Using Your Semi-Automatic Handgun - What Not To Do

It wasn't that long ago that I did an article about what happens when you put your hand in the wrong place on a semi-automatic handgun.  I showed you pictures of the nasty gash that was made by the slide when it caught the hand of my friend when she inadvertently put her left hand over her right hand.  So what's the big deal about putting your left hand over your right hand?  It puts  your left hand directly in the line of the power of your gun slide racking back with a force that can cause serious damage.


I have seen some nasty wounds caused by the slide action of semi-automatic pistols but just about a month ago I think I saw one of the worst I had seen as of yet.  A lady was shooting her little, pink Taurus TCP 738 at the range.  She was new to shooting.  It was just before the accident happened that she was letting people admire her "cute", pink gun.

I always worry when women are more interested in the color of their gun and not as interested in the operation of it.  I warned the lady that those little 380's have a lot of recoil because they are so little and light weight.  She said she knew.  I also told her I had a lady that fired one of those recently and the recoil was enough to scare her so much that she tossed the gun down.  The lady laughed and said she knows better than that. 

At that point I figured she had been warned.  She fired the gun the first time and she held on to it.  You could tell it took everything in her to keep a hold of it because it had scared her.  She fired again and looked a little more relaxed.  I just happen to notice where her hand was and suggested that she should move her left hand to beneath her right hand so as to keep it out of the way of the slide.  I know, I know, not my student, not my business but I just worry about people getting  hurt.  She moved her hand..... temporarily at least...........and fired again.  She wasn't doing too bad on hitting the target.  She just needed to control that left hand, it kept creeping it's way back up to above her right hand really close to that racking slide.

Finally, I had my full attention back onto my Mother, who was learning to use her new Taurus PT22 pistol with the tip up barrel.  I had just gotten Mom setup to make her first shot when I heard a blood curdling scream, saw a lot of blood and the woman with the "cute", pink gun run by screaming.  I went out to check on her and oh what a mess it was.  The slide had racked back and her left hand must have been on top of her right again and sure enough that slide full force slammed into her tiny hand.  It hit her with such force that it cut her hand clean down to the bone and cut the tendon getting to the bone.  This was no band-aid moment this was a go to the emergency room moment.  I offered her a ride to the emergency room after I wrapped her hand and applied pressure to  help with the bleeding.  She was in awful pain and gladly accepted my offer to drive her to the ER. 

I took her gun and but it away with blood and flesh still on it.  I told her not to worry that I would clean the gun for her.  She said she never wanted to see that gun again and that I could keep it if I wanted it.  I told her that it was not the gun she simply had her hand in the wrong place and that she would feel differently after her hand had been taken care of.

It turned out she needed stitches and had cut the tendon.  The ER Doctor told her she would have to see a specialist to get that tendon taken care of or she could lose full use of her thumb and then would be considered closer to an ape than a human.  He was trying to be funny of course.  Several weeks later she came by and showed me her hand and I took the picture.  With it stitched up it didn't look to bad compared to what it looked like the day we took her to the ER.

So remember ladies.  It's great if you have a "cute" gun and it's wonderful if you can hit the target with that gun but what is really important is awareness of where your non-dominant hand is so that is does not become more non-dominant than it already is.  Take the time to get a little training on your handgun and know what you are doing before you go to the range to shoot that "cute" little gun...................

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