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Leaving The Loading Table With Loaded Pistols...How Far is Too Far?


Cypress Sun

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At the match today, a shooter with holstered loaded pistols left the loading table to retrieve a shotgun from their spouse who was at the unloading table. Shooter got about 20' away before being noticed. One (other) shooter called it a stage DQ and another shooter argued that there is no specified distance concerning how far away is too far away, therefore a no call.

 

For the record, the situation was brought before the match director who ruled SDQ.

 

Regardless of the question, how did the shooter get that far away? In your opinion, how far is too far?

 

In my opinion, anything beyond 5' to 6' is too far. I know some will say that that is even too far.......but that's my opinion.

 

Your's is?

 

CS

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My personal rule has always been just enough to let someone into the LT.

If I see someone getting too far away I usually gently grab their arm and gently yank them back to the table. ;)

It's a great way to meet new people. :lol:

 

I leave my pistols on the table until I'm on deck.

That way if I forgot something (like SG shells) I don't have to fear going to the cart.

I STILL always look at my holsters before leaving the table.

Pretty sure I learned that from you, Sun.

 

SDQ was the right call for sure.

 

 

Waimea

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We allow shooters to holster after loading. We emphatically state in every shooters meeting that wingspan is limit. In a year and a half we haven't had to call it.

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Arm's length, assuming you're not in anyone's way, seems to be as far as most people go.

This is pretty much the "understood" distance most places I've shot at.

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Arms length to someone at the loading table

They could grab you if they wanted to and were paying attention?

20' wow to far

 

If you fail to give the penalty, they just may fail to learn?

I agree.....too often a penalty will not be issued to a new shooter because he is "New". My question would be to them....when is the time right? I for one feel that the penalty needs to be called the same for all. In all cases the penalty needs to be brought to the shooter immediately and the call needs to be made....regardless of "time in the saddle".

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I agree.....too often a penalty will not be issued to a new shooter because he is "New". My question would be to them....when is the time right? I for one feel that the penalty needs to be called the same for all. In all cases the penalty needs to be brought to the shooter immediately and the call needs to be made....regardless of "time in the saddle".

Absolutely.

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A couple of months back we had a territory governor helping a new to SASS shooter. The new guy left the loading table with loaded handguns in his holsters. The governor gave him a stern warning. And threatened to give him a match disqualification if he did it again. The only defense the new shooter made was that he shot other competition and shooters were allowed to walk around with loaded handguns.

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I guess if you can't TOUCH the loading table, you're not AT the loading table, (basketball traveling rule applies ;) ).

 

Fillmore

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Well if it's a covered table I say within that is legal going across the berm is defiantly too far and should be a sdq otherwise I would say six feet from the table sould be the max with several shooters loading the room next to the table gets tight I usually stand aside and if the person be hind be is hanging close to the table I just ask there if they mind scooting my guns down when they do theirs and I'll stay out of the way, it works and gives more room on the table and I'm close now days I might even place a stool there to sit on while waiting for my turn to take the load off my feet and back so I'm not hurting so much during the shooting part of the stage. But I would say arms lenght OT five or six feet at max from table why did someone at the table stop him before he got to far and ask that he leave the guns on the table for safety sake.

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At the match today, a shooter with holstered loaded pistols left the loading table to retrieve a shotgun from their spouse who was at the unloading table. Shooter got about 20' away before being noticed. One (other) shooter called it a stage DQ and another shooter argued that there is no specified distance concerning how far away is too far away, therefore a no call.

 

For the record, the situation was brought before the match director who ruled SDQ.

 

Regardless of the question, how did the shooter get that far away? In your opinion, how far is too far?

 

In my opinion, anything beyond 5' to 6' is too far. I know some will say that that is even too far.......but that's my opinion.

 

Your's is?

 

CS

 

In my opinion, anything beyond one or two stress-related steps or a small circle, while mulling over the shooting sequence is too far.

 

How did he get that far away? You mean across the entire state stage, to the unloading table? Well, you did say people were shouting at him. He simply ignored them and no one tried to physically stop him. He WAS noticed and was called on the infraction.

 

The real question is: Why did this matter even GET to the match director? Did the shooter actually believe that what he did was acceptable? Was there a cadre of shooters arguing that since the distance is undefined in the rules, then ANY distance is okay? That makes no sense, in my opinion.

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I got an idea, have each shooter clip on to an OSHA approved harness with a length of rope (length determined by the individual club). You can't remove yourself from the tether until called to the line.

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We all know what the rule is.......can someone point me to the specific rule regarding leaving the loading table in the Handbooks

 

Thanks in advance

 

PS: Phantom how about shock collars

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Some of the clubs I shoot with have the rule that loaded revolvers must be left on the table until the TO calls the shooter to the line. Other clubs allow holstering. I have developed the habit of keeping one hand on the loading table regardless of where I am shooting, and regardless of whether or not my handguns are holstered. So far, this has helped me avoid a penalty, knock on wood. I am at that delicate age where memory is a concern.

 

;):lol:

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I got an idea, have each shooter clip on to an OSHA approved harness with a length of rope (length determined by the individual club). You can't remove yourself from the tether until called to the line.

+1

 

Fillmore

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Sometimes I feel the folks in this game of SASS CAS get a little too hoplophobic. Most SASS events are held at cold ranges. Convention says he should have left the pistols at the loading table before venturing over to the UT. But think about it for a minute. What possible harm was done by his action? NONE. The loaded pistols were not about to fly out of the holsters and fire on their own. He stayed on the firing line. The entire length of which is where loaded holstered pistols are specifically allowed.

 

No harm, no foul. SDQ is a little hard ass in my opinion which just may be worth less than two centavos to some of you my pards.

 

I shoot at one place that is not a SASS match. We have no written rules. The only spoken rules are two -- have fun and don't shoot nobody. So basically it is a hot range which I am a big advocate of. We have LTs and UTLs and use them as every other place does. But if a pard has already holstered at the LT and needs to go over to his cart no more than 5 to 10 yards away to retrieve something no one is going to say a word. Because NO harm was done, there is nothing inherently unsafe to the action and NO one was in any danger whatsoever. Same with running over to the UT to fetch a shotgun.

 

JMNSHO, YMMV

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About arms length or under the awning of a covered loading area is how I view it. I too leave my revolvers on the table after loading them to avoid the penalty. New shooters who don't know the rules need a coach to help them until they learn the rules. It should not take more than a few matches.

 

Lone Dog: your rules may work OK at your range but your shooters will develop habits that get them penalized and removed from SASS-sanctioned matches. I've seen competitors sent home from EOT with a match DQ. They spent a lot of money just to leave early and make long drive home with a sad face. Do you want to set your shooters up for something like that?

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I remember the first (and last) time I did this. Was my second or third match and forgot shotgun shells after holstering loaded pistols. I got about 5 steps from the table when my mentor bought me and turned me back around. He said "You're gonna get a SDQ next time I see you doin it. That really stuck with me.

 

New shooters got a lot going thru their brain at the loading table that we as seasoned shooters take for granted.

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I favor, (although not in the rules), to not holster until the shooter in front of you has shot through about half of his run, then holster, and I place both long guns butt first on the end of the loading table, barrels straight up. Then I'm fully ready to step to the line when called, without hesitation, or fumbling with holstering, or gathering up guns after I have been called to the line. This will prevent you from walking off with loaded pistols, and will prevent any lost time when called to the line.

 

That's the way I do it. YMMV. RBK

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The only thing I could find (in the RO 1 book) is that one of the loading/unloading table officers duties is to ensure a shooter doesn't leave the table with loaded firearms unless going to the stage. (although I probably just missed the actual rule). I was told and have experienced that being at the table means at the table within arms reach like others have said.

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Our local club has a simple rule for clarifying it. You must be able to touch the LT. Granted, some people have longer wings than others, but it takes out the gray area

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Flying tackles, shock collars and tether ropes/harnesses.....good ideas.

 

Can anyone cite a SASS rule that states you can't leave the loading table with loaded guns......or the penalty?

 

CS

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We all know what the rule is.......can someone point me to the specific rule regarding leaving the loading table in the Handbooks

Yes...someone can...but just doesn't feel like doing your homework for you today.

 

Thanks in advance

 

PS: Phantom how about shock collars

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A couple of months back we had a territory governor helping a new to SASS shooter. The new guy left the loading table with loaded handguns in his holsters. The governor gave him a stern warning. And threatened to give him a match disqualification if he did it again. The only defense the new shooter made was that he shot other competition and shooters were allowed to walk around with loaded handguns.

 

Unless he gave him a SDQ for the violation and was threatening the shooter with a 2nd one for the match, it sounds like your TG needs an RO1 refresher.

Holding that title and wearing a pin (either one) means nothing if he doesn't know the rules.

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RO 1 pg 9

 

G) Never allow a competitor to leave the loading table with a loaded firearm unless they are proceeding directly to the stage or expeditor position.

 

You mean that one?

 

Open to interpretation as to how far away for the loading table is too far.

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I've found opening the proper book then right clicking and using the search option gets me where I want pretty quickly. In this case I searched for Loading Table and it was the second or third item I got.

 

Whups. No that's moving with a cocked loaded firearm and it mentions leaving the loading table that way. I searched all three for "Loading Table" and didn't get a hit for a SDQ.

 

I may have missed something, wouldn't be the first time.

 

Final edit:

 

It has to be failure to adhere to loading and unloading procedures which is listed as SDQ on page 25 of RO1.

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I've found opening the proper book then right clicking and using the search option gets me where I want pretty quickly. In this case I searched for Loading Table and it was the second or third item I got.

But that is a cocked gun. I think Wyatt's pull was correct but what's the distance and what's the penalty. I would have sworn Purty Boy asked this question in the spring but I don't recall seeing an answer.

 

Dang Bill we must have been typing at the same time

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I've found opening the proper book then right clicking and using the search option gets me where I want pretty quickly. In this case I searched for Loading Table and it was the second or third item I got.

 

Control "F" also opens up the search function.

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RO 1 Pg 14 Item 3

 

All firearms will remain unloaded except while under direct observation of a designated person on the firing line or in the designated loading and unloading areas. NOTE: Percussion revolver shooters must ensure they maintain safe muzzle direction during loading and have

fired or cleared all capped chambers prior to leaving the unloading area. It is not permissible to seat percussion caps on a revolver’s nipple using the gun’s hammer. Some Range Officers will require the percussion revolvers be cleared before leaving the firing line. Failure to

adhere to loading and unloading procedures will result in a Stage Disqualification. Leaving the unloading table without clearing all firearms is failure to adhere to unloading procedures and will result in the penalty being assessed on the stage where the infraction was committed.

 

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