3 Common Dangerous Gun Malfunctions

Law Office of John Hamilton

The last thing you want to malfunction is your gun.

Imagine that hunk of metal exploding in your hands at about eye level, blasting shrapnel and bullets near your hands, arms, and face. Guns can malfunction in many ways. Often, the malfunction is a simple misfire. The trigger is pulled and nothing happens. Other times, the malfunction could be catastrophic.

Here are three common dangerous gun malfunctions to watch out for:

1. Incomplete Discharge (Squib Load)

An incomplete discharge occurs when a round is fired but gets lodged inside the gun barrel. A second round shot after the incomplete discharge will strike the lodged round and can cause the gun to explode.

2. Delayed Discharge

A delayed discharge can occur when a gun fails to fire but hasn’t totally malfunctioned. This occurs when the trigger is pulled and the primer goes off. However, the propellant in the cartridge burns slowly until enough pressure builds up to push the bullet out of the barrel a few sends later.

If you pull the trigger and nothing happens, you should continue to hold the gun downrange away from you for about 30 seconds. You don’t want to look into the barrel of the gun, just to be surprised by a bullet flying into your face. If the gun has not fired after 30 seconds, you should remove the dud cartridge rather than trying to fire it again.

3. Failure to Extract

When a cartridge is fired, it must then be extracted by the gun’s mechanism and ejected. However, a dirty, rusted, or corroded gun could fail to extract the used cartridge. Then, a live round is forced into the base of the unextracted cartridge, possibly causing the gun to explode.

Personal Injury Claim

Gun sometimes malfunction due to user error. However, if the gun malfunction was caused by a defect in the design or production, you may have a personal injury claim.

Under the doctrine of strict liability, a manufacturer, seller, and anyone in between, can be liable for injuries and damage caused by a defect if:

  • The product had an unreasonably dangerous defect.
  • The defect caused an injury when the product was used in its intended method and for the its intended purpose.
  • The product had not been substantially changed from its original condition.

If you’ve been injured by a gun malfunction, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney for help.

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