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Manually lowering hammer on a decocker equipped DA/SA gun


nasty618
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For SA/DA guns equipped with a decocker, what is the correct way of getting into the gun ready condition?  

 

Rules:  When in the ready conditions as specified under 8.1, a gun with an external hammer must be hammer down.  A hammer is considered to be in the "hammer down" position when the hammer is placed there by pulling the trigger while manually lowering the hammer (manually decocking) or by activating the decocking lever if present.  Manually decocking to the half-cocked position is not allowed and will result in the competitor being moved to Open division

Handguns with external hammers must be fully decocked at the start signal.  If a decocking lever is installed and used, the term fully decocked is the position where the hammer rests once the decocking lever has been used.  Altering a factory installed decocker to bring the hammer to rest at less than a half-cocked position is not allowed.


Reference: Appendix D4 and D7 (Production and Carry Optics) 

 

My understanding of the rules: if a gun is equipped with a decocker, the decocking lever MUST be used to get to "hammer down" position. Manually (fully) lowering the hammer on such a gun is not an option.  Am i correct? 


Thanks in advance!

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If I’m reading it correctly, for a DA/SA gun in Production or Carry Optics, you can get to the hammer down position for the beginning of a stage in two ways:

-Manually lowering the hammer fully

-Using the decocker, if the gun has one

 

I don’t see anything that says that you must use the decocker if your gun has one, only that you may use it instead of manually lowering the hammer and that you can’t modify it to drop to half cock. 

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The OP quoted Special Condition #1 from Appendix D(4 and 7) correctly … If the gun HAS a decocker, you MUST use it to decock or be moved to Open.

 

This is not an interpretation.  This is black and white in the wording of the rules.

 

ERROR:  See my follow-up post below!

Edited by Schutzenmeister
Correction of error.
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12 minutes ago, Schutzenmeister said:

The OP quoted Special Condition #1 from Appendix D(4 and 7) correctly … If the gun HAS a decocker, you MUST use it to decock or be moved to Open.

 

This is not an interpretation.  This is black and white in the wording of the rules.

 

Reading Special Conditions #1, where does it say that manually lowering the hammer is not allowed if a decocker is present?

 

All it says is that you can manually decock, or use the decocker if one is present.

 

As long as you put the hammer in the same position that the decocker would, I don’t see why manually decocking would cause you to be bumped to Open. 

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Quote

Special conditions:
1. Only Double Action, Double Action/Single Action, and Safe Action/Striker Fired handguns are allowed, and must be on the approved list. When in the ready conditions as specified under 8.1, a gun with an external hammer must be hammer down. A hammer is considered to be in the "hammer down" position when the hammer is placed there by pulling the trigger while manually lowering the hammer (manually decocking) or by activating the decocking lever if present. Manually decocking to the half-cocked position is not allowed and will result in the competitor being moved to Open division.

 

My bad … I read it too fast and overlooked the portion in red above.  I stand corrected.

 

Note to add:  The above is under USPSA Rules.  For those who shoot IPSC matches, the rules there REQUIRE the use of the decocker under IPSC 8.1.2.5.  Obviously, this is only of interest to those who shoot IPSC rules matches!

 

Again, my apologies.

 

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46 minutes ago, PatJones said:

Didn't we hash this out completely a couple of years back?

 

Probably.  I didnt shoot USPSA two years ago and what i was able to find using Search did not answer my question...  Would you mind linking to that discussion in this thread?  

 

So specifically to this:
 

Quote

manually lowering the hammer (manually decocking) or by activating the decocking lever if present

 

I was not convinced that the "or" operator indicates that there is an option of choosing the method of getting into the "hammer down" condition... i read it as "decocking lever must be used if present or lower manually if not present (not a decocker model".

 

More than likely i am splitting hairs here and i dont mean to do that ... Personally i feel that  it has no competitive advantage and minimal safety concerns with either method on a decocker gun. The only negative for the shooter i can see is lowering manually and accidentally stopping at half cocked... now what?  Welcome to Open minor immediately? Upon holstering? Or recock/decock before holstering would solve this?

if someone can point me to the consensus of this discussion from the past - i would be thankful. 

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Nasty

 

It appears you're making the same mistake I did a few minutes ago … I was putting words into the rules which are not there.

 

18 minutes ago, nasty618 said:

 

I was not convinced that the "or" operator indicates that there is an option of choosing the method of getting into the "hammer down" condition... i read it as "decocking lever must be used if present or lower manually if not present (not a decocker model".

 

"Must" only appears in the rule in two places: 1 - The gun "must" be on the approved list.  (Not what we're discussing here.)  And 2 - "a gun with an external hammer "must" be hammer down."  The rule then tells you two acceptable methods for accomplishing "hammer down."  It does not specify you "must" use one or the other.  (IPSC Rules do, but that's another discussion!)

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I can certainly agree with that.  Especially since it's not that big of a deal, IMO

 

So let's use my hypothetical example:  Shooter lowers a decocker hammer manually and accidentally stops at half cocked... What should be RO's actions?  Welcome the shooter to Open/Minor? immediately or upon holstering? Or  stop shooter and allow to recock/decock before holstering?

Edited by nasty618
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10.5.9: "Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard during loading, reloading, or unloading.  Exception: while complying with the “Make Ready” command to lower the hammer of a gun without a decocking lever, or while initially loading a revolver with a spurless hammer."

 

That would seem to indicate that if you have a decocker you have to use it. However, per the definition of "loading" in the glossary, the loading process would already be complete before you need to lower the hammer...so given that, I'm not sure what's the point of the exception above...

 

But really, if your gun has a decocker why wouldn't you use it? 

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51 minutes ago, nasty618 said:

So let's use my hypothetical example:  Shooter lowers a decocker hammer manually and accidentally stops at half cocked... What should be RO's actions?  Welcome the shooter to Open/Minor? immediately or upon holstering? Or  stop shooter and allow to recock/decock before holstering?

 

I would, as soon as is practical, alert the shooter to the improper ready condition of the gun.  In any case, I cannot allow the shooter to start the CoF with a gun in a half-cock position.  The only item I see in the rules where I cannot correct the shooter is if he forgets to put a round in the chamber … That's on him.

 

Kinder/Gentler … Correct the error and move on!

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1 hour ago, nasty618 said:

I can certainly agree with that.  Especially since it's not that big of a deal, IMO

 

So let's use my hypothetical example:  Shooter lowers a decocker hammer manually and accidentally stops at half cocked... What should be RO's actions?  Welcome the shooter to Open/Minor? immediately or upon holstering? Or  stop shooter and allow to recock/decock before holstering?

I would stop them immediately to correct the action.  Manual decocking and using the decocking lever are separate actions in terms of functions.  It is easy to see which method is being used, so if I see a manual decking action used I will be looking for the hammer to go all the way down.  It is easy at that point to stop them and have them fully decock  if they go to the halfway point.

 

Tht said if they still holster at that point with the hammer at the halfway point then I would say "Welcome to Open"

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Based on D4 s.c. 5, if you don't have or do not use a decocker, you manually lower the hammer fully.  If you use a decocker, you must let the hammer fall to the position that the factory decocker would lower it to.  However, as pointed out, 10.5.9 seems to imply different than the "or" in D4 s.c. 5

 

Regarding the later question about the RO noticing the half cocked hammer, it's during the COF (after Make Ready) so its a bump to open if it gets holstered IMHO

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2 hours ago, broadside72 said:

Based on D4 s.c. 5, if you don't have or do not use a decocker, you manually lower the hammer fully.  If you use a decocker, you must let the hammer fall to the position that the factory decocker would lower it to.  However, as pointed out, 10.5.9 seems to imply different than the "or" in D4 s.c. 5

 

Regarding the later question about the RO noticing the half cocked hammer, it's during the COF (after Make Ready) so its a bump to open if it gets holstered IMHO

Hmmm... What if I manually decock and only go to half cock then holster. But before the beep I realize my mistake and say not ready and pull the gun out and lower the rest of the way. I didn't use the gun from half cocked. Certainly wouldn't be bump to open unless it was taken advantage of no? 

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5 hours ago, Schutzenmeister said:

  The only item I see in the rules where I cannot correct the shooter is if he forgets to put a round in the chamber … That's on him.

 

 

Yikes, where have you been? This was argued non stop some months back. I agree with you but it seems the consensus concluded if the gun is supposed to be loaded chamber ready condition and he fails to do so it is not legal to start him because not in proper ready condition.

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Hmmm... What if I manually decock and only go to half cock then holster. But before the beep I realize my mistake and say not ready and pull the gun out and lower the rest of the way. I didn't use the gun from half cocked. Certainly wouldn't be bump to open unless it was taken advantage of no? 

The equipment bump rule 6.2.5.1 applies during the COF and Make Ready is the start of the COF.

 

If you the shooter catches it before the beep I think maybe it would be ok to rectify since even at that point you can draw and take additional sight pictures, swap mags, etc. but COF is COF.

 

To me, it's a gray area and might warrant an email to DNROI for clarification and to update the rules, the way it is written right now i don't see a legal way under a strict interpretation to rectify the issue before hand like you can other equipment requirements since you can't even touch your gun until make ready.

 

More than happy to be told of another rule that would exempt it.

 

Maybe Troy will see it as a common sense thing that shouldn't need additional rule wording but it wouldn't be the first time common sense was added to a rule

 

Is it really a starting condition issue? That's usually loaded, unloaded, etc. Shouldn't be started if not in the start condition or start position, does hammer fall into start condition per the glossary?

 

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35 minutes ago, Sarge said:

What if I manually decock and only go to half cock then holster. But before the beep I realize my mistake and say not ready and pull the gun out and lower the rest of the way. I didn't use the gun from half cocked. Certainly wouldn't be bump to open unless it was taken advantage of no

 

 The rule says "Manually  decocking to the half-cocked position is not allowed and will result in the competitor being moved to Open division".  But it doesn't say at what point... So do we use the "SA cocked/safety not applied" logic (DQ if holstered in that condition) and say bump to Open when shooter holsters and loses functional access to trigger?

 

Edited by nasty618
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 The rule says "Manually  decocking to the half-cocked position is not allowed and will result in the competitor being moved to Open division".  But it doesn't say at what point... So do we use the "SA cocked/safety not applied" logic (DQ if holstered in that condition) and say bump to Open when shooter holsters and loses functional access to trigger?
 
That's not a bump to open, that's a DQ per 10.5.11.1
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8 hours ago, Southpaw said:

10.5.9: "Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard during loading, reloading, or unloading.  Exception: while complying with the “Make Ready” command to lower the hammer of a gun without a decocking lever, or while initially loading a revolver with a spurless hammer."

 

 

correct. manually lowering the hammer with a decocker equipped gun is a DQ. I'm surprised sarge didn't know of this particular way to DQ someone.

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correct. manually lowering the hammer with a decocker equipped gun is a DQ. I'm surprised sarge didn't know of this particular way to DQ someone.
What's messed up is that the process described for decocking does not prohibit this method
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Just now, broadside72 said:
3 minutes ago, motosapiens said:
 
correct. manually lowering the hammer with a decocker equipped gun is a DQ. I'm surprised sarge didn't know of this particular way to DQ someone.

What's messed up is that the process described for decocking does not prohibit this method

i sort of agree. I started in the sport shooting production, and I had 2 safety-equipped cz's and one decocker-gun. I was in the habit of manually decocking them all, and it's hard to argue that it's unsafe for one but not the other.

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58 minutes ago, nasty618 said:

 

 The rule says "Manually  decocking to the half-cocked position is not allowed and will result in the competitor being moved to Open division".  But it doesn't say at what point... So do we use the "SA cocked/safety not applied" logic (DQ if holstered in that condition) and say bump to Open when shooter holsters and loses functional access to trigger?

 

Depends on if half cocked qualifies as cocked.

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13 minutes ago, motosapiens said:

 

correct. manually lowering the hammer with a decocker equipped gun is a DQ. I'm surprised sarge didn't know of this particular way to DQ someone.

Doesn’t seem like a DQ the way I read it

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5 minutes ago, Sarge said:

Doesn’t seem like a DQ the way I read it

10.5.9 Failure to keep the finger outside the trigger guard during loading, reloading, or unloading. Exception: while complying with the “Make Ready” command to lower the hammer of a gun without a decocking lever, or while initially loading a revolver with a spurless hammer.

 

What the above rule is saying is that if your gun has a decocking lever, you don't get the benefit of this exception, so if you manually decock (by putting your finger inside the trigger guard and pulling the trigger during loading), it is pretty clearly a DQ.

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1 hour ago, Sarge said:

Yikes, where have you been? This was argued non stop some months back. I agree with you but it seems the consensus concluded if the gun is supposed to be loaded chamber ready condition and he fails to do so it is not legal to start him because not in proper ready condition.

 

Sarge

 

I must have missed that discussion.  But, no matter.  Nothing on this forum has the authority to overrule the rule book.

 

Quote

8.1 Firearm Ready Conditions


The ready condition for firearms will normally be as stated below. However, in the event that a competitor fails to load the chamber when permitted by the written stage briefing, whether inadvertently or intentionally, the Range Officer must not take any action, as the competitor is always responsible for the handling of the firearm.

 

Black and white … (Well, the applicable portion is red and white.)

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