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Range commands for IDPA, Multi Gun, USPSA etc...

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Wasn't sure where to post this since there are separate sections for each so I'll just leave this here so I don't start a bunch of different threads. Mods feel free to move...

I have a small private range on my property, and a few friends and I get together at least once a week to do some shooting. We have steel and paper targets, barrels, V-Tac walls, moveable walls with windows, etc... We usually shoot pistol in IDPA style format, and scoring, but only one of us has actually competed in IDPA so we’re going by what he remembers shooting with, as far as round count in mags, drawing from concealment, range commands etc…

We’re pretty informal and don’t get too hung up on breaking the rules and stuff, but we do want to keep it as close to some sort of organized rules as possible. We've decided (for now) to follow IDPA rules and guidelines. Nobody gets DQ’d from the matches or has to go home, but we do call each other on all the rules that we can, including procedural mistakes if any are made.

What I’m really looking for is range commands and procedures, for IDPA, USPSA, Multi-gun, etc…

I think we have it down pretty well for IDPA, but we recently started incorporating carbines into our fun, and we’re a little confused as to some of the commands.

Please make any corrections, (if you see any) to update what we use now for our current IDPA range commands, and let me know what they do for the other shooting sports, especially the ones with rifles and shotguns involved. (for example: “Slide forward” on a carbine…?)


(Shooter and RO walk up to the first position. Pistol holstered and completely empty.)

(Shooter has 10 rounds in spare mags, on belt and 11 rounds in first mag in hand, pocket etc..)

RO: “Does the shooter know and understand the course of fire?”


RO: “Load and make ready.”

SHOOTER: (Shooter un-holsters pistol, loads first mag and racks slide, then re-holsters it)

RO: (Watches shooter making sure shooter doesn't break 180, touch trigger, etc..)

RO: “Shooter ready?”

SHOOTER: “Yes,” (or knod)

RO: “Standby…”

RO: “BEEP” (RO starts timer)

--Course is shot by shooter, who is followed by RO, looking for signs of unsafe firearm handling--

RO: “Is the shooter finished?” (Is this said...?)


RO: “Unload and show clear”

SHOOTER: (Ejects mag if it still has rounds in it, stores the mag, pulls slide back either locking it back or holding it open to show RO that the chamber is empty and nothing in mag)

RO: (Visually inspects chamber and mag – if still in gun – for any ammo)

RO: “Slide forward.”

SHOOTER: (Shooter points weapon in safe direction, and releases slide)

RO: “Hammer down.”

SHOOTER: (Shooter points weapon in safe direction, and pulls trigger)

RO: “Holster”

SHOOTER: (Shooter holsters weapon)

RO: “Range is clear.” (Calls out time or shows scorekeeper)

SHOOTER: (can pick up mags, ejected round, etc…)

(Targets can now be taped, painted, reset, etc…)

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I hope when you say you don't get hung up on following the rules you still follow all safety rules. I feel perfectly safe shooting a match but rarely do when hanging out with shooters that don't get too hung up on rules.

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2.12 Range Commands (IDPA)

2.12.1 Many of the range commands given to a shooter by the SO are for safety, while the rest are for stage administration.

2.12.2 To allow a shooter to compete anywhere in the world and hear the same commands, the IDPA range commands will only be given in English, the official language of IDPA. These exact range commands must be used and local variations are not allowed.

2.12.3 The complete set of IDPA Range Commands are: Range Is Hot, Eyes and Ears

This is the first command given to each shooter starting the action of shooting a stage. This command signifies the start of the CoF. The shooter will make sure that their eye and hearing protection is in place. It is also notification to anyone in the shooting bay to check that their own eye and hearing protection is properly fitted. Load and Make Ready

When the shooter has proper eye and hearing protection, the SO will issue the Load and Make Ready command. The shooter will prepare the firearm and magazines to match the start position for the stage. Typically this is to load the firearm and holster, but may include non-typical loading or staging of equipment. The shooter will then assume the starting position necessary for the stage. If the shooter’s firearm is not to be loaded for the start of a stage the command used will be “Make Ready.” Are You Ready? After “Load and Make Ready,” the SO will ask the shooter “Are You Ready?” If ready, the shooter should respond verbally, or by obvious nodding of the head, but may also choose to stand ready. If there is no response from the shooter in approximately three (3) seconds the shooter is assumed to be ready. If the shooter is not ready when this question is asked the shooter must respond “Not Ready”. If the shooter continues to not be ready, the shooter must take a step out of the starting position. When ready the shooter will assume the starting position and the “Are You Ready” question will be asked again. The shooter is expected to be ready to proceed approximately fifteen (15) seconds after the “Load And Make Ready” command. If the shooter is ill prepared and needs more than fifteen seconds to get ready, the shooter will be advised that he/she is being given approximately fifteen (15) seconds more to prepare. If the shooter is still not ready after that period, he/she has earned a Procedural Error penalty and will be moved down in the shooting order. Standby

This command is given after the shooter is ready. This command will be followed by the start signal within one (1) to four (4) seconds. The shooter may not move or change positions between the “Standby” command and the start signal, unless required to do so by the CoF. Finger

This command is given when the shooter’s finger is not obviously and visibly outside the trigger guard when it should be, as noted above. Muzzle

This command is given when the muzzle of the shooter’s firearm is pointed near a muzzle safe point. The shooter must correct the errant muzzle and continue with the stage. See muzzle safe points above. Stop

This command is given when something unsafe has happened or is about to happen during a stage, or when something in the stage is not correct. The shooter must immediately stop all movement, place the trigger finger obviously and visibly outside the trigger guard, and await further instruction. Failure to

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immediately stop and remove the trigger finger from within the trigger guard will result in Disqualification from the match. Cover

This command is given when a shooter is not properly using cover. Refer to rule 3.5 for specifics of using cover. If Finished, Unload and Show Clear

This command will be issued when the shooter has apparently finished shooting the stage. If the shooter is finished, all ammunition will be removed from the firearm and a clear chamber/cylinder will be shown to the SO. If the shooter is not finished, the shooter should finish the stage and the command will be repeated. If Clear, Slide Forward or Close Cylinder

Once the SO has inspected the chamber/cylinder and found it to be clear, this command will be issued and the shooter will comply. Pull The Trigger

The shooter will point the firearm at a safe berm and pull the trigger to further verify that the chamber is clear. If the firearm fires, the shooter will be Disqualified from the match. This requirement also applies to firearms with a de-cocker or magazine disconnect. For firearms with a magazine disconnect an empty magazine, or dummy magazine must be inserted before the trigger is pulled, and then removed again. This command is not needed for revolvers. Holster

The Shooter will safely holster the firearm. Range Is Clear

This command indicates to the shooter and anyone within the stage boundaries that the range is clear. This command begins the scoring and resetting of the stage.

The approved range commands and their sequence are as follows (USPSA):

8.3.1 “Make Ready” – This command signifies the start of “the Course of Fire”. Under the direct supervision of the Range Officer the competitor must face down range, or in a safe direction as specified by the Range

32 USPSA Handgun Rules, February 2014 Edition

Officer, fit eye and hearing protection, and prepare the handgun in accor-dance with the written stage briefing. The competitor must then assume the specified start position. The Range Officer will not proceed with any further range commands until the competitor is still and is in the correct start position. Once the “Make Ready” command has been given, the competitor must not move away from the start location prior to issuance of the “Start Signal” without the prior approval, and under the direct supervision, of the Range Officer.

8.3.2 “Are You Ready?” – The lack of any negative response from the competitor indicates that he fully understands the requirements of the course of fire and is ready to proceed. If the competitor is not ready at the “Are You Ready?” command, he must indicate to the Range Officer that he is not ready.

8.3.3 “Standby” – This command should be followed by the start signal within 1 to 4 seconds.

8.3.4 “Start Signal” – The signal for the competitor to begin their attempt at the course of fire. If a competitor fails to react to a start signal, for any reason, the Range Officer will confirm that the competitor is ready to attempt the course of fire, and will resume the range commands from “Are You Ready?”. In the event that a competitor begins his attempt at the course of fire prematurely (“false start” prior to the issuance of the start signal) the Range Officer will, as soon as possible, stop and restart the competitor once the course of fire has been restored.

8.3.5 “Stop” – Any Range Officer assigned to a stage may issue this command at any time during the course of fire. The competitor must immediately cease firing, stop moving and wait for further instructions from the Range Officer.

8.3.6 “If You Are Finished, Unload And Show Clear” or “Unload and Show Clear” – If the competitor has finished shooting, he must lower his handgun and present it for inspection by the Range Officer with the muzzle pointed down range, magazine removed, slide locked or held open, and chamber empty. Revolvers must be presented with the cylinder swung out and empty.

If a competitor has been stopped by the Range Officer, they will be given “Unload and show clear” as the command. When conducting Standard Exercises, Range Officials may issue other interim commands on completion of the first string, in order to prepare the competitor for the second and subsequent strings. (e.g. “Reload if required and holster”). This option may also be applied when two or more courses of fire share a common shooting bay or area.

33 USPSA Handgun Rules, February 2014 Edition

8.3.7 “If Clear, Hammer Down, Holster” or “If Clear, Cylinder Closed, Holster” for revolvers only – After issuance of this command, the competitor is prohibited from firing (see Rule 10.4.3). While continuing to point the handgun safely downrange, the competitor must perform a final safety check of the handgun as follows: Self-loaders – release the slide and pull the trigger (without touching the hammer or decocker, if any). Revolvers – close the empty cylinder (without touching the hammer, if any). If the gun proves to be clear, the competitor must holster his handgun. If the gun does not prove to be clear, the Range Officer will resume the commands from Rule 8.3.6 (also see Rule 10.4.3).

8.3.8 “Range Is Clear” – This declaration signifies the end of the Course of fire. Once the declaration is made, officials and competitors may move forward to score, patch, reset targets etc.

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I hope when you say you don't get hung up on following the rules you still follow all safety rules. I feel perfectly safe shooting a match but rarely do when hanging out with shooters that don't get too hung up on rules.

Yes, we follow all safety rules.

When I say don't we don't get hung up on all the rules, I mean stuff like: some people don't draw from concealment if they're not comfortable.

Some people shoot revolvers, when others shoot semi autos, because that's all they have.

Some people shoot .22LR.

Some people don't even have holsters so they shoot from a low ready position, etc...

Thanks Davsco for posting that info. Does anyone have any input as to 3 gun or something involving a rifle? I've heard that the RO will take the rifle at the end of a stage or something like that...?

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there are different 3 gun and multi gun rules, but what I've seen are just modifications of the uspsa rules above as applicable for shottie and rifle. show clear chamber and tube/magwell, insert chamber flag, muzzle up, one gun at a time. in some cases, for time constraints, another shooter will clear and chamber flag the current shooter's firearms after they've been barreled and just place on a nearby table or rack.

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