Or are you just excited to shoot the stage? With the ammo shortage, I am sure everyone is getting more dry fire time, and many people use laser trainers or snap caps. But what if this happens at the match: “You are the RO and you give the competitor the ‘Make Ready’ command. The competitor inserts a magazine, racks the slide, but can’t seem to get a round to chamber. The competitor drops the magazine and locks back the slide. You see a laser trainer cartridge in the chamber. What is your call as the RO?”
The April Question of the Month had a clear winner in the poll:
And yes, a DQ is the correct answer. And the correct rule for the DQ is 10.5.13: “Having a loaded firearm other than when specifically ordered to by the Range Officer.”
But wait? It was a laser trainer, not ammo that would actually fire. How can the firearm be loaded? Here is where we have to consult Appendix A3 to see what the definition of a Loaded Firearm is: “A firearm having a live round, empty case or dummy round in the chamber or cylinder or having a live or dummy round in a magazine inserted in the firearm.” But a laser trainer isn’t a dummy round! Not so fast, see the definition of a Dummy Ammunition in App. A3: “Includes snap caps, empty cases, dummy rounds and any other object that resembles or duplicates a live round.”
A laser trainer resembles a live round, and if it is in the chamber, the firearm is considered to be loaded. Which means it’s a DQ per 10.5.13.
Moral of the story, always make sure your laser trainer is removed from your pistol before you leave home and head to the match. It is not fun to DQ on the first stage before even firing a shot.
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