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JThompson

DQed Tonight

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Well, it had to happen sooner or later.... :( I don't feel much like talking about it tonight, so I'll give you guys details tomorrow.

EDIT: The Story...

We had a practice match last night… it’s a good time for new shooters to watch and get some pointers while at the same time having instruction/supervision from more seasoned shooters. We encourage new shooters to use the “Thurs Practice” as a way to get some match type time without having the added pressure, or as stringent rules. There are usually from 15-30 shooters and it’s pretty laid back, as it’s not a USPSA event, but we run it like one though some COFs might not make it in USPSA... I think I spoke about these a time or two in the past in that some things I have seen as DQ offences have been overlooked with a warning and instruction, and I felt they should have been sat down to enforce/embed the safety infractions.

The Events:

I volunteer to go first, so I can run the guys… I shoot the first stage and then grab the timer. I know most of the guys and they have their stuff wired pretty tight. Up comes someone I have seen at the club a few times, but never shot with… he’s got a brand new Beretta model unknown (later found to be Elite II G) and it’s in a nylon holster with an, over the trigger, strap. At this point, some mild warning bells go off as to the holster choice. I issue the new command, Make Ready… (Remember this is a practice and a good time to get people in the flow with the new stuff.) He loads a mag, jacks the slide and stuffs it back in the holster. Now some of you probably know more about this Beretta than I do, because it takes me a second look at the gun to realize he just put a hot gun with no safety in his holster. I issue the stop command and ask him about the gear. As an RO I need to start reviewing more of the guns I RO. I should have never let him get it in the holster… my mistake there. Okay, I ask if there is any other safety besides the decock? He gives me a funny look indicating he doesn’t know what I’m talking about. Not good! I ask him to very gently remove the pistol from the holster and point it down range, so I can inspect it. Sure enough, it has a decock and no safety. I’m as upset with myself for not being as familiar with the gun to have prevented him from holstering as I am with him for actually doing it. At this point I should have had him unload and sent him packing, but I decided to do some instruction, as this is really the time for it in a structured practice. I know some of you are probably shaking your heads, but they have to learn right? You’re right. More on that in a minute. We get his gun and rig squared away and I let him proceed. He shoots the COF pretty well, keeps the gun pointed in the right direction and finger off while moving. We get to the last prop and it’s a wall you have to shoot under, low enough you have to take a knee. There are four targets and I have instructed everyone to stand before unloading and showing clear. I’m kneeling to his right and back a little, having run this guy from his back pocket. He finishes the last target and instead of stepping back to remove his gun from under the wall, he starts swinging it in my direction. It happens fast and I just get a chattering S out of my mouth when my palm meets the side of his hand/gun to stop it from sweeping me and possibly the gallery. I don’t think I ever got the STOP out of me. I told him to point the thing back down range and to unload and show clear. We’re both still kneeling and I don’t ask him to stand. He unloads the gun shows me the chamber and I issue hammer down. Instead he rolls the decock. Stop! Please rerack the slide and use the trigger to drop the hammer. At which point I get a rather confused stare. At this point the, pee running down my leg has already started to cool and were not done. I walk him through the unload and hammer down. I look at the angle of his holster and body position and determine it’s safe for him to holster without getting up and give him the order to do so. At which point he turns to the side to find his holster and sweeps his weak hand. OMFG! I don’t say a word and let him holster and then tell him what he did. We were both so shaken I figured another stop would give one or both of us a stroke.

After we stood up I informed him he was done for the night and explained everything he had done wrong. Now is when I really get pissed. Another RO comes up and says, “We don’t DQ people on Thurs practice.” I’m shaken from the shooter, but this guy is a certed RO telling me in the single scariest moment I’ve had on a range, that we don’t DQ? I say that’s bullshit he’s done! Not only that, but I’m done too because I was so pissed at this guy for not backing me that I needed time to cool off, and change my shorts. I toss the other RO the timer and stalk off the range, grab my bag and head to the safe area to bag up. I’m over in the lunch area unloading my mags when some of the others wander off the range to tell me the guy was way out of line and thanked me for keeping them safe.

In the mean time, the shooter had made his way to the safe area and bagged up having understood my reasons for DQing him and took it upon himself to listen to me instead of the other guy. I look up at him and he says, “I’m sorry.” I look back at him with a sigh and say… common get your gun bag and let’s hit the safe area to show you how to use that thing safely. We took the straps off his nylon holster and worked with the gun showing him the decock function and why you drop the hammer. Also, his slide was slightly moving on holster and taking the gun to half cock when holstering. We worked that issue out as well. I told him he’s not ready to shoot IPSC style events yet, but I would be glad (okay I lied) to come in with him and work on how to safely handle his gun during a COF and all the rules that go with it. I give him my card and we bag him back up.

I go for a coke and look in on the range and he’s in there pasting targets and resetting props. I nod to myself and decide I will put my glasses and ears back on and walk him through while the other guys are shooting. We spend the next hour watching people shoot while I give a running cementation about how and why people are doing what they are doing. By the end of the night, I feel a lot better about him and he me.

This is a prime reason I would like to see a mandated class before anyone is allowed to step on a range with a holster. To become a member of our club you have to pass a basic safety class and to get a key to the prop room and use the holster range you have to take a holster class yet anyone with a holster and a gun can shoot a USPSA event without having any training at all. I think this is a terrible oversight on our part for letting this continue. This was not a USPSA event, but a practice, and this guy had no business being on the range.

As an RO I failed badly here. I didn’t know this guy and should have asked him a few questions to gauge his knowledge. If I had done so, I could have taken a few minutes to tell him the basics… I also failed in not stopping him when he holstered a hot gun without safety. I will not make those errors again. In the mean time several of the other RO’s said they would talk with the RO who said we don’t DQ practice and to come get them if it ever happened again. These are board members as well and carry some clout. I don’t want you guys to get the impression that the club is not safety conscious… we are… there was one guy that spoke out of turn and the rest backed me.

Edited by JThompson

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The rest of the story above.

Jim, I agree 1000% percent your actions and about the other RO being WRONG. I know you did start to stay stop because everyone froze. I am planning on taking the RO class this coming year and hope I make the right calls when I am placed in these situations.

O ya I completely blanked stage 2.

see ya Sunday.

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Well Done!! Jim,

I can remember being the new guy at several clubs and invariably at my arrival someone would corner me and spell out the range rules and do some fishin' into my experience and competence. This was not an insult to my skills but a reassurance that safety was rule #1.

I am not sure how you screen an unknown shooter, whether with a class or just an informal vist. But you need to know a few things before an unknown shooter steps to the line.

I also can't decide which is more frightening, an inexperienced shooter that doesn't know the safety rules or an expirienced RO that chooses to ignore the safety rules.

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Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying about not having the Beretta on safety when holstered but the Beretta only needs to be decocked and safety does not need to be applied when holstered as the first shot is double action.

Am I missing something or did I read this wrong?

Sorry to hear about that though. It sounds like a rough night.

DonT

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Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying about not having the Beretta on safety when holstered but the Beretta only needs to be decocked and safety does not need to be applied when holstered as the first shot is double action.

Am I missing something or did I read this wrong?

Sorry to hear about that though. It sounds like a rough night.

DonT

What I'm saying is it wasn't "decocked." :surprise:

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Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying about not having the Beretta on safety when holstered but the Beretta only needs to be decocked and safety does not need to be applied when holstered as the first shot is double action.

Am I missing something or did I read this wrong?

Sorry to hear about that though. It sounds like a rough night.

DonT

The gun wasn't decocked when holstered.

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Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying about not having the Beretta on safety when holstered but the Beretta only needs to be decocked and safety does not need to be applied when holstered as the first shot is double action.

Am I missing something or did I read this wrong?

Sorry to hear about that though. It sounds like a rough night.

DonT

The gun wasn't decocked when holstered.

My apologies, my bad. I should never read or reply to a post until after I've had my first cup of coffee :yawn:

DonT

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Man, tough night indeed. I think you did the right thing as well. You make some very solid points in the description of the incident. Try not to be too hard on yourself- you learned a ton and took the time with the shooter. :bow: Which is rare in my opinion. I am kinda surprized at the other RO's comment though. They are very serious about safety at PT and that makes me more at ease about shooting indoors there. See you on Sunday! :)

Edited to add:

Kudos to the shooter for being a good sport and having the courage to stick around to help out and learn/observe. And to you for sticking around to help him out. :cheers:

Edited by Rocket35

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Edited to add:

Kudos to the shooter for being a good sport and having the courage to stick around to help out and learn/observe. And to you for sticking around to help him out. :cheers:

Yes!

As a means to help prevent situations like this in the future, y'all might consider (especially on your Practice Match nights) asking during registration if there are any new shooters in the house. You'll probably already know by the faces you don't recognize. Then have an experienced shooter take them aside for a short safety briefing. We miss a few sometimes, but have caught most of the folks who might have otherwise walked to the line with no idea what to do, and (more importantly) what not to do.

Good job sticking to your guns, Jim. I hope someone impresses on that careless RO what it takes to go home with no more holes in our bodies than were present upon arrival. ;)

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All the Eastern CO clubs require every shooter to take a safety course/check before shooting a match. A couple of the clubs do this before their monthy club matches. Then, there are a couple who offer a full day course that are scheduled as needed. If someone comes out to one of the clubs to one of the abbreviated safety checks and the instructor is not comfortable with the individuals gun handling, they have to take one of the day-long courses before we let them shoot a match. We identify new shooters at the match meeting and kind-of un-officially assign an experienced shooter to mentor the newbie throughout the match. We also have a LOT of RO certified shooters within the area. This helps out if we a multiple newbies. That's essentially how it is handled there. It works well.

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I admire the way you handled the situation and appreciate your post.

I am signed up for a RO course and it never occurred to me that I need

to be more familiar with quite a few guns. You also made me think about

how we deal with new shooters at our club matches.

Thanks.

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"We don't DQ on Thursday nights"????? Wonder if he would have the same comment if the new guy had turned to face him with a loaded gun pointing at him? Poor call.

I've seen the best shooter at our indoor range DQ with an AD while reloading during a stage. He took the time to tell the newer folks that this was exactly what should happen and then pasted the rest of the evening.

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:angry2:

...a CRO ??? You got to be kidding! The club is affiliated right? The rules should apply regardless of the match sanctioning. This dude needs adjustment. Like, perhaps, lets say, anchoring a "New Shooters Orientation" before EVERY match. Or turn is his hall monitor badge. "we don't DQ"..who the hell is "WE" ?

...sorry

Jim M

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I don't see how you can beat yourself up for how you handled the situation. It was a gun you hadn't encountered yet, and who here doesn't tend to give the shooter too much credit when ROing, at least until we get scared that first time.

Your follow-up with the shooter was "above-and-beyond" and can only be commended.

The "No DQ" guy isn't as uncommon as you might think. Many times he's also the "It's only a local match" guy who wants more rules ignored.

Edited by JFD

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Well, it had to happen sooner or later.... :( I don't feel much like talking about it tonight, so I'll give you guys details tomorrow.

Back in the mid-90s, not long after I became a certified RO, I swung by my area’s sectional match to see the big guns shoot. As I got there, one of the top shooters had just been DQ’d. He’d been preparing to shoot a long-distance standards course, had gone prone, and his gun fell out of his holster onto the ground. He picked it up and re-holstered, and the RO promptly DQed him for handling a gun on the firing line without the RO’s direction. The shooter appealed the DQ, and prevailed. And this was in a major match. If I’d been that RO, I’d have been apoplectic.

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About the safety briefing for new shooters, I'd say this is VERY important. Not just from a safety aspect but to help retain new shooters as well. A lot of us are probably in a cliche of top shooters or old boys club or something like that at out local clubs. I think that this might be kind of itimidating for a new shooter or a new competitor. I know it's a good time to give your buddies a hard time and shoot the s#!t with the guys, but we need to go out of our way to bring the new guys in and talk about the sport with them. This serves two purposes, it makes them feel welcome, but we can also get a feel for weather or not this guy know what's goin' on. When I go to a club where I don't know anyone, I feel much better when people start to 'quiz' me. I can tell they are getting an idea of, if not my skill at least my safety knowledge.

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Jim, considering the pressure, all the variables and with the tension involved I think you did a great job of handling the situation. I see you are rethinking the situation and second guessing yourself but that is a good thing. That's how we all learn and get better at whatever we do. I wish more people were as conscientious as you.

Bruce

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whether practice night or match day, Safety should be #1 at all times. you definately did the right thing. We rely on you RO's to keep it safe, and that is just what you did. keep up the good work!

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You did well Jim. Sorry you had such a sh%^&y experience on the range. It sucks. Reminds me of the time a guy sweeped the whole crowd coming out of a little alleyway and sweeped the whole crowd again after the RO yelled stop. Scary shit.

SV shooter, great AV and Sig! :lol::cheers:

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Thanks for the encouragement guys... I spoke with a CRO today and we discussed what happened, how it happened, and ways to prevent it from happening again. We came to the conclusion that my biggest failure was not to have stopped the shooter after the initial holster infraction. I should have pushed him to last in the order, passed the timer to another and then gave him a safety briefing and, if needed, a step by step walk through as he shot the stage. We also discussed figure the shooters competence before he/she has a hot gun... ask questions. I'm still considering what questions to ask. I was thinking along the lines of asking for a USPSA class, if they don't have one then ask how many events they have shot... etc... Personally, I would like to have an orientation process for any shooter who is not a current USPSA member holding at least a D class. If it's a known shooter and for whatever reason they choose not to be classified, or the have yet to get there four in, but are known to be safe, then they would have an exemption.

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Sorry you had such a crappie night Jim. I am still very new to this sport , but I take my hat off to all that RO matches. I have ROed ranges in the Big Green Machine and wished I was in combat ( at least then I could shoot the people pointing guns at me). So yeah scarry, but you did great with the pull over and teach afterward.

I plan to take the RO class in Feb, I need all the schooling I can get!

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As a means to help prevent situations like this in the future, y'all might consider (especially on your Practice Match nights) asking during registration if there are any new shooters in the house. You'll probably already know by the faces you don't recognize. Then have an experienced shooter take them aside for a short safety briefing. We miss a few sometimes, but have caught most of the folks who might have otherwise walked to the line with no idea what to do, and (more importantly) what not to do.

I am not an inexperienced shooter, but when I shot for the first time at a local club last month, I was asked to attend the new shooters briefing. This meeting was for ANYONE shooting at the range for the first time. It did not bother me in the least that I was asked to do so. Made me feel quite good, actually, to know that the folks at that club take safety that seriously.

Kudos to you and the new guy for maintaining your composure (mostly :D ) and making the most of a bad situation. Your fellow RO was way out of line in not backing you up. Any issues he had should have been brought up in private, away from everyone else.

Edited by bierman

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