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Discussion Starter #1
When you're on target or upon drawing?

Seems to me that flicking the safety off just prior to firing in a stressful situation would effect your trigger pull. Wouldn't it suffice to simply keep your finger out of the trigger guard? And I'm talking about situations such as house clearing, where a potential target could present itself at any given moment.

I've always thought that when doing a draw and fire on a target you should disengage the safety as you draw and bring the gun on target. As I've trained to do that, it seems counter to my already ingrained muscle response to keep the safety on until a decision is made to fire. I guess I always thought your were suppose to keep your finger off the gas pedal until you were ready to fire, not necessarily keeping the safety engaged. I'd rather have one thing to do (bring my finger inside of the trigger guard and fire) than two (also disengage the safety). What is the currently accepted training doctrine here?

Also, what is the protocol for IDPA shooting? Should the safety be engaged as you're slicing the pie around a corner? Obviously the safety should be engaged prior to doing any movement to the next station or when you're not anticipating any targets, but are there any general rules here?

How about tactical reloads? I'm currently practicing to engage the safety during reloads. I've heard that the major schools (TR, etc.) teach students to keep their eyes on the target and bring the gun up to their line of sight to reload. This puts the muzzle at a 45 degree angle up and over the side of the range, obviously not downrange as it should be. How does IDPA handle this and what do they require in terms of gun safety versus realistic tac reloads?

I also realize that what the schools may teach for a violent encounter on the street may not square with the Golden Rules of gunhandling on an IDPA range (such as the muzzle downrange example in a tac reload). How are those two resolved?

TIA
 

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JacRyan:

I don't know what the "IDPA" protocol is on this. I can tell you what I did in the last IDPA match I attended. During the draw, as the muzzle passed through a 45 degree angle from the ground, I disengaged the safety.

Regarding tactical reloads -- I'm not going to do a tactical reload if there's target around! In fact, I'm not going to be doing any kind of reload just standing there. I'm either going to be in cover or moving towards it quickly. To me, just standing there in the open, flat-footed, drying to do my best speed-reload is saying "shoot me please!"

That said, for an emergency reload, safety stays disengaged (obviously). For a tac reload, I'll probably engage the safety (which is what I did at my last IDPA match).

IDPA protocol is that reloads have to be done behind cover, IIRC.

M1911
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe I should clarify, though your technique seems to be the same as mine. I'm not implying that reloads should be done in the open or when a threat is present. The current training doctrine as I understand it is that, for a right handed person, you raise the pistol up in front of your face between your eyes and the target area (to keep it in view during the reload so you're not looking down at the gun). During the reload you're then looking directly at the left side profile of the gun and the muzzle is pointing off to your left, probably at a 45 degree angle. Unless you're on a range that surrounds your non-dominant side, the gun is pointing off the range, a violation of most range rules (and my Army bred range philosophy) of muzzles down range at all times.

So, other than the safety engaging question, that's really what I was talking about.

Thanks for the reponse M1911.
 

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JacRyan,
You brought up a very valid point. I am familiar with the reload technique you described. There is nothing wrong with that technique. But when we PLAY the IDPA or any other GAMES, we need to follow the range and competition rules. The muzzle must be kept down range or not coming close to the IDPA "muzzle safe" zone/IPSC 180 degree rule. This apply to the horizontal and vertical plane. So keep the muzzle toward the targets would be the simplest thing to do. The best practice would be to ask the safety officers what is allowed and what is not.
Hope that helps.
 

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JacRyan:

Ah, guess I didn't completely understand your question.

That isn't quite how I was taught to do reloads most recently at SigArms Academy. What they recommend is that you draw your strong arm back slightly until your elbow touches your chest. You have a bit more strength and dexterity closer to your chest. And with your elbow against your chest, your gun hand is in the same place each time.

Your gun is still in front of you, maybe 6 inches closer to you than your normal shooting position, so you could quickly return to a shooting position. For an emergency reload, you would have first immediately dropped the old magazine, even before you retracted your strong arm. For a tac reload, you don't drop the mag until your left hand finds a mag in your mag pouch.

Now you rotate the gun slightly so that the magazine well is about 30 degrees from the vertical. The muzzle can also be rotated slightly to the left (for a right handed shooter), but I don't rotate around that axis more than 20-30 degrees -- definitely less than 45.

I won't argue that that's the RIGHT way, rather that that's the way that seems to work me. And it does keep the muzzle down range.

M1911
 

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JacRyan:
I take my safety off when my gun hand moves toward my support hand, at this point the gun is horizontal. It's a little later than what most people teach. I just wanted to add a little margin of safety. I've seen too many people in "simulated" stress in a match that disengage the safety as soon as the gun clears the holster and in their excitement put their finger on the trigger and discharge a round two feet from them, of course they break several safety commandments also. Just my opinion.
 

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Jac,

Once I clear leather and disengage the safety, it doesn't go back on until I've cleared,showed clear and am ready to reholster. To do otherwise could put you in a life-comprimising situation while under stress on the street.
 
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