You’ve Gotta Know….
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, these commands should be known and fully understood by all competitive shooters:
1) “Shooter Load and Make Ready”
This command signifies the start of the course of fire. Under the direct supervision of the RSO, the participant must face downrange, or in a safe direction as specified by the RSO, with eye and ear protection, and prepare the firearm in accordance with the written stage briefing. The participant must then assume the required start position. At this point, the RSO will proceed.
Once the “Shooter Load and Make Ready” command has been given, the participant 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 RSO.
The lack of any negative response from the participant indicates that
he or she fully understands the requirements of the course of fire and is ready to proceed. If the participant is not ready at the “Shooter Ready?” command, he/she must state “Not Ready.” It is suggested that when the participant is ready, he/she should assume the required start position to indicate their readiness to the RSO.
This command should be followed by the start signal within 2 to 3 seconds.
4) The Start Signal
This is the signal for the participant to commence firing on the course of fire. If a participant fails to react to a start signal, for any reason, the RSO will confirm that the participant is ready to attempt the course of fire, and will resume the range commands from “Shooter Ready”?
Any RSO assigned to a stage may issue this command at any time during the course of fire. The participant must immediately cease firing, stop moving and wait for further instructions from the RSO.
6) “If You Are Finished, Unload And Show Clear”
If the participant has finished shooting, he/she must lower the firearm and present it for inspection by the RSO 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.
7) “If Clear, Hammer Down and Bag/Holster Firearm”
After issuance of this command, the participant is prohibited from firing. While continuing to point the firearm safely downrange, the participant must perform a internal safety check of the firearm as follows:
If the gun proves to be clear, the participant must bag or holster the firearm prior to leaving the designated shooting area and while still under the direct supervision of the RSO.
If the gun does not prove to be clear, the RSO will resume the commands from “If You Are Finished, Unload and Show Clear.”
8) “Range Is Clear”
This declaration signifies the end of the course of fire. Once the declaration is made, officials and participants may move forward to score, paint, reset targets, etc.
Failure to comply with RSO commands will result in a warning. Two warnings of any kind on a single stage will result in a match disqualification.