Reenactor injured (old story)

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m3a1
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Reenactor injured (old story)

Post by m3a1 » January 17th, 2019, 11:41 pm

Things are slow on the site and I'm just going through some areas I don't normally spend much time with. So, I though I'd share a short story about a reenacting accident that happened many moons ago, back when I was still doing that stuff. (I'm far too old and fat now).

Here's the scenario. I'm sitting in the back of a Jimmy with the rest of my squad and everyone is waiting around for the jump-off time to arrive. A fellow was there with a half track which had a MG pedestal centrally located just behind the aft operator's compartment bulkhead and upon that mount was a yoke-mounted Browning 1919.

The operator's compartment had the seat for the track commander, which is located in the middle position with minimal leg room because of the transmission tunnel, shift levers, etc. Thus, with the Browning pointed forward, the barrel was located pretty much just over the TC's head. At the gun was another reenactor who had his hand on the pistol grip. Everyone is chatting amiably and there is nothing left to do but wait for the kick off.

Now, as some of you might be aware, to fire the Browning 1919, the trigger is lifted upward (rather than pulled back). There are many legitimate reasons to have one's hand on the grip but no real legitimate reason to have one's index finger beneath the trigger when there is no shooting to be done. The procedure for making the standard weapon safe is to remove the source of ammunition and clear the weapon and keep your mitts away from the trigger. There is no "safety". Full disclosure, at this late date I do not remember everything about this particular weapon. It may have been that the weapon was adapted as a gas gun so there is no real 'clearing' of the weapon except to switch the ignition power off and keep your finger away from the trigger. But, blanks or gas, the weapon was live.....

....and then the track commander stood up.

Standing up from the Track Commander's seat usually involves planting one's feet rather awkwardly to one side and hoisting one's self upward using the top of the windshield frame to pull one's body upwards. When the TC stood up, he leaned just a bit to the left so as to get at least one of his feet beneath him (I know this because I've done this many times) and as he rose, his shoulder lifted the barrel of the Browning up by the shroud, pivoting it on the yoke, levering the back end of the gun downward, which left the crown of the barrel just at his ear. With the back of the weapon being pressed downward, this pressed the trigger against the finger of the guy who was holding the weapon by the pistol grip.....with predictable results. BANG! The track commander's eardrum was blown out and after a scurry of activity, that was the last we saw of him.

Just another one of those circumstances worth hearing about in great detail, if only to keep it from happening again. Stay safe out there!

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Reenactor injured (old story)

Post by Surveyor » January 21st, 2019, 6:18 pm

Not a reenactor story but... Was at an Across-the-course match some years ago, back when the a2 with irons was the norm. Had finished up all stages and was at the slow-fire 600yd line. Most everyone had finished up shooting their 20 rounds and cease fire was called on the bull horn at the 20min mark as usual. About a minute later, while we had started to pack up, one of the older shooters who was hard of hearing in the far right lane fired a shot from his m1a down range at his target. Lots of oh $h!7 looks on the line as well in the pits. Not sure what his scorer was thinking or doing at the time or why his target had not been pulled down at the 20 min mark as per normal sop. I don't think they let him shoot on the outer lanes anymore after that.
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