In this NROI Tips video, we cover the range commands and RO positioning. Watch the video to learn about RO positioning, and learn more about the range commands below the video.
The range commands are very important to our sport and one of the very first things a RO learns. The same range commands, in English, are used around the world in USPSA, SCSA, and IPSC competition. It is very important to always use the proper range commands, at all levels of matches, and for ROs and competitors to understand what happens with each range command.
“Make Ready” – This signifies the start of the course of fire. At this time the competitor can handle their handgun and do more than just hold their PCC with the muzzle up. The firearm is prepared according to the Written Stage Briefing and the competitor assumes the start position. The RO must not proceed with the next range command until the competitor is in the proper start position and has stopped moving.
“Are you ready?” – This is a question to the competitor, but a response is not required, if the competitor is ready. If there is no response, the RO proceeds with the next range command. If the competitor is not ready, he must indicate to the RO that he isn’t ready.
“Standby” – ROs should make sure the competitor is in the proper start position, and still, before issuing this command.
“Start signal” – The start signal occurs one to four seconds after “Standby”. For USPSA Competition and Multigun matches, the start signal should be varied between competitors to prevent competitors from jumping the start signal. For Steel Challenge, the interval between “Standby” and the start signal needs to be consistent for all strings of a stage for a single competitor, but can be changed between competitors. It is very important for the timer to be set to instant mode so the RO can control when the start signal occurs in case the competitor starts moving before the start signal. The RO should not give the start signal if the competitor is moving.
“Stop” and “Unload and show clear” – If the competitor commits a safety infraction (DQ), a range equipment failure happens, or if there is some sort of external influence (e.g. person/animal downrange), then the first command is “Stop” followed by “Unload and show clear.” It is very important to have the competitor unload the firearm and holster/flag before discussing why they were stopped.
“If you are finished, unload and show clear” – This the next command that is given if “Stop” is not used. If the competitor is finished, he/she should remove the magazine, clear the chamber, and lock or hold back the slide/bolt so the RO can see an empty chamber. Revolver shooters, empty the chambers and present the firearm with the empty cylinder swung out to the RO.
“If clear, hammer down, holster” or “If clear, hammer down, flag” (PCC) or “If clear, cylinder closed, holster” (Revolver) – The competitor cannot fire a shot after this command is issued. To confirm that the chamber is truly empty, semi-automatic handgun and PCC competitors must pull the trigger. Revolver shooters are exempt from pulling the trigger since is it is easy to see that all the chambers are empty. Once the firearm has been proven to be clear, handguns are holstered and chamber flags are inserted into PCCs. PCCs must be held vertically up or down after the flag is inserted.
“Range is clear” – This range command signifies the end of the course of fire and indicates that it is safe to move downrange to score and reset. This command should not be issued until a competitor has removed their hand from the holstered firearm and until PCC shooters are holding a flagged PCC vertically.
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