First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

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First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by shaky452 on 1/27/2018, 5:11 pm

At the weekly league match, one of the competitors raised his hand at the end the first TF string indicating an alibi. The official running the line came over to verify the alibi. The slide had not fully closed when the command to load was given and, consequently, the first shot had not fired. The slide was easily seen to not be closed. The alibi was not granted. This generated quite a bit of discussion for the rest of the evening with no one able to come up with the definitive passage in the NRA rule book. I was always under the impression that the shooter was responsible for the first round. Does this fall under the 9.6 Malfunctions definition? "Functional failures due to improper manual operation are not to be considered as malfunctions".  

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.

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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by zanemoseley on 1/27/2018, 6:26 pm

I'm not well versed on the exact rules but if it was just out of battery I would side with the shooter. This is unless the slide was 1/2" or more from closing, like something super obvious the shooter REALLY should have noticed. Especially on a weekly league, everyone shows up for some fun competition, next thing you know you're getting screwed out of 50 points = no fun.

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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by dronning on 1/27/2018, 6:55 pm

IMHO an alibi should have been given but if there was any attempt to clear or force into battery then no alibi.
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by Tim:H11 on 1/27/2018, 7:03 pm

I don’t understand the rules completely the way they are written and many of the rules are often debated in its meaning because of the use of language. But I look at it this way: it’s my responsibility to load and chamber the gun, make the gun ready for the relay about to begin and if I’m not ready I need to notify the block officer or range officer or who ever it is behind the mic that I am not ready. That is so long as I let them know before it’s considered too late according to the rules. 

I see it as - if I didn’t get the gun loaded right, if it didn’t go into battery and I missed that, then that’s on me. The gun doesn’t load itself. And because it didn’t load correctly may or may not be considered a malfunction but not recognizing it happened, and starting the relay with a jammed gun tells me the shooter isn’t looking and focousing on what he/she is doing or how the gun is behaving.

Just my $0.02 not sure I’m right or wrong but it’s my view. I don’t expect an alibi for myself if it were to ever happen to me. And I don’t believe it will ever happen to me. I make sure the gun is ready and I am ready, before the command “Is the Line Ready” is given. Because if I’m not, then I let em know - I’m not ready, or raise a hand or what ever protocol is... I haven’t benn “not Ready” before.
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/27/2018, 7:10 pm

I’d say no alibi, shooter should of seen it not in battery. If the first round didn’t strip from the mag at all or click no bang is give the alibi.
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by shaky452 on 1/27/2018, 8:14 pm

I was at a regional match 5 years or so ago with my boy and he had a similar situation.  He inserted the magazine and released the slide on the command to load. The targets turned and his first shot was a "click'. When the official came to verify the alibi he removed the magazine and opened the slide.  Five cartridges in the magazine and none in the chamber. The first round had failed to strip off the magazine and chamber. The alibi was not granted. There must be an official ruling somewhere that covers situations like this.

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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/27/2018, 8:33 pm

9.6 Malfunction - Failure of the pistol to function properly due
to mechanical defects or to defective ammunition. Functional failures
due to improper manual operation are not to be considered as
malfunctions. (For procedure in case of a malfunction see Rules
10.9 and 10.10. For refiring privileges see Rule 9.14.)

After properly inserting a magazine and i release the slide or sling shot it the normal operation for the slide to strip the round and chamber it? When the range officer is calling the line ready if i inspect my slide i see it closed... i would assume to believe that it is loaded?
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by Tim:H11 on 1/27/2018, 8:35 pm

shaky452 wrote:I was at a regional match 5 years or so ago with my boy and he had a similar situation.  He inserted the magazine and released the slide on the command to load. The targets turned and his first shot was a "click'. When the official came to verify the alibi he removed the magazine and opened the slide.  Five cartridges in the magazine and none in the chamber. The first round had failed to strip off the magazine and chamber. The alibi was not granted. There must be an official ruling somewhere that covers situations like this.

I could be wrong but if the magazine is inserted all the way then I can't think of a reason the round wouldn't strip off the magazine. So I'm going to guess the magazine wasn't in all the way. And if so it's shooters error and not a malfunction. Tough break. I could be wrong though. In my gun - just an example - I can feel the round strip off the magazine. If it doesn't feel right, or for what ever reason I think "did that chamber properly?" then I check. Pull the slide back far enough to see brass and let it go back into battery and press to make sure its really in battery or just drop the mag and look for four or five rounds. 

Just me though.
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by SMBeyer on 1/27/2018, 9:27 pm

Chris Miceli wrote:9.6 Malfunction - Failure of the pistol to function properly due
to mechanical defects or to defective ammunition. Functional failures
due to improper manual operation are not to be considered as
malfunctions. (For procedure in case of a malfunction see Rules
10.9 and 10.10. For refiring privileges see Rule 9.14.)

After properly inserting a magazine and i release the slide or sling shot it the normal operation for the slide to strip the round and chamber it? When the range officer is calling the line ready if i inspect my slide i see it closed... i would assume to believe that it is loaded?
the way i read that "functional failures due to improper manual operation are not considered as malfunctions"  means that no alibi should be allowed.  The command is to load.  If no round is in the chamber then you didn't load.  That being said on league night im very generous.  Most guys are just there to have fun and shoot their best be it 390 or 590.
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/27/2018, 9:33 pm

SMBeyer wrote:
Chris Miceli wrote:9.6 Malfunction - Failure of the pistol to function properly due
to mechanical defects or to defective ammunition. Functional failures
due to improper manual operation are not to be considered as
malfunctions. (For procedure in case of a malfunction see Rules
10.9 and 10.10. For refiring privileges see Rule 9.14.)

After properly inserting a magazine and i release the slide or sling shot it the normal operation for the slide to strip the round and chamber it? When the range officer is calling the line ready if i inspect my slide i see it closed... i would assume to believe that it is loaded?
the way i read that "functional failures due to improper manual operation are not considered as malfunctions"  means that no alibi should be allowed.  The command is to load.  If no round is in the chamber then you didn't load.  That being said on league night im very generous.  Most guys are just there to have fun and shoot their best be it 390 or 590.
10.1.3 Loaded Pistols - A pistol or revolver that has a cartridge in the cylinder or in a magazine which has been inserted shall be considered as being loaded. No pistol will be loaded until competitor has taken the assigned place at the fi ring point and the command “LOAD” has been given by the range offi cer. Loaded pistols shall be pointed in the direction of the targets at all times.
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by SMBeyer on 1/27/2018, 9:47 pm

Chris Miceli wrote:
SMBeyer wrote:
Chris Miceli wrote:9.6 Malfunction - Failure of the pistol to function properly due
to mechanical defects or to defective ammunition. Functional failures
due to improper manual operation are not to be considered as
malfunctions. (For procedure in case of a malfunction see Rules
10.9 and 10.10. For refiring privileges see Rule 9.14.)

After properly inserting a magazine and i release the slide or sling shot it the normal operation for the slide to strip the round and chamber it? When the range officer is calling the line ready if i inspect my slide i see it closed... i would assume to believe that it is loaded?
the way i read that "functional failures due to improper manual operation are not considered as malfunctions"  means that no alibi should be allowed.  The command is to load.  If no round is in the chamber then you didn't load.  That being said on league night im very generous.  Most guys are just there to have fun and shoot their best be it 390 or 590.
10.1.3 Loaded Pistols - A pistol or revolver that has a cartridge in the cylinder or in a magazine which has been inserted shall be considered as being loaded. No pistol will be loaded until competitor has taken the assigned place at the fi ring point and the command “LOAD” has been given by the range offi cer. Loaded pistols shall be pointed in the direction of the targets at all times.
then the only way to deny an alibi would be if the shooter didn't drop the slide possibly?  This is the hard thing about not making a rule book the size of a dictionary.  Rules are open to interpretation.
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/27/2018, 9:54 pm

SMBeyer wrote:
Chris Miceli wrote:
SMBeyer wrote:
Chris Miceli wrote:9.6 Malfunction - Failure of the pistol to function properly due
to mechanical defects or to defective ammunition. Functional failures
due to improper manual operation are not to be considered as
malfunctions. (For procedure in case of a malfunction see Rules
10.9 and 10.10. For refiring privileges see Rule 9.14.)

After properly inserting a magazine and i release the slide or sling shot it the normal operation for the slide to strip the round and chamber it? When the range officer is calling the line ready if i inspect my slide i see it closed... i would assume to believe that it is loaded?
the way i read that "functional failures due to improper manual operation are not considered as malfunctions"  means that no alibi should be allowed.  The command is to load.  If no round is in the chamber then you didn't load.  That being said on league night im very generous.  Most guys are just there to have fun and shoot their best be it 390 or 590.
10.1.3 Loaded Pistols - A pistol or revolver that has a cartridge in the cylinder or in a magazine which has been inserted shall be considered as being loaded. No pistol will be loaded until competitor has taken the assigned place at the fi ring point and the command “LOAD” has been given by the range offi cer. Loaded pistols shall be pointed in the direction of the targets at all times.
then the only way to deny an alibi would be if the shooter didn't drop the slide possibly?  This is the hard thing about not making a rule book the size of a dictionary.  Rules are open to interpretation.

or never inserted the magazine....or something i've done before... i only loaded a magazine with 1round =[
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by dronning on 1/27/2018, 10:11 pm

So a FTF on a slide drop isn't an alibi?  Because if you try to correct it you definitely loose any chance of an alibi.  How would I know if the round had a defect or not?  If I take the chance to correct I lose the alibi and if I call for an alibi, I am denied?  This doesn't seem right.  Was it because he didn't notice the slide not being in battery and attempted to fire?

If I dropped my slide and it didn't go into battery and before the fire command I noticed it, I'd raise my hand immediately and expect an alibi. If I didn't notice it wasn't in battery and attempt to fire it sounds like I should attempt to clear and insert my spare mag because I am not getting an alibi and if I can't get the mag switch done I'm screwed.

- Dave
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by CR10X on 1/28/2018, 6:44 am

This is not a unusual situation if you go to enough matches.  It requires some diligence on the part of the range officer and complete honesty on the part of the shooter.

It used to be that most of these situations were addressed in the manner that the original poster noted.  No alibi.  However, I believe there has been some "bleed over" from High Power which (I think) now allows an alibi for the first round not chambering (which was not done in the past).  Again, I believe this is because of some procedural changes as to when the rifle can be chambered / loaded getting into posistion and at the start of the string of fire. (I am not sure of this and have not researched the HP rules to confirm, this is from remembering a post from a few years ago.

In any event, the guiding language from the pistol rules has been given above. "Functional failures due to improper manual operation are not to be considered as malfunctions."  That means to me that it is the competitor's responsibility to load the gun properly.  (And yes, I've taken a 50 point hit for not inserting a loaded a magazine before, at a Regional.) 

In any event, I have made the call (alibi and no alibi) both ways depending on the circumstances and the guidance from the rules. In general and for pistol, if it is not obvious that that the slide did not go fully into battery, I'll give the benefit of the doubt.  Otherwise, I'm going to look further.  I try to be fair and consistent.  

The details are important and here are some issues to look for.  Was the magazine fully inserted? (No = no alibi) Did the magazine have any rounds? (No = no alibi) Did the competitor touch the pistol with the off hand or otherwise attempt to clear or correct the problem? (Yes = no alibi) [And I'm going to look around and see if there are any loose rounds on the table, check for 5 rounds in the mag, etc.]

I would give this advice.  Get ready to shoot the string and look at the gun. I generally do a press check.  If there is an issue, immediately raise your hand if the "Is the line ready?" command has been given. (Do not wait or try to fix at that point.  The range officer / match director has already looked up and down the line (at least I do) and tried to make sure everyone has quit futzing around before giving that command.  At Perry, the paddles go down, so you need to keep your head together.  Better to be "not ready" and wait to shoot than to loose a potential alibi you might need. 

Anyway, this is good discussion and No, I do not want the rule book to become the size of the IPSC / USPSA rule book.   I like it pretty much as it is. 

Cecil

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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by MarkOue on 1/28/2018, 7:10 am

This is a good discussion.  Last week I had a first round that on which the slide did not return to battery.  I raised my hand in response to "Is the line ready", which I was not.

Often after releasing the blot/slide on the first round in a magazine in my Pardini or 1911 Nelson I will pull the bolt/slide back a little to see if a round was in fact chambered.  I worry a little that the bolt or slide may not return to battery after peaking at the case rime.  Heck I though I was being too OCD but now I realize if alibis are not allowed my anal behavior is in fact justified.  Thanks guys!

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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by dan allen on 2/19/2018, 7:30 am

In the two leagues I shoot in the accepted interpretation of the rules is that chambering the first round is the shooters responsibility.

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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by Wobbley on 2/19/2018, 8:32 am

In NRA HP you now have to have an open bolt until the targets start to come up.  So a Fail-to-feed is now a malfunction for an auto loader on the first round.
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Re: First Shot Alibi in Timed and Rapid fire

Post by jmdavis on 2/19/2018, 9:42 am

Wobbley wrote:In NRA HP you now have to have an open bolt until the targets start to come up.  So a Fail-to-feed is now a malfunction for an auto loader on the first round.
For rapids, Magazines on the mat, bolt open until the target start to come up. For slow fire an empty magazine can be inserted, but all loading is single load. 

For League, the shooter would get an Alibi. For a 2700 or Regional, it would depend on the exact situation. 

Like Chris, I often check to make sure that the round did strip and chamber. I have had some ammo that was problematic loading in tight chambers. Some pistols can appear closed but not be so.
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