Friday, October 29, 2004

Well, I have to report that it comes time for each of us to prove himself (or herself) to be very foolish and to get a dose of humility. Today, was my turn to benefit from my dose of humility.

A little background is in order. Every morning I get up, walk the dog, fix breakfast (mine AND hers) say goodbye to the wife (who fixes her own breakfast), eat and then go upstairs to shower, shave (when the mood strikes or circumstances demand) and so forth. Every Friday and Saturday I do the same but have to dress for work (!?!), a necessary and sometimes enjoyable 7 hours selling and talking about militaria, military history and fine art prints for American Art and Antiques, Inc. and One thing that I do everyday when I go out is to take one or more firearms, just in case. Now that it is hunting season (of one sort or another) I generally carry a selection to cover the various possible game in season. This morning, I wanted to carry my S&W 422 6" (for squirrel), my Contender with the 28 ga. shotgun barrel (I know something is in season!), and my Marlin 1894C in .357 Mag (for coyotes, fox, and later for deer, etc.). All was ready except for the Marlin...

I was in a bit of a rush this morning. My son was going to stop by at 9:00, I have to be to work at 10:00, I hadn't taken my shower until 8:00 (the dog was a little off schedule), and I stopped to watch something on Fox and Friends on Fox News Channel. For a news junkie, that can be a bad, bad thing. Anyway, I'm now against the clock and run upstairs, get into the safe and grabe the Marlin and 9 rounds of .357 Mag. Then I stuffed those 9 rounds in the magazine...

You may have guessed but if you haven't, I won't drag it out. I had loaded those 9 rounds into the Marlin, the 336T (in .30-30) NOT the 1894C! Now I can fix this, I just take out the mag tube plug and the forward band screw and dump the contents. So, I've run to the basement for the correct screwdriver and get to work and get it fixed. The main thing is that such a mix up on these two similar but clearly different guns was made by being in a rush and not paying attention to detail. It also started yesterday when I put the "wrong" gun in the spot I wanted the .357 Mag to be in. This morning I just reached in and assumed I had the correct gun. That they look so similar from the loading gate down (including that Marlin pivot "knuckle") let me continue with my self-deception for at least another full minute.

For those of you concerned about safety issues, the .357 Mag ammo doesn't feed in the .30-30 and the .30-30 won't fit into the 1894 in .357 Mag. In short, there was NO safety issue unless you think I should just slow down before I step on the dog, stub my toe, or something.

Now, I'm suitably humiliated, humbled, and my attention has been focused on safety and details. I hope that this relatively painless mishap will enable me to avoid something dangerous, to remember to look and acertain my target BEFORE shooting, to check the background, and to keep my firearms pointed in a safe direction. I hope that anyone who reads this will do the same.

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