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Ignorance will = A negligent discharge! Capstick Method

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by H&Hhunter, Jun 26, 2012.

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  1. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    Thanks H&H had me scratching my head there for a moment.
    I do think I'll opt for the safety as I have been known to drop things on occasion.
    T
     
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    When the hammer is down on the safety notch, it's completely unloaded and NOT like an 1873 colt where the hammer is held back by the safety notch, but I agree, the safety notch breaks, things can happen. I simply don't worry about it. Like you said, they've worked well for 150 years. 73 colts, carry with five hammer down on an empty chamber. Winchester lever gun, hammer down chamber loaded.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Oh, and then there's the 93 Mausers, had a Spanish in 7x57. Cocks on closing. :D
     
  4. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

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    You still don't have to open it all the way, at least not on my 93. Just about an inch or so.
     
  5. beeenbag

    beeenbag Member

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    This theory really seems kinda silly to start with. It has already been stated that in order to fire after you "Dead bolt" or "capstick", whatever you wanna call it, you have to lift the bolt handle. Is it really that hard to go ahead and pull it back to chamber a round, being as you are already manipulating the bolt to start with?

    I don't understand the benifit of this carry method from the beginning. You are already going to be making noise with the bolt so that is out. You are going to be moving your firing hand off of the grip so that is out. You arent "pre staged" so to speak because you have to manipulate the bolt, so that is out.

    What is the added benifit again?
     
  6. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    That's the other side of this
    there ain't any advantage to this, and a good chance of a negligent discharge with any decent bump.
     
  7. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    Never read Capstick, so I personally have no idea of the context. But my guess is that it's his (or someone he knew's) solution to not having to retire a favored rifle, or only one on hand, after signs of a safety failure in the field??

    I've seen many a "Naw it'll be alright i'll just do Scetchy action X as a work around" since i started shooting and hunting around the general shooting public.
    For that matter you see that type of crap other places too, worked with a guy for awhile that had replaced the broken lap belt in his pickup with rope and two carabiners:scrutiny:
     
  8. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    and there lies the deficiency
     
  9. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    The only time I have ever "Capsticked" a rifle is for storage, to relax the spring. Never occured to me that some people would actually carry a rifle around like this. Wouldn't it actually be faster to simply hit the safety than cycle the bolt (I know, only partially cycle)?
     
  10. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    Peter Capstick, Peter Capstick's Africa: A Return To The Long Grass Part One, Saile

    Hardcover: 240 pages
    Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (July 15, 1987)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0312006705
    ISBN-13: 978-0312006709

    http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Capsticks-Africa-Return-Grass/dp/0312006705

    Bibliography:


    A Man Called Lion
    The African Adventurers: A Return To Silent Places
    Death in a Lonely Land
    Death in the Dark Continent
    Death in the Long Grass
    Death in the Silent Places
    The Last Ivory Hunter
    Last Horizons
    Maneaters
    Peter Capstick's Africa: A Return To The Long Grass
    Sands of Silence
    Safari: the Last Adventure
    Warrior: the Legend of Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen
     
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    A hammer-fired rifle can have a free-floating firing pin; the pin does not touch the primer when the hammer is down.

    I don't know of any, but a bolt could be designed/built where the spring impels the firing pin to fire, but the spring is short enough such that the pin is basically free-floating thereafter--and thus would not be pressing on the primer if "Capsticked".

    Merely raising the bolt handle to cock the rifle is much quieter than cycling the bolt to raise a cartridge and chamber it.
     
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Maybe his/their thought was it takes more deliberation to move a big lever in an arc two times than moving a switch a quarter inch while still having the rifle "fully loaded".
     
  13. natman

    natman Member

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    I don't think there's any question at all that carrying a rifle in the condition you describe is stupid and dangerous.

    However, it's perfectly reasonable to question whether or not Capstick actually advocated doing it. You attributed it to him, there's nothing wrong with asking you for a citation.
     
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Aw, natman, go hunt it up: "Capstick wrote about it in several of his books."

    Without regard to the comments about Capstick's veracity, his books make for good reading.
     
  15. floorit76

    floorit76 Member

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    There is the benifit of having one round over magazine capacity.
     
  16. floorit76

    floorit76 Member

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    Just how much of this did you read? It has already been explained that in most rifles, just rotating the bolt up and back down, without pulling it back, will cock the action.
     
  17. USMC8541

    USMC8541 Member

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    Capstick was a great writer and a great drinker
     
  18. CaptainCrossman

    CaptainCrossman Member

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    The dangers of dropping the firing pin when chambering a round are extreme personal injury or death, and they are real. Let me relate a story.

    Someone I know who has been shooting and building rifles for over 50 years, had a mishap once with an early Mauser M93. As you know the pre-98 Mausers are cock-on-closing actions. That means the firing pin is loaded against the spring as the bolt is being shoved forward to chamber a round.

    This particular rifle had a trigger job done, and when chambering the next round, skipped the sear and exposed the firing pin through the face of the bolt, as the round was being chambered. The gun WENT OFF and threw the bolt through the back of the action like a missile. Fortunately this guy had moved the gun away from his face and was turned and talking to someone as he was chambering the round. The only thing impeding the backward movement of the bolt at that point, was the ejector assembly/box/bolt release lever, and the bolt busted that easily as it went by.

    The bolt then hit the shooter in the shoulder and stunned and numbed his right arm and shoulder. The explosion spread the magazine box and split the stock, and his one hand was powder burned and filled with burned and unburned powder specs that took weeks to work up through the skin and remove.

    Everyone talks about the locking lugs on an action, how strong they are, 3rd safety lugs, Weatherbys and Remingtons with 9 locking lugs, etc.

    Locking lugs only work when the bolt is LOCKED downward. Locking lugs no matter how many there are, are totally useless when the bolt handle is up. They really should put a sturdy locking lug on a rifle that when the bolt is up, impedes rearward movement of the bolt in case of a slam fire.

    When the bolt is UP, the only thing stopping the bolt from hitting you in the face, is the bolt release/ejector assembly box. And it's not strong enough to stop the bolt if a round goes off while the bolt handle is still in the upward position. The bolt will go through the ejector box like it wasn't even there.

    The bolt hit this guy and glanced off his shoulder and they found it 20 feet behind him on the ground. Now imagine if it had hit him in the face. He'd be maimed, disfigured, or possibly dead.

    This type of problem typically manifests itself when over-zealous tuners try to get the finest of hair triggers on a rifle, and it's not a good idea. I'd rather have a trigger with a few more lbs. of pull and a safe gun, than a dangerous gun with 1.5 lbs. of trigger pull. But it can also happen with a brand new gun due to hidden factory defects.

    I've also had slam fires myself with a pump shotgun Mossberg 500 that had NO trigger job, and with a Sako Finnwolf lever action that just by design had a slightly worn trigger/sear interface. I was able to repair both of them by doing a "reverse" trigger job, i.e. adding more trigger pull force required, by carefully dremel grinding a few parts, and careful dentist-like filing.

    ANY gun you purchase, take out and test for slam fire or safety hold. The Mossberg 500 I had would slam fire when chambering a round hard, and also would fire with the SAFETY ON if I hit the buttstock with a karate chop with my hand. It had a defective hair trigger from the factory. The Sako would slam fire if I worked the lever with a lot of speed and force, the same as if you fired a follow up shot at a quick running deer.

    I've also had problems with a Ruger M77 in 250 Savage caliber, that the tang safety would not stay on, walking with a round chambered and safety on, with the gun slung over my shoulder, the safety would somehow manage to click itself off repeatedly.

    The Mauser 98 will also drop the firing pin when fitted with an aftermarket wing safety, if the safety is ground too much and does not pull the cocking piece back away from the sear. If the safety is ground in such a way that is holds the cocking piece, but the cocking piece moves ahead of the sear, then what happens is, the safety then becomes the trigger, and when the safety is clicked off and downward, the firing pin drops. Perhaps some of you have seen this phenom with Mauser 98's. I've had three Mausers that had that defect, and every one had modified or aftermarket safeties. The fix is a new safety lever, fitted with minimal or no grinding. Better off with a difficult to operate safety, than a dangerous one that becomes a trigger.

    After all these problems with slam fires and defective safeties, I no longer walk with a loaded rifle on safe slung over my shoulder. I will walk and hunt with a rifle on safe holding it in front of me with both hands, like small game hunting with a shotgun. But otherwise I do not chamber a round in my rifle until I'm at and in my stand.

    Shooting and reloading for 35 years myself, I've come to the conclusion, don't trust ANY safety, they all can fail. I don't store or transport my guns this way myself, but in retrospect the old school mindset is wise- the best safety is removing the bolt from the gun, or leaving the action open when not in use.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  19. David Sinko

    David Sinko Member

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    This is all very interesting. A year or two ago a guy was killed at a local range when an old Mauser he was shooting "blew up" and sent the bolt back into his face. I don't know if he had pulled the trigger or was attempting to chamber a round. Most people blame the ammo first, but then again it could be the rifle too.

    Dave Sinko
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    The “Capstick” method of carry is dangerous.

    Military rifles were designed with safeties for a reason. Except those French rifles which had no safety.! If the soldier had a round in the chamber the safety was to be applied. Still there were enough accidental discharges in peacetime and in war zones that getting permission to load a weapon was rarely granted and was only to be conducted under very controlled conditions. Almost all of those military you see guarding something, they don’t have rounds in the chambers and it is very unlikely that they have loaded magazines in the weapon. A Vietnam veteran wrote that he was only allowed to put a loaded magazine in his M1911 once the heliocopter took off, was only allowed to chamber a round once he was on the ground in the drop zone.

    You just have to talk to enough Soldiers that you will hear negligent discharge stories. Heard one last week, soldier was cleaning a machine gun in a room (might have been a M249), belt was in weapon, round in chamber, but bolt was back. Soldier took trigger mechanism out, which caused bolt to go forward and without the trigger sear to restrain the firing pin, the weapon proceeded to fire all rounds on the belt. Of course the soldier had difficulty controlling the machine gun and one of the rounds hit a rucksack with grenades. One grenade went off. The soldier I was talking to got a shrapnel piece in his leg, he was outside, when he came into the room where the grenade had gone off, one soldier had the frame of the rucksack in his chest, another in the room was bleeding profusely. He said both recovered in hospital, but if the medics had not been across the street, it is probable that both soldiers would have died from blood loss.

    A number of designs have the back of the firing pin sticking through the bolt shroud when the firing pin is forward. All it takes is a blow on that firing pin and the weapon will fire.

    Just do that with a Colt SAA. The firing pin rests on a primer. I have taken my USFA, lowered the hammer on a live round, then hit the hammer with a block of wood. The round always goes off.

    I met a gentleman in a doctors office, he had an accidental discharge with a borrowed Marlin 336. This was a pre hammer block Marlin. He was unfamiliar with the mechanism, probably was familiar with H&R Topper shotguns which have a transfer bar mechanism. You carry those single shot shotguns with the hammer down and it is perfectly safe because the transfer bar is not in line with the firing pin. He loaded this Marlin, lowered the hammer down, and slung it over his back. While walking in the woods, he dropped his marking tape. He leaned over to pick it up and his back pack swung over and hit the hammer. The rifle discharged right next to his ear, deafening that ear. If the muzzle had been pointing at his head, that little boy he was bouncing on his knee would have lost his father.
     
  21. akodo

    akodo Member

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    That's not right.

    The person who is making the claim has the responsibility of providing the information.

    It's not the job of those viewing it and doubting it to do the 'looking up' for them.
     
  22. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    The only rifles I would ever attempt to safe in that manner would be a Blaser R93/R8, or a Mauser M03. Both have de-cockers that de-cock and block the firing pin, they are the actual safety. Taking the rifle off safe takes some effort though because you are re-cocking the firing pin.
     
  23. JDMorris

    JDMorris Member

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    I just carry my rifle chambered and cocked on safety.
     
  24. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Member

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    Danger can be a very relative thing. I've never hunted elephants, lion, leopards, cape buffalo, etc. But, if a slight risk of an ND gave me any type of reasonable advantage over something I was hunting that can easily stomp me to death or eat me, I might take that risk. If I understand the passage cited above, the advantage is not in having one in the chamber, but in knowing that the extractor wasn't broken while that round was chambered under a controlled situation. No good reason to do this under normal circumstances, but when hunting in dangerous territory, it might well be worth the risk to help ensure a followup shot for all I know. I doubt anyone has enough statistical evidence to prove whether one is more likely to die or be injured from this method of carry vs. being caught without a followup shot on a dangerous animal due to a broken extractor.
     
  25. Stantdm

    Stantdm Member

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    I agree. H&H seems awfully touchy about this. "How dare anyone question his comment" is the attitude he conveys. He needs to cite the book and page. It may very well be that what Capstick, who unfortunately is long gone and cannot explain it, had a very valid dangerous game reason for doing what he did. Perhaps his extractor reason as noted by the previous post is exactly why he did what he did.
     
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