These FAQs come from common questions NROI receives. You can also submit a question using the Contact Form.
Division Equipment (8)
Yes, you can now replace your factory barrel with a threaded barrel in Production (App. D4, 21.3) and Carry Optics (App. D7, 21.3). Just remember that Production guns still need to fit in the USPSA box.
“As a production class shooter, I read that ‘magazines may not be retained through magnetic means.’ Does that include the ‘load and make ready’ magazine?”
While you may have a magazine on a magnet outside the course of fire, the course of fire starts with “Make Ready” (8.3.1) and ends with “Range is Clear” (8.3.8) So if you got the Make Ready command and the magazine was on the magnet, you would be moved to Open Division (per 188.8.131.52). IF the magazine were off the magnet, and in your hand at “Make Ready,” then you would be OK, but in reality, most people don’t do that, and as you state in your example, loading from the magnet would be during the course of fire and would be illegal for that division. Likewise, unloading to the magnet, prior to the “Range is Clear” command, would also be a violation. For more info, read this post.
Yes, these types of holsters are legal, but be aware that the retention hood needs to be used. Many new competitors think that the hood does not need to be engaged after the loaded gun is holstered and prior to the start signal, but it does. Hoods are considered to be the same as retaining straps and must be engaged before the “Standby” command (184.108.40.206).
No, holsters with thigh straps are considered to be tie-down rigs and are prohibited per the rules (220.127.116.11, and see definition of ‘tie-down rig’ in App. A3). If you can detach the strap from the holster, you can still use that holster minus the strap. Just make sure that the heel of the butt of the handgun is even with or above the top of the belt (see this post for more info).
Per the 2020 rules, conversion barrels are now legal in Production and Carry Optics. The restriction that the barrel must be the same caliber as the factory barrel was removed (see App. D4, 21.3 and D7, 21.3).
Yes, some of the guns that are approved for use in Production and Carry Optics do come from the factory with a removable mag well. But, if you would like to shoot these guns in Prod or CO, you will need to remove the magwell since magwells are specifically prohibited per the rules (see App. D4, 22.4 and D7, 22.3).
Only pistols on the approved Production Gun List are legal for use in the Production and Carry Optics Divisions. We get many requests from members to add a pistol to the list, but requests must come from the manufacturer (here is the form for the manufacturer to submit). There are minimum requirements that must be met for the pistol to be added to the list.
No, because of special condition number one in appendices D4 and D7. Single action only pistols are not allowed in Production and Carry Optics.
Foot Faults (1)
We get asked a lot about what happens when a shooter starts outside the shooting area and forgets to step into the shooting area before shooting. Is it a per shot or per occurrence penalty? In the January 2019 version of the Competition Rules we added rule 10.2.1.3. That sub-rule addresses this scenario specifically and says penalties are per 10.2.1 and 10.2.1.1. Which means that it is a per occurrence penalty (10.2.1) unless significant advantage has been gained (10.2.1.1). Very rarely the difference from taking the shots just outside the shooting area versus inside the shooting area is a significant advantage, so usually it’s a per occurrence penalty. When in doubt, consult the Range Master for the match.
NROI often gets emails suggesting changes to the rules or ideas for new rules, especially when it comes to Division requirements. Yes, NROI does make suggestions for rule changes to the USPSA Board of Directors, but we usually are fixing the rules for penalties, DQs, and other things that affect how matches work. And these changes are done via NROI Rulings from the DNROI (see this post for more info) which then need approval by the BOD.
When it comes to what is allowed/not allowed in certain Divisions, we always encourage members to reach out to their Area Director (see bottom of USPSA contact page) and suggest the new rule or change to their Director. The USPSA BOD are the ones who decide the changes in Division requirements and base their decisions on feedback from the membership.
Steel Challenge (1)
“At a recent match a competitor was shooting “Pendulum”. On one string he missed a plate, hit the stop plate, then hit the previously missed plate and hit the stop plate again. His time was recorded as of the last shot fired (no question there; rule 6.2.2) but there was disagreement as to whether or not he should have received a penalty for a missed plate. Are misses “locked in” when the stop plate is hit the first time?”
The competitor’s time as of his last shot should be recorded, and a miss penalty added. There is no provision in the rules for going back and hitting a plate that was missed prior to shooting the stop plate. Once the stop plate is hit, any plate not hit is counted as a miss, regardless of the competitor’s subsequent actions. See rule 6.3 and 6.2.2 in the SCSA rules.
“A wall has a 2 x 2 diagonal support, at about 30 degree’s, a PCC shooter while engaging steel hits the support, see’s wood fly, and the bullet then hits the steel, the R.O. stops the shooter, said it was an REF. Is that really a REF?”
Per the rules, wall supports that are outside the plane of the wall do not exist (18.104.22.168). So, an angled support that sticks out the side of the wall is considered to not exist (just like target sticks) so any hit that travels through the support will count for score or penalty (9.1.7). If the shot traveled through the actual wall and hit the popper, then it would be a range equipment failure (22.214.171.124).
There is no longer a default start position for handgun, and PCC has never had a default start position. This means that “hands relaxed at sides” is no longer the default hand position for pistol competitors. Written stage briefings (WSBs) now need to specify the start position for both handgun and PCC. If no hand position is specified for handgun, then competitors can have their hands anywhere except touching the handgun or magazines.
“The WSB says, starting anywhere outside shooting area, hands at side. Is it legal to start standing on fault line? I cannot reconcile how it can be both ways if so. You can stand on line while shooting as long as not touching outside. So it appears the fault line would be part of the shooting area. If it is, then how can you start standing on the fault line when WSB says start outside.”
There are two parts to this answer. First, the WSB must be written specifically, i.e., if the start position is to be completely, both feet outside, the shooting area, it needs to say that specifically, with those words. Best practice would be to place marks or something like a start stick to indicate where the competitor is to stand. Second, out is out, and in is in. That sounds kind of glib, but it’s a fact. If you can be penalized for firing a shot with your feet outside the fault lines, then you are out, even if one foot is standing on the fault line in a legal position. That’s why it’s important to be specific. There are a number of rules that address foot faults, and a couple that specifically address both feet out, even for a start position.
Bottom line, yes, it’s legal to start standing on a fault line if you are still “out” of the shooting area, unless the WSB specifically states something similar to what I wrote.
“I have a question about starting inside or outside of the shooting area. It’s very common for a stage description to say starting outside of the shooting area. Sometimes people will start with one foot inside and one outside. Their stance is that if they are not completely inside that they must be outside. Some people say this is inside but faulting. Is it necessary for the stage designer to put (whole/completely) in the stage description to prevent this?”
This problem can be easily solved by writing a good Written Stage Briefing (WSB). The simple words of “completely outside the shooting area” prevent all the arguments about this. Another strategy is requiring toes or heels touching marks on the rear fault line outside the shooting area. A clearly described start position in the WSB makes the match go smoother.