In the March 2023 SCSA rulebook you will notice that we made some changes to the range commands in relation to rimfire pistols and rifles. Let’s talk about what changed and why we made the changes.
The SCSA range commands have mirrored the USPSA range commands for years, but there was always a little awkwardness for rimfire firearms at the “If clear, hammer down…” command. The previous rules already allowed for rimfire pistol and rifle competitors to not pull the trigger, because in most rimfire firearms it causes damage to the firing pin, but the range officer was still supposed to say “hammer down”. Seasoned SCSA competitors knew that they didn’t have to pull the trigger and would just bag or flag their firearm as appropriate, but new competitors would usually give the RO a weird look and then the RO would explain they don’t need to pull the trigger. Others were just making up a range command to fit the situation.
As a result we brought up the range commands as part of our rules audit and if you look in the current SCSA rulebook under 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 you will see the approved changes. For rimfire pistols, ROs can now say, “If clear, bag.” For rimfire rifles, the command is now, “If clear, flag.” We have removed the language about pulling the trigger for rimfire firearms. Centerfire pistols and PCCs still need to pull the trigger and the normal range commands apply. The change also recognizes the fact that a vast majority of rimfire pistol competitors do not use holsters and instead bring their pistols to the line in a case.
We hope these changes eliminate confusion and help standardize the commands for rimfire firearms.
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