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What is the impetus behind this rule?  I understand that technically the barrel of the pistol is pointing up range, but it is contained in the holster.  The orientation of the barrel doesn't seem to matter at any other time, even if it breaks the 180, while in the holster.   

 

Is someone afraid the gun will fall out of the holster? that's usually DQ-able no matter where it happens.  Most 3 gunners have figured out they need a good retention holster, so that isn't so much an issue anymore. 

 

I ask the question because I run qualifications for my guys at work and all of us have loaded pistols on during our rifle quals.  I have never thought twice about going prone, nor has any of my other staff.  It seems to be a non-issue.  I contend it is not an unsafe act.  Does anyone have a good reason why we should continue to DQ people who do it? 

 

If we do want to discourage it, Would it maybe be better to give a procedural instead of a DQ?

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It’s an extra safety measure that makes sense in my opinion. Matches draw a wide variety of people with varying skill levels, so a little extra margin of safety is good. 

I also like doing different things such as loading the pistol on the fly. 

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That rule has been changed at some matches for a few years for reasons that include those you mentioned.  It depends on the rule set you are using.  

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It is simple risk aversion.

While not very likely that a handgun in a holster could or would go off when prone, there is a possibility of it falling out or somehow something get into the trigger guard.  Again, very unlikely.  But, the gun is in a bad orientation for an AD.  So, the motive is to simply eliminate that risk.

The other aspect is that many of our rules have to be applied to the lowest common denominator, or in simpler terms, a new shooter.  That isn't mean to be negative or derogatory in any way.  But I see guys showing up with sherpa and drop leg holsters all the time.  I def don't want to be behind this guy while he is prone w a hot gun.

 

And, it is easy to minimize or eliminate the risk.  Have handgun unloaded for prone stages, making it hot after the initial draw takes seconds.  And, if everyone has to do that, it is an even playing field. Shoot the pistol first and dump prior to rifle portion. Give shooters an option, go prone and gun is cold, one knee, it can be hot.  Have the pistol staged on a table or prop after the rifle stage, shooter retrieves after rifle.

 

I am not one of the safety queens that jumps on every little issue. But, this is one that is not that intrusive and is probably a good rule.

 

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I also like to start you with an empty pistol because after you've paid $300+, I don't want to send you home because you wiggled and wriggled while you were prone. Dropping a loaded gun is always a DQ. I also leave you with an empty pistol if you have guns slung up...just no reason to risk catching the gun on your sling. Everybody starts the same.

 

One year, I let you start with a loaded pistol. In my mind, the stage was standing. It said in the stage brief, if you planned to go prone, you needed to start with an empty pistol. I am overly cautious, and unless you're using your pistol first, it's usually empty. But, I thought, no worries. Alas, I had to DQ an open shooter who made a bit of a running leap to abandon his rifle and he bumped the pistol and boom, on the ground! Dang it!

 

Personally, I don't like having a loaded gun pointed at me when I'm RO'ing...especially in the mountains where there are cactus, stumps, rocks and all sorts of other things to catch it on!

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In general I am not a fan of gratuitous unloaded or empty chamber starts. However, we did have a Condition 3 start (loaded mag inserted, empty chamber) at one of the stages I designed for SMM3G last week. We did it because prone rifle shooting was an option, and (1) some folks feel nervous pointing a hot handgun uprange, even in a holster, plus (2) we cannot be sure everyone will have secure holsters. Each year someone's pistol falls out of their holster, and an empty chamber makes things much safer for all concerned (even though under our rules that is still a match DQ - loaded or not). As mentioned above, it is a layered approach to safety - in this case TWO things have to go wrong before someone gets hurt. As everyone had the same challenge of remembering to rack a round into the chamber, the competitive playing field was level.

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I'm a fan of the condition 3 start anytime you're requiring shooters to go prone, use a sling, or anything else crazy. One small concession can ease a lot of minds and quite many complaints. 

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If I am running the stage I prefer an empty gun if going prone. I learned the lesson of a good retention holster many years ago.

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It might just be me but I get a bad feeling anytime I see a loaded gun pointing at me. 😳

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On 4/16/2018 at 9:55 AM, Don_B said:

It might just be me but I get a bad feeling anytime I see a loaded gun pointing at me. 😳

 

 

I guess I get the rule...But its silly.  Im with the OP, Ive run several qualification lines where folks went prone with hot pistols.  I never thought to be offended by it until my first 3g match.  When a gun comes out of the holster while you are running which way is it pointing when it hits the ground?  Only Jesus knows

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