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Thread: Big bore revolver eats mans thumb

  1. #1

    Default Big bore revolver eats mans thumb

    Passing this on from an incoming email:

    It should be titled how not to hold a cannon.


    This dude pulled a major no-no. Gotta be careful shooting big cal revolvers henceforth.

    A St. Louis , Missouri guy on my AR-15 forum had a bad accident with his S&W 460XVR Magnum yesterday. He was shooting with a two handed hold and got his left thumb up near the lower front of the cylinder. The normal (powerful) gasses blowing out at the barrel/cylinder gap ripped the top of his left thumb off. I've added some of his posts & some pics.

    "Picture S&W 460XVR Magnum

    460XVR blew my thumb off today!

    No joke, about 1/2 of my left thumb is gone ... what's left is a friggin mess.

    It's pretty hard to type, and I'm only posting because you never know, it might save somebody else a thumb. I was using a 2-handed grip, fired off a Cor-Bon DPX .460 and the blast came violently out the side of the gun.

    At first my thumb was so covered in blood that I couldn't see how bad it was ... and I was full of adrenaline and felt no pain. And honestly it looked really bad, my whole hand was covered in blood and it was kinda gushing.

    The blown-off thumb was on my support hand. I'll re-create the grip tomorrow to see where my thumb was, but it's not like I didn't already know not to get any body part near the cylinder gap. And even if I totally screwed up and did, taking my thumb clean off seems a bit excessive?

    Just be careful with those 460's. That case operates at such high pressure, it's just asking for trouble.

    BTW, I bought my 460 new and had exactly 12 rounds through it. Info about the gun, it's a full-size 460 with the 8 3/4' barrel and factory installed compensator. It's one of the Whitetails Unlimited models. Ammo was 200gr Cor-Bon DPX.

    The gun only had 12 or 13 rounds of the Cor-Bon through it, and 10 .45 Long Colt rounds through it. So it was essentially still brand new.

    Saw a hand specialist while there today. Lots of ways to try and save what's left, but first I just have to hope it doesn't get infected in the next few days ... then surgery early next week.

    The hand specialist I spent a few hours with last night said that in gunshot wounds there is always a lot more damage than is first visible ... same with things like fireworks going off in your hand. A lot more flesh around the wound is dead, and will rot and fall off over the next couple days. That's why it's so important to keep clean, and that's also why they can't do surgery now. If they wrapped new skin over dead skin it would just puss out, possibly turn gang-green, and they'd have to start all over again."

    This is an example of how he was holding his revolver. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

    This is what's left of his thumb.



    Don't do this:


  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    That happens when SA shooter try revolvers and luckly most are shooting much smaller guns.Just love the movies where they have a silencer on a revolver.Saw a guy that had shot the end of his finger off with a Bond Arms Derringer.He figured with the small grip it was best to just use his two lower fingers and pull the trigger with his middle finger which he is useing all the time now as his should of been trigger finger was run along side the barrel.All most the whole first joint was pass the end of the barrel and after the shot he said it was way past the end.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Never do that with any revolver, says so in the instructions with the gun!

    Andy

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    We've seen this posted on here before, some time back. It can happen the 460 and 454 operate at 60,000 psi and the S&W has a wide gap.

    A moron and his thumb are soon parted.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    There is still plenty of thumb left there. Seriously. I work with 10 different guys who've lost more than that. He just tipped it, I don't think I even see any bone.

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    Member gunrman's Avatar
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    Default learn to count

    "BTW, I bought my 460 new and had exactly 12 rounds through it. Info about the gun, it's a full-size 460 with the 8 3/4' barrel and factory installed compensator. It's one of the Whitetails Unlimited models. Ammo was 200gr Cor-Bon DPX.

    The gun only had 12 or 13 rounds of the Cor-Bon through it, and 10 .45 Long Colt rounds through it. So it was essentially still brand new."

    Apparently the concussion affects his counting ability. Was it exactly 12 rounds or the 22-23 rounds he says in his next sentance?

  7. #7

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    That's pretty gross. I'm guessing the guy either had no discipline regarding proper grip of revolvers, or there was booze involved.

    I remember a similar post a while back, but it had just the picture of the improper grip.

    It's worse than the story I heard in my hometown about the guy who killed a huge halibut by shooting it in the head, only to put a .429" diamter hole in the bottom of his boat.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    I can't see how anyone would think they could even control any revolver with such a yakked up grip.
    Now what ?

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    With an open and disiplined mind, one can learn new things everyday. We often think that we know all there is to know about our firearms. Take an NRA gun course and really pay attention. You might just be surprised. No reason to bash this guy now. I think he learned his lesson. I have read stories in magazines about how a seasoned professional gun writer took a trip to Gunsite for a story only to find out he had to rethink everything he had learned from dear ol' dad. Remeber Gunsite's rule #1: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED. Meaning; always control the direction your muzzle is pointing even if you just emptied your gun.

    My favorite stories are of how a police officer shoots himself in the leg while cleaning his gun. How do you clean a loaded barrel?
    Chris; typing with two whole thumbs!

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    Never thought it would see this...new things everyday. Just glad I never hold mine that way. I will definatley will watch others when the shoot my revolver. Thanks

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamp creature View Post
    I have read stories in magazines about how a seasoned professional gun writer took a trip to Gunsite for a story only to find out he had to rethink everything he had learned from dear ol' dad. Remeber Gunsite's rule #1: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED. Meaning; always control the direction your muzzle is pointing even if you just emptied your gun.
    That was my dear old Dad's #1 also, and #2 was NEVER POINT ANY GUN AT ANYTHING I DON'T INTEND TO SHOOT IF NEEDED! Rule 2 included my cap gun and even my index finger with thumb as the hammer. Got my behind worked over a time or two for rule #2. But it was a lesson I think about every time I hear some kid accidentally shot a buddy to death.

    Andy

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    Default Dates back to January 2008 St Louis MO

    Check out this thread

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=25870&page=1

    Several months ago I found the story of this guy and took the time to google the subject and found many threads on various forums wherein his misfortune was discussed and cussed and finally identified the earliest (Jan 20 2008). At that time, the thread was past 40 pages of postings. I believe the pictures and I believe it happened the way the shooter/victim describes.

    Here is the original post. I was able to trace back to the beginning, but there are some very interesting posts on forums that refer back to this. Unfortunately it is easier to trace back than to trace forward.
    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.htm...=664580&page=1

    Other places are:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=25870
    http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...43/m/905102718
    and on Youtube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wu3RO3Lr4fM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGSExunzskg

    Here is one set of the pictures of the thumb
    http://www.rx7club.com/showpost.php?...0&postcount=54

    I understand there are more recent pictures of the (healing) digit, but I have not run across them yet. The prognosis is better than what the victim and his doctor originally thought.

    I tried to find a newspaper story or something to validate the story, to no avail, but here is second-hand testimony

    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=282074

    see post #5 on 2/24/2008 by Technosavant.

    Larry (Lost Sheep)

    The story of this guy's thumb may stick around for a long time and become the stuff of urban legend. It might be nice to have original data, so if anyone comes up with verifiable or first hand reports, it would be nice to post it.

  13. #13
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
    I believe the pictures and I believe it happened the way the shooter/victim describes.
    So do I.

    The thing I think people are missing here is that ANY REVOLVER can do this! It dose not need to be a 460 or 454, although the odds are 100% with a high pressure round like that.

    As a kid of about 12, I was shotting extra roosters on our farm and Dad had set a $.25 head shot bet, head shot he payed, but miss ind I must pay him! He came along to see I did not kill good birds he wanted to bread, or fudge the shot count. I was using a old S&W .22 revolver with a 6 inch barrel and I must say picking Dad's pocket with it. Wish I could still shoot like that!

    I was up about $6 when I took a shot and Dad started cussing and holding his ear saying I shot him. I was aiming safely away from everyone and using a dirt irrigation ditch as a back stop so I say "No way I shot you!" He had blood coming from his ear lobe and after looking closer I had shot him, he had a sliver of lead in there! The trusty little .22 had shaved off some led and it had traveled backward from the gap about 5 degrees to get him in the ear lobe! That gun had never done it before and not since to any ones knowledge, but somehow it did not index true for that shot.

    Had my finger been in the way it would have taken much more led and some blast also. I don't think it would be near as bad as that guy got from the 460, but I'm happy I was not injected with led that day!!

    Keep hands behind the cylinder of all revolvers and stay behind (not beside) the shooter with a revolver. They can and do spit out the side from time to time.

    Also, I learned the hard way that it's a bad to brace your new 460 on your truck if you like your paint job.

    Andy

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    Default True, Any Revolver will do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    So do I.

    The thing I think people are missing here is that ANY REVOLVER can do this! It dose not need to be a 460 or 454, although the odds are 100% with a high pressure round like that.

    (edited for brevity)

    Also, I learned the hard way that it's a bad to brace your new 460 on your truck if you like your paint job.

    Andy
    Andy, too true. I was using a rolled-up blanket as a rest and (knowing the side blast would stain the blanket with powder residue) I had some card-weight paper (Paper was about the weight of a paperback book cover) protecting the blanket, between the blanket and trigger guard, about 2" distance. I was shooting a Dan Wesson (which has a very tight cylinder/barrel gap) loaded with 38 Special-weight loads behind 158 grain lead slugs that travelled slowly enough to not lead the barrel. Pretty low-pressure stuff.

    One shot. Ripped the heavy paper to shreds. Blanket still has the powder stains, but it was my car blanket anyway.

    Sorry to hear about your paint job, but at least you did not shoot the car like I almost did once. (story for another time)

    Lost Sheep.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    You might just be surprised. No reason to bash this guy now. I think he learned his lesson.
    I'm not bashing. I was just making an observation based on the photo example.

    Perhaps the gun was too heavy to hold and he placed his hand that far forward as a mechanical advantage to help hold it up.

    My first thoughts with large bore handguns is recoil and my comments reflected that thought process as there is nothing to hold onto that far forward to manage recoil.
    Now what ?

  16. #16
    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    These guns have a shrouded barrel and you can set set the B/C gap to what ever you desire. Was it set properly?
    Steve

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by GARMASTERS View Post
    Passing this on from an incoming email:

    ... "Picture S&W 460XVR Magnum

    460XVR blew my thumb off today!

    No joke, about 1/2 of my left thumb is gone ... what's left is a friggin mess.

    It's pretty hard to type, and I'm only posting because you never know, it might save somebody else a thumb...
    This guy made a big mistake but I like his attitude. He shows such concern for fellow shooters that he wants to make sure that nobody else suffers the same injury. This guy is not to be ridiculed. He is to be commended and thanked for making sure others learn from him. Think how much better off all of us would be if we put aside concern for personal embarrassment long enough to help somebody else avoid trouble.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

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    Thanks for sharing your story with us. All of us who shoot wheel guns can use this as a good reminder. I just gave my buddy in AK my Colt Anaconda .44mag. I sent this post to him as a reminder. With his .44mag and some hot buffalo bore loads it could really do some damage to any part that gets next to the cylinder when its fired!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag_300 View Post
    This guy made a big mistake but I like his attitude. He shows such concern for fellow shooters that he wants to make sure that nobody else suffers the same injury. This guy is not to be ridiculed. He is to be commended and thanked for making sure others learn from him. Think how much better off all of us would be if we put aside concern for personal embarrassment long enough to help somebody else avoid trouble.
    Very true! We all do stupid stuff from time to time, and there is always someone around to reticule thinking they are better--smarter than that. With age and time most of us learn were just as human as everyone we picked on!

    And remember, with any revolver keep all your parts in back of the cylinder gap! Even a little .22 can bite you.

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    These guns have a shrouded barrel and you can set set the B/C gap to what ever you desire. Was it set properly?
    Steve

    I find that really difficult to believe. That the owner of an S&W 460 can adjust his own cylinder gap. I Don't think so. Also every revolver has a gap. Some may be larger than needed but the thing here is the pressure level. It is much higher than the 44 mag and it is also a much greater volume of high pressure gas. Yes, I well know any revolver can bite or burn whatever is near the cylinder gap, but I would say this could be duplicated with any 460 or 454 revolver with full power loads. And quite possible with other revolver calibers.

    I cannot imagine why anyone would hold a revolver as is demonstrated in the photo. Lack of training and lack of knowledge about the gun. Driven only by the desire to own the most powerful, and it is my guess it is the individuals first revolver. It is a heck of a way to learn this lesson. Those of us who started with lesser revolvers and fired them over an arm and burned a shirt sleeve or smoked up a sand bag, learned the same lesson much more cheaply. This individual would have had a sever brain injury from this if there was no muzzle device on the gun. That grip would have launched that revolver into his head without the compensator.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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