PSA - Close call at the Range Today.....

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 6, 2011
15,174
18,600
219
52
MA
Only peripherally involved a firearm in the sense we were at the range shooting.....

Kids were off school today so a friend and I decided on taking the kids to see the new museum the Collins Foundation opened up than stop by the range and let the boys shoot twenty twos until they could shoot no more.

Sucks but the Heritage Museum wasnt open - seems a lost opportunity with all the kids out of school. We heade to the range anyway and with the extra time I figured Id bring a sixteen gauge Im looking to sell and a case of clays. I want to deplete my supply of 16 gauge shells and clays.

Kids blasted up hundreds of .22s using a S&W M&P, a Winchester 67A , 10/22 and a PPK. They had a ball.

We went over to the shotgun range.

It has throwers set on poles that stay permanently set up for members to use. Just bring your clays and the throwers are always there.

First thing I said to everyone is to stay away from the throwers, they are spring loaded axes and if you get hit by them it wont be good. They scare the crap out of me actually. I think this is the third or fourth time Ive used the shotgun range and I give those throwers all kinds of respect for their ability to maim.

My friend shot first to get an idea of the recoil on the 16 gauge and figure which of his boys would be up to it. It a Browning "Sweet Sixteen" and it really is a sweet gun. When I got it it came with some light #6 loads that dont even operate the action. I figured those would be the ones for the kids to shoot.

Ken shot a few rounds and hit a clay. I operated the thrower.

My son was up next. I loaded the thrower than went over to load the gun and supervise while my son shot the single loaded round.

Kenny pulled the string when my son called ready and a lone pellet may have hit on his first shot as it looked like a piece of clay flew or it could have been the wad but whatever he was happy it was his first firing of a shotgun and the fact the shotty is probably as long as he is tall excited him.

All was good. I was helping to load another round in the shotty when my sons expression took on a look of shock and he looked through me to my side.

I turned and I saw Ken with both hands up to his mouth and a look of surprise in his eyes.

I asked "Did you get hit by the clay thrower?"

While I was helping my son Kenny figured to load another clay. I didn't hear him messing with the trap due to my attention being on pushing a shell into the gun magazine with my son and my wearing ear plugs.

He must not be familiar with the gear and didn't realize that if the trigger is not set the arm will swing straight through. He pulled it around to cock it and sure enough it swung through and got him square in the mouth.

I hadn't been intending on anyone else loading the clays but me so I fucked up by not telling everyone to stay completely away from the gear.

The strike was probably as good as it could get. I asked him to let me see and expected when he took his hands down he would be holding a handful of teeth. No teeth lost but he looks like he was born with cleft pallet. Top lip was split clean though almost up to his nostril and he had a puncture below his lower lip.

A big wad of kerlix from the range bag first aid kit saved him from looking like a murder victim covered in blood.

We drove to the emergency room where three hours and ten stitches got him good enough to celebrate his wife's birthday tonight.

I cant keep from feeling the sick pit in my stomach and marvel at how lucky he was.

The traps are on poles about 4.5 feet off the deck.

If the arm had caught him in the throat I'm thinking a crushed trachea and some pretty life threatening stuff. In the jaw likely he would be eating through a straw for the next few weeks. In the eyes a life changing tragedy, In the scalp some severe bleeding, concussion, probably loss of consciousness.

Not being totally familiar with clay throwers I'm kind of wondering why the bar trigger isn't spring loaded at the bottom of the arm so that the default position is "locked".

That way you pull the arm through it stops on the sear bar and you have to pull the cord through the spring pressure to release the arm.

For all I know that's perhaps how they are but being outside all the time the springs in the club gear may have corroded away or have been lost through use. The gear actually looks in good shape and the shotgun range is probably the least used range on the whole property. The machine gun range probably gets 10 times more traffic.

Anyway my PSA is watch all the hazards at the range, have a first aid kit, and pray if something bad does happen its the best possible - ie least harmful - type of bad.
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 6, 2011
15,174
18,600
219
52
MA
Clay pigeon throwers scare me also. Sorry to hear about your buddy. I hope he recovers 100%.

He is good. bit sore. Thank you for the thought.

Joked with him asking if he wanted me to call in to work and tell them he wasnt going to be able to work his extra money shift tomorrow and he said there was no way he was missing the extra shift but he might need a sick day when he is back on his schedule the following day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: barneybdb

nn8734

nn8734
Belligerents
Feb 26, 2013
1,433
1,136
219
Las Vegas, NV
Hope he recovers fully...don’t beat yourself up too bad, no one’s perfect....glad you had the medical kit...for some reason, I almost never see people with medical at the range (tons of other fancy kit but no medical).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bradu

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 6, 2011
15,174
18,600
219
52
MA
Chinook Medical has got a good amount of money from me this year.

Between people getting hurt at work and my wife being next in line when a woman got t boned on her motorcycle losing a leg Ive made sure every car has a kit, my work car has three kits, backpack has a kit and range gear includes a kit.
 

nn8734

nn8734
Belligerents
Feb 26, 2013
1,433
1,136
219
Las Vegas, NV
Damn, man. Sorry to hear of all that, esp of the woman losing a leg.

Def wise to keep medical supplies handy like you do, you just never know. I also keep medical supplies with me wherever I go, either in my “do it all” backpack i use for work and general purposes as well as both my vehicles. Have an IFAK on my belt also (I wear the belt when I go to the desert/back country.

wishing your friend a speedy recovery.
 

docohm

Private
Minuteman
Aug 18, 2019
12
3
6
The thrower at our range works just the same, you gotta manually move the stop or it just swings though! Sorry to hear about your friend, hope he recovers quickly.
 

Bradu

Full Member
Belligerents
Aug 24, 2011
2,809
872
219
IL
I have been around throwers since I was a kid and never seen this happen to anyone. My brother in law bought an electric thrower for his house and I guess the first time he used it, the arm tripped and caught him just below the eye. He was also very lucky as it could have been much worse. Hope he heals up ok.
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 6, 2011
15,174
18,600
219
52
MA
Damn, man. Sorry to hear of all that, esp of the woman losing a leg.

Def wise to keep medical supplies handy like you do, you just never know. I also keep medical supplies with me wherever I go, either in my “do it all” backpack i use for work and general purposes as well as both my vehicles. Have an IFAK on my belt also (I wear the belt when I go to the desert/back country.

wishing your friend a speedy recovery.
My wife was shocked by the woman event. Kids unfortunately got to see that too before she ordered them back in to the car.

She had nothing with her at the time but a clean T shirt and towel from the back of the car. Another motorist tied her off with his belt.

I got her a pretty well outfitted bleeder kit with a SOFT-W TQ. I bought a training TQ for her to mess with and once she felt she knew how to work one its in work now for co workers to play with.

As she gets to schedule training at her work Im trying to get her to schedule one of those Stop the Bleed courses. Seems like they are pretty basic but leave you equipped with enough skill to keep the person alive until better training arrives on scene.
 
Last edited:

alpine44

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 23, 2010
737
562
99
North Carolina
Nobody should touch a gun unless he/she understands the safety features and their limitations. Same with clay throwers, chains saws, industrial machinery, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wh20crazy

nn8734

nn8734
Belligerents
Feb 26, 2013
1,433
1,136
219
Las Vegas, NV
My wife was shocked by the woman event. Kids unfortunately got to see that two before she ordered them back in to the car.

She had nothing with her at the time but a clean T shirt and towel from the back of the car. Another motorist tied her off with his belt.

I got her a pretty well outfitted bleeder kit with a SOFT-W TQ. I bought a training TQ for her to mess with and once she felt she knew how to work one its in work now for co workers to play with.

As she gets to schedule training at her work Im trying to get her to schedule one of those Stop the Bleed courses. Seems like they are pretty basic but leave you equipped with enough skill to keep the person alive until better training arrives on scene.
Those type of events are definitely, among other things, wake up calls. Hope your kids weren’t too traumatized. Good call on the basic med/trauma training. I’ll be enrolling in a TCCC course soon (gotta find one and sign up).

I have the CAT and SOF-T wide TQs...Also a 14g decomp needle and nasopharyngeal breather in each of my kits but not yet trained on usage.
 

pmclaine

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 6, 2011
15,174
18,600
219
52
MA
Those type of events are definitely, among other things, wake up calls. Hope your kids weren’t too traumatized. Good call on the basic med/trauma training. I’ll be enrolling in a TCCC course soon (gotta find one and sign up).

I have the CAT and SOF-T wide TQs...Also a 14g decomp needle and nasopharyngeal breather in each of my kits but not yet trained on usage.
Im not near as trained as Id like to be, even less so my wife.

Thing is with eighteen years of war and the likelihood of experienced guys stepping up I told my wife to just remember you have your kit in the car and if nothing else be able to offer it to someone that knows what they are doing.

Could of saved that other Samaritan the loss of his belt had I got her gear earlier.
 
  • Like
Reactions: barneybdb

nn8734

nn8734
Belligerents
Feb 26, 2013
1,433
1,136
219
Las Vegas, NV
Yea me neither, my training level is unacceptably low in that regard.

Sounds like you have the right supplies readily available in the event they are ever needed in the future.
 

Slash0311

Jo Jo the Gun Plumber
Belligerents
Feb 11, 2017
1,262
1,426
219
Southwest Indiana
Damn. Sorry for the luck on this one. Sometimes the stars just aling on something like this.

In Dec I attended a TCCC. Learned a ton but some was deeper than I'd probably ever be able to use. IVs, meds and such. Im in the process of lining up a Stpp the Bleed for my police dept. For those that don't know the difference, 16 hour TCCC teaches TQs, wound packing, chest needles, emergency air ways and longer term care (several hours) STB is about an hour, and covers only how to stop bleeding with TQs, direct pressure, and packing and open to anyone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pmclaine

chevy_man

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jan 25, 2019
629
411
69
There should be a spring to pull the "sear" back into position. I've never seen a thrower without it.


This would be why our skeet range was never finished. Board members were scared there would be an accident. So we have Olympic quality throwers in houses (about $20k worth of material since the throwers were $8k apiece and who knows how much donated labor) wasting away.

I've made it my goal to make all that stuff work this summer.

It's not dangerous if you know how to work it. It's fucking scary when it's missing parts and in shit condition.


Also, safety note. All throwers shall remain on the damn ground. If they need to be elevated there needs to be appropriate floor and walking space around them. Getting hit in the leg is painful. Getting hit in the face is never going to happen if you're not stupid enough to put your face down next to it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: barneybdb

wh20crazy

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 29, 2018
111
156
49
NC
Wow! I'm glad our club bought really nice electric throwers for both skeet and trap.
 

alpine44

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 23, 2010
737
562
99
North Carolina
An electric one caught me on the left leg while I was putting it together. Hit an artery I barely made it back to the house before I passed out. One of my many trips to ER good thing my wife’s an RN
Severe bleeding is a plumbing problem. Don't get too hung up about not being a doctor, RN, etc. Think like a plumber.

If you can't plug the hole you need to stop the flow to the hole. Fortunately, the 'pipes' in our body are soft and can be pinched off. Know where these pipes, aka major arteries, are in your body and learn where and how you can clamp them off.

The brachial artery in our arms for example can be pinched off just with moderate thumb pressure, inside of the biceps, just under the armpit. Further down in the elbow area it bifurcates into a radial and ulnar branch in our forearm. Depending on which fingers you just cut off, you can selectively stop the leak there.

The femoral artery in our legs is a little harder to clamp due to big muscles surrounding it. But it is very feasible if you can't find anything that could serve as a field improvised tourniquet (or if you think you can prevent the tissue damage from wire, etc. without bleeding to death). Just stop the leak somehow.

One a darker note: A skilled, evil knife attacker can sever your carotid, brachial, AND femoral arteries faster than you can say "Oh shit". Another reason to know where these major 'life pipes' are and how to protect them.
 
Last edited:

alpine44

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 23, 2010
737
562
99
North Carolina
Wow! I'm glad our club bought really nice electric throwers for both skeet and trap.
Even those will dish out some serious hurt if you do not disarm them properly. I treat all of these devices with as much respect as guns, 'bear' traps, airplane propellers, chainsaws, widow-maker trees, etc.

The question I ask myself is always the same: "How much energy/destruction can this thing release to my detriment when handled improperly". I don't care what it is, who made it, or whether it is powered by powder, a spring, fuel, gravity, electricity, or whatever. If it can kill or maim, then I have to respect it.
 
Last edited:

hollowoutadime

Sergeant
Belligerents
Feb 27, 2014
621
494
69
I've been using use a Trius One-Step for about 25 years. It loads and fires with a foot stomp, so it's never a mousetrap. I'm careful loading it into my jeep, it's got sharp edges on all corners - couldn't imagine being near it under spring tension. Glad your pal will be ok, sounds like a definite hazard.
 

cmoore806

Online Training Member
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Minuteman
Jan 10, 2020
118
43
34
Northern Ohio
I keep a go bag in each vehicle. My wife was with friends and kids at playground over the summer. Girl broke her arm. Wife didn't even think to get the splint and ice pack and instead decided to just call an ambulance. Moral of the story: involve the wife in the plan and people resort to their lowest level of training under stress (which in her case was zero) where in mine it is significant.