PRS Safety Culture

Hollywood 6mm

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One thing I remember seeing at a few early PRS matches I participated in, and wish would happen more often in the SE - Clearly marked, designated staging areas for rifles for each stage. It would not only alleviate flagging concerns, but (done correctly) would go a long way in preventing situations where a shooters rifle gets knocked over by another competitor tripping over it.
 

CavScout85

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Just playing devil's advocate here...

You're looking through the scope, round in the chamber, reticle 'near' target --- unintentionally bump your rifle on a barricade, gun goes off, miraculously you impact the target. Do you immediately call cease fire and DQ yourself from the PRS finale?
Hmmm... would I win the the finale if I made the shot, and would I get to walk the sweet prize table first? Maybe it shouldn't hurt THAT bad. ;)

But seriously, yes, for me, that is a DQ. I hold myself to a pretty high standard regarding ND's though.
 
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Lowlight

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The Good Old Boy Network or should I try to insert the PRS initials into it?

There is next to no enforcement, it has to be painfully blatant and you have to be out of the Top 20 to get a Stage DQ.

This was clear in the rifle drop video, no stage DQ, the groups are too afraid to "tax" their buddies when they violate a rule. Nobody wants to be the guy to DQ a Top 20 shooter who fucks up, even if it something as small as flagging a competitor or coming off the line with a hot weapon.

This is the crux of my disdain, the lack of enforcement. Every time I had an incident in the past and brought it up to the governing body I was told to not worry about it. They had an excuse ready to go, or reasoning why nothing will be done at this time, etc.

There is a reason why certain shooters stick to their private ponds to shoot these matches, home field has more than just a familiarity benefit, they have a rules deferment program if you are worthy of the honor. In other words, if you are a "who's" the system really doesn't apply to you beyond the benefits bestowed.

There is no grey area, only the designed safe zone determined by the clique in attendance. I guarantee if you are a competition that is on the outside looking in, who has a violation you will be taxed if you are part of the clique not so much. This is determined on a case by case basis on the spot. It's not fair, it's not designed to be fair, it's designed to help their buddies navigation the system in order to feed their habit and promote the idea they are the best in the country worthy of investment in their hobby.

Remember, say nothing negative, don't shine a light on the grey areas you might see a stain or two, it's best to deflect and move along. Nothing to see here.
 

lash

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1.3.6.6 is what is so vague to me...

"A shot which occurs before the shooter intended to shoot, regardless if the shot remains in the range span."

I remember the hoopla after the PRS final with the thread about all the DQ's. To one person, bumping the gun on a barricade - bang it goes off - misses by 2 feet, well that's enough for him to DQ himself from the whole match. Maybe everyone at the finale has the skill to never miss by 2 feet so it would've raised an eyebrow regardless. Maybe no one would have even noticed.

I'm not a lawyer, but I could try to argue like one here. I could say every single round fired that misses not due to wind is fired before or after a shooter intended. Without wind, everyone should have a 100% hit count because people only fire when they intend to fire.

The reality is there are new shooters mixed in with the skilled shooters at every match. The person that wins may fire every single round with intention and truly only miss because of wind. The bottom-pack shooter may have a large percentage of their shots miss by multiple feet, but they intended to hit the target every time.

If you're the RO in a vacuum looking only through the spotting scope, how would you determine which is which?
You can lawyer up all you want and you can certainly cover up a ‘small’ ND if that is who you are. It tells me a lot about character when people want to argue about an ND. Own it and be the person you think you are. Deny and argue and we know what kind of person you really are. It’s that simple.

I did DQ my self from a local match just recently under the same circumstances you describe above. I could easily have continued and nobody would have been the wiser. I was on glass and moving barel quickly to get on target on a tank trap. My ND happen perhaps a 1/2-1 second before I would have fired anyway. It impacted the berm not too far away from where it could have. But I Knew that my finger was on the trigger a second too soon and knowing that, I stopped, called myself a ND and was therefore DQed, as I should have been. I didn’t like that I had to miss shooting the rest of the match, but as said before, stupid Should hurt.
Yes this is a problem... spotters shouldn’t be the ROs. You can’t monitor the safety of a shooter looking through a spotting scope. Complexity of this sport which is seldom addressed.
Exactly. I said the same above.

Just playing devil's advocate here...

You're looking through the scope, round in the chamber, reticle 'near' target --- unintentionally bump your rifle on a barricade, gun goes off, miraculously you impact the target. Do you immediately call cease fire and DQ yourself from the PRS finale?

I'm a new shooter, trying my hardest but I just can't get my wobble zone anywhere near the target. I pull the trigger with intent, but miss by 3 feet. All is good?

I'm saying there is a grey area because no one is in your head besides you, and except for egregious cases where safety violations are easily visible by other people, there are probably lots of rounds fired at every match that "weren't intentional." Like I said before, everyone intends to hit the target with every shot, but it doesn't mean that every shot is fired at the exact moment that it should have been. In that case, what is intent?
Now you are just trolling. See my post above. You either own it, especially as an experienced shooter, or you show your true colors. If you are not just trolling, then we already know yours.
 
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samb300

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@lash Damn, I didn’t realize posing hypothetical questions meant I was showing my complete lack of ethics and moral compass. I guess I went from advocating safer practices and suggesting ideas to make local matches safer for everyone to being an unethical cheater.

Maybe there is a grey area to some, and not to others. I’ve never ND’d in any form, though I have missed by a couple feet when my intent really was to hit the target. If/when I ever do ND I’m sure I’ll do the right thing even if you assume I wouldn’t because I asked people to think about how to approach an obviously hot topic.
 
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lash

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@lash Damn, I didn’t realize posing hypothetical questions meant I was showing my complete lack of ethics and moral compass. I guess I went from advocating safer practices and suggesting ideas to make local matches safer for everyone to being an unethical cheater.

Maybe there is a grey area to some, and not to others. I’ve never ND’d in any form, though I have missed by a couple feet when my intent really was to hit the target. If/when I ever do ND I’m sure I’ll do the right thing even if you assume I wouldn’t because I asked people to think about how to approach an obviously hot topic.
It’s all good. I guess that I’ve actually heard similar arguments put forth by some that felt that ‘their ND’ wasn’t too bad or their ND was self called so all is well and keep shooting.

These types are just kidding themselves as everyone else knows the reality. I probably shouldn’t have jumped on you, but having heard similar real arguments, I felt that it should be clear that most “grey areas” are only grey if your trying to pull one over. You know and I know the reality.

Hypothetically speaking of course. ;)
 
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Rlandry

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Our club does not hold PRS matches, but we do have IPSC, IDPA, 3 gun, Carbine, etc. Trgardless of the prize table, points on the line, whatever, if you use a timer and keep score, it's a freaking game, and there is no prize on the table that warrants an unsafe action regardless of reason. One ND, or breaking the 180 rule a single time, and that shooter is done for the day, no questions asked, and that is how it should be..
That said, there is always going to be that hot-shot, commando wanna-be that thinks his gun handling skills are above everyone and the safety rules just don't apply to him.
 

davsco

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good discussion. the good news is in prs we aren't really running around with loaded guns as in uspsa and 3 gun, etc. normally we move a couple of feet if at all. so way less chance for loaded guns to be pointed at other competitors and RO's. the bad news is as noted above, there is a lot of muzzling going on carrying rifles from stage to stage and parking them at each stage. and the couple of matches i've seen where handguns are used, at least a few were pretty cavalier with safety protocol. as a RO i try to have a competitor glass and call impacts so that i'm not glued into the scope and can monitor the safety aspects of a stage. i just have to trust they'll be impartial even with their buddies. now of course if the match has 2 or even 3 RO's per stage, it's a lot easier to monitor safety, call hits and keep scores.
 
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Downtown

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This really shouldn't be controversial. The other sports have solved the issue with shooters turning from the line with a unsafe weapon. Many of us come from the USPSA, IDPA, 3- Gun world. The RO says "Shooter finished? Unload. Show clear. Hammer down. Holster (Chamber flag in long guns)." Always. Been this way since the beginning. I don't understand why PRS wouldn't be the same.
 

Downtown

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I always assumed that. That's why I was surprised the OP seemed to point out people doing so without penalty. My PRS experience is limited, but I haven't seen that occur.
 

acronut

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This really shouldn't be controversial. The other sports have solved the issue with shooters turning from the line with a unsafe weapon. Many of us come from the USPSA, IDPA, 3- Gun world. The RO says "Shooter finished? Unload. Show clear. Hammer down. Holster (Chamber flag in long guns)." Always. Been this way since the beginning. I don't understand why PRS wouldn't be the same.
I agree 1000%, it’s not difficult and makes complete sense. Unfortunately there isn’t any PRS rule or procedure for this and it definitely has not been the standard at the major PRS matches I have attended.
 

acronut

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I agree 1000%, it’s not difficult and makes complete sense. Unfortunately there isn’t any PRS rule or procedure for this and it definitely has not been the standard at the major PRS matches I have attended.
To be clear there is a PRS rule for leaving the line with a loaded firearm... There is no defined procedure or RO responsibility or language at the conclusion of a stage.
 

morganlamprecht

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agree with Rob, pretty much every PRS match and club match I’ve been too the ROs and squad members police mag out when finished...when guys forget to bolt up when they start to move, people call them on it also...some guys forget every now and then while scooping up brass or gear, and they’re almost always told “hey mag...” before they ever get off the firing line

Newbies are the worst offenders usually because they aren’t used to the rules...I’m all for stricter policing but we aren’t gunna be bouncing newbs from our club matches because they forgot to pull a mag from a bolt back rifle pointed in a safe direction before takin a couple steps away from the firing line

Sounds like where ever the OP is shooting regularly needs to snap it up
 

sobrbiker883

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AZLRPRS never fked around.
When I was ROing back in the PreRS and early PRS days, I didn’t give a rat’s ass if you put a $3k rifle on the prize table or had the biggest name on the banner: you pull unsafe crap or ND, you’re weekend’s done.
I’ve had the tough responsibility of DQ’ing a sponsor on literally his last shot on his last stage of a match.

Reading the above posts make me a little more comfy in my semi-retirement...
 
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Dthomas3523

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Had similar conversation with Jacob at RO.

I’m guilty as anyone of getting complacent with safety. Have caught myself at matches stepping in front of rifles like Morgan mentioned. Have caught myself not 100% aware when I’m picking up or staging my rifle.

But, you know where I NEVER have not paid attention or done anything unsafe? Rifles Only. Know where I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything blatantly unsafe? Rifles Only.

Why? Because Jacob harps on safety every single meeting and he is extremely serious about enforcing safety and his RO’s enforcing safety.

I used to think it was overkill, but now I greatly appreciate it. His examples about losing your keys and them being right in front of your face really makes you think about how easy it is to overlook something.

I think every match and match director can learn something from that.

If you’re serious enough about it, people will listen.
 

diverdon

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huh? so if some random shooter slips and breaks 180 or NDs on a stage and gets DQ'd for a match...id get DQ'd also because he drew my name from a hat? hopefully im not following, cause if i am, that sounds retarded af...
I don't mind being a retard, so long as I'm a retard who drives home in my truck rather than being sent home in a box. Here is the thing about my proposal, it's goal is not to get you disqualified for my stupidity. It goal is to change the culture to one where you will not tolerate carelessness from other competitors and they will not tolerate it from you. Thus the behaviors that create the risk can be curtailed before their is an accident.

Unlike you I am not an actual PRS competitor. Mostly I shoot my own steel & Bowling pins on my own land either by myself or with one of my brothers or one of my kids, or my nephew. I think our safety standards are quite good. Yet in one sense we have it far easier than you do, because we share a simple goal. We want to improve and to help each other improve. At any given time any of us can slow the pace if something starts to seem like it is getting out of our ability to control.

So I don't have any skin in the PRS game except that like any shooting sport, as a shooter, I hope that it is done with out anyone getting shot. When I wife was nine her fathers best friend brought his new 12 gauge over to their house to show it off. There was school the next day so my wife was in the shower preparing for bed rather early and their was a bang, she heard screaming and ran out of the shower, her father was gutshot. She spent the next ten minutes listening to her father scream, cry, and try to bargain with god for another chance. Then he died.

So while it is true I am not an actual PRS competitor, and it may also be true that either I or my idea is a retard or retarded, I do feel that I have a basis to offer something to the discussion. I have neither the power nor the desire to force something on PRS. What I do have is the desire to support the OP in his belief that something should be changed before the predictable accident happens. There could be better ways to do it than my suggestion. Yet at the root of the problem is that you put a large group of shooters together and most of them feel responsible only for their own gun handling. My idea at least has the virtue that it gives you an incentive to walk up to me and say "look here YOU JUST FLAGED THAT GUY AND WE DON'T PUT UP WITH THAT." I think peer pressure is a one way to improve safety standards.

I think us shooters are great people, great husbands and fathers. I guess I'de rather be a retard than have to hear how hard it was for someone to tell your wife that you are not coming home. I'm sure a lot of people have better ideas than mine, so what's standing in your way?
 

LH_Gina

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AZLRPRS never fked around.
When I was ROing back in the PreRS and early PRS days, I didn’t give a rat’s ass if you put a $3k rifle on the prize table or had the biggest name on the banner: you pull unsafe crap or ND, you’re weekend’s done.
I’ve had the tough responsibility of DQ’ing a sponsor on literally his last shot on his last stage of a match.

Reading the above posts make me a little more comfy in my semi-retirement...
@sobrbiker883 we're still that way. LOL. We got even stricter after the match that @acronut is talking about. We've changed one of our rules to follow the NRL's muzzle discipline rule - match DQ if your muzzle covers anyone including yourself. We spend 30 mins at each club match reviewing safety protocol since 40%-50% of our match attendees are new. We routinely have 80 competitors plus bystanders in a ridiculously tight area so we're working on making more rifle racks (in the meantime we have safe areas to stage rifles). Each of our squads at the club events have at least two experienced shooters who trade off being the RSO and volunteer shooters on the squad to spot, run the scoring tablet, etc. so they learn how to be good RO's in the future. If change is going to happen, the best place seems to be at the ground (club) level. All it takes is one accident for a majority of us to lose access to the facilities we rent and utilize for matches, both large and small.

My concerns with the match @acronut is talking about were given to Shannon already. I tried "policing" other shooters. Some were open and others blew me off rolling their eyes while saying "it's not loaded" or "I have a chamber flag in." I've seen "unloaded" rifles shoot rounds and ones with "chamber flags in" for 24 hours do the same. As far as the pics @acronut shared, some are just bad camera angles (I was there for the one he shared from the pipes at K&M and that shooter kept his rifle pointed in a safe direction the entire time because he was more terrified of being dq'd than breaking his ankle), but he's right about there being plenty out there that are easy to find.
 

The Hey

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1. If you the shooter are not saying anything to other shooters; you are part of the problem. Accountability starts at OUR level. The Shooter/competitor level. (so does integrity) This very subject was brought up to the MD at Altus between day 1 and day 2 and at the beginning of day 2. His reply was "did you say anything?" BLUF (bottom line up front) WE ALL need to start being dicks and cunts about safety at our level. The first level is the self. second is the buddy/other shooters, then RO/staff, then MD. That's four levels. That's four levels of checks and stops that can prevent safety infractions and issues. Also, when someone says its "not personal" when correcting someone; BULLSHIT. It's personal. These are firearms. It's as personal as it gets when someone has a barrel pointing at your face so close that you count the twist rate. So if you take being corrected personal, tough shit. Swallow some ego up and say, "you're right, I'm sorry" and muzzle weapon down or up.

2. While shooter is moving and shooting the stage: Spotter cannot be a safety/rules enforcing RO. A spotter has one job/focus. Scorekeeper cannot be a safety/rules enforcing either. They are listening to the Spotter. Any movement/transitioning stages need 3 ROs. The third RO is both a timer and watching the shooter.

3. To this day; Jim See's Rampage match last year was by far the safest match I have EVER been to. Rifles Only matches fall a .00001" behind. Jim had designated areas to place the rifles while you waited to approach the stage. All designated areas were designed that you had to make an effort to walk in front of the muzzles. If you did, you got a safety infraction on your "shooter card." All competitors carried a small piece of paper. This was for ROs to record safety infractions. 2 safety infractions; Match DQ. Not a stage DQ, a flown blown match DQ. NO mags were allowed in the designated rifle grounding areas, and if you didn't have an ECI inserted (THE PROPER WAY) you got a safety infraction. You got a safety infraction for coming off the line with mag still in, not re-inserting the ECI, or breaking the vertical plane or horizontal 90 or 120 Left and Rifle limit if the rifle was loaded and bolt down. You got a verbal warning if the bolt was back and you broke the vertical and horizontal L-R limits. You got a verbal warning for the first skyloading infraction, then you got a written infraction for the second. Movement on the range was muzzle pointed at the ground or straight up, bolt back or removed, and ECI inserted. IMO: that is some of the things that need to be implemented at all matches.

4. Carrying your rifle in a handle case cover like a suitcase is stupid. Muzzle up or down.

No one is perfect. I have caught myself flagging others with my muzzle while moving around the range. I can't type this without noting my own misgivings. WE ALL NEED TO WORK ON THIS. From the bottom up. To not mention this would make me a hypocrite.

@Lowlight I get the point of the "pond" comment. Yes. it's true. But the systemic issue is baseline safety. If that is solved, it will negate good ole boy protection for fuck ups. Let's try to solve the problem from the front, not coming in behind. That leads down the rabbit hole of trigger pull weight and definitions and other things that have already been mentioned and dived into in previous comments here.
 

morganlamprecht

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I don't mind being a retard, so long as I'm a retard who drives home in my truck rather than being sent home in a box. Here is the thing about my proposal, it's goal is not to get you disqualified for my stupidity. It goal is to change the culture to one where you will not tolerate carelessness from other competitors and they will not tolerate it from you. Thus the behaviors that create the risk can be curtailed before their is an accident.

Unlike you I am not an actual PRS competitor. Mostly I shoot my own steel & Bowling pins on my own land either by myself or with one of my brothers or one of my kids, or my nephew. I think our safety standards are quite good. Yet in one sense we have it far easier than you do, because we share a simple goal. We want to improve and to help each other improve. At any given time any of us can slow the pace if something starts to seem like it is getting out of our ability to control.

So I don't have any skin in the PRS game except that like any shooting sport, as a shooter, I hope that it is done with out anyone getting shot. When I wife was nine her fathers best friend brought his new 12 gauge over to their house to show it off. There was school the next day so my wife was in the shower preparing for bed rather early and their was a bang, she heard screaming and ran out of the shower, her father was gutshot. She spent the next ten minutes listening to her father scream, cry, and try to bargain with god for another chance. Then he died.

So while it is true I am not an actual PRS competitor, and it may also be true that either I or my idea is a retard or retarded, I do feel that I have a basis to offer something to the discussion. I have neither the power nor the desire to force something on PRS. What I do have is the desire to support the OP in his belief that something should be changed before the predictable accident happens. There could be better ways to do it than my suggestion. Yet at the root of the problem is that you put a large group of shooters together and most of them feel responsible only for their own gun handling. My idea at least has the virtue that it gives you an incentive to walk up to me and say "look here YOU JUST FLAGED THAT GUY AND WE DON'T PUT UP WITH THAT." I think peer pressure is a one way to improve safety standards.

I think us shooters are great people, great husbands and fathers. I guess I'de rather be a retard than have to hear how hard it was for someone to tell your wife that you are not coming home. I'm sure a lot of people have better ideas than mine, so what's standing in your way?
the back story doesnt change anything...i dont want to spend $1k in ammo/travel and vacation time to have my weekend ended from someone ive never met, have no control over, who may not even be in my squad, and i havent even seen all weekend...there are no qualifications for signin up for a PRS match so for all i know it could be some guy at his first ever match, whos never shot his rifle under time pressure

people get called for flagging/mags/etc all the time...if i see someone bout to flag me, they get told real fast to correct it

the rules are there, they just need to be policed and enforced...like ive said before, suitcase carry wasnt ever allowed years back (its still not at our local ranges, youll get yelled at in a hurry)...but companies sell suitcase handles now and theyre allowed all over the country...MDs and ranges need to crack down if they want it to change
 

Lowlight

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If you read these posts on the topic of safety, issues, seeing something you are not comfortable being around I am struck by the amount of defense and push back against the tightening of the rules, or just the general enforcement.

It's almost always the same conversation, someone sees something that can really give the group a black eye, he may or may not have brought it up privately, in many cases they do, and nothing changes. You get the standard covered wagon response, "we'll look into it" and then nothing trickles down to the match directors or the shooters. Another weekend, another batch of safety violations and now things start to go public and those covered wagon circle up.

The muskets come out, it was an isolated incident, it's up to the individual match director to handle it in real time, it's written in the rule book nobody knows a thing about, but the results are the same, deflection and dismissal of the problem in order to keep the brightest sun on the darkest of situations. Bottom line, no bad press allowed and acknowledging a situation needs to change is an admission of guilt and in turn, bad press, so don't mention it.

It's not guilty or innocent, it's right vs wrong. It's up to the governing body to enforce the rules, even if that means after the fact.

Taking points, or giving a shooter a Stage DQ is not a death sentence, it's the way all sports work. Referees issues penalties in both real-time and after the fact. Over the years we heard so much how this is the Nascar Monstery Energy Series, well guess what, Nascar enforces rules on the drivers and teams. Both during the race and after. They have driver meetings, they put out briefs and school everyone on rule changes. yes, they frown on mid-season changes, but they still do it. The excuse you can't change anything because the season started is not only stupid, it's a dereliction of duty. Fix the problem as soon as you see its timing does not matter because it only takes a milli-second for something to go horribly wrong.

Safety is everyone's job, the rules need to be spelled out, reinforced by the series and the individual match directors. You don't have to make every violation a Match DQ, but losing some points, a few more stage DQs and the word will get out.
 
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diverdon

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the rules are there, they just need to be policed and enforced...like ive said before, suitcase carry wasnt ever allowed years back (its still not at our local ranges, youll get yelled at in a hurry)...but companies sell suitcase handles now and theyre allowed all over the country...MDs and ranges need to crack down if they want it to change
I guess if, as the OP asserts, the rules are not being enforced today I don't see that happening until either someone gets hurt or shooters start to stay home in droves.
 

The Hey

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The problem I see with a lot of the proposed solutions it that in the current culture they are just more opportunities for shooters to trade favors.

Now consider a buddy system by random drawing. Each shooter draws a name out of the hat---The shooter don't get to read the name just hands it to the match director. Then if during the course of the match the shooter is dq'ed the name of the buddy is revealed and he is dq'ed as well.

Now you can start building a culture where every ones got some skin in the game. Every time you see a motherfucker do something wrong you know it could cost you the match!
That's not building a culture that is supporting of learning and growing the sport. "I am responsible for my own safety and actions." LTG Peterson, my old Division CO. I am not responsible for someone getting up on the stage and bumping their trigger, having an ND, putting a round into or over the berm when I am on the other side of the range or a mile away at another stage.

Bluntly put, stupid idea.

I am responsible for those around me in close proximity/in my squad. That's the second level of checks. But not for someone clear across the range complex.
 

Diver160651

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@RoterJager gets it... the specific incident of the rifle blowing up is quite irrelevant... There is an issue with PRS style matches that is very evident. Take a few minutes and watch some video or posted pictures from any major match. If you don’t see people being flagged and people breaking the 120/180 rule then I would be surprised. It didn’t take long to find these surfing the PRS FB video and picture posts. Seasoned PRS shooters are completely numb to it. People coming into this sport from other shooting sports are very surprised by it. I love this sport and the people in it. It’s a truly wonderful thing. Unfortunately I see a major problem that I am trying to correct before someone gets hurt.
Those are great photos.. I could post some as well that I took, even AFTER I told the shooters several times to correct their behavior and a stage later or two they are doing the same. I've seen some stupid shit, but it is just plain disrespectful the way some squads behave when asked to tighten up for safety concerns. I've been the guy asking guys in another squad to get their shit together and always meet with less than a thank you and often mockery. This is NOT PRS specific..

If you look a bit on youtube, you can find video of guys promoting their shooting skills during a match and see some of the same risky behavior or safety violations.

Not often discussed is the reality of an ND, even if someone is not hurt in a match, the club or range could be at risk and shut down because a round clears all berms and ends up 2 miles away in a school or home.

BTW the MD, by NOT actively enforcing risky behavior, could be found at fault.. NOT a good place to put yourself.
 
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lukejr985

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Feb 27, 2017
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Well i felt i should address at least some of the comments made on this thread, number one being the rifle blowing up. This isn't second or third hand information as I was the guy who pulled the trigger. ill give a brief description of the events that transpired and my thought process while working through what i initially thought was a run of the mill malfunction.

Last stage of the day for me, started off with a great day one and a terrible start to day 2, i only say this to further depict my mindset during the aforementioned events.

COF called for 12 shots, 6 positions, 2 shots each, i made it through the first 3 positions skipping the 4th not to get hung up on time, once i knelt down and got behind my rifle on the barricade, i pulled the trigger, and nothing happened, because the rifle was supported on the barricade it stayed in my shoulder pocket and i simultaneously ran the bolt and removed the mag. in doing so i saw a live round fall out of the magazine well area ( later realizing that this live round was stripped from the magazine and not the chamber) I rotated the rifle over 45 degrees and visually inspected the chamber, chamber was clear (obviously i cannot look into the bore from this position) i re-inserted the mag chambered a round which was hard to seat (ill describe lower why i thought this wasnt an issue) got back on target then promptly got blown back 180 degrees on my hands and knees. Initially i thought my face was gone, and RO's and people around me can attest to this because that was the first words out of my mouth, "is my fucking face gone?" was my inital question. Once i Knew that my face was intact i stood up and wiped the blood from my face (gun powder lodged in it), and proceeded to try and understand what had just occurred.

WHY? why did the above happen to me, and why did I act the way that i did?

First and foremost, throughout the match i recall having 6-8 rounds that were hard to chamber, whether it being a headspace issue or a differentiation in bullet seating depth, or variances in bullet length i do not know as those rounds were fired successfully.

Secondly the weather conditions we experienced on day two was on and off rain and gusting winds at time, I like everyone else have experience that in wet and dusty conditions actions will bind and have trouble feeding without any regularity or predictability.

Thirdly in the process of performing a remedial action to get the gun back up and running, i stripped the mag and a live round fell out, at the time i believed this to be the "problem" round and visually inspected the chamber noting nothing as it was clear and free of any debris, obstruction.

After the gun blew up and we started investigating the cause of said anomaly, it was determined that a round without propellant seated the bullet into the lands far enough for me to be able to load another round behind it. it was a squib for sure as both bullets are still in the barrel.

Obviously there's a bunch of lessons learned here and i consider myself very lucky to not be maimed or dead. ill leave you guys to discuss what i've written and answer any questions as best as i can. The only issue i take is anyone saying they could've stopped what occurred to me, you'd have to be some sort of genie to tell me what was about to happen, and if you could of and didn't, We'll have an even bigger issue.

-Luke
 

lukejr985

Private
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Feb 27, 2017
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Also on the subject of telling someone to stop being unsafe and correcting that behavior, its not a one and done issue, you have to keep on them because its likely that they have a bad behavior built into them, all of us have to harp on it continually, theres never going to be a time to where a group of shooters show up to a match, local range, or even at their houses that safety cannot be improved upon, even as we drive closer to the ultimate goal of zero instances in which any and all safety rules are followed, we as a group are going to have to become even more vigilant on ensuring the slightest of violations don't dont occur.
 

Diver160651

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Feb 7, 2013
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Well i felt i should address at least some of the comments made on this thread, number one being the rifle blowing up. This isn't second or third hand information as I was the guy who pulled the trigger. ill give a brief description of the events that transpired and my thought process while working through what i initially thought was a run of the mill malfunction.

Last stage of the day for me, started off with a great day one and a terrible start to day 2, i only say this to further depict my mindset during the aforementioned events.

COF called for 12 shots, 6 positions, 2 shots each, i made it through the first 3 positions skipping the 4th not to get hung up on time, once i knelt down and got behind my rifle on the barricade, i pulled the trigger, and nothing happened, because the rifle was supported on the barricade it stayed in my shoulder pocket and i simultaneously ran the bolt and removed the mag. in doing so i saw a live round fall out of the magazine well area ( later realizing that this live round was stripped from the magazine and not the chamber) I rotated the rifle over 45 degrees and visually inspected the chamber, chamber was clear (obviously i cannot look into the bore from this position) i re-inserted the mag chambered a round which was hard to seat (ill describe lower why i thought this wasnt an issue) got back on target then promptly got blown back 180 degrees on my hands and knees. Initially i thought my face was gone, and RO's and people around me can attest to this because that was the first words out of my mouth, "is my fucking face gone?" was my inital question. Once i Knew that my face was intact i stood up and wiped the blood from my face (gun powder lodged in it), and proceeded to try and understand what had just occurred.

WHY? why did the above happen to me, and why did I act the way that i did?

First and foremost, throughout the match i recall having 6-8 rounds that were hard to chamber, whether it being a headspace issue or a differentiation in bullet seating depth, or variances in bullet length i do not know as those rounds were fired successfully.

Secondly the weather conditions we experienced on day two was on and off rain and gusting winds at time, I like everyone else have experience that in wet and dusty conditions actions will bind and have trouble feeding without any regularity or predictability.

Thirdly in the process of performing a remedial action to get the gun back up and running, i stripped the mag and a live round fell out, at the time i believed this to be the "problem" round and visually inspected the chamber noting nothing as it was clear and free of any debris, obstruction.

After the gun blew up and we started investigating the cause of said anomaly, it was determined that a round without propellant seated the bullet into the lands far enough for me to be able to load another round behind it. it was a squib for sure as both bullets are still in the barrel.

Obviously there's a bunch of lessons learned here and i consider myself very lucky to not be maimed or dead. ill leave you guys to discuss what i've written and answer any questions as best as i can. The only issue i take is anyone saying they could've stopped what occurred to me, you'd have to be some sort of genie to tell me what was about to happen, and if you could of and didn't, We'll have an even bigger issue.

-Luke
Good on you for standing up and posting..

Shit happens fast -- the image below was 100% my fault as I grabbed a round next to me while on glass and spotting for others.. The selfie I took about 8 hours later, but at the time hundreds of tiny holes where leaking blood and my face was covered. Luckily I was wearing glasses.
Unknown-15.jpeg
Unknown-17.jpeg
 

AIAW

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Well i felt i should address at least some of the comments made on this thread, number one being the rifle blowing up. This isn't second or third hand information as I was the guy who pulled the trigger. ill give a brief description of the events that transpired and my thought process while working through what i initially thought was a run of the mill malfunction.

Last stage of the day for me, started off with a great day one and a terrible start to day 2, i only say this to further depict my mindset during the aforementioned events.

COF called for 12 shots, 6 positions, 2 shots each, i made it through the first 3 positions skipping the 4th not to get hung up on time, once i knelt down and got behind my rifle on the barricade, i pulled the trigger, and nothing happened, because the rifle was supported on the barricade it stayed in my shoulder pocket and i simultaneously ran the bolt and removed the mag. in doing so i saw a live round fall out of the magazine well area ( later realizing that this live round was stripped from the magazine and not the chamber) I rotated the rifle over 45 degrees and visually inspected the chamber, chamber was clear (obviously i cannot look into the bore from this position) i re-inserted the mag chambered a round which was hard to seat (ill describe lower why i thought this wasnt an issue) got back on target then promptly got blown back 180 degrees on my hands and knees. Initially i thought my face was gone, and RO's and people around me can attest to this because that was the first words out of my mouth, "is my fucking face gone?" was my inital question. Once i Knew that my face was intact i stood up and wiped the blood from my face (gun powder lodged in it), and proceeded to try and understand what had just occurred.

WHY? why did the above happen to me, and why did I act the way that i did?

First and foremost, throughout the match i recall having 6-8 rounds that were hard to chamber, whether it being a headspace issue or a differentiation in bullet seating depth, or variances in bullet length i do not know as those rounds were fired successfully.

Secondly the weather conditions we experienced on day two was on and off rain and gusting winds at time, I like everyone else have experience that in wet and dusty conditions actions will bind and have trouble feeding without any regularity or predictability.

Thirdly in the process of performing a remedial action to get the gun back up and running, i stripped the mag and a live round fell out, at the time i believed this to be the "problem" round and visually inspected the chamber noting nothing as it was clear and free of any debris, obstruction.

After the gun blew up and we started investigating the cause of said anomaly, it was determined that a round without propellant seated the bullet into the lands far enough for me to be able to load another round behind it. it was a squib for sure as both bullets are still in the barrel.

Obviously there's a bunch of lessons learned here and i consider myself very lucky to not be maimed or dead. ill leave you guys to discuss what i've written and answer any questions as best as i can. The only issue i take is anyone saying they could've stopped what occurred to me, you'd have to be some sort of genie to tell me what was about to happen, and if you could of and didn't, We'll have an even bigger issue.

-Luke
Damn. Glad your injuries weren't any worse though! Been there once before a while back (luckily I had no impact indication and the recoil just didn't feel right so I checked). One of the many reasons why I won't reload if I am dead tired or preoccupied with something else.

I've seen similar instances where people didn't get away so lucky... like Varget in a 338LM unlucky. Devastating facial, jawbone and right-hand damage.
 

sobrbiker883

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Not saying I’ve seen everything, but how can a round be chambered after prior bullet got stuck in the lands?
I’ve blown pistols up on the clock by being too focused on next shot to process the definite difference in sound a feel the squib round had, but a bottleneck boltgun cartridge should exihibit a real notable difference if a round is fired that doesn’t leave the barrel.

@LH Gina: I never meant to infer that AZ has slipped standards in any way, actually the opposite.
 
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Hollywood 6mm

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Flori-duh.
Well i felt i should address at least some of the comments made on this thread, number one being the rifle blowing up. This isn't second or third hand information as I was the guy who pulled the trigger. ill give a brief description of the events that transpired and my thought process while working through what i initially thought was a run of the mill malfunction.

Last stage of the day for me, started off with a great day one and a terrible start to day 2, i only say this to further depict my mindset during the aforementioned events.

COF called for 12 shots, 6 positions, 2 shots each, i made it through the first 3 positions skipping the 4th not to get hung up on time, once i knelt down and got behind my rifle on the barricade, i pulled the trigger, and nothing happened, because the rifle was supported on the barricade it stayed in my shoulder pocket and i simultaneously ran the bolt and removed the mag. in doing so i saw a live round fall out of the magazine well area ( later realizing that this live round was stripped from the magazine and not the chamber) I rotated the rifle over 45 degrees and visually inspected the chamber, chamber was clear (obviously i cannot look into the bore from this position) i re-inserted the mag chambered a round which was hard to seat (ill describe lower why i thought this wasnt an issue) got back on target then promptly got blown back 180 degrees on my hands and knees. Initially i thought my face was gone, and RO's and people around me can attest to this because that was the first words out of my mouth, "is my fucking face gone?" was my inital question. Once i Knew that my face was intact i stood up and wiped the blood from my face (gun powder lodged in it), and proceeded to try and understand what had just occurred.

WHY? why did the above happen to me, and why did I act the way that i did?

First and foremost, throughout the match i recall having 6-8 rounds that were hard to chamber, whether it being a headspace issue or a differentiation in bullet seating depth, or variances in bullet length i do not know as those rounds were fired successfully.

Secondly the weather conditions we experienced on day two was on and off rain and gusting winds at time, I like everyone else have experience that in wet and dusty conditions actions will bind and have trouble feeding without any regularity or predictability.

Thirdly in the process of performing a remedial action to get the gun back up and running, i stripped the mag and a live round fell out, at the time i believed this to be the "problem" round and visually inspected the chamber noting nothing as it was clear and free of any debris, obstruction.

After the gun blew up and we started investigating the cause of said anomaly, it was determined that a round without propellant seated the bullet into the lands far enough for me to be able to load another round behind it. it was a squib for sure as both bullets are still in the barrel.

Obviously there's a bunch of lessons learned here and i consider myself very lucky to not be maimed or dead. ill leave you guys to discuss what i've written and answer any questions as best as i can. The only issue i take is anyone saying they could've stopped what occurred to me, you'd have to be some sort of genie to tell me what was about to happen, and if you could of and didn't, We'll have an even bigger issue.

-Luke
I still cringe when I remember seeing you on the ground behind the barricade. Thanks for telling it from your perspective here, as it may well save someone in the future from the same thing happening to them.
 

AIAW

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Not saying I’ve seen everything, but how can a round be chambered after prior bullet got stuck in the lands?
I’ve blown pistols up on the clock by being too focused on next shot to process the definite difference in sound a feel the squib round had, but a bottleneck boltgun cartridge should exihibit a real notable difference if a round is fired that doesn’t leave the barrel.

@LH Gina: I never meant to infer that AZ has slipped standards in any way, actually the opposite.
Primer alone sent it deep enough that the next round's OAL barely had to push on the base of the lodged bullet to go into battery.
 
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lukejr985

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Not saying I’ve seen everything, but how can a round be chambered after prior bullet got stuck in the lands?
I’ve blown pistols up on the clock by being too focused on next shot to process the definite difference in sound a feel the squib round had, but a bottleneck boltgun cartridge should exihibit a real notable difference if a round is fired that doesn’t leave the barrel.

@LH Gina: I never meant to infer that AZ has slipped standards in any way, actually the opposite.
I dont know how but it did, i didn't hammer the bolt closed or anything to that affect it was difficult to close but not beyond the norm, handguns are good bit different because well, they are in your hands a 20 pound rifle sitting on a barricade with a 265 pound guy behind it, i neither felt anything, nor heard anything other than a "click" which lead me to believe that it was a dead primer.
 
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Hollywood 6mm

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Not saying I’ve seen everything, but how can a round be chambered after prior bullet got stuck in the lands?
I’ve blown pistols up on the clock by being too focused on next shot to process the definite difference in sound a feel the squib round had, but a bottleneck boltgun cartridge should exihibit a real notable difference if a round is fired that doesn’t leave the barrel.

@LH Gina: I never meant to infer that AZ has slipped standards in any way, actually the opposite.
All depends on how deep that projectile got into the lands. It can get just the right distance in where the next round hits resistance that can be overcome (bullet shoved deeper in case) without stopping it from chambering entirely.
 

diverdon

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I dont know how but it did, i didn't hammer the bolt closed or anything to that affect it was difficult to close but not beyond the norm, handguns are good bit different because well, they are in your hands a 20 pound rifle sitting on a barricade with a 265 pound guy behind it, i neither felt anything, nor heard anything other than a "click" which lead me to believe that it was a dead primer.
I wonder if it is possible that, after the squib went it's small distance then you are running the bolt, then when the new bullet hit the squib if was just pushed back into the case.
 

Wilc0

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This thread is just what I needed to read as I've been internalizing my experience at my 2nd ever match this last weekend. It was a new location and club for me, and I frankly wasnt impressed with how the day proceeded. I personally witnessed a downrange ND get brushed aside, stage design that seemed inherently unsafe, and a shooter walk in front of their own muzzle while their rifle was still on the stage prop.

I even accidentally left my mag in (bolt back) after finishing one stage and setting my rifle back with the others. It was another new shooter who thankfully brought it to my attention because my mind was miles away.

I should have been better, and I will be in the future. I suppose looking back on it i just didnt want to rock the boat. My first match was at RO; that was a night & day difference by comparison.
 

lukejr985

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I wonder if it is possible that, after the squib went it's small distance then you are running the bolt, then when the new bullet hit the squib if was just pushed back into the case.
Entirely possible, in fact i cant prove that didnt happen
 

RoterJager

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Those are great photos.. I could post some as well that I took, even AFTER I told the shooters several times to correct their behavior and a stage later or two they are doing the same. I've seen some stupid shit, but it is just plain disrespectful the way some squads behave when asked to tighten up for safety concerns. I've been the guy asking guys in another squad to get their shit together and always meet with less than a thank you and often mockery. This is NOT PRS specific..

If you look a bit on youtube, you can find video of guys promoting their shooting skills during a match and see some of the same risky behavior or safety violations.

Not often discussed is the reality of an ND, even if someone is not hurt in a match, the club or range could be at risk and shut down because a round clears all berms and ends up 2 miles away in a school or home.

BTW the MD, by NOT actively enforcing risky behavior, could be found at fault.. NOT a good place to put yourself.
I agree and I will say it again. The bad press a match/MD receives from an upset shooter who was DQ'd will pale in comparison to the bad press the match, series and by association all of us will get if a shooter does not go home. It will be 10x worse if a bullet leaves the range and injures or kills an innocent bystander.
 

Dthomas3523

That statement is too poor for me to comprehend...
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Sometimes it makes sense to be “polite” with a community on things.

But when it comes to rifle safety, a hardass mentality is the only way you’re going to get it done.

Flag someone: match dq

ND: match dq

Lose control of rifle on stage: match dq

Take a selfie with Phil Velayo: match dq

Hate to be nuthugging Rifles Only again, but because of their no bullshit stance on it, I wouldn’t even practice dryfiring while sitting on the line at the mover.

I was so aware of the safety rules I didn’t want to take a chance of somehow having an ND on the line and being DQ’d.

It’s extremely possible to accomplish safety with hardass mentality.

It’s a trickle down effect. MD takes hardass line, then the RO’s do it, and finally the shooters adopt it.
 

Precision Underground

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The thing about rules for guns or cars or saws or anything that can mame or kill you easily...... we all get used to the dangerous items and get used to nothing bad happening when said rules are broken. Then a feeling of “those rules really don’t matter, we know what we are doing” kind of takes over. The scary thing is it usually takes someone getting seriously hurt for everyone to realize that those over the top rules are there for a reason and if they had been strictly followed the injury would have never happened.

Picture if , heaven forbid, someone gets shot at a match. There would be a huge ordeal and discussion about safety rules and how there is, or always was, but now will be ZERO tolerance for any violation. All matches from then on would be the most over the top safety enforced areas one could ever go. I agree with the OP to not wait until that happens. A few people getting DQd would suck but the violations would stop for sure.
 
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Diver160651

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Unlike a hand gun::

For what it’s worth, unlike the movies, if someone gets shot point blank with a long range rifle, they’re probably not gonna make it off the course.


As a few of us have implied the carnage will not just be the person that died and the shooter. But if the match has any history allowing questionable behavior, the match director and range will be fucked too.
 
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Dthomas3523

That statement is too poor for me to comprehend...
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Separate, but similar topic. The sub 8oz triggers are going to get someone hurt as well.

The past year I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard “oh shit” when a round goes off and shooter wasn’t 100% ready. Sometimes it’s and impact, sometimes it’s not.

Thankfull it’s always happened while they were pointing down range and generally at target.

Eventually we won’t be so lucky.
 
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Dthomas3523

That statement is too poor for me to comprehend...
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If you can put your finger in your trigger, and a deep breath is enough for the rifle to move and your trigger to break.....it’s too light for this kind of shooting.