Safe Handling Fail: Hot Brass Can Cause Injuries
When hot brass cases fall down your shirt, they can cause you to “flinch” and point the muzzle in an unsafe direction.
That happened with life changing consequences to an individual on a shooting range recently.
In a video shared by Active Self Protection on their YouTube channel, a lone shooter had a hot brass case bounce and fall down the back of their loose-fitting T-shirt. The result was nearly tragic, as seen in this video (age-restricted video, click “Watch on YouTube” to view).
The Canadian Firearm Safety Course (CFSC) discusses this danger in its module on “Safe Handling and Carrying of Non-Restricted Firearms” – though the same danger exists regardless of the type of firearm.
Some firearms eject the cartridge cases or shells after firing, in particular semi-automatic actions, but others as well when the action is manually operated. This hot case is not usually dangerous in and of itself, merely uncomfortable. But that hot, uncomfortable case can be enough to distract an inexperienced shooter completely from their main task of Controlling the muzzle direction at all times, one of the rules in “ACTS” and “PROVE”.
Many law enforcement and military firearms training scenarios build a resistance to this by practicing with distractions such as having cases deliberately thrown at a shooter during dry-fire and later live-fire situations. Sometimes, noise and light distractions are used to provide for additional “inoculation” for officers. The result is a disciplined shooter who is not easily distracted when a hot case or shell falls into clothing or touches bare skin.
For notice shooters, the best approach is to keep sleeves rolled down, fully button up shirts and wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Of course, wearing proper eye protection is essential, such as these OPMOD ZRG+ shooting glasses available from OpticsPlanet.
Of course, having the presence of mind to place the firearm down on the shooting bench before trying to do anything like the shooter in the video above attempted would also avoid any unintended discharge or injuries.