The recent post about getting RM approval to swap a broken or unreliable firearm brought up a few follow-up questions. Let’s look at those questions and answers.
Q: Rule 5.1.7 says the same type of firearm and sights have to be used for the entire match and 126.96.36.199 says the replacement has to meet the Division requirements. So how can a competitor switch from a Carry Optics gun to an iron sighted gun, and move to Open?
A: Yes, 5.1.7 says the same type of firearm and sights have to be used, but it also says if those items break, the RM can approve replacements. The purpose of 5.1.7 is to limit competitors to a single firearm during the match versus picking and choosing from a collection of firearms for each stage (USPSA is not golf). If a firearm or sights break, then the competitor is no longer using their original firearm in its original configuration. If a competitor wants to continue in their current Division, then the replacement firearm or sights need to meet the Division requirements. If the competitor’s backup firearm doesn’t meet the Division requirements, then the RM can use 188.8.131.52 to move the competitor to Open, or to shooting for no score (e.g., A PCC competitor who only has a pistol as backup). We want to give competitors an opportunity to finish the match which is why we allow a swap to a firearm that may not qualify for their current Division but does qualify them for Open or no score.
Q: If a gun breaks in the middle of a stage, after the start signal, does the competitor get a reshoot once the gun is fixed or has been replaced?
A: No, that is not a reshoot, see 5.7.4. The stage is scored as shot.
Q: A shooter has two virtually identical handguns, and the only difference is one has a extended mag release button and the other gun is stock. Can the shooter change from the gun with the extended mag release to the gun with the stock mag release when shooting weak handed stages?
A: No. The only time a gun can be changed is if it is broken or unreliable. If the competitor wants to use the handgun with the shorter mag release on the weak hand stage, then he needs to use that handgun for the entire match. And also note that saying a firearm is broken, when it really isn’t, to gain a competitive advantage makes a competitor subject to an unsportsmanlike DQ.