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Phantom, SASS #54973

The "CONE OF SAFETY"...

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There is no doubt that it happens. The basic idea of the 180 (170) is OK. I recall the issue of a common firing line where the loading/unloading tables are set right on the line. A shooter that stands back from the line vs a shooter that hugs the line would have a wider cone, that might bring the Loading/unloading table into that cone. IMO the 170 call has always been somewhat subjective as to whether it was just inside or just outside the cone. If it is just outright flagrant, then there is little doubt, other wise there are hairs to split. This is all covered in the RO III. As last I remember, BJZ has a good grasp on it.  JMHO JMO

 

Snakebite

Edited by Snakebite

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36 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

And I was with you...hence my apology in this post.

 

The fact is that folks break the 180 ALL THE TIME and it's not being called...the two primary reasons for the violations not being called are:

 

1. Folks don't understand the rules.

2. Folks will get jumped all over by other "Cowboys" for trying to make the correct call.

 

Doesn't take #2 happening too many times before one says !)@*#! it, I'm done calling it.

 

So any brilliant ideas for solving this situation or are ya'll going to be like some and bury your head in the sand and pretend that the issue doesn't exist.

 

Phantom

 

Reading thorugh the TG notes on the issue, the problems you are describing now were the same ones the cone was designed to address

 

Quote

This proposal is the result of the need to address specific problems currently existing in the SASS shooting community at large, namely that rules regarding the drawing and holstering of revolvers are not being applied consistently and in some cases, correctly.

 

Issues regarding safe muzzle direction while drawing and holstering revolvers are not exclusive to the “cross-draw” or “shoulder” holsters. Shooters who use straight-hang holsters sometimes break safe muzzle direction while drawing their revolvers in a rushed, “forward” motion, allowing the muzzle to point behind the shooter. They also break safe muzzle direction while holstering their revolvers, when on occasion they “miss” their holster on their first attempt while moving, causing a loss of muzzle control. Even when allowing the straight-hang holster exception for drawing and holstering, when safe muzzle directions are violated, penalties are seldom awarded. (Note that the “straight-hang” holster exception applies to ALL holsters worn with “zero cant,” including those worn in the manner of a cross-draw, either on the belt or as a shoulder rig.

 

Shooters who use canted holsters, whether using a cross-draw plus strong side configuration, or a double canted “forward” configuration sometimes break safe muzzle direction when they draw and holster without turning their bodies in order to align their muzzles in a safe direction. These safety violations are also sometimes ignored, as are the straight-hang issues described above. However, shooters who wear canted holsters toward the center of their bodies, and stand with that strong foot forward, are NOT required to “twist” their bodies, as their muzzles are already aligned in a safe direction by virtue of the way they stand and how they wear their holsters.

 

Safety issues involving muzzle direction while drawing and holstering are NOT the exclusive territory of the canted or “cross-draw” holsters. It is clear that techniques need to be defined for all types of holsters, with “safety and simplicity

 

If we as a group are to address it, there are a couple options. 

 

1. Edict from the Wild Bunch resulting in a rule change. Don't laught...it has happened before.

 

2. Bring up the cone again to the TGs and see if it passes this time.  I say this knowing there might be some heartburn with it.  But I noticed that, in the same TG vote where this was defeated, adding FCGF was also defeated. So, you never know.

 

3. like you suggest, see if someone else can come up with a better idea and run it up the TG flagpole.

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53 minutes ago, Jailhouse Jim, SASS #13104 said:

While this is true, it isn't the sweeping of oneself that it the issue, it's the angle of the sidearm pointing uprange while holstering, albeit with the shooter in front of the barrel.  

 

Phantom is right in that the folks that transition to the weak hand to holster a cross draw are the bulk of the offenders.  I started a thread a couple of years ago and was summarily trashed by the folks who said they always make those calls and that they rarely happen.  The thread went for several pages with no one really understanding what I was trying to get across.  The fact is, the violation happens all the time while rarely being addressed.

 

I have actually had to demonstrate the violation to guilty parties so they truly understood what they were doing wrong as well as a technique to alleviate the situation.  Most were unaware of the sidearm's orientation during the holstering sequence.

I see just as many violations with strong side holsters. If one misses their holster, and it goes over the back of the holster (up range) it's worse than any cross draw. Seen it many, many times at WR and other matches. I did mention it to members of the ROC and was told to call the infraction. That's a quick way to become hated by a whole bunch of shooters. We either need to give the shooters some leeway or make everything go back to the table. Thus, the "Cone of Safety". If 25% of the shooters are called for breaking the 170 at a match, how many of those won't come back to the range because they thought they were wrongly penalized for something that everyone else does? We need to look for solutions not trash talk others regarding this and come up with a common sense resolution. No one wants to be given a penalty for a questionable call, the solution needs to go to the favor of the shooter. This is another reason no one wants to volunteer to be a posse leader, they don't want to be the final say on an infraction that will make one an instant bad guy.

 

Think about this. We can pull our loaded pistols and move laterally and down range all day long. If a shooter pulls a pistol as they are moving left to right from their right holster are they breaking the 180, I don't think it's physically possible to not break the 170 in this condition. We need to give the shooters room to move, and reholster safely, and continue to be safe for all others. I'm thinking we do give the shooters a little room on this now, it just needs to be clarified and named something just to keep things the same across the SASS world. A blatant infraction is one thing, a questionable call we can't all agree on is another.

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30 minutes ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

 

Reading thorugh the TG notes on the issue, the problems you are describing now were the same ones the cone was designed to address

 

 

If we as a group are to address it, there are a couple options. 

 

1. Edict from the Wild Bunch resulting in a rule change. Don't laught...it has happened before.

 

2. Bring up the cone again to the TGs and see if it passes this time.  I say this knowing there might be some heartburn with it.  But I noticed that, in the same TG vote where this was defeated, adding FCGF was also defeated. So, you never know.

 

3. like you suggest, see if someone else can come up with a better idea and run it up the TG flagpole.

I'm not fully conversant with the "Cone" concept, but would it be fair to say that a potential problem has been pointed out, ie unequal enforcement of the rules regarding the 170, and the proposed solution is to change the rules?  I'm not sure how that helps, or am I missing something (probably)?  If people aren't enforcing the current rules, how does a change to a new rule make them more prone to enforcement?  It sounds to me like the problem(s) are the people behind the timer, not the rules. 

Edited by Captain Bill Burt

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1 minute ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I'm not fully conversant with the "Cone" concept, but would it be fair to say that a potential problem has been pointed out, ie unequal enforcement of the rules regarding the 170, and the proposed solution is to change the rules?  I'm not sure how that helps, or am I missing something (probably)?  If people aren't enforcing the current rules, now does a change to a new rule make them more prone to enforcement?  It sounds to me like the problem(s) are the people behind the timer, not the rules. 

 

If the rules are great the way they are, and enforcement is the only issue, then why is there so much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth and hopes and prayers that the 'cocked rifle trip from the LT to the stage' rule is changed? Both issues have root in the same as the astute argument you point out here.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

 

If the rules are great the way they are, and enforcement is the only issue, then why is there so much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth and hopes and prayers that the 'cocked rifle trip from the LT to the stage' rule is changed? Both issues have root in the same as the astute argument you point out here.

 

 

I never said the rules are great the way they are, nor did I say that enforcement is the only issue.  My response was directed solely at the issue at hand, the 170, not the rules as a whole.  

 

I'm not sure I agree with your statement about the cocked rifle.  That doesn't seem to be a similar issue to me.  It's an easy transgression to see, and in my experience is always called.   People can, and do, argue after the fact about whether they've broken the 170.  It's pretty hard to argue your hammer isn't cocked when the TO is looking at it and it's clearly cocked.   I think the argument there is whether we need that stiff of a penalty for a cocked hammer over an empty chamber.  Are you saying we have a problem with people coming to the line with cocked hammers and not getting called for it?


The argument at hand, as I understand it, is that the 170 isn't being evenly enforced and changes need to be made to address that.  That's not the argument I'M making, but it seems to be Phantom's position. 

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FYI

 

The result of the vote on that item was as follows: For 50 (15.06%), Against 278 (83.73%), Abstain 4 (1.2%)

 

The club I represent was overwhelmingly in favor of it, as was I.

 

If you think I led them to that conclusion, the following is the summary I sent them to come to their conclusion. (I won't blame anyone for not reading it as it is way longer than my usual post text.)

 

  1. Should we adopt the circle of safety concept for the drawing and holstering of handguns from all types of holsters? Holsters must still comply with the 30 degree maximum cant from vertical requirement and handgun muzzles must remain within the four foot circle of safety while drawing and holstering.

 

 Informational Comments Derived from the RO Committee Proposal

  • The October 2009 Territorial Bulletin, pages 4 and 5, has a description and visual aid of the concept  and can be found at the following Web page, http://sassnet.com/Downloads/tg/TGBulletin0909sm.pdf
  • The intent of the proposed rule is to describe a concept that will work uniformly for shooters wearing all types of holsters (not just canted cross-draw holsters) and be applied consistently.
  • A common misconception is that shooters may not draw or holster revolvers when they are up-range. Nothing in the current rules prevents shooters from drawing their up-range revolver, provided muzzle rules (170-degree cone, with exception for straight-hang holsters) are not broken.
  • A canted holster at 30 degrees from the vertical, being worn at waist level (reference height of waist 3’4”) will have the center line of the holstered muzzle point at a position on the ground approximately. 1’ 10 ¾” away from the shooter. Considering some room for error and those taller folks wearing holsters slightly higher, a “circle of safety” with a 2’ radius (4’ diameter) was conceived.
  • The Circle of Safety (COS) or Safety Cone can be visualized as a four-foot-diameter circle on the ground that is centered on the holster and revolver being used.
  • If the muzzle points down within the circle, then all movement while drawing and holstering is acceptable and shooters wearing canted holsters would not have to twist their bodies.

 

Pros

  • Under current rules, shooters who wear canted holsters toward the center of their bodies or stand with their foot forward and angled to the side, which rotates the holster, are NOT required to “twist” their bodies (do the “cross draw dance”); however, some have been incorrectly penalized for not doing so.
  • Currently, users of straight hang holsters are allowed to break the 170 when drawing and holstering, yet there is no limit to how far can they break the 170 without penalty, which could be a SDQ for unsafe gun handling. The Circle of Safety is a quantification of this exception, as well as providing the realization that a gun pointed at one piece of dirt is the same as a different gun pointed at the same piece of dirt, regardless of the kind of holster it came out of.
  • Behavioral studies have led to the concept of personal space, which “is the region surrounding a person that affects them psychologically in terms of it being their domain or territory, or about which they feel uncomfortable if entered by another.” This quote is from the following Web page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_space . The TO’s violation the shooters personal space can lead to nervousness and hesitation. Increasing the shooters nervousness is to be avoided for obvious reasons. Causing hesitation is an unfair handicap to the shooter. The COS corresponds with this definition of the shooters “personal space” and could help the TO know where to stand.
  • The proposal reduces the complexity for the shooter and the TO by eliminating some of the currently misunderstood and misapplied procedures, by focusing on only two important requirements, enforcement of the 30-degree-maximum holster cant and vigilance about muzzle control.
  • A four-foot circle is easier for most people to visualize than is 170 degrees, which could lead to more consistent enforcement of safety rules.
  • In rebuttal to the argument, that this would increase the odds of a cocked firearm being pointed uprange, the Timer Operator (TO) is required to watch for and prevent such an event in the process of “safely assisting” the shooter.
  • An uncocked or empty gun pointed at the ground is just as safe as a cocked gun pointed in the huge area past the 170 and above 45 degrees.
  • Folks have expressed concern over accidents with guns pointed uprange. For example, the shooter could trip, fall, and fire (an uncocked or empty gun) and this is somehow less safe than the potential for falling with a cocked gun within the 170. The rebuttal is that when one falls either gun's muzzle could go in an unexpected direction. An uncocked or empty gun would seem to be safer regardless of direction it is pointed.
  • The TO can still maintain safe control of the shooter by staying at arm’s length from outside of the circle, which is the appropriate TO position under current rules.
  • Experienced shooters rarely turn in unexpected directions. Uprange would be unexpected, downrange, left or right would not be. They know not to turn uprange as it would be a waste of time and unsafe. TOs give more care to keeping inexperienced shooters pointed in the right direction, or they should not be TOs for inexperienced shooters, which is no different than the situation under the current rules.
  • It is rare that an inexperienced shooter points the gun uprange or moves so fast that the TO cannot control them
  • USPSA rule 10.5.6 has the following definition of unsafe gun handling: “While facing downrange, allowing the muzzle of a loaded handgun to point uprange beyond a radius of 3 feet from a competitor’s feet while drawing or re-holstering." The circle concept is one foot smaller in radius and two feet smaller in diameter than the USPA rule describes.
  • It seems to be safer to be able to draw or holster your pistols from a stance that corresponds to the scenario rather than swiveling your hips while attempting to draw or holster. A moving gun is more difficult to draw and a moving holster is more difficult to hit.
  • Some of the rare situations described by the opponents of this proposal could happen with current rules, if the TO is not doing his or her job. A shooter turning uprange with a loaded, cocked gun is extremely rare with an attentive TO. Although, SASS rules do not require the TO to count shots fired, many good TOs do so to “safely assist the shooter through the course of fire.”

 

Cons

  • Some of those against the proposal say they will not run the timer and the club they represent will not honor the rule if it passes.
  • The 170 is too hard for folks to call so they don't, this would add another layer of subjectivity and complexity when making a safety call.
  • This would increase the odds of a cocked firearm being pointed uprange or in an unexpected direction.
  • This would loosen safety rules and encourage unsafe gun handling.
  • The short barrel of a pistol makes it the easiest gun to sweep someone with and the hardest gun for the RO to see at all times. Current rules require a shooter using a cross-draw holster to position their body to diminish the chance of sweeping someone while drawing or reholstering. The stance of the shooter helps the TO judge the risk of the shooter sweeping other participants when the TO cannot see the muzzle. The circle would permit the cross-draw gun to be drawn with no restriction on body position and increase the likelihood of uprange sweeps.
  • Some ranges prohibit muzzle direction from breaking the 180. Therefore, shooters would not be able to follow this rule consistently at all SASS matches.
  • A shooter could attempt to reholster a gun with only four shots fired (shooter's mistake) and cocked on a live round, while the gun is facing uprange. An AD in this case would most likely hit the ground (or rock or gravel) and could proceed well behind the shooter still traveling at a speed that could injure a person many yards behind the shooter.
  • As those who shoot gunfighter style may have two loaded guns in their hands, there are two cones of safety for them, one for each holster. This increases the circle beyond a four-foot diameter. As a shooter moves, while holstering or drawing, the cones move and the pistols may be pointed anywhere within those circles.
  • The circle concept allows a loaded gun to be pointed up range up to 35 degrees past the 170 when drawing or holstering the gun. (The 35 degrees is 5 degrees plus the 30 degrees defining the two-foot radius). A shooter could draw the right-side loaded pistol, turn right and run to the right, while holding the pistol in a position at waist level, with the loaded pistol pointing up-range two feet within the moving cone. Then the shooter could turn to the left to shoot. With a shooter moving fast, it may be difficult for a TO to make a call, let alone control the shooter, and very hard to prove that the pistol was not in the moving circle. Under current rules, if the shooter starts to get close to the 170, the TO can react. In the preceding situation, the shooter can legally point the pistol up to 35 degrees past the 170, while the time for the TO to react is much smaller.
  • The cone adds a level of complexity to the one place where shooters don't need it — at the beginning of a stage. Safety is always decreased when we increase the pressure on the shooter, especially at the point of the buzzer (which is, in effect, the moment of highest stress for the shooter).
  • This is not about safety nor does it make the range safer for participants or bystanders. It is a play to even the playing field for users of canted-cross-draw holsters.
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12 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I never said the rules are great the way they are, nor did I say that enforcement is the only issue.  My response was directed solely at the issue at hand, the 170, not the rules as a whole.  

 

I'm not sure I agree with your statement about the cocked rifle.  That doesn't seem to be a similar issue to me.  It's an easy transgression to see, and in my experience is always called.   People can, and do, argue after the fact about whether they've broken the 170.  It's pretty hard to argue your hammer isn't cocked when the TO is looking at it and it's clearly cocked.   I think the argument there is whether we need that stiff of a penalty for a cocked hammer over an empty chamber.  Are you saying we have a problem with people coming to the line with cocked hammers and not getting called for it?


The argument at hand, as I understand it, is that the 170 isn't being evenly enforced and changes need to be made to address that.  That's not the argument I'M making, but it seems to be Phantom's position. 

But, you see, the proposed rule change is going to cause as much of a problem, if not more, than the existing 170 issue we are discussing here....and here is why...

 

The proposal is not to change the rule to remove the penalty for moving with a cocked penalty for a cocked hammer over an empty chamber.

 

The proposal is to only remove it for moving from the LT to the stage position with a cocked hammer over an empty chamber on the rifle.

 

You do it with a SG, it is stil a SDQ.

 

You do it during the course of fire, it is still a SDQ.

 

You do it from the course of fire to the ULT, it is still a SDQ.

 

How many people with pick up on this distinction? How long will it be, if the issue passes as currently proposed, until enforcement of these other areas that are not covered by the rule change will be missed over because people do not see the distinction?

Edited by Branchwater Jack SASS #88854

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Thanks Allie.  Very helpful!

 

Now that I have a better understanding of the "Cone" I have to say it doesn't sound as if it would address the problem as stated.  So the problem (supposedly) is people won't call the 170, at least not in Colorado, because it's hard to see the violation, or they're afraid they'll get chewed out, or something.  So we replace the 170 with an invisible cone that varies in size depending upon the shooter's shooting style (gunfighter, traditional).  This invisible cone will be easier to see and make people more willing to call violations.  How will that work exactly?  It actually sounds even harder to see and call, not easier. 

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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10 minutes ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

But, you see, the proposed rule change is going to cause as much of a problem, if not more, than the existing 170 issue we are discussing here....and here is why...

 

The proposal is not to change the rule to remove the penalty for moving with a cocked penalty for a cocked hammer over an empty chamber.

 

The proposal is to only remove it for moving from the LT to the stage position with a cocked hammer over an empty chamber on the rifle.

 

You do it with a SG, it is stil a SDQ.

 

You do it during the course of fire, it is still a SDQ.

 

You do it from the course of fire to the ULT, it is still a SDQ.

 

How many people with pick up on this distinction? How long will it be, if the issue passes as currently proposed, until enforcement of these other areas that are not covered by the rule change will be missed over because people do not see the distinction?

I don't take issue with these statements Jack, I just don't see the connection between them and the OP's topic.  Of course I just ate at Pig n Chik, so all that pulled pork, fried okra and collard greens might have me operating a little slower than usual.

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I recall a specific incident at a monthly where a Black Pin instructor stopped the posse after three 170° violations in a row while holstering cross draws to bring it to the attention of the entire group.  It was effective for a stage or two then the same violaters were back in the same rut.  No SDQs were called, the BPI simply gave up and stopped running the timer so he wasn't in a position to make an unpopular call.

 

Breaking the 180° with straight hang holsters happens too but usually less frequently and generally when the holster is missed.  It happens with long guns while moving as well so this isn't solely a cross draw problem, it is a consistency in enforcement problem.  The cone would officially address the holstering issue and give the shooters a bit of latitude.

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I will say this,, if a shooter has crotch holsters, he will break the 170 nearly 100% of the time,,, unless he does the dance for each revolver drawn.   if he shoots with one leg forward for each revolver (keeping it in the same postition)  he will break the 170 period,,,  if he moves left to right and draws or holsters the left revolver he will break the 170 and vice versa,  and like Phamtom, I taint gonna be one of the few calling it and taking the heat, I've even shown vids of violations and was told,, oh, that's ok,,,

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8 minutes ago, Cheyenne Culpepper 32827 said:

I will say this,, if a shooter has crotch holsters, he will break the 170 nearly 100% of the time,,, unless he does the dance for each revolver drawn.   if he shoots with one leg forward for each revolver (keeping it in the same postition)  he will break the 170 period,,,  if he moves left to right and draws or holsters the left revolver he will break the 170 and vice versa,  and like Phamtom, I taint gonna be one of the few calling it and taking the heat, I've even shown vids of violations and was told,, oh, that's ok,,,

Not to be adversarial PB, but I wear 'crotch holsters' and I don't break the 170, in fact I'm not really understanding the physical constraints you're thinking about and how they would necessitate a violation.  In fact, I think the location and shape of canted 'crotch holsters' allow the shooter to keep the muzzle slightly down range while drawing and holstering whereas straight drop holsters require the muzzle be almost straight down to reholster. 

 

Are you saying the 'crotch holster' is so close to the midline that a shooter who is holstering his right pistol is breaking the 170 on his left side?  If that's true wouldn't the holsters have to be closer than two fists apart?

Edited by Captain Bill Burt
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I'll ask this,, for the two fist rule,,  does that apply all the way down or just at the belt?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Cheyenne Culpepper 32827 said:

I'll ask this,, for the two fist rule,,  does that apply all the way down or just at the belt?

 

 

Interesting that you bring that up.  I shot a match yesterday and noticed a shooter whose holsters were easily two fists apart, basically on the outer parts of each of her thighs, but the upper part of the holsters where they loop over the belt were very wide and were not two fists apart. 

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7 minutes ago, Cheyenne Culpepper 32827 said:

I'll ask this,, for the two fist rule,,  does that apply all the way down or just at the belt?

 

 

SHB pg 3

Quote

Main match holsters must be located one on each side of the belly button and
separated by at least the width of two fists at the belt. (Note: Pocket pistol and
derringer holsters are not “main match” holsters)

 

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ok,, wanted to be clear,,,with them two fists apart at the belt the are virtually two crossdraws,,, if the left leg is forward the left holster will be pointing up range, if drawn or holsterd in that position the 170 will be broken,,,   I was told that if the revolver was oriented straight down it isn't a problem,,,  question,,, have you ever seen one oriented straight down while being drawn or holstered?   I may be missing something but I haven't

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32 minutes ago, Cheyenne Culpepper 32827 said:

ok,, wanted to be clear,,,with them two fists apart at the belt the are virtually two crossdraws,,, if the left leg is forward the left holster will be pointing up range, if drawn or holsterd in that position the 170 will be broken,,,   I was told that if the revolver was oriented straight down it isn't a problem,,,  question,,, have you ever seen one oriented straight down while being drawn or holstered?   I may be missing something but I haven't

 

 

When you say shooter standing left leg forward, are you saying (at the extreme) the shooter standing hips perpendicular to the firing line with his left leg downrange, right leg up range? Or just that he is standing hips parallel to the firing line with his left foot forward.

 

I guess it's more about hips than feet.

 

If you are saying the shooter is standing perpendicular to the firing line, I agree with you.  The same way that, if a shooter is using a straight hang holster, he would have issues drawing the up range holster when standing perpendicular to the firing line.

 

I would also agree that there is a range somewhere greater/less than shooter standing hips parallel to the firing line that they run the risk of breaking the 170 in that scenario.

Edited by Branchwater Jack SASS #88854

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My holsters are canted. When I draw, as soon as the revolver "breaks" it naturally goes vertical while still in the holster negating that perceived violation. Could that not be how they are drawing as well?

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21 minutes ago, Branchwater Jack SASS #88854 said:

SHB pg 3

 

Yeah, the two fists are at the belt, but what part of the holsters are we referencing.  Not to be a nitpicker, but the person I observed if you put two hands together at the belt the hands will be on top of the upper part of the holster, but the part of the holsters with the guns in them will be farther apart than your hands.  It was an odd looking rig, as I said, very wide upper attachments on the holster. 

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170 violations are the hardest to call. Usually close, and brief. I’ve only seen a couple called, and one that was called I think wa really a prop failure. 

 

Ive called one. Fairly new shooter, shot 5 out of pistol cocked again and pulled trigger CLICK. cocked again, I said that’s all in that gun, pull the trigger and holster. Shooter turned around to face me, with cocked (but empty) pistol pointed at my gut, and said Huh???  

SDQ. 

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1 hour ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Thanks Allie.  Very helpful!

 

Now that I have a better understanding of the "Cone" I have to say it doesn't sound as if it would address the problem as stated.  So the problem (supposedly) is people won't call the 170, at least not in Colorado, because it's hard to see the violation, or they're afraid they'll get chewed out, or something.  So we replace the 170 with an invisible cone that varies in size depending upon the shooter's shooting style (gunfighter, traditional).  This invisible cone will be easier to see and make people more willing to call violations.  How will that work exactly?  It actually sounds even harder to see and call, not easier. 

It's not just Colorado. I don't really care about the state or region. The shooters need some room. Maybe, call it the 5 foot rule or Mombo rule.

The name means nothing except the "Cone of Safety" sounded like something from the old Get Smart show and it was doomed from the beginning due to the "Cone" thing. If one can't see what the shooter is doing because you are behind him and not next to him, he is able to manipulate the stage safely without subjective infractions. This may not be an issue where everything is stand and deliver or just a couple steps between shoot positions. In this part of the country we are blessed with big bays which allow lots of lateral and downrange movement. We have many exceptional shooters, they move quickly and shoot rather expeditiously. It's not always easy to see what's going on. I've been unfairly penalized in the past and I just quit going to those clubs until the perpetrators left the club or died. Once I had my pistol barrel partially in the holster and turned to start moving to my right and got called for breaking the 170. It was on video, and the guy had a loud mouth. Video can't be used and I accrued a SDQ. I'm just saying, give the shooter about 5 feet, stay out of the way , and then if you see the infraction it'll probably be seen by more than one person. I've shot in many states and seen stuff that should have been called, due to not knowing anyone there I was cautious in calling subjective infractions. If I discussed it with others that saw the same thing, no problem. I heard a guy was crowding a shooter at EOT in 2018 and the shooter got a SDQ because the spotter broke the 180 and called the shooter on it. I'm all about safety, there needs to be some clarity and not just stating it's against the rules to break the 170. Get back and let the shooters shoot.

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I would appreciate having all spotters and brass pickers stand back while the shooter is shooting whenever possible.  Many stage designs do not allow for easy spotting without crowding the line of fire.  By having the cross draw holster canted down the inside of the left thigh and the left leg forward I would think you are eliminating the "dance".  It is cross draw holsters sitting on the side of the hip and pointing backwards I would be more concerned about.  I would have no concerns of going to the cone concept.  

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So I have shot a crossdraw at times.  And FJT taught me to use the offhand for reholstering.  When done correctly, there is no violation of the 170. . . but it is also nearly impossible for anyone to tell what it is that is going on at the holster mouth on either drawing or reholstering from a spotters perspective.  Video evidence is not allowed, but maybe that is something we should consider and I don't necessarily mean video everything, but drawing and reholstering could be video taped and used as an educational aid.  Keep in mind some of us are drawing and holstering at the same time and if you don't understand our movements, you might well be missing the bits that matter.

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7 minutes ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

………..When done correctly, there is no violation of the 170. . . but it is also nearly impossible for anyone to tell what it is that is going on at the holster mouth on either drawing or reholstering from a spotters perspective...………. Keep in mind some of us are drawing and holstering at the same time and if you don't understand our movements, you might well be missing the bits that matter.

These points are a fact. Another fact is that we have some folks that are far too eager to ding someone and some folks that are far too timid to make a call WHEN NECESSARY. It's almost as bad as using the inclinometer to find out if the holster is 29 degrees or 31 degrees. I can tell this, if I need a inclinometer to find out, it's going to be 29 degrees. Basically the same goes for making a call on the 170.... if it's so close that it needs to be discussed, then it's going to be 169 degrees. If there is absolutely no doubt, then it should be obvious to the most casual observer and especially to those that are charged with making the call.  If you have a shooter that is getting close to the edge let them know that they have reached 169 degrees so that they can be a bit more cautious before it becomes 171 degrees.  

 

Snakebite

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34 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

These points are a fact. Another fact is that we have some folks that are far too eager to ding someone and some folks that are far too timid to make a call WHEN NECESSARY. It's almost as bad as using the inclinometer to find out if the holster is 29 degrees or 31 degrees. I can tell this, if I need a inclinometer to find out, it's going to be 29 degrees. Basically the same goes for making a call on the 170.... if it's so close that it needs to be discussed, then it's going to be 169 degrees. If there is absolutely no doubt, then it should be obvious to the most casual observer and especially to those that are charged with making the call.  If you have a shooter that is getting close to the edge let them know that they have reached 169 degrees so that they can be a bit more cautious before it becomes 171 degrees.  

 

Snakebite

+Infinity

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9 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

And I don't want to hear from the WIRE yahoos that will try and sound soooo tough about how they will always make the call. Come with me, I'll pay your entry fees to all matches. YOU make the calls...see how they'll stick.

 

Phantom

I'll take you up on that. Can't guarantee I'll make the right calls, but I'll do just about anything to get to some different shoots haha

 

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5 minutes ago, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

I'll take you up on that. Can't guarantee I'll make the right calls, but I'll do just about anything to get to some different shoots haha

 

Come on over any time. I'll pay your fees.

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Just now, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Come on over any time. I'll pay your fees.

Only if I get to buy the beer. I'd probably come out behind in the end, but totally worth it

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Many shooters have their holsters angled with the bucket mouth out away from their body and the toe pointed in, to present the grip for a faster, easier grab. 

A canted strong-side holster positioned in front of the shooter's body to the right of the buckle and square to the line,

is the same as

a cross-draw holster positioned in front of the shooter's body to the left of the buckle and square to the line. 

To holster, the gun is pointed towards the body, and by extension, pointed uprange.   

The cross-draw shooter is likely to be called on it.  The shooter with the strong side holster will not be. 

Edited by McCandless
Grammar
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I found the article about the Cone of Safety very descriptive and I find Assassin and Allie Mo to have expressed many of the thoughts I have about holstering a pistol on the same side to which there is going to be lateral movement. I also agree with Phantom on the absence of calls because too many believe the Exception gives latitude in accidental uprange holstering practices. As Pale Wolf points out, it does not!

 

Clearly the drawing and holstering of a pistol needs to be better defined so safety is maintained and violations are more easily recognized. Very definitive video can be developed to clarify what is safe - a video which can be shown on anyone's cell phone and a required viewing before signing the range or club waiver. 

 

With all of the interest being shown on this topic string, how can someone get a meaningful rule modification request initiated?  I will gladly volunteer to help develop the language, develop sketches, and participate in video development. A 10 minute video is something shooters can look at and see if they are in compliance or see where they need to make equipment or handling changes.

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9 hours ago, Russ The Red said:

With all of the interest being shown on this topic string, how can someone get a meaningful rule modification request initiated?  I will gladly volunteer to help develop the language, develop sketches, and participate in video development. A 10 minute video is something shooters can look at and see if they are in compliance or see where they need to make equipment or handling changes.

All rule changes are going to start by talking with your TG, @Kid Bucklin. TGs are the folks tasked with the ability to run ideas like that up the flagpole for change.

Edited by Branchwater Jack SASS #88854
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We just recently shot the World Championship of Cowboy Action Shooting.  How many 170 rule violations occurred?   There were black badges there as well as many of you.  Common sense prevails.  Not everyone is afraid of calling the rule and not everyone is out there to penalize someone.  The cone of safety would validate what we are probably already calling.  Talk to your TG' s and bring it up.  I had never heard of the cone of safety and would not have known what you are talking about.  Let's keep our sport safe yet have reasonable realistic expectations for cross draws as well as strong side shooters.

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The Cone of Safety failed, imo, because it was too complex in explanation.  Moving cones depending on gun position, multiple cones for a gunfighter, etc. etc.

Folks eyes were glazed over long before you got to the finish line and the response universally was, "the 170 works".

 

If our intent is safety - then I would propose a three component simpler method.

The safety corridor.

The shooters half box combined with the 180

 

First. 

The  safety corridor.

Imagine an three sided rectangle encompassing the width of the firing line and four foot deep - open on the firing line side.

When the firing line is hot - Only the shooter and timer may ever be within this corridor.

No spotter/ spectator/ brass picker, etc. may ever be within this corridor.

Any person violating this space is subject to penalty. 

 

Basically a buffer zone to separate shooters and non shooters.

 

If the shooter moves downrange - this corridor moves with them. But always encompassing the whole of the firing line to maintain that minimal four foot space behind.

 

Second.

The shooters half box. 

This box is three sided with the open side ALWAYS facing downrange. I.e. regardless of the orientation of the shooters body - the box does not rotate.

Facing downrange - The left / right / rear sides of the box are THREE foot from the shooters shoulders and back.

The sides of the box begin at the midpoint of the shooters shoulders (the 180) and go rearward.

The barrel of any firearm may never point at any point outside (side and rearward) of this half box.

 

This is simple to visualize.

Builds in a safety buffer.

And allows for crossdraw, straight hang, drawing and holstering on the move without gymnastics and handwringing over "looks like" and "almost"

 

Violations of this will be obvious for calls and penalty.

While the safety corridor maintains a buffer to minimize any potential risk.

Edited by Creeker, SASS #43022
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