As a Range Officer, you’ll be faced with situations where the competitor’s gun appears to be hopelessly jammed: double feeds, stuck cases, backward bullets, failure to extract, etc. In any case where a competitor has a malfunction, by rule, they have two minutes to correct the problem.
Section 5.7 covers correcting malfunctions quite well, and specifies a two minute time limit, as well as the conditions the competitor must satisfy while attempting to correct the problem. The RO should not stop the competitor unless he suspects a safety problem, such as a squib or a doubling gun. Stopping the competitor inside the two minute limit will result in a reshoot if the gun is simply jammed and no safety problem exists. Two minutes seems like a lifetime when you are shooting a stage and under time pressure, and many competitors will not take the full two minutes before giving up if they can’t clear the gun.
Competitors stopping for a malfunction will not get a reshoot, unless the malfunction occurs before the start signal, in which case the competitor may clear the gun, repair or replace (with RM permission), and return to attempt the course of fire. This holds true for unattempted strings (before the start signal, remember?).
In any event, a competitor must never be allowed to leave a course of fire with a loaded firearm. (See the definition of loaded in Appendix A3). The only thing the competitor may not do under the clock is attempt to clear a squib; in that instance the RO must stop the competitor, and then, under RO supervision, the competitor or the RO or both can attempt to clear the barrel. A zip-tie comes in handy to check for blockage of the barrel, since it can be inserted from the chamber end, but it won’t budge a stuck bullet. Competitors may be allowed to leave the course of fire once the gun is clear to take corrective action on the bullet in a safe area.