Sunday, July 16, 2006

Why does this rule exist?

ROI Course, Page 13

11. The shooter with firearm in hand shall
never be allowed to move with a live
round under a cocked hammer.
Movement is defined the same as
“traveling” in basketball. Once the firearm
is cocked, one foot must remain in
place on the ground until the firearm is
made safe. This means, on revolvers, you
may move, restage, or reholster when the
hammer is down on an empty chamber or
expended case. You may move with a rifle
when the action is open or hammer
down on an empty chamber or an expended
case. If restaging the rifle, the action
must be closed and hammer down
either on an empty chamber or expended
case. Shotguns are considered safe for
movement when the action is open and
may be restaged only if open and empty.

I believe I might have an answer. This rule is here to prevent a shooter who has cocked a pistol in the incorrect shooting position from moving to the correct shooting position (shotguns and rifles can be opened and made safe without firing). I presume this is for safety reasons, having a shooter move with a cocked, loaded single action pistol is dangerous.

It has been pointed out to me however, that a shooter who's running with a model '97 shotgun, can drop a round on the carrier, rack and fire the round out before the shooter violates the "traveling" defined above. That is, the shooter has a foot on the ground and it remains "in place" for the time it takes the action to close and the hammer to fall.

Lets assume that's true, then by that logic, a shooter with a single action pistol, could similarly run, cock and fire that pistol while avoiding the penalty. Same principle, just hold the trigger down and slip-hammer with the opposing hand, the round is under the cocked hammer for a split second, not nearly enough time to lift a foot.

How about a rifle? I believe, neigh, I KNOW there are shooters who can lever their rifles and fire them in splits of a second. This would also be considered well within the rules.

So my question is why is it more safe to have shooters running and operating their pistols/shotguns and potentially their rifles and a shooter who has to take a step to an adjacent window isn't?

I propose that this rule needs to be fixed. To me at least, the INTENT of this rule is to keep folks from MOVING while operating their firearms and I don't believe that someone who is at a walk or run is not moving. It's like this, if you are in the action of walking, then you are indeed moving. It takes only a split second for the hammer to fall when a '97 is closed, however, during that split second, you are still moving (walking).

In the beginning, there was just the rule that a shooter couldn't move with a cocked firearm, but that was too restrictive. So the power that be added the "traveling" example and then made that example the definition of moving. This is a mistake in my book because you have to know what the traveling rule is in basketball and I'd dare say that 95% of the participants have never read the basketball traveling rule. The traveling example/definition was put in to save words and thats all. Instead of spelling it out properly, the rules writers got lazy and said it is the same thing as traveling in basketball and that was good enough until shooters started thinking outside the box and pushing the rule to the limit.

This rule also had more teeth until the rule was changed to allow movement with a live round on the carrier. It would be far harder to run, drop a round in and close the action before the "plant foot" moved. The rule would also then preclude a rifle from being made safe to move with, thus preventing a shooter who levered a rifle out of position from moving until a shot was fired, thus incurring a penalty.

Now I believe the rule is nearly meaningless as it can be demonstrated that a shotgun and pistol can be safely fired while running, so why punish the poor pistolero who just happened to cock his hammer at the wrong window or doorway? I'd as soon see someone take a step with a cocked Colt than run while loading/firing a '97.

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