This is a post that has remained private on our old ReynosaWatch Neighborhood Watch weblog for over five years. I recently decommissioned the old site since we no longer own the old place and all the Neighborhood WatchDogs have either moved, or passed, away. I’m putting the details about my one and only negligent discharge here for posterity, just in case someone else can learn from my past mistake.
On certain nights when I am prone to snoring, I sleep on the loft in a makeshift bed of blankets, sheets and a pad directly on the floor. As is my custom, I sleep with a gun under my pillow.
During the night, I accidentally discharged my Smith & Wesson model 686. I believe that I unintentionally squeezed the trigger in my sleep while dreaming. The gun is a .357 magnum revolver loaded with Speer 158 grain JHP cartridges. The composite photo above shows the resulting damage to the carpet where the gun was laying on its side when the discharge took place.
Marks visible in the photos are (looking in the direction of the gunshot):
- side discharge between cylinder and rear of barrel
- muzzle blast
- bullet entry point in carpet
- gas trail in discharge direction
Interestingly, there was no damage beyond the carpet. I could not find the slug and there was no apparent impact point on the wall beyond.
To mitigate future possible discharge, I acquired a holster in which to keep the revolver’s trigger covered while I sleep. Henceforth, I would have to consciously unsnap the keeper and withdraw the revolver to use it. We visited the gun shop the day after the incident and purchased a holster.
Bottom line, cover the trigger and trigger guard at all times on your pillow gun.
After the flood in the old house, the restoration crew removed all of the carpet in the area where I had been sleeping on the night of the discharge. I inspected the exposed wooden floor during a recent visit to do some cleanup. Remarkably, I could find no evidence of the gunshot. The plywood flooring appeared to be completely undamaged. I guess it’s possible that the carpet and liner absorbed the impact given the shallow angle of the shot. With the carpet gone to some landfill somewhere, we will never know.