Witnessed Unsafe Behaviors

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Sidney Smith

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Had a guy come over to my table with a lit cigarette in his mouth. I warned him of the potential bomb I had in my shooting box behind the table. He quickly stepped away and never bothered me again. He was a shotgunner who was shooting a slug gun, and had no experience with muzzle loaders. Unfortunately the black powder range at our club is also a shotgun range for slug guns and patterning turkey guns.

BTW, I do not blow down the barrel. Stopped doing that decades ago when I realized it was a dangerous practice.
 

Mr Mortimer

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"By the way, I do blow down my barrel before loading the next shot.

Are you an engineer?
Count the number of barrels first. Fine if only 1 smoking. Some guns have 2. Bit of a jar when you catch yourself starting out of habit...:doh:
 

sheriff john

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Not wearing eye protection. Friend of long ago tattooed his forehead and cheek when an oversized nipple hole hit him with cap frags and burning powder. Lucky he wore prescription glasses at the time. Always looked like he had blackheads after that.

Have had cap frags hit me when shooting next to folks on occasion. (too close together). Never got hurt, but it does get your attention.

Another friend was firing his newly-acquired .31 Colt repo at an oak log in another friend's basement. Ball bounced back. No permanent injury Lucky.
 

muzzlediscipline

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Years ago Ohio had a public range at the far end of a preserve/park. It had substantial berms over 10 feet tall. My second and last trip there teaching my new wife how to safely shoot and while the range was uncharacteristically busy, several individuals showed up on top of the berm having climbed from the other side. While I am at it, the #1 rule as I was taught 61 years ago is muzzlediscipline because if you fail to follow any other safety rule the result is simple embarrassment and not grieving.
 

Juniata

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I was using bear oil to lube with last week,
I went to pull back the cock on my flintlock and not even full ways back it slipped. She went off pointing in an upward angle since I cock as I am shouldering, scared the tar out of me.

I don't think I was being unsafe, just need to keep that thumb clean from oil and get a better grip!
 

Bill Rowe

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I have witnessed undersize nipple blow out twice, once in compaction on the firing range, took my hat off. That was with a old Tingle rifle I had acquired at the time. I ended up remaking the drum. Second a friend whole dam drum blew out side ways. Lucky no body to his right side as we were alone on range . New built repo at the time ( 1970's ) , and can not remember what brand or home made, but the pilot hole in the barrel that was threaded was too large, and did not allow the pitch of the thread to seat and seal properly. I always wonder how many more are out there . Any out here had a round robin ?????
 

Josephg

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Many years ago at a rifle range my dad got a .54 ball stuck half way down the barrel of his rifle. I was on another bench shooting my .45 long rifle. Next thing I see is dad squatted down below the bench to protect himself while reaching up to fire the rifle. Protecting himself but to hell with everyone else. He fired it and the ball came out. Thanks DAD! I've seen many unsafe things. People do stupid things. I know a range that prohibits flammable bore solvents on the shooting bench because it's flammable. But you can use flammable bore solvents behind the line on bare wooden tables next to a bare wooden wall. Stupid works both ways. We are taught to never point a firearm at anyone loaded or unloaded, yet there are people who will stick a gun barrel in their mouth. Go figger.........
 
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gerryherd

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Imagine yourself serving as range officer And having responsibility for keeping a match running smooth and safely. You take a look down the left side of the line and when you turn your head back to the right, you see a guy blowing down the barrel. Did he just fire and empty the rifle, or did he have a misfire and put the barrel to his mouth out of habit, is he trying to check if the gun is loaded , or what? The RO shouldn’t have to guess. I used to blow down the barrel, but there’s other ways to accomplish the same results that don’t look like you’re rehearsing a suicide.
 

TexiKan

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There seem to be many clubs who prefer to shoot at steel and the like targets instead of a true paper target range. There are specific NMLRA procedures and safety protocols to running a range which most club members will eventually understand. However, going to another club range, sometimes those same standards are compromised. Certainly an unsafe practice often results in a loud and condescending manner which may be intended to let the shooter know that it is unacceptable yet the manner it is given does not always encourage one to want to be more cautious and accept the chastisement. For years, this was the norm and most folks would think of it as a teachable safety moment but then again, they would rarely see that fellow return, even if he admits it was a mistake. The expectation of knowing another club's rules is seldom posted or read. For years, Range Master were considered to always be ticked off and disgruntled. Compare the manner of chastisement to that of getting a speeding ticket from law enforcement. More often than not, they do so in a respectful manner rather than to chew your head off. Compare the reactions of the one receiving the ticket in each case.

Yes, safety is important and I recall being our club Range Master when the no lowing down the barrel concept was implemented. Dang. I can't tell you how many times I had to remind folks that it was unacceptable. However, other club members chose to be loud, vocal and condescending with the message.

We make sure a visitor is shadowed by a club member or the Range Master to assure they are following proper safety procedures. That works better than to wait for some unsafe situation to develop.
 

blushingmule

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I always thought that it was some sort of Hollywood movie "acting" thing. Have seen
quite a bit of it in westerns - blowing the smoke out. Akin to spinning and snapping the cylinder shut,
and my favorite; throwing the empty gun away...

Bob
p.s. scariest thing I've seen at the range was a guy who'd wave his Ruger Blackhawk in a few circles behind his shoulder
and then bring it down & point it down range...
 
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flashpoint

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I never blow down the barrel. However, if one is concerned that there might be a live ember, maybe just a light tap on your measure to send a few grains down there first, before dumping the whole load in? Just a thought. :dunno:
 

Muddly

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Swab between shots to extinguish embers. Blowing on them is fanning them. Think campfire, not candle. Flinters, plug your vents to restrict airflow. If you don't swab...
Using breath for keeping fouling soft is for bpcr's.
Bounching butts on the ground? Bouncing rammers on loaded rifles?! SERIOUSLY?! Who thinks of this stuff?
I was the ordnance sgt. for my reenactment company for 10 years. Even original manuals forbade butt bouncing as it is " injurious to both stock and lock".
The only time rammers get bounced is during inspection.
I lift the rammer an inch and let it go. More than enough to hear either " ping" or " thunk ".
I've seen idiots spring them so hard they half cleared the barrel.
One fellow tried that on my Enfield... He was NOT successful...
Mouth over muzzle. Humm.. Sounds like a Darwin Award in the making...
 

Eterry

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I saw two "Geniuses" trying to get a cap lock rifle to go bang at the range. They borrowed my nipple wrench and pulled the nipple. Before i could stop them they held a Bic lighter to the drum. It kinda looked like a Roman Candle/ cutting torch cross. It blew the ball cap off 1 guys head and he didn't need a haircut for a few months. I had just warned them to stay behind the gun, one was almost in front of the muzzle.
They decided to go back home, I agreed.
 

mmb617

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Another self proclaimed expert, who just minutes before was inspecting my guns, without permission, on the shooting bench while I changed targets.
I wouldn't be too happy about that. I'd be glad to show my guns to anyone who wanted to see them but I'd never touch someone else's guns without permission and would desire that same respect in return.
 

Collector54

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Some years ago I shot NRA high Power. At the last match for the year the club where we shot also had an open sight in money maker event. We were on the Black powder range for the high power maych. As we were shooting the rapid fire prone 3 guys showed up. Two were club directors and range officers, the other was a customer. The command was given to commence firing our string when from behind us a loud boom was heard. Nimrod had just fired OVER US LYING PRONE A 50 HAWKEN REPRO AT ONE OF OUR TARGETS! Since the command was given to fire he thought it okay to do so. Our maych director was livid and the mans previous occupation (Gunnery Sargent USMC) was portrayed for all to see. The kicker is that none of the 3 saw anything wrong. We finished our match right after we physically threw the guys off the range.
 

deerstalkert

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had a friend that was firing one of those weird rifles that opens from the back and takes a suppository. 45 cal with 70 grains of black.
he chambered one and had a misfire, opened the thing and the suppository came out without a bullet.
he didn't know what to do so i took the rifle and was preparing to ram the stuck bullet out of the throat.
out of the corner of my eye i see my late buddy on his knees about to light the little pile of BP he had dumped out of the suppository.
it was like time stopped and everything was in slow motion. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! i cried just as he struck the wheel of his Zippo.
the 70g's took all his facial hair and half of his head hair to heaven in a big white cloud.
his face was blistered, but he had turned away just in time and his face wasn't badly burned.
His hand that had held the zippo was one solid blister from the tips of his fingers to his wrist.
never before had i taken a ice chest to the range. that day i had. it helped him immeasurably.
to the day he died 40 years later, he would have nothing to do with Black Powder. Substituted whiskey as his means of killing himself.

same public range only 10 years later. this time i was a deputy sheriff and the RO.
Had a carload of Hispanics show up in a 64 Impala. how they got it up the rutted range road is still a mystery to me. it was barely the 4 inches of ground clearance that was legal at the time.
they got out with an array of different weapons. i was really surprised to see they had several cap and ball revolvers.
they never got to shoot them that day.
the leader of this pack jumped to the firing line with a Chinese made Russian designed semi auto with a detachable mag.
this particular unmentionable has a bad habit of the firing pin sticking, causing the thing to go full auto.
i was standing down line from the group so i could see them and the rest of the line. this group of brainiacs were right next to the range shack.
Boss Dog opens up with his pride and joy. Pride and Joy goes full auto. Boss Dog has no idea what to do so he turns toward the shack, stitching 6 rounds across the door and window, and continues toward his faithful, soon to be dead followers.
I grabbed the rifle and directed it skyward just after the first 2 of his group were hit. no one fatally.
I spent the next two days writing incidence reports.
I hated writing Incidence reports!
that's one reason why i love Muzzle loaders. never have to write an incidence report. yet.
 
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