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Gun Failure at a Match


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Just finished reading another post about changing categories which led me to this, we’ve all had’em, what’s your story?  Here’s one of mine:  At a state match I had the loading lever latch fall off one of my ‘58 NMA’s.  Luckily I had a pipe cleaner in my gun cart, wrapped it around the lever and barrel and finished the match.  Funny part about it was later that same day someone else on the posse had a problem with one of their guns (not the same problem as mine) that was quickly cobbled together with another pipe cleaner.  It was after that I learned how to silver solder.

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Iowa state a few years ago. Extractor tweaked on stage one on my 73. Fellow competitor in my category heard about it, ran to his truck and insisted I shoot his backup the rest of the match (rifle was the only things I didn't have at least one backup for)

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I just had the ejector assembly on one of my NMV depart on the second stage of a monthly match. Fortunately, the spotters found all of the parts including the screw and I was able to put it back together before the next stage. Both main match pistols and my back up have been treated to a little blue thread locker.

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Many years ago, the flat spring of the standard "safety" firing pin of my Marlin 1894CB-LTD broke at a Regional match.
It was occasionally slipping forward in the FP channel & preventing the pin from striking the primers, necessitating recocking the hammer for a second strike. The problem was discovered upon disassembly.

I happened to be shooting on the same posse with the MD who was a gunsmith. He had one of the (then new) one-piece firing pins he had ordered for another shooter.
Five minutes later, the new pin was installed and I was back in the game.

He later talked to his other customer, who was OK with waiting for the MD to reorder another one.

 

 

 

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"Luckily I had a pipe cleaner in my gun cart, wrapped it around the lever and barrel and finished the match."

 

Sounds like an external modification to me:lol:

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Very first stage of Winter Range a few years ago started with a plate rack to be engaged with rifle.  Any plates left standing after rifle was empty could be made up with shotgun after engaging shotgun knock downs. My sights were dead on every single one of those plates but didn't hit a single one.  Needless to say I didn't have enough shotgun shells to hit all the shotgun targets AND all the plates.  After the stage I looked at my rifle and realized the front sight had shifted almost halfway out of the dovetail.  When I picked it up off the table the sight fell out completely.  Did I mention that was the VERY FIRST STAGE OF WINTER RANGE? :angry:

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3 big matches in a row. Prince of the Pistoleers, Hell on Wheels and Comin at Cha. My main match '73. Went to a gunsmith each match, never got fixed right. Always worked fine in a warm up or side match but failed (locked up) on a stage. I finally got it working again on the fourth gunsmith.

 

A year later at Winter Range on the last stage of the match my Ruger base pin walked out locking up the action. Never did it before, ain't never since. I recognized the problem and worked through it but it added 10 or so seconds to my time. That hurt.

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1 hour ago, Kansas City Munny said:

I just had the ejector assembly on one of my NMV depart on the second stage of a monthly match. Fortunately, the spotters found all of the parts including the screw and I was able to put it back together before the next stage. Both main match pistols and my back up have been treated to a little blue thread locker.

Had the same thing happen to me on one of my Uberti Cattleman Hombre pistols a few years back. Luckily there was a tarp down on the ground for ease of brass pick up. All the parts including the little screw was on the tarp. That was the day I learned to check the screws on all my firearms as part of my gun cleaning routine.

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Another big match I had just switched from Ubertis to Vaqueros.  Very first stage my first pistol was very difficult to cock the first couple of rounds then completely locked up.  I couldn't pull the hammer back at all.  That was when I learned about the base pin on Rugers needing to be pushed all the way in to prevent the transfer bar from hitting the bottom of the firing pin.  Again VERY FIRST STAGE!:angry:

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Southeast Regional last year, 1st stage second day. Somehow the end of the mag spring got trapped between the follower and the mag tube wall; couldn't load any cartridges. Had to walk/jog all the way across the range to my buddies camper where luckily I had my sons rifle that I could use for a backup; oof!

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Posted (edited)

Lost the front sight off a revolver once, the rear sight on a 1911 (Like Shooting Bull, I couldn't fathom why I starting missing, then suddenly there was no sight :lol:), broken mainspring on a 1911 once, broken bolt/trigger springs on Colt style revolvers a couple times, ejector assembly downrange twice, broken firing pin on rifle once and a shotgun once, barrel started unscrewing on my Spencer once - I just consciously held clockwise pressure on it and finished the match, a Marlin that jammed up on a couple stages - took it apart later and flushed out a tiny piece of red plastic from a coated cleaning rod, and it's worked fine ever since, had a double feed-two rounds side by side on the carrier of a .25-20 Marlin-don't see how that could possibly have happened and it's never done it again but it needed disassembly to clear it, a 311 shotgun that the firing pin somehow rotated and quit working on one barrel - finished the match with a single shot double cuz borrowing a gun is like giving up :lol:. Mis-matched guns & ammo TWICE, maybe three times, if you count a shotgun that is very difficult to open if anything but Fiocchi 616 primers are used. Taurus Thunderbolt... nuff said there - I always brought a spare rifle when attempting to shoot it. Oh yeah, and kaboomed a .38-40 revolver five years ago. I don't know what the penalty is for that, but they let me swap it out and finish the match - it sure makes ya flinchy for the rest of the day!

JagerKaboom - Copy.jpg

Edited by Three Foot Johnson
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A few years ago I had the front sight on one of my pistols fall off, annoying but not too big of a deal, finished the day without it.  Luckily there was a gunsmith as one of the vendors that fixed it that afternoon.  But, you know here’s the strange part, exactly one year later, same match, same pistol, the sight fell off again.  I’m guessing the one year warranty had something to do with it ;)    If it falls off again I’ll use my silver solder skills that I learned from the loading lever latch incident  and put myowndang sight on. 

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59 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Southeast Regional last year, 1st stage second day. Somehow the end of the mag spring got trapped between the follower and the mag tube wall; couldn't load any cartridges. Had to walk/jog all the way across the range to my buddies camper where luckily I had my sons rifle that I could use for a backup; oof!

 

This story can only be true if I believe that you have a buddy. :D    Just kidding, see you in a couple of months!

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10 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

 

This story can only be true if I believe that you have a buddy. :D    Just kidding, see you in a couple of months!

 

Heck yes!

 

I forgot to mention that we broke the rear site on the backup gun at TN State and I didn't have time to replace it, then on the last stage the front sight fell off before I shot it; so I shot that last stage with no sights at all(and hit every target).

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Wild Bunch match at Winter Range a few years back. 

 

First stage started with the 1911. Bang then no bang.  Failure to extract. 

 

My Colt 1911 fancy WW1 carbonia blue reproduction turned out to have a series 80 extractor.  Broke at the notch for the safety pin.

 

Only 19 misses!

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I ALWAYS bring backup guns to a big match!
For all the reasons described above!

--Dawg

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I bring an extra pistol and rifle. I sometimes remember to bring a backup shotgun!

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3 hours ago, Dantankerous said:

A year later at Winter Range on the last stage of the match my Ruger base pin walked out locking up the action. Never did it before, ain't never since. I recognized the problem and worked through it but it added 10 or so seconds to my time. That hurt.

 

Yep last year during the Classic Cowboy Showdown at the Free State Rangers, my first stage of the day was the MKT Rail Car.  Shot my rifle and shotgun just fine then my first pistol would not cock as the rail car rolled down the track.  Five misses for 25 seconds on the first stage of the day.  At the unloading table someone came over and said check your base pin.  Sure enough it had backed out just enough to lock up the revolver.  :(  In all the years I had been shooting those rugers I had never experienced that.  Now I know what to check.  :D  AND you beat me for the CCS Black Powder Buckle by 4.26 seconds in that match.  :ph34r:  :P

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48 minutes ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

I ALWAYS bring backup guns to a big match!
For all the reasons described above!

--Dawg

 

I always have a backup rifle, shotgun and a pair of revolvers, IN my guncart with me NOT back in the car.  I have seen many a folk have to go all the way back to their vehicle to get their backup and are completely out of breath when they get back to the stage.

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Howdy PWB.

On the Marlin 1894, if the factory firing pin 'spring' brakes, the broken pieces can be removed

and the 2 piece firing pin will still function correctly.

 

The only difference is that with the spring, it FORCES the rear piece downward until

the locking lug pushes it back up.

Without the spring, gravity will drop it downward and the locking lug will push it

back up when the bolt goes into battery.

 

Thought I would share with everyone in case it happens to others.

 

..........Widder

 

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I've never had it happen to me, but, I've seen four SDQs or MDQs when 97 SGs discharged unintentionally upon the action being slammed closed.  A couple of those occurred in big matches. Thankfully folks closely attended to muzzle direction and only hit props.   

 

Seeing them closely, I do believe they were legitimate gun malfunctions and not trigger finger error, but I admit that is a real hard call.   Granted, as far as penalties go, there is no difference, but from a safe gun handling standpoint, the possibility of 97 unintended firing is worth remembering.  

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A couple years ago, my Kirst-converted 1861 broke a hand spring on the first stage.  Actually, at the loading table.  So for that stage, I pointed the pistol down each time I cocked it to get the cylinder to advance.  I NEVER carry backup guns, but just so happened I had a brand new 7th Cavalry Model P in the car that I was going to try out after the match, so I finished with that one.

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I can carry back up rifle and SG but not the pistols, want to, but haven’t been able to find a good pair of C&B for sale. 

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27 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

I've never had it happen to me, but, I've seen four SDQs or MDQs when 97 SGs discharged unintentionally upon the action being slammed closed.  A couple of those occurred in big matches. Thankfully folks closely attended to muzzle direction and only hit props.   

 

Seeing them closely, I do believe they were legitimate gun malfunctions and not trigger finger error, but I admit that is a real hard call.   Granted, as far as penalties go, there is no difference, but from a safe gun handling standpoint, the possibility of 97 unintended firing is worth remembering.  

 

And I have seen SxS fall apart upon firing.  I've seen the forearm dislodge and I've witnessed

the barrels actually falling off the receiver.

 

And I've seen them open up after the first shot.

 

And of course, I've seen the 97 have an OOB.   Heck, its happened to me.

The best remedy for that is to get it in battery faster..... :lol:

 

..........Widder

 

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6 hours ago, Kansas City Munny said:

I just had the ejector assembly on one of my NMV depart on the second stage of a monthly match. Fortunately, the spotters found all of the parts including the screw and I was able to put it back together before the next stage. Both main match pistols and my back up have been treated to a little blue thread locker.

Mine 'went down range' at Land Run a few years back! I saw something fly off...never knew what it was untill Non Stop handed it to me at the unloading table!!! Spring and screw still intact! Made me remember to check all my screws!

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1 hour ago, Cowtown Scout, SASS #53540 L said:

 

I always have a backup rifle, shotgun and a pair of revolvers, IN my guncart with me NOT back in the car.  I have seen many a folk have to go all the way back to their vehicle to get their backup and are completely out of breath when they get back to the stage.

 

BTDT!

At a mid-90's EoT, the front sight on my Marlin fell off somewhere on the way to the first stage.
Another shooter on the posse loaned me his rifle & ammo, then I trekked to the campground for my backup (Win '94 Trapper) to finish the day's shooting.
After we were done for the day, I was at the scoring office chatting with a RM & mentioned losing the sight.

He reached under the counter and asked, "Did it look like this one?".
Someone had found it & turned it in to lost & found! 
I had it staked back on that evening and it's been fine ever since.
(Thanks to Easy Rider and Flint Westwood!)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

 

And I have seen SxS fall apart upon firing.  

 

..........Widder

 

 

I've even got that on video.  Watch to the very end and notice I set two pieces of my SKB down on the table then reach down to grab the forend.  How on Earth those barrels didn't fall off while I was reloading I'll never know but thank God I was able to finish the stage.  Also thank God that was the last stage of the match.  And wouldn't you know it was Winter Range again. :D

 

Shooting Bull having issues AGAIN

 

One note about the video.   That lovely lady you see at the end is none other than our own beautiful and talented Singin' Sue. :wub:

Edited by Shooting Bull
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Just this very EOT!

My one Stallion, on the third stage 'skipped' the index. (Thought I just didn't fully pull back) Fourth stage it 'skipped' each pull!!! Ugh.

So, second day I shot my Thunderballs. Great untill the fourth stage....when one cilynder lock pin popped out after the 2nd shot!!! It was then shoot, push in pin, shoot, push in pin, shoot, push in pin!!! Ugh, ugh!!!

Last day was great! Great old USFA Rodeos (our first set we ever got) were faithfull and true!!

It is what it is.

Boomstick is sending me lock pins that won't vibrate and turn out of lock position...and Col Lou is going to get my one Stallion to run and smooth as the other one he repaired! 

I'll be ready for EOT next year....and we may very well see LFCD on the stage again!!!

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

I've even got that on video.  Watch to the very end and notice I set two pieces of my SKB down on the table then reach down to grab the forend.  How on Earth those barrels didn't fall off while I was reloading I'll never know but thank God I was able to finish the stage.  Also thank God that was the last stage of the match.  And wouldn't you know it was Winter Range again. :D

 

Shooting Bull having issues AGAIN

Hahahaha! Shanley's sXs came completely apart moving down range one match.

Shot from one barrell, moved to the next, move to the last barrell.

It started falling apart with forearm on move to second barrell, barrells fell on way off second barrell...but he had that girl back together on the move by the last barrell!!! Time wasn't pretty, but stage was clean! And funnier than snot!!!

Edited by Singin' Sue 71615
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Many years ago, when sass was young, I shot an Ithaca  double that was starting to wear a bit.  If you opened it too hard, the cocking levers would slip past the surface that operated them, which locked the gun open.  In the middle of an all shotgun stage (12-16 targets) where you went down stage, the gun locked open.  While running to the next shooting position, I removed the forearm and barrel, reassembled the gun and kept going.  The best part is that I won the stage! That was back when I was young and not many people ran on stages.  One of my favorite sass memories. 

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8 hours ago, Shooting Bull said:

 

I've even got that on video.  Watch to the very end and notice I set two pieces of my SKB down on the table then reach down to grab the forend.  How on Earth those barrels didn't fall off while I was reloading I'll never know but thank God I was able to finish the stage.  Also thank God that was the last stage of the match.  And wouldn't you know it was Winter Range again. :D

 

Shooting Bull having issues AGAIN

 

One note about the video.   That lovely lady you see at the end is none other than our own beautiful and talented Singin' Sue. :wub:

Hey Shooting Bull did that TO really say 'stand upright' with your rifle at the shoulder ?!!!

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3 hours ago, Painted Mohawk SASS 77785 said:

Hey Shooting Bull did that TO really say 'stand upright' with your rifle at the shoulder ?!!!

 

Yep.  That was right after the SASS Default starting position was created.  Winter Range emphasized that it was "standing upright" and they were strictly enforcing it.

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3 hours ago, Painted Mohawk SASS 77785 said:

Hey Shooting Bull did that TO really say 'stand upright' with your rifle at the shoulder ?!!!

 

How about the Spotter that carried the Shooters rifle way behind the line to talk to someone before bring it back to the line?

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I've had a few train wrecks but most recently I got a double whammy of bad luck at a monthly. So the day before the match I purchased a pair of nmv bisleys and decided to run them the next day. I figured why not have a little fun and use my 100 year old single shot 12 ga while I'm at it. I'm shooting FCGF. Right out the gate left pistol goes bang, right pistol goes click. Repeat 4 more times. Declare malfunction lay the pistols down. Rifle is trusty as ever no issues. Shotgun, load 1 bang target down. Open, hull whips past the TO. Load another bang target down. Open and hull stays in the chamber. Close and open, still stuck. Bang the stock on the table to see if it'll shuck. Nope she's stuck like chuck. Declare a malfunction. Knowing my luck I went prepared. Got out the omv's and the 87 to finish the day. 

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