Definitions

The final word on what flys and what doesn't in competition. What do you think we need to do to make each and every match fair and safe for all shooters.
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todd
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Definitions

Post by todd » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:40 am

This will end up as a huge post with varions common terms defined.

Additions to NFA rulebook in blue.

Accidental Discharge

An accidental discharge is the unintended discharge of a firearm. AD's are classified as incidental and dangerous and mechanical.

Incidental AD When the firearm discharges but in a safe direction and the bullet impacts the ground or a berm.
Action:Stage disqualification.

Dangerous AD When the bullet leaves the range or impacts into anything other than the target being addressed, the berm or ground.
Action: Match disqualification.

Mechanical AD: When due to no improper handling by the shooter the firearm discharges due to a mechanical break down of the firearm itself. This is often termed as a "run on" where the firearm continues to fire with the trigger untouched or any mechanical failure resulting in a round being fired.
Action::** need comments Run-on's happen on occasion due to sear wear, under powered ammo and other normal firearm wear and can be controlled but consistent run-ons cause an unsafe situation... what best


Suggest changing "Accidental" to "Neglegent" to use "neglegent discharge" as there should be no accidents only human or mechanical erorrs.
Last edited by todd on Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

StealthyBlagga
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Post by StealthyBlagga » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:09 pm

Oh man, are we ever on different wavelengths.

Your use of the "Incidental AD" or "Safe AD" category is an anathema to any practitioner of the mainstream practical shooting sports. There is safe shooting or unsafe shooting, and very little in between.

The only exception under IPSC/USPSA rules is where the competitors firearm can be shown to have broken (not just malfunctioned), e.g. the sear breaks, thus releasing the hammer unexpectedly. Even then, the shots have to go in a safe direction. The competitor loses the stage, and cannot shoot again until the problem is fixed. This is similar to your "Mechanical AD".

There are some precedents, particularly in the US, for interpreting in favor of the competitor when a perceived AD hits a target (like on a fast draw or strong/weak transition), but this is at the discretion of the RO and is generally interpreted narrowly. In such a case, there is no AD - just a shot at the target using "unusual" technique.

In the specific case under your "Incidental/Safe AD" section, under IPSC/USPSA rules, the shooter could be DQd from the entire match for any one (or all) of the following AD violations: 10.4.2, 10.4.3, 10.4.4, 10.4.6. They might also be DQd under these Unsafe Gun Handling vioations: 10.5.3, 10.5.8, 10.5.9, 10.5.10

The applicable IPSC/USPSA rules are shown below (I have editied out those irrelivant to subgunning, like "drawing from a holster while in a tunnel"):

10.3 Match Disqualification – General Regulations
10.3.1 A competitor who commits a safety infraction or any other prohibited activity during an IPSC match will be disqualified from that match, and will be prohibited from attempting any remaining courses of fire in that match regardless of the schedule or physical layout of the match.
10.3.2 When a match disqualification is issued, the Range Officer must record the reasons for the disqualification, and the time and date of the incident, on the competitor’s score sheet, and the Range Master must be notified as soon as possible.
10.3.3 Scores for a competitor who has received a match disqualification must not be deleted from match results, and match results must not be declared final by the Match Director, until the time limit prescribed in Rule 11.3.1 has passed, provided no appeal to arbitration on any matter has been submitted to the Range Master.

10.4 Match Disqualification – Accidental Discharge
A competitor who causes an accidental discharge must be stopped by a Range Officer as soon as possible. An accidental discharge is defined as follows:
10.4.1 A shot, which travels over a backstop, a berm or in any other direction, specified in the written stage briefing by the match organizers as being unsafe. Note that a competitor who legitimately fires a shot at a target, which then travels in an unsafe direction, will not be disqualified, but the provisions of Section 2.3 may apply.
10.4.2 A shot which strikes the ground within 3 meters (9.84 feet) of the competitor, except when shooting at a paper target closer than 3 meters (9.84 feet) to the competitor.
10.4.3 A shot which occurs while preparing to or while actually loading, reloading or unloading a firearm. This includes any shot fired during the procedures outlined in Rule 8.3.7.
10.4.4 A shot which occurs during remedial action in the case of a malfunction.
10.4.5 A shot which occurs while transferring a handgun between
hands.
10.4.6 A shot which occurs during movement, except while actually
shooting at targets.
10.4.7 A shot fired at a metal target from a distance of less than 7 meters (22.96 feet), measured from the face of the target to the nearest part of the competitor’s body in contact with the ground (see Rule 2.1.3).
10.4.9 Exception: When it can be established that the cause of the discharge is due to the actual breakage of a part of the firearm and the competitor has not committed any safety infraction in this Section, a match disqualification will not be invoked, however, the competitor’s scores for that course of fire will be zero. The firearm must be immediately presented for inspection to the Range Master or his delegate, who will inspect the firearm and carry out any tests necessary to establish that an actual breakage of a part caused the discharge. A competitor may not later appeal a match disqualification for an unsafe discharge due to the actual breakage of a part if they fail to present the firearm for inspection
prior to leaving the course of fire.

10.5 Match Disqualification – Unsafe Gun Handling
Examples of unsafe gun handling include, but are not limited to:
10.5.1 Handling a firearm at any time except when in a designated safety area or when under the supervision of, and in response to a direct command issued by, a Range Officer.
10.5.2 If at any time during the course of fire, a competitor allows the muzzle of his firearm to point rearwards, that is further than 90 degrees from the median intercept of the backstop, or in the case of no backstop, allows the muzzle to point up range, whether the firearm is loaded or not.
10.5.3 If at any time during the course of fire, or while loading, reloading or unloading, a competitor drops his firearm or causes it to fall, loaded or not. Note that a competitor who, for any reason during a course of fire, safely and intentionally places the firearm on the ground or other stable object will not be disqualified provided... (the acceptable way of placing a gun down are spelled out).
10.5.5 Allowing the muzzle of a firearm to point at any part of the competitor’s body during a course of fire (i.e. sweeping).
10.5.8 Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard while clearing a malfunction where the competitor clearly moves the firearm away from aiming at targets.
10.5.9 Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard during loading, reloading, or unloading.
10.5.10 Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard during movement in accordance with Section 8.5.
10.5.12 Handling live or dummy ammunition (including practice or training
rounds, snap caps and empty cases), loaded magazines or loaded speed loading devices in a Safety Area.
10.5.13 Having a loaded firearm other than when specifically ordered to
by the Range Officer.
10.5.14 Retrieving a dropped firearm (the RO should do this, even if the gun is empty).

10.6 Match Disqualification – Unsportsmanlike Conduct
(I can bore you with the details if you wish)

10.7 Match Disqualification – Prohibited Substances
(I can bore you with the details if you wish)


It might make the RO feel good to "give a competitor another chance", especially if they have travelled across the country to shoot the match. However, I would recommend against this practice - IMHO the "Incidental/Safe AD" concept is a bad idea. There are probably many reasons, but here are two that spring readily to mind:

1) Zero Tolerance: I for one would not like to participate in a match that had such a casual attitude to slack gun handling. If the shot was accidental, then so too was the direction of travel - the bullet released next time could be headed in my direction.

2) Liability: If a competitor has a "Safe AD", is allowed to continue the match, and then has another AD which injurs or kills someone, how do you think it will look in court when the jury hears you have wrecklessly and negligently allowed a "dangerously incompetent" shooter to continue shooting after demonstrating their incompetence once already ?

As always, I make the above comments in a spirit of robust debate and positive criticism.

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Post by todd » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:11 pm

Point taken. In retrospect the term safe would be misinterputed and incidental is the more proper term and the original post has been edited. If you know how to properly operate your firearm and you follow the 4 basic rules of firearm handling then in the event of a mechanical AD the result is a shot or multiple shots into the berm or intended target.

I'm not an attorney so I won't pretend to know what may or may not be sensible in a court of law when it comes to liablity. I do know that the waiver of liability all competitors sign before competing spells it out the risks involved with the shooting sports.

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Post by StealthyBlagga » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:56 pm

todd wrote:I'm not an attorney so I won't pretend to know what may or may not be sensible in a court of law when it comes to liablity. I do know that the waiver of liability all competitors sign before competing spells it out the risks involved with the shooting sports.
Unfortunately, this is a big deal these days, and is precisely why the USPSA insists on match DQ as spelled out above. In fact, if you DQ in the match, you are not permitted to shoot again in any part of that event - even side matches, fun shoots etc.

The waiver only covers competitors... and even then, its debatable whether it is enforcable in the case of "negligence". And what about members of the public who didn't sign the waiver ?

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Post by todd » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:34 pm

valid points. I have not come across a shooter who at one moment had a run on and then the next turned around and ignored the 180 or had sloppy handling skills. My experience is that either you have safe handling sklls or you don't. I have seen top notch shooters have run ons with their guns and put every shot in the berm or on target. I see no reason for a failure of their firearm to cause a match DQ instead of a stage DQ if the problem can be diagnosed and proven to the safety officer that the probem is resolved.

Sears wear and parts fail from time to time and when you are dealing in a sport that is comprised of 50+ year old antiques for all intents and purposes with little or no spare part supply in some cases people try to get the most of out their hardware. This isn't an excuse but rather a sad fact given the current laws governing all things with an A slector switch.

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Post by StealthyBlagga » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:01 pm

I think we agree on mechanical failures and "run aways" - even the dreaded IPSC allows the shooter to stay in the match (assuming they fix their gun). Anything else should be a match DQ, period, end of discussion.

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Post by todd » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:08 pm

I'd love to hear what others think on the subject. Perhaps a poll...

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