8.3 Range Communication
The approved range commands and their sequence for a course of fire are as follows.
8.3.1 Load And Make Ready
“Load And Make Ready” (or “Make Ready” for starts with an unloaded firearm) – This command signifies the start of “the Course of Fire”. Under the direct supervision of the Range Officer the competitor must face downrange, or in a safe direction as specified by the Range Officer, fit eye and ear protection, and prepare the firearm in accordance with the written stage briefing. The competitor must then assume the required start position. At this point, the Range Officer will proceed.
22.214.171.124 Start Location
Once the appropriate command has been given, the competitor must not move away from the start location prior to issuance of the Start Signal without the prior approval, and under the direct supervision, of the Range Officer. Violation will result in a warning for the first offense and may result in the application of Rule 10.6.1 for a subsequent offense in the same match.
8.3.2 Are You Ready
“Are You Ready?” – The lack of any negative response from the competitor indicates that he fully understands the requirements of the course of fire and is ready to proceed. If the competitor is not ready at this command, he must state “Not Ready”. When the competitor is ready he should assume the required start position to indicate his readiness to the Range Officer.
“Standby” – This command should be followed by the Start Signal within 1 to 4 seconds (also see Rule 10.2.6).
8.3.4 Start Signal
“Start Signal” – The signal for the competitor to begin their attempt at the course of fire. If a competitor fails to react to a Start Signal, for any reason, the Range Officer will confirm that the competitor is ready to attempt the course of fire, and will resume the range commands from “Are You Ready?”
126.96.36.199 False Start
In the event that a competitor inadvertently begins shooting prematurely (“false start”), the Range Officer will, as soon as possible, stop and restart the competitor once the course of fire has been restored.
188.8.131.52 Stuttered Start
A competitor who reacts to a Start Signal but, for any reason, does not continue their attempt at the course of fire and fails to have an official time recorded on the timing device operated by the Range Officer, will be given a zero time and zero score for that stage.
“Stop” – Any Range Officer assigned to a stage may issue this command at any time during the course of fire. The competitor must immediately cease firing, stop moving and wait for further instructions from the Range Officer.
184.108.40.206 Interim Commands
When two or more courses of fire share a common shooting bay or area, Range Officers may issue other interim commands on completion of the first COF, in order to prepare the competitor for the second and subsequent COF (e.g. “Reload if required”). Any such interim commands to be used must be clearly stated in the written stage briefing.
8.3.6 Unload And Show Clear
“If You Are Finished, Unload And Show Clear” – If the competitor has finished shooting, he must lower his handgun and present it for inspection by the Range Officer with the muzzle pointed downrange, magazine removed, slide locked or held open, and chamber empty. Revolvers must be presented with the cylinder swung out and empty.
“If You Are Finished, Unload And Show Clear” – If the competitor has finished shooting, he must lower his firearm and present it for inspection by the Range Officer with the muzzle pointed downrange, fixed magazine empty or detachable magazine removed and chamber(s) empty, action held or latched open.
8.3.7 If Clear, Hammer Down
“If Clear, Hammer Down, Holster” – After issuance of this command, the competitor must not resume shooting (see Rule 10.6.1). While continuing to point the handgun safely downrange, the competitor must perform a final safety check of the handgun as follows:
220.127.116.11 Firearm Clearing Action (Stage 1)
Self-loaders – Release the slide and pull the trigger (without touching the hammer or decocker, if any). If a handgun has a device which requires a magazine be inserted to enable the trigger to be pulled, the competitor must, on issuance of the above command, inform the Range Officer, who will direct and supervise the use, and subsequent removal, of an empty magazine to facilitate this process.
Close the action, pull the trigger to release the hammer and then open the action again.
18.104.22.168 Firearm Clearing Action (Stage 2)
22.214.171.124 Firearm Clearing Action (Stage 3)
If the gun proves to be clear, the competitor must holster his handgun. Once the competitor’s hands are clear of the holstered handgun, the course of fire is deemed to have ended.
126.96.36.199 Firearm Clearing Action (Stage 4)
8.3.8 Range Is Clear
“Range Is Clear” – Competitors or Match Personnel must not move forward of, or away from, the firing line or final shooting location until this declaration is given by the Range Officer. Once the declaration is made, officials and competitors may move forward to score, patch, reset targets etc.
8.3.9 Hearing Disability
A competitor with a severe hearing disability may, subject to prior approval of the Range Master, be entitled to have the foregoing verbal Range Communications supplemented by visual and/or physical signals.
- The recommended physical signals are taps on the competitor’s weak side shoulder using a countdown protocol, namely 3 taps for “Are You Ready?”, 2 taps for “Standby” and 1 tap to coincide with the Start Signal.
- Competitors wishing instead to use their own electronic or other devices must firstly submit it for examination, testing and approval by the Range Master before it can be used.
8.3.10 Chronograph Station Commands
There are no fixed range communications designated for use at the chronograph station or at an equipment compliance check (which may be conducted at a venue away from the shooting range). Competitors must not handle their handguns, or remove chamber safety flags from long guns, as the case may be, until the examiner asks for them to be passed to him, in accordance with his instructions. Violations are subject to Rule 10.5.1.