The Danger in Covering the Ejection Port While Racking the Slide

Bullet explodes injuring hand (ouch!)
By Warren

“I have a Para-Ordnance P-16 40 S&W and put thousands of rounds thru it in the past few years. Yesterday I was at a bowling match and at the end of the round I dropped the magazine and racked the slide back to empty the chamber when the round exploded. The blast and shrapnel tore the skin off my left index finger exposing bone from the joint at the palm to the first knuckle (pretty ugly) and lots of small holes all around. All people present had eye and ear protection and no body else was injured. Apparently the ejector struck the primer hard enough to set it off.

Of course as soon as the hospital heard “gun” the state police were called in and took the gun so it could be safety checked. Who knows when I will get it back but it probably doesn’t matter as it will be a while before I will doing any two handed shooting.

I have seen this happen before with a 9mm Para-Ordnance. When the wife found out that this happened to someone else at our club with a Para she said its time to trade it in on a Kimber or a Smith.

Has anyone else seen this with any other gun?

…Thanks for all the kind wishes. My hand and fingers are healing well; no infection and stitches will probably be coming out next week. I will probably be shooting round guns for a while so I don’t have to rack the slide.

I think I have learned a few things. I have to unlearn how I rack the slide. While active duty I was on the special weapons security alert team and back up alert team for years. While in Panama I broke my left wrist and was in a cast from elbow to thumb. They were going to replace me but I learned to make the .45 qualifier with 4 fingers & no thumb. That put my hand right over the ejection port. I wore that cast for over 11 months and have been racking the slide the same way now for over 30 years.

I have been to competitions that you have to let the round hit the ground but never knew why. I’m an I.D.P.A. SO, RO, and MD and teach the N.R.A. pistol safety course but can’t remember any one ever telling me why. Now I know!

Please learn by my mistake and pass this on to others.”

Thanks Warren

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