SINGLE ACTION SHOOTING SOCIETY™ SASS Range Operations Basic Safety Course
A round over the berm is always a bad idea but is worse on some ranges than others. Local match regulations establish the appropriate penalty, up to and including a Match Disqualification.
Rifles may be “staged” with the magazine loaded, action closed, hammer fully down on the empty chamber (not on the “safety” notch), as long as the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction—adheres to the 170° safety rule, and the muzzle is never on the ground. Note: When the muzzle is “on the ground,” the barrel will normally be “up-range” from the receiver, violating the 170° safety rule.
Shotguns are always “staged” open with magazine and chambers empty, never with the muzzle on the ground, and are loaded on the clock unless the stage description states otherwise. Shotguns may be opened and rounds removed or replaced without penalty. It is permissible for mule-eared shotguns to be “cocked” at the beginning of a scenario, whether staged or in the shooter’s hands. Scoring is very difficult when both barrels of a double barreled shotgun are fired simultaneously, so stages should not be designed incorporating a shotgun double tap.
Long guns will have their actions left open and the magazine/barrels empty at the conclusion of each shooting string. A 10 second minor safety penalty will be assessed if the firearm is not cleared and opened. This condition may be corrected prior to the next round being fired. If the long gun is the last firearm used, it must be cleared prior to it leaving the shooters hand(s) at the unloading table. This does not apply to guns shot out of sequence and made “safe” and then restaged.
A live round left in the chamber constitutes a Stage Disqualification. A live round left in the magazine or on the carrier, as well as an empty round left in the chamber, magazine, or on the carrier of the gun in which it was loaded, constitutes a 10-second Minor Safety violation. Malfunctioning guns still containing rounds will not warrant penalties so long as the malfunction is declared and the gun made safe (handed to the Range Officer or placed on a prop with the muzzle in safe direction). At this point, the firearm is still loaded, everyone knows it, and the firearm can be handled in an appropriate manner.
All shooters must demonstrate rudimentary familiarity and proficiency with the firearms being used. While monthly club matches are certainly an excellent training ground, SASS matches are not the forums in which to learn basic firearms handling. Basic firearms safety and rudimentary proficiency training are more appropriately learned under non-match conditions. SASS matches can then be used to mature the learned skills.
SASS affiliated matches are not fast draw competitions. Any unsafe gun handling in the course of a draw from the holster or any “fanning” will result in a Stage Disqualification. A second offense will result in Match Disqualification. NOTE: “Slip-hammering” is not the same as “fanning” and is legal.
Although cross-draw and shoulder holsters are legal, they represent a significant safety concern. No holster may depart from the vertical by more than 30° when worn. Extreme
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