We have received multiple questions about whether a PCC that is transported between stages in a case and is only out of the case during the COF needs to be flagged. So, for the July Question of the Month we posed the following question: A PCC competitor comes to the line with a cased PCC. After you give the Make Ready command, he opens the case and you see a PCC with the bolt locked back and no chamber flag inserted. What do you do?
The correct answer of completing the stage and then inserting the flag during “If clear, hammer down, flag” was this month’s winning answer. This is great because it means that this isn’t as big of a problem as we thought.
The rule that people usually go to for this is 188.8.131.52: “A chamber safety flag, or clear chamber device must be used at all times and be visible externally whenever the firearm is not in a case or sleeve. Anyone found in violation of this rule will be immediately escorted by a Range Officer to a suitable range or safety area where appropriate corrective action shall be made.” Yes this rule says PCCs must be flagged unless they are in a case or sleeve, but does that mean you can go without one for the whole match?
Let’s chat about the “If clear, hammer down, flag” command and PCC conditions outlined there. If you look at 184.108.40.206, it has two key sentences. The first is: “If the gun proves to be clear, the competitor must holster/flag his firearm.” Okay, the flag must be inserted into the PCC at this command. The other key sentence is: “Flagged carbines may also be cased at this time and transported off the stage in the case.” So, at the end of a course of fire, the PCC must be flagged and while flagged can be cased. Which means that after the first stage, all PCCs should be flagged while in the case if a competitor is only uncasing/casing the PCC during the COF under RO supervision.
As a RO, you should never allow a PCC competitor to leave a COF with a PCC without a flag inserted whether it is in a case or not. And while PCC competitors who are uncasing and casing under RO supervision may not have a flag inserted at the start of their first stage for the day, they need to insert a flag at the end of the stage and as a result carry a flagged PCC, in a case, for the rest of the day. Coming to a match and not using a flag at all is not an option.
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