MPSA Range Rules


MPSA's range rules are based on the USPSA rulebook for handguns. All rules below are taken from this rulebook. References to the rule book have been provied to help new shooters better gain an understanding of the rules.

Eye and Ear Protection
5.4.1 Eye and ear protection must be worn at all times while on the range.

Gun Handling
MPSA operates a COLD range. Your hangun should always be unloaded and cased/bagged or holstered with and empty magwell unless you are in a safe area or under direct supervision of a Range Officer when it is your turn to shoot. USPSA Rules: 5.2.1 and 5.2.2

Safe Areas
There are three safe areas at the range, each is marked with a sign. You may bag, unbag, and holster your handgun in this area. You may dryfire, practice reloading EMPTY magazines, and clean or adjust the handgun is this area. NO LIVE AMMO IN THE SAFE AREA! This includes dummy rounds or snap caps. USPSA Rules: 2.4.1.1 thru 2.4.1.4, and 2.4.2

Range Commands
When it is your turn to shoot you will enter the starting position and be issued several range commands. These commands are listed below. USPSA Rules: 8.3.1 thru 8.3.8

  • "Make Ready" - Facing down range, you may unholster your gun and load it. After loading you will apply any applicable safetys and reholster the gun

  • "Are You Ready" - Unless you give a negative response ("NO", "Wait", etc) the RO will issue the next command.

  • "Standby" - This command should be followed by the start signal within 1 to 4 seconds.

  • "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?".

  • "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 fromthe Range Officer.

  • "If You Are Finished, 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 Clear, Hammer Down, Holster" - 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 "If You Are Finished, Unload And Show Clear"

  • "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.

180 Rule
The handgun must be pointed down range at all times. Our range has 5 berms or shooting areas. These areas are formed in the shape of a "U". The shooter must not allow the muzzle of his handgun to point rearwards, that is further than 90 degrees from the median intercept of the backstop. In figure 1, the shooter is positioned on the "X". As the shooter moves forward past the first two targets as indicated in figure 2, so does the 180 line. The shooter can't shoot the first two targets without breaking the 180 rule. The shooter would have to back up while keeping the muzzle down range and reposition himself so that the targets would be down range from the 180 line. USPSA Rule: 10.5.2

The Finger Rule
The trigger finger must be kept off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard unless you are shooting at a target. If you are moving from one position to the next, performing a reload, or clearing a malfuntion you finger must be away from the trigger. It is a good idea to get in the practice of keeping your finger in a position like the one illustrated in the picture below. Remember, mechanical safeties can and do fail. Your best safety is keeping your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot.