On 2 May, 2016, a 15-Year-Old student shot himself, accidentally, at Kimball High school in Dallas. He dropped the pistol after the shooting. Another student took a picture of the dropped pistol, which made its way onto numerous social media. The pistol had been carried in a front pocket. It was reported that the bullet went through the student's hand and across the top of his leg. It was not clear if it penetrated the skin of the leg. No one else was hit. From fox4news.com:
DALLAS - A student was taken to the hospital Monday morning after shooting himself at Kimball High School in Dallas.From the dailymail.co.uk:
Dallas ISD said the student “inadvertently shot himself with a single-shot revolver at the end of first period.” He went to the hospital by ground ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.
A 15-year-old student accidentally shot himself in the hand and leg in a Dallas classroom after bringing a loaded .22 caliber pistol to school on Monday.From the picture and the dailymail ID of the caliber, the pistol is clearly *not* a single shot revolver (a contradiction in terms), but most likely an IAR Butler copy of the Colt #4 derringer, chambered in .22 short. Here is a YouTube video of the IAR Butler being demonstrated.
Link to video of IAR Butler copy of Colt #4 derringer
I believe the derringer to be the Butler copy because they were quite common. The poor resolution of the the social media makes absolute identification difficult, but the hammer shape and the color of the frame makes the Butler the likely candidate.
Without more details, we cannot be certain how the accident happened.
A likely scenario is that the young man was fooling with the pistol in his pocket, and had cocked it. Once cocked, he decided to uncock it, but attempted to do so while it was in his pocket, to avoid detection. He likely used his off hand to steady the pistol while he activated the trigger while attempting the uncock. Then he lost control of the hammer, and the pistol discharged, the bullet penetrating his off hand and injuring his leg.
Whether more details will be released that might confirm the above speculation, is uncertain.
Copies of Colt #4 derringers are still offered in percussion kits in .31 caliber. They are legally sold through the mail. At least some of them have been converted to .22 rimfire through the use of a barrel insert. The converted pistols do not have an extractor for fired cartridges, so a rod is used to extract the fired cases.
A common problem with the pistols was main spring breakage. I saw one pistol where the owner had substituted a rubber band to power the hammer. He reported that it worked satisfactorily.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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