Pistol Caliber Carbine has been a USPSA Division since 2016, but there are still some folks who are against PCC. Yes, we are allowing people to use a rifle in handgun matches. And yes, PCCs aren’t compatible with holsters so the gun handling rules are different. But, USPSA matches have some of the most strict gun handling rules in the shooting sports so why is there so much hate towards PCC as a Division?
Back in 2016, when the addition of PCC was being discussed, I will admit that I was one of the people who emailed my Area Director questioning why we were adding a rifle to our handgun matches. I was concerned about the differences in gun handling rules, the additional WSB language, and the eventual change of stage designs in handgun matches to accommodate rifles. All the sky is falling stuff that folks were worried about, but they were all concerns and not any real reasons for why PCC should not be added.
It’s now four years later, and has the world ended? Has PCC wrecked USPSA Competition matches? Yes, some non-shooting related challenges in stages (e.g. hanging one handed from a rope around a wall) may have been eliminated or simplified to accommodate PCC. Adding the PCC start position to the WSB is now second nature and not a big deal anymore. But we still get many questions about the PCC gun handling rules.
The first type of question we get is usually from a member who has recently been disqualified at a major match for unsafe handling of their PCC. Most of the time the question involves a DQ while removing the PCC from a cart or case more than two yards away from the berm or not under the “Make Ready” command (also known as direct RO supervision). And almost always, the reason they got disqualified is because the PCC handling rules are not properly enforced at their local matches. So, they arrived at a major match thinking they knew the PCC handling rules, but in reality they didn’t and learned them the hard way via a DQ. This is why we always stress the importance of following the rules at all match levels. The local match attitude of picking and choosing which rules to enforce has sent many people home from major matches. We have a few local match exceptions in regards to stage design and painting steel, but there are no exceptions for the gun handling and safety rules. Do it right at your local match, and avoid problems at major matches. To find out more about PCC casing/uncasing, see the post from last year.
The other questions we get are related to Range Officers who still don’t know the PCC rules, or ROs who choose to enforce much more strict rules than what is outlined in the rulebook. If you are a RO, please take the time to read up on the PCC handling rules. With the digital rulebook, it only takes a word search of the term ‘PCC’ to find all the relevant rules and give them a quick read. It only should take five minutes.
As to ROs who apply more strict handling rules, I have noticed it is usually ROs who have never shot multigun, where a lot of long gun handling occurs, or ROs who are more familiar with Steel Challenge where long guns are often uncased/cased at the line. There is no problem with folks walking around with unloaded, flagged PCCs with the muzzle up before or after the course of fire. PCCs do not have to be bagged before the range can be called clear. In fact, to help with match flow it is best to encourage PCC shooters to come to the line with the flagged PCC uncased/uncarted with the muzzle up and to depart the stage in the same manner after the range is cleared and after the PCC competitor has looked at their targets. This eliminates having to juggle the gun case at the line and at the end of the stage and saves a ton of time.
PCC is not a crime and has brought many new competitors into USPSA, and made the sport exciting again for some of our more seasoned members. Yeah, it is something different in our matches that previously were all handguns, but if we all follow the same rules, at all match levels, everyone can get along and compete in harmony.