Range is Clear

I originally took the USPSA Range Officer course back in 2013, and I acted as an RO in matches, up until The Late Unpleasantness caused me to let my certification lapse.

As it turns out, I could have written the National Range Officer Institute – the NROI – and asked them for an exemption, and re-certified. But, given the amount of time that lapsed, and seeing that there was now a new class of gun being used – Pistol Caliber Carbines, or PCC – I decided I would invest my time and money and take the course again, which I did this past weekend at the River Bend Gun Club in Dawsonville, GA.

The instructor this time was the NROI Director, Troy McManus, and there were 25 of us, altogether, representing a wide range of experience and shooting ability. The first day was all classroom training, going over the rules. The USPSA has doen a lot of editing and revision to the 2020 rulebook, and we went over it from front to back. I’m glad we did, because, honestly, I don’t read it enough.

The second day was all about exercising what we learned, by ROing shooters. Whereas we shot only one stage the first time I took the class, this time there were two stages, and the second stage helped illustrate the kinds of decisions an RO has to make. There were enough tough calls that we all go our turn at it.

As a side note, I shot very well on the two stages, with no mikes, and good times. In fact, just for fun I tried doing head shots on the second stage, and did well. The reason I did better? Obviously it’s because I wasn’t under pressure. I felt confident, and different. I think I learned something there.

Now, I have to pass the test, and I get my certification back, which will be another victory for me.

Joining the Club

I’ve heard it said that there are two classes of competitive shooters – those who have been disqualified, and those who will be disqualified at some point in there shooting career.

I am somewhat embarrassed to report that on Saturday, I moved from the latter group to the former, and joined the DQ Club.

The good news – no one was hurt and I was not in danger of hurting anyone. As a matter of record, as I was moving from point 4 to point 5, I “broke the 180” while moving laterally, and no one was in the area where I pointed my gun.

As God’s sense of humor would have it, it was on my last stage of the day, as I was moving to shoot the last 3 targets. And I was the next to last shooter in my group, so rather than pack up, as is the tradition, I helped break down and all, before going home.

Now, in retrospect, I see what happened. In my planning, I was going to shoot from spot 4, some feet back from there the number is, where I actually shot. Had I gone east-west from 3, shot the two targets and moved to 5, all would be good. But I moved up to make the shots on the other targets closer, and then I didn’t keep my gun pointed down range as I moved to 5.

All in all I am pleased to report my fellow competitors were very consoling, and shared their first DQs with me. One shooter, who I have been competing with since 2002 when I moved back to the Atlanta area, did a ND after falling. He said he’s had 5 more DQs since, no one hurt, and no two the same.

Lesson learned. Now, let’s keep this the only one.

Note, if you want to share your DQ stories with me, you can comment, or email me at FillYerHands at Gmail, and I will sterilize them if you wish, and share at some time in the future.