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  •  My little brother managed to shoot himself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleeding blue, chimpy, LilithGardener

    in the index finger with no guns being anywhere near our house.  Circa 1967, Cupertino, CA.

    Dad, my brother, and I were out tinkering in the garage. Dad and I were facing opposite walls of the garage, little brother was playing with a hammer in the middle of the garage. I'm dimly aware of this dull "tink-tink" sound.

    Tink-tink, tink-tink, tink-blam! Whiz, blap!

    He was trying to hammer a .22 long into the concrete floor, lead end down.

    The whiz, blap was a piece of the cartridge case going past my ear and into the wall.

    Little brother got a tiny cut on his index finger and nothing else. The hammer head probably deflected the fragments away from the rest of him.

    A couple of years before that, as we were preparing to leave Houston, I decided to give a friend of mine one of my nearly-deactivated .50 BMG rounds. But first I had to deactivate the powerful primer that was still active in that vintage 1943 war trophy. So I set the brass up in the mostly empty garage in a small metal jar lid, filled the lid with a little gasoline, and lit 'er up. We retreated 10 or 20 yards into the driveway just in case, and after a half minute or so, ka-boom! The brass went up and hit the rafters 15 feet up. I was actually able to find the primer on the garage floor and hammered it back into the brass, put the projectile back into the round, and presented it to my friend. That primer had left a dent in the concrete about 1/16 inch deep, by the way.

    I guess if we guys were going to play around with ordnance like that, I should have trained little brother better. It's not like we were unwarned, as when he was 5 or so he found a .22 revolver in a friend's pickup while we were on the way somewhere and started waving it all around until my dad put an abrupt end to the brandishing.

    We're both still alive and well, and only I still play with guns. He's more into crossfit these days.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:19:49 PM PST

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