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Quesion about 170 Degree Rule


Marauder SASS #13056

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Is it determined by where you stand or where you point the revolver?

 

At a recent match a pard mentioned that the previous stage was unsafe. So I asked him why that was.

He stated that since the shooters shot one pistol, then moved to the right and shot the other, they were automatically breaking the 170 when they turned and holstered their right hand pistol with a strong side holster. He said you either had to pull and holster before turning or draw the left pistol first.

 

I said that when I did that I never broke the 170 and I showed him.

 

He clarified (and this has been included in some well-known training courses) that drawing or holstering the outside revolver was (automatically) breaking the 170. He said it was where the gun was from the firing line.

 

I countered that I understood that it was Where the gun was pointed.

I explained that with the most common holster rigs, the off-side holster was pointed down range, while the "on-side" holster was pointed back towards the gallery. For example, take a look at both of the rigs warn by Captain Baylor in page 50 of the Chronicle

http://www.sopdigita...chronicle/#/50/

 

Notice that if you stand with your left side down range and pull or holster your revolver, the gun is naturally pointing down range. Similarly, if you pull the left, it is more naturally pointing back at the crowd.

 

He also stated that if the holster were a couple feet behind the shooting line, it was "unsafe."

 

I explained that in many cases I would stand a couple feet back from a prop so that i would not catch the gun or my belt, etc on the prop. So by his definition, I was breaking the 170 rule no matter what I did.

 

So could I get clarification of this somewhat confusion issue?

 

 

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The 170º rule refers to MUZZLE direction of a firearm in relation to the stage firing line.

If a revolver muzzle coming from a holster goes from STRAIGHT DOWN (as it clears leather) to a DOWNRANGE orientation (and vice versa when holstering) without any sideways movement, it doesn't matter whether the holster is on the UPrange side of the shooter's body or on the DOWNrange side.

 

Some MD/TG/RO opinions to the contrary regarding crossdraw, twist draw and/or shoulder rigs notwithstanding.

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Some folks freak out when someone unholsters and holsters when the holster is on the UP-range side of the shooter's body but as PWB said, it's not a safety violation.

 

Fillmore

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PWB,

Since this thread seems to be about clarification, Perhaps you could expand on the definition of the firing line.

What with forward movement becoming more popular.

Thanks.

YES!!!

I had a situation shooting a WB match where I was standing within arm's reach of the window, shot 5, turned the pistol to reach the mag release and was called for a 170 violation!! The spotter that called it was right up against the wall, actually in front of where I was!! I see this alot where the spotters are hanging over the Firing Line or right up against a wall or fence or prop ect. They are actually in front of the shooter and inside of the 170!!

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Red,

 

I would say as long as you keep it vertical (within reason).

You could take a few steps, but at some point you have to holster that rascal. But that is just my opinion.

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The 170º rule refers to MUZZLE direction of a firearm in relation to the stage firing line.

If a revolver muzzle coming from a holster goes from STRAIGHT DOWN (as it clears leather) to a DOWNRANGE orientation (and vice versa when holstering) without any sideways movement, it doesn't matter whether the holster is on the UPrange side of the shooter's body or on the DOWNrange side.

 

Some MD/TG/RO opinions to the contrary regarding crossdraw, twist draw and/or shoulder rigs notwithstanding.

Concerning drawing or reholstering I saw demonstrations at a Convention that as the gun muzzle was close to the leather and the barrel was straight up and down (i.e. 180 degrees from firing line), the shooter could even do a complete rotation of his body (including facing the posse while rotating), and he could move either direction parallel to the firing line (using either holster), always keeping his muzzle straight up and down if the holster is a straight hang holster.

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Concerning drawing or reholstering I saw demonstrations at a Convention that as the gun muzzle was close to the leather and the barrel was straight up and down (i.e. 180 degrees from firing line), the shooter could even do a complete rotation of his body (including facing the posse while rotating), and he could move either direction parallel to the firing line (using either holster), always keeping his muzzle straight up and down if the holster is a straight hang holster.

And remember, this applies to a straight hang holster used as a crossdraw.

 

Fillmore

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If a revolver muzzle coming from a holster goes from STRAIGHT DOWN (as it clears leather) to a DOWNRANGE orientation (and vice versa when holstering) without any sideways movement, it doesn't matter whether the holster is on the UPrange side of the shooter's body or on the DOWNrange side

Note PaleWolf's words 'and vice versa when holstering' ... my favorite rig is a buscadaro with both holsters pointing 180 degrees to the ground and the left holster reversed with the revolver butt forward. I draw first from this holster doing the twist. When I finish with that gun, with the muzzle pointing down range, with no sideways movement I transition the revolver to my left hand and do a 'border shift' and the revolver is holstered with the muzzle pointing STRAIGHT DOWN. Per PaleWolf I am not in violation of the 170 rule

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YES!!!

I had a situation shooting a WB match where I was standing within arm's reach of the window, shot 5, turned the pistol to reach the mag release and was called for a 170 violation!! The spotter that called it was right up against the wall, actually in front of where I was!! I see this alot where the spotters are hanging over the Firing Line or right up against a wall or fence or prop ect. They are actually in front of the shooter and inside of the 170!!

 

I was not in front of, nor would it matter. You hit the gun on the window sill which caused you to turn the gun all the way past the 180. It matters not whether you actually sweep someone, the mere fact that you exceed the 170 is the violaton.

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Note PaleWolf's words 'and vice versa when holstering' ... my favorite rig is a buscadaro with both holsters pointing 180 degrees to the ground and the left holster reversed with the revolver butt forward. I draw first from this holster doing the twist. When I finish with that gun, with the muzzle pointing down range, with no sideways movement I transition the revolver to my left hand and do a 'border shift' and the revolver is holstered with the muzzle pointing STRAIGHT DOWN. Per PaleWolf I am not in violation of the 170 rule

Twisting, shifting? What's with the twisting and shifting? This is not necessary with straight-hang holsters.

 

Fillmore

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I was not in front of, nor would it matter. You hit the gun on the window sill which caused you to turn the gun all the way past the 180. It matters not whether you actually sweep someone, the mere fact that you exceed the 170 is the violaton.

Goody, Goody, there wasn't any 'window' there. That was on stage 3 in the 8/10' doorway! You're memory is worse than mine! And you were up next to the 'window' and I was back from the 'doorway' !!

Besides spotters shouldn't be in front of the shooter, that happens alot! The main point is that spotters routinely position themselves inside the 170 when counting!

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To add to what Jack has said, think of stages where we shoot from a "building front."

 

You will often see spotters leaning against the building and looking around it to best see the hits on the targets. Some buildings can be a little more difficult for the spotters to see all the targets as they must.

 

The shooter is generally two or three feet behind the structure so that they can move without banging their guns into the wall, etc. So the result is often that the spotters and even loading and unloading table officers may be within the 170 degree cone. In such cases, the shooter can effectively shoot the stage and generally stay well within about 150 degrees or less and maintain safety. But the stage can be designed so that the shooter is "encouraged" to have their guns almost at the 170 degree angle and thus not maintain safety as we would like.

 

Watch that at your next match and see if that is happening where you shoot.

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YES!!!

I had a situation shooting a WB match where I was standing within arm's reach of the window, shot 5, turned the pistol to reach the mag release and was called for a 170 violation!! The spotter that called it was right up against the wall, actually in front of where I was!! I see this alot where the spotters are hanging over the Firing Line or right up against a wall or fence or prop ect. They are actually in front of the shooter and inside of the 170!!

 

I had this happen too. Again turning the 1911 to hit the mag release. I just wish the spotters would keep back off the line.

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I had this happen too. Again turning the 1911 to hit the mag release. I just wish the spotters would keep back off the line.

 

I've been known to not start when the buzzer goes off or to stop in the middle of a stage if I see a spotter in front of me. I tell the RO, I will not put myself in a penalty situation nor a hazardous situation for the spotter.

 

We have a stage at our home club where the spotters can, and do, stand 3 feet in front of the shooter. I tell everyone on my posse that they may not stand at this location while the shooter is at the other locations.

 

What is the penalty if a spotter breaks the 170? There isn't one for the spotter but for the shooter there is.

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I've been known to not start when the buzzer goes off or to stop in the middle of a stage if I see a spotter in front of me. I tell the RO, I will not put myself in a penalty situation nor a hazardous situation for the spotter.

 

We have a stage at our home club where the spotters can, and do, stand 3 feet in front of the shooter. I tell everyone on my posse that they may not stand at this location while the shooter is at the other locations.

 

What is the penalty if a spotter breaks the 170? There isn't one for the spotter but for the shooter there is.

 

 

Good idea. I'll follow your lead.

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Here's a thought. While we all understand that the 170 does NOT "move with the shooter", that is the 170 ANGLE is always with respect to the firing line, it is perhaps useful to understand that the firing line itself is an imaginary line (often described by props or a fence) that DOES MOVE (uprange or downrange) with the shooter. The actual firing line is ALWAYS a line that passes through the shooter, parallel to the "stage" firing line. If I draw and fire a step behind the props the RO should be a step behind ME, and the counters should be a step behind him, regardless of the prop or other deliniation of the imaginary firing line..... NO SHOOTER should ever SEE a counter while shooting. If he does, the counter is in a faulted position and the shooter should stop immediately.

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*insert tongue ino cheek*

 

Y'know, since this 170 rule is so obviously hard to understand, maybe we should replace it with something else. Maybe something like, I dunno... A cone of safety around the shooter?

 

*remove tongue from cheek*

 

Seriously, I think the 170 rule make perfect sense as written, and anyone who gives it even a modicum of thought, like most of the folks here on the wire, then it is easy to understand. I think these folks who are just trying to look for violations by twisting the meaning of the words have got too much time on their hands, and not enough sense.

 

"It all depends on what your definition of is is..."

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Here's a thought. While we all understand that the 170 does NOT "move with the shooter", that is the 170 ANGLE is always with respect to the firing line, it is perhaps useful to understand that the firing line itself is an imaginary line (often described by props or a fence) that DOES MOVE (uprange or downrange) with the shooter. The actual firing line is ALWAYS a line that passes through the shooter, parallel to the "stage" firing line. If I draw and fire a step behind the props the RO should be a step behind ME, and the counters should be a step behind him, regardless of the prop or other deliniation of the imaginary firing line..... NO SHOOTER should ever SEE a counter while shooting. If he does, the counter is in a faulted position and the shooter should stop immediately.

 

I disagree, slightly. By your definition, the loading & unloading areas may be within the 170. IMHO, there is a "hard" 170 defined by the initial firing line (props, tables, fences), and a "soft" 170 defined by the shooter's position when forward motion is required. With the "hard" 170, the shooter may actually be required to stay within a much smaller cone if he's a few steps back from the line.

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Between loading table and unloading table. And PLEASE, use a little common sense as to where them scattergun barrels are pointing when you to to and from the afore mentioned.

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The reason I ask. there's an article in the October CC about loading table etiquette, in it they mention cross draw shooters must "do the dance" to keep from breaking the 170 with an empty pistol.

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I disagree, slightly. By your definition, the loading & unloading areas may be within the 170. IMHO, there is a "hard" 170 defined by the initial firing line (props, tables, fences), and a "soft" 170 defined by the shooter's position when forward motion is required. With the "hard" 170, the shooter may actually be required to stay within a much smaller cone if he's a few steps back from the line.

 

 

Well obviously a shooter has to be within the prescribed zone to even cock, let alone shoot his guns. But as stated above, if the instructions have ya shooting "through the window" ya don't have to have yer belly aginst the sill, and in many instances (long barreled shotgun comes to mind) ya might need to be back a half a step from the prop to safely operate em. That means yer RO and spotters need to adjust accordingly so's not to be too far forward with regard to the SHOOTER, regardless of the "nominal" firing line. If I see a spotter leaning against a wall out of the corner of my eye, and he's EVEN WITH me, we're done, right now. On the flip side, why in the world would ANYBODY wanna be in the direct path of a blown up gun (which tends to mean even with the receiver of a long gun or cylinder of a revolver)? IF a gun suffers a KaBoom due to a double ball etc, yer gonna git it if yer there. If yer a step back, not only do you NOT distract the shooter (he can't see you out of the corner of his eye) if his gun were to KaBoom, yer unlikely to get hurt.

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Gettin' outta bed in the morning ain't safe enough for some folks. Maruader, youse correct. Visualize a fence post. You probably stand a better chance of convincing it than who you're arguin' wid. Bad Hand, articles in the Chronicle can be written by any ol' ninnie, take 'em with a grain of salt. Spotters that stand within a pace of the shooter in relation to the firing line take their safety in their own hands. No further comment

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The reason I ask. there's an article in the October CC about loading table etiquette, in it they mention cross draw shooters must "do the dance" to keep from breaking the 170 with an empty pistol.

 

If it's the same article I just read, it says:

 

"At the loading table, you must do the twist, dance or whatever it takes to draw the revolver and place it on the table and not sweep anyone."
Oct CC - p.57
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Huh? Place the pistol on the LT? My pistols never touch the table, much less get laid on the table. Pull one, hold it, tho 5 rounds in'er, re-holster. Repeat for the other side. I see no need to ever lay a pistol on the LT. EVER. Good way to get splinters in me dainty hands or scuff up the gun. Sometimes the blanket or astroturf is wet, might cause rust dontchaknow.

 

If a club requires laying the pistols on the LT, I ain't burnin' gas to get there. Hopefully such a silly NON rule is clearly stated on the website or match flyer.

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If it's the same article I just read, it says:

 

Oct CC - p.57

Ok, not a "ninnie"! -_-

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