Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need it

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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by bladeracer » 14 Dec 2018, 1:46 pm

marksman wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
bigfellascott wrote:...but I think this one is ok certainly has been all these years :unknown:


This bloke that killed his mate thought he was safe for forty years himself...until he suddenly discovered he wasn't...


you are right blade, we can get complacent as we get experience, its not hard to be safe :drinks:


When I bought my first M96 as a kid I carried it a few times with the bolt uncocked on a live round...until I disassembled the bolt and saw how it worked!
It was perfectly safe, in as much as it never fired, but it was a nasty "accident" just waiting for an opportune moment to strike me down, or somebody else.
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by bigfellascott » 14 Dec 2018, 4:15 pm

bladeracer wrote:
bigfellascott wrote:...but I think this one is ok certainly has been all these years :unknown:


This bloke that killed his mate thought he was safe for forty years himself...until he suddenly discovered he wasn't...


Yeah but he had a loaded and cocked rifle by the sounds of it and somehow disengaged the safety so it was infact live, somewhat different to a decocked but chambered round. :drinks:
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by bigfellascott » 14 Dec 2018, 4:25 pm

What do you make of the 3 position safety on the Howa rifles, Position 1 is ready to fire, position 2. sees the trigger or sear blocked but bolt can be still opened when it is cocked to then de cock it on opening to extract a round, and position 3. sees the trigger or sear blocked and bolt locked.
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by marksman » 14 Dec 2018, 5:03 pm

bladeracer wrote:
marksman wrote:the feckwit in this story had the loaded firearm on top of his shoulder holding it by the barrel when he slipped in mud as they walked to his fresh kill hoping to see another one and the firearm discharged shooting his best mate he says he used the safety and it come off on its own, if he had not been such a hero and held the firearm in a way he could control where the muzzle was pointing he still may have had an accidental discharge but his mate would still be breathing because the muzzle was pointing in a safe direction, hero's always recon they are the safest shooters :crazy:


To clarify, he carried the rifle that way initially, which almost certainly negated the safety by allowing it to be disengaged against his pack, or anything else while it was out of his control - even tree branches or brush could disengage it very easily. And just as easily, another branch could pull the trigger, while he is waving the muzzle around.

He then took the rifle from his shoulder into his left hand, without checking the safety, or keeping it pointed in a safe direction, when he slipped in the slush, and the rifle fired. Falling or dropping a cocked rifle allows many uncontrolled interactions with the trigger that could fire it, branches, clothing, fingers, etc can all inadvertantly find their way into the trigger guard during a fall.


and as I said blade if he had carried the firearm safely eg.. 2 handed carry he would have controlled the muzzle's direction and not killed his mate
it does not matter what caused the discharge, he was not in control of the firearm, the firearm does not have a mind of it's own
but then again it might have been one of those Remington's that have a mind of the own and shoot when they feel like it
www.cnbc.com/remington-under-fire/

scott it doesn't matter what we think of the howa safety, it's approved as safe :unknown:
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by bladeracer » 14 Dec 2018, 5:48 pm

bigfellascott wrote:What do you make of the 3 position safety on the Howa rifles, Position 1 is ready to fire, position 2. sees the trigger or sear blocked but bolt can be still opened when it is cocked to then de cock it on opening to extract a round, and position 3. sees the trigger or sear blocked and bolt locked.


I don't really see any need for it. If you're not ready to fire you don't need a safety as you won't have a round chambered, if you are ready to fire, you don't need the safety anyway.
I was lucky to learn early, and without mishap, that a safety isn't. Don't use it and you will never find yourself relying on it.
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by sungazer » 14 Dec 2018, 6:30 pm

A Barnard firing pin protrusion length sorry it is off topic For example we have always used .050” to .055” protrusion length for the firing pin tip, some of our dealers have always preferred .060” protrusion.

I dont have the pictures but on most firearms the cock on opening. You will see a litlle part of the back of the firing pin sitting it a slight indent at the top of a ramp. When you close the bolt it moves the small bit of the back of the firing pin from the bolt stopping it to the sear of the gun that holds it in the same position backward. as you close the bolt you are moving the back of the firing pin back across that ramp which helped move it back against a spring to hopefully the fully closed bold position which will give that firing pin clear access to move forward when released.

If the bolt was only closed half way the back of the firing pin may be in line with half way along that ramp but still held back by the trigger sear somewhat. If the trigger was pulled in this state the firing pin would move forward it may move enough to hit the primer the locking lugs may not be full engaged. Its impossible to come up with all the outcomes but a lot of them are not good.
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by bigfellascott » 14 Dec 2018, 6:38 pm

The Howa Bolt Disassembled.

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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by Stix » 14 Dec 2018, 6:39 pm

Im no bolt/action expert...& im not sure if its worth mentioning this minor point...

For those unaware Its worth noting that many rifles the extractor only picks the round up when the bolt is fully closed/on the down stroke if you get me....

Ive been in the scenario where game is seen & a round chambered but leave bolt up to be ready...
Game disappears then some banter/or game is shot & another round chambered with bolt up again, bit of chit chat/banter, forget a round has been pushed down the chamber...
A complacent "check" is done by sliding bolt back & forth without closing the bolt, inadvertantly leaving a live one in the chamber that is not realised until another round needs chambering--& this could be too late...

This scenario is a great example of the need to be muzzle aware--particularly if rifle changes hands after a complacent check & someone goes to collect the fur.

I always work the complete cycle of the bolt to ensure no round is left in the chamber...particularly spotlighting when its hard to glance down the chamber.
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by TassieTiger » 14 Dec 2018, 6:43 pm

bigfellascott wrote:The Howa Bolt Disassembled.

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That’s awesome - thank you.
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by grandadbushy » 14 Dec 2018, 6:49 pm

''EXACTLY '' Stix very important point and a game changer if two or three people are using that rifle at different times :thumbsup:
If an unbeknowing person closes the bolt that rifle becomes lethal :thumbsdown: :problem:
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by TassieTiger » 14 Dec 2018, 6:51 pm

Stix wrote:
For those unaware Its worth noting that many rifles the extractor only picks the round up when the bolt is fully closed/on the down stroke if you get me....

Ive been in the scenario where game is seen & a round chambered but leave bolt up to be ready...
Game disappears then some banter/or game is shot & another round chambered with bolt up again, bit of chit chat/banter, forget a round has been pushed down the chamber...
A complacent "check" is done by sliding bolt back & forth without closing the bolt, inadvertantly leaving a live one in the chamber that is not realised until another round needs chambering--& this could be too late...

This scenario is a great example of the need to be muzzle aware--particularly if rifle changes hands after a complacent check & someone goes to collect the fur.

I always work the complete cycle of the bolt to ensure no round is left in the chamber...particularly spotlighting when its hard to glance down the chamber.


I ve been in this exact scenario recently and without fully understanding what you have described above - I put it down to dumb operator error...when I finally realised wtf was going on. In my case I loaded 4 into a mag instead of 3 - fired 3 and then chambered no 4 inadvertently - then Started chatting about the grouping and writing shot details down and then decided to pull bolt to let air flow. Only bolt came out without the bullet...and because I’d been loading 3’s all day - completely forgot about one in the chamber. Scary how easy that was to happen...we were never in any danger but was an eye opener...
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by bigfellascott » 14 Dec 2018, 6:53 pm

sungazer wrote:A Barnard firing pin protrusion length sorry it is off topic For example we have always used .050” to .055” protrusion length for the firing pin tip, some of our dealers have always preferred .060” protrusion.

I dont have the pictures but on most firearms the cock on opening. You will see a litlle part of the back of the firing pin sitting it a slight indent at the top of a ramp. When you close the bolt it moves the small bit of the back of the firing pin from the bolt stopping it to the sear of the gun that holds it in the same position backward. as you close the bolt you are moving the back of the firing pin back across that ramp which helped move it back against a spring to hopefully the fully closed bold position which will give that firing pin clear access to move forward when released.

If the bolt was only closed half way the back of the firing pin may be in line with half way along that ramp but still held back by the trigger sear somewhat. If the trigger was pulled in this state the firing pin would move forward it may move enough to hit the primer the locking lugs may not be full engaged. Its impossible to come up with all the outcomes but a lot of them are not good.


I did a little test before with the Howa, I put the bolt in the half cocked position and squeezed the trigger and nothing, I then closed the bolt and the rifle wasn't cocked at all, to cock it I had to lift the bolt handle and close it again to cock it, I reckon if I did the same procedure and instead of squeezing the trigger in the half cocked position just put it in the half cocked position then in the full cock position it would then be fully cocked.

Interesting topic, It's good to test these scenarios out. :drinks:
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by Stix » 14 Dec 2018, 8:27 pm

TassieTiger wrote:
Stix wrote:
For those unaware Its worth noting that many rifles the extractor only picks the round up when the bolt is fully closed/on the down stroke if you get me....

Ive been in the scenario where game is seen & a round chambered but leave bolt up to be ready...
Game disappears then some banter/or game is shot & another round chambered with bolt up again, bit of chit chat/banter, forget a round has been pushed down the chamber...
A complacent "check" is done by sliding bolt back & forth without closing the bolt, inadvertantly leaving a live one in the chamber that is not realised until another round needs chambering--& this could be too late...

This scenario is a great example of the need to be muzzle aware--particularly if rifle changes hands after a complacent check & someone goes to collect the fur.

I always work the complete cycle of the bolt to ensure no round is left in the chamber...particularly spotlighting when its hard to glance down the chamber.


I ve been in this exact scenario recently and without fully understanding what you have described above - I put it down to dumb operator error...when I finally realised wtf was going on. In my case I loaded 4 into a mag instead of 3 - fired 3 and then chambered no 4 inadvertently - then Started chatting about the grouping and writing shot details down and then decided to pull bolt to let air flow. Only bolt came out without the bullet...and because I’d been loading 3’s all day - completely forgot about one in the chamber. Scary how easy that was to happen...we were never in any danger but was an eye opener...


Tassie...hope i dont get attacked here for saying this & shouldn't speak for other people...but many of us have found a round in the chamber when we didnt think there was one in there...many more of us than will ever admit..i have...!!..i once heard the stats are that 9/10 'accidental shootings' happen from unloaded firearms...(tell that to a licenced gun owner that wants to go hunting with you, & if you have to explain it to them, dont ever go hunting with them...!!)...
It is ultimately muzzle awareness that will save you...there are other factors in being aware too like i find i know "my" rifles sound intimately, but you can "hear" if someone has a round chambered if that makes sense because mentally you know the sound cycle....

Sometimes at the range i find myself thinking 'ah that guy is shooting 4 shot groups' without even realising im aware of him...other times i think 'ah that wanker is trying to spit all his rifling into the mound cos hes just shot 25 hot rounds out of his 243 in 18 seconds... :lol: :lol:

Its good to admit mistakes i rekon...& also imagine the aftermath if the worst were to happen...that way it helps to keep us on our toes...depending on circumstance, realising a mistake can obviously be a bad thing, but can also be a good sign that you have an awareness about you/a back-up secondary safety check if you will.
Mine is as i think others have mentioned regular random chamber checks along with continual muzzle awareness...

I also think its important to encourage people to not feel stupid about having safety issues pointed out to them...absolutely no point having someone walking around with a gun feeling stupid...!! (i mean your average good on the ball safety orientated shooter--not the wanker cowboys that are out for a self indulgent testosterone overload...!!). Never act the superior by making a fellow shooter feel stupid about a mistake, just mention it quietly & give encouragement...we need people comfortable around firearms...not nervous from being in fear of being made a public fool... :thumbsup:
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by MJW380 » 14 Dec 2018, 8:48 pm

Went spotlighting with a couple of mates one night, one driving and one in the back of ute with myself taking turns working the spottie/on the rifle. Long story short, got back to camp, the 3 of us got out of vehicle, walking in along next to each other and for whatever reason old mate pulls the trigger on his rifle “Boom” Que myself and my mate giving it to the clown. I’m always super conscious of safety, just a habit I have that even after I take a shot, then clear the empty, I take the mag out and work the bolt and dry fire, then put loaded mag back in. I even repeat running the bolt without mag in occasionally just to reassure myself. I’ve always expected that other people were as safety conscious as I was, but obviously not. Needless to say old mate hasn’t been since.
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by bladeracer » 14 Dec 2018, 8:49 pm

Stix wrote:Tassie...hope i dont get attacked here for saying this & shouldn't speak for other people...but many of us have found a round in the chamber when we didnt think there was one in there...many more of us than will ever admit..i have...!!


I've had it once, just a few months ago with the Henry .22. Shot the mag tube dry, cycled the action several times to be sure, and I'm certain I remembered seeing the orange follower to confirm it was dry. Came back to the office, cycled it again before putting it in the safe, and a live round flicked out!
And I still have no bloody idea how it was possible.
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by grandadbushy » 14 Dec 2018, 9:47 pm

It doesn't matter how many angles you look at this subject in my opinion and should be the opinion of all '' just don't put a bullet into the chamber until needed''
Unfortunately not all agree with that and don't practice it
I spoke with a aircon salesman the other day about this very subject and his cousin and brother were shooting years back with an old ''Cooee'' single shot 22
having turns at shooting now the old 22 would cock itself when the bolt was closed but could be released by gripping the knob on the end at the back of the firing pin
then pull the trigger and slowly ease the pin forward till it comes to rest although the pin was now sitting on the bullet which wasn't much of a problem
Then one brother wanted his turn to shoot so with pin safe the brother handed it to the other brother but he wanted it cleared as he was using hollow points and not solids like his sibling so brother number one cleared by dry cycling the bolt closed the bolt without easing the pin forward and handed the gun to the other fella
in doing so he pulled the trigger and shot his brother in the hip they found out later that the old ejection bar that is a single piece separate from the bolt that catches
the shell from the bottom had broken in half ''which I have seen several times in my life'' and failed to eject the live solid when dry cycled
So there's a very good reason not to carry a bullet in the chamber right there
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by Stix » 14 Dec 2018, 10:31 pm

MJW380 wrote:Went spotlighting with a couple of mates one night, one driving and one in the back of ute with myself taking turns working the spottie/on the rifle. Long story short, got back to camp, the 3 of us got out of vehicle, walking in along next to each other and for whatever reason old mate pulls the trigger on his rifle “Boom” Que myself and my mate giving it to the clown. I’m always super conscious of safety, just a habit I have that even after I take a shot, then clear the empty, I take the mag out and work the bolt and dry fire, then put loaded mag back in. I even repeat running the bolt without mag in occasionally just to reassure myself. I’ve always expected that other people were as safety conscious as I was, but obviously not. Needless to say old mate hasn’t been since.


Wow...very lucky by the sound of it MJW.

When it comes to expectations with guns...hmmm...
To play the devils advocate with your situation above MJW, i feel that gun safety is everyones business, so while old mate pulled the trigger, neither 2 of you guys asked him if the rifle was safe (I guessing thats a fair assumption or it wouldnt have happened :unknown: )...not having a crack at you mate :drinks: , but you're all responsible/all three of you have demonstrated a level of complacency that resulted in a discharge if you see that perspective... :thumbsup:
Again, not having a crack...just maybe giving us all a reminder of how one brief moment can change lives...(shudder)

No doubt the guy who did it feels like a twat...maybe he is a twat, i dont know...but if he's a guy who genuinely means well, maybe you could get him back out with you & give him another go... :unknown: as i said, culpability there is not all his... :unknown: :thumbsup:

Always a good idea to be audible with others...go along the lines of what Bigfella here says he does...similar to me if ive got someone with me...

If we are audible to check each other then these incidents dont happen, or shouldnt... :thumbsup:
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Re: Why you never have a round in the chamber until you need

Post by Stix » 14 Dec 2018, 10:33 pm

The rules in my car are the person behind the rifle audibly volunteers the chamber empty & makes it clear they physically check too...& thats after every encounter/near encounter/car stop/bladder emptying stop/can swap-out/munchies grab/gutting session stop etc...if they are a bit too slow to it, someone else asks & no one is offended, or accidentally shot.

I always make it known im empty every stop if in someone elses car...!

Once i didnt volunteer the rifle safe on purpose when spotlighting in my car & i gave my shooting partner (a young lad) a bit of semi-funny but serious lip for not pulling me up on it...!!
I told him dont be shy because the gun goes off its final...every now & then id randomly ask him if i had one in the chamber to keep him on his toes & by the end of the night he was on the ball. :thumbsup: ..he feels comfortable in doing it now with me which is a good thing. :thumbsup:

I like keeping keen young learning guys on the ball like that while spotlighting..its dark so they cant see & have to rely on other senses to be aware....they seem to soon get a sense of awareness of the state of the rifle...after a while ill ask them where the bitumen road is, or if the farm house is behind where they/or me are about to take a shot...that usually pulls the genuine guys up a bit & makes them realise there is much more to spotlighting than just hoot'n n toot'n...after just a couple of trips out it starts to become second nature to them. :clap:
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