Practical Shooting Etiquette
When you shoot with other practical shooters, there are certain behavioral
rules that all shooters live by. They are codified in the formal rule book, but
we've condensed a few of the more important ones into the next few pages.
Once your gun is holstered, LEAVE IT ALONE
Unless you are on the firing line and a range officer is directing you,
you cannot "fiddle" with your gun. For safety reasons, you will be
disqualified if you draw your gun from the holster without the permission of
an RO. (See safety area for the exception.)
Keep your finger OFF the trigger until your sights are ON the target.
Get in the habit of extending the trigger finger. When you move, reload, or clear
a jam, your finger must be outside the trigger guard -- otherwise you will be disqualified.
GEARING UP - AT THE CAR OR IN THE SAFETY AREA?
You can put your holster, mag pouches, and magazines on anywhere, but always,
always bring your cased or holstered gun to the SAFETY AREA.
The SAFETY AREA is the ONLY area of the match aside from the firing lines
where gun handling is allowed. Signs should be posted that tell what the conditions
of use are. Some clubs allow dry-fire practice here, some only permit checking
of weapons. If your gun breaks, this is where you take it for field repairs. If
George wants to show you his Blastatron 10, this is where he would do it.
Technically, competitors are permitted to use the safety areas to:
• Case, uncase, and holster unloaded firearms.
• Practice drawing, “dry-firing” and re-holstering of unloaded firearms.
• Practice the insertion and removal of empty magazines and/or to cycle the
action of a handgun.
• Conduct inspections, stripping, cleaning, repairs and maintenance of
firearms, component parts and other accessories.
You may load magazines anywhere BUT in the safety area. NO LOADED
GUNS OR AMMO HANDLING IN THE SAFETY AREA, EVER! Even handling
dummy ammunition in the safety area will get you "DQ'ed" immediately.
WHAT ABOUT MY CARRY GUN? A great many of our shooters carry
handguns in the course of their regular lives. It is the shooter's responsibility to
divest themselves of their loaded handgun BEFORE they arrive at the match
proper. Most unload or "un-gun" in the car, just as though they were about to walk
into an airport or county courthouse. However, if you are unsure of local laws, we
encourage you to come to the match with the gun empty, and in a case.
READ THE SHOOTER STAGE INFORMATION. This is just a good
idea. Find the official set posted at the registration desk and read it. It will show
how each stage is going to be run, and will have any last minute changes or corrections.
You need this data to plan your strategy. (Got a strategy?)
DON'T BE A GUN STORE COMMANDO. Camouflage clothing and
shirts with those clever macho sayings favored by “Commando Wanna-Be’s” are
out of place in our sport.