Overloading the Rifle.
Overloading a rifle on a stage is not a safety issue. The safety comes into play if the shooter has any rounds left in the rifle after he/she has fired the rifle and committed to the next gun. Then, and only then, a safety shall be issued
if a live
round is left anywhere in the rifle.
Should the shooter realize that they have loaded too many rounds and safely ejects those rounds, it’s a no call.
Should the shooter fire more rounds than called for in the stage, it would
be a “P” for using ammunition that was illegally acquired.
What’s the Call?
Application of related existing rules/penalties - PaleWolf Brunelle, SASS #2495
Stage calls for 9 rounds in the rifle. Shooter loads 10 rounds at the loading table.
Whats the call if:
1. Shooter shoots 9 rounds and ejects the 10th round…safely
restages rifle “open & empty”.
NO CALL – NO MSV penalty for overloading – Rifle is considered “safe to leave shooter’s
2. Shooter kicks out the first round and then shoots the next 9 rounds.
“P” + miss (use of “illegally acquired” ammunition)
3. Shooter shoots
5 rounds, then kicks one out, and then shoots the next 4 rounds.
“P” + miss (use of “illegally acquired” ammunition)
4. Shooter shoots 9 rounds then puts down open rifle
and then shoots the next gun.
MSV for an unfired round remaining in long gun action or magazine…or…SDQ if round is chambered (e.g.
lever closes when restaged)
Here are the applicable rules used in determining the penalty for use of a "preloaded" replacement round in a rifle:
Ammunition required for reloads during the course of any stage must be carried on the shooter’s
person in a bandoleer, cartridge/shotshell belt loop, pouch, holster, or pocket or be safely staged as required by stage instructions. ...
...Leather belt slide ammo loops are acceptable; …
The penalty for using "illegally acquired" ammunition (i.e. NOT carried to the line/staged by the shooter in an approved manner) will be a PROCEDURAL. Any targets hit using that ammo will be scored
as MISSES. NO adjustments will be made to the stage raw time.
SHB pp.21 & 25 – RO1 p. 21 – RO2 p.6
24. Ammunition dropped by a shooter in the course of reloading any firearm during a stage or “ejected” from any firearm may be retrieved & replaced, or alternatively replaced from the shooter's person, or other area as allowed by the stage
description, or if the round is not fired it is counted as a missed shot.
SHB p.24 – RO1 p.19
1) If you load too many rounds in your rifle
it's a no call but ONLY if you kick it out AFTER you have fired all the rest of the rounds in the rifle?
YES. If a round is 'kicked out'/ejected DURING the rifle shooting string (as opposed to at the END), the 'extra round' is there to replace it.
Rather than rely on a "judgement call"
as to the shooter's INTENT (i.e. was the rifle overloaded on purpose or not?), the rules regarding "illegally acquired" ammo can be applied in ALL circumstances where the 'extra' round is used.
NO PENALTY for overloading.
The following existing rules STILL apply:
"P" + miss for use of ANY 'extra' round(s) preloaded in the magazine at the loading table to replace
ANY that are ejected during the rifle shooting string.
MSV for leaving rounds in the rifle at the end of the shooting string (shooter has until FIRING
the next gun to clear it)…or...if the rifle is the last firearm used on the stage; it must be cleared before leaving the shooter's hand(s) @ the ULT.
SDQ if an extra round ends up
in the chamber (e.g. rifle returned to scabbard & the lever closes)
A “Spirit of the Game” penalty would NOT be appropriate as there is no advantage in getting the 15-second penalty (Procedural + Miss) for intentionally ‘overloading’ in anticipation of ejecting a round during the rifle shooting
2) If a shooter fires the extra round.... Shoots the 9 targets, and dumps the extra round into the back of the bay. What is the call? Is it a "P" for
firing 10 rounds when the stage called for 9?
YES...according to the WB mandate. The round MAY NOT BE FIRED to clear the rifle.
NOTE: This is NOT the same as loading 2 in a shotgun and firing one (or both) at a target or firing the "extra" round downrange.
The shotgun is generally NOT "preloaded" at the loading table.
170 Deg Rule. 2018
The 170º rule – Common Sense Approach
Posted 05 July 2011 - 01:16 PM by PaleWolf Brunelle
(edited 05JUN2018 – UPDATE DOC REFERENCES)
The 170º rule, by definition,
DOES NOT always apply to/from/at the loading/unloading
tables. This is due to the wide variations in range/stage setups...it does
on some ranges,
if they are on a common firing line with the stage itself
(e.g. LT / STAGE1 / ULT...LT / STAGE2 / ULT...).
The 170° Rule
The 170° rule means the muzzle of a firearm must always be straight down range (+/– 85° in any direction). Muzzle direction and muzzle control is important between, before, during, and after shooting a stage. The 170° rule is
the backbone of all safe firearm handling and is always in effect.
- A muzzle must not be allowed to “sweep” the other participants at any time.
- Long guns shall have their actions open with chambers and magazines empty and muzzles
pointed in a safe direction when transported at a match.
- A holstered revolver (loaded or empty) with the hammer fully down on an empty chamber or expended case is considered safe and may not be interpreted as sweeping another shooter while
safely secured in the holster.
- Failure to manage safe muzzle direction is grounds for a Stage Disqualification penalty assessment, and for repeat offenses, a Match Disqualification penalty.
NOTE: An obvious exception to this rule exists, where the shooter is given the ability to draw and holster revolvers from approved, legal holsters without penalty. Further exception is given when retrieving and returning vertically
staged double barrel shotguns without penalty SHB p.17
170º Safety Rule - means the muzzle of the firearm must always be pointed down range +/- 85 degrees in any direction.
SHB "Glossary of Terms" p.42
“Muzzle up, please move to the Unloading Table” Should be stated at the end of a shooting sequence/stage to guide the shooter. Often the competitor
stops thinking. (Adrenaline!)
“Range Clear” This command is given only after the shooter has completed their run, the revolvers are holstered, the long guns are picked up and pointed in a safe direction with the actions
open, and the shooter is on the way to the unloading area. It is now safe to gather brass and prepare for the next shooter in line.
- The muzzles of all long guns must be maintained
in a safe direction at all times (generally
“up” and slightly downrange).
The "problem" seems to be the parenthetical "generally "up" and slightly down
range" as a
definition of suggested "safe direction"... It should be obvious that the reference to "slightly
down range" applies primarily
DURING the stage engagement...if the muzzle of a firearm is
pointed straight UP during the 'course of fire' (i.e. @ 180º), the shooter is in violation of the
170º rule. Once the stage has ended & the shooter is headed to the ULT, there are often
personnel DOWN range (e.g. setting targets/picking brass)...at that point, "slightly downrange" might
not necessarily be a "best practice" (depending on range/stage layout).
COMMON SENSE should be used to determine the safest direction to point muzzles when
moving from the LT to the stage & from the stage to
the ULT. UP has already been determined
to be considered acceptable. The PRIMARY consideration is to avoid SWEEPING anyone with
the muzzle of ANY firearm at ANY time.
ROC CLARIFICATIONS 2015
CLARIFICATIONS FROM the Range Operations Committee
(effective at date of publication – August 2015)
1) Definition of “Designer
Jeans” (Outlawed item) - “Designer Jeans” refers to those modern jeans that have slogans or logos embroidered, silk screened and such, saying
things like “PINK” or “BABY”. (Jeans with fancy or flashy adornments are acceptable)
2) Welding the firing pin in the bolt of a rifle so as to cause a “slam-fire” situation when levering the action (without
the need to manipulate the trigger or hammer) is an ILLEGAL MODIFICATION subject to DISQUALIFICATION PENALTIES.REF:
3) Definition of “short sleeve shirt” for male shooters’ clothing:
A shirt with sleeves that do NOT extend to the wrist.
Note: Rolling up a long sleeve shirt
is acceptable, but fastening a rolled up shirt sleeve in place is the same as short sleeve; either of which are Outlawed/Prohibited and subject to DQ penalties.
4) Regarding the CRO/TO’s command of “CEASE FIRE” or “STOP”, and a failure of
the shooter to comply with this command, the language will be changed to read “…..the shooter WILL receive a MDQ ……”. Should the voting item be passed the shooter
WILL receive a SDQ for not complying with the CRO/TO “cease fire” or “stop command”.
The Range Command of “Cease Fire” or “Stop” as
given by the CRO/TO must be followed by the shooter, as failure to do so may have serious safety consequences.
5) The point at which the “failure to adhere to loading/unloading procedure” SDQ
applies is as follows: “Once control of the firearm(s) is relinquished, be it in a rack on the stage or at the shooter’s gun cart. (i.e. leaves the shooter’s hands)”
6) The only ammunition you can use on the stage is
ammunition you initially bring to the line – you may NOT run to your cart for ammunition or even to get another firearm. In other words, you may NOT leave the "firing line" (as defined in the RO1 "Glossary of Terms") once you start the stage,
and until all firearms have been verified as clear.
7) The action of a CRO/TO saving a long gun from falling over, still results in a penalty for the shooter. Basically if the CRO/TO had not
been present to save the shooter from a penalty such as this, and the long gun would have fallen over regardless, then the penalty would still apply. The CRO/TO was just there to save the firearm from getting dirt on it!
Note: This is the only way to apply a penalty such as this, as some TOs may not be able to save the rifle from falling, and it would not be fair for those shooters who receive the penalty purely because of the action / inaction of their
8) Revolvers (loaded or empty) that fall to the ground while holstered (e.g. gun belt buckle breaks) is a NO CALL, provided they remain holstered. The SHB and RO
Manuals will be revised to read: “A dropped unloaded firearm on the firing line (from the loading table to the unloading table) results in the shooter’s disqualification from the stage. A dropped loaded firearm results in a match disqualification.
A shooter may not pick up a dropped firearm. The Range Officer will recover the firearm, examine it, clear it, and return it to the shooter.
This does NOT apply to holstered revolvers that remain “in leather” in the event of an equipment
failure (e.g. broken belt buckle) causing the gun/ammo belt to fall. Shooters may safely recover a fallen gun/ammo belt and continue finishing the stage without penalty.” SHB p.25 / RO1 p.18
rounds (live or empty) from the firearm in question MUST be cleared before the next gun of the stage is fired (or before leaving the shooter's hands if it's the last gun of the stage). This applies to all types of long guns. The language of the rule
as written, "...of the gun in which it was loaded..." gives the clarification regarding a rifle round falling into the shotgun, which would be a NO CALL. In a different situation, if a shotgun hull comes out of
a 97 but falls back in the port as the shotgun is put down and then not cleared before
then next firearm is cleared, it IS still a MSV (this includes an empty rifle case falling off hat into open
rifle action after being set down).
Not bringing enough ammo to the line is NOT a “P” (just scored as misses for un-fired rounds).
The “P” in this case would only apply to ammo (like firearms) when not correctly staged on the line (e.g. on/in a prop), and not corrected by the shooter on the clock. The definitions in the SHB and
RO Manuals will be revised to clarify.
Shooter’s Choice – Replacing Ejected / Defective Rounds
PaleWolf Brunelle, SASS #2495 (Updated 08/18)
A shooter who ejects a rifle round in the middle of a shooting string has FOUR choices:
1) Re-engage same target;
then reload at the end of the string for the last target = No Penalty
2) Re-engage same target w/NO reload = Miss for the ejected (unfired) round
3) Skip to next target w/NO reload = Miss
4) Skip to next target w/reload/return to re-engage skipped target = Procedural
- Any ammunition dropped by a shooter in the course of reloading any firearm during a stage or ejected from any firearm may be retrieved and replaced, or alternatively, must
be replaced from the shooters person or other area as allowed by stage description.
- Unfired, ejected rifle rounds may be replaced (reloaded) on the clock during a stage.
FIVE SECOND PENALTIES
Rifle, revolver, and shotgun targets must be engaged with the appropriate type of firearm. A “miss” is defined as
the failure to hit the appropriate target type using the appropriate type firearm.
• Each missed target.
• Each unfired round.
• Each target hit with
an incorrect firearm, either intentionally or by mistake.
• Each target hit with “illegally acquired” ammunition.
To help understand this concept, a “MISS FLOW CHART” is found in Appendix C. It is also
understand “A MISS CANNOT CAUSE A PROCEDURAL.”
SHB - Penalty Overview
Engaged – attempting to fire a round at the target.
SHB - Glossary of Terms
Levering the rifle (ejecting a round) is considered "engaging" under this definition as it
applies to the above listed options.
These same choices can be applied
to a percussionist who experiences a "cap only" ignition in
the middle of a revolver shooting string...
1) Re-engage the same target and recap the unfired chamber for the last target = NO
2) Re-engage the same target and take the MISS on the last target of the shooting string
3) Move on to the next
target & NOT recap = MISS only for the unfired round.
4) Move on to the next target; recap & return to the skipped target = Procedural for HITTING the
targets out of order (but no misses).
It is also acceptable for a shooter to replace defective (bad primer?) rounds in a cartridge
revolver in order to successfully complete a stage. Even if a revolver has a “squib” (effectively putting
that firearm out of commission), the shooter MAY reload the functioning revolver to finish the shooting string after making the malfunctioning firearm safe.
NOTE: This would normally only be done by a shooter wishing to
achieve a “clean stage” as,
depending on the number of unfired rounds remaining, it would likely take as much time to
unload & reload as it would to simply take the misses. However, a practiced competitor might gain time in
doing so. If a shooter does choose to reload, it would be beneficial to inform the timer operator as to the shooter’s actions.
References: • SASS matches above the club level are “no alibi” matches. Once the first
goes down range, the competitor is committed to the stage and must finish the
shooting problem to the best of his ability. Reshoots are not awarded for ammunition or
These “special circumstances” are NOT the same as reloading round(s) to make up misses for rounds actually fired.
Unless the stage instructions specifically allow it (e.g. “Shooter reload as many rounds as
hit all targets”), the only other time a shooter may reload to make up a rifle/pistol miss for a fired round is:
9. If a firearm is shot out of sequence or from the wrong position or location, the shooter will be awarded a single procedural
penalty. In this situation, if the shooter elects or is forced to miss an appropriate target due to unsafe angles or target availability, a round may be reloaded to avoid a miss penalty (the dreaded “Double Jeopardy” of a procedure and
This does not mean a shooter may reload a rifle or revolver at any other time to make up a
miss. Unfired ejected rifle rounds may be replaced.
Cocked Hammer on Rifle
The issue regarding this situation has changed by the vote of the TGs today, and will be in effect from 1st January 2020.
Proposed rule change:Eliminate the automatic Stage DQ penalty for leaving the loading table with a cocked
rifle.In such instances, the shooter will be directed to point the rifle safely into the back berm, bring the hammer to full cock if it is in the half-cock/safety position, then pull the trigger.If no round is fired, the shooter will be directed to finish
staging firearms in order to start the stage (No Call).If a round fires when the shooter pulls the trigger, the shooter will be assessed a Stage DQ and directed to proceed to the unloading table.
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