Holy crap Dave, I'm really glad it isn't worse. Take care and prayers sent for your speedy recovery.
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Old November 07, 2014, 20:18   #11
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Ouch. Really sorry to hear about that. I hope the healing is fast.
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Old November 07, 2014, 20:37   #12
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But damn....!!!! Sorry to see/hear of this mate. Yes it could have been worse but that is nothing to sneeze at either..!!! Saw this at work back in 99 (the night before I flew to the US for my first visit. .40cal through the palm. For the guy that was struck, he was "lucky" through and through and only minor ligament damage..!!! I still see him from time to time and the scar remains.

Heal quickly and well mate..!!
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Old November 07, 2014, 20:43   #13
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Prayers sent for healing (physical and otherwise).

I have been VERY lucky (or blessed) that neither of my two ND's resulted in any injury, save a very bad ringing in my ears.

#1: Came home from an unsuccessful last day of hunting deer with my caplock muzzleloader. Used my ball-puller to remove the ball, and dumped out the powder charge. Decided to clear the breech by snapping a cap on the nipple. Luckily, I had the muzzle pointed straight-up when anticipated "SNAP!" of just the percussion cap, was replaced by the "BOOM!" of the remaining amount of BP that hadn't shaken out of the barrel.

A friend of a friend, got out his ML to prep it for the upcoming season, and snapped a cap on the nipple to dry out the oil in the breech, and discovered he had left it charged from the previous, and sent a .54 Cal. lead ball clean through the cinder-block exterior wall of his basement.

A fellow I know that worked for a pawn-shop, said about 25% of the guns that people bring in are loaded, with ML's being closer to 50%.

#2: Bored, sitting in a ground blind, I decided to "scope-tag" a distant stump. I put my finger on the trigger to pretend to squeeze, and was LOUDLY made aware that the safety was not engaged. Killed that stump deader 'an Hell.

I have long since printed out copies of the "Four Rules of Gun Safety", and have them taped to my gun-safes, so I get a reminder every time I take a firearm out.

JMc
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Old November 07, 2014, 20:52   #14
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In the back of our subconscious is the thought "it can't happen to me",,, then all the elements of a catastrophe combine,,, and shit happens.
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Old November 07, 2014, 20:58   #15
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...have taught my children and many others to shoot and be safe.
You now have a VERY graphic and effective training aid to demonstrate when teaching firearms safety.

Hope it all heals well and quickly.
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Old November 07, 2014, 21:32   #16
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In the back of our subconscious is the thought "it can't happen to me",,, then all the elements of a catastrophe combine,,, and shit happens.
Exactly Martin, Many of us have had close calls, myself included, more than once.

Very glad it wasn't worse Dave, looks like the surgeon did a decent job on the repair, hope you heal well.
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Old November 07, 2014, 22:39   #17
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I been waiting patiently for those pics brother...

I'm relieved it wasn't More Serious, though by my scale it rate's a solid 10 in hurt.

Your "Embarrassment" while personally painful, is to be expected in this situation. I've felt that same embarrassment myself 3 time's in the past due to my own negligence... Fortunately for me only one was bloody, the other's were Only property damage.

We're all human...And prone to lapses in our attention to details when we go about the things we do on a day to day basis. You'll heal fine and be wiser. Best anyone can hope for...

Sucks losing that particular finger though...I know I use mine on a daily basis during my commute's in & out of Portlandia..
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Old November 08, 2014, 01:09   #18
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Best wishes, that is a mental issue as big as a physical issue now. Good luck.
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Old November 08, 2014, 01:11   #19
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Holy crap Dave! On the bright side you're probably down to 270 now right?

Next time we get together we can swap stories about how I almost chopped off the end of my middle finger, and how you apparently shot yours off. Definitely worth a couple or 8 shots of good whiskey at least!

Glad you're stille alive tiny!

See you soon hopefully!

Cheers!
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Old November 08, 2014, 01:47   #20
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Dave, holy crap! man that's a shocker! Hope the recovery is going well, where can we send the medicinal beverages?

Hell of a story tho

Mend fast, God speed.

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Old November 08, 2014, 02:32   #21
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Dave, sorry this happened. Your hand looks almost exactly like mine. I chopped mine up in a table saw accident in 1986. Lost my index finger back to the second joint. Later I had the rest removed and 1/2 of the metacarpal bone as it was worthless. Every finger took a beating except my thumb. Especially my middle finger. I was so pissed off at myself. I have seen many mangled hands and yours looks pretty good. Hopefully it will function as well as it looks. I assume a hand surgeon did the work. If not, find one now! The Dr. that took care of me initially was an OB GYN at the E.R. but I went to a dedicated hand surgeon the next day. Be 110% diligent in doing your therapy and remember scar tissue is the enemy especially on your tendons and tendon sheaths. Give yourself a break and use this to educate your friends. I will pray for a fast recovery and no infection. Please feel free to e-mail or pm me with any concerns or questions.
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Old November 08, 2014, 02:44   #22
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Hope you have a speedy recovery. Glad you posted this, as we all need reminders from time to time.
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Old November 08, 2014, 11:19   #23
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Thank you all for the prayers and well wishes. I'm doing well and enduring a plethora of new nicknames from my "friends" and relatives. This is the weekend of our "Fake Elk Hunt". I am participating, though at a lesser level than normal.

Caliber was .40 S&W, 155 gr. Golddot (2bare - you must see a lot more GSW's than I do, don't know how you could tell).

First surgery was done by a orthopedic surgeon who wasn't a hand specialist. He cleaned it out and assessed damage for his partner the hand specialist, who wasn't available till the next day. There was talk of shipping me to Seattle (about 4 hrs.) if the hand surgeon didn't feel confident but after they had checked it out there weren't many options. The bullet went right dead center through the joint where the middle finger attaches to the hand. It took out the joint, ligaments, and approximately 3cm of bone. Hand surgeon said I couldn't have hit the bulls-eye any better. I told him that was funny because I couldn't hit shit with it earlier in the weekend. With nothing left of the joint reconstruction was moot, so that left fusion or amputation. Fusion had a lower chance of success and probably wouldn't have fit well with my occupation (farmer), so I chose to have it amputated. It feels pretty good and I expect it to be fully functional. I was told by a friend that it would now fit sub-compact handguns better.

I'm off to FEH. Have a great weekend.

Tailback & Jonny - hold those thoughts, they have me on the wagon while on antibiotics.
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Old November 08, 2014, 12:06   #24
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I'm curious to hear more if you're willing to share. How did you feel right after it happened? Did you go into shock, pass out, scream like a girl, or were you numb? Was your mind clear and able to function, or did some one else have to take over and make basic decisions for you? What did you feel, think, and do?
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Old November 08, 2014, 13:05   #25
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I'm curious to hear more if you're willing to share. How did you feel right after it happened? Did you go into shock, pass out, scream like a girl, or were you numb? Was your mind clear and able to function, or did some one else have to take over and make basic decisions for you? What did you feel, think, and do?
When the pistol went off, I'm sure I had an absolute and complete look of surprise on my face. It felt like I had taken a very hard punch to the hand, not really painful, but a hard hard punch. It probably took a second or two to realize what I'd done. Being self-employed I'm used to making decisions. I yelled "awe f@ck" and yelled to my cousin (he was closest, retired 82nd,then coast guard) that I needed a clean rag or towel. I kind of took charge and made dissions based on my fire service training. By now it was starting to hurt. My BIL was bringing another towel from the other direction so everyone was accounted for.

They helped me get in BIL's pickup. There is no cell service at my range, so we had to drive a little ways to even call for help. I made the decision to continue in pv to the hospital. It is 20 mi. to any hospital. To get an ambulance would have meant approx. an hour min., BIL made it in about 15 min. We picked up my wife on the way. About a forth of the way to the hospital I was starting to get shocky. I wasn't able to mentally prevent shock, though I new it was coming and was willing it away. I cautioned my BIL several times to not get pulled over as we would lose more time explaining than we were making up going faster. Even with shock I was able to think clear through the whole thing. I was very dizzy and unable to walk when we got to the hospital but realized that even before we parked and told my wife I would need a wheelchair. When setting on the ER exam table I told the nurses I needed to lie down but never passed out.

That is about all I can think of right now. I'll add more as I think of it. OBTW it hurts like a SOB after it starts hurting. On my 1-10 scale(which I think is kind of a crock), it's an 8,9, almost a 10. A 10 is a dislocation of the knee.
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Old November 08, 2014, 13:50   #26
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No one is perfect, I have had a accidental discharge as well. I was very lucky to have learned or had some safety beaten into me at a young age. I am sure you had the same in you as well. I have seen you around firearms and you know what you are doing. This goes out as a reminder that it can happen to the best! Bro you are a solid guy if you need a extra hand no pun intended let me know. So happy to hear you are alive.
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Old November 08, 2014, 14:33   #27
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I've been lucky for my 54yrs but don't think for a minute that it can't happen. It can happen to anyone. It happens to people who are far better than me,........you're probably an example of that.

Thanks for sharing the experience with others so that we can all take a lesson from it. I can't imagine having to go through life only being able to count to nine.

Speaking of numbers one through ten,...........I'm happy to hear that this only qualifies as an 8 or 9 with a dislocated knee rating the full monty. The knee thing I'm intimately familiar with and have survived on a number of occasions. Three times in fact, having learned that no matter how hard you try, you can't drag yourself far enough away from your leg to make it stop hurting. A ten,.........yes, definitely a ten.

Heal quick.
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Old November 08, 2014, 14:40   #28
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Dave, are you a left or right handed person? Where you removing the pistol from a holster when it happened? Did you pull the trigger or did it snag?

Im sorry for the whole "20 questions", but I see every mishap as an opportunity to learn a lesson.

I hope you have a speedy recovery and get back to shooting again asap. The most important thing is to not beat yourself up too much, just learn the lesson and move on. But at 56, you probably don't need to hear that from a 24 year old! Good luck.
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Old November 08, 2014, 14:49   #29
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There's no such thing as "Accidental discharge"...

They are ALL due to "Negligence" period...Anyone expierencing such should remember that. Firearms do not shoot themselves.
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Old November 08, 2014, 14:51   #30
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Just like a boss In charge of the situation at hand all the way to the hospital. It's amazing you had the presence of mind to make good decisions in the heat of the moment. I thinking stopping to get your wife is great. I can just hear you on the way. Oh wait stop and get the wife it's on our way, and will save her a trip. You have a tuff drive you can't teach In a day but can only be learned in a life
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Old November 08, 2014, 19:19   #31
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So Dave, you wanting to sell your SCAR now?
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Old November 08, 2014, 19:52   #32
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Quote:
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.

Caliber was .40 S&W, 155 gr. Golddot (2bare - you must see a lot more GSW's than I do, don't know how you could tell).


:
It's one of those Zen things...........Forty's just seem to be the one to shoot
yourself in the hand or knee with not sure why but that's the way it is.
There have been 2 cases of folks shooting the guy next to them at a show
in the knee! Forty's cause massive damage(you get that part I'm sure).
There was a guy trying to disassemble a Glock Forty and yep you guessed it
really bad basically looked like yours.

Dave, get a NINE!
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Old November 08, 2014, 21:18   #33
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Had a friend of mine shoot himself through the palm of his left hand on the range I worked at. Trying to demonstrate to a friend how safe the Glock is. A .40 Glock. True story.
Took the hazmat team two days to clean the range (indoor) and when they left I could still find pieces of the dumbass.
The story of how he did this is so embarrassing I'm even uncomfortable telling it.
To this day everyone still calls him Lefty.
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Old November 08, 2014, 21:25   #34
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Thanks Brush for posting this. Our common hobby can have fatal consequences in a heartbeat which we all need to remember. Prayers for you brother.
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Old November 08, 2014, 21:42   #35
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Hope you heal up well.
Contact gunshot wounds are nasty. Not only the wound itself from the bullet, but lots of burnt and un-burnt gunpowder gets blown into the skin/muscle surrounding the wound itself with the follow on risk of infection.
Best of luck to you.
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Old November 08, 2014, 21:51   #36
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Ok so it's sounds like you are in pretty good spirits about things. This is very important. Ya you can probably grip a J-frame better then most. So let's hear the new nick names? I am guessing if you ever start to shoot Cowboy Action you maybe able to get the best name ever. I told my family about it including my three year old son who prayed for daddies friends hand at dinner.
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Old November 09, 2014, 01:32   #37
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Trust me a 10 is a kidney stone
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Old November 09, 2014, 12:22   #38
Bruce Allen
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I looked at this thread last night.

Truly a gutsy move to post about it and my hat is off to you.

I also pray you heal well and quickly with no other ill effects to the hand other than not being able to express your opinion to others in a manual way, if you know what I mean..


My mind, being a terrible thing, could not get the image of the three fingered hand out of it..

Finally this morning a character came to mind (because of the fingers):



There are other characters with 3 fingers but Yosemite Sam just seemed appropriate some how..he likes guns and you like guns...

PS - if this is offensive to you let me know and I will delete it.
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Old November 09, 2014, 14:00   #39
0302
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well, there are mobsters named "three finger brown" & "bobby two fingers", so a moniker is in order.
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Old November 09, 2014, 14:31   #40
AliYahu
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Negligent Discharges are somethign that I am very weary of. I have never had one, although I very nearly did several years ago by assuming a rifle was unloaded. I was starting to squeeze the trigger, and thought better of it.
Several years ago, a friend bought a couple of CZ-52 pistols from a local seller here on the 'Files. We were warned that the firing pin safety was defective on one, and to not trust the safety.
My friend carried the defective pistol in the car, and would bring it in Fridays to oil it down.
One Friday, he brought it in and set it on his dresser, along with some other items. It fell off the dresser, and landed hammer-first on the carpeted floor.
http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/couri...4f7191533.html

Eli
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Old November 09, 2014, 15:13   #41
alphadog58
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Dayum! Hope you heal up with no complications!
Larry
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Old November 09, 2014, 16:29   #42
yellowhand
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Damn, that hurts!
Lost first joint forward on my little finger, gun shot, from someone else, not me, shit hurts like a bastard.
Hand and finger gunshot are the worst for pain.
Crap load of nerve endings.
Just a suggestion from experience going forward.
Have someone locate a stud just above where you sleep and run in an eye hook.
Take a long 6 inch ACE bandage and hook an end over the eye hook and then wrap other end around your wrist to keep it elevated while you try and get some sleep.
Don't have it too high, just above your chest.
If you're like the rest of us, a lot of folks get shot in the hands and fingers, every time you turn over, you will hit it and wake up.
Good luck, good doc for sure, nice work.
Btw:
The fellow that shot me in my pinkie won't ever do that again!
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Old November 09, 2014, 17:30   #43
Guy-epic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliYahu View Post
Negligent Discharges are somethign that I am very weary of. I have never had one, although I very nearly did several years ago by assuming a rifle was unloaded. I was starting to squeeze the trigger, and thought better of it.
Several years ago, a friend bought a couple of CZ-52 pistols from a local seller here on the 'Files. We were warned that the firing pin safety was defective on one, and to not trust the safety.
My friend carried the defective pistol in the car, and would bring it in Fridays to oil it down.
One Friday, he brought it in and set it on his dresser, along with some other items. It fell off the dresser, and landed hammer-first on the carpeted floor.
http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/couri...4f7191533.html

Eli
So what was the outcome? Was there any charges filed? Or a civil suite? Very sad freak accident.
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Old November 09, 2014, 17:32   #44
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If you ever do cowboy action shooting. You will get a cool nam for sure! You have that going for you. I always try and find a positive in any situation.
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Old November 09, 2014, 19:59   #45
0302
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mom still has a .22 short bullet lodged in her calf. dropped a cheap-ass pistol on concrete and shot herself in the leg. i took the pistol, dissassembled it & threw it away.
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Old November 10, 2014, 21:36   #46
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Vitamins A,C and E are you healing vitamins. Use 5000 I.U.s of A, 2 -> 3000 I.Us of C and 2 ->3 tablespoons of Wheat Germ Oil per day. You might want to work your way up the levels of C and E. Start the Wheat Germ Oil out at just 1 tablespoon/day, and increase it with another each week until you can take 3/day. Zinc is important to healing and the oil has it.

If you have bone damage, Dolomite will help repair damaged bone. IIRC it is the usual calcium/magnesium ratio bones need and love. Take with yogurt or cottage cheese two or three times/day.

Don't try to mix the oil with anything, just take it one tablespoon at a time. After you swallow all three, rinse it down with your juice, tea or coffee. It doesn't mix with anything and you will be rinsing most of it down the drain since it will still to the glass. WGO is loaded with tocopherols essential for the human body.

HTH
Jarhead
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Old November 10, 2014, 22:00   #47
RG Coburn
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The docs did a pretty nice job of straightening out your hand.
I had about three pellets worth of pyrodex lite up in my left hand two years ago.I was screwing around,and carelessness(and stupidity) caused them to ignite. Kinda like having the space shuttle take off in your clenched fist. I couldn't react fast enough to open and toss.Burnt the living snot out of my hand,which,miraculously,healed so well,you can tell which hand it was in.
I now cringe when I see fellas at the range,shooting inlines and whatnot,with a whole open box of pyrodex pellets right next to where they are firing. One spark,and it would be about the equivelent of an RPG backblast in their face.
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Old November 13, 2014, 21:12   #48
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You and Peter Griffin now have something in common.
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Old November 13, 2014, 23:47   #49
Mark IV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0302 View Post
well, there are mobsters named "three finger brown" & "bobby two fingers", so a moniker is in order.
"Three Fingers" Bruno Fanelli, a close family member.
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Old November 14, 2014, 16:02   #50
spider991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarhead504 View Post
Vitamins A,C and E are you healing vitamins. Use 5000 I.U.s of A, 2 -> 3000 I.Us of C and 2 ->3 tablespoons of Wheat Germ Oil per day. You might want to work your way up the levels of C and E. Start the Wheat Germ Oil out at just 1 tablespoon/day, and increase it with another each week until you can take 3/day. Zinc is important to healing and the oil has it.

If you have bone damage, Dolomite will help repair damaged bone. IIRC it is the usual calcium/magnesium ratio bones need and love. Take with yogurt or cottage cheese two or three times/day.

Don't try to mix the oil with anything, just take it one tablespoon at a time. After you swallow all three, rinse it down with your juice, tea or coffee. It doesn't mix with anything and you will be rinsing most of it down the drain since it will still to the glass. WGO is loaded with tocopherols essential for the human body.

HTH
Jarhead
a 22 year old redhead with moral flexability and a daddy complex has been known to heal various wounds as well! I highly recomend one! If nothing else she will make you forget about your hand. Get well friend!
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