Article never assume... makes an ass out of U and ME they say.

I nearly learned that the hard way when i was shooting in the Marine Corps match in Camp Le June NC, in 1995.
The matches were over and we still had one last day before we flew back, so we went down to the 200m Zero range for a fun shoot. There were about 40 of us, some Brits and some US Marines. We had an array of weapons layed out on the firing line, mainly SA80's, M16 and a few sniper rilfles from both sides of the pond.
Being that most of the ammo was 5.56 we had magazines stacked up and it all had to go, lets face one wants to unload and rebox that lot !
Anyway given that there was still lots of ammo to get through and there were lots of weapons lying about I thought I'd have a pop at some of the targets down range on one of our SA80's.
I walked up to a vacant slot and picked up the rifle, bearing in mind there was a British marine lying to my left being coached by a US marine lying next to him on his left.
I inserted the magazine, cocked the rifle whilst it was still pointing towards the ground ( ideally it should have been at 45 degrees to the deck, first mistake). Now on the SA80 there is a little slack on the trigger which you can take up ( a little like a 2 stage trigger) which helps you to squeeze rather than snatch the trigger for better shot release.
Unfortunately I didn't carry out my NSP's assuming that the previous user had returned the weapon to a safe state, ie chamber clear , no magazine and the safetly on ( or as our US counterparts call it, a condition 4 weapon).
This however wasn't the case, the safety had been left off. This was the first and only time I have ever squeezed a trigger and had it go bang by surprise.
My feet nearly buckled beneath me as I watched the dirt 12 inches to the right of the marines head spray up! Realising what I'd done and knowing there were perhaps 20 or so spectators no more than 20 ft behind me, I figured the best course of action was to empty the magazine down range as quickly as possible and get off the point, half expecting someone to run up and drag me off.
As I took aim I heard the US Marine coaching say " if you pull it into your shoulder it.....actually you might want to slide back a bit, the guy next to you just shot next to your head"
At this point I fully expected the marine to stand up and snot me for utter negligence, but he just shimmied back and carried on with his shoot.

When I walked off the point it seemed that only two guys had seen it and were stood like guppies at feeding time but otherwise it appeared to go un noticed.
It took me about an hour for my hands to stop shaking...I had been on the shooting team for 3 years and knew the weapon inside and out, but I allowed complacency to creep in and nearly killed someone in the process. How different life would have been in the barrel had been just a few cm's further to the left.

It then really hit home what the team coach WO Charlie Jennings had always said " Weapons are safe, until you forget how dangerous they are"
Good honest reporting mate. I've never ND'd luckily but seen a few go off. A couple on an advance to contact range in Germany and the round whistled past one of the lad's head. The DS nearly punched the culprit into the middle of next week - looks like you got off lightly!
I did Zofo, but the most important thing was what I learned from the experience. 1 ND is 1 ND too many!
I bet you had your schoolmaster's voice on when you typed that! ;)
Thats a good story. Gives courage under fire a whole new meaning.
Been there, done that, only just missed the guy by bout an inch, not a nice experience, luckily it was a rubber, we'only only allowed to use rubbers on the range we were on :(
Lets see, rubber bullets, targets with only a bullseye, you guys need to get a decent computer wargame so you can remember how to fight a real war.
rotorwash said:
Lets see, rubber bullets, targets with only a bullseye, you guys need to get a decent computer wargame so you can remember how to fight a real war.

Aint that the truth! Now there's no East Timor for you guys to beat up on...
I'm not saying I don't believe you's just in one ear and out the rubber !!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
BTW - Dragon, do you use rubbers when you're shooting up the beach? :shock:
Nope, thats lives, and we do have a computer game to play, its called Unreal Tournament 2004 and Battlefield 1942
You see that is what you get for being a Pompey rating !!! I've said it all along.............and Dragon what is all this about shooting up perfectly good beaches ???

You would be better served targeting your tailor !!!!! :lol: :lol:

I have seen that classy jacket of yours :oops: :oops:
Sparky, here's one for you to ruminate on. 8 January 1991, while on the live fire range at Fort Hood, while prepping for Operation Desert Storm, One M1 Abrams on the line put a sabot round through another, killing some of the crew. Nasty after action report. End of story. :( :(
There's a bit of perspective for you!
Conversation I heard on a combat assault in Vietnam. Gunship doing the talking was on the left side of a V of 3 providing cover as they landed, "Roger, understand formation is taking fire from the left. Have it and am engaging with doorguns, and chalk 3, you put one more round through my tailboom and I'm going to blast your ass out of the sky." (Door gunner on a slick had a bit of target fixation)
hehehe still laughing at that RW....your aircrews seem to have a wicked sense of humor, very sedate considering the situation...what was it you said, the rotors are to keep the crew cool, if they stop everyone starts to sweat ! :mrgreen:

Reminds me of what one of the black Hwak Pilots said as they were spinning out of control after taking an RPG...."So you wanna pull those PCL's offline or what?" said with both wit and a steel nerve..

a breed apart, I take my hat off to you sir.

And Eagle, yep a sabot round is a little more devastating, I think we just have to accept that blue on blue's are a part of combat and even combat training. I think we all have to accept that when we sign on the dotted line, after all there was nothing in my contract that said I had to be killed by the enemy.
Somewhere around Tuy Hoa my platoon is crossing a dry rice paddy as we approach this ville that we're going to do a search in. We're all pretty much on line with each other with about a 15-20yd. interval between guys. This cherry, that has been with us for about 2wks., is walking with his M-16 pointing down and off to his left. Somehow he accidently fires off a burst of 3-4, kicking up dirt within a foot of my buddy Beetle to his left! As everyone drops, aiming at the ville, the cherry and Beetle stand there looking at each for a second. Beetle looks PISSED and the cherry looks like he'd just been kicked in the nuts. Neither say a word as Beetle walks over to the guy......and gives him a horizontal butt stroke to the head with stock of the shotgun that he's carrying! He's knocked to the ground. Beetle returns to his position on line. Luckily, his helmet takes the full force of the blow. Somebody helps the FNG up, and we move out. Nobody has said anything over a murmur. The platoon leader has seen the whole thing and says nothing. It was almost on the verge of bizarre.
Hard to determine just how far you want to take self defense in a situation like that, after all, he is supposed to be on your side.

When working with mini-guns we always took extraordinary precautions, they had no mechanical safe mechanism. If you manually spun the barrels the gun would fire every time a barrel hit the 12 o clock position. When we landed at a secure firebase we pointed the guns down and pulled the circuit breakers so static electricity wouldn't fire them, then after landing we put a sandbag in front of the barrels and opened the bolt access cover so the bolts couldn't lock in firing position. Still, I inadvertantly put more then one round into the ground between my legs.

A real scary deal is firing a 40mm round between your feet, that is a wake up call.

The funniest thing (well, one of, anyway) I ever saw was a hot shot armament mechanic saunter up to a gun ship, open the door, step onto the skid and flip on the power and the rocket arming panel. Then his foot slipped off the skid and his hand hit the firing switch on the pilot's cyclic. A rocket fired, passed right behind his legs close enough to singe his pants, then just under the open pilot's door and punched into the revetment wall. The rocket penetrated one PSP panel, three feet of sandbags, another sheet of PSP and into the air. One fin had been torn off so the flight was slightly erratic. It arced up into the air, then circled back down headed into the next revetment, fortunately empty of aircraft. The runaway rocket punched all the way through that revetment and stuck, the tail sticking out one side, the nose out the other and burned itself out. It took about 15 seconds before 300 witnesses could stop holding their breath and start laughing till their sides hurt. Armament kid was shaking for an hour. I think he changed jobs after that.

About a year before I left SF we were sent to a third world country to enhance their training program. I was given responsibility for the LAW range. What the heck, they rarely worked for us, why not give them away. Instead of firing a real LAW every shot, some genius had figured out how to take an expended weapon and mount a device in the end of the barrel that fired a miniature rocket that fired and flew just like the real thing.

In true SF fashion, we parachuted in 15 miles away and hoofed it to the range. The locals arrived in trucks. Oh well, we had an image to uphold. The SF also has an adage that goes, "travel light, freeze at night." We did and it did. Coldest night in recorded history in a tropical plain. I dug a hole to get out of the wind, the hole filled with water. I was never so glad to see the sun in my life.

Except in the daylight, the things that were going wrong were really obvious. The little rockets fired from the LAW's were designed to be used against tanks, nothing less. Well, the local counterpart explained to me that his HQ had determined that a tank was too expensive to operate, so they were providing a substitute, an M-113. The little rockets worked really well, they fired very well and flew accurately, most of the locals were getting hits two out of three times, and they were easy to reload. Then I turned around and had the APC commander in my face. It seemed that when the li'l ol rockets hit his noble steed, they nicked a piece out of the aluminum and he didn't like it. I pointed him to my counterpart and together they came up with a plan - wood. They mounted wood on the side of the APC. I didn't care what they used, I was still cold.

Back we went to firing but the APC commander was still upset, the rockets punched right through the wood and still nicked his little tin can. Then a rocket made a direct hit on a periscope and he was really mad. He came stomping in from down range screaming and waving his arms and announced that he was no longer playing our game, his toy was no longer going to be a moving target for us. Cool, I just started the range up again, we can shoot at a stationary target just as well. Horrified, he raced back to his vehicle. Trying not to smirk, I refused to shut the range down while he was charging away. Let the idiot dodge rockets. Only fate intervened.

I glanced at the next soldier to fire and there, about ten feet behind him was a photographer lined up to get a shot of the rocket as it left the tube. This would be the best shot of his life - and his last. Screaming at the top of my lungs and exhausting my vocabulary of the local dialect in one breath, I grabbed the shutterbug and threw him out of the way. Still screaming, and probably still on the same breath, I put a box behind the weapon about where the photog was standing. When the rocket punched off, the box disentegrated. He turned white as a sheet. I was finally warm.

Talk about rubbers, remember Frisco? The satisfaction in zinging Charley with the business end of a Trojan Dee-lux!
ah well, another beach shot to hell and back

Interestin story of survival this

New female CPL had her first day in the APC bein movin target. She stopped (big mistake, i had the PSG) Stuck her head out the hatch WITHOUT her helmet on (second mistake, be warned we were only usin rubbers), I put a shot over her head, she ducked back inside the APC, unfourtunatly she shut the hatch before she got in far enough, knocked herself out for 3 days, still got the dent in the hatch as well, now labelled appropraitly "this is what happens when Dragon puts a bullet over ur bows"