At the start of any shooting detail at our range, the Range Conducting Officer (RCO) will ask everyone on the detail if they are familiar with the range commands. At Pinhoe we use the following:
“Settle Down” is often used by the RCO to instruct shooters to go your firing point and prepare for your shoot. However, your firearm must remain unloaded at this point.
In the LSR range you will hear “Load and Make Ready” at which point you must load your rifle magazine and await instruction to insert it into your rifle. The “Insert your Magazines” command will allow you to insert your magazine into your rifle, at which point the rifle is considered loaded.
The RCO will carefully monitor all the shooters in the detail and once satisfied they will ask “Is Anybody NOT Ready?”. If you are not ready you must raise your hand or shout “Not Ready” and the RCO will allow more time for you to prepare. The RCO will ask again if anybody is not ready and if everyone is ready, the detail will commence with “Commence Firing” after which you may start shooting.
For details other than Pistol or LSR after Settle Down at 15 seconds comes the command “Standby” which is a 5 second warning, followed by “Start”.
For a non competitive detail the RCO will normally ask “Is everybody finished?” and if everyone confirms they have finished they will shout “Cease Fire, Clear and Lay Down Your Rifles/Pistols”. For a competitive or timed details after the time for the detail has passed, the RCO will shout “Cease Fire, Make your rifles safe with a breech flag or bolt or action removed”. The RCO will check all firearms on the detail to ensure they are showing clear and will then announce “Clear” followed by “Change Targets” or “Go Forwards”. At this point you may leave your firing position and change your targets or clear away as required.
The most important range command you will hear is “STOP STOP STOP”. If you hear this command you must immediately remove your finger from the trigger but do nothing else unless instructed to do so by the RCO. You must not unload or lay down your firearm until you are instructed to do so by the RCO.
At some ranges a hooter, buzzer or whistle may be used to start and finish a competition detail and a quickly repeating hooter, buzzer or whistle signifies an Emergency Stop. The end of the detail sound should last for 5 seconds during which time you can fire a final shot but NOT after the sound has ended!
If you are due to shoot on 2 consecutive details or more then it is vital that you step back from the firing point whilst there are persons between the firing line and the targets and without fail you must NOT touch your rifle or equipment whilst there are persons down range. The RCO will normally announce that “Shooters may take up their firing points when the range is clear”