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Outrun the gun? What’s that?


Cypress Sam, SASS #10915

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I see comments frequently saying someone has “outrun the gun”.  The apparent meaning is that they are so fast that some function does not get completed before the next one starts.  Possible examples:

 

1.  Lifter tries to rise before next round comes out of magazine.

2.  Bolt begins to open before hammer completes its fall.

3.  Bolt opens and cycles before empty can be ejected completely.

 

The rifles (and their clones) I’m referring to here are:  Winchesters  ‘73, 66 & 92, Marlin 94 and Colt Lightning.

 

The bottom line for me is that I don’t believe it is possible for anyone to actually “outrun” the rifle.

 

If a rifle has the hammer Springsteen off lightened to the point it falls so slow that the action can be closed and reopened before it completes its fall, the obvious thing to do is increase the speed of the hammer fall by increasing the spring tension.
 

The most common gun I hear of people outrunning is the Model 92.  I don’t think they are outrunning the 92.  Their timing is just off.  A 92 has an internal mechanical firing pin block that prevents Out of battery discharges.  When running the gun at speed, there is a limited time that the firing pin can reach the primer.  If the trigger is pulled too soon or too late, the hammer will still fall but the firing pin is blocked from hitting the primer (a good thing since OOBD’s are bad).

 

The ‘73 doesn’t have a firing pin block (at least not the Uberti), only the lever safety which blocks the trigger.  This will not prevent OOBD’s if the gun is run really fast with uber-light springs.  It’s possible, theoretically at least, to have a discharge after the action unlocks and begins to open.  

 

Marlin 94’s have both types of safety, even with the one piece firing pin commonly used in that model.  Their stock lever stroke is shorter than the 92  and they can be short stroked as well.  I’ve not heard of OOBD’s in either Marlins or 92’s though.  
 

My opinion is that when someone says they are outrunning a 92, their timing is just off slightly.  They are not outrunning the actions capabilities.  

 

 

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I agree 100%.  Outrunning the gun doesn't actually happen.  Years ago I shot IPSC/USPSA many people claimed to be outrunning the old war horse 1911.  I don't remember who paid the bill but ultra slow-motion showed that it was actually shooter error.

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TRUE!!!   Outrunning guns is a REAL problem for Grand Patrons!!!!  :D

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I 100% agree. 

Out running the gun is a feel better term for people. 

The real issue is the shooter get out of time and makes a mistake. 

IMHO.

Rooster 

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I built competition Rifles for CAS for 20 some years.  I never met anyone who could actually out run a rifle.  I met lots of people who complained they were outrunning a certain gun.  It ALWAYS came down to the shooter screwing up.  If the springs are not reduced to the point the lock time is not checked with a sundial, your not going to outrun anything.  Don't believe me??  Watch Deuce run a '92.  Then tell me you can outrun one.  Ha!

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Heck, I've seem some folks shooting such mouse-fart loads I'm pretty sure even my fat arse could outrun their bullets!

 

:o

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I have worked with a shooter who outran his pistols.  Only because the hammer springs were so light, they didn't complete the fall before he was recocking them.  Once he put heavier springs in, the problem went away.  And no, I'm not going to name names.

 

I've also seen it with rifles that have a mainspring that's just way too light.

 

Lock time is important.

 

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I have worked with a shooter who outran his pistols.  Only because the hammer springs were so light, they didn't complete the fall before he was recocking them.  Once he put heavier springs in, the problem went away.  And no, I'm not going to name names.

 

I've also seen it with rifles that have a mainspring that's just way too light.

 

Lock time is important.

 

^This

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I out run my equipment all the time ,,,,,,, My eyes can't see the targets as fast as I cycle the action ....

Smoke just seems to be the cause of this equipment failure .....

Guess I need Faster Eyes ....

 

I personally believe folks Claiming they are "Out Running Their Guns" either have poorly set-up guns OR the problem is with them .....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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I personally believe folks Claiming they are "Out Running Their Guns" either have poorly set-up guns OR the problem is with them .....

 

Jabez Cowboy

    On the OP, look at number 2. This is indeed how people can "outrun the gun". It's not to be taken how Cypress interprets it however. It doesn't mean, I'm so super duper fast, I cycle my gun before it completes its function. Or atleast that's not what I say it to mean. 

    How this comes about sometimes, and why a "slower" shooter may outrun the gun and Smokestack may not. A lot of times when we start out or start do what we think is upgrade our guns, we immediately go with a super duper light hammer spring. Which is ok for a new shooter as long as they have the umph to ignite the primer. Now, what happens as we get faster with built up muscle memory is our movements get quicker but the speed the hammer falls does not. Because of the light hammer springs. Not because someone is superman. Or woman.

 

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I see comments frequently saying someone has “outrun the gun”.  The apparent meaning is that they are so fast that some function does not get completed before the next one starts.  Possible examples:

 

1.  Lifter tries to rise before next round comes out of magazine.

2.  Bolt begins to open before hammer completes its fall.

3.  Bolt opens and cycles before empty can be ejected completely.

 

The rifles (and their clones) I’m referring to here are:  Winchesters  ‘73, 66 & 92, Marlin 94 and Colt Lightning.

 

The bottom line for me is that I don’t believe it is possible for anyone to actually “outrun” the rifle.

 

If a rifle has the hammer Springsteen off lightened to the point it falls so slow that the action can be closed and reopened before it completes its fall, the obvious thing to do is increase the speed of the hammer fall by increasing the spring tension.
 

It only has to begin to open before the hammer falls. Not close and then open. Wouldn't that be outrunning the gun? Because of the light hammer springs.

 

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I have worked with a shooter who outran his pistols.  Only because the hammer springs were so light, they didn't complete the fall before he was recocking them.  Once he put heavier springs in, the problem went away.  And no, I'm not going to name names.

 

I've also seen it with rifles that have a mainspring that's just way too light.

 

Lock time is important.

 

 

 

Doc is dead on.

      You can call it shooter error if the shooter is moving faster than the gun. But, that is still a lock time issue. Usually cause by squishy springs on factory fire control parts.

There is a way to use those squishy springs and still maintain fast lock time.  But, not so much with the current mod rules. To do it requires light weight fire control parts. Things like firing pins, firing pin extensions and hammers.  Hammer weight being the primary culprit.  Titanium being the material of choice for light weight parts. The mod rules don't allow titanium hammers.

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Question for NKJ.  -  I’ll show my ignorance.  Where do I find the rule that disallows titanium hammers?

 

In the Shooters Handbook, Section 6, Firearm Covenants it states:- “Replacement parts may be made from materials other than the original unless
such material is specifically prohibited.”

Also in Sec 6 it states-

“Hammers
- Hammers may be replaced or exchanged with hammers designed for the same frame size ...”

 

Another question.  In light of the fact that many hammers are polished bright, how can a non-metallurgist tell that it’s titanium?

 

 

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Can a properly functioning gun be outrun? Sure.  Can 99.99% of shooters out there do it? No. It can be fun to talk about lock time and make excuses for why we can’t shoot faster but it really isn’t a productive exercise. Most all of us would benefit far more to look to other ways to improve. Funny, the absolute fastest pistol shooter I know runs the lightest springs I’ve ever seen, and somehow he isn’t outrunning the hammers. 

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Can a properly functioning gun be outrun? Sure.  


Smokestack, I would certainly appreciate it if you would define exactly what outrunning the gun is.

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Smokestack, I would certainly appreciate it if you would define exactly what outrunning the gun is.

If I run my ‘73 hard enough, I can actually begin opening the lever before the pressure has left the barrel and blow the primers out of the cases. This is where the mechanical limits of the gun as it is currently built exist (imo). If the links were designed differently and had more dwell in the lock up position, this wouldn’t happen. It is a speed induced “failure”. 

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If I run my ‘73 hard enough, I can actually begin opening the lever before the pressure has left the barrel and blow the primers out of the cases. This is where the mechanical limits of the gun as it is currently built exist (imo). If the links were designed differently and had more dwell in the lock up position, this wouldn’t happen. It is a speed induced “failure”. 

 

Bad TO!

 

 

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Question for NKJ.  -  I’ll show my ignorance.  Where do I find the rule that disallows titanium hammers?

 

In the Shooters Handbook, Section 6, Firearm Covenants it states:- “Replacement parts may be made from materials other than the original unless
such material is specifically prohibited.”

Also in Sec 6 it states-

“Hammers
- Hammers may be replaced or exchanged with hammers designed for the same frame size ...”

 

Another question.  In light of the fact that many hammers are polished bright, how can a non-metallurgist tell that it’s titanium?

 

 

IIRC at one time, there was a specific rule that disallowed them. That may well have changed. I don't know.

 

 

If I run my ‘73 hard enough, I can actually begin opening the lever before the pressure has left the barrel and blow the primers out of the cases. This is where the mechanical limits of the gun as it is currently built exist (imo). If the links were designed differently and had more dwell in the lock up position, this wouldn’t happen. It is a speed induced “failure”. 

 

I've seen welded short strokes do that. but, they aren't always fully in battery already.  

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IIRC at one time, there was a specific rule that disallowed them. That may well have changed. I don't know.

 

 

I've seen welded short strokes do that. but, they aren't always fully in battery already.  

Mine is not a cut and weld an it is in proper working order. 

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Can a properly functioning gun be outrun? Sure.  Can 99.99% of shooters out there do it? No. It can be fun to talk about lock time and make excuses for why we can’t shoot faster but it really isn’t a productive exercise. Most all of us would benefit far more to look to other ways to improve. Funny, the absolute fastest pistol shooter I know runs the lightest springs I’ve ever seen, and somehow he isn’t outrunning the hammers. 

 

  That's exactly  right. I've tried many times to get folks to understand that lighter springs are not "the" problem any more than all the "other" things that THAT spring is now being asked to overcome. There's bolt arms involved, cam surfaces involved, cam height involved, hand surfaces involved, ratchet surfaces involved, frame surfaces .  .  .  spring tensions (other than mains) .  .  .   There's a lot more involved to making a fast S.A. than making the hammer easier to cycle  .  .  .   it has to function .  .  .  

 

Mike

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Thanks Nate.  It appears that the latest rewrite of the firearms covenants would permit titanium hammers.  I don’t know of any being made though and my machining skills ate too lacking to even attempt to make one.

 

Thanks also to Smokestack.  Would higher velocity loads prevent the problem you described?  Or maybe faster lock time? (Titanium hammer maybe?)

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