Man Hurt After Rifle Explodes

I’ve often said that the best way to learn is through experience.  But when it comes to safety related issues, I amend my statement by saying “The best way to learn is through other people’s experience.”

The following article is by By George Plaven of The Montana Standard and appeared on October 3rd, 2012

ANACONDA – A 29-year-old Anaconda man was injured late Saturday after the barrel of his 50-caliber black powder rifle exploded, according to police.

Robert Coffey was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle via Life Flight with injuries to his left arm and hand following the accident, Chief Tim Barkell told The Montana Standard. A spokeswoman for St. Patrick Hospital said Coffey is not at the hospital as of Tuesday.

Barkell told the Standard that Coffey shot the rifle — in memory of his uncle — at a home on North Hickory Street, but packed the barrel too full of powder which caused it to explode in his hands.

Nobody else was hurt, Barkell said.

— Reporter George Plaven may be reached at 496-5597, or via email at Follow him at

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