On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

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On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by beeser on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:32 pm

I learned something with the other thread about safety.  Hopefully this one will do likewise.  What annoys or troubles you about other people handling guns as it relates to safety?  Perhaps through examples myself and others will identify something they are doing that needs adjusting.  Despite the obvious the one I see most often is a gun not being pointed in a safe direction.

Side note - I realize most people like to mind their own business and not interfere with others activities but I think it's important to speak up about gun safety, especially when observing unsafe practices.  I've always appreciated it when someone approached me with a suggestion about how better to handle a gun.  It doesn't happen often, maybe not often enough, but when approached I'm receptive whether I agree or not.  We have range officers at the range where I shoot but it puzzles me that they don't take a more active role in how guns are being handled and safe practices in general.  If range officers are present at your range, do they actively check for unsafe practices?

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by LenV on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:48 pm

Don't shoot next to anyone shooting a Taurus. They have already proven they have terrible judgment and the pistol could blow up at anytime. Have seen this happen, twice. You did ask about Pet Peeves.

Len

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by DavidR on Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:03 pm

Avoid people that get visibly upset when they shoot a bad shot, I had a guy slam his cocked 45 down on the bench and start ranting cause he shot a 5, he went nuts acting like a total fool. I have not nor will I ever set up next to him again. Another is if its a important match avoid the newbie guy who doesn't have a gun box or real equipment and is just there for fun, every mistake or question he has will be directed to you while your trying to concentrate. At a everyday monthly match im glad to help them. And the final and worst for me was shooting next to a legend in the sport and watching him do the old hold in left hand and wrap your right hand around the grip, while doing this his loaded and cocked 45 was pointing completely sideways right at me and my gun box, I don't set up next to him anymore either.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by rvlvrlvr on Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:08 pm

I received a rather strongly-worded comment about my using my hand around the the front of my Ultradot to snap the slide into battery on my wadgun on my YouTube Bullseye video (I 'learned' that behavior, not having owned a wadgun for many years and watching other Bullseye shooters do it), and while I did kind of laugh it off and reply semi-sarcastically, I've still changed my technique to use the "slingshot" instead.

The range officers at the NRA HQ Range in Fairfax, VA are usually quick to remind people that guns must be cased/uncased in the booth with the muzzle pointed downrange, and to remind people to post targets at eye-level to avoid hitting the floor or the ceiling, and to correct thumbs-on-opposite-sides-of-the-gun errors for two-handed shooters.

Usually, though, there's only one RO monitoring the line and he/she can't catch everything. Ultimately it's up to the people to keep themselves safe, either by intervening if they see an unsafe situation developing (a tap on the shoulder is generally enough to get an unsafe shooter's attention and to pause whatever unsafe activity is going on, and the correction can be made) or by informing one of the ROs what's going on. Often, after establishing pointed eye-contact with an RO, I can just nod in the direction of the issue and the RO will see it and take appropriate action (I suppose I have a bit of rapport with the range personnel since I visit so often).

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:11 pm

When I point out that all muzzles are to remain down range I often get the response..."don't worry, it's not loaded".
How about when you here a slide going forward behind an active fireing line?
Slide forward w/ hammer back after I've just instructed the firing line to clear & box all firearms.
The list just keeps expanding.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by SMBeyer on Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:10 pm

I'm sure we would all end up with carpal tunnel if we shared ALL the stories we have.  Especially if you shoot on a public range.  The biggest issue I see on the bullseye line is when someone has a malfunction.  Almost everybody has good muzzle control with their guns when all is going like it should.  The problem comes when you have some sort of jamb or round that didn't go off and is stuck in the chamber.  A lot of people feel very rushed to fix the problem because everone is waiting on them (and watching) and then loose all sense of muzzle control.  I saw a high master once have a 22 not go off and it was stuck in the chamber.  He then proceeded to point it sideways down the line and attempt to remove it with a screwdriver eventually shoving a rod down muzzle all while pointed at everybody to his left.  Luckily I was on his right a few points down.

My 12yr old daughter has started shooting bullseye with us.  Before we started shooting, and I continue to constantly remind her, of how to be safe and how to react to a malfunction.  She is doing really well both safety wise and her shooting.  At her first match (I sat directly behind her) she shot an indoor 1800.  After the match the range officer came up to me and commented how proffesional looking she was and how well and safely she handled herself and her gun.  So I guess I'm doing something right with her.  I stressed to her how important it was to keep her finger off the trigger when loading the gun and dropping the slide.  Apparently she took this instruction to heart.  Our first night practing she had her pistol in her right hand, finger off the trigger with a loaded mag inserted.  She then proceeded to press the slide release and chamber the first round.  The only problem was she had her finger so far away from the trigger it was in the ejection port.  She slammed the bolt on her finger.  She hasn't done that since though.

The biggest issue I see not on the bullseye line but just shooting around the general public is the idiot AR shooters.  (nothing against AR's)  Some of these people have obviously never been around guns and barely know which end the bullet comes out of and they're on the range.  They have no idea how to handle a gun let alone how to handle a gun safely.  They often don't take kindly to instruction because they are too manly with their new AR to listen to someone.  Especially if they have a woman with them.  The machoism goes way up then.  Any time I see someone with a soft sided short but tall case walking down the hill towards the range wearing their tactical gloves in July I keep a close eye on them until I see how they handle themselves.  I once had an AR shooter (with another guy and 2 women) get all huffy with me because I asked him to remove the mag and open the bolt before I went down for a target chenge.  He wasn't in the middle of shooting or anything.  They were standing there talking and I politely asked if I could go down and change targets.  He said sure and I then walked over to check ALL of their guns.  That's when he got pissy and grabbed the AR took a loaded mag out and jacked a live round from the chamber.  He was going to be totally ok with me going forward of the firing line with that loaded AR.

Basically you have to watch everybody.  At least for a little bit to see how they are.  If the range starts to get crowded I go home because you spend more effort watching other people than you do on your own shooting.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by desben on Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:13 pm

People pointing their pistol vertical to rack the slide... I shoot at an indoor range with a gym right above.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by Wingshot on Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:31 pm

As an RSO I won't tolerate any infractions and "fishing" is the biggest violation I see. Guys raise the gun to the ceiling and settle into the bull during slow fire, usually with the trigger finger in the well. I'll tell you about it once, next time, buh, by.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by orpheoet on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:04 am

How about this? AT the local range I turned around and the range officer in the booth behind the line had unloaded and left his carry piece with the slide back on the ledge pointed directly at me. Unattended. I went back and said I didn't think it was safe, he assured me he knew what he was doing and "thats bullet proof glass". Actually made a bit of a fuss over it. Did I over react?

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by beeser on Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:31 am

orpheoet wrote:How about this? AT the local range I turned around and the range officer in the booth behind the line had unloaded and left his carry piece with the slide back on the ledge pointed directly at me. Unattended. I went back and said I didn't think it was safe, he assured me he knew what he was doing and "thats bullet proof glass". Actually made a bit of a fuss over it. Did I over react?
I don't know about the practical aspect of whether it was unsafe but if it made you uncomfortable that's reason enough to speak up.  The range officer in my opinion should have accommodated you.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by Wingshot on Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:34 pm

orpheoet wrote:How about this? AT the local range I turned around and the range officer in the booth behind the line had unloaded and left his carry piece with the slide back on the ledge pointed directly at me. Unattended. I went back and said I didn't think it was safe, he assured me he knew what he was doing and "thats bullet proof glass". Actually made a bit of a fuss over it. Did I over react?

What worries me is this, when did he unload it? Was it while he had shooters in front of him? Why did he feel compelled to remove his carry weapon from its holster and unload it in the first place? I certainly wouldn't blame you for berating this individual and that sorry excuse he gave you would have really set me off. He had no business handling ANY firearm behind or anywhere near the shooting line. Period.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by Virgil Kane on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:05 pm

Wingshot wrote:
orpheoet wrote:How about this? AT the local range I turned around and the range officer in the booth behind the line had unloaded and left his carry piece with the slide back on the ledge pointed directly at me. Unattended. I went back and said I didn't think it was safe, he assured me he knew what he was doing and "thats bullet proof glass". Actually made a bit of a fuss over it. Did I over react?

What worries me is this, when did he unload it? Was it while he had shooters in front of him? Why did he feel compelled to remove his carry weapon from its holster and unload it in the first place? I certainly wouldn't blame you for berating this individual and that sorry excuse he gave you would have really set me off. He had no business handling ANY firearm behind or anywhere near the shooting line. Period.

+1

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by marlin1881 on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:48 pm

Virgil Kane wrote:
Wingshot wrote:
orpheoet wrote:How about this? AT the local range I turned around and the range officer in the booth behind the line had unloaded and left his carry piece with the slide back on the ledge pointed directly at me. Unattended. I went back and said I didn't think it was safe, he assured me he knew what he was doing and "thats bullet proof glass". Actually made a bit of a fuss over it. Did I over react?

What worries me is this, when did he unload it? Was it while he had shooters in front of him? Why did he feel compelled to remove his carry weapon from its holster and unload it in the first place? I certainly wouldn't blame you for berating this individual and that sorry excuse he gave you would have really set me off. He had no business handling ANY firearm behind or anywhere near the shooting line. Period.

+1

This is obviously against policy at our range.  There are NO HANDLING of firearms except at the firing line.  No exceptions.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:07 pm

This may have been a case of "I make the rules  so they don't apply to me", kind of like our government

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by Virgil Kane on Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:33 pm

STEVE SAMELAK wrote:This may have been a case of "I make the rules  so they don't apply to me", kind of like our government


If you like your government you can keep it. Rolling Eyes

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by Rob Kovach on Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:20 pm

I hate it when people uncase their guns behind the firing line at our range as the walk up to the line that is pasted with signs that say "uncase at the firing line only".

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by Wingshot on Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:24 am

The bottom line as it relates to safety on any shooting line is that everyone has the right and responsibility to call out a "Cease Fire" at any time they feel uncomfortable or witness an unsafe action that an RSO may not have seen. I'd rather take some lip from some disgruntled shooter who's too self absorbed in his own "zone" and committing an unsafe action than to have a situation where I'm reaching for the trauma bag. Competetive shooting is one of the safest sports one can partake in and we are ALL required to make sure it remains so.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by LenV on Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:38 am

I was actually hit by a bullet in a match in South Carolina. They had metal framed turning targets. The early shot on the left side of the line struck the frame squarely and knocked my leg out from under me on the right side of the line. Pretty scary and it ruined a nice pair of stay pressed dark green uniform pants. Now I flinch a little when someone starts getting off early rounds. I hope they got rid of the metal frames.

Len

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by dronning on Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:24 am

Rob Kovach wrote:I hate it when people uncase their guns behind the firing line at our range as the walk up to the line that is pasted with signs that say "uncase at the firing line only".


When I have RO duty at our club uncasing your gun behind the line will get you a nice request from me to bring your case to the line pack up your gun and leave.  Zero tolerance for this after we had a guy uncase his rifle sweep the whole line and as he put his rifle down on the bench for some reason instead of clearing it he pulled the trigger and yep there was a round in the chamber.  At least the bullet hit the berm.  

- Dave

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by Axehandle on Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:40 am

+1 on the RO/RSO/CRSO thinking the range rules don't apply to them.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

Post by beeser on Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:31 am

Thanks everyone for sharing your don'ts and pet peeves.  I discovered a few of my own practices in the process of reading them that needed correction, namely ...

When preparing to fire I would raise my arm above the target before settling down on the bullseye.  It wasn't skyward but high enough to be above the top of the berm down range.  I figured if the gun went off prematurely the bullet could go over the berm.  There is nothing behind it but open desert but still not a safe or intended path for the bullet.  I now only raise the gun to the bullseye or slightly above.

I now use an ECI whether shooting alone or with others.

Because I primarily shoot alone it's easy to pick up bad habits.  One is uncasing guns behind a firing line.  The safety aspect of it doesn't have much relevance when shooting alone but it can develop into a bad habit and transfer to when others are around.  I now uncase every gun at the shooting bench.

Another bad habit that I discovered doing is pointing the gun in an unsafe direction at times I subconsciously didn't think it was a problem.  When alone the closest shooter is usually about a 100 yds. away.  I found myself sometimes pointing the gun in the direction of the other lanes.  I now handle the guns assuming someone is always shooting right next to me.

The last thing I found myself doing is not consistently keeping my finger off the trigger until ready to fire.  I certainly do that now.

Thanks again everyone for showing me the way to be a better shooter.

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Re: On Safety - Don'ts, Pet Peeves?

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