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New school trap team safety

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by AlanD, Jan 9, 2012.

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  1. AlanD

    AlanD TS Member

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    My daughter is starting a new trap team at her high school, and the 1st practice may occur this weekend. The coach is a teacher with little firearm and no trap experience. I am a RSO and have volunteered to help with the team. I want the kids to enjoy themselves and hopefully do well, but at this point I am primarily concerned with safety. I composed the following set of rules to be sent to the kids prior to their 1st practice, and would appreciate any recommendations and general advice. The team will consist of kids ranging from considerable trap experience to those with little or no firearm experience of any kind. They must complete a hunter safety course prior to participating.

    1. It is the responsibility of the student and their family that the shotgun they bring to practice is in proper working condition and safe to operate.
    2. The shotgun must be transported to practice unloaded.
    3. When arriving at practice, remove the shotgun from your vehicle with the muzzle/barrel pointed up toward the sky, even if contained within a case, and bring it directly to the rack where they are to be stored until needed.
    4. Bring shotgun shells appropriate for trap use, in the original manufacturer’s boxes.
    5. Proper eye and ear protection are mandatory for all team members.
    6. The coach, range safety officer or adult supervising the practice must be notified prior to practice if there are any medical or other conditions which may be important regarding the student’s participation in trap shooting.
    7. Dress appropriate for the weather conditions.
    8. Adult spectators are always welcome, and adult volunteers appreciated. Child spectators younger than 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
    9. Safety violations by spectators or students will not be tolerated, and may result in exclusion from practice, and if severe enough or repetitive, dismissal from the team.

    At practice I plan to have a detailed safety briefing to include:
    1. Guns will remain unloaded and pointed in a safe direction at all times.
    2. On the line, and at the direction of the coach or RSO, they may load a single shell.
    3. Fingers will be off the trigger until the gun is pointed downrange above the trap house, and the shooter is ready.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,644
    1. It is the responsibility of the student and their family that the shotgun they bring to practice is in proper working condition and safe to operate.

    2. The shotgun must be transported to practice unloaded.

    3. When arriving at practice, remove the shotgun from your vehicle with the muzzle/barrel pointed up toward the sky, even if contained within a case, and bring it directly to the rack where they are to be stored until needed.

    4. Bring shotgun shells appropriate for trap use, in the original manufacturer’s boxes.

    5. Proper eye and ear protection are mandatory for all team members.

    6. The coach, range safety officer or adult supervising the practice must be notified prior to practice if there are any medical or other conditions which may be important regarding the student’s participation in trap shooting.

    7. Dress appropriate for the weather conditions.

    8. Adult spectators are always welcome, and adult volunteers appreciated. Child spectators younger than 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

    9. Safety violations by spectators or students will not be tolerated, and may result in exclusion from practice, and if severe enough or repetitive, dismissal from the team.

    At practice I plan to have a detailed safety briefing to include:

    1. Guns will remain unloaded and pointed in a safe direction at all times.

    2. On the line, and at the direction of the coach or RSO, they may load a single shell.

    3. Fingers will be off the trigger until the gun is pointed downrange above the trap house, and the shooter is ready.

    Suggestions?
     
  3. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    In addition, you might want to print out the following things (perhaps slightly modified to accommodate your specific use) and have both the Student and their responsible adult sign the form and keep a copy of the signed form for yourself. That way, in case you do have to impose some sanction for unsafe actions, you have a clear record that the student and the responsible adult were made aware and agreed to the conditions listed.

    Ten Commandments of Shooting Safety

    Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm.

    Control the direction of your firearm's muzzle
    .
    Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

    Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.

    Unload firearms when not in use.

    Never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.

    Guns will only be loaded AFTER the Range Safety officer declares the range to be Live and it is your turn to shoot.

    Never shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.

    Firearms and ammunition are to be stored separately when not in use.

    NO alcoholic beverages or other mood-altering drugs are to be used before or while shooting.
     
  4. tencows

    tencows Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    Alan

    Please check our website for safety rules that we have established for our shooting sports program.

    http://www.fcaoutdoors.org/shooting-sports

    Hope that this help. Please check back regular because we are always updating our website.

    On facebook at FCA Outdoors.

    Dennis B. Groce
    Fellowship of Christian Athletes Outdoors
    National Shooting Sports Director
     
  5. NMULTRARUNNER55

    NMULTRARUNNER55 Member

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    Remind them that the gun must be unloaded when they change stations.

    Steve Nunley
    Albuquerque, NM
     
  6. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    Location:
    Illinois
    Depending on your level of confidence in the team member's abilities to absolutely stick to the safety first rules, I might even suggest each member practice a round first with no live ammo. Observe each shooter and make sure they understand this is "LIVE". Any mistakes, counsel the offender. You are bound to have some kids who have never handled a firearm. Teenagers being teenagers, I'd just want to be as sure as possible that any joking around or forgetfulness is put to rest.

    Gene Batchelar
    Wheaton, IL
     
  7. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    Turn off your cell phones. ;-)
     
  8. Stumpi24

    Stumpi24 Member

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    Also teach the kids trap ettiquett, hold still until your turn to shoot. Don't walk off line or to a new post until everyone has shot. If if is your last shot don't put the gun on your shoulder and turn to wave at mom, if you are missing a lot of targets don't get mad and throw your shells or be disruptive to the next shooter. Thanks Stan
     
  9. AlanD

    AlanD TS Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input, as it will allow me to fine-tune my safety rules. I particularly like the cellphone comment, as I had not considered it, and often kids (and some adults) walk around hypnotized while staring at their phones.
     
  10. roger8918

    roger8918 Member

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    send me your email address and I'l send you a copy of my team handbook.
     
  11. jackw

    jackw Member

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    To get their attention and make them understand the damage that a shotgun is capable of I like to set up a simple demonstration. Fill a 1 gallon milk jug with water and shoot it with a full choke at about 15-20 feet. That will really open their eyes to what can happen if safety rules are not followed. Good luck with this new team.
     
  12. Dahaub

    Dahaub Active Member

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    Seems like you have it covered. My only suggestion is that the instructors should show the new shooters how their guns pattern before actually shooting at the clay targets. Good luck with your new program. I hope you will have a championship team. Dan
     
  13. gun fitter

    gun fitter TS Member

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    As an instructor that has done this before a few hints that will help.

    For the first round shot have them do it alone with a coach/safety instructor with them. The Coach gives the prospective shooter each shell one at a time.
    Never a good idea to give 5 teens that you don't know guns and shells and let them shoot as a group with out some personal evaluation and instruction.

    Second and very important never work with any shooters that you do not know their names. This is very important! If the names can not be memorized due to a large number put name tags on the back of their shooting vests. I have taught school in NJ and if you can't call a teen by their name you have no control of them.

    Last when instructing or coaching the word can't does not exist. Refrain from all negative statements including don't. For the purpose of safety use "Never" as the term for things they can't do. Keeping things positive and upbeat will work best.

    Joe Goldberg
     
  14. BigBadBob

    BigBadBob TS Member

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    Our 3 main safety rules are-

    1. Muzzle of gun always in a safe position No exceptions

    2. Open or out- Action always open unless it is your turn to shoot. No exceptions

    3. Load 1-shoot 1. As most youth teams mostly shoot trap, they usually only shoot 16 yard singles so only 1 shell is loaded and only 1 shell is fired.

    One thing if possible, depending on your location, have all the kids take and pass an NRA hunter safety course. It is well worth the time. You also have to have zero tolerance with regard to gun safety. Accidents are what anti-gunners feed off of. Not good gun safety. If there is good gun safety, there are no accidents. Kids that have little experience with guns will be very nervous and they will be looking around alot, especially to see if Mom or Dad are watching.

    Join AIM and SCTP if possible. There are multiple resources available from both organizations for coaches, volunteers and the kids.

    If at all possible, yourself and all assistant coaches get a NRA/USAS or ATA coach class taken. It is well worth the 2 days and you will benefit more than you could ever dream from it.

    Good luck, good shooting and have fun with the kids, they'll teach you alot, especially about yourself.
     
  15. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    This may have been covered, but sometimes, at a public range, I find that when shooting 16's, those who shoot only "sometimes" tend to walk backwards to the 17 yardline or so before shooting, then walk back to the 16...rather distracting and not safe.
     
  16. AlanD

    AlanD TS Member

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    Lots of great advice, thank you!

    I have to admit that it has been so long since my daughter patterned her gun that I forgot completely about its importance.

    FYI, I found a nice, short trap safety video on Roger8918's web site.
     
  17. trapwife

    trapwife Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Send me a private email and I will put you in touch with the coaches near St. Louis who have a great safety plan. They have been doing this for some time and have really worked out a super program. I'm sure they would be happy to help.
     
  18. carpk

    carpk TS Member

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    Alan

    I coach in the St.Louis area and would be happy to share what we use. PM me and we can talk if you like.

    Ken
     
  19. AlanD

    AlanD TS Member

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    I would like to thank everyone one more time for their online and offline help, and offer of assistance. The team had its first practice this afternoon, and it was a success. Everyone learned and utilized safe firearms handling, the kids appeared to have fun, and to my surprise even the kids new to trap broke a few.
     
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