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3rd day of Steel Safari didn't go so well for me. The 6:10am start meant I was looking into the sun for the first 3 stages. That combined with having my head up my backside for those stages meant a pretty lackluster score. I barely finished in the top half for the three days. Still, this is an amazing event -- one that's pretty unforgiving for errors in so many aspects of shooting. Snowflake egos need not apply.

I'm looking forward to the next Safari matches, both individual and team events.

The Safari had 3 DQs due to NDs this year. I know one of the ND guys, and by chance I talked to another in the parking lot after he returned to the field. IMO the stories are worth relaying.

First ND -- the shooter was in prone position, weighting his bipod, sights were on target, preparing to take the shot. The bipod either collapsed or broke, the shooter broke the shot as the bipod was collapsing, and the round fell well short of the target. The RO was spotting (eyes in binos) and didn't see the collapsed bipod until the shooter called attention to the issue. The shooter stated that was an ND and DQ'ed himself from the match. Many of us in Colorado know him -- he goes by a dinosaur nickname. He's a great guy with outstanding character.

Second ND -- The shooter stated he just finished a stage. Dropped his mag, then proceeded to rack the bolt of his AI bolt action 4 or 5 times. He then had his RO rack the bolt 4 or 5 times. The shooter stood up, grabbed the rifle, pointed it down range towards targets, told the RO he was going to drop the hammer. BANG! RO was uncertain what to do, but shooter called ND and DQ'd himself. The shooter stated he believes a live bullet was stuck in the chamber, probably due to a mis-sized case.

I suspect the shooter had just loaded a round into the chamber, then ran out of time prior to breaking the shot. Which means he knows he has a live round in the rifle. I suspect he dropped the mag, cycled the bolt, and no round ejected. Which means he continued to cycle the bolt -- not only himself, but with the RO's assistance. He stated he looked into the chamber, but with an AI action, it's hard to see into the chamber. I can't comment here, as I don't own an AI rifle.

This means 2 failures occurred -- #1 the shooter didn't stick a finger down the chamber to feel for a round, and #2 the shooter didn't pull the bolt out of the gun to look down the bore. Furthermore, if there was a concern that the live round was in the rifle, then the gun should not have been moved.

IMO a better way would have been first to determine that the live round didn't eject. Once that was determined, pull the bolt and figure out a way to remove the round. If that doesn't work, agree to fire the round towards a target (may require match director approval), break the shot, then inspect gun & ammo afterwards.

Fortunately, all 3 NDs in the match occurred with rifles pointing down range and no injuries or issues ensued. NDs are scary -- I've had one. Let's be safe out there.
 
Posts: 5341 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Thanks for the stories. I won’t offer an opinion about the stuck round, and you’re right it could have been caught by removing the bolt. I would not, however, call breaking a shot as the bipod collapsed a “negligent” discharge (assuming that’s what “ND” refers to). Unintentional? Yes, but I don’t understand how the shooter’s negligence caused it.




“He who writes carelessly confesses thereby at the very outset that he does not attach much importance to his own thoughts. ”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
 
Posts: 38080 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
I would not, however, call breaking a shot as the bipod collapsed a “negligent” discharge (assuming that’s what “ND” refers to). Unintentional? Yes, but I don’t understand how the shooter’s negligence caused it.


Negligent, accidental, unintentional, malfunction...... matches we're shooting all means the same. Don't have control of your rifle when the shot breaks, you're done shooting.
 
Posts: 2476 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by offgrid:
quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
I would not, however, call breaking a shot as the bipod collapsed a “negligent” discharge (assuming that’s what “ND” refers to). Unintentional? Yes, but I don’t understand how the shooter’s negligence caused it.

Negligent, accidental, unintentional, malfunction...... matches we're shooting all means the same. Don't have control of your rifle when the shot breaks, you're done shooting.

Exactly. IIRC during the pre-match briefing, the match director defined an ND as any impact that wasn't within about 10 yards of the target.

The Steel Safari is about as far removed from a square-range, RSO-controlled match as one can get. At any one moment 25 people can be shooting rifles in almost a 300 degree arc -- only the road in and out of the range is fairly well out line of fire. And of course, the central meeting point. We're shooting off tall tripods, from rocks, supported by tree branches, using slings, and sometimes even off hand. Standing, kneeling, sitting, prone. From uneven terrain, sometimes at the edges of substantial cliffs. There's a zero tolerance for improper and unsafe gun handling.
 
Posts: 5341 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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Okay, thanks. That explains much.

Added: I’ve thought about this for a bit and although I’m of two minds about saying anything more, I decided to explain the basis for my comment/question further.

I am an old man, the product of a different education system and of long careers in which words mattered. A lot. Whenever I see the definitions of common words tortured into something that they don’t mean in common usage, and especially when there are perfectly good substitutes readily available that actually mean what someone is trying to convey, I have a speed bump experience.

My question has nothing to do with safety or good shooting competition practice. The rule that if a bullet hits the ground more than 10 yards from the target is an automatic disqualification seems like a good one under the circumstances of the matches described. There’s nothing wrong with having tight standards, including standards that penalize shooters for things like collapsing bipods that are completely beyond their control. Life isn’t fair, and when it’s not practicable to always determine the reason for something like a misdirected shot, then we just have to make rules and enforce them with no regard to the reason.

When I learn that a shooting match had X number of shooters disqualified for “negligent” discharges, that’s more than a little alarming. I don’t shoot the number and types of competitions as what are usually discussed in this thread, but I have been involved in shooting and been around other shooters for well over 50 years. I have been a professional firearms instructor for the past 16 years and intermittently for decades before that. The number of genuine negligent discharges I have seen in which a shooter was truly responsible due to carelessness or something else that he could and should have controlled and prevented amount to a very low number: one. The number of negligent discharges by people I have known personally but that I didn’t witness have been somewhat greater, but not much: three.

I like to tell people that organized shooting events, either competitions or formal training sessions, are extremely safe; safer by far, for example, than the many bicycling events my little mountain town sees every year. Safer than kayaking or river rafting. Much safer than riding motorcycles. Even safer than skiing.

But if I were to learn that three highly experienced and skilled shooters were disqualified due to their own inattention, carelessness, and/or lack of ability to properly handle their firearms in a single event, I would have to seriously reconsider my opinion of the matter. And what’s most important, I wouldn’t blame the gun-grabbers for pointing to those reports as proof of their contention that no one—not even the best of us—should be permitted to own firearms, much less be permitted to fire them in the company of other people.

And the point of all this? Words.

The words we use to describe important things like firearms discharges that shouldn’t have happened are important in themselves. Just based on the limited account related above, the individual who fired a shot as his bipod collapsed wasn’t negligent in any traditional sense of the word. It was unintentional and not something any reasonable shooter could have anticipated, and much less could have influenced. If the collapse had happened a second or two sooner or later, it would have had no effect on how close the bullet hit to the target. Even if he should have been more careful with his bipod, the nexus between having a bipod screw loosen and firing a shot at the same instant is too remote to say that the discharge itself was negligent. And if the bipod broke, as seems to have been a possibility, even that degree of blame was absent.

We could legitimately say that the bipod incident and the one with the stuck round were violations of the match safety rules because of their outcomes, and that any violation of the rules is basis for disqualification regardless of anyone’s intent. But I believe that it’s a mistake to call any rules violation in connection with an unwanted discharge “negligent.” Some may be, but some obviously aren’t. The same is true of some of the other incidents posters report here. All unintentional discharges are by definition unintentional, but not all unintentional discharges are negligent, and shouldn’t be characterized as such. Misusing the word makes it more difficult to properly assess and learn from the inevitable incidents that occur, and give the enemies of our gun rights more ammunition to use against us.

That’s all I have to say about the subject, but I believe it was worth saying.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,




“He who writes carelessly confesses thereby at the very outset that he does not attach much importance to his own thoughts. ”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
 
Posts: 38080 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was planning on getting a Tikka CTR in 308 and put it in a GRS chassis. I stopped by a friend's shop yesterday and he handed me a 6.5CM version of The Fix by Q.

Caliber deliberations aside...is it worth 2x my planned purchase???
 
Posts: 1366 | Location: Leesburg VA | Registered: December 21, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bolt Thrower
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What slings do you guys use to carry and support these heavy rifles?
 
Posts: 7995 | Location: Woodinville, WA | Registered: March 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by sigfreund:
I believe that it’s a mistake to call any rules violation in connection with an unwanted discharge “negligent.”

All the instructors the professional firearms courses I've attended stated there is no such thing as an accidental discharge ("AD"). There was nothing accidental about the events leading up to the discharge. We didn't accidentally buy a gun, buy ammo, store the gun, bring them out of storage, transport them to the range, load ammo into the gun, holster/sling the gun, or grasp the gun. If we broke a shot at an unexpected time and/or in an unexpected direction, we were negligent. This comes from Bruce Gray and Jerry Jones (Grayguns), Jacob Bynum (Rifles Only), and Frank Galli (instructor, and operates Snipers Hide site). buddies who have attended courses at Gunsight, Thunder Ranch, and K&M say the same thing.

I don't think the average public gives a rat's ass what we call an errant shot, as long as the shot doesn't hit people, animals, or valuable property. We're just low-brow gun-loving bubbas being sheep dips in the desert or woods. Joe Public only seems to care about public "mass" shootings, especially if a semi-auto firearm is involved. The public seems numb to inner-city violence. Rifle/pistol/carbine/shotgun training and competition is way off the radar scope.

IMO we shooters should call it as it is -- negligent discharge. It was our gun, our ammo, our finger on the trigger. It wasn't an accident. It wasn't a boo boo. We did something that could have injured or killed, and that shouldn't be taken lightly or swept under the rug. We can make a sigh of relief if the bullet only struck soft dirt, but that bullet should have only struck the intended target.

It's my understanding that many of the NDs in training and competition result in no damage or injury, due to firearms being pointed in reasonably safe directions. But not always. I also understand that a few of the top pistol competitors have bullet scars down their strong side legs. It's only a couple of inches difference between the aim point of a thigh and the ground next to a foot. I don't see how one can be an ND and the other an AD.
 
Posts: 5341 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Voshterkoff:
What slings do you guys use to carry and support these heavy rifles?

There are a number of different brands that work. Most shooters want a fairly wide strap. It needs to be adjustable and strong -- strong buckles and attachments.

I use FTW (Rifles Only) and TAB Gear slings. Other popular brands seem to include Short Action Precision, Armageddon Gear, and Tactical Intervention.
 
Posts: 5341 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Voshterkoff:
What slings do you guys use to carry and support these heavy rifles?


Depends on what you want.

Cuff/sling. Short Action Precision. Believe it's the smartest, easiest to get out of cuff.

https://www.shortactionprecisi...sap-positional-sling

W/O cuff. Easy to put one together yourself.

Order 1 1/2 webbing here

https://www.strapworks.com/Pro...p?ProductCode=HWP112

Order 2 Three bar sliders and 2 ends of your choice.

If you have someone who can sew for you. Sew one of the ends of choice on, three bar slider on the other end.....
 
Posts: 2476 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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