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Loading Table Officer duties


Widder, SASS #59054

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O.K., as always coming back from a match, my stage driver and I usually get involved in discussions either about the match or SASS rules/guidelines.

 

So yesterday, we started talkin about Loading Table Officer responsibilities and what they can/can't OR should/shouldn't do at the LT.

 

And an interesting topic arose:

 

Can the Loading Table Officer ask the shooter to 'spin the cylinder' for their inspection before the shooter begins his/her loading process?

 

Well, I checked the ROI guidelines and there ain't nothing there that says they can or should. They can count the rounds being inserted into the pistols and insure there is an empty cylinder (or place) in front of the firing pin. This act in and of itself should tell them that the cylinder was empty. But, should they ask the shooter to 'spin the cylinder' for them before the shooter loads their pistols?

 

The only place I could find that mentions that an Officer needs to insure the cylinder is empty is at the Unloading Table.

 

REF: ROI, page 10

 

 

..........Widder

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Never heard of a lt officer asking. Did he check the chambers of the long arms too?

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I was gonna say "another made up" procedure", but then again, even if it IS overkill, the penalty for arriving at the LT with a gun not cleared is a SDQ for the previous stage.

 

IF, as in some places, ya got two or more folks loading at once, I suppose one way to be assured that ain't the case (especially for those who load out of a pile of ammo or bag, where an LTO can't SEE how many he's got to start with, is to assure the gun is clear FIRST, then make sure the hole under the hammer is empty.....

 

BUT I ain't about playing "gotcha". If a man shows me his gun and the hole under the hammer is empty, and I didn't SEE any rounds in it to start with, I guess he;s good to go. I concentrate more on counting the rifle rounds going in. If two shooters are loading at once, I have one load pistols while the other loads rifle, so I can carefully watch both rifles, and verify the indexing of all the pistols. (ya can't "count in" two rifles at once, especially when they load from a bag, etc.

 

Red flags for me are if a shooter shows up at the LT with a rifle not OPEN, or when he opens the gate on a pistol his eyes bug out of his head. Then Houston, looks like we got us a problem, or at least we need a better look see.

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Obviously, as a matter of both safety and common sense, a newer shooter and monthly clubs may ask for LTO's supervision. Recently at a local monthly an LTO insisted that each loader STOP and wait for her to count each round into the rifle; STOP, spin each cylinder and count each round into the pistol; jacked her head around and even pushed my arm out of the way in order to look into my open, empty hammered gun. At first, since I'd never shot at this club before I complied with her DRAMATIC requests as did everyone else at the loading table.

 

Later I asked the TO if this is a club policy. He laughed and said "NO, she's a new shooter" and that he'd talk to her. She got angry and left the posse. No, I don't know what was said. Obviously it could have been handled more tactfully.

 

LTO's are now redundant at most/all larger shoots that I've attended this year. Most larger shoots only ask that the person in front or behind check the empty cylinder. And then, again my experience, even that becomes spotty on posses with experienced shooters. This, to the embarrassment of top competitors arriving at the line with unloaded pistols or unloaded rifles. :lol: clearly a danger only to their score!

 

Everyone on the posse has taken to yelling "9"!! or "8"!! RIFLE on exceptions from 10-10-4. The penalty for overloading is now gone IF it's cleared at the line or before moving to the next gun in the string.

 

In a shoot-through because of scheduling problems, I had a shotgun malfunction that we finally cleared at the ULT. Then I arrived at the next stage with spent brass in my pistols. No LTO... I called it on myself. Is that the ULT officer's error? NO! It's the shooter's error... PERIOD.

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Can the Loading Table Officer ask the shooter to 'spin the cylinder' for their inspection before the shooter begins his/her loading process?

 

 

 

..........Widder

Nope, but I'll spin it and show em an empty under the hammer after I'm done loading. Depending on posses size we rarely use a LTO anymore. We are all LTO, the shooter beside you at the loading table should be more than qualified. Good Luck :)

 

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

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I've been asked to rack the rifle and spin the revolvers. It seems a little overkill, but I don't mind. I do mind when an over zealous officer has an attitude, and it's his way or the highway. What ever is your way of inspection, remember the spirit of the game and by all means try to be friendly and helpful. Everyone wants to come away from a match with a good fealing of how well things were done.

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Hello to the wire,

 

I am probaly one of those annoying LTOs. If the shooter spins his cylinder for me I thank him or her.

I will have the shooter show me that his/her rifle and shotgun are empty. I count the shells going into

the pistols and the empty under the hammer at the end. I count the rounds going into the rifle and have

caught several trying to overload their rifle.

And most important of all I will not allow two people to load at the same time, period.

I've been to clubs that in the absence of a LTO that the next shooter in line checks the shooter in front

of them and this works find if the checker is not distracted bysomeone else.

 

Flame away!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Cumberland Mtn John

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"Nope, but I'll spin it and show em an empty under the hammer after I'm done loading. Depending on posses size we rarely use a LTO anymore. We are all LTO, the shooter beside you at the loading table should be more than qualified."

 

Yep, it's called personal responsibility for loading correctly and being correct on the firing line. Just like it's the shooter's responsibility to shoot the stage in the correct sequence.

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I've been asked to rack the rifle and spin the revolvers. It seems a little overkill, but I don't mind. I do mind when an over zealous officer has an attitude, and it's his way or the highway. What ever is your way of inspection, remember the spirit of the game and by all means try to be friendly and helpful. Everyone wants to come away from a match with a good fealing of how well things were done.

 

 

ATTITUDE is everything. it has been said that the fine art of diplomacy is the ability to tell somebody to go to he77 in such a way they're happy to make the trip. At less dramatic levels, you CAN get folks to do whatever is needed without being a jerk about it.

 

The LT is a "prized" job for some shooters who shy away from less active jobs, but it is perhaps the one "non-line" job requiring the most TACT. Folks getting ready to shoot are in that wonderous transition from "work and BS" mode into "shooting" mode. Their anxiety levels may be building as they try to get into the "zone" etc. What they don't need is anybody messing with their "karma". YES, they need to follow the procedures, and GENTLY, effortlessly guiding them so they are scarecely aware of your presence is to be preferred.

 

AND That is a two-way street. I've had occassion to deal with a LT nazi or two, and the best thing I can tell ya is "roll with it" as long as it's safe and don't let em get into yer head. Now the feller who was seated on a stool, elbows rsted on the edge of the table, his hands in front of my pistols, I simply, CALMLY, in a low, flat, matter-of-fact voice said "move yer hands back please, Yer in front of my pistols." No drama, no reason for it. BUT, the next stage, when he did the same thing, I brushed his hands back with my hand, without a word, before drawing a pistol from my holster. He got the message without having a conniption, and I never skipped a beat....

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I automatically show my shotgun empty, rack my rifle and spin my cylinders when I get to the table whether there is a designated LTO or not.

 

As a pard on the Saloon says: Just Saying!

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We don't use LTO's at all. If a new shooter we assign an experienced shooter to shoot next to them and watch over them at the LT. We DO make sure the ULT is covered and that the person there does a good job. I always say before we start shooting: "If you wish someone to check you firearms at the LT please graciously ask the shooter BEHIND you to check them for you." On small posses we often ask the shooter who has just completed the stage to cover the ULT for the next shooter. It works well. Some shooters due to physical conditions like to be the ULT officer. I usually just ignore a zealous LTO. After the first time or two they ignore me. Everyone happy!

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Most of the places we shoot do not use any loading table officer and except for new shooters trust the shooters to take responsibility for properly loading their guns. Other places we have shot get absolutely anal about loading table oversight. Examples including demanding the shooter prove his guns are empty, requiring all rounds be placed in a club loading block so loading table officer can count the number of rounds, giving a penalty to any shooter loading at same time another shooter is loading so loading table official has to watch two shooters, etc.

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Howdy Widder,

 

IMHO, the loading table is not the place to distract a shooter by requiring him/her to hop through needless hoops made up by each loading table officer to satisfy some self-imagined additional level of safety.

 

I prefer to focus on what I'm doing and mentally prepare for what I am about to do. Unneccessary distractions are annoying and can be disruptive to a safe routine. For the first seven years I particiapted in cowboy shooting, the majority of the clubs did not even use loading table monitors. Shooters were expected to take responsibility for their own actions. Maybe that's why I am somewhat opinionated on this particular subject. We now live in an area where loading table monitors are required and I am happy to follow the SASS rules...but I wish that the loading table monitors would read them to learn what their responsibilities are.

 

As far as left-over shells in a shooter's revolver, I reckon it would be fairly obvious to the loading table monitor when the shooter tried to stuff five new ones in a revolver and still show an empty chamber under the hammer. Common sense works.

 

 

Jackalope

 

Jedi Gunfighter Lucky #7

Champeen of the Hillbilly Nation 2010

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Howdy Widder,

 

IMHO, the loading table is not the place to distract a shooter by requiring him/her to hop through needless hoops made up by each loading table officer to satisfy some self-imagined additional level of safety.

 

I prefer to focus on what I'm doing and mentally prepare for what I am about to do. Unneccessary distractions are annoying and can be disruptive to a safe routine. For the first seven years I particiapted in cowboy shooting, the majority of the clubs did not even use loading table monitors. Shooters were expected to take responsibility for their own actions. Maybe that's why I am somewhat opinionated on this particular subject. We now live in an area where loading table monitors are required and I am happy to follow the SASS rules...but I wish that the loading table monitors would read them to learn what their responsibilities are.

 

As far as left-over shells in a shooter's revolver, I reckon it would be fairly obvious to the loading table monitor when the shooter tried to stuff five new ones in a revolver and still show an empty chamber under the hammer. Common sense works.

 

 

Jackalope

 

Jedi Gunfighter Lucky #7

Champeen of the Hillbilly Nation 2010

Well said Jackalope!! I think you just said what a bunch of us think :D

 

 

Jefro :ph34r: Relax-Enjoy

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The LTO can "ask" for anything they want. Whether they get it is another matter. There is such a thing as being anal.

If Sam Supershooter arrives at the loading table, opens the loading gate and the handgun is full of empties, there is penalty for that. If the chambers are rather obviously empty, what's the point?? Seems kind of dumb.

I have been known to arrive at the LT for the first stage and have to shuck my snap caps. That's pretty dumb too. If you arrive at the LT for the very first stage, and you have fired cases in the gun .... no call.

Seems silly to push a non-issue.

 

Coffinmaker

 

PS: If pushed, I'd find the MD and have the LTO educated. If a local club had "stupid" requirements, I'd vote with my feet.

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I've had LOs ask me and others at a loading table, more then one actually, the same thing. Doesn't bother me, and takes seconds to do. MT

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Where I've shot, from my observation most folks show clear on all guns to the LTO, and the LTO looks for it. Required or not it's easy to do and has just become habit. I appreciate and observant LTO, they've saved me from penalties, and when working the LT myself I've done the same for others.

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I always find the permutations some clubs and individuals make of the rules interesting. Some you can add "humorously" to that, others spill over into "irritating". Anal LTOs are definitely the irritating type. Being told that I had to load my cap & ball pistols at the loading table was... well, tiresome, and as I knew, would just slow the posse down. Then, at the first loading table, having an LTO slap my pistol down on the table because I started to set it on its butt so I could pour powder into the chambers... well, that was over-the-top.

 

Folks are in this for the fun. Being an irritating know-it-all, with over-bearing tendencies, takes the fun out of it. Hopefully, they learn that before they find themselves the only person at the loading table.

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We've elected not to use LTO's also. If someone comes to the loading table with empties they call it on themselves since most will hear an "oh crap". Then you find the UTO and tell him about his mistake. Some shooters will ask the shooter next to them to check their hammer is on an empty.

 

Cap and ball guns and conversion cylinders cause most people to get that puzzled look on their face. Both at the loading and unloading table. I have the older version of conversion cylinders. The only way to tell if your on an empty cylinder is to see the firing pin not sticking up. And when you show the UTO the end of your cylinder on a cap & ball gun you have to tell them what to look for. And the opposite at the Loading table, you have to show them and explain they are looking for caps. They also wig out when you look down the barrel to find the empty cylinder before you start capping. I know take a nipple out, but we do loading on the clock for pistols so........Haven't had anyone ask me if I only loaded 5 yet on a C&B pistol.

 

Loading a C&B gun at the loading table is just un-safe...period. Too much going on, the cowboy next to you is smoking, I've seen it.

 

Don't see a need for it.

Ike

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My personal opinion (I know, everybody's got one.... :rolleyes: ) is that LTO's are pointless and provide no additional level of safety. If there is a requirement (by the local club rules), then let the shooter in front or behind take that responsibilty. The clubs I shoot at routinely do not use them.

 

I went to a club's annual shoot this year and had the opportunity to shoot with some folks I didn't know. That was a good experience, but they obviously aren't used to having no LTO's. I'm not sure if this other shooter was simply trying to bust my chops or he was anal retentive about loading table procedures, but he asked me to spin my cylinders for him (he was behind me in line). I looked at him and did so. I even commented about how easy it was to see the open chamber cuz I shoot Open Tops (no top strap to block the view). Then, he asks, "How am I going to check your rifle since you've already loaded it?" My reply was simple, "I guess you can start countin' as they go down range." ;)

 

Chick

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Being told that I had to load my cap & ball pistols at the loading table was... well, tiresome, and as I knew, would just slow the posse down. Then, at the first loading table, having an LTO slap my pistol down on the table because I started to set it on its butt so I could pour powder into the chambers... well, that was over-the-top.

 

 

At this point the MD would become involved or fists would fly!!!!

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We've elected not to use LTO's also. If someone comes to the loading table with empties they call it on themselves since most will hear an "oh crap". Then you find the UTO and tell him about his mistake. Some shooters will ask the shooter next to them to check their hammer is on an empty.

 

Cap and ball guns and conversion cylinders cause most people to get that puzzled look on their face. Both at the loading and unloading table. I have the older version of conversion cylinders. The only way to tell if your on an empty cylinder is to see the firing pin not sticking up. And when you show the UTO the end of your cylinder on a cap & ball gun you have to tell them what to look for. And the opposite at the Loading table, you have to show them and explain they are looking for caps. They also wig out when you look down the barrel to find the empty cylinder before you start capping. I know take a nipple out, but we do loading on the clock for pistols so........Haven't had anyone ask me if I only loaded 5 yet on a C&B pistol.

 

Loading a C&B gun at the loading table is just un-safe...period. Too much going on, the cowboy next to you is smoking, I've seen it.

 

Don't see a need for it.

Ike

 

 

I have a cap pusher stick attached to my capper. It's easy to find the empty chamber by sticking the stick in each successive hole. I shoot at one range that has a very low birm and houses behind. They get uptight when you start waving the muzzle around looking for the empty.

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At a big match, I was a LTO and watched a guy load too many rounds. Now I usually err on the safe side and asked the guy about it. He rudely said that he didn't, but then thought about it and then started to jack out the rounds when his rifle locked up solid to the point he had to remove the end cap, spring and follower to empty his rifle. Then he had to fix it. He was exceedingly pissed off. And yes, he had loaded too many rounds. He never really said much to me the rest of the match.

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even if a feller did not spin the cylinder (to show empty)

 

it would be hard to load a cylinder

that still had empty brass in it

 

LOL---LOL----LOL

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At a big match, I was a LTO and watched a guy load too many rounds. Now I usually err on the safe side and asked the guy about it. He rudely said that he didn't, but then thought about it and then started to jack out the rounds when his rifle locked up solid to the point he had to remove the end cap, spring and follower to empty his rifle. Then he had to fix it. He was exceedingly pissed off. And yes, he had loaded too many rounds. He never really said much to me the rest of the match.

So did it make you the hero or the goat?

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... having an LTO slap my pistol down on the table because I started to set it on its butt so I could pour powder into the chambers... well, that was over-the-top.

Slapping a firearm in my hand would earn you a punch in the schnozzle. And, how did he expect you to load it?

EDIT okay, maybe not a punch, but definitely a vociferous objection, and possibly some inappropriate speculation as to your maternal relationship.

 

Being an irritating know-it-all, with over-bearing tendencies, takes the fun out of it.

Especially when they don't actually know it all, or much of anything. But then, isn't that usually the case?

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The local clubs I shoot at all use a LTO. Honestly, LTO are not necessary for experienced shooters, but are very helpful for a new shooter. I learned early on to keep my mouth shut (which is hard for me) when good shooters are getting into a "zone" for what they are about to do. I don't want to watch two shooters load at the same time; it's hard enough for me to keep up with one.

 

I enjoy picking up brass the most of all posse jobs, but a bad knee has recently relegated me to the unloading table.

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LTO's are totally dicretionary and un-necessary in my opinion. Shooters in our game are expected to be SAFE or they don't shoot. Surely such a competent sort should be able to load his or her firearms properly by themselves. New shooters and young guns may need a bit more supervision of course.

 

Mongo makes a good point; you can't "supervise" more than one shooter at a time. Therefore, you have a bottleneck that is going to slow down the efficiency of the posse.

 

Additionally, many of us "compete" and the time we spend at the loading table is devoted to not only loading our firearms properly but getting mentally ready to shoot the stage. Having a LTO that interferes with this routine is distracting and leads to mistakes.

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We don't use an LTO at our club either.Some of our State shoots used to but found it primarily un-needed.New shooters being the exception.Most tend to check themselves and the shooters before or behind them for hammer down on empty chamber.As for rifle rounds if you over or underload it that's your responsibility to make sure you have the required number loaded.Our club does supply loading blocks for shooters who choose to use them,but seems most everyone has gone to some type of loading strip.Myself,I use my ammo box.10rounds per row...2 rows 3 guns.If it calls for 9 rifle,then the 10th round goes in my pocket or loop over my holster as a backup til I get back to my cart.We allow and encourage C&B shooters to pre-load at a different location then Cap it at the loading table.Safer and simpler.

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I don't mind a LTO at all but if one asks me to spin my cyclinder after I loaded to make sure I had not loaded too many I would point out the fact that if you would be moving the empty chamber from under the hammer and have to worry about getting back in position. Put one in skip one put in four, lower hammer and you are done and safe. No worries about slipping a hammer down on a loaded chamber.

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I suppose as a new shooter (at this game, anyway) I don't mind a second pair of eyes making sure I'm on the ball. I've got a lot of things running through my head that I am trying to remember, and it is a help. I can say that someone who quietly does their job-basically just observing- is much preferable. Count the rounds in, look for the empty chamber under the hammer, and give a "Good to go." A little chat is good, but not so much as to de-rail my train of thought.

 

It isn't rocket science, and it doesn't need to be an ordeal.

 

I don't shoot percussion, but I have a feeling that if someone slapped my pistol down there would be a very loud "XXX?" for all to hear. Then some education to be given.

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Someone mentioned attitude, well for me some of this stuff is about attitude so I can see me saying NO to this individual in some situations. I am not here to make a control freak or show off happy for the day. If the person can and does give a reasonable reason for asking, then sure, I jump right to it for them. We had an unusual four round revolver stage this past week and fokes were doing some extra inspecting at the loading table. After thinking about the scenario later, I did not like the idea of loading four as it could be asking for safety problems but it did call for extra loading table care.

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