3 Gun Nation Changes its Rules for “Safe” Pistols

    After my post on why I believe the 2011 is unfairly being singled out in competition for the requirement to engage the manual safety, 3 Gun Nation has seen fit to throw my solid argument out – by changing the rules. Recently announced and posted online, 3 Gun Nation has updated its rules effective April 2017. Most updates were minor clarifications, but perhaps the most significant are the changes of definitions for grounded “safe” weapons.

    Specifically, rule section 3.4 and its child sections have been updated addressing the various conditions that weapons may be abandoned on the competition field. While resolving the 1911/2011 issue once and for all (kind of, more on that later), the new rules have a new target in mind – “passive” safety only handguns.

    Under the previous rules, the carrot/dingus on the front of the Glock, M&P, or similar handgun was ruled as being acceptable by itself. At first glance the weapon was indeed “safe” but the striker could be free-floated when an aftermarket trigger is installed or by removing the firing pin block completely. Certain competitors did for the smidgen of extra time and better pull with those safeties removed.

    The new rules specifically preclude their removal or disengagement prior to the pull of the trigger. Handguns without an external manual safety must now fully utilize a passive safety that completely disengages or keeps the striker/hammer assembly from firing the weapon. Thus, removal of the Glock firing pin block or its purposeful permanent disengagement is now illegal at 3 Gun Nation matches.

    As to my 2011 article, it’s now null and void except for Series 80 handguns where it can be argued that 3 Gun Nation should require Manual OR Passive Safeties when both options are available.The requirement to use both when passive safeties are OK by themselves still continues to make me scratch my head. By the rules listed below, Glock, M&P and other handguns can now remove their trigger shoe safeties without repercussions.

    Thus the circle of gaming the system moves on to another chapter…



    Details of the changes below. The full rule list can be found here. 


    Unless stipulated in the WSB there are only two (2) acceptable methods to safely abandon and ground a firearm.

    3.4.1 SAFETY CONDITION 1: Loaded with Safety Engaged Firearms WITH any PRIMARY crossbolt or manual safety lever must be “Operational” and have the ability to be engaged to satisfy the “Loaded with Safety Engaged” condition, regardless of a “Passive Safety”. Any manual safety MUST be “Operational” and MUST be engaged to satisfy the “Loaded with Safety Engaged” condition, regardless of a “Passive Safety”.

    Definition 1: “Operational” Is defined as when the safety mechanism operates correctly as intended and must not be altered or disabled in a way that while not being handled, the safety features can no longer prevent the firearm from discharging. Firearms WITHOUT any PRIMARY safety must have a “Passive Safety” in “Operational” condition to satisfy the “Loaded with Safety Engaged” condition.crossbolt or manual safety lever Any firearm without a manual safety MUST have a “Passive Safety” in an “Operational” condition to satisfy the “Loaded with Safety Engaged” condition.

    Definition 2: “Passive Safety” Is defined as, a safety that engages automatically and disables the firearm from discharging while not being handled.

    Definition 2: “Passive Safety” Is defined as, a safety that engages automatically and disables the striker or firing pin from moving or discharging while not being handled.

    Example: Grip activated (i.e. 1911 & 2011) and hinge style trigger shoe (i.e. Glock & M&P) safeties are considered passive safeties.

    Example: Grip activated (i.e. 1911 & 2011) safeties and hinge style trigger shoe (i.e. Glock & M&P) safeties DO NOT meet the requirements of (Rule or the definition of “Passive Safety”. Firearms with striker or hammer decocking only must be engaged and the hammer must be fully decocked or the striker condition must be fully relieved to satisfy the “Loaded with Safety Engaged” condition. If a firearm only contains a de-cocking lever or button, it MUST be engaged and the hammer, striker or firing mechanism must be fully de-cocked to satisfy the “Loaded with Safety Engaged” condition.

    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

    The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.