A quick note about Safety.
I wanted to take some time and talk to you all about a safety issue that came up over the weekend. We’ve be very fortunate to have a real influx of test products over the past couple of weeks so I’ve been wonderfully busy testing all sorts of products for the site. I learned an important lesson this last weekend, fortunately no one was injured.
Weather you are new to shooting or have been at it for years, you can never forget to respect the weapon you’re using. The moment you do, you could get yourself injured or even worse, injure or kill someone else. It is important to remember some important rules:
1. Know your gun, its safety features and make sure that all are in working order
2. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction
3. Know your target and beyond
4. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
This weekend, while testing a new rifle, we ran into several issues the worst of which was an accidental discharge that went harmlessly down range. When you are looking at several rifles a day shooting hundreds of pellets, it is easy to get “comfortable” and take things for granted, especially when the rifle is coming from a respected manufacturer. You don’t expect to run into such serious malfunctions with name brand products, but this should show everyone that you can’t take anything for granted.
I’ll hold back the brand and model of this particular rifle as we are trying to determine if this is typical of this model or just a fluke. In any case the incident unfolded as follows. I was shooting a fairly stout .22 break barrel that consistently sends .22 Crosman Premier pellets downrange at 730 FPS. Now that is “real” FPS, not what’s advertised on the box. 730 FPS hits quite hard even at distance.
Seeing as this air gun was new to me, I was not familiar with the safety system or trigger. The trigger was a single stage adjustable trigger so I had lightened it up just a touch so the pull was a bit lighter. What I did not know or realize is that I had just create a potentially deadly situation in this rifle. While shooting I forgot to take the safety of and pulled the trigger. Obviously the rifle did not discharge and I quickly realized what I had done. So I just pushed the safety button to the fire position and the gun did exactly that, it fired the pellet down range. Being a little surprised I repeated the condition and yep, the flaw happened every time. If I pulled the trigger with the safety on and then pushed in the safety, the gun would fire every time without any further contact with the trigger. This was a serious flaw.
When I got back to my home range I decided to take a closer look at the trigger and safety issue. I loosened up the trigger a bit more and now found that the gun discharged every time I moved the safety to the fire position… WITHOUT EVER TOUCHING THE TRIGGER! Again I recreated the issue and slowly tightened up the trigger’s adjustment until both issues stopped. It happens that if you adjust this trigger AT ALL you get the first issue, lighten it further, and the second issue occurs.
Now we are in contact with the distributor and manufacture regarding this issue. But our advice to the vendor is to not sell this rifle if this is typical. The last thing anyone needs is someone to get seriously injured because they tinkered with a trigger adjustment and then did not pay attention to where the muzzle of their gun was pointed. While this is only a pellet gun, a .22 at 730 FPS could cause serious injury or death at close range.
Please take this post as it is meant and remember that ANYTHING can happen to ANYONE. No matter how experienced you are. You don’t know if the assembly person was having a bad day or if there may be one little important part missing. Don’t take your safety and the safety of others for granted. Respect the sport and the danger, these guns are NOT toys.