Slipping and falling whilst carrying a loaded rifle was not lucky, but getting away without any serious damage was.
Out stalking yesterday morning and while walking down a vehicle track on a slight hill, I stepped on a moss covered rock. I had no time to react and feet went out from under me so fast, I was on the ground before I knew it. The rifle was loaded and carried muzzle up. The rifle landed spanning the wheel rut of the track with the barrel on the raised edge and the stock on the central raised grass. If it had landed along the stone wheel track the damage would have been severe. As it was a very slight scuff to the elevation turret cap. I checked the whole rifle and not a sign of damage anywhere else.
As it was on the way back to the car the morning was not wasted as I would not have been happy about taking a shot without checking the zero after such a heavy clatter.
This is the first time in over 25years pf stalking or shooting that I have had such a fall and dropped the rifle. I was very lucky to get away with it. When I shot at a target later on the POI had moved to strike about 1'' low at 100yds. I honestly don't think the rifle and scope could have taken a harder knock without something breaking.
It did however make me think what would have happened if the rifle had been carried muzzle down, which I never do but some others favour, and the impact had caused it to go off.
I know it is a personal thing but I would rather have the muzzle pointing away from my head and into the trees instead of at the ground and above my feet and lower leg.