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 Post subject: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:54 am
Posts: 564
There are plenty of positive attributes associated with semi automatic guns. So their popularity is likely to remain at current levels though it feels, in my experience, to be diminishing.

Wondering if what I’m noticing at my clubs is just a local phenomenon or if it’s more common than I might think? I can’t recall anyone ever pointing the muzzles of a o/u or sxs in my direction. But I can’t say the same for gas gun guys. Exiting the cage seems to be the main problem area. Another is similar to the two fellows who were walking down the trail ahead of me recently with their guns casually on their shoulders pointing directly behind them so in my direction. And the classic Daniel Boone pose is not a rarity but at least the gun is pointing at their head and not mine.

When this type of thing happens I’ll politely ask the owner to not point their gun at me. Most will apologize and immediately be more muzzle aware. I’ll shoot with them again. Some will call me dude as they explain that the gun isn’t loaded. It feels like the request is a challenge to their intelligence. Confrontation is possible so I just avoid those guys like the plague.




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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:14 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:34 pm
Posts: 2147
I don’t believe it’s unique to the action type. Shooters who are lazy with regard to the rules, manage it just fine with any type.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:17 pm 
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Posts: 18463
Are their bolts open? I have been swept by a lot of folks shooting O/Us, especially when they exit their golf carts, and those actions are closed.
Recreational shooters, whether pump or semi, I DO keep an eye on because they sometimes like to fully load their mag.

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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:03 pm 
Shotgun Expert
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Location: Plainfield, IL
SmokeJS wrote:
I can’t recall anyone ever pointing the muzzles of a o/u or sxs in my direction.


I sure have.

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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:15 pm
Posts: 773
Location: Kentucky
One time I was shooting a round of sporting clays and we caught up with two shooters that were using a rented semi-automatic gun. They were going slow and offered to shoot that particular station as a squad of 4 and then we would move on ahead.

When it was their turn to shoot one guy took his turn and handed his gun to his partner who then took his turn without needing to load his gun. They were casual with where the muzzle was pointed. They were casual with the use of the safety. They were casual with regard to the "Load only 2 shells at a time rule". They were casual with regard to having an open bolt when not actively shooting.

We politely asked them to use proper gun safety, very specifically regarding loading only 2 shells and never a closed bolt when not actively shooting. They nodded and explained that they were being careful. I politely pressed the point that safety was more than "just being careful".

When we finished that station we skipped the next two stations to get away from these guys. When we finished the last station we doubled back and covered the skipped stations. We did not see them for the rest of the day. When we got back to the clubhouse we mentioned it to the person at the desk who made a call on a radio. That was the last we heard of it.

The consequences of even just ONE single mistake with a firearm can be too devastating to be "just careful".

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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:18 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:24 pm
Posts: 8132
Location: Upstate SC
Certainly not particular to guys shooting semi-autos.

One prick at a great club I used to belong to, Hill ‘n Dale in Ohio; would actually leave a station with his higher grade field Silver Pigeon O/U and put two rounds in it, close it up and then walk to the next stand.

When I observed this I nicely called him out on it and he got pissed off and basically told me to mind my own business. Prior to that i had offered to let him shoot with me and ride in my cart as I was alone.

I reported it to the clubhouse. They talked to him.

I saw him do this again a few months later. Reported it again and I think they banned him.

He was also one of those guys who in the few minutes I had talked to him told me he was a Union steward and proud of it. And tired of “people telling him what to do” and such. I told him he was a jerk and I wouldn’t put up with it.

I shoot semi’s, O/U’s and SxS’s. And occasionally pumps. It doesn’t really matter what you are shooting.

The muzzle always points downrange.

The gun is only loaded on the stand just before shooting.

You only load 2 shells.

Your action on any semi-auto or Pump is ALWAYS open when not shooting.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:29 am 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 10:00 am
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Ask POLITELY if they would not mind opening the gun or the breech bolt , educate them in the correct way to do things .
But best of all if they dismiss your concerns and pronounce that the gun is unloaded , do as my old Boss Norman Clarke of Holland & Holland would do .
Ask them , politely, to put the muzzle in their mouth and pull the trigger ! I never did see a taker.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:00 pm
Posts: 404
We All make a valid effort to be safe. Why is a closed semi auto in a rack any worse than a closed O/U? They're both closed!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:58 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:54 am
Posts: 564
homey wrote:
We All make a valid effort to be safe. Why is a closed semi auto in a rack any worse than a closed O/U? They're both closed!!!


Not sure if your comment is connected to one of the previous posts but I think the closed action o/u is less than ideal. The last club I was at in Europe, probably Scotland, had racks for the o/u’s and the action of each gun was open in the rack. A bit odd looking to the uninitiated but made great sense.
It seems likely to me that your first statement is a lofty goal but not universally true.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:00 pm
Posts: 404
SmokeJS wrote:
homey wrote:
We All make a valid effort to be safe. Why is a closed semi auto in a rack any worse than a closed O/U? They're both closed!!!


Not sure if your comment is connected to one of the previous posts but I think the closed action o/u is less than ideal. The last club I was at in Europe, probably Scotland, had racks for the o/u’s and the action of each gun was open in the rack. A bit odd looking to the uninitiated but made great sense.
It seems likely to me that your first statement is a lofty goal but not universally true.

I'll rephrase that. Most all shooters make an effort to be safe. It's generally the recreational shooter or someone that rarely visits a gun range that don't think about open chambers including pistols and rifles.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:38 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 3655
The open action is the best visual evidence of a gun being unable to fire. Muzzle control and finger off the trigger are pretty much next in line. We were all taught this stuff a long time ago. I hope. The only scary stuff I see is when inexperienced shooters load 3 with a semi or clearing a malfunction with either a semi or O/U.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:42 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 6:25 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: On the wrong side of the river, Austin TX
SmokeJS wrote:
homey wrote:
We All make a valid effort to be safe. Why is a closed semi auto in a rack any worse than a closed O/U? They're both closed!!!


Not sure if your comment is connected to one of the previous posts but I think the closed action o/u is less than ideal. The last club I was at in Europe, probably Scotland, had racks for the o/u’s and the action of each gun was open in the rack. A bit odd looking to the uninitiated but made great sense.
It seems likely to me that your first statement is a lofty goal but not universally true.


You'll also see that at a SASS cowboy action shoot. Break open shotguns on gun carts broken open or staged at a shooting station broken open. Also after a shooter is finished shooting a stage, he goes to the unloading table where a witness checks that magazines are empty on rifles and pumps and revolver cylinders are empty.
You think our rules are strict? Sweeping the crowd with a muzzle doesn't just get you a scolding, it earns you a disqualification.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:51 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:15 am
Posts: 152
Road Man wrote:

The consequences of even just ONE single mistake with a firearm can be too devastating to be "just careful".


I'm reminded of an article i saw recently where a kid duck hunting took a full load of steel shot to his back right shoulder....

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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:03 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:09 pm
Posts: 867
lt0026 wrote:
The open action is the best visual evidence of a gun being unable to fire.----------------- The only scary stuff I see is when inexperienced shooters load 3 with a semi or clearing a malfunction with either a semi or O/U.


Attend a fundraiser for Police sometime . They are the most unsafe shooters I have ever seen . When unsafe acts are pointed out to them they are quick to let you know they are Police and know how to handle firearms .


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:18 pm
Posts: 409
Nah. Seems that it may be more auto shooters appear that way not because they shoot auto, but more general Joe hunter then experienced clay shooter and that what they shoot. Yet I've had plenty guys walk to the station with a OU broke open, but the barrel resting on the shoulder and not the stock.

One has to be on the look for it, especially fund raising shoots. First 30 minutes of a fund raiser, thats my total focus as a staff member. Looking at groups, getting the sense of. That as well as having some oil to address poor gun cleaning / operating issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:08 pm
Posts: 383
Location: Renton, WA
Agree that the correlation between unsafe handling and semi autos is the fact they are affordable and like a recreational or new shooter’s purchase. I bucket then into those that accept advice gracefully and those that won’t listen. I have patience with the first group and will spend time helping them out. The other group gets reported to the office. I am not an butt but don’t want my local clubs having to survive a serious incident. Being in Seattle there is enough forces against them between politics and development.

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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:08 pm
Posts: 383
Location: Renton, WA
I will add that I have seen my share of unsafe habits around versions serious shooters. I do think we can get to comfortable and confident and the complacent with gun handling.

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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:25 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:49 pm
Posts: 2602
Location: Thiensville Wisconsin
to say that guys with o/u's and or side by sides don't muzzle sweep is a stretch, I've been swept so many times at shoots, I just keep a vigilante eye on things and if somethings a miss I point it out.

I shoot a semi auto, I carry my gun in a gun slip/sleeve while on the course, I take the sleeve with me to the station/cage and hang it over one of the bars, after shooting I keep the gun upright with the muzzle pointed at the sky, slide the slip over the top then turn the gun upside down, once again not pointing the muzzle at anyone, or in anyones direction, then snug the sleeve up with the strap and close it up and go on down the course.

Five stand changing stations, I just carry the gun upright once again with the muzzle pointed upwards. I think most guys I shoot with do a great job of keeping the muzzle sweeping to a minimum and with new shooters a few simple reminders and they are on their way.

Safety is key though! and if you feel unsafe about how someone is handling a gun, then it's best to speak up and say something polite about it. I've seen some guys come unglued for the smallest infraction.........different strokes for different folks.

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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:23 pm 
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Posts: 562
I sometimes shoot a semi and am more conscious about muzzle direction keeping it either pointed to the ground or in the air. The people I notice are those who carry a semi by the receiver with their hand over the ejection port and the barrels parallel to the ground resulting in a gun pointing at my midsection and an action that I can't see is open. I will mention to them politely to keep their muzzles pointed in a safe direction. Anything less than immediate corrective action and the conversation goes from polite to unpleasant in a very large hurry.


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 Post subject: Re: Semis and Safety
PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:01 pm
Posts: 476
PJR wrote:
I sometimes shoot a semi and am more conscious about muzzle direction keeping it either pointed to the ground or in the air.

The same level of attention must be given to muzzle control regardless of the firearm type in our hands.




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