Misfiring rifle leaves New Brunswick restaurateur with head injuries
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BOIESTOWN, N.B. — A New Brunswick restaurateur has survived after a misfiring rifle showered his face with bullet shrapnel.
Douglas Lyons said a bullet exploded in the chamber as he tried to load his Savage Axis .30-06 rifle Sunday while testing it in the woods ahead of a planned hunting trip.
"The firing pin fired and blew that shell up on me, and that's what hit me in the face," Lyons said Wednesday from Boiestown, N.B., where he owns the Tipsy Canoe restaurant.
"The covering of the bullet and the powder and all that stuff in there came up and struck me on the side of my head. Cut my face open there quite a bit."
Lyons said he had dropped his four sons off at Sunday school and went to the woods with some friends to sight his rifle. He took his gun from its case, and tried to load it, but the bolt wouldn't lock.
The firing pin went off as he pulled the bolt back on his third attempt, the bullet still in the chamber, he said.
"The barrel was pointed away from me. It was quite a moment. The gun went one way and I went the other," he said.
Lyons said he bought the gun a year ago at a store in Fredericton, and said the firing pin should never have fired in that position.
He drove himself out of the woods, despite his friends' pleas not to, and his wife later drove him to a hospital in Fredericton.
He said he had lost a lot of blood, and felt light-headed and cold by the time he got to hospital about 90 minutes after the misfiring. Doctors found and removed most of the shrapnel, although he said they want the swelling to subside before they take the final piece out.
Lyons remains in a lot of pain, he said, but is mostly glad the damage wasn't worse.
"My ears are still ringing, I've still got a friggin' headache, but the main thing is I'm still around here to talk it about I guess," he said. "It could be worse, I could be blinded or whatever, right?"