The 4 Rules/3 Rules debate... - Gun Hub
Gun Hub

Go Back   Gun Hub > Gun Hub Forum > Gun Talk

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-04-2005, 02:21 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,021
The 4 Rules/3 Rules debate...

Okay, I'm about the drill the rules into the kids again the next time we have a warm, dry Saturday, and I'm going to settle on my OWN wording of these.

I tend to disagree with Dean on Cooper's Rule No. 1, All guns are always loaded. Grammatically, it is not a "rule," but an artificial statement of condition which properly guides our mindset and actions.

I'm probably going to modify the NRA rule on keeping the action open and the firearm unloaded until ready to shoot.

Dean commented:
Quote:
Strictly speaking (but without leading into a political discussion about the NRA!), adherence to the NRA model would preclude any sort of useful "CCW," wouldn't it?
Well, when my college shooting club started, I explained it thus: "Police officers, defensive carry, and when out hunting are ALL situations where you are READY to shoot." You must admit that the "safe direction" rule includes some assumptions about what will and won't happen while a firearm is holstered, don't you?

HAH!!

We therefore had club rules which allowed only range safety officers to carry loaded sidearms, but only HOLSTERED, on the firing line at all times. Everyone else was cold range, no load until command to "Load" was given. I found that comforting when at a club shoot close to Finals.

"Treat every firearm as if it were loaded at all times, no matter what." Okay, so I can dry-fire only at a wall capable of stopping my bullet. Fair enough.

So, does this reasoning affect anyone's dogma on the 3 Rules/4 Rules question? Seems like "All guns are loaded" does little that's not already covered by the safe direction rule.
Grump is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 08:18 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 6,935
*

Well, Rob and I thrashed it out pretty thoroughly on that TGZ page, and he shares your view of Gunsite #1.

I'm all right with it, however, because I can't tell you how many times I've heard "clowns" or "cowboys" respond with: "It's all right… it's not loaded."

Well, damnit!, it's not all right, and if it takes a terse version of the "First Commandment" (see the gunmetal sidebar), to get it across, so be it.

Quick story: all of Gunsite, even today, is a "hot range," so all guns are always loaded!

Some years ago, when Cooper was an active Instructor, a student in an API 250 was having a helluva time with both his self-'smithed pistol and his ability to comport himself safely. He was given a strong admonishment by Jefe the first time his muzzle "wandered," but the next day, frustrated by a choke during a string of fire from the kneeling position, he started wrestling with the pistol and his muzzle awareness suffered. So intent with clearing the FTF was he, that he didn't initially notice that the entire side of the line to his left had swung back almost as a formation.

Several moments passed before he apparently became aware of an unnatural stillness, and looked up to find himself under Cooper's muzzle. He blanched as the Instructor simply said: "Your move."

The student instantly released his stranglehold on the pistol, allowing it to fall the 18-inches to the ground, whereupon Jefe simply stated "Good move!," re-holstered, and had the Provost retrieve the fallen weapon and escort the ashen student from the range.

Ahhhhhhhhhh, the good ol' days!

But back fully on-topic: fealty to all the Rules in either version, may be seen as somewhat redundant, but if there is a lapse of one, no injury should occur, and that's to be highly desired.


*
Dean Speir is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 09:11 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SW Va. in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 941
I have always held that as long as you follow the rule about never allowing your muzzle to point at anything you are not willing to kill or destroy then all the rest are redundent. We teach all of the "range commandments" just about like Mr. Cooper himself would, but in the back of my mind I always hold this one as the most important.

If you are stupid and forget or ignore ALL of the rest and still remember to not cover someone with your muzzle then things might get LOUD,they might get scary,and they might be embarrassing,but they will not be deadly. In the daily managment of stupidity that's about all we can hope for. T.J. Robertson
trobertson5-0 is offline  
 
Old 01-05-2005, 11:18 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Colorado
Posts: 942
The way I see Rule #1 is that you ALWAYS assume a firearm is loaded until you personally have cleared it. Even if its your own weapon, you never know when some idiot will pick it up and put a live round in it and then neglect to inform you of the fact. Looking at Rule #1 and the NRA's rule C as both good. Assume the gun IS loaded when you pick it up, and keep it unloaded until you are ready to use it. (This is assuming going to a range and whatnot, not for CCW carry.)
The way I feel is that it only takes a second to open the slide (or cylinder) of a weapon to see if there are any rounds in it; a second that can be well worth the peace of mind (and safety!) of having an unloaded weapon in your hand. And if the weapon ever leaves your immediate supervision, always re-check it.


And Dean, newbie question here, what is a "tyro" ??
Cryto is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 11:47 AM   #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,198
IMO, "always assume every firearm is loaded" is the rule. The other rules are almost always derived from this rule.

Why do you point the muzzle in a safe direction? Because you are assuming it's loaded! Why do you keep your finger off the trigger? Because you are assuming it's loaded!

Now, not everyone will immediately pick up the others so adding them to the list and drilling them into their heads is the best way to go.
skslover is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 11:51 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
csmkersh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 10,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryto
And Dean, newbie question here, what is a "tyro" ??
I'm not Dean, but

tyro \TY-roh\, noun: A beginner in learning; a novice.
csmkersh is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 11:59 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 6,935
*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryto
And Dean, newbie question here, what is a "tyro" ??
Now, that's funny! (Whether it was intentional or not, I won't speculate.)

Although there is always http://dictionary.reference.com/, Sam has graciously addressed the question.

*
Dean Speir is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 12:42 PM   #8
Moderator
 
Snake45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: "Close, but no donut!"
Posts: 13,118
I teach Rule One as: "ALL guns are ALWAYS loaded ALL THE TIME and are to be handled as such."

My interpretation of this is not that all guns should always BE loaded all the time, but all guns should always be handled AS IF they were loaded. This is real easy for newbies to remember.

Of course there have to be exceptions for cleaning, etc., which are handled thus: "The ONLY exception to this is if YOU PERSONALLY have checked the weapon TWICE, it has not left your hands since it was checked, and it has not been out of your immediate ATTENTION since it was checked. And never hesitate to check it AGAIN--that's the mark of a pro."
Snake45 is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 01:02 PM   #9
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,720
I always sort of favored the way that my dad taught me the rules.

He gave me the usual rules of muzzle control, finger off trigger, chamber-checking, and so forth, but then summed them up thusly:

The one thing to remember about a gun is that it was basically designed to kill something, and in short, that's what a gun wants to do, all the time. You ever forget that, even for an instant, and someone could die.
Chubby Pigeon is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 06:59 PM   #10
Moderator
 
Snake45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: "Close, but no donut!"
Posts: 13,118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubby Pigeon
The one thing to remember about a gun is that it was basically designed to kill something, and in short, that's what a gun wants to do, all the time. You ever forget that, even for an instant, and someone could die.
That should be stamped right into the slides of certain pistols.

"...but I ain't namin' names...."

--Warren Zevon, "Poor Poor Pitful Me." Warren Zevon, Warner/Asylum 1976
Snake45 is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 10:50 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,021
Subject to the pithy editing I enjoy but sometimes can't pull off, I'm back to four rules:

1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded. This means ALWAYS keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and NEVER point the gun at anything or anyone you are not willing to destroy!
2. Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to shoot.
3. Always keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you have decided to take the shot.
4. Know your target and what is beyond. You will own or pay for everything damaged or destroyed by your bullet. You will also pay for and may even be imprisoned for every creature or every person your bullet injures or kills.

I've changed the order of #2 and #3, because I think they more logically flow from the "make ready" phase to the "fire the shot" phase. My thoughts are 1. Muzzle, 2. Loaded condition, 3. Finger, 4. Target ID and backstop.

Thanks for the discussion. Further commentary still welcome.
Grump is offline  
Old 01-05-2005, 11:02 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Colorado
Posts: 942
Hrm...In that case, shouldn't 3 & 4 be changed? Know your backstop and whats behind it before aiming at the target, since if the backstop isn't good you will most likely point the muzzle at the target?
Just my .02 again.
Cryto is offline  
Old 01-06-2005, 01:47 AM   #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 438
i'll just go ahead and cast my three cents in the pile.


when i was growing up, the rules that I was taught, were as follows;

1: always make sure the gun is unloaded.

2: always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to pull it.

3: never point the gun at something unless you are not only fully prepared to shoot, and kill it, but are also fully prepared for the consequences.

4: never store loaded guns.

5: never transport loaded guns

6: Always treat a gun as if it's loaded. especially when it isn't.

they may not be the difinitive list of all saftey rules, but i know one thing. i never shot anything i didn't intend to.

they say there's an exception to every rule. these rules are the exeption to that rule.
OneidaEd is offline  
Old 01-06-2005, 05:06 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 1,298
I subscribe to the 4 rules of safe gun handling stated this way:

1. All guns are always loaded. Treat them accordingly.*
2. NEVER allow the muzzle to cover (point at) anything you ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.**
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4. Never fire until you have verified your target and what is between and beyond it.

*There are some obvious exceptions, but a little common sense is required. When you clean a gun, of course, you first check to make sure it IS unloaded, then proceed to disasemble it. At some point in the process, it becomes incapable of being fired except through a most highly improbable set of circumstances. What you then have is not a gun, but a collection of gun parts. Were you to apply rule 1 even then, how would you ever accertain that the bore and chamber were spotlessly clean? I've looked down the muzzle of a .45 many times.....when it was nothing but the barrel. Heck, I have even looked down the bores of various fully assembled firearms, muzzle first, but only when I was inspecting a prospective purchase, and have acertained that the gun was unloaded, and the action locked open with my bore light being the only thing in the action.

Dry firing creates some overlap between note * and note **.

** These are rules of safe gun handling. I do not consider handling to mean "carrying in a holster" whether the gun is in loaded or unloaded condition. Handling commences only when you physically place your hands upon the firearm. IF your sidearm is in good
mechanical condition,
this should present no problem; it will not ACCIDENTALLY discharge, so it doesn't matter if it's pointed at the car seat, chair, or a person or thing behind you if you're bending at the waist, etc. Just be sure to observe rules 3 & 4 if you need to present the weapon. I have had the thumb safety on my 1911 work itself off on a few occasions while carrying, but because I observed 3 & 4, no harm came of it.
Dry firing: we all know, as experienced shooters, that one of the best ways to become proficient with any firearm is to practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more. We also know that dry firing is acceptable, as long as one adheres strictly to the rule that no ammunition for the particular arm is present and the gun has been ascertained to be truly unloaded, and that during dry-fire practice, one performs frequent periodic checks for same. Even the esteemed Col. Cooper has reported about practicing dry-fire "snap shots" at various images on his TV set. I'm sure the good Colonel has no desire to destroy his set or do any sort of damage to his house or furnishings, but he, of course, follows the rules, and the exceptions noted, RELIGIOUSLY.
A gun with no ammo is a low-tech club (low-tech because even though it may be a hi-tech firearm, it was not designed to be a club. A 33 Louisville Slugger or a good aluminum baseball bat is a higher-tech club than any gun simply because it was designed for the purpose of swinging to hit something with a great deal of force.)

That's my nickel's worth.
Richard Jefferies is offline  
Old 01-06-2005, 05:33 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 6,935
Uh oh…

*

…I see that a certain condition, very similar to that which my Lodge last year codified as enuresis ignavus, is starting to set into this colloquy, so when some of you finish reinventing that which doesn't even require tinkering, I'll be back to lock the thread.

*
Dean Speir is offline  
Old 01-06-2005, 08:16 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,021
Hashing this out has refreshed me on why I've been dissatisfied with BOTH sets of "fundamentals." NRA's leaves out the target/impact zone caution entirely, and Cooper's leaves out the impact zone. NRA IMNSHO fails to emphasize the muzzle direction rule, while Cooper fails to address the careful thought that must go into deciding to close the action on a chambered round.

Perhaps even the NRA version--my modified included--should expressly say something about leaving a loaded firearm unattended. That great unmentionable is at least indirectly addressed in NRA "C", which I recall in the '80s as being action open and unloaded until ready to shoot. Yes, it "fits" the cold range model, but I also see it working on a hot range instructional situation as well--API and others have each student "load and make ready" and STAY ready all day long. No problem.

So, Dean, I guess we just disagree with whether either set "needs tweaking." I, for one, refuse to stick with commonly-accepted but defective Dogma just because someone famous or some big institution backs it. Otherwise, we might still be trying to get Parliament to address our Colonial grievances. Beware the fallacy of mere "authority"!

BTW, I capitalized dogma on purpose. Thou shalt not worship the Col., nor Gaston!
Grump is offline  
Old 01-06-2005, 08:28 AM   #17
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,198
Well, here's a thought that I think should also be added as it is covered in neither set.

Don't rely on the safety. Don't rely on it being on, and don't rely on it working.

There seems to be lots of people who have too much faith in that extra tab of metal that is their trigger block safety.
skslover is offline  
Old 01-06-2005, 08:53 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 6,935
*

Grump, while I hold my Gunsite ticket, I assure you that my views aren't "celebrity-based." That they succinctly and directly address everything I need to "keep safe," is what's important to me.

And, not for nuthin', but an updated version of the "API Four" appends "…and everything around it" to #4.

SKS-L, adhere to the basics, and reliance on a mechanical safety won't be an issue.

*
Dean Speir is offline  
Old 01-06-2005, 09:40 AM   #19
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2,198
Quote:
SKS-L, adhere to the basics, and reliance on a mechanical safety won't be an issue
Quite true, but it does bother me how many people think that mechanical safeties are the miracle cure to NDs.
skslover is offline  
Old 01-06-2005, 10:52 AM   #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 438
this is my safety. *flexes index finger*
OneidaEd is offline  
Reply

  Gun Hub > Gun Hub Forum > Gun Talk

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rules in NYC shooter45 Gun Rights 1 11-21-2008 10:09 AM
FEDEX, UPS, USPS RULES, RULES, RULES?? Amanda4461 M1 Garand 18 12-18-2005 10:41 AM




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002 - 2020 Gun Hub. All rights reserved.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.