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CZ Shadows / TSOs not drop safe


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8 minutes ago, Braxton1 said:

 

Hammer position (fully-cocked, half-cocked, or "fully down on the firing pin") would make no difference in preventing a discharge if the gun is dropped onto a hard surface.  There is one exception that I'll hit later, although it's not really in the realm of plausible.

 

Most modern guns have a floating firing pin that uses inertia to actually travel past the point of contact with the hammer, going that last 32nd of an inch or so until impact with the primer.

 

When a pistol is dropped and all the stars align, the impact onto the ground stops the gun.  That inertial firing pin can keep moving forward, no matter where the hammer is at the moment or whether a Thumb Safety or Grip Safety is engaged, and discharge the chambered round. 

 

Firing Pin Safeties do prevent this type of discharge, but like has been mentioned before, a gamut of guns that we use in competition don't have this feature (STI's, Series 70s, Shadows, Hi Powers, just to name a few.). 

 

As far as Extended Firing Pins, I would go so far as to say that they actually might be safer.  As long as the Pin is not so long that it actually protrudes out of the breechface while the hammer is resting upon it, then it would have less room to get a running start and gain momentum before impacting the primer. 

 

Here's the aforementioned exception:  Some Open guns do have firing pins that protrude when the hammer is resting on it.  This is done to regulate primer flow back into the Firing Pin Hole.  If a round was loaded in the chamber and the hammer was lowered to fully-down (Jeff Cooper's "Condition Two"), and the gun was then dropped in such a way that it landed on the hammer, we'd likely have a discharge.  But, that is a scenario that would likely never happen.  I can't see any reason to load a gun in that manner, especially in the competition arena.

 

I say all that to say this:  This incident, tragic as it is, doesn't require rule changes or equipment changes.  I will never be flippant about safety issues, but this was simply an unfortunate accident.  Like has been said before, we are utilizing deadly weapons in an athletic manner; there is a certain amount of inherent risk.

This sounds to me like Boeing's explanations/excuses after 737 Max crashes. A clear design/safety flaw masquerading as an accident. Guns are not supposed to go off without pulling the trigger, unless a part is broken. Not an acceptable situation and warrants rule/equipment changes IMHO.

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If so it will affect or even eliminate a lot more guns than just CZ's....not that that should be a reason not to, but I'm also thinking of all the open guns too.  Maybe it is just the extended pin/lower-powered firing pin spring.

Edited by MoRivera
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I wonder what is the number of dropped guns going off during matches in a given year. This must happen more frequently than one would think. I think we hear about them only when something really bad happens.

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19 minutes ago, Braxton1 said:

As far as Extended Firing Pins, I would go so far as to say that they actually might be safer.  As long as the Pin is not so long that it actually protrudes out of the breechface while the hammer is resting upon it, then it would have less room to get a running start and gain momentum before impacting the primer. 

 

This is contrary to the laws of physics.  Also: closer to the primer = less distance to travel for impact = less safe.

 

9 minutes ago, Tango said:

Guns are not supposed to go off without pulling the trigger, unless a part is broken. Not an acceptable situation and warrants rule/equipment changes IMHO.

 

Not true.  A very good number can go off without pulling the trigger if dropped or mishandled.  That's not a design defect.  It's operator error.

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1 minute ago, ltdmstr said:

 

This is contrary to the laws of physics.  Also: closer to the primer = less distance to travel for impact = less safe.

 

 

Not true.  A very good number can go off without pulling the trigger if dropped or mishandled.  That's not a design defect.  It's operator error.

It is always a combination of design flaw and operator error that causes bad accidents. In this case, it is an inherently unsafe equipment and operation mode being accepted in a sport that prides itself with safety that caused this "accident". 

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2 minutes ago, Tango said:

It is always a combination of design flaw and operator error that causes bad accidents. In this case, it is an inherently unsafe equipment and operation mode being accepted in a sport that prides itself with safety that caused this "accident". 

 

Lots of things we use in every day life are inherently unsafe.  Cars, bicycles, power tools, prescription drugs, etc.  And all of those items cause far more injuries and deaths than firearms.  Most of us assume the risk that goes with using those items with the expectation that we can do so in a competent and responsible manner.  Just because something is dangerous doesn't mean it's a defective design.

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I think @CHA-LEE put it well. If you’re truly concerned about the gun being drop safe, a lot of that starts with you the shooter. 
 

if you want the safest possible platform, or to mitigate the risk, there will be trade offs but I’d wager most people aren’t gonna be negatively impacted in their shooting enough to make a difference in their placement. 
 

A lot of folks chase the best trigger possible. Heck I’m one of them. But I think that’s a firearms enthusiast and one-upsmanship thing more than it is a performance thing. Some might want to put some thought into separating the two. 

this incident won’t be changing my approach to having some nice guns with sick triggers. But it will change my approach to whether I use those guns in competition, and if I choose to, how my approach to parts and gun handling needs to be adjusted. 

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I believe they designed a half-cock into the mechanism specifically for drops on the hammer.  So in that case it could be seen as a flaw of the rules not allowing it as a starting condition. 😮

Edited by MoRivera
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1 minute ago, MoRivera said:

I believe they designed a half-cock into the mechanism specifically for drops on the hammer.

 

Yes, and a standard length firing pin with a proper weight firing pin spring should prevent inertia firing if dropped on a hard surface from a reasonable height.  Change those to an extended firing pin and lighter spring, and it's probably going to go bang.

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2 hours ago, Eric_T said:

As someone who just invested in a Shadow 2 OR for Carry Optics, this is concerning.  I wasn't aware of this potential drop issue until now.  Is there anything I can do to mitigate the risk, besides putting on aggressive grips and being extra careful?  This has me considering whether I should change platforms.

I’ll trade you for my Glock 34!

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A rule change to require FP-stops would be a massive change. Thinking of myself I have 8 guns for USPSA and none of them have a FP-block. Making all of these guns illegal to prevent this from happening again would push me out of the sport. I'm sure I'm not alone. Requiring half-cock starts seems minor.

 

At the end of the day we are still running around with guns. You're way more likely to shoot yourself drawing or holstering your gun. If we want to push safety we should move to all starts being low ready. I can think of 4 instances off the top of my head of guys shooting themselves. 

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6 minutes ago, Racinready300ex said:

A rule change to require FP-stops would be a massive change. Thinking of myself I have 8 guns for USPSA and none of them have a FP-block. Making all of these guns illegal to prevent this from happening again would push me out of the sport. I'm sure I'm not alone. Requiring half-cock starts seems minor.

 

At the end of the day we are still running around with guns. You're way more likely to shoot yourself drawing or holstering your gun. If we want to push safety we should move to all starts being low ready. I can think of 4 instances off the top of my head of guys shooting themselves. 

That's what I was alluding to before.  You'll have a lot of people having to change guns, many of which have a lot of money sunk into them.  Yes safety is safety, but still this is something that should be considered as well.

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It's a tragic event but seems like an isolated occurance. I think it will be evaluated but I hope they don't go overboard with rules. 

 

Frankly, we run around with guns which are inherently dangerous and injuries are almost non-existent. If we were the United States practical scissor association and ran around with scissors cutting the targets, I'd almost guess there would be even more injuries.

 

I'm not trying to ignore the obvious tragedy, but in the grand scheme of life and death this appears to be an isolated and unfortunate accident. 

 

Condolences to the Family.

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3 minutes ago, Tango said:

These guns are not drop safe, plain and simple. Use them at your own risk. I won't.

They are except for a drop on the muzzle with an aftermarket extended firing pin if they're allowed to start from half-cock, which is the reason for that feature in the first place IIRC.

Edited by MoRivera
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40 minutes ago, ltdmstr said:

 

Yes, and a standard length firing pin with a proper weight firing pin spring should prevent inertia firing if dropped on a hard surface from a reasonable height.  Change those to an extended firing pin and lighter spring, and it's probably going to go bang.

In that respect, isn't it essentially as drop-safe as a double-action revolver which incorporates a firing pin block but only from the hammer...like a Ruger?

 

DSC06408.JPG

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1 minute ago, MoRivera said:

In that respect, isn't it essentially as drop-safe as a double-action revolver which incorporates a firing pin block but only from the hammer...like a Ruger?

 

DSC06408.JPG

 

I imagine the weight of the firing pin would play a part too. That pin is vary light

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Posted this in another thread too, but if you start a CZ Shadow with the hammer partially cocked, it's essentially as drop-safe as a Ruger double-action revolver since the Ruger's firing pin block is from the hammer, not a plunger that impedes forward movement of the pin itself.

 

DSC06408.JPG

Edited by MoRivera
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16 minutes ago, Racinready300ex said:

 

I imagine the weight of the firing pin would play a part too. That pin is vary light

True, but one would also think that's taken into account with the CZ's original firing pin and spring.

 

So again, not that anyone actually wants a muzzle-down drop-fire any moreso than a drop on the hammer, but with the partial-cock it does at least all but eliminate the latter type of drop-fire, which from the sounds of it is what resulted in this tragic accidental fatality.  And then all the cocked-and-locked guns are already safe from a hammer-down drop.

Edited by MoRivera
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5 minutes ago, BritinUSA said:

How was the gun dropped, during a reload or movement, was it a race holster that did not engage properly?

Apparently he missed while holstering or holster malfunction, so assuming at the start after load-and-make-ready.

 

Don't know if it was a Shadow/Shadow 2 starting hammer-down for production, or that/TS for limited for open.  So it either fell on lowered hammer and shot up, or fell muzzle-down and the bullet ricocheted up.  If I had to guess I'd say the former.

Edited by MoRivera
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