Do you know the difference between a shot and a detonation? Do you know what to do when a detonation happens during the course of fire? We wrapped up 2021 with a bang for the December Question of the Month.
We showed you this video and asked the question below:
What did the RO stop the competitor for and what is the call?
Okay, the poll results indicate that it was a shot during a remedial action and a DQ. But is that correct? Let’s break down what happened in the video.
The competitor was progressing through the stage and encountered a malfunction. She tried to rack the slide and it was not moving easily so she brought it in closer to get more leverage with her finger outside the trigger guard. Which racking the slide a shot occurred. But was it a shot? If you watch the video again, pay attention to where the smoke was coming from during the previous shots and the last shot. For the normal shots, the smoke is coming from the end of the barrel. The smoke came from the ejection port for the last shot. What the video doesn’t show is the bullet bouncing up and hitting her in the lip. No permanent damage was done, but she had a cut and swollen lip.
Okay, so what actually happened? While clearing the malfunction the round that was being ejected didn’t fully clear the slide as it went forward and the primer was hit with something other than the firing pin (most likely the ejector). Since the round was not in the chamber when the primer ignited, there was nothing to guide the bullet in a certain direction. So the bullet did not go through the barrel and usually when we see detonations, the competitor’s hand has covering the ejection port while racking the slide and as a result the competitor’s hand has all sorts of metal fragments embedded in it. Fortunately that didn’t happen here.
So let’s figure out what the correct call is. The RO did the right thing in stopping the competitor. But what happens now? First, let’s look at a couple definitions from the rulebook (see Appendix A3). First, the definition of a ‘shot’: A bullet which passes completely through the barrel of a firearm. And here is the definition of a ‘detonation’: Ignition of the primer of a round, other than by action of a firing pin, where the bullet does not pass through the barrel (e.g. when a slide is being manually retracted, when a round is dropped).
Based on those definitions, what occurred in the video was a detonation, not a shot. As a result, you cannot DQ the competitor using 10.4.4 for a shot during remedial action because it wasn’t a shot. However, the RO stopped the competitor because he suspected an unsafe gun or ammo (see 5.7.7) and because it made a loud noise while the competitor was attempting to clear a malfunction. A detonation is a potential unsafe gun situation. As a result, the stage might be scored as shot, but if the gun was determined to be safe, then the competitor would get a reshoot.
(Note: this post was edited due to an “oops” with the last paragraph, declaring the stage would be scored as shot. Several people, including myself, read this prior to publication and simply missed that. Thank you to the members who wrote to us and asked why a reshoot wasn’t an option. We apologize for any confusion. TM)
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