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An important safety issue

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Ted K., May 17, 2010.

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  1. Ted K.

    Ted K. Member

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    While reading all the speculation, etc. concerning the recent gun blow-up at Livermore (as to the cause of which I have no opinion) it occurred to me that I have been on the line numerous times where there has been a misfire or squib, and everyone (including me) just waits for the shooter to load a new shell and/or do whatever he thinks is necessary to address the problem. Nobody (including me) thinks about the possibility that a "Livermore Bomb" (my new phrase) may be ticking right next them, and that you might have bet your health (if not your life) on the thoroughness of the person with the misfire.

    Drawing an analogy to the situation in which someone checks your gun mount by looking back down your barrel at your eye, where the common procedure is to show the person doing the check that you have an empty chamber before beginning the process, I would like to suggest the adoption of a standard procedure in which a person experiencing a squib should exhibits his barrel to the shooter on his left side, so that the second person can confirm that there is no obstruction. An alternative would be to run a dowel up the barrel far enough to be seen at the breach - either would be sufficient. A person experiencing a complete misfire would be required to remove the unfired shell from his gun and exhibit it so that others could see that the crimping was still intact. Doing so would eliminate the need for a neighbor to check the barrel.

    I acknowledge that the risk to a person standing next to a shooter with a blocked barrel is not as great as that of a person looking the wrong way down a unchecked shotgun, but I'm not persuaded that the difference in risk is worth taking a chance on one but not the other.

    There may be a side benefit to implementing this rule. On several occasions I have watched people experience repeated misfires, all the while cursing their reloader, but never getting discouraged from trying to finish the box of shells they are using. The pressure not to continue to engage in such potentially dangerous (and certainly time-wasting) silliness would quickly cause the shooter either to withdraw or open a new box of shells, rather than repeatedly ask his neighbor to assist with the inspection process.

    Well, what do you think - am I nuts?
     
  2. scott calhoun

    scott calhoun Well-Known Member

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    Yes. (Don't be offended, you asked :) )

    While there is no official procedure, any squad I've ever been on where someone had a squib someone always spoke up and asked the shooter if the barrel was clear.

    You could make a rule, but if the guy shooting doesn't care enough to check his barrel, and the guys shooting with him don't care enough to ask him to check, a rule probably isn't going to provide much additional safety.

    Scott
     
  3. Ted K.

    Ted K. Member

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    Oh, OK.
     
  4. Ted K.

    Ted K. Member

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    Yup....
     
  5. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Ted K- I do appreciate your concern about safety. From my experience, I do believe that shooters check their barrels after a bad load. There is also ample evidence that a single incident of firing a gun with a wad obstruction in the barrel will not blow a barrel.

    I am more concerned about other safety issues on the trap line. SO far, I have only seen one shooter die on th line (heart attack). I have helped one other shooter who was having a heart attack on the line. I sent another shooter on my squad to the hospital because he exhibited indications of a heart problem. Took the doctors several hours to figure out it was something else. I have helped treat many shooters for over heating on the line. These are the safety issues I am most concerned about.

    How many shooters realize how important it is after calling the Rescue Squad to have a series of shooters at the club entrance and along the way to the victim pointing the way for the squad? A rescue squad can't help anyone if they cannot find them and directing a person unfamiliar with a club to bank 8 is not much help.

    Pat Ireland
     
  6. Ted K.

    Ted K. Member

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    That'll solve it.
     
  7. Rastoff

    Rastoff Active Member

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    You can never over stress safety. Thanks for posting this Ted.

    I've shot with one guy who has malfunctions all the time. If we didn't tell him to look down the barrel, he wouldn't. It is a good practice to have another at least ask if your barrel is clear.

    Pointing the way for the paramedics is also a good idea. Do the same when you're at home. Have some one meet them at the corner and direct them right to the injured party.

    Fortunately I've never seen an injury at the Trap range.
     
  8. Shipbuilder

    Shipbuilder TS Member

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    Ted: You have my attention.

    Last Saturday during registered Doubles at our club I was standing behind a young puller to ensure that he was able to pull and score at the same time. A shooter experienced what I thought were 2 squibbs on each of 2 first shots.I was wearing muffs and was not real certain the first one was a squibb but the gun failed to reset for the second shot. The shooter, who is experienced and safe, did appear to check his barrell albeit quickly.

    After the second occurence, which clearly sounded different, the shooter dropped out . He had recently sent his gun for repairs and while we did not discuss it in detail he attributed the failure to fire the second shot to the gun, not the shell.I think he was shooting reloads, but I amm not certain.

    After reading the Livermore Experience this week I am a bit embarrassed that I did not speak up at the first squibb and will indeed do so in the future.

    I would not offer an opinion as to whether or not there should be a rule, but we should all be attuned to speaking up.

    Jim
     
  9. GoldEx

    GoldEx Active Member

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    For some inane reason, human nature often prevents us from speaking up. We don't want to be perceived as a buttinski. In a situation where possible injury or death could result, it is your obligation to make sure that everything is safe if the shooter is careless enough not to. If the shooter gets offended, tough. Knowing that you are not standing next to a fragmentation grenade is a little more important than his or her personal feelings right then. They'll get over their attitude problem. You may not survive the consequences of saying nothing.

    Jeff
     
  10. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Making it a "rule" won't help. You just need to use some common sense. Someone always checks these things at our club. If not someone on the squad, it'll be someone standing around. We have never had any problems (knock on synthetic surface) and hope not to. But we don't need another "rule".

    capvan
     
  11. ctreay

    ctreay Member

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    In the late 70's and 80's did we not have to have to have the puller at our side when we opened the gun to examine the shell on a misfire and he made a deterimination on weather it was a failure to fire or not? I can not find my older ATA books.

    ctreay
     
  12. ctreay

    ctreay Member

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