Having been the RM for a recently completed SCSA Tier 3 match I got to answer a lot of questions, especially from folks who were not very familiar with SCSA rules. For competitors that are used to USPSA competition, there are some differences between the rules that can cause some confusion which can lead to a lot of questions. Let’s look at a few of the more common ones.
Q: “I saw a competitor shooting PCC while wearing a handgun. That’s a DQ for more than one gun, right?”
A: Steel Challenge rule 5.1.4 specifically allows this to be done. Remember that many of our competitors are shooting multiple divisions in the match so allowing them to wear a handgun while shooting a long gun is allowed for efficiency purposes. The handgun must not be loaded nor used while competing with the long gun.
Q: “The competitors want to take a sight picture from both boxes from Outer Limits. Is that allowed?”
A: Rule 126.96.36.199 specifically allows the movement after Make Ready, so yes. Other rules also can play in here. Read on.
Q: “Sight pictures between strings aren’t allowed, are they? Only once at the Make Ready…right?”
A: Rule 188.8.131.52 addresses sight pictures. Yes, they are allowed to take a sight picture as part of Make Ready and they are allowed to take a sight picture between strings. Of course, if a discharge occurs during a sight picture then they are disqualified.
Q: “The RO told me that I only have one minute to get ready after the Make Ready command has been issued. What if I want more time?”
A: Well, sorry but 184.108.40.206 also stipulates you only get one minute to make ready. That should be plenty of time. If not, you may need to review your make ready procedure and perform some aspects of it prior to entering the starting position.
Q: “Does the chamber flag have to be in the chamber or can it just block the bolt from fully closing?”
A: The chamber flag serves two purposes: First, it is a visual indicator that the firearm is unable to be fired and second, it blocks the bolt from full closing making it unable to fire. Our rules simply state that the bolt must be closed on a chamber flag. Ideally, it is best if the flag actually is in the chamber as this ensures the firearm is empty; but, especially with rimfire firearms it can be difficult for some competitors to get some flags into the chamber.
Q: “I have a round stuck in the chamber of my rimfire pistol and can’t get it out. What do I do?”
A: This is especially common with rimfire firearms but does happen with centerfire firearms. You are allowed by 5.3.9 to shoot the round out of the firearm into the berm following RO direction. ROs should ensure that the time has been recorded prior to the shot being fired. Once the round has been cleared, the RO will proceed with the normal range commands.
Q: “I am shooting two divisions at the Area Championship. Can I shoot them back-to-back?”
A: Sorry, but no. At Tier 2 and 3 (State/Section and Area Championships, typically) rule 5.6.3 comes into play and there must be at least one other competitor between your subsequent strings.
Q: “I heard I can shoot .380 in SCSA competition now. Is that true?”
A: Sure, provided you are shooting a match in Mexico. SCSA has recently added Mexico as a participant country and the Mexican government prohibits civilians from using “military calibers” of which .45 ACP and 9×19 (aka 9mm) are two. SCSA rules state that 9×19 is the minimum cartridge allowed. SCSA therefore gave special dispensation to Mexico to allow 9×17, or .380 auto, for SCSA competition in Mexico.
Q: “I saw a competitor shooting Carry Optics and his magazine pouches were way out of position. Move to Open, right?”
A: No move to Open here. Because SCSA competition isn’t about reloading on the clock we are not concerned with magazine pouch placement. Many competitors choose to remove their magazine pouches and just stage their magazines on the table or barrel at the shooting position and not use magazine pouches at all.
Q: “I noticed a competitor shooting Outer Limits from only the middle box. They said they only got a 4 second penalty per string but they shot two plates from the middle box that should have been shot from the weak side box. That should be two 3 second penalties plus the 4 second penalty, right?”
A: In the case where a competitor with a disability is given special dispensation by the Range Master to shoot only from the center box, they only get the 4 second penalty per 3.4, 7.4 and 7.4.1. Note that this must be arranged with the Range Master before shooting the stage. If no RM dispensation the shooter is assessed the 4 second failure to move penalty plus 3 seconds per plate engaged from the incorrect box.
I hope that these help answer some of your SCSA questions. Got more? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.
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