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I write for a couple of magazines. Right now I am writing about an accident which occurred in 1961 with a 30-30 rifle.

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  • I write for a couple of magazines. Right now I am writing about an accident which occurred in 1961 with a 30-30 rifle.

    I have some questions about how an accident can occur while cleaning a 30-30 rifle.

  • #2
    ...and?

    Comment


    • #3
      It has to be loaded to go off accidentally. That's about it in a nutshell.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am just getting used to this site- so I’m trying to write correctly having no experience with a 30-30. First, the hunter was 16 years old in 1961. Would a 30-30 have been a rifle which might have been considered a normal choice for such a kid? What might have he hunted with it in mid October in Arkansas? What type ammunition might have been used in the rifle? How much ammunition did a 1960’s 30-30 hold? The discharge landed about 25 feet away and about at a 7 foot rise above the lap of the person cleaning the gun. I assume that such a trajectory would not be out of the ordinary during a cleaning operation. How exactly would you clean a 30-30? How much chance is there that such a cleaning operation would mess up fine furniture?

        Comment


        • #5
          No idea what you are describing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Gun had to be loaded, action closed, hammer cocked. The first rule of gun safety is check to see if the guns loaded. If you are actually cleaning the gun you would have the action wide open rendering the gun unfireable. Sounds like he picked up a gun that was dusty or dirty on the outside somehow and went to wiping it off, somehow cocking the hammer in the process. Then for some reason he deliberately pulled the trigger.
            30-30's hold 5-6 rounds. It would be a common choice for a 16 yr old. Don't know if any big game seasons were open in October in the '60's. He would use 30-30 ammunition in his 30-30.
            Again, you never bring a loaded gun in a house, you always check over and over to visibly make sure the guns unloaded and though he may have been wiping down the outside to remove fingerprints or maybe moisture, he was not cleaning it. Just my 2 cents, I wasn't there.

            Comment


            • #7
              Had to be loaded, cocked, and the trigger pulled. Guns don't have accidental discharges, people handling guns incorrectly CAUSE accidental discharges.

              Comment


              • #8
                “It went off accidentally while I was cleaning it” ! That is the standard remark or excuse to such a happening. As if that would cover up any idiotic occurance !! Other factors would have to be in the picture that were not brought to light or fully explained in order for this to take place. Any rifle that needs to have an exterior hammer to be cocked first in order to discharge is probably 99% safe from doing so. There was much more involved here than the remark, “I was cleaning the gun and it went off” ! The only thing that went off was the person’s mentality and their ability to realize that those who have knowledge of guns can see those words to be a lie !!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  JimJade3

                  1.
                  A .30-30 would be a pretty common firearm for a 16 year old to hunt with in 1961.
                  2.
                  mid-October in Arkansas in 1961?
                  Good question.
                  A .30-30 is generally considered a "deer" rifle, but any number of animals could have been on the hunters mind.
                  3.
                  Common ammo for a .30-30 would be an expanding soft point of 150 to 170 grains.
                  4.
                  Any number between 5 and 7 depending on the manufacturer and the model.
                  5.
                  Not knowing the exact layout, I would think the rifle was laying in the shooters lap.
                  6.
                  To "clean" a firearm is a pretty broad term. Some would consider "cleaning" simply wiping the exterior down with a cloth.
                  Others, myself included, consider "cleaning" involving bore brushes, solvents, lubricants and possibly some disassembly.
                  7.
                  Yes, the solvents and lubricants involved in gun cleaning can definitely damage a furniture finish ... and maybe even the wood.

                  Food for thought!
                  In the late 50's, early 60's, the majority of .30-30 rifles were "lever action". One of the biggest problems with a lever rifle is, once it's loaded, the only way to empty the gun is cycle each shell in the magazine through the chamber.
                  To "thoroughly" clean a lever rifle, the chamber MUST be empty.
                  To simply remove the chambered round still leaves a live round laying on the carrier, ready to be chambered.
                  A 16 year old could have removed the chambered round, actually did a thorough cleaning and forgetting the round on the carrier, closed the action and pulled the trigger on what they "thought" was an empty chamber.

                  People tend to call this an "accidental discharge".
                  Most here consider this a "stupid discharge".
                  Even handling new guns at a gun store, the first thing I do is check the chamber.
                  The LAST thing I do is check the chamber and hand it back to the clerk with the empty chamber open.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                    JimJade3

                    1.
                    A .30-30 would be a pretty common firearm for a 16 year old to hunt with in 1961.
                    2.
                    mid-October in Arkansas in 1961?
                    Good question.
                    A .30-30 is generally considered a "deer" rifle, but any number of animals could have been on the hunters mind.
                    3.
                    Common ammo for a .30-30 would be an expanding soft point of 150 to 170 grains.
                    4.
                    Any number between 5 and 7 depending on the manufacturer and the model.
                    5.
                    Not knowing the exact layout, I would think the rifle was laying in the shooters lap.
                    6.
                    To "clean" a firearm is a pretty broad term. Some would consider "cleaning" simply wiping the exterior down with a cloth.
                    Others, myself included, consider "cleaning" involving bore brushes, solvents, lubricants and possibly some disassembly.
                    7.
                    Yes, the solvents and lubricants involved in gun cleaning can definitely damage a furniture finish ... and maybe even the wood.

                    Food for thought!
                    In the late 50's, early 60's, the majority of .30-30 rifles were "lever action". One of the biggest problems with a lever rifle is, once it's loaded, the only way to empty the gun is cycle each shell in the magazine through the chamber.
                    To "thoroughly" clean a lever rifle, the chamber MUST be empty.
                    To simply remove the chambered round still leaves a live round laying on the carrier, ready to be chambered.
                    A 16 year old could have removed the chambered round, actually did a thorough cleaning and forgetting the round on the carrier, closed the action and pulled the trigger on what they "thought" was an empty chamber.

                    People tend to call this an "accidental discharge".
                    Most here consider this a "stupid discharge".
                    Even handling new guns at a gun store, the first thing I do is check the chamber.
                    The LAST thing I do is check the chamber and hand it back to the clerk with the empty chamber open.
                    I believe on a Winchester you can empty the magazine by pushing the loading gate in. The last thing to get a Winchester to fire is to squeeze the lever tight to depress the safety button on the bottom of the stock.
                    I don't think he was cleaning, I think he was handling the gun, playing with it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      People get hurt or killed everyday by stupid mistakes. I was throwing bird seed around my tree stand for the upcoming deer hunt.
                      Baiting is legal in New Jersey. My hand came down after throwing bird seed and hit against my machete blade.
                      A real stupid blunder. ?I should of put it back inside my machete sleeve.
                      I bled like a pig. Thank god I had toilet paper and duct tape in my backpack to stop the bleeding.
                      The other guys are correct, the first thing your taught about gun safety, is to check to see if the firearm is loaded.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                        JimJade3

                        1.
                        A .30-30 would be a pretty common firearm for a 16 year old to hunt with in 1961.
                        2.
                        mid-October in Arkansas in 1961?
                        Good question.
                        A .30-30 is generally considered a "deer" rifle, but any number of animals could have been on the hunters mind.
                        3.
                        Common ammo for a .30-30 would be an expanding soft point of 150 to 170 grains.
                        4.
                        Any number between 5 and 7 depending on the manufacturer and the model.
                        5.
                        Not knowing the exact layout, I would think the rifle was laying in the shooters lap.
                        6.
                        To "clean" a firearm is a pretty broad term. Some would consider "cleaning" simply wiping the exterior down with a cloth.
                        Others, myself included, consider "cleaning" involving bore brushes, solvents, lubricants and possibly some disassembly.
                        7.
                        Yes, the solvents and lubricants involved in gun cleaning can definitely damage a furniture finish ... and maybe even the wood.

                        Food for thought!
                        In the late 50's, early 60's, the majority of .30-30 rifles were "lever action". One of the biggest problems with a lever rifle is, once it's loaded, the only way to empty the gun is cycle each shell in the magazine through the chamber.
                        To "thoroughly" clean a lever rifle, the chamber MUST be empty.
                        To simply remove the chambered round still leaves a live round laying on the carrier, ready to be chambered.
                        A 16 year old could have removed the chambered round, actually did a thorough cleaning and forgetting the round on the carrier, closed the action and pulled the trigger on what they "thought" was an empty chamber.

                        People tend to call this an "accidental discharge".
                        Most here consider this a "stupid discharge".
                        Even handling new guns at a gun store, the first thing I do is check the chamber.
                        The LAST thing I do is check the chamber and hand it back to the clerk with the empty chamber open.
                        Marlin also has the same "button" style set up. It "won't" (?) fire unless the lever is closed against it.
                        I am most familiar with the Marlin.
                        Yes, you can unload a Marlin through the loading gate, just not easily. It's much quicker, simpler and easier to just cycle the lever until all ammo is cleared.

                        I think somebody else said it earlier, "I was cleaning it!" is probably THE number one "excuse".

                        Bill Jordan of Border Patrol fame wrote a book, "No Second Place Winners" about gun fighting.
                        The only person Jordan ever killed was a fellow agent.
                        He was in his office, practising his "quick draw" and dropped his gun. It discharged when it hit the floor. The bullet went through the wall into the adjoining office and struck the agent in that office in the head, killing him instantly. He was polishing his boots.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gary Devine View Post
                          People get hurt or killed everyday by stupid mistakes. I was throwing bird seed around my tree stand for the upcoming deer hunt.
                          Baiting is legal in New Jersey. My hand came down after throwing bird seed and hit against my machete blade.
                          A real stupid blunder. ?I should of put it back inside my machete sleeve.
                          I bled like a pig. Thank god I had toilet paper and duct tape in my backpack to stop the bleeding.
                          The other guys are correct, the first thing your taught about gun safety, is to check to see if the firearm is loaded.
                          Is your blood some kind of new attractant ? Maybe a bear will smell it.
                          Hope it was not too serious.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jimjade3 View Post
                            I am just getting used to this site- so I’m trying to write correctly having no experience with a 30-30. First, the hunter was 16 years old in 1961. Would a 30-30 have been a rifle which might have been considered a normal choice for such a kid? What might have he hunted with it in mid October in Arkansas? What type ammunition might have been used in the rifle? How much ammunition did a 1960’s 30-30 hold? The discharge landed about 25 feet away and about at a 7 foot rise above the lap of the person cleaning the gun. I assume that such a trajectory would not be out of the ordinary during a cleaning operation. How exactly would you clean a 30-30? How much chance is there that such a cleaning operation would mess up fine furniture?
                            “ I assume such a trajectory would not be out of the ordinary during a cleaning operation “. Well, I am afraid that your assumption is terribly incorrect !! It would be very much out of the ordinary for there to be ANY trajectory from a firearm in the cleaning process. That would happen only thru careless handling, not cleaning a firearm that should only be empty in the first place when being cleaned. If you are writing a gun story, that is a poor statement to be made if you want to qualify as a knowledgeable writer, and with the questions asked, you should already know the answers, not looking for them !!
                            Last edited by bowhunter75richard; 01-02-2019, 09:23 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              An inexperienced shooter who is handling a lever action .30-30, like the Model 94 Winchester or the Model 336 Marlin, might operate the lever to eject a live round from the chamber, and then close the action without realizing that another live round was being chambered from the tubular magazine.
                              Then he might attempt to lower the cocked hammer for safety purposes, and it could slip from his thumb, falling on the live round, causing an accidental discharge. I have seen this happen twice.

                              Comment

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