Recently I worked as an RO for a level II match. It was my first time working a major match so I was a little nervous, but at this point I had been an RO for about a year and a half and had run shooters at dozens of local matches. The other two folks I worked with were certified CROs, so I knew that if I had a rules question I could go to them and get a solid answer.
On the day after staff day, I report to the stage that I'm going to work for the weekend. It's an unloaded start with the gun on one table, and the first loading device to be used on the second table. This meant that, essentially, you only had to put your first magazine or moon clip on the opposite table, but any others could be loaded from your belt. The stage also had three shooting areas: left, center, and right, with the two tables straddling the center shooting area. What most shooters did was grab the gun off the right table, the magazine off the left table, then run to the left box while loading.
I think you can see where this is going already.
We cycled through a few shooters from the first squad of the day without incident. A CO shooter stepped up to the line, place his X5 Legion on the table, and his magazine on the other table. I was standing on the far left side - behind the rear fault line, but close enough that I could see 180 breaks without endangering myself. One thing I noticed was that his hands were shaking just a little bit, which is normal. After all, it was the first stage of the day at a major match, and some jitters are normal.
Timer goes off, he grabs the gun, grabs the mag and starts moving left. As you might imagine, he forgot the rule of thumb you use when you're a right-handed shooter trying to reload going Right -> Left: point the gun downrange and tilt it on its side. I saw the muzzle go straight to the left, almost in slow motion, and then I saw it start to point right at me. The thing I remember most was seeing the picatinny rail on the underside of the frame, and then suddenly seeing the inside of the barrel (which is something you don't want to see at a USPSA match). It pretty close to a 190 degree break and clearly apparent from where I was standing.
I called STOP, had him unload and show clear, and explained that I observed him break the 180 and was disqualifying for unsafe gun handling under rule etc etc. He understood the DQ and apologized, then I apologized because the guy was DQed on his first stage before he even got to fire a shot at a major match. Range Master was called over, stage CRO explained what happened, I showed him where I was standing and what I saw. RM explained the DQ to the guy, and he packed up and went home.
After the match was over, I looked this guy up in the Practiscore Competitor app because I was curious. It turns out that he was only a C class CO shooter, and this was his first major match ever. Not only that, but his home club (or, at least the club he shot at most frequently) was several hours away from this match, meaning that he paid several hundred dollars and several hours of his time to shoot the match, and then got sent home before he even fired a single shot. At his first major no less!
So yeah, I feel very, very bad for him.