Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Safe Weapons Handling:

Guys, I have a query re safe weapons handling that you may be able to help me with, and at least should generate some discussion.
I'm a L.E. firearms Instructor for past 10 years and a safety issue keeps rearing its head especially when dealing with Specialist Squads.
It goes something like this. With all our firearms; bolt action and semi; standard clearance drills require a thourough phisical and visual check of chamber and mag (well) on picking up and return of an issue firearm.( This has been abreviated to keep this short.) The issue that has again reared its head is should the action be fired ie 'easing springs' when putting the weapon away at the end of duty??
Our concern is that this does NOT constitute a safety drill and see more dangers induced by operating a trigger needlessly (refer Glock training). The major argument seems to go that the trigger/ action spring may weaken if kept cocked for long periods our cme. I have yet to see anything to this effect from a manufacturer but hope someone out there can assist with either their own opinions or training techniques as taught to them.
While I'm here and 'connected' my next query is re L.E. sniper training. A recent course last week highlighted some major tactical as well as training deficiencies in deployment and skill of some of our shooters. I really need some training ideas that I can say are being used elsewhere rather than what I've dreamed up..
I was supposed to keep this short... Cheers
Dave Jones <>
Wellington, New Zealand - Monday, October 12, 1998 at 06:28:50 (EDT)

On the "ease springs" thing. THe USMC adopted said procedure from the Brits a few years back when we instituted a new weapons handling package. I beleive this procedure went back to the days when the troops were outfitted with bolt action rifles (we still do the same thing with our M40's and M24's). I believe in the procedure as it does more than just relieve pressure on the spring but also all of the other parts that have tension on them when the weapon is cocked. Military and Police weapons see a lot of duty and whatever we can do to prolong the service life and reliability of them is peachy keen by me.

Weapons handling.

When I was with Marine Corps Security Forces we had clearing barrels outside of all of our armorys and many areas such as the post where guard details were posted. Post standers were required to "unload and show clear" to the Sgt of the Guard then place the muzzle of the weapon into the opening of the barrel and close the action then dry fire into the barrel. If people are properly trained and SUPERVISED you should never have a round go off into the barrel.

Proper weapons handling is a pet peeve of mine. I've seen 2 people shot during training and I was almost a third one. One was by a Private at Parris Island who wanted to go home so he shot himself in his hand with an M16 and the other was during CQB training due to a ate up holster. Both incidents were operator headspace errors even though they were properly trained and supervised. (My incident was at BSR by an idiot on our CQB team who couldn't stay in his sector during room clearing ops.) Murphy is alive and well and I met him and his son in Wyoming!!!!!!

One of the USMC headquarters units had a clearing barrel outside of the CP in Desert Storm. It had a score board above it for negligent discharges into the barrel. It was junior enlisted vs Senior enlisted/Officers. The Senior enlisted and Officers won the contest by far.

I believe in the 4 Jeff Cooper safety rules.

1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
2. Never point your weapon at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire.
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

Gooch is out of here.
gooch <>
Sherwood, AR USA - Monday, October 12, 1998 at 13:02:40 (EDT) 

With all due respect, Rule One is "All guns are always loaded." Guru Cooper stresses the difference between what I wrote as Rule One and what you wrote. The others are close enough that the Colonel would not bark about the differences.
Rule 3 is also known as "the golden rule" since under normal circumstances you can screw up on one or more of the other rules without causing a tragedy, until you break Rule 3 as well.
I share Gooch's "peeve" on poor weapons handling. If I throttled every person who picked up a firearm off a table at the gun shows and pointed it at me, I'd have to kill more people than the Plague. Ticks me off to no end. Safe and proper handling is every gun owner's responsibility. Period.
When I was in one of Cooper's pistol classes we had an ND. A student who was otherwise very competent (Army SF) and a heck of a nice guy had a lot on his mind, he was leaving class early the next day to race across half the country to get to a new post... After breakfast one morning he wanted to get one more quick round of practicing his presentation and as a result you can probably still see the .45 caliber hole in the door at the competitor housing at Whittington. Fortunately, no other harm was done other than rattling the guy's nerves big time. I think he learned his lesson, and that left the rest of the class thinking "Thank god it wan't me!"

Gotta run.
Dave <>
San Jose, CA USA - Monday, October 12, 1998 at 13:40:23 (EDT)

Just a reminder, please use safety glasses when ever you shoot, it saved my eyes and from what I understand Torsten's too. It's a eal good idea and it doesn't make you any less a man.

Gramps <>
USA - Tuesday, February 02, 1999 at 07:52:17 (ZULU) 

John: A while back, you posted one of many variations of Colonel Cooper's Four Rules:

1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle of your firearm cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target!
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

I prefer this version to the dozens of diluted versions I have read over the years. WRT your version, I certainly see no reason to change Rule 3 ("The Golden Rule") to be the 4th Rule, which seems like a recipe for confusion.

I encourage Duty Roster readers to become familiar with these rules, along with Colonel Cooper's Four Stages of Alertness.

Dave <>
San Jose, CA, USA - Monday, February 08, 1999 at 19:49:02 (ZULU) 

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