Ryan D. lives in Chesterton, Indiana with his wife. He is a veteran and has extensive firearms training.
Early one afternoon, Ryan was sitting at his kitchen table cleaning his Glock 19 pistol.
To take the gun apart Ryan removed the magazine and pulled the slide back, but the slide wouldn’t come off.
According to police, he “remembered that the trigger had to be in the pulled position for the slide to come off.”
Ryan then “took his right index finger and pulled the trigger. This caused the gun to fire the round that was in the chamber.”
The bullet hit Ryan in the forearm and then went into the kitchen table.
The round continued to travel through a case holding another pistol and ended up stopping on the floor next to where Ryan was sitting.
After shooting himself, Ryan moved to his kitchen sink and applied pressure to his wound with a towel.
When first responders arrived, they placed a combat application tourniquet on Ryan’s arm, which stopped the bleeding.
He was then transported to the hospital.
Ryan’s wife said that he “is very safety conscious about firearms and that today’s incident was accidental.”
If you have ever cleaned a Glock, then you are likely familiar with the process of field stripping the weapon.
There are only about four parts, but to remove the slide you have to pull the trigger.
Of course, this is why the pistol should always be pointed in a safe direction – even when cleaning it.
But manipulating the slide on a semi-auto can be challenging for people who suffer from arthritis or have weak hands (which is why some shooters prefer revolvers).
However, there’s another option besides revolvers, which are pistols with a tip-up barrel.
What is a tip-up barrel pistol?:
A tip-up barrel pistol is a semi-automatic handgun with a barrel that tips up and away from the firing pin.
The barrel opens up on a hinge, similar to a single-shot shotgun.
The design of the barrel means that a shooter has a choice in loading the rounds in the gun.
That’s because a round can be directly inserted into the chamber instead of being fed by the magazine.
The slide on a tip-up barrel still moves and the spent casing is ejected similar to a regular semi-auto.
Most tip-up barrel firearms are chambered in smaller calibers such as .22, .380, or .25.
This is because the breech on tip-up barrels can open immediately, which wouldn’t be safe with larger calibers.
Benefits of a tip-up barrel pistol:
The biggest benefit of a tip-up barrel pistol is that it makes it easy to load the pistol.
You don’t need to rack the slide to chamber a round, so if you have weak hands or don’t have the strength to pull a slide back it won’t matter.
In addition, it’s always simple to check if the gun is loaded.
With a tip-up barrel, you could leave it open so you would know if there was a round chambered.
I would never carry a gun without a round in the chamber, but I know some people feel differently.
So, you could easily check whether the pistol is loaded using the tip-up barrel.
Drawbacks to a tip-up barrel:
One drawback to the tip-up design is that you can only find them in smaller calibers, because the design isn’t suited for larger calibers.
Tip-up barrel pistols are known for having more recoil compared to the same calibers in a traditional semi-auto.
The reason is that the blowback design can make the recoil more noticeable.
Also, tip-up barrel pistols are rarer. Which means it may be harder to find one at your local gun store.
Best tip-up barrel pistols:
Beretta is known as the king of tip-up barrels. They have made several different models over the years.
The Beretta Tomcat and Beretta Bobcat are two tip-up barrels that are still in production.
They sell for around $650 depending on the specific features.
Taurus also makes the PT22, which is a tip-up barrel that sells for about $250.
Now, a tip-up barrel pistol wouldn’t be my first choice for home defense, unless you can’t pull a slide back, then it’s a good option.