Eyes and Ears by Anthony Mitchell
Prior to each shoot, we always have a safety brief, part of which is a reminder about wearing eye and ear protection when ordered to do so by the Range Officer. After a while, it becomes a habit, just like wearing seat belts whilst driving a car. Just in case you think there’s no need (i.e. it couldn’t happen to me), the following incident happened to me recently.
During the course of the shoot, the slide of my Walther P22 stayed in the rearmost position, which is pretty normal when the magazine is empty. Except this time, the magazine was nowhere near empty. Examination of the slide revealed a crack near the chamber, indicated by the arrow. (Figure 1)
The metal was broken completely, allowing the slide to come off the frame on the left-hand side of the gun and jam in the rearmost position. A further check revealed a second crack in the slide, on the right-hand side near the muzzle. (Figure 2)
Thankfully, the metal was only broken through on the right-hand side; otherwise, the slide could have kept on going rearwards. This would have been highly inconvenient for me. As it turned out, I only had to purchase a new slide. Granted, this is the first time that anything like this has ever happened to me, but it is a reminder that safety is not just a sometime thing.