1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Open bolt indicators

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Freedomv, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. Freedomv

    Freedomv Well-Known Member

    I just finished reading about another accidental discharge & negligent discharge of a weapon while clearing it. That got me to thinking about the open bolt indicators that are mandatory and required when shooting at Camp Perry.

    They are very valuable aids for firearms safety. Simple put, they are a device placed in the chamber of a weapon with a portion that protrudes out side of the weapon to provide an easily visible means to determine weather or not the weapon is loaded. They are not “snap caps’.

    I do not understand why they are not put to use more often by both the military and civilians.

    One individual spoke of having to clear his weapon when returning to camp and also again when going into the mess hall etc. while in Iraq. Even with all of these safety precautions they were still experiencing accidental discharges while in camp. This problem would not occur (as often) if open bolt indicators were to be used.

    The M-16 line of weaponry also has a plastic devise that is inserted into the magazine well and up into the action area that provides very visible and positive proof that the weapon is in a safe condition.

    These devices can be purchased from the CMP or made from plastic or other material or fired ammo cases with flags attached that protrude outside of the action etc.

    I am not sure that they are available for pistols, but can be made if they are not available commercially.

    I don’t believe that the firing pin springs etc are damage from remaining compressed, as some might question, if the device is used over a long period of time but I am not positive about that.

    This is just a heads up to those who may not have heard or know that such things are available.

  2. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Just a guess, but they probably keep the chamber "door" closed on their M16s over there in the sandbox to keep the grit out. The "flag" sticking out would keep the door open. I'm sure a solution to both problems could be found, but in the meantime they simply try to enforce the existing rules and punish those who fail to keep them in the front of their mind.
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    An OBI is a valuable safety aid on the range.
    In a combat zone, the best way to reduce ADs would be to reduce unnecessary handling of the firearms. Don't unload the gun at the mess hall, just keep your @#$%^&* finger off the trigger. John Farnham reports opening some eyes by running a hot range and trusting people with loaded guns.
  4. Freedomv

    Freedomv Well-Known Member

    Henry B.

    I understand what you are saying but I believe, if memory serves me correctly, that this devise;

    "{The M-16 line of weaponry also has a plastic devise that is inserted into the magazine well and up into the action area that provides very visible and positive proof that the weapon is in a safe condition."

    Allows for the charging handle to be returned to its forward position and the action/chamber "door" closed. In addition, the exposed portion that extends from the magazine well is a bright orange color for identification and prevents foreign material from entering the action.

    I should have explained that better than I did. I thank you for pointing this out so that I could clarify what I posted.

  5. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    OBIs are excellent stocking stuffers.

    i just ordered 3 more. i keep one in almost all of my guns. definitely all my ARs.
  6. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    But if the door is closed, how do you see the flag? If you can't see the flag it doesn't do any good.
  7. whm1974

    whm1974 Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking the same thing. Keeping guns loaded will enforce the mindset that "guns are always loaded" Firearms should be loaded in combat zones anyway.

  8. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    I think it is something that goes up the hole where the magazine would be.

    Keep the safety on and your finger off the trigger, and ther eshould be no ND's
  9. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

    Oh. OK. :eek: Nevermind.:uhoh:
  10. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    My bullheaded opinion.

    I've got an opinion that may well bite me in the butt one day, but I'll probably admit my mistake and have the same opinion afterwards. Other than mechanical failure, there is no excuse for a ND other than failure to follow safe gunhandling practices. Keep the wep pointed in a safe direction, finger off the trigger and safety catch engaged until you need or want to fire. Everything else is a complication of the basic rules.
  11. Sleeping Dog

    Sleeping Dog Well-Known Member

    That's one kind. Another kind just gets inserted into the chamber through the ejection port and the flag stays sticking out the ejection port, nothing in the magazine well. CMP sells them. The bolt almost closes, but it's not a dustproof seal.

  12. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Well-Known Member

    The one that goes into the magazine well is NOT allowed at camp Perry.
    The O.B.I. is a open bolt indicator but must fit into the chamber of the weapon. The reason the first ones were banned was you could still have a round in the chamber and have the magazine inserted one inserted at the same time.
    It was decided that the only safe way was to use the device that actually inserts into the chamber or and barrel. YES there were accidents with the other one and that was the reason for a change.
    You can optain them there many sources but the most cost effective is threw either the NRA or CMP.
    That obi rule finnally came into effect in the late 80's i believe and up till then you were trusted. But I do feel safer with them as I have no ideal who is waving that muzzle past me. I have personally had a shooter at my match that I was running do the following.
    He was shooting a garand next to another Garand shooter. And he had the guys en block eject over his rifle and he thought he was done in a rapid fire. He started to stand up and fired one into the ground in front of himself and still had another one in the chamber when I stopped him from moving. At certain beginner matches I tell them they need to keep the firearms poined down range untill I verify they have removed their mag and inserted a OBI.
    I know us a champion that left a round in the chamber on a bolt rifle by mistake and fired a round into their trunk the next day after the match.
  13. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I find it simpler just to keep all my firearms except .22 caliber match pistols loaded at all times. If you know it's loaded and act accordingly, you're not likely to encounter a problem.

    At the bullseye range, we keep our guns locked open and leave them untouched on the benches whenever someone goes forward to change targets. The one time a newbie moved toward his gun, several of us intervened in P.D.Q. order. "Well, yeah, but it's on safe" didn't make the grade with us.
  14. whm1974

    whm1974 Well-Known Member

    I do the same thing with my .38 snubnose. Unless I'm transporting it to the range it is loaded at all times.

  15. stevelyn

    stevelyn Well-Known Member

    I read the story in Farnum's "Gunslinger Diaries" in Soldier of Fortune. I was happy to see the military transistioning over to the real world in gun handling and hot ranges.
    The Alaska DPS Academy teaches the hot range concept as do I as a police firearms instructor. The best way to avoid NDs is to constantly observe and reinforce the "Four Rules" and load your gun and don't screw with it until needed to shoot or clean.
  16. VARifleman

    VARifleman Well-Known Member

    When have they been required at Perry? I've been there the past 3 years and they haven't been required. I'm the for SB. :confused:
  17. jefnvk

    jefnvk Well-Known Member

    I went to SAFS this year, and it was most definitely required. Everyone I talked to said the same thing about the match.
  18. Freedomv

    Freedomv Well-Known Member


    The last time that I shot across the board competition at Camp Perry was in 1994 and the OBIs were issued with your match packets and had been for a few years prior to that time.

    You were required to use them. If you refused you very well may find yourself escorted off the Camp. Prior to that everyone was trusted to be safe and if you displayed any unsafe acts any body and every body could and would correct your actions. For instance, there was no dry firing allowed anywhere other that on the firing line during the 3-minute prep period or on the sight in range. Actions remained open at all times when not on the firing line etc.

    I participated in several of the Garand matches and Springfield matches until this year and the OBIs were still in my packets and I used them.

    My 1992 NRA HIGHPOWER RIFLE RULES book lists the following rule;

    #3.21Open Bolt Indicator- The open bolt indicator (stock Number CT5H200) will be used to indicate the bolt is open. (The use of the indicator will be mandatory for all NRA Sanctioned Tournaments starting 1 January 1993 and will also be mandatory in the 1992 National Matches.)

    Subsequent yearly rulebooks have a variation of this rule that allows other OBIs to be used in place of the recommended stock number CT 17500 but OBI is still a requirement.

    This should help clarify what is required to shoot NRA matches at Camp Perry.

  19. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Well-Known Member

    I do not know the small bore rules so I can not comment on them.
    In highpower it is required. As above they even changed the rule again at the beginning of this year 2005. Before they allowed the mag block flag combo thingy that inserted into the mag well of ar15 type weapons. This year you could not use them. Now allot of folks dislike putting something that has been laying in the dirt or what ever into their barrel. I wipe mine off but I do know a few folks that cut them down to only go into the chamber instead of all the way into the barrel.
    Now my opinion on some ranges allowing you to have loaded weapons on the firing line?
    Well if it is a controlled range were you know the training of the shooters I can see where you may not have any problems even if the potential is there more than if they did not.
    Now I do not confuse this toplaces like in CO where you may still CCW while at the range or even open carry. But even those ranges tell you if you handle a weapon while someone is down range or in a cold range situation you will be dealt with with punishment from a warning on the first offense to being kicked out of the club.
    I do know ranges that I would not go to as I hate someone shooting at targets while I am down range. I have even had folks shoot at my targets while I was going down range.
    I avoid places that are not safe.
  20. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

    For the Military's mess halls, why don't they just use some sort of snap on trigger guard cover? You wouldn't have to mess with the rifle but to snap on something to cover up the trigger and insure the safety is engaged. Of course, it likely wouldn't have stopped that idiot who says "See, it isn't loaded!".

    I am not sure there is a full proof safeguard against stupidity except vigilence.

Share This Page