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When is a Squib not a Squib?


beltjones
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Scenario:

Competitor has a bullet lodged in the rifling, but just barely. He racks the slide a few times but the rounds won't chamber because they are hitting the bullet that's in the rifling.

The RO stops the competitor who unloads and shows clear. As he's clearing the gun the RO sees the bullet fall out of the chamber onto the ground.

Is it a squib (no-reshoot) because there actually was a bullet in the rifling at the time of the word "stop," or is it a reshoot because there wouldn't be a round in the barrel upon inspection?

This really happened at a match this past weekend, and I was the RO.

In a completely related note I have a much deeper respect for what ROs and the NROI as a whole have to put up with.

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This weekend at the match we had a similar situation happen to a shooter twice. The RO heard the pop of the primer, did not hear the report of the pistol and stopped the shooter. In both cases there was no squib in the barrel, and was a re-shoot ordered.

It is better to be safe, then to be sorry.

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I'm biased since I yelled "STOP"

It was a squib - bullet was stuck in the chamber - you SAW the bullet come out.

Scored as shot - no reshoot

Yes, I know. I'm not criticizing anyone, just going through a rules-based thought exercise.

What if the competitor had argued that, in this case, it was a fixable malfunction as evidenced by the fact that the bullet fell out?

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Is it a squib (no-reshoot) because there actually was a bullet in the rifling at the time of the word "stop," or is it a reshoot because there wouldn't be a round in the barrel upon inspection?

You stopped the shooter because of a squib. When you saw the bullet (squib) come out, you confirmed the suspected problem.

5.7.7.1 If the Range Officer finds evidence that confirms the suspected

problem, the competitor will not be entitled to a reshoot, but will

be ordered to rectify the problem. On the competitor’s score

sheet, the time will be recorded up to the last shot fired, and the

course of fire will be scored “as shot”, including all applicable

misses and penalties.

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Is it a squib (no-reshoot) because there actually was a bullet in the rifling at the time of the word "stop," or is it a reshoot because there wouldn't be a round in the barrel upon inspection?

You stopped the shooter because of a squib. When you saw the bullet (squib) come out, you confirmed the suspected problem.

5.7.7.1 If the Range Officer finds evidence that confirms the suspected

problem, the competitor will not be entitled to a reshoot, but will

be ordered to rectify the problem. On the competitor’s score

sheet, the time will be recorded up to the last shot fired, and the

course of fire will be scored “as shot”, including all applicable

misses and penalties.

Well, good. I'm glad we got the call right. The shooter in this case was completely composed and professional about the situation, and did not challenge the call at all. Thanks for the help.

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5.7.7 In the event that a Range Officer terminates a course of fire due to a
suspicion that a competitor has an unsafe handgun or unsafe ammunition (e.g. a “squib” load), the Range Officer will take whatever steps he
deems necessary to return both the competitor and the range to a safe
condition. The Range Officer will then inspect the handgun or ammunition and proceed as follows:
5.7.7.1 If the Range Officer finds evidence that confirms the suspected
problem, the competitor will not be entitled to a reshoot, but will
be ordered to rectify the problem. On the competitor’s score
sheet, the time will be recorded up to the last shot fired, and the
course of fire will be scored “as shot”, including all applicable
misses and penalties.
5.7.7.2 If the Range Officer discovers that the suspected safety problem
does not exist, the competitor will be required to reshoot the
stage.
The red emphasis is mine. It does not say DID exist, it says DOES exist. The RO stopped the shooter and the problem does not exist because the offending bullet fell out while clearing the gun. There is nothing saying that the offending bullet could not have fallen out when the shooter dropped the mag and racked the slide in an attempt to fully clear the gun prior to inserting a fresh magazine while within the 2 minute malfunction time limit.
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It could be argued at the fringes but it DID exist until the bullet fell out when clearing the gun. So do you define the rule with the caveat that if you do not need to use a squib rod to clear the failure then re-shoot? Seems to me it was a squib and identified as such regardless of the ease of which the squib was cleared.

Edited by StraightUp_OG
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If the shooter stops themselves with what they think is a squib then no reshoot. When the RO stops them the barrel is either clear after unload and show clear or it has a bullet lodged. 99.99% of the time just the act of trying to load a fresh round is enough to lodge the bullet enough to require a squib rod so it is a call I have made myself.

In this case I would have offered the reshoot based on the fact that the barrel was clear after ULASC.

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Squib . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A bullet or solid obstruction lodged inside the barrel of a firearm

Like I said 99%+ the bullet is lodged in the barrel and the squib exists. In this case the shooter is told to "Unload and Show Clear" They are able to show clear so the problem does not exist.

A related rule would be:

10.4 Match DQ for AD

10.4.2.1 Exception — A bullet which strikes the ground within 10 feet of
the competitor due to a “squib”.
Many shooters have been stopped for having a "Squib" as a safety precaution only to find that the bullet exited the barrel. The condition no longer exists so the shooter is ordered to reshoot the COF. This is the reverse of that in that the bullet was not in the barrel sufficient to even stay in place when the muzzle was elevated while removing the magazine and then locking the slide to the rear to show clear.
No round stuck in the chamber means the squib does not exist so a reshoot is ordered.
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We could look at it another way. I have seen new shooters fight a major jam and have newer RO's stop them. A magazine malfunction is not grounds to terminate the COF so I have told them that they need to give them a reshoot. If the shooter voluntarily terminates the COF then no reshoot, if the RO does then the reshoot is ordered for RO interference.

In this case I would ask was the squib confirmed AFTER ULASC? Yes, score it as shot. No, order a reshoot.

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I don't see anything in the rules that says the problem has to exist after ULSC.

A bullet falling out of the chamber would be sufficient evidence for me that a squib existed when I called "Stop."

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5.7.7.2 If the Range Officer discovers that the suspected safety problem
does not exist, the competitor will be required to reshoot the
stage.
The red emphasis is mine. It does not say DID exist, it says DOES exist.

But it makes no mention of does exist before or after ULSC. The bullet could have popped out when the slide was locked back at the safe table, too. That would have been no different than the bullet falling out during ULSC. I agree with sperman that the bullet falling out confirmed the problem.

If the RO had a reason to believe it was a squib, there's nothing that requires him to allow the shooter 2 minutes to clear it. If the RO had no reason to think it was a squib, he wouldn't have stopped him until after the two minute period.

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I think I gave the perfect example in post 15. The OP says the bullet was in the rifling, but we do not have any indication that is was from a squib load of just a badly loaded round where the bullet popped out due to no crimp. In fact we have no evidence that the cartridge even chambered to start with. We could easily be dealing with a major magazine jam where the bullet popped out and caused all manner of jams as the shooter tried to clear the jam. Stopping the shooter at this point and having the issue correct itself as the clear the gun is reason to issue a reshoot for RO interference.

In my experience, if a round enters the chamber due to a squib load or just bad reloading practices, AND subsequent rounds are attempted to be chambered it pushes the previous bullet into the rifling enough that it will not drop out on its own. This sounds a lot more l like a bad jam because the bullet was stuck in the port/chamber opening.

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If the competitor had gotten a round to load and fired it would the gun have blown up? My thought is probably. The RO did the correct thing by stopping the shooter. When the RO saw the bullet fall on the ground that confirmed that there was a bullet where there should not have been one. Score as Shot.

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I think I gave the perfect example in post 15. The OP says the bullet was in the rifling, but we do not have any indication that is was from a squib load of just a badly loaded round where the bullet popped out due to no crimp. In fact we have no evidence that the cartridge even chambered to start with. We could easily be dealing with a major magazine jam where the bullet popped out and caused all manner of jams as the shooter tried to clear the jam. Stopping the shooter at this point and having the issue correct itself as the clear the gun is reason to issue a reshoot for RO interference.

In my experience, if a round enters the chamber due to a squib load or just bad reloading practices, AND subsequent rounds are attempted to be chambered it pushes the previous bullet into the rifling enough that it will not drop out on its own. This sounds a lot more l like a bad jam because the bullet was stuck in the port/chamber opening.

That was why I said "...if the RO had reason to believe it was a squib,..." If it was a poorly loaded round (too long, poor crimp, etc) that wouldn't load, there wouldn't have been any strange "pop" or other reason to think it was a squib. If the RO just sees the shooter trying to unjam a gun and not having any luck, give him the 2 minutes. A poorly loaded round that caused the bullet to unseat before firing should also have dumped powder all over the place when the case was extracted. I've seen that happen.

Now that I go back and reread the first post, it doesn't say exactly why the OP thought it was a squib in the first place. Was there some sound or other indication at the time?

Edited by JAFO
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If nothing else, these rules discussions give great insight for MDs and RMs to see people they would, or would not want ROing for them.

Again, better safe than silent. This thread ran its course at post #8 with three experienced persons agreeing on the call.

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Mark I do not disagree with you, I just look at it from the perspective of what really happened. As timer RO I am aware of what is going on with each shooters gun. I see the jams as they happen, I see the slides locking to the rear that the newer shooter does not relate to. I see the squibs and try to react before the shooter can get off another round. If I were the RO in this case I would be able to document why I felt it was a squib and to date I have only had one squib that exited the barrel. As yet I have never seen any other squib that failed to get stuck in the rifling. As my clubs MD/RM if you can assure me that the shooter had a squib I will back you. If you stopped the shooter because you assumed they had a squib only because of the magazine jam issues, I will go by the rules. Either the barrel is plugged or it is not. I will not automatically assume it was a squib just because a loose bullet fell out of the port or out of the magwell when the magazine came out.

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5.7.7 In the event that a Range Officer terminates a course of fire due to a

suspicion that a competitor has an unsafe handgun or unsafe ammunition (e.g. a “squib” load), the Range Officer will take whatever steps he
deems necessary to return both the competitor and the range to a safe
condition. The Range Officer will then inspect the handgun or ammunition and proceed as follows:
5.7.7.1 If the Range Officer finds evidence that confirms the suspected
problem, the competitor will not be entitled to a reshoot, but will
be ordered to rectify the problem. On the competitor’s score
sheet, the time will be recorded up to the last shot fired, and the
course of fire will be scored “as shot”, including all applicable
misses and penalties.
5.7.7.2 If the Range Officer discovers that the suspected safety problem
does not exist, the competitor will be required to reshoot the
stage.

You can't pick out one rule, and ignore the others. In this case there is an order that must also be followed.

5.7.7.1 cannot be applied until the course of fire has been terminated, and the range has been made safe. Only then will the RO make his inspection, as laid out in 5.7.7

The RO must then find evidence of the problem.

5.7.7.2 clearly states that if the problem does not exist at the time of the inspection, a reshoot is in order.

This may, or may not, be the intention of whoever wrote these rules, but it is what we have.

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5.7.7 In the event that a Range Officer terminates a course of fire due to a

suspicion that a competitor has an unsafe handgun or unsafe ammunition (e.g. a “squib” load), the Range Officer will take whatever steps he
deems necessary to return both the competitor and the range to a safe
condition. The Range Officer will then inspect the handgun or ammunition and proceed as follows:
5.7.7.1 If the Range Officer finds evidence that confirms the suspected
problem, the competitor will not be entitled to a reshoot, but will
be ordered to rectify the problem. On the competitor’s score
sheet, the time will be recorded up to the last shot fired, and the
course of fire will be scored “as shot”, including all applicable
misses and penalties.
5.7.7.2 If the Range Officer discovers that the suspected safety problem
does not exist, the competitor will be required to reshoot the
stage.

You can't pick out one rule, and ignore the others. In this case there is an order that must also be followed.

5.7.7.1 cannot be applied until the course of fire has been terminated, and the range has been made safe. Only then will the RO make his inspection, as laid out in 5.7.7

The RO must then find evidence of the problem.

5.7.7.2 clearly states that if the problem does not exist at the time of the inspection, a reshoot is in order.

This may, or may not, be the intention of whoever wrote these rules, but it is what we have.

This seems correct to me.

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