Clay Competition Safety Rules

The Clay Competition involves shooters moving around the range more than they do during general range operations. It also usually involves larger numbers of pistol shooters, so we have established a few safety precautions beyond the normal range rules.  ALL normal safety rules apply to the competition.  In addition:

Competitors will place their gear on the rifle side of the range. When your number is called to shoot, carry your firearm and ammunition to the pistol side.  Your pistol must be enclosed in a sleeve, case or holstered (if you are legally allowed to carry a holstered firearm).  It should also be unloaded as you move to the pistol side.

Do not handle firearms when not on the firing line. You may load your magazine or speed loader with five rounds while off the firing line, but all firearms will remain cased or holstered and unloaded until the participant is called to the firing line.

Range Commands

Shooters to the line and Load Five Rounds:

Participants will move to the firing stations with their firearms in a sleeve, case, or holster. Once in the firing station, past the yellow line, you may remove your firearm from the sleeve, case, or holster. Load five rounds.


Assume your firing stance with your firearm at the low ready position and finger off the trigger. If you are not ready, speak up and the match director will issue the command “as you were”. 


Once everyone on the firing line is ready, the command “fire” will be given. At that time you may bring your firearm from the low ready position up to the target.


A “watcher” will stand behind every pair of shooters.  The watcher must be an experienced clay shooter selected by the match director.  The primary role of the watcher is safety.  The watcher will notify the announcer whenever there is an unsafe situation.  That is most commonly a malfunction or squib, but can be any situation of concern to the watcher.  The watcher will also notify the announcer when the shooters have loaded their firearms.  The announcer will give the command “Ready” only after watchers have notified the announcer that all shooters are prepared.

Once all participants have finished firing, watchers will check shooters’ firearms to make sure they are clear of magazines and ammo. After cleared, the shooter will return the firearm to its sleeve, case, or holster.

Line is safe:

This Command is given when everyone is again behind the yellow “safe” line.


Any participant not familiar with the rules of competition should check in with the match director or a range officer before the match begins for a briefing on safety and match rules.  First time shooters must have a safety briefing before they shoot and will be presented with a copy of the safety rules.

Competitors must be 12 years of age or older, and able to demonstrate to the match director, that they are capable of handling and shooting a firearm safely.

Reloaded ammunition is permitted. Loads that are judged by the match director to be too powerful and might cause damage to the range are not allowed.

Participants may NOT intentionally shoot at any clays on an adjacent array of targets. Only shoot at “your” targets. 

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