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Guidelines for Range Officers

September 2023

The Range Officer's (RO) main concern is for the safety of the shooter and safe operation of the stage/match.

Given this, they need to:

  1. Make sure the range is safe and targets set BEFORE calling the next shooter.
    1. They need to make sure no one is out front picking up brass.  They need to make sure the targets are ready.
    2. They should make others aware that they need to be counting misses.
    3. This also lets everyone know that shooting is about to start.
    4. The counter's sticks are great and we should be more consistent with this.
  2. The RO should NOT be counting misses but should be counting shots fired, and watching the shooter's guns.
    1. They need to know when a shooter has not fired all round in their guns and let the shooter know that. (If the RO is watching the targets they are unable to see what the shooter is doing and take the appropriate action.)
    2. They need to be able to take and hold a shooter's handgun or rifle where a malfunction has prevented the shooter from firing all shots.  Shooters cannot put a malfunctioned gun back in their holsters or rack.
    3. They need to be the first to yell "STOP" when a squib has been fired or even suspected of being fired. (If they are watching the targets they will not be able to see what happened and then take action in time to prevent further problems.)
    4. Watching the shooter is the ONLY way the RO will know if the shooter is violating any safety rules, like breaking 170 degrees with the muzzle of a gun, or if the shooter drops a gun, or anything else.
    5. All of this is why they need to watch the gun and NOT the targets.
  3. They need to make sure the timer is picking up AT LEAST the last shot.
    1. The timer should not be by the shooter's ear except when starting the shooter.
    2. After that just hold it off to the side somewhat but look at it once or twice to make sure it's recording the shots.
    3. Catching the last shot is what's important and often the reason we shoot shotgun last.
    4. Also, after the shooter is finished the RO should cover the microphone on the timer to prevent other noises, or getting it bumped, and continuing to record.
    5. They then instruct the shooter to move to the unloading table and help them with their guns if they need it. (Some of the older folks do.)
  4. Once the shooter has moved to the unloading table the RO needs to give the time to the scorekeeper and ask the counters for the number of misses.  If there is a discrepancy between counters they need to work to resolve it.  If no consensus can be reached the lowest number of misses is the final count and they need to make sure the scorekeeper has that information as well as any procedurals, if they occurred.
  5. They may need to call for brass pickers so that that can begin before the next shooter. In a well-run posse, other shooters should be aware of what's going on and make sure the brass is picked-up and targets re-set without being asked, but that takes training. New shooters should be encouraged to jump in and help when the range is safe.
  6. Once the brass has been picked up they need to make sure that the targets are set and that there is no one still out front looking for brass or anything else.  (We often get people looking for that one last piece of brass way longer than it's worth it and you as the RO needs to get any brass-picking stragglers back behind the firing line so the next shooter can start.)
  7. As soon as everything is ready, it is the RO's duty to call up the next shooter.  This may include helping the older shooters with any guns, making sure everything is staged before shooting, and answering any questions the shooter might have before starting.
  8. RO's Starting the Shooter
    1. Ask the shooter if they understand the course of fire. 
      • At this point give the shooter time to review the stage and ask any questions.  You may also need to remind the shooter of the starting position. (Rifle at port arms, etc.)
    2. Once they indicate that the understand thee course of fire, ask "Are you ready?"
    3. If the shooter says yes, then say "Stand by" and after a second or two start the timer.
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