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Use of Manual Safety During Competition

Discussion in 'Competitive Shooting' started by sleepygreen, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. sleepygreen

    sleepygreen Moses Lake Member

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    I am new to any kind of competitive shooting. I understand that it is good practice to engage the safety while not shooting but do most people do it during competition? I did not find any official rules regarding this in the brief search that I conducted. Many people use Glocks which do not have manual safeties. Do people with guns like 1911's always use their safeties?
     
  2. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    I don't compete, so this isn't a rule, but as a 1911 owner with a 4# trigger, I always use the safety when I'm not shooting it.
     
    Sstrand likes this.
  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    at the comps I do,we are required to show empty and then drop the hammer on empty chamber,then 'holster, which on a 1911 means you can't use the safety until your turn to load and make ready,to shoot.
     
  4. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    DEPENDS.

    I know that sucks as an answer. But it depends upon the sport and division.

    For example:

    My M&P 22 which I use in Steel, 22L division, has a manual safety - similar to a 1911.
    But in that division, from the low ready start, I do not have the safety on at the buzzer.

    In IDPA, ... that is a whole 800 page rule book. Decocked, or safety on for guns so equipped - like the 1911 in CDP. Guns like an M&P 9 or all the Glocks - which do not have external safeties - use as is. But do not defeat any internal safeties.


    If you have a specific sport you are intending to shoot with your 1911 - ask specifically about that, I am sure we can come up with an answer.
     
  5. Beta1759

    Beta1759 Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    how about a 1911 at TCGC's speed steel match?
     
  6. Pepe-lepew

    Pepe-lepew Mid Valley Active Member

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    You should always use the manual safety when a loaded pistol is holstered. It is considered unsafe gun handling not to do so.

    In Steel Challenge or USPSA you will be disqualified if you holster a loaded pistol without the manual safety engaged.

    Don't be this guy,
     
    bbbass and Beta1759 like this.
  7. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Glocks DO have manual safety, 3 as a matter of fact, along with other striker fired pistols. What the Glock lacks is an external safety. The M&P series works internally the same as a Glock, but have the option with or without and external safety. Also a 1911 has more safeties then just the external one.

    Generally firearms without external safeties have much heavier trigger pulls then ones without. The short, light trigger pull of a 1911 is very different then the longer, heavier pull of a striker fire or a double action.

    Rule or not I would not be carrying a single action gun loaded, with the safety off...............
     
    skeezix likes this.
  8. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If you are running a 1911 centerfire, then you draw from a holster and the safety has to be engaged.

    If it is a 22lr conversion, then you start from the low ready and the safety is optional.
    You can start a 22 from the holster, and then the safety would also be required.



    In general competitive matches have a match director and you can get your questions / concerns addressed before you go. For example:

    Tri County Speed Steel: http://orss.org/
     
  9. sleepygreen

    sleepygreen Moses Lake Member

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    I guess i was referring more to when running between shooting positions. I know typically they will have you show clear, drop hammer, and holster (use safety if you have one). But how about when having to change positions during the same stage?
     
  10. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    @sleepygreen -

    Typically show finger clear of the finger guard while moving - and reloading.

    Some SO/RO have different standards on this - they may want to see the finger on the Frame / Slide. It could be out, but hovering over the trigger and that is hard to judge.

    Also - keep the muzzle pointed at the berm while moving. Some ranges are ok about down - or up - but I would not count on that. Get used to only pointing at the berm.


    If you can, practice reloading while keeping the muzzle pointed at the berm. I think more ranges will have this requirement over time. Fewer are out in the middle of no where.
     
  11. bbbass

    bbbass La Grande Well-Known Member

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    If you come shoot IDPA at the La Grande Rifle and Pistol Club range, which is out in the sticks, you will find our pistol range has berms on three sides of every shooting bay. In such a case, it may be a little confusing to try to adhere to having the pistol pointed at the berm, and may also get you disqualified for "breaking the 180deg".

    So explaining for sleepygreen: the firearm when unholstered should always be pointed downrange or at a target. Hey, as long as it is in a safe direction you're ok with most range safety officers when actually running a stage inside a shooting bay. :s0010:
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  12. bbbass

    bbbass La Grande Well-Known Member

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    Yup, as has been said, whether for IPSC/USPSA or IDPA, when running between targets, etc, during a stage you should have your finger visibly outside the trigger guard and have your pistol pointed in a safe direction. I have seen people trip when trying to go too fast and if a finger was on the trigger, or somehow slips inside the trigger guard, and the gun sweeps your leg or worse back towards the bystanders it might discharge... with horrendous consequences. As a club RO, I want to see your finger alongside the frame above the trigger guard.

    For stages that have you stop and reholster between strings of fire, you will use the safety because your firearm will be hot/loaded. Just follow the directions of the RO/SO.

    I might also mention to avoid sweeping (pointing your weapon at) your legs or feet if you tend to run in the low ready position.

    Best advice I can give is to get some experience running stages under the direction of the RO/SOs. Listen to them at all times. Don't try to go fast!!! Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Work on accuracy (sight picture, grip and trigger pull) and speed will eventually come. Expect a few years before you make Grand Champion.

    Have fun and let us know how you do!

    bb
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  13. bbbass

    bbbass La Grande Well-Known Member

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    Well, just to be tedious: With the advent of several striker fired pistols such as the Ruger SR9(c), which has an external manual safety as well as the interior safety features, IDPA rules now allow the shooter to choose whether or not to use this feature since the firearm is otherwise essentially the same action as a Glock. :)
     
  14. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    All the different matches have different rules. Some matches have a rule set created by a governing body like USPSA, IDPA, 3 Gun Nation ect..
    It is A REALLY GOOD IDEA to read the rules of the match you are going to before you get there.

    As to safeties, it is a hard and fast rule that if the firearm has a manual safety (one that must be engaged/disengaged manually to clarify from one of the above posts) it must be engaged when holstering a loaded pistol or placing it on/in a start/dump position or the firearm must be completely unloaded which is typically defined as no ammunition in the firearm at all, none in the chamber, tube, magazine or action at all. In some matches abandoning a loaded firearm is a DQ, others it is a procedural penalty. Most rules consider the hammer down condition on a DA/SA to be safe and the decocker, if it is also a safety, does not need to remain in the safe position.

    Most matches do not require that a manual safety be engaged during movement, loading/unloading or when starting with a loaded weapon in your hands unless noted in a stage description.

    At all matches I've been to having a finger in the trigger guard when not engaging a target is also a DQ.
     
  15. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    Having the finger in the trigger guard when not engaging a target is a DQ and if you want to
    RO a safe match you should be sending people home because the the potential results aren't worth it. If you THINK as opposed to know that the finger is in the wrong place, then a warning is appropriate. It can be difficult at times to see where the finger is from the vantage of an RO.
    I don't do IDPA because the procedural rules are ridiculous and I have never been to a IPSC match because I've never left the US for a match.
    Finger discipline is the most basic part of firearms safety. If you have someone show up who doesn't have it at all or it slips when distracted or they prioritize some other aspect of the stage over it they will do something bad at the match. New shooter should be going slowly enough that they are still able to do the safety basics.
     
  16. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    God knows how many stages I've RO'ed at local matches. MD and AMD at 20 or so local rifle matches. RO'ed 16 or so national level 3 Gun matches, RM at the '14 Ironman and again this year. I want people to have fun, and that starts with an environment where they feel safe because due regard is followed.
    You have priorities as an RO. First is safety and a shooter who can't get that right needs to go get things sorted somewhere else. The match is a match, not a shooting class. People need to do some sort of training before they show up, formal or otherwise.
    If you watch video of USPSA matches and IPSC matches and read the rules you will see that they may have started as the same thing but have evolved along different tracks.


    ii USPSA Handgun Rules, February 2014 Edition
    10.5 Match Disqualification – Unsafe Gun Handling
    10.5.8 Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard while clearing a malfunction where the competitor clearly moves the handgun away from aiming at targets.
    10.5.9 Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard during loading, reloading, or unloading. Exception: while complying with the “Make Ready” command to lower the hammer of a gun without a decocking lever, or while initially loading a revolver with a spurless hammer.
    10.5.10 Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard during movement in accordance with Section 8.

    IDPA 2015 Rules
    02 – Safety Rules
    2.6 Fingers must be obviously and visibly outside the trigger guard during loading, unloading, drawing, holstering, while moving (unless engaging targets) and during malfunction clearance. 2.6.1 First offense is a Procedural Error penalty. Second Offense is a DQ from the match. 2.6.2 Each “Finger” violation will be clearly noted on the shooter’s score sheet for tracking purposes.

    3-GUN NATION REGIONAL SERIES RULES Jan 2016 rev.7
    2.0 DISQUALIFICATIONS

    2.24 Finger inside the trigger guard: The competitor’s fingers must be visibly outside the trigger guard when moving, loading, reloading or unloading during a course of fire and while clearing a malfunction. Failure to comply with Verbal Warnings will result in a Match DQ. (Rule 12.8.1)
    Finger Exceptions: When actually aiming or shooting at targets or while complying with the “Make Ready” command to lower the hammer of a pistol without a de-cocking lever.
     
  17. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    1.2 IDPA’s Strict Principles of Safety As with any firearm competition, safety is the primary and fundamental concern. The Four Rules of Gun Safety are the basis for the IDPA safety rules:
     All guns are always loaded.
     Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
     Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target.
     Identify your target, and what is behind it.

    2.1 IDPA Safety Officer Description Certified Safety Officers are IDPA volunteers whose goal and purpose is to see that all shooters have a safe and enjoyable IDPA match experience by supervising and directing the shooter through each match Course of Fire. Note that safe comes first

    2.4 IDPA Match Official (Joint Safety Officer Responsibilities) '
    2.4.1 Adhere to the IDPA Safety Officer Code of Conduct.
    2.4.4 Know and consistently enforce the IDPA rules to ensure that the match is conducted in a fair and impartial manner

    A quick review of the IDPA literature does not appear to leave the RO/SO a lot of room for discretion when it comes to safety of the competitors and others on and around the range.

    Arrogance is believing that you can somehow prevent a person who is displaying an obvious failure to follow the basics of firearms safety from doing some thing that will result in an injury at a match.

    All of the safety rules are layered, ie. no one gets shot if the firearm is pointed up range as long as the finger is off the trigger. It typically takes at least 2 rule violations for something bad to happen. When you see that one of those layers is missing, the chance of something bad happening that will take place too quickly for you to intervene is too high to continue.

    I have done the USPSA certification. As with all certifications it is nothing more than a statement that the person completed the program with at least the minimum competence level required. Nothing more, nothing less. What counts is experience and the intangible qualities like aptitude and attitude. Experience and attitude are by far much more important.

    As to the whole IPSC vs USPSA, when you have two different rule books, completely different match styles and competitions held in separate countries they are different types of matches. Gorillas, chimpanzees and humans started on the same evolutionary branches but they are not the same species.

    Finally, there are few people in this state that have taught more people the basics of the action shooting sports and encouraged them to attend matches then I have. Part of that preparation is imparting an understanding of the safety rules and encouraging them to full embrace them and take responsibility when they violate any part.